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Svtekh
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:26 am
Posts: 78
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:21 am 
 

How many of you have asked yourself why you like metal? There are the obvious, shallow answers of course like "I like the beats..." But do you really know why you are attracted to such an aggressive, and typically violent form of expression? Metal-heads are kind of a minority in the world, if you haven't noticed, and most of the ones I've run into, myself included, seem to hold a grudge or be angry at something or someone.
So, my question is this: why does metal appeal to you? Be honest with yourself. Yes, I realize the musical aspect of it is unrivaled, but why is the majority of it riddled with negativity and why are we drawn to it? I can admit that it appeals to me because I can relate to the angst and hatred. For me it is one aspect of my life that has always been constant and dependable when I feel like life has taken a shit on me.
Please take this seriously if you are going to post. Unlike some of the users on this forum I value your opinion (to an extent) and would like to hear what you have to say, as long as you can give a mature, honest answer.

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bassistneededlolnot
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:08 pm
Posts: 639
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:36 am 
 

I'm pretty sure I have ADHD (or perhaps ADHD is simply a lack of neurological stimulation). When I'm performing intense labor or in considerable pain- I have a frantic feeling to hurry up and switch my focus to something else. I can't concentrate on one thing for more than a second at a time unless its - I dunno - "changing". Like if I'm mowing grass with my dad's shitty push-mower and I start to feel pissed off, I have to direct my thoughts toward the wind blowing in my face or the physical sensation of moving. Its hard to explain and I know most of the people who read this will be thinking "What the fuck? This kid's retarded"...

But anyway, Metal is representative of that to me. Just playing the music is intense enough that I can sustain a level of concentration with the alternation between the steady drum beats and the fills. I never have to keep my mind fixed on any one thing for more than a few seconds at a time.

Funny that you posted this thread. I was just thinking about asking the same thing .

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megalowho
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 4:33 am
Posts: 479
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:20 am 
 

I find this an extremely difficult question. I've been listening to metal for about a decade, and I never have had and probably never will have an exchange with a non-metalhead that goes like, "Why do you listen to this shit?" "Well, here's the best explanation I can come up with..." "Oh! That makes a lot of sense!"

But when I do try to offer an explanation, it tends to be along the lines of either of the following:

1. The more philosophical explanation: "Metal is a means by which to contemplate and momentarily transcend the blind cruelty, oppressive tedium, and tragic absurdity of existence."

2. The more subjective explanation: "It's just what moves me. I find it fun or relaxing. Why does anyone like any kind of music?"

But both of these feel inadequate or embarrassing in their own ways. The first seems to over-intellectualize the music; it's awkward to reconcile with the fact I frequently listen to metal when I'm in an ordinary and unreflective mood. And the second seems to trivialize the music; certain metalheads have the tendency, whether they're correct or not, and which I admit I haven't quite "outgrown" (if it is something to be outgrown), to take offense at the suggestion that metal and non-metal are equally valuable in that they basically resonate with their listeners for the same reason.

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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 4570
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:29 am 
 

When I for got into metal, I liked the music cause its angry sound. Yeah, I was 13 back then then but never really paid much attention to music; I remember skipping certain intros because they sounded too ''boring''.

Nowadays I love metal because the vibes and the emotion that it can invoke are so different from time to time. I remember listening to Bathory's ''Song to Call up High'' for the first time. I started to get chills and just loved how emotional the song sounded like. From that one I started to get more chills and at times got tears in my eyes because of certain songs.

Then again, not everything is suppose to sound sad or bleak to get me emotional. Listening to Fates Warning's ''The Apparition'' is true magic for me. That middle part (''In the first is a...'') is true magic; I love the epic, upbeat feeling that it gives me.

It doesn't always happend; when music is playing while I'm making homework it probably won't happend, but if I'll pay a lot of attention it's like I'm getting really stuck into it. I just let the music do the thing and never force myself to get goosebumps or something. It just happends whenever it happends, and when it does, it feels awesome. :)

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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:00 am 
 

i have my vaguely angry moments but overall I'm far too chilled a bro to be listening to metal, I should be into Jack Johnson or some shit. It's just really quality music that I dig, and (i think this is something most people neglect to mention) a distorted guitar sounds really fucken good.

Yeah, so I'm not going to intellectualize it too much. I like metal because the sound appeals to me. I guess there must be an emotional connection on some level but I'll be damned if I know why.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10238
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:15 am 
 

caspian wrote:
i have my vaguely angry moments but overall I'm far too chilled a bro to be listening to metal, I should be into Jack Johnson or some shit. It's just really quality music that I dig, and (i think this is something most people neglect to mention) a distorted guitar sounds really fucken good.

Yeah, so I'm not going to intellectualize it too much. I like metal because the sound appeals to me. I guess there must be an emotional connection on some level but I'll be damned if I know why.


Yes, I feel similarly. I'm definitely rather a little disparaging of many things people generally consider "normal" but I don't really feel like an angry person or a hateful one. What I do know is that I am a little odd and have always been drawn to certain things that people around me might find unpleasant. I had a pretty isolated childhood, and grew up liking stuff that nobody I knew really enjoyed. I had certain ideas about music as a kid, like the notion that the sound of a distorted guitar was sort of an abomination, and only listened to jazz, 50s and early 60s rock and a little bit of classical for years. At some point though I rrealised that, as caspian says, an overdriven, raunchy guitar actually kind of pumped me up. I'll always remember my dad buying me a new stereo when I was eleven, when Simon and Garfunkel was my favourite rock-ish group in the whole world, and we tuned in a local rock station to test it out, and George Thoroughgood's "Bad to the Bone" was playing. I knew lots of blues then but nothing with such a heavy, thrumming bassline. From there I dabbled a bit with radio rock and such until I discovered metal pretty much on my own, although being taken to a couple of concerts at fourteen/fifteen helped I guess...

Now I don't really agree that metal is generally angry and hateful music either. I mean there's certainly plenty of that, but there are also loads of other emotional facets involved. Just because something is loud and fast, or simply loud and proud, doesn't mean it can't be constructive rather than destructive in nature. I'm drawn to both sides of the spectrum, really...there's certainly a great appeal in darkness, rage and sorrow..it's very cathartic. On the other hand I dont' get any such feelings from most of Manilla Road, early Fates Warning, or even Mercyful Fate, which may be dark but is so rather in a celebratory and gleeful way that I also love.
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Nochielo
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:51 am 
 

I'll let an anecdote summarize the whole thing. A professor of mine said it in such a perfect way. I'll provide some background. He was a Social Sciences professor, and he didn't have an actual schedule concerning the class. He just went in and explained every social phenomenon he could find on the media and showed us why was it wrong, possible solutions, how does it affect us (as individuals), where does that put us in the world (as a country), etc. All in all, he is the most brilliant person I've met. His comments on political and social events was really caustic and he cursed like a drunken pirate stuck on traffic. One day he entered the classroom and said: "Do you people know why am I so critical on things? Because to really learn, you must be offended."

I pondered on this for a while, and I believe it's true. You must see the worst side of things to see how can you do better, or how good you're having it now. If you see no flaw, you can see no solution. Also it is a way to instill passion into your goals; to say "this needs to change, it just cannot go on like this any longer".

Also, metal is a healthy outlet for many of our deepest, darkest urges, inherent to all humans. I know I might have done many stupid things if it weren't for these outlets.

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waiguoren
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:23 am
Posts: 2186
Location: Make a kiss to her
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:59 am 
 

I never liked music much until I heard metal. For me, it was the guitars and the aggressiveness (it was thrash metal that made me really like it). I liked the lyrics, really like the imagery and album covers, and later I liked the nuances of it all, hearing something different each time, be it a drum roll, quirky bass line, whatever - I liked hearing something new each time I listened to a song.

After that, it was the variety of it all, there truly is metal for every occasion. Unlike a lot of people it seems, I listen to metal about 95% of the time, and while I do appreciate and like songs from other genres, it's mainly metal for me, and I'm pretty certain it will stay that way until I'm rotting in an alley somewhere.
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Stormalv
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:09 pm
Posts: 720
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:34 pm 
 

Well, how much of a minority metal heads are depends a lot on where you live. In Norway, it's very common to like it unless you're a fossil, but in Arabic countries, it's obviously much more of a minority thing. So it's culturally relevant, how exposed metal is and in what way.

Holding a grudge or being angry at something or someone is something that pretty much applies to everyone in this world, isn't it?

Why does metal appeal to me? Why do people listen to any genre, or enjoy certain foods? It's just the way it is, you can ask for a deeper answer, but myself, I don't need one.

And it also depends on the mood of course. And metal isn't just metal. There's so many forms. I can't listen to Slayer when I'm in mood for some nice gothic metal, etc. Just like I won't listen to black metal when I want something simple, cheerful and catchy music.

I've never understood people who beat their chest with a genre of music, or try to base their life decisions, style and outlook on life based on the rules and norms of a music genre, as if there was one. What's the point? I don't actively call myself a metal head either. I'm just being myself and liking what I like.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 9682
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:59 pm 
 

waiguoren wrote:
After that, it was the variety of it all, there truly is metal for every occasion. Unlike a lot of people it seems, I listen to metal about 95% of the time, and while I do appreciate and like songs from other genres, it's mainly metal for me, and I'm pretty certain it will stay that way until I'm rotting in an alley somewhere.

Agreed. I dabble in other genres every once in a while and I have individual bands that I enjoy a lot, but the only genre I focus on as a whole is metal and I listen to it almost all of the time. In general though I think I like metal so much because it's got that special OOMPH to it that grabs you by the balls, but unlike punk or plain rock it's got a much darker edge to it and a great sense of theater. I've always loved morbid, occult, and heroic lyrical subjects, too, so that's a big plus. Really for me metal is a convergence of all the things I'm interested in.
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Moravian_black_moon
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:14 pm
Posts: 673
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:21 pm 
 

My enjoyment of metal is something I probably can never put into words. I've found that reasoning to others about why I enjoy something like a genre of music is usually futile and leaves an incomplete explanation.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10238
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:24 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
waiguoren wrote:
After that, it was the variety of it all, there truly is metal for every occasion. Unlike a lot of people it seems, I listen to metal about 95% of the time, and while I do appreciate and like songs from other genres, it's mainly metal for me, and I'm pretty certain it will stay that way until I'm rotting in an alley somewhere.

Agreed. I dabble in other genres every once in a while and I have individual bands that I enjoy a lot, but the only genre I focus on as a whole is metal and I listen to it almost all of the time. In general though I think I like metal so much because it's got that special OOMPH to it that grabs you by the balls, but unlike punk or plain rock it's got a much darker edge to it and a great sense of theater. I've always loved morbid, occult, and heroic lyrical subjects, too, so that's a big plus. Really for me metal is a convergence of all the things I'm interested in.


Yeah, I forgot to mention the "theatrical" angle, because that's a big thing for me, too. No, I don't think all metal bands are necessarily putting on a show, but there's most often this sort of grand, out-of-this-world conviction and presentation in metal music that attracted me right fromt the first. Whether it's Iron Maiden making music about Alexander and his trek across the East, or Carcass penning a concept album with each song going into details of some fucked up pseudomedical practice taken to its furthest extremes, I get a real sense of excitement from it. I grew up immersing myself in science fiction, the fantastic, the horrific, the mythological...so discovering metal just complemented my already extant personality traits.
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waiguoren
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:23 am
Posts: 2186
Location: Make a kiss to her
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:36 pm 
 

There is one consistency though, I got into metal about the same time as fantasy novels, Dungeons & Dragons, and wanting to be an elf (okay, I shouldn't have owned up to the last one) - point being, I always liked being in my own world (sounds cheesy) and thinking about being somewhere else, kind of like Luke Skywalker on Tatooine, and then seeing all these awesome metal covers and posters made me interested in it, despite growing up in a very conservative and Christian place that frowned heavily on these things.

I would also like to add that although I do have the 'metal image', it was not about the image for me (long hair, tattoos and what-not), I seriously did get and still do get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
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MetalRulesTheNight
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:54 am
Posts: 435
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:46 pm 
 

I like Metal because my body and spirit likes it. Seriously, there is a biological reason as far as I am concerned. Metal music (and a couple of other music styles but to a much smaller degree) gives me the chills! It is like electricity going through my body! This is how I felt the first time when I listened to Metal and this is how I still feel today, 25 years later!

Not to mention the spiritual dimention and the multiple ways it connects to self.

Kinda natural high if you know what I mean
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PvtNinjer
Veteran

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:45 am
Posts: 2640
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:05 pm 
 

I was always predisposed to more "aggressive" music, but I don't think it has anything to do with me being an aggressive person, in fact, I'd say it probably has more to do with the fact that I'm NOT aggressive. But, I could probably go on and on about the emotions involved, but that's really not what it's all about. I was into punk and a bit of crust before I ever got into metal. I loved fast music, that propelling beat. I was always drawn to punk with a more metallic edge, that was a bit more "riffy", like the song Malachi Crunch by NOFX or Nausea's Johnny Got His Gun. Those where always my favorite songs. Of course, I knew of bands like Metallica and Slayer, and my introduction into metal was through bands that employed the same fast beats you'd find in punk (thrash and power metal, mostly). I loved the fast shit. After listening to metal for a couple years I started to realise, it wasn't the speed or the aggression at all. It was the RIFFS. And that's what metal should be, at it's core. It's the ultimate statement of the almighty riff. All the best bands are focused on writing riffs that get your head shaking. You know when you hear a really good riff at the beginning of a song, the guitar is playing solo, and the drum and bass will hit to accent certain chords during an intro? Stuff like THAT is why I love metal and really any good riff based rock music. Check out the intro to Road Racin, by Riot for an example. That's what metal is to me, and that's why I love it. RIFFS! Even the styles that are seemingly less "riff based" are still centered around the idea of repeating riffs, but instead use a melody of a series of chords (eerie tremolo based death metal and atmospheric black metal, respectively) instead.

I'm a huge nerd, and I think metal is just a nerdy sort of genre to begin with, dealing with all sorts of fantasy/non-reality based subjects. The whole occult thing really drew me into black metal when I first got into it, it really gave it an otherworldly vibe, just as an example. So, on a lesser scale, that sort of thing just kind of added icing on the cake. The politics of punk bands, I grew out of after highschool and getting a full time job, especially scene politics, and while I can appreciate songs about bedding women and getting drunk/high, the whole fantasy thing was something that was just... easier to relate to, in a strange way.


Last edited by PvtNinjer on Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The_Orphanizer
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:13 am
Posts: 1434
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:09 pm 
 

Cool thread idea; I've actually thought about this many times.

Like fsm, metal just brought together many things I enjoyed at the time. I've always been a huge video game nerd. The Final Fantasy series completely took over my life at the age of six; so, I already had developed a taste for sci-fi/fantasy as well as the "theatrics" or drama that is present in a lot of metal. Final Fantasy got me very interested in mythology, Norse mythology in particular, which I never learned about in school. My best friend has always been punk, and I like a bit, so the aggression and distorted guitars already appealed to me. It makes sense for me to be into metal, but I've been way into metal for 8 years now and it's a good part of my identity, so I'm obviously biased.

On a different note, metal associates with a side of art not generally presented/accepted in the mainstream. Much of it deals with darkness, aggression, sadness, and other things generally considered to be negative. There is nothing inherently wrong with these things. Happiness, blunts, bitches, and love aren't the only things to life; there are two sides to the coin. It is natural for people to express these things in art, and it is natural for others to appreciate them. I think many of us understand this, even if it's on an unspoken level.
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Gelseth_Andrano
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Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 2692
Location: Dekalb, Illinois
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:44 pm 
 

Some really great responses in here! for me, I’m not quite sure what got me hooked, but when I first heard As Blood Runs Black (yeah, I'm one of the kids that got started on deathcore), there was something just so different and much more powerful than I'd ever heard before. For me, my attraction to any kind of music comes from how it makes me feel. When I first started getting into real metal, it's like something click inside like, "yes, this is what I’ve been looking for!" The most metal song I’d heard before then was from a band called the Burning Brides, called Kind of the Demimonde. It had such heavy sounding riffs, and that was something that really took me for a ride. I'd suggest actually checking that song out if' you've got any time for it.

Anyway, for me, when I heard something. I’ll either like it or hate it right off the bat: I’m usually never indifferent about it, and it's almost an instant connection.
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AngelWitch666
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:38 pm
Posts: 605
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:36 pm 
 

It excites me. The hot flashy guitar riffs, the anal pounding drums, the tight bass playing, and the insane vocals are what gets me hooked on metal. I also love metal because it tries to understand human society and why we do the sort of things that we do. I have never listened to any other style of music more honest and philosophical than metal.

Not only that, but whenever I feel down and depressed in life (face it, we all have our bad days), metal is there to cheer me up. For example, when I had to deal with the loss of a loved one in the family -- losing that person really broke my heart, but listening to Pantera's "Cemetery Gates" gave me hope with the following lyrics:

"Sometimes when I'm alone
I wonder aloud
If you're watching over me
Some place far abound
I must reverse my life
I can't live in the past
Then set my soul free
Belong to me at last
"

I was so moved when I heard those words out of Phil Anselmo that it teared me up, because that's how I was feeling at the time. It's things like these that make metal an obvious winner to me. I suffer from social anxiety, but metal has always been there to give me the confidence to live my life to its fullest; it understands how people like you and I feel, like it's our very close friend that would never betray us. And I really believe in that. I know that later on in my life I will still love metal for always being loyal and honest to me. No other genre of music outside of rock has ever been this emotionally touching.

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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2292
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:49 pm 
 

What mostly appealed to me at first about metal was the aggression. I've always been an outcast from society, struggling to fit in. It's not that I listen to it to attempt to fit in with others (as I know no one in real life who listens to metal besides -core crap), it's just that I would get so angry about these things. It was the best way for me to vent on things. I'm not that angry anymore, but I'm hooked on heavy metal nevertheless. Other than that, it's one of the most stylistically diverse musical genres on earth, next to electronica and indie rock.
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Expedience
Veteran

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
Posts: 3753
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:25 pm 
 

My reasons are purely musical. Part of it must be the "busy"-ness of metal. What I was used to from anything other than the classical music that I played on the piano was a lot of space with not much going on. I couldn't understand why people would like a band loosely strumming a chord and singers lazily singing along with predictable melodies. It was the emotions I couldn't feel - how could I be expected to at 12 years old?

So when Kill em All came along it blew me away - not a note was wasted, the whole of the music was directed towards a definite thing and I instinctually knew what that thing was, somehow. The way the riffs were constructed to add weightiness to the rhythm was something I could relate to and actually feel. The mechanics of music finally made sense, it was like architecture and it was beautiful.

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RZris
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:30 am
Posts: 514
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:25 pm 
 

because at the end of the day, Metal isn't about the bullshit-it's just about being Heavy.......

the frivolties of other genres, and life in general, hold nothing to the sheer power and beauty of a Heavy fuckin' riff

the shit transcends reality

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King_Hands
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:46 am
Posts: 629
Location: Indiana
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:58 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
failsafeman wrote:
waiguoren wrote:
After that, it was the variety of it all, there truly is metal for every occasion. Unlike a lot of people it seems, I listen to metal about 95% of the time, and while I do appreciate and like songs from other genres, it's mainly metal for me, and I'm pretty certain it will stay that way until I'm rotting in an alley somewhere.

Agreed. I dabble in other genres every once in a while and I have individual bands that I enjoy a lot, but the only genre I focus on as a whole is metal and I listen to it almost all of the time. In general though I think I like metal so much because it's got that special OOMPH to it that grabs you by the balls, but unlike punk or plain rock it's got a much darker edge to it and a great sense of theater. I've always loved morbid, occult, and heroic lyrical subjects, too, so that's a big plus. Really for me metal is a convergence of all the things I'm interested in.


Yeah, I forgot to mention the "theatrical" angle, because that's a big thing for me, too. No, I don't think all metal bands are necessarily putting on a show, but there's most often this sort of grand, out-of-this-world conviction and presentation in metal music that attracted me right fromt the first. Whether it's Iron Maiden making music about Alexander and his trek across the East, or Carcass penning a concept album with each song going into details of some fucked up pseudomedical practice taken to its furthest extremes, I get a real sense of excitement from it. I grew up immersing myself in science fiction, the fantastic, the horrific, the mythological...so discovering metal just complemented my already extant personality traits.

This is precisely how I feel, and you said it better than I could.

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ScorchedEarth
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:54 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:50 pm 
 

Metal gives me POWER! It has emotional effects on me that leave me feeling strong!

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EpsilonVector
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:06 am
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:16 am 
 

Well, I think there's definitely some biological element at play. Different gene configurations create different cultures and different cultures favor different music. Having lived most of my life in the Middle East it's amazing how little in common I have with the surrounding culture, and based on the way I see some people describing the culture of their Northern-part-of-Europe countries it sounds to me like I should've been living there all along. In that respect, my liking of Black Metal comes as no surprise.

But that doesn't really say a lot about the listening experience so I'll try to elaborate some more. The answer changes a little based on the specific type of Metal. As far as it relates to the dark variants of Metal, I was always into fantasy, and Metal has a definitive fantasy element to it. In particular I always thought religion and the occult to be highly imaginative and full of atmosphere variants of fantasy. The mysticism, the feelings of foreboding, the epicness of the apocalypse. I always felt that the point of growling vocals was to sound like a demon. So anything dark and otherworldly is creatively stimulating for me, even if I usually don't convert this creativity into something.
My mind is very good at converting completely abstract stimuli into concrete ideas, and (dark) Metal gives you the best ideas.

Second, there's something elating and empowering about it. I always thought that the dark figure cloaked in a trench coat is an incredibly powerful figure. It's closed off and intimidating all by itself, and that radiates power. So to identify with "evil" is to identify with that figure, and a feeling of power.

Another part is virtuosity. This aspect intensified ever since I started playing guitar myself, and is why I like progressive music and really solid compositions even when they don't have all the fantasy stuff described above. The high from this is much more intellectual and I prefer bands that are creative and original to bands that "have a spirit". For example I love Petrucci and am bored to tears with the likes of Hendrix and Gilmour. You can put as much soul as possible into your generic pentatonic lick, it's still going to be a mind numbingly boring generic pentatonic lick. Petrucci's playing is not devoid of feeling, but he's a much more intellectual player than those guys are, and I love him for that.

Finally some of the Metal I listen to is more atmospheric than dark and evil. Sorrowful stuff like Avrigus or romantic stuff like Gothic Metal- these are again fantasy, just a different flavor of it.

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Terri23
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:53 am
Posts: 2105
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:15 am 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
failsafeman wrote:
waiguoren wrote:
After that, it was the variety of it all, there truly is metal for every occasion. Unlike a lot of people it seems, I listen to metal about 95% of the time, and while I do appreciate and like songs from other genres, it's mainly metal for me, and I'm pretty certain it will stay that way until I'm rotting in an alley somewhere.

Agreed. I dabble in other genres every once in a while and I have individual bands that I enjoy a lot, but the only genre I focus on as a whole is metal and I listen to it almost all of the time. In general though I think I like metal so much because it's got that special OOMPH to it that grabs you by the balls, but unlike punk or plain rock it's got a much darker edge to it and a great sense of theater. I've always loved morbid, occult, and heroic lyrical subjects, too, so that's a big plus. Really for me metal is a convergence of all the things I'm interested in.


Yeah, I forgot to mention the "theatrical" angle, because that's a big thing for me, too. No, I don't think all metal bands are necessarily putting on a show, but there's most often this sort of grand, out-of-this-world conviction and presentation in metal music that attracted me right fromt the first. Whether it's Iron Maiden making music about Alexander and his trek across the East, or Carcass penning a concept album with each song going into details of some fucked up pseudomedical practice taken to its furthest extremes, I get a real sense of excitement from it. I grew up immersing myself in science fiction, the fantastic, the horrific, the mythological...so discovering metal just complemented my already extant personality traits.


Basically what these three guys said. There's nothing I can add to this.
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Ancient_Sorrow
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:10 pm
Posts: 2206
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:25 pm 
 

I think Metal to me brings back happy childhood memories, when my parents used to walk me past all of the fishing trawlers at the dockside. I'd hear the loud, deep, "heavy" engines of the boats. I always enjoyed that sound, and Metal takes me back there, by almost emulating the sound.

I suppose I first came to like metal for a variety of reasons, mainly I got into it through playing Vice-City, and listening to V-Rock constantly while in the game.

I cannot sum up what it is about Metal itsself which I so love, but it feels such a strong and overwhelming music, it satisfies me on a spiritual, deep level, letting my mind wonder free, and giving me resolve, where other genres only satisfy me in an almost physical, materialistic and shallow way, providing only titilation, not fulfillment.
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Thebom
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:25 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:45 pm 
 

It's definitely an imagery thing for me. I'm super-chill, never been an outcast, practically a pacifist, so aggression and anger in music are always an on-the-side thing, something I can dig the very rare moments I'm pissed but usually just a component of the music I'm not interested in.

I do however love the denim and leather look, long hair, metal studs et. al. It's the modern hero, road warrior look that you just don't get in any other media and its sort of the last vestige of the (pretty much idealized) warrior image from the past. I like unique people and outside of metal and more underground rock you don't get a look like this and that's really influenced my sense of style.

Along with the ideal "warrior" look there's also the thematic aspects of the lyrics, the epic sounds, speed, its just the only place in the modern media landscape you get these things. Books are too slow to me, I can't sit still long enough to read one these days, movies provide this feeling but only in 2 hour chunks where i can listen to metal all day.
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worlddementia
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:40 pm
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:42 pm 
 

Well, you can look at it from different angles of course. You can look at it from a strictly negative angle and ostracize yourself for liking such an evil, lyrically repulsive, and fairly unconventional form of music. But I think everyone knows there's a lot more to it than that.

For me, metal can be the most passionate music humans can make. Screams and growls don't always need to be lyrics. The sheer emotion and passion that's in a lot of it is almost a familiar language to some. Some people gravitate towards metal intrinsically because it sounds unlike anything else to them. This is the same for everyone. Someone can think jazz is the greatest music ever because it stirs something within them they can't feel with any other genre.

And of course there's more than that, yet. Then we fall in love with a certain subgenre of metal, and we begin to take interest in the bands that have contributed the most, and we're possessed by the artwork and image. That last one can be tricky for some people to understand, but you probably get my point. There's a lot to love about metal.

A personal example: A lot of people listen to happy music during the happiest times of their lives, even metal heads (no metal heads need to listen to ONLY metal). But personally, when I'm in a great mood, all I want to listen to is metal. It intensifies those positive feelings for me.

That's only my opinion, anyway.

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5396
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:46 am 
 

Nope, I just like the music. I must be a shallow person then. Not a single element of it reflects what type of person I am in the slightest.
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LightningRider
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:07 am
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:38 am 
 

Although I'm fairly young (15) to make a statement like this, it's the only answer I have.

Metal made me find me. Up until 8th grade, I was that nerdy kid who was for some odd reason popular, but still weird. I changed every year, and I never felt like myself. I went from a shy nerdy kid, to a shy sports crazed, injury prone weird kid, and after 7th grade ended, I found bands like Disturbed (I'm not as big a fan of them as I was then, but I'll always give them credit for getting me into metal) Metallica, I honestly can't remember much after that, but I was just immersed into this world of aggressiveness, power, melody, and just damn good music. I returned to school in 8th grade as a different boy. I wore darker clothing, I became calmer, more outgoing, funnier, much more confident, and I began to work out. I found myself. I felt comfortable being this completely different person, it felt right. Two years later, dozens of bands and albums later, I'm that same kid, only more mature, more calmer, but still just as comfortable being me.

Metal literally changed who I am, no longer am I the kid being made fun of, no longer was I that weak boy who would never stand up for himself, no longer was I shy, socially awkward, metal changed all of that for me. I became the opposite of those things, I became a new Jesus. One who's memories I can look back on without shame, without embarrassment. I'm proud of who I am.

Metal has always been there for me as well. My girlfriend cheated on me (we dated for a year, it was more than mere puppy love), and I went straight home, put on the Painkiller album, Master of Puppets, The Number of The Beast, and several more albums and I just sang my heart out, and for those several hours, all felt right in the world. There was no heart break, no sadness, no anything. Just metal, and me. It helped me out a lot through that difficult time, and it helped me get over what had just happened very quickly. It's always been there for me.

Why do I love metal? It inspires me to be who I want to be, it's made me into somebody I can be comfortable being, and I fucking love it!

Plus, it just sounds so damn good!

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LightningRider
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:07 am
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:39 am 
 

Damn, I double posted by accident, just ignore this post.

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Errebuss
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:07 pm
Posts: 548
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:46 am 
 

I have no idea. Almost nothing about me makes a lick of sense. I'm pretty much the least confrontational person you'll ever meet, I'm not rebellious in the slightest bit. I'm rather quiet, and pretty polite. Really introverted. Have a pretty terrible relationship with my family, but we rarely fight, I just go off and do my own thing. If I ever tell anyone I like metal, they're always surprised; they expect me to enjoy indie rock or something.

I'm not really sure what exactly brought me to listen to more and more extreme metal.

I think metal has affected me some. I'm definitely more willing to question things, and hold beliefs that are contrary to popular opinions. But maybe that just came with age?

Either way, I'm glad I enjoy metal.

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Xeogred
Thunderbolt from Hell

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:28 pm
Posts: 6368
Location: Valhalla
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:11 am 
 

failsafeman wrote:
waiguoren wrote:
After that, it was the variety of it all, there truly is metal for every occasion. Unlike a lot of people it seems, I listen to metal about 95% of the time, and while I do appreciate and like songs from other genres, it's mainly metal for me, and I'm pretty certain it will stay that way until I'm rotting in an alley somewhere.

Agreed. I dabble in other genres every once in a while and I have individual bands that I enjoy a lot, but the only genre I focus on as a whole is metal and I listen to it almost all of the time. In general though I think I like metal so much because it's got that special OOMPH to it that grabs you by the balls, but unlike punk or plain rock it's got a much darker edge to it and a great sense of theater. I've always loved morbid, occult, and heroic lyrical subjects, too, so that's a big plus. Really for me metal is a convergence of all the things I'm interested in.

Couldn't have said it better than that. In a sense, I find almost all metal can be described as "epic" or just "serious" compared to other forms of music out there, in my opinion. I also love the great emphasis in melody in metal, half of it is just damn catchy stuff with a punch. I am a little practical in a lot of my thinking, so it really can be just the "sound" that drives me to it, but I guess there could be a little more to it than that.

I will safely say for me personally it has absolutely nothing to do with the aggression, "anger", and or how rebellious it may seem to others. Not factors for me at all.

I rarely dab into other music. Could that change? Perhaps, though metal is here to stay. I'm the type that when I find something I like, gain a new hobby, etc, I don't let go. My tastes for the more epic flavored music out there have always kind of been there. Outside of metal I usually just listen to some movie scores, synth/new age kind of stuff, and videogame music, and I love jazz (definitely some jazz fusion) but it's never something I've really been on the look out for yet. The videogame music transition probably has a lot to do with it as well for me personally, I was absolutely mesmerized as a kid by 8bit/16bit tunes when your parents and other people kind of just laugh at you about it. There is so much pure focus on melody in these old chip tunes, that you can sometimes just perfectly imagine them being metalized if that makes sense. My dad always tells me when I was a kid I just wanted to listen to orchestras, jazz, and stuff like Guns n' Roses, Queensryche, Judas Priest, haha.

That's that, and now it is time for some Klaus Schulze!

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mindshadow
Echoes in an empty cranium

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:36 am
Posts: 2003
Location: Panopticon
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:34 am 
 

Metal is pretty much all I listen to, anything from Isis & Agalloch to bands like, Armagedda, Bolt Thrower and Asphyx.

My music is a "clenched fist" raised at the sky. I draw strength from it - like Elric gains nourishment from Stormbringer.
Uncompromising music for an uncompromising world.
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Yahko
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:27 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:27 pm 
 

To Svtekh:

I have a few ideas in mind about why do we like metal. If we can look at how metal begins in our life - no one discovers metal when they are older than 25 years old. You don't turn into a metal-head at age 28. Some people might challenge me on that and give a personal example but thats 0.0000001% of the population. We get into metal at the age of 12-16 more or less. (Again there might be people who listened to Bathory at age 8 - good for them :P )

Now the reason we want to listen to metal because its different, its dark, its forbiden, its breaking the rules. Through our childhood we are told "dont do this, dont do that, dont go there, be home by 10, dont fail math test, DONT DONT DONT" Everyone tells us that being good is the right way, be polite, be nice, be considerate, love your neighbor.

Metal on other hand is the total opposite of that - its evil, it hates, its abusive, etc. So we as teenagers that get into that music feel like we are breaking the rules. We dress in black when everyone dress in white. We grow hair because others dont. We want to be arrogant when others try to be considerate. And I think this is why we like metal - its being different. Same reason kids try to smoke, drink, break into their old school at grade 7 and throw wet toilet paper all across the hallway.

From my experience I started to listen to metal because of my brother around grade 7-8. All the other kids were trying to get into trance/house and just "crappy" rock. So I was the cool Fear Factory/Moonspell/Dimmu/Dark Tranquility guy. Was I? Maybe. If you were chilling with the metal heads you were cool - if there are no metal heads you are an idiot. So its all about belonging and being a part of something when you grow up.

Now I fell of the metal wagon probably at the age 21 or so. I just couldn't open my closet and see all my t-shirts being black, it made me depressed as fuck. I just thew 70% of my black faded shirts and just went to a store and literally bought the whole range of the rainbow colours. Its cool to be dressed differently at the age of 16, but its not cool anymore when you are 26-30 years old. You grow up. It doesnt mean you abandon your love for metal because its a part of your music taste but its not longer your "view" on the world.

Now that touches on what you said about being connected to negativity and anger because of a shitty life. Well our life is what we make of it - no one said hardships would vanish if we put pink glasses on but seeing the world as half full glass doesnt hurt either.

I'm turning 28 soon - do I listen to my old metal stuff, yes. Do I download some new metal, yes. Do I still wear from time to time one of my metal shirts, yes. Is it 93% of my life, no. Do i put a pair of Dickies shorts and a yellow shirt says "Wasabee" and go to a club, yes. From time to time do I dress in a suit like i'm really to kill, yes.

I dont want to speculate about the % of people who fell of the metal wagon like I did - I would think its about 75% if not more. And if there are people who wear a Burzum tee at an age 43 - good for them but I feel they are still "angry" and its time to let go. Maybe i'm wrong but thats how I feel.
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Cryptaria
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:01 pm
Posts: 190
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:19 pm 
 

Couldn't care less about the aesthetics or attitude. I don't know, I just completely divorce the music from those things because that's the most important thing for me. Go out on stage wearing a pink dress after shaving your hair to a #3 cut and I wouldn't be phased just play what I came to hear. I deal with anger a lot and have been since I was a teen. Metal was a distraction but never the cure. Otherwise I'm a pretty optimistic person. I try to be polite to people but usually keep to myself in any case. I think that, even if the universe is a seething vacuum of chaotic tapestries of nebulae and you just rot after you die, it's a beautiful thing. I look at things like this and feel a deep sense of awe like when somebody sees the Mona Lisa for the first time.

If any genre of music can truly act like a vaccine for you, though, you're sublime.

Why do I like the sound of metal? Good question but one that, in the end, amounts to asking why a person prefers chocolate over vanilla. I guess if I tried to elaborate, I'd start by saying I think the music takes a lot more talent and musicianship than half the other garbage in the world. It's like classical plugged into a distortion pedal for me. Don't ask me why but there seems to be a correlation between talented musicians (with exceptions like Yngwei [but I love other virtuosos]) and good music. Go figure, eh? I love John McLaughlin, Johannes Brahms and the like but, after all is said and done I'll take Isis' "Oceanic", Jesu's S/T or Opeth's "Morningrise" over anything else. Why do I like distorted guitars, vocals, etcetera? A previous poster put it best.

Ancient_Sorrow wrote:
I'd hear the loud, deep, "heavy" engines of the boats. I always enjoyed that sound


When I go to the train station it's like listening to a symphony for me. The subtle bass tones of the engines' reverberations against the concrete coupled with the overt guitar-esque frequencies sound absolutely beautiful.

I got into metal when I was a freshman and, lately, I've stopped listening to music altogether for the time being but it's in no way permanent. I still go to live shows but I haven't attended a venue like the Palladium (if you're in MA you know the kind of show I'm talking about) in years. I've thrown all my t-shirts and CDs away. I'm going through some serious life changes right now and this is how I do it. A pretty self-destructive person, no? I still love the genre but I've stopped listening to hardcore Satanic bands like Bathory, Gorgoroth and so forth...It's been a big step because those were some of my favorites too but if there's anything the genre typifies it's independence and I don't need to listen to a band that shits all over my belief to be happy. I used to think I could divorce myself from that but I'd be a hypocrite if I said this was possible. I guess I look at people like Tom Arya, who (unless what I've read was a lie) say they're Catholic and that the whole "making albums with titles like Christ Illusion and playing on stage in front of a gigantic upside-down pentagram with your amps stacked like an inverted crucifix singing lyrics like:

'I've seen the ways of God
I'll take the devil any day
Hail Satan'"

is "just his job" is a fucking cop-out. If Gaahl started to make music praising Jesus, he'd be laughed off the face of the Earth and reviled by just about every one of his previous fans.

So why do I like a genre of music that exemplifies anti-Christian sentiments? Well, I take it case by case, personally. I don't play the guilt by association game.

Flame away.

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FantomLord17
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:41 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:26 pm 
 

I suppose everyone has noticed how metal cover-art is much more elaborate than... well, mostly every other genre around, which tend to be something like a photo of the main artist with some additional effects to make it somewhat more interesting, but rarely it's something worth looking twice.

Most metal cover-art focuses on some sort of landscape, maybe with some characters, or something else related with the music or imagery of the band, but rarely the band itself. Basically, the focus is on the painting/image itself, but not the artist.

Why do I tell you this? It's a retarded, poorly conceived metaphor about the music itself.

With metal, the instrumentation fills the "soundscape", with riffs moving like waves, drum beats marking the speed of my steps and the vocalist telling a story. And every time I visit this soundscape, I discover new things. Maybe I couldn't understand it at first, but everything gets clearer every time I listen to it, discovering some of the most amazing things.

With about every other music genre, I don't get that amazing feeling, those images occupying my brain. For example, (most)pop music I see it as some robot repeating the same shit about love/partying/lack-of-love, with an equally boring, non-descriptive sounds. While I do respect other music genres (hard rock, old prog rock, jazz, folkloric music, classical) but the soundscape doesn't feel as complete. I can't get so lost in it so many times.

When I was younger I hated how all music seemed to be about the sales and attracting listener with the same old, boring lyrics. After discovering metal, I found music about the music. I found my niche. A fucking enormous niche, and exploring it is so satisfactory and fun.

And the cover art helps too!

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ReclusiveMisanthropy
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:18 pm
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:52 pm 
 

I like other types of music (mostly jazz and various instrumental styles), but I prefer metal because:

1. Metal has an aggressive edge that I enjoy. Pop and classic rock seem to be mostly about love and partying. Rap seems to be mostly about sex, money, and gangstas. Traditional country sounds servile and downtrodden, but not in a good way like doom metal. I really just don't relate to much of this.

I don't mean to offend anyone. That's just my impression from listening to other types of music.

2. Metal deals with sensationalistic and escapist subjects. I've always been drawn to the eccentric, and this probably explains why I also like gothic country bands like Those Poor Bastards, the unclassifiable Tom Waits, and sort-of-metal bands like Blue Öyster Cult and Dog Fashion Disco.

3. Metal has a lot of styles: 80's metal, doom, thrash, death, black, etc. Like jazz, there's a lot there if you enjoy researching the different styles and artists.

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Twin_guitar_attack
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:27 am
Posts: 1399
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:51 pm 
 

Normally I like metal because to me it is just better than most other stuff in general. Although I got a lot happier in my life and started listening to other stuff like shoegaze and electronic (don't know if there is any correlation), and I am freaking depressed at the moment and I've started listening to angry thrash and depressing doom again, read into that what you will.
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Yahko
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:27 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:15 pm 
 

I think all the different genres have their "purpose" of getting a message across. If Bal-Sagoth are signing about mythology and wars and battles then they are telling you a story using music.

Covers have their meaning because if you listen to blues and jazz - you see the artist playing an instrument live on some of the covers. If Emperor are signing about wizards and cosmic evolution then their "In the Nightside Eclipse" CD would have an appropriate cover which is very interesting. They could have put a moon like Samael did on their Passage CD.

As much as rap is just singing about how to be a gangster, have sex and have a fancy Cadillac. For many of the artists who rose in the late 80's in the LA area - that was their reality which they were singing about. We might not agree with the message they send or feel related too but thats how it was.

Pop music in general had very little purpose beyond the "Lets party and life is good". Good example is 90's Euro - every single song is about love and clubbing. Most people who went to a club wanted to hear this music - that was its purpose. I like it as much as I like Emperor. Every mood and purpose has its different genre of music. I dont want to go to a club and listen to Bathory - I want to listen to some electronic music.

Metal is talking to us because if its message - you wont find that many metal bands that sing about "love" (Opeth maybe) or relationships. Because this isn't metals purpose. Many metal bands have an anti-religious message to them. Not that many people would want to dance to a pop tune that is anti religious. Although there is one that blew my mind with its lyrics:

"Ferry Corsten - Whatever"

I tried god, but God's a fake
Whitewash fathers on the make
And I don't need a pedofile with pew

(thy misspelled pedophile on purpose I think just to be safe)
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