For the Love of ‘The Metal God’

“Up here in space / I’m looking down on you / My lasers trace / Everything you do / You think you’ve private lives / Think nothing of the kind / There’s no true escape / I’m watching all the time” – Judas Priest

Are the opening lines of Judas Priest’s “Electric Eye” not an eerie similarity of the discerning eyes of the metal community, scanning its own turf for the annihilation of posers?

…Metal fans who find Five Finger Death Punch distasteful could nod in agreement.

The metal community recently turned its gaze toward the collaboration of Five Finger Death Punch and Rob Halford of Priest. The band and Halford debuted the track, “Lift Me Up,” on the Golden Gods Awards Show early May, and it was released on radio May 14.

FFDP’s Ivan Moody and Rob “The Metal God” Halford of Judas Priest perform “Lift Me Up” at the Golden Gods Awards. Courtesy of blabbermouth.net.
Coupled with identifying as groove/thrash metal and remaining a staple of rock FM, FFDP has been carried farther away from being perceived as true heavy metal. The band has all the characteristics of metal, heavy riffs, aggressive vocals, even harmonious tendencies that are acceptable in melodic death. Nonetheless, they are not quite celebrated within the same capacity as an Exodus or a Sepultura. Many metal fans continue to reject the efforts of the band, tossing them back into the dislike that hazed over the late 90s nu-metal scene; sometimes they are traceable to elitist attitudes, and in other instances it has to do with a craving for the traditional days of metal, the era when Priest played a central role in molding the metal genre.
The everlasting praise Halford receives is clearly respect for being an authenticated figure on the metal scene. Without his presence, many of today’s bands would not have had the influences that they possess, and that, too, goes for the cherished attire of black leather and nickel spikes.  
Ivan Moody, the FFDP vocalist, commented on the collaboration in a press release on fivefingerdeathpunch.com, “First and foremost, just to work alongside an icon like Rob Halford, THE Metal God, was absolutely surreal. The song itself was originally written about overcoming everyday obstacles and less than perfect situations,” Moody said.

The content of the song certainly channels a metal spirit of perseverance within its sound, but it could very well be tailored to fashion the appeal of the age of Priest, with the presence of Halford. While this could perpetuate the discord between the poser-esque and the acceptable facets of metal, it is worthy to address the consideration of “Lift Me Up” being tactic, or at least, a subtle one.

Without a subjective motive to raise rumors or rant about the qualities of “Lift Me Up,” the collaboration between FFDP and Halford leaves a question of whether it sprouted from a strategy: Could having Halford’s voice on the track have been a way to secure themselves as a credible band of heavy metal genre?  Or, could the instance have merely rested on the intent to include a reputable metal vocalist?

 
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