Isn't Guns N' Roses heavy metal?

I recently purchased "Metal: The Definitive Guide" by Garry Sharpe-Young, and while it seems to be very well written and in-depth for the most part, it makes no mention of "Glam metal" bands like Guns N' Roses, Van Halen, etc. Are these not heavy metal bands of a different style?


The answers pouring in so far seem to say no, but it seems that, in my research, most sources would say that Guns N' Roses are in fact metal, just a different splinter of the traditional heavy metal genre.

(I'm writing a research paper on heavy metal).

15 Answers

  • Best Answer

    there is and always has been a debate as to the boundary of what IS or IS NOT, Metal.

    A lot of bands, even in famous "Metal" Movements, like the NWOBHM, really were on the ragged edge between Metal ( a band like Black Sabbath or Diamond Head ) or Hard Rock ( bands like Led Zeppelin or Praying Mantis). To make matters more difficult, there are bands like Deep Purple or Judas Priest or even the Scorpions who very much wavered between the two form one album to the next.

    And some bands, like AC/DC or Motorhead, the bands themselves INSIST they are not Metal, but Rock n Roll.

    And GLAM (or Hair Rock, Hair Metal) in general falls right on that dividing line. The media in the 80s certainly was to ignorant to know the difference, and most early Metalheads themselves really could not definitively tell you when "Classic Rock" and "Hard Rock" morphed into "Metal".

    To make matters worse.... their seems to be a belief amongst most Metalheads, that to say a band is "Not Metal" is somehow an insult. They have trouble accepting that a favorite band might be *GASPS* just a really good Hard Rock band. Then you factor into the equation the "TRVE KVLT, DEATH TO FALSE METAL" crowd who feels anything without shrieks, growls and blastbeats is not Metal..... and it just gets stickier.

    Another factor? Metal, like all music has continued evolving.. so bands that were once "cutting edge" of the extreme, suck as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, gave way to more extreme bands like Iron Maiden, who in themselves gave way to Metallica and Slayer, and so it continues. Today, you have Gothic Rock bands like Evanescence, who actually put out "Harder and Heavier" sounding music than much of the founding fathers of Metal when played side by side.

    So what am I getting at? Their truly is no definitive answer, or universally held concensus opinion. For the most part, I would say most older Metalheads would consider Hair and Glam Bands like Guns n Roses, Ozzy, Warrent and Def Leppard as Metal. Most of the younger, or more extreme Metal fans, would call it Hard Rock.

    And you tell me... Play Warrant, or Winger side to side with Evanescence..then tell me which one sounds harder and heavier. See the problem?

    Still in all, if you look into the basic premise of Heavy Metal, there are a few distinctive characteristics that usually stand out, such as prominent use of Power Chording, heavily distorted or down tuned guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass-and-drum sound, and highly emphatic vocals. But even those things vary.

    Simple fact... no two people can agree on what IS or IS NOT Metal.

    To me, Guns N Roses, Motely Crue, Ozzy Osbourne and the like is some very nice music. Some very nice HARD ROCK MUSIC. But the very next person after me could just as vigorously contend that they are Metal.

    *****Van Halen, Metal? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Ummm... he might haveinfluenced some lead guitarist in Metal bands, but not only is it even more marginally Metal than GnR, but there is not a self respecting Metal guitarist alive that doesn't absolutely destroy EVH and his "Eruption".

    @Cigarly... btw dude, I am no way meaning that to mock you or your tastes. I just totally have no use or respect for EVH. Guy was IMO decent way back when, but sold out REAL fast. Just my opinion though.

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Isn't Guns N' Roses heavy metal?

    I recently purchased "Metal: The Definitive Guide" by Garry Sharpe-Young, and while it seems to be very well written and in-depth for the most part, it makes no mention of "Glam metal" bands like Guns N' Roses, Van Halen, etc. Are these not heavy metal bands of a different...

    Source(s): isn 39 guns 39 roses heavy metal:
  • 10 years ago

    Guns N' Rose are hard rock/hair metal not even close to country.

  • Wait, there's no Van Halen? Even with the juvenile subject matter that Van Halen songs contained, Eddie's technique is definitely one of the most important things to happen to metal...

    And thanks to the genre rape-ification, you'll never find a perfect answer to your question, even though I agree that they're some form of metal. Or maybe the guide just decided to include stuff that has actually influenced and evolved the genre, because lets face it, Guns N' Roses did nothing innovative

    Edit: @killer peaches, tl;dr, ranting about something as simple as this question was completely irrelevant. And personally I could care less about Van Halen but that was a very ignorant response.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 10 years ago

    I believe Guns and Roses could be put in with the hair (glam) metal of the 1980's but I always seen them as a straight out hard rock band. I mean you can't really put them in the same category as say Poison or Bon Jovi, I believe they were able to lift themselves out of the hair metal label to become more of a classic rock band.

  • 6 years ago

    Slayer and Megadeth is Trash Metal, no Heavy metal. For classification is necessary the guitar distortion and riff atack. Some musics the Guns have this caracteristics. So, some musics is heavy metal. The most caracteristic this band is hard rock. Is very difficult some band have a one way to play...Exemple:

    Mettalica play:

    Hard Rock - few musics

    Heavy metal - some musics

    Trash metal - very musics


  • 4 years ago

    Guns N Roses is mixture of Hard Rock, Blues Rock, Heavy Metal and Punk Rock in early days. New stuff is more considered to be mix of Hard Rock and Industrial/Nu metal. They ae not strictly Hard Rock also not strictly Metal.

  • -Jay-
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    nay, It's rock or hard rock.

    Heavy Metal more like:


    Ozzy Osbourne


    you get the idea.

  • 10 years ago

    Metalheads love\hate classifying genres but GnR is definitely not heavy metal. HM is more like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer etc... usually quicker guitar notes, and solos are based on flash and complexity more than having "soul" (for lack of a better word).

    Source(s): \m/ O.o \m/
  • Nicole
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    I wouldn't consider them heavy metal.

    More like arena rock.

  • 10 years ago

    well they sure aren't heavy metal but I would say they are between metal and rock

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.