Heavy Metal Is Saving Society

Man, I see the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

- Fight Club

A type of music. An elitist cult. A dangerous den of negativity and hatred. Heavy metal has been called all of those things.

But what if it is some amalgamation of them all?

...An identity?

An identity that simultaneously has a huge following of millions of passionate fans all over the world, and at the same time is completely unknown to just as many millions.

An identity considered by its adherents to be the greatest in the world, yet considered by many others to be offensive, uncultured, and even dangerous.
Nevertheless, a culture such as heavy metal is one that our society needs...even more than it realizes.

From the gray-skied industrial wasteland of late-1960's Birmingham, an environment seemingly unfit for human beings, a new sound was born. Much of the popular culture at the time was the hippie, flower-power movement--free love, world peace, free drugs. "Imagine."

On paper, it may have sounded too good to be true. Except in Birmingham, and so many other places all over the world, it simply wasn't, and never could be. It still isn't.

A brave group of musicians decided to buck the trend. World peace, free love--all idealistic fantasy and so much claptrap. The real world was heavy metal factories, schoolyard brawls, family members dying of industrial pollution, and nightmares about that dusty old book with the pentagram on the cover that you decided to read from one night with your friends...and wished you hadn't.

This was the world that Black Sabbath chose to expose to the unsuspecting mainstream.

Then, as now, reaction was muted. Let's pretend it doesn't exist; we all know that's outside of our comfort zone. People don't really listen to that, do they?

But when the movement grew too large to ignore, the mainstream negativity lashed out and tried to choke off the music, the culture, the identity with its distinctive devil horns.

First there came the protests, fueled by fears of a Satanic epidemic among fans.

Then there came the high-profile lawsuits, and accusations of suicide, even murder.

Then there came the unparalleled Congressional censorship hearings, resulting in the now ubiquitous Parental Advisory labels.

Even now, after decades of history and a flowering of new ways to express the heavy metal identity, it is still greeted in the mainstream with a dismissive yawn. Heavy metal groups are largely unrepresented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Precious few are able to crack the top 40. And even true legends pass away (more of them every year, sadly), without the pomp and circumstance, the front-page commemorative magazine editions, and six-hour primetime funeral spectacles attended by heads of state.

And society ignores this at its peril.

Because inside mankind, a war is raging between light and dark, between heaven and hell, between good and evil, and most of us are dancing right around the middle line between the two and trying not to hate ourselves for it.

Because without being able to indulge that other, politically incorrect side of our nature, without being able to keep that 15-year-old inside of you alive, where are we headed?

If, every once in a while, you don't get the chance to just put on black leather, put your devil horns in the air, and just go nuts and scream, until your throat is killing you the next day and your head is still ringing from the amplifiers...how else are you going to do it?

Because if it wasn't for this heavy metal identity, its bereft followers would resort to other, much more sinister means of indulgence.

Heavy metal is saving society...from itself. In a culture of excess, of struggle, of sheeple, of decay...there is a sound that rejects it all. There is a sound that says, "This is mine." There is a sound that says, "I reject this world as it is handed to me, with these fake friends, this hopeless job, and the disgusting, fake, mainstream garbage that passes for music." There is a sound of discovery that lets you say, "no" to the haters.

Because, from the late 1960s until today and far into the future, heavy metal is music of hope.

And hope is something that our society has in short supply.

So the next time you see some folks with long hair, clad in black and red, go ahead and smile and flash them the devil horns. For through this music, they are embracing the struggle within us all...and winning.

Comments (73)

Aug 20, 2012

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Aug 27, 2014

No matter how dirty we are, how loud we might get and how heavy we like our music, people will always see us "metal heads" as poor dirty people who need manners, cut our hair and shower. The world doesn't see us for who we really are. Behind the grime, sweat, and long messy locks is compassionate people who care for others and try to make this world better then it is. "Spread the Metal Festival" founded by a 21 year old metal head-businessman and student has created hope to those fighting cancer. Matt Day has helped many in need with his charity events. Day has even inspired others to help charity such as bands "Kataklysm, Morbid Angel, Cryptopsy, Blackguard, Fallen Joy, Blasphemy Reborn and Crimson Shadows"1 One other person contributed greatly to the good of metal that person is Chuck Schuldiner.
Chuck Schuldiner creator of "Death", commonly known as the "Godfather" of metal had passed away from brain cancer on December 13, 2001. He dedicated his life toward music and could not afford medical insurance to treat his cancer. 10 years after his passing all former members came together to form the charity tour 'Death to All'. They toured in Europe, Canada and this year, the U.S.. The DTA tour will "raise money for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a charity dedicated to providing financial assistance to struggling career musicians facing setbacks, such as illness, or age-related issues."2 This in the long run, will help new aspiring musicians to follow their dreams and not have to worry about their medical needs.
Metal Heads stay strong, whether they are the musicians or the fans, the metal revolution is one. There has been rough times but they keep on moving. When it seams as if the earth is crumbling at their feet, they help each other stand tall. Nothing can stand in their way. This, in the end, is what our society needs, someone who cares, who is strong, and who have the ability to keep going when all is lost.

1Legge, Lois. "Heavy Metal's Got Heart." The Chronicle Herald. N.p., 33 July 2012. Web. 24 Aug. 2014.

2Jill Liebisch. ""DEATH TO ALL" TOUR FOR CHARITY: A TRIBUTE TO CHUCK SCHULDINER." ZT Mag Featured News RSS. N.p., 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Aug. 2014.

    • 1
Aug 22, 2012
Aug 22, 2012

Fucking love AAL.

Aug 22, 2012

I think the greatest metal album of all time deserves - no, needs to be in this thread:

    • 1
Aug 24, 2012
Ron Paul:

I think the greatest metal album of all time deserves - no, needs to be in this thread:

"Little known secret. Metallica's '...and Justice for All' and Death's 'Symbolic' record had a baby. It was tossed into a junkyard and forgotten about. It ate metal and drank gasoline until it broke free and began to kill.
Sylosis defines modern speed metal." - Chris Adler, Lamb of God.

    • 1
Aug 24, 2012
Macro Arbitrage:
Ron Paul:

I think the greatest metal album of all time deserves - no, needs to be in this thread:

"Little known secret. Metallica's '...and Justice for All' and Death's 'Symbolic' record had a baby. It was tossed into a junkyard and forgotten about. It ate metal and drank gasoline until it broke free and began to kill.
Sylosis defines modern speed metal." - Chris Adler, Lamb of God.

I'll have to check it out. I don't listen to much modern metal except early 2000s stuff like as i lay dying and old unearth.

Aug 22, 2012

it's possible i'm mistaken but i'm pretty sure heavy metal is just metallica...kinda unfortunate to have a one-band genre, but such is life...

now i'm really not trying to fuel anyone going to the sanitarium because they went stone cold crazy from my comments, but trust me i'm not some kind of monster just because i don't like all those death anthems...thats what the rest are, it's sad but true...and if you can't forgive me for saying that and just turn the page, then i guess i'm just unforgiven and nothing else matters...and if my comments make you so frantic that you don't rest until i disappear, then i guess you really are a master of puppets...but afterward i bet you'll find that still the memory remains of my truthiness

    • 1
Aug 22, 2012
Going Concern:

it's possible i'm mistaken but i'm pretty sure heavy metal is just metallica...kinda unfortunate to have a one-band genre, but such is life...

now i'm really not trying to fuel anyone going to the sanitarium because they went stone cold crazy from my comments, but trust me i'm not some kind of monster just because i don't like all those death anthems...thats what the rest are, it's sad but true...and if you can't forgive me for saying that and just turn the page, then i guess i'm just unforgiven and nothing else matters...and if my comments make you so frantic that you don't rest until i disappear, then i guess you really are a master of puppets...but afterward i bet you'll find that still the memory remains of my truthiness

Sorry you feel that way.

And yes, I get every single reference in your second paragraph. :)

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 22, 2012
Going Concern:

it's possible i'm mistaken but i'm pretty sure heavy metal is just metallica...kinda unfortunate to have a one-band genre, but such is life...

now i'm really not trying to fuel anyone going to the sanitarium because they went stone cold crazy from my comments, but trust me i'm not some kind of monster just because i don't like all those death anthems...thats what the rest are, it's sad but true...and if you can't forgive me for saying that and just turn the page, then i guess i'm just unforgiven and nothing else matters...and if my comments make you so frantic that you don't rest until i disappear, then i guess you really are a master of puppets...but afterward i bet you'll find that still the memory remains of my truthiness

Your statement on Metallica is correct, too bad they broke up in 1991.

Aug 22, 2012
Stringer Bell:
Going Concern:

it's possible i'm mistaken but i'm pretty sure heavy metal is just metallica...kinda unfortunate to have a one-band genre, but such is life...

now i'm really not trying to fuel anyone going to the sanitarium because they went stone cold crazy from my comments, but trust me i'm not some kind of monster just because i don't like all those death anthems...thats what the rest are, it's sad but true...and if you can't forgive me for saying that and just turn the page, then i guess i'm just unforgiven and nothing else matters...and if my comments make you so frantic that you don't rest until i disappear, then i guess you really are a master of puppets...but afterward i bet you'll find that still the memory remains of my truthiness

Your statement on Metallica is correct, too bad they broke up in 1991.

I hope you're not dissing the Black album there, because it was an amazing album. People who say it was a sellout album can go suck a D...the band was tired of writing and playing 10 minute riff anthems for nearly a whole decade, so they made a natural pivot to catchy hard rock with shorter songs, more melody driven than riff-after-riff.

And the problem with Load and Reload was they made two albums instead of one. There was a massive amount of filler crap on each. If you took the 4-6 or so best songs from each, you could have make one really really good 9-10 song hard rock album.

St. Anger induces me to vomit...period.

Aug 24, 2012

Ok, I'm a little annoyed by the turn this conversation has taken.

Going Concern:

it's possible i'm mistaken but i'm pretty sure heavy metal is just metallica

You sure dude? Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Priest, and all the rest that came before them and called themselves heavy metal. Metallica was definitely cool but not even the most intense. Fear factory, Sepultura, Pantera, Testament, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Cathedral, and a whole slew of others were right in that same sweet spot both lyrically, musically, and concert wise.

Metallica was just really good about (1) marketing themselves and (2) writing some mainstream stuff, but they are FAR from being the 'only' heavy metal band. They fall in the thrash subgenre with Exodus, Overkill, Death Angel, Defiance, Nuclear Assault, and Executer.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of death/black/doom/gore metal, it's a bit depressing while thrash was just more plain agression, like white man's rap. Helmet and House of Pain collaborating was cool, and I'm baffled why there wasn't more rap/metal interaction, the two fit perfectly with each other. Directionless, energetic youth channeling their agression into art....not sure why the censors didn't like us. I remember studying to Pantera, lifting weights with the guys getting ready for the Corps while listening to Slayer, and welcoming dudes coming out of juvie/Rahway/county with the latest Public Enemy record. The common bond or music kept us from tearing each other apart and was actually a stabilizing influence. Maybe if the larger society RUN BY THE ADULTS wasn't rotting, we'd have been put to better use. That rage propelled an otherwise adrift generation through a pretty pointless period of history: I'm 32, I'm not sure the younger crowd fully understands. The 'people in charge of things' attacked a symptom instead of putting their big kid pants on and dealing with the causes: they neglected a generation and were oh so shocked they lost control at some point. Now we're adults, and we're taking over the festering, failed empire they tried to build....and we're doing it right.

Send THAT to Tipper Gore.

Aug 22, 2012
In The Flesh:

Heavy metal is saving society...from itself.

so ITF - which are your favorite genres of heavy metal, and within that, your favorite bands?

What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

Aug 22, 2012
David Aames:
In The Flesh:

Heavy metal is saving society...from itself.

so ITF - which are your favorite genres of heavy metal, and within that, your favorite bands?

I honestly can say at this point that I am at an extremely happy place where I can enjoy all the subgenres (up to and including the underground stuff like black metal and grind).

Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath will always be my favorite metal groups. Lately however, I have been getting into a lot of early death metal (Death, Morbid Angel, Atheist) and prog (Dream Theater, Fates Warning).

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 22, 2012
In The Flesh:
David Aames:
In The Flesh:

Heavy metal is saving society...from itself.

so ITF - which are your favorite genres of heavy metal, and within that, your favorite bands?

I honestly can say at this point that I am at an extremely happy place where I can enjoy all the subgenres (up to and including the underground stuff like black metal and grind).

Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath will always be my favorite metal groups. Lately however, I have been getting into a lot of early death metal (Death, Morbid Angel, Atheist) and prog (Dream Theater, Fates Warning).

i like to lump chaps like black sabbath into classic rock within my mental index, and i am a fan of all music thats prog (old or new) but then again i would just leave them as progressive rock...hence my comment, heavy metal = metallica

Aug 22, 2012

I enjoy Heavy Metal - but you have to admit it has long had an association with the white power movement

Aug 22, 2012
<span class=keyword_link><a href=/company/goldman-sachs rel=nofollow><abbr title=Goldman Sachs&#10;>GS</abbr></a></span>:

I enjoy Heavy Metal - but you have to admit it has long had an association with the white power movement

You mean like classical music and the Nazis?

"It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired you quit when the gorilla is tired"
-Robert Strauss

Aug 22, 2012
Veni Vidi Vici:
<span class=keyword_link><a href=/company/goldman-sachs rel=nofollow><abbr title=Goldman Sachs&#10;>GS</abbr></a></span>:

I enjoy Heavy Metal - but you have to admit it has long had an association with the white power movement

You mean like classical music and the Nazis?

There's a reason no one performs Wagner in Israel.
I'm not suggesting the Bruce Dickinson is a closeted white supremacist or anything. Or that Ozzy Osbourne has a stormtrooper uniform. I like listening to some old metal too. But , why is it whenever any race-nut/crazy shooter is found and the cops go through his apartment , its littered with metal bands. Whats the correlation here?

Aug 22, 2012
<span class=keyword_link><a href=/company/goldman-sachs rel=nofollow><abbr title=Goldman Sachs&#10;>GS</abbr></a></span>:

I enjoy Heavy Metal - but you have to admit it has long had an association with the white power movement

You're probably thinking of skinhead punk bands, not metal (with the exception of a tiny handful of extremist groups largely based in the European underground).

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 22, 2012

I used to listen to Hatebreed, Pantera, Sepultura and all the rest on the way to work every morning. 9:01AM was kill time. Lately though, this last year or so, I'm just mellowing out and I don't know why.

If this is what getting old is about, someone please kill me.

Aug 22, 2012
UFOinsider:

I used to listen to Hatebreed, Pantera, Sepultura and all the rest on the way to work every morning. 9:01AM was kill time. Lately though, this last year or so, I'm just mellowing out and I don't know why.

If this is what getting old is about, someone please kill me.

Nothing wrong with it. Maybe it's time to branch out into other subgenres?

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 22, 2012
UFOinsider:

I used to listen to Hatebreed, Pantera, Sepultura and all the rest on the way to work every morning. 9:01AM was kill time. Lately though, this last year or so, I'm just mellowing out and I don't know why.

If this is what getting old is about, someone please kill me.

There's quite a bit of metal that isn't as aggressive, as well, or metal bands that do quieter stuff from time to time (see: Opeth's Damnation).

    • 1
Aug 22, 2012
anaismalcolm:
UFOinsider:

I used to listen to Hatebreed, Pantera, Sepultura and all the rest on the way to work every morning. 9:01AM was kill time. Lately though, this last year or so, I'm just mellowing out and I don't know why.

If this is what getting old is about, someone please kill me.

There's quite a bit of metal that isn't as aggressive, as well, or metal bands that do quieter stuff from time to time (see: Opeth's Damnation).

Wonderful stuff. Porcupine Tree is also excellent, as are the great prog concept albums like Operation: Mindcrime and Scenes From A Memory, Pt 2.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 22, 2012

Jeremy spoooke iiin claaaaaas todaaaaaaaaaay....

Does grundge count as heavy metal?

Heavy metal is good stuff. Good stuff.

My opinion about the racists in heavy metal concerts? Until very recently, heavy metal was quite "white" in both it's audience and it's influences. Rock (and most other types of) music importsb influences from all over the world, but the old heavy metal was mostly western european influences. And there's also the really aggressive grindcore/deathcore subgenres. I'm heavily into metal (I still wear my DMs from time to time. Yes, to work. Especially in the winter. And I sport eyelets in both my ears 24/7), used to be heavier, and I once got.... "accosted" during a berserker gig for being the wrong race. Of course this was in the UK, and the aggressors were rather swiftly thrown out by random people in the audience. to summarize - which sort of musician is a racist more likely to listen to - a couple of long haired white blokes, or Snoop?

My main issue with the heavy metal crowd of course is the tendency not to find too many progressive minded people (by progressive I of course refer to ambitious/career minded people, and not the political kind, not that there's anything wrong with the political kind). You do get a few, but in general it's hairy people with extremely suspect personal hygiene. Yeah, even among the women. But the music, the music is awesome. I even once charged through the mosh-pit during a cannibal corpse gig. It doesn't get wilder than that. Or does it?

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

Aug 22, 2012
Anomanderis:

Jeremy spoooke iiin claaaaaas todaaaaaaaaaay....

Does grundge count as heavy metal?

Heavy metal is good stuff. Good stuff.

My opinion about the racists in heavy metal concerts? Until very recently, heavy metal was quite "white" in both it's audience and it's influences. Rock (and most other types of) music importsb influences from all over the world, but the old heavy metal was mostly western european influences. And there's also the really aggressive grindcore/deathcore subgenres. I'm heavily into metal (I still wear my DMs from time to time. Yes, to work. Especially in the winter. And I sport eyelets in both my ears 24/7), used to be heavier, and I once got.... "accosted" during a berserker gig for being the wrong race. Of course this was in the UK, and the aggressors were rather swiftly thrown out by random people in the audience. to summarize - which sort of musician is a racist more likely to listen to - a couple of long haired white blokes, or Snoop?

My main issue with the heavy metal crowd of course is the tendency not to find too many progressive minded people (by progressive I of course refer to ambitious/career minded people, and not the political kind, not that there's anything wrong with the political kind). You do get a few, but in general it's hairy people with extremely suspect personal hygiene. Yeah, even among the women. But the music, the music is awesome. I even once charged through the mosh-pit during a cannibal corpse gig. It doesn't get wilder than that. Or does it?

  1. Is grunge metal? It's an interesting topic. Not all grunge is the same as we know, it's just an umbrella term for the Seattle groups. With the possible exception of Alice In Chains, I considered grunge its own separate brand of hard rock.
  2. My first death metal show was Suffocation. Stood right in front near the bass amp. Ton of fun, but you don't notice hygiene issues when it's Suffocation!

Yeah, I don't really get where all this "white power" stuff comes from. We've got all different races at metal shows of all kinds.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 22, 2012
In The Flesh:
Anomanderis:

Jeremy spoooke iiin claaaaaas todaaaaaaaaaay....

Does grundge count as heavy metal?

Heavy metal is good stuff. Good stuff.

My opinion about the racists in heavy metal concerts? Until very recently, heavy metal was quite "white" in both it's audience and it's influences. Rock (and most other types of) music importsb influences from all over the world, but the old heavy metal was mostly western european influences. And there's also the really aggressive grindcore/deathcore subgenres. I'm heavily into metal (I still wear my DMs from time to time. Yes, to work. Especially in the winter. And I sport eyelets in both my ears 24/7), used to be heavier, and I once got.... "accosted" during a berserker gig for being the wrong race. Of course this was in the UK, and the aggressors were rather swiftly thrown out by random people in the audience. to summarize - which sort of musician is a racist more likely to listen to - a couple of long haired white blokes, or Snoop?

My main issue with the heavy metal crowd of course is the tendency not to find too many progressive minded people (by progressive I of course refer to ambitious/career minded people, and not the political kind, not that there's anything wrong with the political kind). You do get a few, but in general it's hairy people with extremely suspect personal hygiene. Yeah, even among the women. But the music, the music is awesome. I even once charged through the mosh-pit during a cannibal corpse gig. It doesn't get wilder than that. Or does it?

  1. Is grunge metal? It's an interesting topic. Not all grunge is the same as we know, it's just an umbrella term for the Seattle groups. With the possible exception of Alice In Chains, I considered grunge its own separate brand of hard rock.
  2. My first death metal show was Suffocation. Stood right in front near the bass amp. Ton of fun, but you don't notice hygiene issues when it's Suffocation!

Yeah, I don't really get where all this "white power" stuff comes from. We've got all different races at metal shows of all kinds.

Funny thing - the first time I saw your nickname "In the flesh", I did think it sounded extremely metal.

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

Aug 22, 2012

\m/.

Aug 22, 2012

don't cry to me oh baby

Aug 22, 2012

ITF,

I don't know WTF you're smoking but how the hell this saving society?

What about this?

I mean really?

Nah - In all seriousness, good stuff ITF. And an SB to someone who can name the two singers who sang the Theme.

Aug 22, 2012

TL ; DR


Iron Maiden - Fear Of The Dark ([email protected] in Rio) - MyVideo

And this fucking pearl: Cacophony - Black Cat live in Japan 1989

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

Aug 22, 2012
Aug 24, 2012

none of you know what you're talking about.

90's metal was pretty good:

but 80's metal rocked harder:

and 2000s metal owns all:

Aug 24, 2012
Ron Paul:

none of you know what you're talking about.

90's metal was pretty good:

but 80's metal rocked harder:

and 2000s metal owns all:

good points. maybe you'd agree that we should also add this little gem to the mix of awesome music that supposedly falls under metal:

Aug 24, 2012
Going Concern:

good points. maybe you'd agree that we should also add this little gem to the mix of awesome music that supposedly falls under metal:

hell yeah man, who says modern metal sucks. so many 90s/2000s classics:

Aug 25, 2012

this is some pretty enlightenin stuff. though i think you left out soulja boy as mentioned earlier in the thread

i may still have to rethink my entire viewpoint tho...so you mean my whole fallacy is wrong ?

Aug 25, 2012
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