Monday, July 31, 2006

Fred's Post

The first guest post of the week is from Fred .

People often ask me why I still listen to Heavy Metal music. Most people who make these sort of comments equate metal with many of the bad hair bands of the 80s and wouldn’t know real metal if they were hit on the head with one of Udo’s wrecking balls.

Here is the secret of why I love metal; plain and simple, it’s fun.

Metal is all things.

It can be theatrical (Kiss, King Diamond, Alice Cooper, Ayreon).
It can be depressing (Candlemass, Anathema, My Dying Bride).
It can be bludgeoning (Napalm Death, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Death).
It can be cerebral (Spiral Architect, Rush, Ulver).
Or it can just plain rock (Motorhead, Armored Saint, AC/DC).

That’s what is great about metal, it’s not just one thing. Metal crosses over into many genres and has so many subgenres that I don’t have time to list half of them. Whatever mood you may be in, there is a metal band for you.

I have a good friend who is into progressive and art rock from the 70s. He made a comment concerning the lack of guitar heroes and progressive music in today’s music scene. My reply was that there are tons of bands and fantastic musicians around today, but most of them are in the metal underground. In the 70s and 80s you could hear progressive/heavy music that on radio but now, if you want to hear music comparable to bands like Rush or Yes or King Crimson, you have to dig around in the world of metal. Some heavy and technical bands manage to break through, like Tool and The Mars Volta, but those bands are the minority.

Another thing that I love about metal is that it’s challenging. There are so many metal albums that require several listens before you can even break the surface of what the musicians are playing. Sure, bands like Motorhead (god love them) release stuff that is instantly engaging but bands like Iron Maiden, Opeth and Iced Earth continue to release longer and denser albums, that only reveal themselves after repeated listens.

So, why do I love metal? Because I would be (musically) bored to tears without it.

Up The Irons!


Blogger Vicious Steve said...

Fred - Couldn't have said it better myself. Fun, plain and simple. You also touched on the variety of Metal, many styles and hybrids.....absolutly! The one thing I would add is loyalty. Bands have it for their fans and fans have it for the bands but, most importantly, fans are loyal to each other. Metal is a great thing.

6:20 AM  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

I agree whole-heartedly. Besides, headbanging to the Culture Club just looks dumb.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Excellent guest post Fred. It is difficult to hear any metal on the radio. The closest I can usually get is when I liten to Eddie Trunk occasionally.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

Speaking of Eddie Trunk, during Vh1's metal month in May, he said exactly what steve said about metal's loyal following. People keep asking me why, at the age of 53, do I like hard rock and metal. My answer is always, because it's good, fun music. As AC/DC sang, rock and roll ain't noise pollution.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

Fred -- that was a really eloquent explanation of why you like Metal. Even though I'm not a huge fan myself, I founf myself nodding and agreeing with you!

Rock on man, rock on.

8:07 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

A stirring defense of metal, Fred. I'll only add that you shouldn't dismiss hari metal too fast because it had something that most grunge and post-grunge music hasn't had for fifteen years: FUN.

Great post!

-- david

9:01 AM  
Blogger Layla said...

That was great, Fred! I'll never think of metal in the same way again.

I'll have to check out your blog.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous fred charles said...

Vicious: Metal rules. Loyalty was something that I thought about after writing this post. Also, Metal is like a brotherhood. Whenever I see someone wearing a shirt or hat of a band that I like, you can alway approach that person and give them a nod.

Onmy: lol, true words!

Mike: Thanks!

Bruce: I agree. Metal is lots of fun.

Curare: Thanks, rock on!

David: True. I really hated hair metal when I was a teenager but now that I'm older, I can appreciate it as being a fun and light version of metal. Sirius has a channel called Hairnation that plays some good stuff.

Layla: Thanks, stop on by!

2:58 PM  
Blogger José Carlos Santos said...

what a statement, fred. your words totally reflect what i feel as well. you should print and frame that! :)

seriously, it would be great for those people who ask what kind of music i like, and when i mention metal they're like, 'oh', without even bothering to think about the myriad of different sounds and feelings and entire different sub-cultures that can be found within such a broad and vague thing like 'metal'.

also, i think you should show your friend the norwegian band arcturus.

2:30 AM  
Anonymous fred charles said...

Jose: Arcturus are a good example of a progressive metal band. You're right, he would probably like them.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Fred - Great post, and I can't argue with your sentiment, it was well put and heartfelt.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Vicious Steve said...

Fred - Funny you mention the shirt or hat thing.....all I wear are Rock/Metal shirts and my UFO hat from the last tour is the hat of choice. Anyway, I was in Best Buy yesterday and some guy in his late 40s/early 50s came up to me and inquired about my Saxon t-shirt. We ended up having a 10 minute chat about Metal and I pointed out the record store across the street so he could check out some newer Saxon.

When I went to the record store 30 mins later, I saw the same guy. He had a copy of the new Saxon live album, Lionheart (latest studio), and a copy of Denim And Leather. The guy was definitely psyched about listening to Saxon again and he thanked me.

All because of a t-shirt.....too cool.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous fred charles said...

Steve: Yeah, I met my good friend Joe the same way. I was working as a PC technician. I passed by his desk one day and noticed that he had an Obituary cassette tape. We have been friends ever since.

I think the thing with metal fans is that you don't meet many in your daily life, so you do come across someone with similar tastes, that person is probably just as eager to discuss music as you are.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Metal will always be my fav! It can have a lot more meaning and emotion than people think.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Great post, Fred. I have always felt that there is something pure about good metal. At it's best it's just the band and their instruments. The singer sings, growls or whatever. It's not about posing, sounding perfect or being all things to all people. Instead it's about playing hard and heavy and just a feeling that stays with you because of it's impact.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Oh and I agree with David about hair metal or at least some of it. There's weak stuff like Warrant, Winger and some of Poison's material. Yet there was also stuff like early Motley Crue, Guns and Roses, Faster Pussycat, Skidrow, Bang Tango, Bulletboys and lots of others that were fun. It's good to have variety and sometimes Judas Priest, Dio and other bands can get old and you just feel like listening to something because it's fun for a change.

7:28 PM  
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