11 myths about heavy music about metal - interesting facts about one of the varieties and styles of music. Metal music may well be considered the most conducive to myth-making section of culture. On the one hand, metal has a rather impressive number of adherents, on the other hand, the ignorance of it among those who are not attracted by it is simply shocking. Mayakovsky, for example, is also not loved by everyone, but nevertheless, everyone knows who he is. And you will hardly meet a person who seriously believes that Mayakovsky drank the blood of innocent babies or was a Nazi. You can hear the most ridiculous judgments about metal, sometimes they cannot be called anything other than prejudices. Judge for yourself: in a certain article it was claimed that the name of the AC / DC group was allegedly taken from some satanic rites, although in fact it is just a standard inscription on the AC / DC switch. There are also more general, more widespread myths. This article is devoted to them.
Let's start with the terminology, more precisely, with the origin of the very concept of "metal rock". Honestly, how it came into being is impossible to say for sure. However, it clearly follows from observations that this style got its name because of the peculiar sound of the guitars. Sound distortion and overdrive give guitars a sound similar to the clang of metal. The impression is compounded by a special musical atmosphere, a kind of feeling of heaviness. Of course, not everything is so simple. Moreover, everything is much more complicated. It is impossible to unambiguously separate metal from non-metal - confusion and confusion reigns in the definitions of styles. However, it is possible to outline the picture in general terms. About it:
Myth one: Metal music is monotonous
This myth has the same roots as popular belief - all Chinese are alike. To some extent, all people, of course, are similar, however, we unmistakably distinguish our friends from all other people, even if they are of the same race. If we talk about metal, then here we are rather not dealing with races, but with something like nationalities. Groups of different styles differ from each other in the same way that Swedes differ from Spaniards. Groups of the same style are like residents of different provinces. This is an unbiased opinion, even an inexperienced person can easily distinguish one style from another. Without pretending to be general, we will analyze the main ones.
Heavy Metal - Actually, the same "heavy metal" is just a sub-section of the metal direction. It is not easy to distinguish it from its closest relatives Speed and Trash Metal. Apparently, it is remarkable in that it is not remarkable at all, and this section includes groups that do not very well meet the criteria of the two sections discussed below, but, nevertheless, are similar to them. Bands belonging to this style include Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.
Speed Metal - The style is characterized by a tremendous speed of performance and frequent solos
On guitar. This style is the most demanding in terms of technique.
Trash Metal - The speed of performance is similar to Speed Metal, but tends to have a more abrupt sound (staccato). Examples are the cult Russian Metallica, early Blind Guardian, as well as Megadeth, Testament and the like.
Black Metal - Similar to Speed and Trash, but the guitars are deliberately smeared to create a "buzzing" sound. In addition, the vocalist always has brutal (growling) vocals.
Doom Metal - Usually slow, mournful and gloomy. Often with brutal vocals. A significant role is characteristic of keyboards and some other more exotic instruments for metal - violins, flutes, etc. Groups - My Dying Bride, Tiamat and, of course, Black Sabbath.
Death Metal - Even faster and heavier than Trash and Speed, vocals are usually brutal. The style is the most difficult for an unprepared listener to perceive and the least melodic.
Progressive - Probably the most interesting direction in metal. Its counterpart in non-metallic rock is art rock - rock with complex structures, many melodic and rhythmic solutions, which evokes analogies with the classics and is often its direct descendant. Progressive differs from art-rock in its greater emphasis on rhythm, and, of course, a metallic sound. Bands in this genre use a wide variety of instruments. Keyboards, unlike Doom, are used for solos, not just for background. Violins sound more saturated, sometimes even a symphony orchestra and a choir are used. Examples are Queensryche, late Savatage, Dream Theater, Angra, Therion, separate works by Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.
Gothic Metal - Can be considered as a special case of a mixture of Doom and Progressive. There are analogies with medieval music. Extremely pessimistic, sad in mood. The most famous and arguably the best band is Lacrimosa.
These are the main directions of the so-called "pure" metal. However, you can often find something that resembles metal, but is not.
Metallic Hard Rock - Much softer Heavy Metal, less technical, with much more emphasis on rhythm. Paradoxically, it often looks more melodic than its older metal brothers, especially to untrained listeners. Examples are Accept, AC / DC, ZZ Top, Scorpions.
Metallic Glam Rock - Similar to the previous style, but more theatrical. While bands such as Black Sabbath and King Diamond have also incorporated stage performances into their concerts, it is Glam Rock metal that owes the myth of metal's macabre behavior on stage. Alice Cooper, for example, performed with a boa constrictor around his neck, doused fans with real blood and loved to use such attributes as skulls, worms, etc. in his performances. Also, everyone knows the masks, or rather the "war paint" of the Kiss musicians. However, these bands can only be called metal with a huge stretch.
Soft Metal - Pure profanation. Only metal paraphernalia is used, the real ballad-oriented pompous Hard Rock is performed. Striking examples of this trend are the groups Def Leppard and Europe.
"Near Metallic" Manifestations - Often non-metallic as a whole bands include songs in their repertoire that not only match metal in form, but even have a "metallic" mood. This is typical of the bands King Crimson, Uriah Heep, early Queen and many others.
Sometimes styles that have only a distant resemblance to metal are mistaken for metal. Most often these are:
Punk - A style that elevates the inability to play into a principle and sets itself the sole goal of challenging society. An example is Sex Pistols.
Grunge - Somewhat similar to Punk and Black Metal, but usually bands of this style play better than punk, but worse than black metal. Guitar solos are not very technical and obscure. Examples are Nirvana, Soundgarden.
Alternative - Commercial Punk variant. Smoother and more pompous.
Myth Two: Metal Music Is Bad for Health
The arguments that support this myth are so ludicrous that it seems strange to me when someone takes them seriously. For example, it is said that cows, when they turn on the metal, become restless, lose weight and begin to give less milk, while listening to classical music, on the contrary, they feel great. Following this argument, we can conclude the following: meat is extremely unhealthy, hay and fresh grass are extremely beneficial. It is also worth moving exclusively on four limbs, because cows, when they are put on their hind legs, show irritation, and after a while they lose their appetite.
Myth Three: Metal Music Derived from African Rhythms
To some extent, this is not even a myth. If we trace the entire chain of transformations and transformations of one style into another, then sooner or later, both in the case of metal and in the case of the classics, we will come to the moment when the primitive man tried to knock one stick on the other, and he liked it ...
Seriously though, the history of the appearance of the metal can be easily traced. There were black songs, they changed a little, it turned out to be blues. When white people tried to play it (meaning Caucasians), it turned out to be "white" blues. This blues turned into rock.
It is difficult to say how the very idea of hard rock and metal came about, most likely as an accidental result of experiments with sound. The first metal song was written by the Beatles in 1968. It was called "Helter Skelter". Of course, it was not really metal, but something very close to it. In early 1969, the album Led Zeppelin appeared, which became an example of blues-based hard rock. A little later, Pink Floyd's album "More" was released. It included the song "Nile Song", which fully corresponds to the metal genre - hard vocals, heavy riffs and a guitar solo in a metal key. In the future, Pink Floyd never returned to metal. Finally, in 1970, the album "Deep Purple in Rock" was released, which laid the foundation for both classical heavy rock and metal progressive, as well as the album Black Sabbath, which became the ancestor of all metal in general and the Doom style in particular. Further Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple successfully develop
a newborn style, in the 70s - 80s they were joined by the younger Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and others, forming Heavy Metal and Speed Metal, in the early 80s Trash declares itself, and in the late 80s modern Doom appears and Death bands.
Myth Four: Metal has nothing to do with classics
Metalists have repeatedly replayed classical pieces. There is also a certain similarity in the structure of metal and classical pieces and in musical solutions. By the way, many metalheads are fans of the classics: on the covers of their records you can often read thanks to Bach, Beethoven, Wagner and many other great composers of the past.
Classical composers, in turn, unknowingly, were the pioneers of the metal movement. Elements of "gravity" traced in Bach's music migrated to Doom almost unchanged, Mussorgsky and Beethoven did a lot for "weighted" art-rock, and Wagner just one step was not enough to start writing Progressive. Indeed, his music as a whole differs from metal only in the use of classical instruments, and "Flight of the Valkyrie", even performed by an orchestra, seems to be a metal piece.
From the frontier (rock - classics) area, one can distinguish "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" Deep Purple, "Gemini Suite" by John Lord, some compositions by Savatage, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and several other bands. Here the contact of these two genres is so close that it is difficult to say which of them these works fall into.
If we consider non-classical styles, then only art-rock is closer to the classics than metal. Therefore, the sharply negative attitude of society towards metal remains incomprehensible.
Myth 5: Metal is American Music
The metal originated in the UK. All three first heavy bands - Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin are from there. Many later bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden are also British. In total, British bands make up at least half of the entire metal scene. The remaining 50% is shared by Germany, Sweden and the United States. It is far from the fact that the United States ranks second after Britain in terms of the number and quality of metal bands. Rather, they are fighting for it with Germany and Sweden.
If you follow the trends in the adherence of countries to a particular style, you get something like the following.
¦ Great Britain - Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Progressive, Doom.
¦ USA - Trash, Progressive, Doom.
¦ Germany - Speed, Trash, Gothic.
¦ Sweden - Doom, Death, Black.
There are quite famous metal bands in Norway, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy.
Metal is very popular in Japan, Russia and Brazil, although there are not very many of their own global metal bands.
Metalworkers are dirty, wear disgusting clothes and defiant hairstyles. Metalists arrange atrocities and pogroms on their shows.
The percentage of sluts among metalworkers is exactly the same as among all other segments of the population. The myth about the sloppiness of metalheads was born thanks to a completely non-metallic direction - Punk Rock. There really deliberate sloppiness is part of the philosophy of the movement. From there, the myth of the unimaginable hairstyles of metalheads originated. Mohawk is a comb of hair, often of an unnatural color, an exclusively punk attribute. Glam Rock performers have worked hard to create these myths.
The "signature" hairstyle of metalheads is shoulder-length or lower hair, sometimes curled, there are no other types of hairstyles characteristic of the metallic movement. It should be noted that the tendency to wear short hair generally took root only in the twentieth century, so if we consider metalworkers as savages for their hairstyles, then many scientists and cultural figures who lived several centuries ago should be recognized as savages.
Biker jackets - leather jackets with rivets - also have a certain popularity among metalworkers. However, they are not a necessary element of clothing, many groups perform in ordinary clothes.
Make-up on the face is generally the exception rather than the rule. Of the famous metal artists, only King Diamond wears it.
If we talk about the show, then you should not lump everyone together. It has already been said above that theatricality of concerts is more typical for groups performing Glam than for metalheads. Nevertheless, elements of theatrical performances are almost always included in metal concerts. But is it bad? After all, what's stopping metalheads from developing an operatic genre? Why is classical opera, which necessarily includes theatrical action, is considered high art, while metal is considered a disadvantage? The attributes of metal performances are, of course, somewhat different from those in the classics. Pyrotechnic and light effects are often used, more energy in movement. In principle, this should not be harmful. This kind of thing lets the emotions out and relieves tension, just like a football game releases tension.
It is quite understandable that the main complaints relate to the riots allegedly taking place at metal concerts (by the way, riots often happen at football matches, however, no one ascribes this to football itself, they always blame the fans). So, here there is an appeal to the wrong address. Among metalheads, only a few overly extreme bands allow themselves clearly disgusting antics. But for the Punk style, this is quite commonplace. It is a pity that in the minds of most people these two completely different musical movements are identified.
Metal dulls. There are many socially disadvantaged and mentally retarded metalworkers.
Metal is widespread among students, most often among students of technical universities. So, if they are considered socially disadvantaged or mentally retarded, then this myth is close to reality.
Metal, due to its high speed of execution, is difficult to perceive, therefore, truly socially disadvantaged metal is rarely listened to, the same can be said about the mentally retarded. In a way, metal is elite music, just like classical music.
Myth Eight: Metalists only sing about violence and sex
The myth is as true as the statement is true: all Russian prose writers write about the war of 1812. Yes, indeed, there are a number of groups practicing the cult of power, and a number of groups singing about perversion. Among the former are Manowar, among the latter Cannibal Corpse. However, texts of this orientation are not typical for metal in general. Rather, they form one, by the way, not the largest current.
Let's see what metal bands are singing about:
Social texts - Human vices are exposed - greed, stupidity, cruelty, and the vices of human society - wars, the power of money, etc. This is a rather extensive current. Metallica and Gamma Ray, for example, sing mostly social songs.
I don’t believe in rock and roll illusions, I don’t believe everything they tell me is true, I don’t believe in good guys versus bad guys, I’m more likely to believe in Santa Claus.
(Gamma Ray, "Rich and Famous"
Personal texts - These songs sing about the inner world of the lyric hero, loneliness, alienation. I am not including love songs here, which in themselves form a large section. And without them, "personal" lyrics play a significant role in the repertoire of many metal bands.
I am a blind man, my world is covered with a veil, When a blind man cries, oh God, you know there is nothing sadder.
(Deep Purple, "When a Blind Man Cries"
Philosophical Texts - Most typical for Doom and Progressive style groups. Quite often, groups in their songs set out their vision of the world, speak out about religion, about the meaning of life. A huge part of philosophical texts - about death, probably, music has.
People are not my brothers.
I was dead when I lived, when I loved and even when I was born.
(Deep Purple, "Fools"
What do you think about death?
And will you forgive me for being alive?
(Black Sabbath, "After All"
Lyrics about love - Typical for Hard Rock and all sorts of bands that diligently pretend to be metal. Real metal bands rarely sing about love. And even if they do sing, they often present a non-trivial view of the problem. I could not find texts directly about sex.
In your eyes I see lust and imagine, Those tears of despair that you shed at night.
(Iron Maiden, "Wasting Love"
Mystery - Black Sabbath laid the foundation for this trend. However, they were registered as Satanists prematurely. Satan in their songs has always been a warning, not a calling.
Basically, sorcerers, demons and other fairytale characters have attracted many metal bands. The devil also gets into metal songs a lot. But there is nothing truly mystical in most bands. They don't believe their lyrics any more than the director of a horror film believes in what he is filming.
You think that you know everything, but you are never sure of anything, Your soul is sick, but you will never find a cure.
Your world was made for you by someone in heaven, But you chose the path of evil in it, instead of the path of love.
(Black Sabbath, "Lord of this World"
Fantasy - The huge popularity of this literary genre has not spared metal either. Many bands of various styles began to sing about elves, goblins and gnomes. The most famous group that sings almost exclusively on fantasy themes is Blind Guardian.
Tomorrow will take us away
Far, far from home, And no one will ever know our names, But the minstrel's song will remain.
(Blind Guardian, "The Bard's Song: In the Forest"
Texts about violence - Having often listened to a song about violence, a person does not understand that he is not being pushed towards violence, but, on the contrary, they are trying to dissuade him from it. This happens solely from the inflexibility of human thinking.
In addition, violence is not always sung seriously; sometimes it is nothing more than a part of the image. "I'm just a comedian!" - Says Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson. And he is completely sincere.
He laughs, watching you bleed, For before you is a murderer, And the lust for blood is all that he lives by.
(Iron Maiden, "Killers"
I have listed only the main directions. But metalworkers often go beyond that. Their songs contain fantastic plots, and observations of human psychology, and calls to life, as in the song of the group Gamma Ray "Heaven will wait", and real genuine feelings for the fate of humanity, as in the Savatage album "Dead Winter Dead" dedicated to victims war in Yugoslavia.
Each prayer, read under cover of night, somehow lost its meaning, Is it all - the answer to our prayers?
Is all this sent down to us by God?
Please understand, this is not what we prayed for.
(Savatage "Dead Winter Dead"
Myth Nine: Television and radio are inundated with metal bands
Both on television and on the radio, either ballads of two or three metal bands, for example, "Noting Else Matters" by Metallica, or all kinds of metal surrogates - Soft Rock, metallized Glam, are broadcast. And even this can be heard very rarely. Most of the time is devoted to pop music, disco, stage, rap and rave, styles that have nothing to do with metal. There is not a single radio station broadcasting metal music in Russia. At different periods of time, there are no more than two programs about metal, usually broadcasted in the middle of the night. Sometimes not even that. No more than one metal concert per year is shown on TV. And this with an audience of several hundred thousand fans!
Myth ten: Metal lacks even the semblance of a melody
This myth is composed of the impressions of people who have listened to metal once in a lifetime. At the first listening, as well as at the second, and at the tenth, metal seems to be a cacophony. However, after proper preparation (meaning preliminary acquaintance with lighter groups, and not alcohol and drugs, as opponents of metal often mistakenly believe), everything falls into place. A person begins to perceive the rhythm, and the melody, and the mood.
I must say that this phenomenon is typical in general for all intellectual currents in culture. Classical music is also not perceived the first time, and requires a long period of adaptation, which cannot be said about pop music, stage, etc.
Myth Eleventh: A Cultured Man Won't Listen to Metal
It seems surprising to me that a person who considers himself cultured can say: "I don't know anything about this part of culture and I don't want to know." Even an opponent of metal, in my opinion, should familiarize himself with it, at least in order to know what it is fighting with.