NWOBHM is an acronym which stands for New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, a phenomenon which helped breathe new life into heavy metal during the mid-eighties.
Although metal has been around as a rock sub-genre dating back to the sixties, many fans had turned away from it by the eighties as the then-popular MTV channel pushed new wave bands like Duran Duran and crossover stars like Prince and Michael Jackson.
The backlash to this came in the form of the NWOBHM. Magazines like Britain's Kerrang! began to champion bands like Iron Maiden, who were among the dozens of emerging groups representing a surprising diversity of styles. You had the black metal of Mercyful Fate, the prog-metal of Marillion, and the radio friendly glam metal of Def Leppard.
As the NWOBHM phenomenon soon reached America, it produced a whole new crop of stateside bands, from the glam rockers of Motley Crue to the dark metal of Slayer to the thrash of Metallica. Meanwhile, the old guard metal acts like Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest saw their own fortunes rise as they were embraced by both the new bands and their fans.