Before a band goes into the studio with the intention of recording a full length album, they typically work out all the kinks by creating a rough demo of the songs. This helps the band structure the album, and it gives the producer an idea of what direction the band is headed in. In most cases the general public doesn’t get to hear these demo songs, as they are typically scrapped at some point. Thanks to sites like YouTube we have a grab bag of demo material to fish through, and these are just a few of the more notable demo songs you’ll find in the metal department.
Where Ever I May Roam
This is a perfect example of the purpose demo songs serve, and its worth a few laughs to hear James Hetfield singing muddled nonsense to get the melody out.
Symphony of Destruction
A lot of demo songs act as a basic road map for where the song can go, and some of them even contain completely different parts much like the intro heard here.
Often times a bands early work features musicians that didn’t end up standing the test of time, much like singer Neil Turbin’s early days in Anthrax.
Angel of Death
Its counter intuitive to put as much time into the production of a demo as you would with the full album, but there are some fans who prefer an extremely rough sound like this.
It takes a while for a band to find a unique identity, and its hard to believe some of these bands had such a drastically different sound in their early days.
Oliver’s Twist (Pull Me Under)
Another kink typically worked out in the demo stage is naming a song, which in this case many would be glad Dream Theater ditched the original working title for their first big hit.
As you can tell, all of the above mentioned metal bands have come a very long way since these demos were originally crafted. They may have some sloppy elements to them, but they played a huge part towards producing some of the best albums this genre has to offer.