I don't recall my first impressions. I don't think I liked it, but I do seem to recall forcing myself to listen to it a few times, and gradually I did learn to like it. From there I got into a lot more Priest, Iron Maiden, AC/DC and W.A.S.P, plus a little KISS as well. By the time I got to Jr. High I was a bit of a metal head. I really didn't like dance music, though I confess at school dances I really didn't mind much of the 80s pop we listened to. There was no way I'd admit it though, and outside of school I was all metal, all the time. The mellowest I got was probably Def Leppard's Hysteria album.
By the time I was in Grade 11, Metal was wearing out. Not necessarily for me, but because there were no new metal releases. There was nowhere to go - Judas Priest wasn't releasing enougn albums, and Iron Maiden had forgotten how to rhyme. My sister was big into dance music but I still couldn't get into it, until I heard The KLF. The White Room album was brilliant, and I really got into the beat. From there I went completely contrary and started listening to Enigma. I had inherited a very nice stereo and some great speakers and I totally got into the bass. From here it was a very easy step to Front 242, their hard-ass industrial techno really scratching an itch for me.
I was also into Japanese and German music for a while. Bz and X-Japan, as well as Die Toten Hosen were about all I listend to for a few years after graduating.
Metal though took a serious departure from my listening queue. For a very long time there simply was no metal. I was stuck listening to pop rock bands, but I could never really get into that flavour-of-the-week crap. I missed grunge entirely and kind of stuck with synthetic dance/techno stuff until about 2005. SO we're talking of a ten year gap where I just didn't have any new metal. The first taste of new metal that I got was probably Rammstein, which I adored. Then came Machinae Supremacy, a Finnish band that did hard rockin' covers of video game themes.
Just before coming to Australia from Japan I discovered Nightwish, and recently I've been a serious Ensiferum fan. Also In Flames did a few good tracks I enjoyed.
But, and this is my point, for a decade there was no metal in my life. No one I knew listened to it, there was no metal scene, no new releases. For all intents and purposes it was a dead genre. It was a shock to me when I'd hear a car go by blaring a 5-year-old Judas Priest song. I felt like I wasn't the last metal fan after all.
But now there's a lot of metal. Everyone I know is into metal. How did it disappear for so long? Was it where I lived and the friends I had, or was it global?
Long live the new metal generation. =D