My Understanding Of Heavy Metal Music

Heavy metal is a complete stranger to me. Honestly, loudness is all I can say about it. The last few weeks gives me a general idea about heavy metal. Growling with the passion and yet torn roar, lashing flashing passionately in the melodies, this unique music style blew my mind. The social acceptance, live performance and the meaning of song are the things about heavy metal that I am getting some sense of.
Heavy metal is a controversial music genre. While it is not accepted and appreciated by the majority, heavy metal still earns a devout following. People either love it to death or distaste it. On the one hand, metal intoxicates people. There is an impulsion bursting out of you, enabling you to try new things and be a trill seeker. Dissatisfaction towards life or the contempt of the real-world, all the negative emotions would vanish into thin air. The screaming and powerful voice would serve as a perfect catalyst for you to blow off steam and therefore revive your spirits. Some heavy metal fans love it simply because the pleasure of catharsis. On the other hand, some people feel repulsion for heavy metal at first glance. From the gloomy album cover to the black leather jackets, long hair and head banging of the band member, everything is creepy and eccentric, not to mention the endless screaming that might cause a headache. Actually, that’s my first impression of heavy metal too. It is extremely annoying and I just did not see point of this type of music.
Heavy metal is known for its crazy live performance. The high volume, of course, is the one thing you have to get used to about heavy metal. Your eardrums are constantly tested by the amplified sonic power of live heavy metal performance. To generate shocking power, heavy metal music seeks perfection. Intense bass-and drum, highly skilled and shredding guitars, stunning riffs, hysterical singing, all of which form the unparalleled music genre and everything adds up to more than the sum of its parts. Another main characteristic is incomprehensible lyrics. I can barely grasp the meaning of the song through the snarling of the lead singer. But I do notice that there is repetition in the song to emphasize the key words the performer want to express. Unrelentingly dark, obsessively depression, crushingly loud, heavy metal is a unique form of music that loved by passionate people.
Heavy metal is more than growing and screaming. Metal songs have meanings that the musicians try to convey, some of which are related to politics, war and religion. I listened to several songs by Black Sabbath lately to gain a better understanding of heavy metal. The mysterious typical occult song “Iron Man” begins with a slow and distorted robot sound” I am the Iron Man”. Imitating the ponderous footsteps of Iron Man, the heavy drums draw the attention of listeners. The song expresses fear, loneliness, disappointment and confusion about future. Iron Man is similar to the god that once created and protected the world. However, in most people’s eyes, God is more like a meaningless “idol”. People are aware of his existence, but they don’t care. Symbolized by the Iron Man in lead boots, God seeks revenge, coming after people with anger. The song tells us that we must show reverence to god or any other mighty power among the universe. “War Pigs” also has its own aspect of meaning. The intense air defense warning accompanying with compelling riff, the song is ear-refreshing. And the anti-war notion is what the song is all about.
I can only understand the superficial level of heavy metal music for now. Everything is still a little obscure to me but I’ll try to figure out. For me, heavy metal is a new area worth digging into. I have this feeling that people who truly love heavy metal are the people with stories, with attitude, like heavy music itself, always has meanings beneath that dark, crazy mask.


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