For more than 50 years, heavy metal has endured. During that time it’s topped the charts and languished in cutout bins, mutated into myriad outlandish strains, created cultural icons and moral panics. It’s taken root on every continent and steadfastly refused to leave, adapting to the times and its surroundings. Death Metal, Black Metal, Hair Metal, Thrash or NWOBHM – it’s all identifiably metal.
In this fold-out guide we chart heavy metal’s evolution by genre and geography, from its progenitors in the British steel towns to church-burning Norwegians and Australian Christian metallers. Iran, Nepal, China and Japan are all represented, along with the US and UK’s many monsters of rock. This is the Metal Mappa Mundi; it’s a metal world, we just live in it.