"Why has heavy metal been consistently stereotyped, dismissed and condemned?
become clear to me is that metal confronts what we'd rather ignore, it
celebrates what we often deny, it indulges in what we fear most, and
that's why metal will always be a culture of outsiders...you either feel
it or you don't. If metal doesn't give you that overwhelming surge of
power, and make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, you might
never get it. And you know what? That's okay, because judging by the
40,000 metal heads around me, we're doing just fine without you." - Sam
I love metal. Yet everywhere I go in my daily life, I am
subject to criticism, judgment, even hatred just because I like certain
music. It's something that's been wearing me down for years, yet it's
something I never really explored or talked about in the open…Until now.
of my favorite films is a documentary entitled Metal: A Headbanger's
Journey, which chronicles the origins, evolution, genres and various
social and cultural issues associated therein. Having watched this film
countless times, I can say with courage and conviction that when I
listen to heavy metal music I feel so connected to myself; metal is a
genre of music that truly makes me feel alive; be it the best of times,
or the less pleasant times that we encounter in life.
I get from certain metal songs is simply stunning at times; the
thundering roar of a driving bass line, the cannoning echo of the drums,
the eerily shiver that a keyboard solo sends down my spine…WOW! Talk
about moving! I daresay at times I could almost cry with joy at the
magnanimous sense of authenticity that I feel flowing through my veins
when I have a metal song on.
Contrary to many stereotypes society
has cast upon it, I do not believe metal is 'gloomy,' I do not find it
depressing, nor do I become depressed and turn within while listening.
Metal empowers me, it gives me strength. If I am exercising, metal gives
me the energy and the excitement to continue exercising; Empowerment
over Evil, for me.
What really has troubled me personally is the
supposed claim that there are subliminal messages hidden in heavy metal
songs that cause violence within people, particularly teenagers and
young adults. I cannot support or deny these claims; however, speaking
for myself, I have not had a single violent thought or outburst directly
from listening to metal. Sure, I get angry at times, but so does
everyone else, it's just human emotion. Believe it or not, metal
actually helps me to rid the anger from my soul.
Forgive me if
this seems a bit defensive, I don’t seek to victimize myself nor offend
anyone who reads this. I didn't write this to be controversial or as a
spigot for anger, I wrote this because I wanted to share some truth
about myself, this is merely a young man inspired to offer a little
insight into his life.
I am simply a metal lover, I will always
love heavy metal, but everyone who knows me for who I truly am knows I
am by no means an evil person because I listen to metal, I'm still me,
nothing changes me just because I like a certain kind of music. I don't
dislike people who listen to country music, so all I ask is that you
don't judge THIS metal-head without getting to know him first, I'm not
such a bad guy.
"It doesn't judge me, it doesn't criticize me,
it's just always there for me. Always." - Anonymous quote, Metal: A