Could someone please explain to me the appeal of heavy metal bands? My younger brother has recently become a fan of extremely poor music, from bands such as Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Coal Chamber, Cradle of Filth, and particularly Deicide. Now, I see this music as absolute offal. It’s basically a repetitive heavy drum line and crummy guitar, with guttural vocals. I’m wondering how anyone can like this stuff, and if so, could you please give me reasons why? I think it sucks.
The same reason anyone likes country. Or rap. Or classic rock. Or trance.
It’s all in what pleases your ear and what (in some ways) you agree with.
Now, I can listen to Slayer and not agree with them, and I can say I think they have no talent, but that’s only my opinion.
To say that only stupid people like heavy music is quite ignorant. I know plenty of “stupid” people who like classical, and I know plenty of “brilliant” people who like heavy music.
Can you point out where I said such a thing? I agree with your post, I’m just wondering where the appeal in such music is. Please don’t put words in my mouth.
Hey Lord… Lemmy ask you something here:
You like ice cream? What’s your favorite flavor? Say it’s chocolate, and you don’t much like strawberry.
That’s a tough one. Asking about why someone likes anything that is subjective is kind of pointless. I mean, most people would say they don’t like pain, but a bunch of people enjoy being whipped as foreplay…
Now, as for me personally as a huge music fan who is not against good metal, I can say that I appreciate different bands for different reasons.
Metal tends to be loud and primal. There’s a ton of energy there that fans get off on, for lack of a better description. Then there’s the image as well, which are as different as the bands themselves. There’s the rebellion factor as well.
But when push comes to shove, I like metal for the same reason I like chocolate ice cream: I just do.
What Satan said.
Good heavy music can have a very cathartic feeling when you’re in the mood for some aggression with your tunage. There’s a certain … honesty … to it.
And this is virtually impossible to explain, but if you are a metal fan, listening to some of this really harsh stuff can at times actually have a soothing effect.
I don’t know that ALL metal bands are so simplistic. I think they’ve got a huge leg up on pop rock in general, watery crap that it is.
Well, I shouldn’t be so harsh because I like pop too.
If by heavy metal you mean so-called “death” metal, where the singing is all, um, like the guy sounds like a kid trying to imitate satan, then I can agree that that leaves something to be desired to me.
I don’t know that this is entirely subjective, because like I said, I think when it comes to music metal bands have standard pop rock beat hands down. I’ve known a few people in “underground” metal bands, and they could play guitar like nobody’s business. And even their music tastes were of the varied sort that most of us agree with. One guy used to mimic Betthoven on his guitar.
Whether or not you like it, though…totally subjective.
Milo, agreed. I get to thrashing around my room or in my chair and by the time the CD is over I’m a little better for it. Though I find much punk works just as well…
I just wanted to point out the irony that a guy named “Dark Lord” is complaining about his little brother’s taste for death metal.
I’ve listened to some Slayer in my day, although I always thought the bands with Cookie Monster for their lead singer were just downright silly. But never underestimate the appeal to an adolescent of music that pisses off his parents.
Oddly enough, some of the better bands are pretty talented. Pay attention to Morbid Angel some time (recent albums that is). They’re very, very tight. Even though they’re fast, nothing really falls apart.
I guess I listen to the occasional death metal album partly BECAUSE I know other people hate it, partly because it’s percussive in a very strange off-kilter way (kind of like how Primus is guitar rock for people who hate guitars ), partly because it’s cathartic. There’s also a certain pleasure in noise itself that death metal fulfills. Kind of the reason why many people go to monster truck rallies.
Thank you for posting this! I totally agree. My husband thinks I’m insane that when I’m depressed or kind of down, I pop in my metal and just chill out to it. It’s helpful.
I like all sorts of music Dark Lord, and I think you’ll find that a lot of fans of metal are also big fans of classical, because the “gothic” genre tends to combine the two. I also like industrial…which NOBODY understands. BUT…I also like 'N Sync…so go figure.
I used to hate metal. I was a depeche mode fan in highschool. As I grew to appreciate more meaningful lyrics and better guitar…I discovered that metal was the category for me.
Plus…i’m a bondage freak, and metalheads are the only one’s who dare to sing about it
I’m not a metal fan myself, but when I was in high school one of the other students in my music class did a presentation on Cannibal Corpse. According to him, Cannibal Corpse has a satirical bent and frequently parodies metal cliches. I didn’t see the humor myself (these guys were clearly no Spinal Tap), but I’m willing to accept the word of a fan. So this guy at least liked that particular band not only because he liked metal, but because he thought they were funny.
Thanks to those who responded, and I sincerely mean it. I guess the reason I wanted to know why people liked these bands is to help me better understand my younger brother. He went from a normal (in my point of view) teenager to a death-metal loving goth freak. He now has his ear pierced three times, wears only black, and I’ve generally come to dislike him and his new attitude. I believe the reason this came about was because of the high school he went to, a small tech school with less-than-average students. It seems like the majority of people who go there are like him, and that he was “assimilated”, for lack of a better term. I wanted to know why people liked metal, because whenever I ask him this, he can never give me a straight answer. Now that I have some concrete answers, it just proves my theory all along that he doesn’t appreciate the music for what it is and only listens to it because everyone else does.
Stupid peer pressure.
I like heavy rock music but some of the concoctions, thrash, death, industrial etc seem to have distilled teir formula down so much that there is little room for innovation, it sometimes seems so formulated.
I prefer it when chances are taken, differant things are tried and it soemtimes works, sometimes not but often things are created that never existed before.
That’s why Britney and all the teen bands are so anodyne, nothing is left to chance, the target market, the image, the press releases but what will set the cat among the pigeons is that I feel that any band in any category that steadfastly sticks to its tried and tested formula becomes dull and that includes (for me) Napalm Death and several others.
You just know exactly whats going to happen next, when the overblown finish starts, how it will progress, maybe the grunts are slightly differant but the sum total is generally the same.
If anyone really wants to see the appeal in metal, see Slayer live. A more intense live band you are not going to find, of any genre. And if you like your music intense…
If you want to hear intelligent Heavy Metal, listen to Sepultura’s album “Roots” and see how politicaly involved a group can be. I also recommend Soulfly.
Soulfly is very intelligent and even have fun songs about hating Hootie and the Blowfish, Kid Rock, Eminem, and Britney Spears.
Ah Satan, whenever someone brings up the best live show they’ve ever seen, I always have to ask…how many dildos did you see at the show…and how many of the lead singers were on fire?
If the answers are zero…I’m sure that rammstein’s live show is better, if not more visually stimulating. JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION.
(and I haven’t seen Slayer, so maybe the answers AREN’T zero…But I still think rammstein’s show is better because Slayer isn’t sexy SO THERE )
I don’t think that the “shocking value” it’s the most important part of the music at all.
I’m in no way a heavy metal fan but if you go to the classics you’ll find a lot of original and well played music. Early Black Sabbath ( first six albums ) has some of the best most monolithical riffs I’ve ever heard and Ozzy contributed with some nice melodies now and then ( not to mention they created Heavy Meatl ). Led Zeppelin had some amazing guitar and bass work and did some awesome blues covers ( not to mention rip-offs ) even tough the drumming was somewhat vulgar ( hear that all ye Bonzo fans? ). But you could argue that they were not really Heavy Metal so we still have Deep Purple that had Blackmore’s amazing guitar skills and a very nice stile with Lord’s organ.
This are the Classics of Heavy Metal but one still have very good bands like Metallica and that unique trash-prog sound and Nazareth.
The first three bands were essential in rock’s development and all had something nice and original to offer.
But I agree with you that most metal is pretty silly and repetitive and that the genre has already done more than it’s quota of bad music but as in everything in life if you dig a little you’ll be surprised with the results.
I know nothing of the genre, other than that Phillips commercial with the guy who makes a “love mix” CD for his date (what band is that, anyway?), but I just wanted to share something…
I was in a record store with my teenage son recently, and found myself in the metal aisle (he was elsewhere), and was struck by the band names sticking up on the little cardboard dividers. Arrayed from left to right, row upon row, was–to my middle-aged and unhip eye–every combination of synonym for “death”, “disease”, “decay”, “satanic” and “occult”. It absolutely cracked me up. It would be so frustrating to be a satirist trying to work in this field–what ridiculous band name could you come up with that hasn’t been taken? They’ve gone beyond self-parody and back again.
Rammstein kicks so much ass! I went to one of their concerts last June in Massachusetts, and they rocked the HOUSE! It was so awesome…their pyrotechnics, combined with false ejaculation, combined with odd S&M rituals onstage, combined with some kickass music…
The Best Ever ©.
I’m surprised a heavy metal expert hasn’t come here and explained metal music to everyone yet. I’m definitely not a metal expert (or a fan for that matter…), but from what i read, metal music has a lot of depth and intricacy that will most likely be unnoticeable by the untrained ear. It’s not just juvenile, stupid music. They have complex song structures, multli-layered guitars and whatnot. Or that’s what i’ve heard from truly dedicated metal fans. I honestly can’t tell.
But I agree a lot of “metal fans” listen to metal to piss off their parents or to be different, or some other superficial reason.
On a side note, i think Rammstein is getting alarmly close to self-parody…