Although everyone in the media writes off heavy metal like they write off opinions from Osama bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, honest peace activists, Noam Chomsky and Siddhartha Guatama alike, I think it has a place in modern society's global culture and in fact represents a breath of fresh air in that.
In 1969, Tony Iommi saw a horror movie and wanted to make music that sounded like a horror movie. He wanted to do this because he was fed up with the hippies around him spouting simplistic non-solutions to enduring problems. They thought they could impose peace from without. He said war was within. This viewpoint was not popular. And so heavy metal was born.
It was fused early on with the prog rock of Jethro Tull and King Crimson, both of which had an archly cynical view of human futures. Humanity, they argued, was doomed because it refused to focus on its own degeneracy through its mindless pursuit of pleasure. In this, they echoed Aldous Huxley of the generation before. Of course, this viewpoint was not popular.
Heavy metal is a sonic reducer that takes the world of external, visual manipulations and cuts it down to some basic truths that transcend what humans think they want or need. It's about a world, interconnected, that has a process to it that resembles geology or biology, but not the neurotic sophistication of morality, bureaucracy or psychology.
It has made its mark.
It's now common to hear distortion in normal songs on the radio. Heavy metal themes have soaked into movies, art and tattoo art and comics, and even into mainstream newspapers which pun on classic heavy metal song titles. Any time in this society you want to symbolize someone who isn't following the kool-aid line to destiny, out comes the long-haired, gentle but socially alienated, headbanger.
Metal has even appeared in literature, often described as a fulfillment of the hippie movement by being its antithesis, like in Thomas Pynchon's Vineland
. It is also shown as a steam escape valve for lower middle class aggression, as in Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full
(satire of Pantera).
If I missed any, hopefully others can fill them in.
This music, because it glorifies intolerance and hate, and promotes suicide, contradicts all of the community values that people of good will, regardless of faith, ideology, race, economic or social position, share. Simply put, this music hurts us as a people.
Heavy metal Contributes to teen suicide