The Dualism of Metal

My perception of the genre of music named metal is similar to the scope of this type of music, expansive. As an adolescent this music was introduced to me through various sources. The sources themselves influenced my perception of the heavy songs that filled my mind. The sources that included my friends led to a slightly skeptical interpretation of the music. Conversely, influences from my family and my activities allowed me to develop a positive view of this violent music. Nevertheless, I perceived metal music through my inherent idea that music is a medium by which emotion is conveyed.

Many of my friends during my middle school years listened to modern heavy metal music. Therefore, I was introduced to bands like Slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold. I originally abhorred this music as it was a divergence from the classic rock I preferred. The friends who introduced this music to me were very angry individuals. Either peer pressure, my own volition or some combination of the two led me to begin to appreciate some of this music. I saw it as an emotional stimulant. When I wanted to relieve stress through bursts of anger, metal was an efficient outlet. I did not appreciate the noises that were angering me as musical pieces. This perception of modern metal would persist throughout my teen years. I still use modern metal as music to anger me during work outs, before athletic events, and during stressful periods of my life. I use metal as a tool for emotional inspiration due to my friends’ dispositions and preferences.

I was also introduced to classic metal music by my father and brother.  I began to listen to the band Black Sabbath at the recommendation of my family members. This classic metal was more compatible with my classic rock partiality. I certainly appreciate the musical value of this form of the genre. Although I may not agree with the satanic counterculture promoted by this subgenre, I enjoy the consistent bass rhythms and the intensity of the guitar melodies that are the cornerstone of this music. I believe the theme is irrelevant in defining the quality of music. This view could have developed from the respect I hold for the recommending individuals. As a teenager I lionized the musical view of my father and brother due to my status as a musical neophyte. Ultimately, I appreciate the musical talent of the classical subgenre of metal.

There is an obvious dichotomy in my perception of metal music. The modern versions of metal seem to me to be attempts at emotional inspiration. Meanwhile, I enjoy the art of classical metal and hard rock. I do not associate both subgenres of metal music as the same music. I have developed a dualistic view of music. One type of music is focused on the artistic value of the noises produced. The second type of music is mostly noises that intend to inspire specific emotions. I place most modern metal in the second category and most classic metal in the first category. Nevertheless, I listen to both types but for different reasons.

Metal is a diverse genre that requires a unique analysis. My original perception of this genre was molded by the people who introduced it to me. Additionally, my ideology concerning the dualism of music influenced my opinion of metal. Songs are either written to inspire or entertain. Therefore, I categorize metal into two distinct groups. Despite my categorization of this music, I do not discriminate between either of the forms. I use heavier modern metal as a source of motivation, while I listen to classic, lyrical metal for the artistic value.


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