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Speed metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music originating in the late 1970's to mid 1980's that was the direct musical progenitor of and . Speed metal is characterized by staccato drumming, single-note riffing at fast tempos and complex guitar solos. Unlike thrash metal, speed metal uses melodical hooks. Lyrical themes of speed metal are those common for .

Early speed metal bands include Motorhead, Judas Priest, Venom, Anthrax, Megadeth, Rage, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Running Wild, Мастер, among others.

Recently, subgenre arose with bands like Dragonforce and Children of Bodom, that are often tagged as Speed metal.

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