New Wave of British Heavy Metal

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal ( NWOBHM ) is a term from the late 1970s and early 1980s, the London Heavy Metal DJ Neal Kay invented and thus a musical division gave its name. It should embrace the young British bands who stood in the tradition of early heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Deep Purple, without wanting to compromise on the energy of punk.

The classic representative of the NWOBHM are, inter alia, Angel Witch, Praying Mantis, Samson, Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head or the Holocaust, but also still successful bands like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard or Saxon. Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Motorhead are not counted in the NWOBHM in the strict sense, since they were active since the early and middle 1970s, however, these bands were in 1980 with major albums also instrumental in the revival of the British metal scene or benefited themselves from it. Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister singer distanced his music, however, the Metal and referred to them as rock ' n ' roll. He considered bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath as the true Metal, faster bands such as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal or Metallica sound to him more by punk than after Metal.

The music of the original NWOBHM is now generally referred to as heavy metal, as distinct from sub- categories such as Thrash Metal, Glam Metal, Speed ​​Metal or Power Metal.

Important albums


  • Def Leppard - On Through the Night


  • Angel Witch - Angel Witch
  • Diamond Head - The White Album / Lightning to the Nations
  • Fist - Turn the Hell On
  • Girlschool - Demolition
  • Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
  • Samson - Head On
  • Saxon - Wheels of Steel
  • Saxon - Strong Arm of the Law
  • Tygers of Pan Tang - Wild Cat


  • Iron Maiden - Killers
  • Praying Mantis - Time Tells No Lies
  • Raven - Rock Until You Drop
  • Tygers of Pan Tang - Spellbound


  • Demon - The Unexpected Guest
  • Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
  • Tank - Filth Hounds of Hades
  • Venom - Black Metal


  • Satan - Court in the Act

While following albums do not come from NWOBHM bands, however, were influenced by this sub-genre and influenced its further development:


  • Judas Priest - British Steel
  • Motörhead - Ace of Spades
  • Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz