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The Mermaid

Location: The Mermaid
Address: Stratford Road, Sparkbrook Birmingham UK
Phone: (251) 546-9442


Heavy metal itself comes from Birmingham, England. Actual metal-making plants and foundries dominated the city for decades, and they seemed to exert a (super)natural influence on the Birmingham residents that invented heavy metal music. These pioneers include Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and both Robert Plant and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

A decade-and-a-half after heavy metal’s initial forging, then, Birmingham begat a new, more extreme, and somehow even more terrifying version of the form. Grindcore, a singularly savage synthesis of thrash, death metal, and hardcore punk, exploded up from the city’s molten soul, with a dynamic scene lashing out all over the planet from the upstairs room of the otherwise nondescript Mermaid pub.

Led by Napalm Death, the Mermaid hosted heavy metal’s most extreme boundary-blasters, where UK locals such as Amebix, Extreme Noise Terror, and Heresy attracted touring marauders, particularly American hardcore battalions on the hugely influential order or DRI and MDC.

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