The Dualism of Metal

My perception of the genre of metal music 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. When some of my more unwholesome friends introduced me to metal I was skeptical. Conversely, influences from my family and my activities allowed me to develop a positive view of this violent music. Metal is unique in that it is tough and violent but artistically beautiful at the same time. The closest analogy I can think of is the bull fight, violent, bloody, hard for some to like, but beautiful for those aspects that offend some. 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 get pumped up for a game or event I would listen to metal. I did not appreciate the noises that were angering me as. 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 father. This classic metal was more compatible with my classic rock partiality. It seems as humans we handle smaller changes better than larger ones.  I certainly appreciate the musical value of this form of the genre. 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. I usually wonder if this appreciation came from my respect for my father or the valor of the music.

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. 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 cannot be placed in one category with one intent. Yet, this does not make one type of metal less artistic than the other. Emotional inspiration is the basis of art despite which emotion it evokes.

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 this 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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