Heavy Metal, a supposed “sub-genre” of Hard Rock, but to me a genre of its own.
Actually, screw genre, it’s a fucking universe of its own!
I got into metal during highschool after getting into hard rock and wanting something heavier. It’s probably thanks to Linkin Park that I ended up listening to metal, even if it was the grossly mutilated form of “nu-metal”. Then came System of a Down and eventually Slipknot, and after that everything changed.
It’s not the only genre I listen to though, I had a collection of over 18,000 songs (I’ve listened to all of it) and metal only comprised 6000 of them. But it’s definitely the genre that’s closest to heart. I can’t live without metal. It’s just not possible. There are times when you just need to let loose and break stuff, and that’s when heavy metal comes in handy. Just turn the volume up to 11 and crank some heavy riffs and you’ll get what I’m saying, or you’ll lose your hearing.
Metal’s not for everyone, though there are various forms and strains, the principle concept is something not many grasp. Sam Dunn put it best in his documentary “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” where he said “Metal will always be a culture of outsiders”, ’nuff said. Some may get into it for the raw energy, some might just find it “cool”. The latter should be dragged to the street, pummeled to the ground, set on fire, and then run over by a bulldozer.
With that said, I’d just like to make a little “appeal” to those who shun metal as “noise” or “nonsensical madness”. Just LISTEN to it. Not just hear it, listen to it. Open your mind to the music, let your ears be a portal for the sound to enter and transform the thoughts in your head. It’s not just noise, no, far from it. There are so many levels on which you can appreciate metal music, from the lyrics to the riffs to the drums to the screams, it’s all about understanding what it’s really all about. You have to give into it, that barbaric feeling that comes over you, that “satanic” urge, give into it. Let it take over you, and let yourself go. Lose yourself, and yet find yourself within the music, within the noise. For noise is all you are. What are we but mere vibrations?
There’s so much I can say about this form of music, and I don’t want to go on for pages and pages, so I’ll keep this short. I’m not going to make a giant list of my favourite bands like some fanatic, and I wouldn’t be able to anyway. Don’t dive straight into it, though. Take your time with it, try to enjoy the experience of discovering it. Start out with what’s closest to home and dig deeper from there. Trust me, once you’ve dug far enough, you won’t be disappointed, and you won’t be able to climb out.
Here’s a breakdown of the genre, a geneology if you will, that might help you behind the journey. Click. It’s from the documentary “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey“, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to know what all the fuss is about. Once you’ve watched it you should also check out “Global Metal“, which basically shows you how diverse metal can be and how individual cultures have made it their own and in turn helped shape what metal has become.