I was really happy when i once saw a thread on this board about listening. I think it was titled "How do you listen to metal?" Id dig it back up if i werent a lazy bastard, but ive always thought it was interesting to sit beside other people who call themselves metal fans while listening to Asphx, Atheist, Gorgoroth, and other bands that people say are"love it or hate it music." You really begin to understand that the sound your hearing when you listen to your favorite extreme metal is being processed in a radically different manner in the mind of the person sitting beside you.
I only know one person who can sit through an entire Asphyx song, but it seems like every other so-called metal fan doesn't have the attention span to listen to songs from start to finish...even by their favorite bands!! My other friends who listen to black metal, grind, and death have a tendency to switch the track in the middle of a song, right after they've had their "fix" so to speak. Others just listen for two or three months and just immediately drop it for something else.
Why is that i have listened to Suffocation's Pierced from Within or Atheist's Unquestionable Presence for nearly 6 years and they've NEVER GROWN DULL. Sure, some days i've been in the mood to hear other stuff, but these albums including many others haven't left my cd case in almost a decade. Theres no mystery about it to me: its egoistic listening of the masses.
A large number of so-called metal fans and the general public can not understand metal because they can't get past their own egos to allow the music to take them somewhere. The general population/imposter metal fans either listen to metal as background noise while playing d&d or surfing myspace, or have a tendency to decide whether or not a band is good after the first 30 seconds of a song. You'd be hard pressed to find an average person who, upon a first listen of Deicide's Legion, LISTENS to the entire song and does not allow his/her attention to wander from the music to something else (usually meaningless things like a girl with fake tits passing by or a brand new novelty item they'd love to purchase). Where so-called metal fans are concerned, this is always a good indication of who is a poser and who is a genuine fan (maybe i've said this before). These metal fans will be gone when puberty ends.
When i listen to music, i offer myself to it: i do nothing else, expect nothing, and let the music guide my mind however it may. If i am doing some simple task, i dont consider it Listening until i can give my full attention to the music. Metal becomes a part of you when you learn to do this..