\m/ Hail Metal
Victor Lakpam *
Crowd at the 1st Imphal Metal Convention - Metal Age Reloaded - 2012 on 14 April :: Pix - Murfi Edie
Heavy metal, I wear it like a skin. Yeah that feels so much better now that I got it out of my chest. I know heavy metal does not get the respect and the credit that it should get. For most people it is loud music that goes along with some angry longhaired kid, who is generally not in the positive view of the mass. But for us metal heads its a sacrament, we dwell on it, we thrive on the heavy metal, it is a from of life style for us. It gives us an identity, it paves a path for us in life, it gives us a sense of belonging, and it makes you feel like friends and family. Whatever man heavy metal rules period.
To a point heavy metal music is not generally positively judged, I believe this happens everywhere, I suppose. Before you can judged metal music, ask your self do you even understand it? Heavy metal music has been disapproved, dismissed, stereotypically judged, rejected as a lower from of music and heavy metal fans considered low lifers, dead end kids or even a senseless thick head. I know this because I'm a metal fan and having been defending this form of music ever since I have been 14 years old.
Before we go any further you should now that heavy metal is a sub journal of rock and again heavy metal is a continuously evolving platform of music. Heavy metal is in fact larger than life, this from of music has a history of 60 years, but here in the arm pit of the world we have do it with in 10 years because we are in Indian standard timing.
There are so many different forms of it, heavy metal is again sub divided into many sub journal. It started with bands like Cream, Jimmy Hendrix, led zeppelin and black Sabbath. Which further gave, hard rock, shock rock, early punk rock, British to new wave heavy metal, and then came trash metal, glam metal, speed metal, death metal grove metal, folk metal, alternative, industrial metal modern nu-metal etc. Which are still evolving into new spheres.
In between there are many sub journals. It takes time to understand heavy metal music and every one does not understands it, well most of the people do not, no wonder you have so many anti- metal people. It is a very personal from of music, ask any heavy metal fans, the lyrics speaks to them at a very personally level and helps them.
Heavy metal music is not mainstream or commercial form of music and it is not meant to be. When was the last time you heard Black Sabbath being played on a music channel. I'd bet 1 on 10 times, metal is more of ''the only I know type of music'', for a very few.
Heavy metal is a very oppressed form music and very rebellious in nature which is very apparent in this form of music. It's the oppression that binds heavy metal people more tightly. It really makes us feel like one. Heavy metal has never been appealing to the mass, besides it more of an underground scene.
The song structure is not that of the traditional structure, you don't have that in heavy metal. In a typical song you have intro, then chorus, which is repeated a number of times, some more stuffs in between and then ultimately the outro. That's the basic song structure normally but in heavy metal you don't have that. A song could be just a paragraph with substantial amount of instrumentation.
One more thing about metal is that in order to be a really good heavy metal band one must posses' insane skills on their instrument. The really good performers have outstanding skills, so irrational that some of them are called god.
Another thing about metal is that even though it does not get support form the mainstream media, the one thing that keeps it surviving is the fans. It's a bond, metal fans will do what not to support their bands and the bands really owe every thing to the fans, because with out them they are nothing. If you ever go to a metal gig, you can feel the energy, its untamed but interaction is really warm people will be offering fags, talking about your favorite bands, exchanging ideas and it really makes you feel like a family. I think we are just one huge metal family bonded by heavy metal, which is really cool.
In heavy metal you will find many answers, it is difficult to fathom this form of music but if you really dig in to it, you will get it and then it is for ever. There so much hidden answer in it, there is something for everyone in heavy metal. If you seek in it you will find it, its there. It is the form of music which confronts what we rather ignore rather than getting in line and following the mass blindly, you can view it from your own perspective, besides it is pretty evident in metal because it stands up and refuses to follow the mass line like every one else is doing.
"It celebrates what we often deny, it indulges in what we fear most,'' these are the elements that you'll find metal. People fail to realize that heavy metal is an art at the end of the day. It is music being played in a very aggressive form, it that simple. It is as a matter of fact a very artistic form of music because it explores more in the fields of imaginations, emotions and fantasy; it is an extreme art form. Heavy metal is not a casual form of music; it is very powerful and distorted in nature. It is not meant for casual people, most of the metal fans that I know are somewhat crazy enough to like heavy metal. Metal heads are really passionate about their music and regardless of what ever others say.
Heavy metal culture is rebellious in nature; the color black it self, which is bound to heavy metal for every era of metal represents "rebellion". Weather you are into 60's metal or the 80's metal, the color black is associated with metal in every generation of metal. In heavy metal culture it refuses to do the things that people think they should do; it steps away from what people are doing.
As long as you think it is right for you, its good because you know your self more than any one and you really can embrace that in metal. It's the core of heavy metal culture. It's like in one of those ancient folklore where heroic warriors do what ever they want to do, regardless of what others think of them. As long as you are content, it's all good. I believe that metal is one of the last cultures where men can be real men and you can really embrace that brotherhood in heavy metal. Behave like how men should behave. Even though these days even women are slowing mastering the once male dominated from producing music. I think it is rad, finally to see some metal chicks.
Roots of heavy metal:
Surprisingly the roots of heavy metal come from two-sub journal of music, that is classical music and blues music. Classical music is generally considered to be a rational form of music. The substantial bass,the vehement percussion, the gloomy melody of the strings and the over soaring operatic vocal. These are also the primary elements for heavy metal, the nightmarish bass, the insane drums, the wicked guitar riffs and the dark guttural vocal. Classical music is generally considered with intellectual and their type of air. You will find these types of elements in bands like maiden and priest.
The older metal bands mainly have very strong classical influence. The extraordinarily exceptional composers didn't really go to music institution to study music. Guys like Beethoven's composition can come with par with the likes of led zeppelin. As for Black Sabbath goes with Richard Wagner, the over whelming bass in Wagner's composition is so metal. Beside his music is more know for being really dark.
What makes metal music stand out is the tritone or the devils note or the blues scale that metal guitarist mainly play either backwards or frontwards or bits and pieces. The blues scale, which is actually the core of metal music. In the medieval ages the tritone or the devils note was banned, probably because it sounded very demonic. It's more like one of that sound track you hear in old vampire films, when the vampire is waking up. Yeah, that scary piece of music.
It is actually the blues scale, everyone has heard about the blues from of music. How would you define blues music? It is specially associated with the twelve bar sequence, you have a very refined sort of tone for ''the blues'' which is very distinguishable from any form of music; you'll know if you like the blues. Again blues is not commercial music, its real, it is not produced under the pressure of music cooperation. Accompanied with very melancholic lyrics, which speaks of day-to-day problems directly. Again blues is a very much an oppressed music, which gave birth to rock n roll music and which evolved into heavy metal.
The anti Christ question? Have you ever heard a heavy metal fan telling '' anyone " that he worships devil. I my self totally don't understand '' the devil " issue, I cant even comprehend the word devil, its so hypothetical in nature. This type of an accusation that often comes form the other side and which very speculated that '' they are Satan worshippers" always comes from non-metal community. May be they want us to be like that.
If I was them I would be more afraid of being shot at or kidnapped or bombed or being hit by a car rather than a ghost. Heavy metal exits because of Christianity, if not for Christianity it would be some thing else. Most of the pioneers of metal were brought up as Christians; to an extent it had an influence on them. The sign of black Sabbath was indeed a cross and till this day they do not go on stage without a cross.
Many metal heroes are Christians till to this day but it's only the image that media present to sabotage them. Figures from bands like slayer and megadeth are still practicing Christians. These two bands are known for inventing trash metal. Metal heads do not worship devil but it is anti Christ when it comes to the Norwegian scene, which is questionably. Why even bother about them? But any case I'll explain it. I don't understand Norwegian metal but I know that they are not devil worshipper but they do not believe in Christianity.
It is more of revolt movement against Christianity that they express through music. Their perspective of their problem is that Christianity came undid their own ancient practice and forcing them to follow Christianity. It is no different than revolting against Christianity in 17 th century as compared to present to day. Christians destroyed the image of ancient gods like Thor and Odin.
Back then they had their own god, had a culture and a practice passed down from generations to generation. But Christianity took away all of that forcing them to worship a foreign god. The way the Norwegians metal people see it is that Christianity is the core to the chaos in their society. Because it is responsible for fighting and forcing people to follow their religion.
How wacky is that perhaps a form of politics? But my point is that even though they are anti Christ but they do not worship devil. The anti Christ thingy of heavy metal is only prevalent in Norway and they have their own reason for it, fundamentally. But in this part of the world, '' the armpit ", we still have to evolve and we have nothing else but time. So if you like heavy metal god bless and if don't like heavy metal god bless.
* Victor Lakpam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on July 20, 2012 .
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