So, what do you think about metal? You see it as devil music? Stuff with evil black masked messages? Violent stuff? That us headbangers sacrifice a goat in the name of a dark lord? Or that it's a phase? These beliefs tend to be common among those who don't truly understand metal and those who follow the musical path.
Trust me I've heard it all. I've loved metal all my life but i really started showing it when i was around 12 or 13. I've been called names for it, guys have taken advantage of me for it, etc. But it never stopped me. It still gives me annoyance about how normal society puts down metalheads or general alternative folks for being different.
So today, i wrote this to help give a better understanding of what metal is and isn't, and debunking the myths. First im starting off with this....
1. "Metal is devils music!"
I think even satan himself would laugh at that sentence. Usually when metalheads are confronted with such a thing, by default they say that metal ain't satanic. However that itself is biased.
Metal has a variety of religious backgrounds. Whether it has to do with the bands' religious beliefs, or the lyrics. For example, the band Venom. Their lyrics were the prototype for black metal and thrash because of darkness behind it. Songs were very satan-centric, and spoke of other demons as well an example is in the song "To Hell And Back", the part where the lyrics go "-arm and arm with Lucifer, Belial on my back. I have swam the lake of flames, walked forbidden tracks.." However none of the guys in the band were really religious, just atheistic. Why did they act satanic then? It was for shock factor. They wanted to scare! They had a fascination with whatever freaked people out.
Slayer, too. They were one of the early thrash metal bands of the 80s. And spoke of hell, wars, satan, etc. However Tom Araya is catholic.
All genres of music have religious varieties. And it's the same with all metal music. there's wiccan/pagan bands, atheistic, satanic, christian, buddhist, etc. Even in black metal there are christian bands.
So really, its not all about satan worshipping. The lyrics and sound are mainly there for shock factor just like a horror movie. Would being a killer in a horror movie make you a killer in real life? No. Then does that mean speaking of dark things in metal make you evil? Hell no.
Plus, think about this (some headbangers may get pissed at this lol). Whenever you see pentagrams and inverted crosses involved in a band's imagery, consider the true origins...
Before the pentagram was an occult symbol, medieval christianity used the pentagram as the symbol of the 5 wounds of Jesus, and as a protective symbol to keep demons at bay. The inverted cross originated from the story of St. Peter, who wanted to be crucified upside down because he didn't feel worthy to die the same way Christ did. Much later in time these things became symbols in witchcraft and Satanism.
2. "Metal makes you depressed and causes violence."
In recent time I've heard this even more. Being someone who deals with depression, I've had moments where people on this site have blamed my music for it. When really they have no damn clue how my life is really like. Through the decades, metal and rock n roll have been accused of causing bad things. Such as how infamous killer Richard Ramirez said that AC/DC's "Night Prowler" influenced him to kill. I heard a story once how some dumb kid wanted to do the things mentioned in Slayer songs.
Im sure your thinking this counteracts my point. Well anyone who lets music control them like that are dumbasses. The truth is, to enjoy metal music, you have to enjoy it responsibly with common sense. Which means enjoying it without treating it like a how-to manual on how to live. Again, just like how you watch horror stuff with common sense. It's NEVER, NEVER the band's fault for any bad things happening. It's the listeners fault. Anyone who lets lyrics influence them in such a way are irresponsible.
For people who truly love the music, they look into the positive sides of metal, which i will mention about later. But i can tell you that a lot of metalheads are genuinely peaceful people.. Why? We all let out our hurt and rage through the music. I don't know about you but id say thats a much safer way of getting that anger out! However i will say that all metalheads are individuals, so there may be Johnny over there head banging to some Megadeth and feeling happy, while Sarah is doing the same but has depression but is letting it out in the music.
3. "Musicians out there take drugs and drink and fuck around!"
Dude it seems like no matter the music genre (kinda) this is what is heard. I guess. The fact is, just like people, bands are individual too. Some bands do get boozed up and all that, while others don't. Hell, early Metallica is a prime example of the side of heavy drinking. Why do you think there's a tribute band called Alcoholica?
But that never means that every band is like that. I've heard of bands who have never touched any of that crap.
As for influencing the kids out there to get their hands on some drink, smoke and booty, again, its not the musician's fault. If you see some 13 year old sitting on the porch with a bottle of Bud Light in one hand and a joint in the other hand after he listened to AC/DC "Have A Drink On Me", its his own stupidity. He used sound waves as something telling him what to do. I actually snuck a little beer when i was 12 years old, but it never had to do with music. I never had a single song in my head. Never have wanted to waste myself on drugs though.
Sex wise..lol. Again, this is the same case. Bands aren't trying to make the kids go fucking around. If it influenced me i would be some whore by now. You know i remember when i was 13 my mom got a few songs from iTunes from the hair metal band BulletBoys, one song was called "Smooth Up In Ya". Raunchy AS HELL. Got awkward when my mom told me to not let anyone know that i heard it in the car. Lmao..
4. "Metalheads are uneducated losers"
Ha, no. Some are, some aren't! Id say i classify as an uneducated loser in the Algebra department, but not really with other stuff. I just struggle in that bullshit cause its like stuff rocket scientists would use. But anyway, I've known some headbangers who were like total gods in school, acing everything. I also knew a guy who didn't give a rat's ass about education and would let himself sleep through live streamed classes in my online school. Honestly if a band is decent enough to not jam on one chord or play around on one bass string, they must not be so uneducated if they can learn how to play an instrument well.
5. "Metalheads are skin cutting emos"
I'm not working against the emo subculture, but emo and metal are not the same thing. In my late middle school years i had a friend who was emo. She liked metal and punk too, but if you compare Black Veil Brides to Slayer, trust me you can tell the difference. Let's just leave it at that.
6. "Well abigail, what are actually the positive sides to such brutal music?"
There's actually a lot. First, to be a metalhead means you are encouraged to be yourself. You don't have to dress in raggedy denim and leather to be metal. I have a close friend who is a headbanger but looks like any normal girl. She has a nose ring and at one time had a blue mohawk but in most cases she blends into the crowd. While she listens to Cannibal Corpse :) Though when people are around me they can easily tell i love metal music cause i tend to sport my oversized band shirts and beat up jeans and spikes.
Another good thing about metal, less censorship. Now yes i know that there are warning labels on some albums, and radio edits of a song where "fuck" is removed from the lyrics. But really metal speaks about the darker sides of things. War, evil, murder, power, greed, etc. Metal bands speak of this because a lot of other bands are afraid to speak of such things. And there is nothing wrong with giving acknowledgement to the evils of this world, because its ignorance if someone tries not to believe that they have a dark side. We all have a light side and dark side within us.
Metal encourages self-expression and for people to think for themselves. It's a form of counter culture, breaking free from the chains that society holds you down with.
It's another form of artistic expression as well.
But what is the most rad thing about the music and subculture is the acceptance. It doesn't matter what color you are, your religion, political views, etc, as long as you headbang along\m/