Not long ago, Metallica acknowledged their 1989 debut of the video for “One,” which captivated audiences with its musicality through the horror of war, appropriately merging with clips of the limbless victim, that lamented weary thoughts. As a 16-year-old viewing the video for the first time, I was in awe and directed the proceeding days toward finding more music like that. I had fallen in the lair of heavy metal and became comfortable in the realm of the underground. I would discover mounds of bands with the same sound as Metallica, find individualism, stumble upon a slew of varying metal styles, enrich my knowledge with atypical (yet relevant) subject matter, help formulate a lifestyle, and strengthen personal dedication. However, the last five reasons would not have been possible if I had not heard “One.”
Photo by Metal Mellowdee
1. Its Sounds are Amazing.
2. It’s the Ultimate Independence Booster
…on two levels.
Metal seems to lead fans in the direction of enhancing a form of independence. This rests on the basis of it being an “isolated-like” genre of music, which is not hard to figure out why. Though, it holds millions of followers. On another level, its “isolated-like” nature seems to force one to stand on their own, which can launch positive effects for different reasons.
3. It Offers a Wide Range of Styles
This one is close to being a no brain-er. There’s the sluggish pace of doom metal to accompany a mood; one doesn’t have to gaze off into another galaxy to find metal that’s progressively-tinged or to hear the lighting speed of some traditional thrash metal. There is no doubt that the styles are continuously spreading, conjuring titles, like math metal, gore-grind, or even epic melodic power metal. It leaves little time for listeners of heavy metal to be concerned with sifting through genres outside of metal.
Eh, could be a good thing to stay under the surface and into the dank sub-earth.
4. It Embraces Relevant Lyrics
“Oh, baby, I love you” or “love, oh, I you baby”–or how ever it’s spit out.
Anyways, that previously mentioned phrase seems to be the staple of every song that climbs and descends the ladders of Top 40, and I can’t be the only one burning in annoyance. With the exception of a cupful of bands, most metal artists stick to churning out quality lyrics that are actually relevant to a life not obsessed with the lousy, unstable spheres of love. Not to purposely air the bitter sides of cynicism, but music is more enjoyable when one can groove and discover catharsis from matters that lie outside of a sewn breakup.
And, with metal, it’s not a challenge to find that release. Take Kataklysm’s “As the Walls Collapse” for example:
…Simple, yet, strengthening.
There are topics about our universe, internal conflicts, the history of wars and much more. It makes one think they’re pages deep in an intriguing nonfiction book…But, *sigh* I have to add that some pop songs can be enjoyable.
Yes, even some that chant, “Love, oh, I you baby.”
5. It’s the Sturdy Framework of a Lifestyle.
Thousands of non-metal fans have proclaimed that metal vocalists solely blurt out inaudible garbage. To make it irksome for themselves, they hone in on the harsher vocals and assume that anything associated with the song is unintelligibly delivered. They dismiss the entire genre, overlooking some of its praised characteristics, and, as we’ve seen in the lyrics listed above, there can be more clarity and thought placed into metal songs.
But, the point is that appreciating something that’s generally overlooked (yet usually frowned upon) becomes a way of expression through its subculture; people are allowed to place their passion for the genre as a type of hobby. This brings me to the final reason for loving metal music.
6. It Spreads Dedication.
Most fans can attest to the mega amounts of dedication that fans express–this often is displayed through show attendance, support of merchandise, and upholding the defense of the genre’s label. But, one can find this sort of service with any other form of music, right? Well, yes and no.
Metal seems to emit a type of enchanting nature that encourages people to have a duty to be more interactive and supportive of bands. In return, the artists usually have a down-to-earth quality for different reasons (I hope I didn’t state that too soon). Anyways, I am appreciative of having started to listen to heavy some years ago, but I don’t think it’s that easily definable why it seems to affect most fans’ way of life in the same fashion. While the brains are racked, check out this post from the past to find out more about me finding this gem of a genre.