There are a certain few types of circumstances which seem to be universally experienced by all breathing humans. One of many of these scenarios is where we go through what may seem like a living hell, brought to pass by one reason or another. Living and really not enjoying what is going on around you could be brought on when loved ones or friends pass, if overall quality of life shifts negatively such as through a disability or we may forever lose an opportunity we desperately sought for. Whatever terrible things happen to us individually, as a species we are all seeking for prolonged relief from being stuck in bad spots. However you choose to cope with those bad things which may continually spite you, as for myself (as have many other self-proclaimed “metal-heads”) I have turned towards a type of aggressive, honest about the hard times, visceral music to make times better. Metal music has lifted and continues to lift me from points of seeming total desperation for comfort to a state of being where I am not only functional, but a very happy, contributing member of society.
But how can something which sounds so angry make you happy? This exact question has been posed to me several times in my life and it always elicits the same response. For me at least, I can barely hear the rage in even the orniest of lyrics or vocal styles. The reason for this being simply that what is felt behind the words or outright screaming is this: strength. This so-perceived “anger” in the music uplifts listeners with the power to move on, to overcome absolutely anything in the way of their accomplishment of a worthy cause. One thing is to blatantly tear someone or some subjects face off in a song and another is to tactfully take down a concept which is inherently wrong or hurtful; defacing an ugly notion by tearing it down to rubble straight up from it’s base. When a talented metal musician seeks to destroy an outright wrong conception they can leave it as nothing but dust. The satisfaction in experiencing this play out through a song and even better if taken in when performed live, ends up being a spiritual experience that is nearly untouched in sheer immensity of euphoria by any such other attempts.
Aside from targeting and eliminating false concepts, another key feature of metal music is how it’s lyrical style rarely minces words. When something is beautiful in a metal song it is elevated to the heavens and conversely if something is evil then no breath is spared in describing every aspect of the wickedness’s nature. Rarely is time given in the spotlight in other genres in order to articulately express the true, ugly aspects of ourselves and the world around us. One could reasonably argue by doing this that metal is showing it’s overindulgence in unpleasantness and is out of touch with the real world; that metal is glorifying and lying about how terrible things seem to be but really aren’t. My response to that is an easy one: whatever lens you see this world through is skewed. In real life a lot of bad things happen to us personally and all around us. Whether we are choosing to ignore the certain reality of that or not, those many bad things are only now and again punctuated by the good things.
When those good things come they are deeply felt and desperately clung to. No effort should be wasted to savor and hold out the time spent enjoying all the goodness that comes to us. Sometimes good feelings can come from listening to really negative things just as easily as really harsh feelings could arise from lending an ear to a pitch-perfect, positive tune. This couldn’t be more clear than in an example if a Taylor Swift fan switched their own ear-buds, playing their music, with those of a Lamb of God lover. Oh how painful it must be to the souls of both of those victims to be tortured by the stylings of a musicians vibe that they just aren’t digging. So again, at a concert when a metal-head is moshing to something which Cannibal Corpse’s frontman, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher is spewing forth (one need no example of lyrics here for simply stating the band’s name and the nickname of their singer should suffice to exemplify their extremeness) and that person is partaking in a state of happiness which could only be brought on by such surroundings, who is to say where that joy comes from? That question itself is mind-boggling enough to the stoked metal-head themself and therefore it should suffice to explain why this is going on by writing that they just naturally love it.
Everyone will hopefully find the thing they love in life so much that words could never fully describe why they are infatuated with it to the degree they are. No one should ever even consider compromising the satisfying feelings derived from that thing by being ashamed of it or even worse by pretending those feelings don’t actually exist. Unless your particular passion is something which harms others then you should go and enjoy it to it’s fullest for as long as you possibly can. As for me, metal music just happened to be that substance which has worked it’s roots deep into my mind and planted itself there as a force of overwhelming empowerment. I may be a tinnitus having, wreck-necked shred head and you could honestly be the polar opposite of that but as long as whatever you’re loving brings you good vibes, please never stop appreciating that thing. I do however recommend giving metal music a test drive as it has worked practical miracles in my own life. If you do choose to check it out, metal contains more than enough potential to change your life for the better as well.