The Heavy Metal Bands Who Never Took Off

Success, fame and glory are as elusive as a winning lottery ticket blown off Gladstone Gander’s fingers (wings?) by a freak whirlwind, picked in flight by a passing pelican and coughed onto your head while you’re sailing the Atlantic in an Optimist dinghy.

They had all the talent of a boy band, all the grit of a gritting lorry and all the connections of a blonde socialite whose great-grandfather founded a chain of hotels. Still, these amazing heavy metal bands never made it, just because they lacked that undefinable, ethereal quality which we commonly refer to as ‘luck’.


Megawatts were an eco-friendly British band who insisted on using photo-voltaic cells to power their amps. A rising star in the musical scene of the time, their astronomical ascent was severely impaired by their inability to play at night.

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever were born as Anthrax emulators. Their live performances, characterised by catchy riffs and vigorous headbanging, spread their fame like wild fire. For a few years they were the hottest band around, until an unfortunate misinterpretation of their name attracted a lawsuit for racial abuse and prematurely ended their career.

Liquid Lithium

Liquid Lithium had its musical origins in acid rock. Their caustic lyrics were too inflammatory for the band to ever become a household name, so their explosive initial success quickly fizzled away.

Solid Lead

A spin-off of Guns N’ Roses, this band was a heavyweight in the metal scene until it steered towards death metal. When their association with the rock band Poison was exposed, Solid Lead’s popularity bombed and now market researchers consider it a toxic brand.

Deaf Lions

Deaf Lions started off as a double act with Def Leppard. After a particularly loud concert, the bands entered into a scrap over a ‘duck’ and were left with further physical disabilities. After the regrettable incident, Deaf Lions swapped their original partners for Pantera, a move which spurted animal rights groups to accuse them of fomenting Animal Hysteria. Critics argue that it was in response to these allegations that Deaf Lions eventually abandoned Pantera and struck a tragically ill-fated allegiance with Slayer.

Main image via Pitchfork