New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM)

In the late-1970s and early-1980s, as the British Heavy Metal supergroups (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin) that once were part of the anti-establishment, had now become part of the establishment, a new wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) emerged all over Britain “to satisfy the loyal fans’ need for live music at grass-roots level.”1 As a genre, NWOBHM encompasses diverse mainstream and underground styles, but one thing that bands playing in this genre shared in common is that they drew inspiration from the anti-establishment punk movement of the late-1970s, producing fast and raw songs.

With respect to NWOBHM logos, what was said earlier about Heavy Metal logos also applies here – style-wise they’re all over the place. But there seems to have been one common principle: bands wanted something that reflected their raw edge. Which is why quite a number of bands (most notably Motörhead and Iron Maiden) took their cues from biker aesthetics, with logos often being made up out of ersatz German Fraktur letters.2

Here, I purposely decided to do a logo in the vein of those of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, because I felt it’d make for an interesting comparison with specifically Teutonic (i.e. German) Thrash Metal logos, which can be found further down. The key words here: industrial, tight, and laser-like.


Some NWOBHM bands to check out:

Heavy Metal Speed Metal

[1] S. Poole. Retro Rock and Heavy History. Global Metal Music and Culture: Current Directions in Metal Studies, pp. 302-303; and M. Heatley. The Virgin Encyclopedia of Rock: The World’s Most Comprehensive Illustrated Rock Reference, p. 122, 1996.
[2] J.K. Davies. BandLogoJukeBox: Iron Maiden., 2020.

Take me back to the sample overview.