The '80s were an interesting decade as rock continued to evolve in interesting forms, with new rock and metal bands taking things in new directions.

As the '70s closed, there was a huge spike for punk rock. But the early '80s saw the arrival of new wave as the dominant rock form. Yes, the '70s gave us metal's forefathers, but there was no era that really showed the growth of heavy music more than the '80s. Los Angeles' Sunset Strip was a birthing ground from some of mainstream metal's breakout bands, while the '80s saw the thrash metal subgenre boom with the "Big 4" of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. And as the decade came to a close, a number of college radio rock acts were laying the groundwork for a '90s takeover. There were even signs of a second wave of punk on the horizon as well.

Ten years can give us so much, and it's interesting to see how certain styles come and go. So join us as we look not only at the best new rock or metal acts of each year, but also the groups and performers that were making their initial imprints in those years as well.

Best New Rock / Metal Band of Each Year of the 1980s

Keeping the rock flowing.

Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire

Best New Rock / Metal Band of Every Year in the 1970s

They were all new once.

Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire

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