Examining Charges Against Metal

Nearly all metal fans have had encounters with the occasional individual(s) who points a negatively criticizing finger at the genre. Sometimes folks trot over to the third digit to give “the finger” for whatever reason. 
The Scenario

Last week, one of those situations settled into my library shelf of experiences. During a class, the subject of rap and the usage of violent and misogynistic lyrics was discussed as it related to an assignment. Some folks commented and claimed that some of the lyrics in metal/rock songs were even worse; the majority of the class continued by giving metal/rock an automatic dismissal. Of course, this happening is not out of the ordinary to the minds of metal fans because it is highly likely they will be confronted with attitudes such as this. However, it did leave me wanting to evaluate perceptions. 

As I had to defend the genre, I relayed my comment and told the class that many times lyrics or other representations within all music is misunderstood and that objectivity is a force in many songs that may create some puzzled and shocked facial expressions. I did not retaliate using the same disgust because of personal choice, but some of the class members agreed with my finding. 

My Understanding 
This is not an attempt to whine over pseudo-declaration of a “superiority” of my musical tastes, and it is not about giving a sour frown at people who disagree with what I like. Life in general is overflowing with conflicting opinions, and metal music exudes a magnetic field for attracting harshness in people’s perceptions.
The aforementioned instance does call an attention to the tendency to turn away from aspects of life that appear “unsightly” on the exterior. Metal (and some rock) music has a huge support built off of just that, and it is true that a lot of lyrical content may be more violent, threatening than other genres. This is also linked to the extreme imagery portrayed on album artwork and other aspects.  

It is just that the problem is that many individuals peer at aspects without bridging over an open mind. Instead, they would rather pack a sound passage without leaving room for potential healthy discussions. It’s not a goal of mind to convert folks into thinking that they should always push through life with an open mind, but I think it would be greater if people did not assume and blab about how awful some things are without giving it a second glance. In this case, I have this strong opinion because it pertains to something in which I am passionate: Metal music. I’m not trying to recruit people to become instant listeners of metal because everyone is not going to like it and will not cower at expressing it. I do not refrain from admitting that I have been very hesitant about examining some aspects of life in my earlier years, but being exposed to the explored unknowns of metal has made me more curious about subjects that occasionally borderline taboo.

Under another light, this situation sort of makes me wonder how different the world would be if more people were exposed to metal in general. On the other hand, it probably would not be the same force that it is today. This is particularly true since a nice little helping of songs deal with this post: Some people not tuning in to understand. Nevertheless, this notion does reveal the sentiments of some fans who (possibly unknowingly) wear the elitist cloak, which could add or take away from the metal realm. That all depends on personal perception. 

Ah, well, I suppose metal is not meant to rise from its fine occupation as the creature that dwells underground. Only questions, speculations rise. 


2 thoughts on “Examining Charges Against Metal

  1. Often times we assume something with a narrow minded focus because it's something we don't understand thoroughly enough, if at all. Doesn't mean that were bad people, we just have a limited perspective.

    A personal example for me would be when I started playing the Grand Theft Auto series. A lot of the in game radio stations had songs that I had never heard before and helped to expand my musical horizon a lot better.

    Overall, it all depends on what type of approach people want to take. I may not like something but I can at least appreciate it for what it's worth


  2. This is true. I've learned, over the years, the importance of being respectful of other's viewpoints; it's not my motive to deem anyone bad, evil, or what have you, because of how they “see” certain subjects because I don't like that being placed on my views. In a way, this is comparable to a cycle. However, some stuff lies outside of the sphere and can be a bit harmful to the receiver, so some stuff is best to be detained. But, all of this is especially interesting because it questions the field of perception as it relates to open mindedness. Is there a true answer? Can, whatever the topic is, assume the role as “teacher” to fuel the cycle?


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