Latin metal (Spanish: Heavy metal en espaol, Portuguese: Heavy metal em portugus) is a subgenre of heavy metal music with Latin origins, influences, and instrumentation, such as Spanish vocals, Latin percussion and rhythm such as Salsa rhythm. Some South American bands also add influences and instrumentations borrowed from world music and ethnic music, relating to musical traditions of the indigenous people of America.
Latin metal started in the 1970s and 1980s, originating in many countries of Latin America, thanks to the increasing worldwide popularity of heavy metal and heavy rock from Europe and United States. It may also have profited from the "Latin explosion" in the United States of the 1990s, though some critics contend that the gap between Ricky Martin-style pop and metal is too great for Latin metal to have profited greatly. Still, record companies in the 1990s sought to profit from the rise of Latin pop, as evidenced from the Metalo compilation of Latin metal bands by the Grita! Records label, which included songs by Ill Nio and Puya, and bands from the 1990s such as Sepultura and Soulfly are cited as predecessors in the genre. In the United States, Ill Nio is probably the best-known exponent of the genre; their first two albums (with "philosophical and bilingual lyrics" about such topics as growing up fatherless) were commercially successful and got them strong radio play in for instance the San Antonio area.
Latin Metal has managed to enter the mainstream world, with bands like Ill Nino, Puya, Nonpoint, landing Top 10 and 20 singles,on the Active Rock charts.