Inspired by a map of metal bands per capita in Europe, journalist Simon Davis created a list mapping the 100 “most metal” cities per capita in the U.S. After Cleveland, Portland, Pittsburgh, Rochester, and Richmond (as in Virginia), San Francisco made it on the list, landing in the Top 20 at No. 17. Not bad, S.F., not bad at all. (Side note: Los Angeles was the city with the most metal bands in total (1,086 bands), but it came in at No. 26 per capita.)
[jump] This metal list comes on the heels of the news that Spotify has discovered that metal is more popular than pop music — at least according to stats from the streaming site. Globally, there are more people listening to metal than any other genre, which just goes to show you that metalheads are pretty damn hardcore when it comes to genre loyalty. The Bay Area itself has a rich metal history, and is in fact credited as the birthplace of thrash metal. Exodus and Metallica both originated in the East Bay, as did Possessed and Blind Illusion, and Slayer founding member Jeff Hanneman (whom SF Weekly interviewed in March) is an Oakland native.
Current Bay Area metal bands that are worth checking out include Ludicra, Asunder, and High on Fire, to name but a few. Read our list of the Top 21 Bay Area Metal Albums for a rundown of both new and old acts, and make sure you check out these 5 Women of Bay Area Metal, as well.