Defending Heavy Metal Music


Note: This article was previously published by Helium.com under my name, of course. But I’ve made some modifications and revisions for highest quality possible for this blog. For whose rights this article belongs to is basically me.

It might not easy to defend a rebellious music like heavy metal, especially to the oldsters who despise it and discourage teenagers from listening to it.  But there are many factors and real issues that adults should know before prejudging this type of music.

What many adults don’t know is the real message that it conveys to the young generation. Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that produces loud, distorted guitar sounds combined with heart-pounding drums and screaming vocals. This music is mostly associated with drugs, alcohol, male chauvinism, and bad demeanor, but the songs simply deliver messages about love and peace.

What most people tend to forget are the real issues in the society, the malevolent diseases and the real evils of politics and religion. I’m not knocking religion here; it’s just that most of what we hear on the news are about crimes of powerful people in the name of religion and politics. You see religious and political leaders in CNN and BBC involved in war crimes, sexual and corruption controversies. As these things happen, they simply depict the real world into viewing adults.

The reasons why heavy metal music becomes popular to young people is that teenagers–including juveniles–make this type of music as an escape from alienation and sentiments about the real world, making this as an escape from the pressures of society.

Despite the image it projects to young people, heavy metal music has inspired them to exist in a world full of deceit. This culture allows them to exist in a world where truths seem to be cloaked away from their conscious minds. It never refuses them, it doesn’t restrict them; it creates a culture where they want to belong.

Heavy metal music isn’t just about screaming and spitting and doing obnoxious things.  As mentioned above, heavy metal music has lots of morals to convey when it comes to the lyrics. Songs like “Patience” by Guns n Roses, “Every Rose Has its Thorn” by Poison, “A Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, among others, speak of virtues, of love, hope and peace. There are also songs that speak about the madness of life, and in doing so, find a way of delivering some moral messages in them. “One,” for instance, by Metallica speaks about the true atrocities of war. “A soldier’s point of view” in the lyrics simply tells about the nightmares of combat. The song goes:

“I can’t remember anything
can’t tell if this is true or dream
deep down inside I feel to scream
this terrible silence stops me”

The song expresses the ugly aftermaths of war, the horrible psychological and physical effects, physical in terms of being wounded and mutilated in the battle:

“Hold my breath as I wish for death

oh please God, wake me
now the world is gone I’m just one
oh God, help me hold my breath as I wish for death

darkness imprisoning me
all that I see
absolute horror
trapped in myself
body my holding cell

landmine has taken my sight
taken my speech
taken my hearing
taken my arms
taken my legs

taken my soul left me with life in hell”

Hell” in this sense is the true “hell” that exists in the world, the“hell” heavy metal music is usually associated with, due to the images it influences like the hair, the evil 666 signs, the demonic make-up, and bad behavior, etc. But this hell or demonic image has obviously been misinterpreted by some journalists in order to regale the people out of their story.

This image is also misled by the people in the government who seem to want to block the truth about the necessary evils.  These people want to make people believe that heavy metal music is a cult wherein it praises the devil, which is not true at all.

The image that heavy metal music projects is merely a style or gimmick (if you allow it). It is an art. This image can also be one means of marketing to boost sales for recording companies and producers.

Even with this, the involvement of the younger generation to heavy metal music is just temporary. This music or style is just part of growing up. Heavy metal music, as a part of their teenage years, can make them learn how to behave themselves when they become adults. It transforms them from problematic delinquents into civilized human beings.

Just like any other music, heavy metal brings the moral message to the people. Aren’t all kinds of music food for the soul? Heavy metal music is one form of communication just like all other types of music. It simply tells the listener the beauty of life using brutal and realistic presentation and that, I believe, what art truly is.

“One” Lyrics Source: James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich

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