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What Metal is not

What Metal is not
May 12, 2010, 02:44:56 AM
People interpret forms of music and their historical foundations differently. A traditional Hessian or Metalhead should be disturbed by some of the modern interpretations of Metal. Outsiders to the genre and new-school Metal people (nu-Metal, indie Metal, hipster Metal, Metalcore) have a distorted picture of what Metal music truly is. The following list corresponds to some misinterpretations of Metal and Metal culture that the aforementioned groups have.

What Metal is not
- An excuse to drop out of life or society
- A party
- The expression of thought of a specific ideology or school of thought

These are some of the alarming misinterpretations of Metal that can be observed in this age. The worst bands and their fans, and even some fans of bands that we would consider of a high standard, are charachterized by these inaccurate interpretations of Metal.

Looking at this list, we are pressed with the question, "What is Metal?". I will offer a few answers to this question.

What Metal is
- An expression of serious spiritual and philosophical thought
- In some cases, a form of ativism, in that it originates from reactivated ideas and genes
- In some cases, a response to, rather than an reaction against, Christianity and the state of modernity

EDIT: I'd also like to mention something else, which is that Metal is not a fashion statement. This flies in the face of the perceptions of people that get into Metal because they like wearing interesting t-shirts and jackets with patches on them. This is something that most of you probably know, but I'd like to point it out, because it is another alarming interpretation that some have of Metal.

Re: What Metal is not
May 12, 2010, 03:07:54 AM
- In some cases, a response to, rather than an reaction against, Christianity and the state of modernity

Metal: That which could instead be as a response to
Modernity: The Should Be we are given.

possibilities vs. a linear absolute

Re: What Metal is not
May 12, 2010, 07:46:08 AM
I am sure you are providing in a correct interpretation in some context, but I don't think I need to point out it isn't an historically accurate one. In that context, metal has in the vast majority of cases been exactly what you said it isn't. I don't disagree with the general proposition, but maybe these ideas should be arranged normatively, not descriptively?

Re: What Metal is not
May 12, 2010, 04:23:33 PM
- In some cases, a response to, rather than an reaction against, Christianity and the state of modernity

Metal: That which could instead be as a response to
Modernity: The Should Be we are given.

possibilities vs. a linear absolute

I agree with what you are saying. What I was trying to say is that Metal is not reactionary, but rather is born out of an impetus to arrive at something better than Christianity and modernity.

Re: What Metal is not
May 12, 2010, 04:28:12 PM
I am sure you are providing in a correct interpretation in some context, but I don't think I need to point out it isn't an historically accurate one. In that context, metal has in the vast majority of cases been exactly what you said it isn't. I don't disagree with the general proposition, but maybe these ideas should be arranged normatively, not descriptively?

When I refer to Metal, I am focusing on quality Metal bands. Correct me if I am wrong, but in the cases of quality Metal bands, Metal has not been a party, an excuse to drop out, reactionary, or an expression of a particular school of thought. Bands that we would designate as low-quality Metal may be charachterized by some of these traits, but the best bands are not.

Re: What Metal is not
May 13, 2010, 03:09:06 AM
What Metal is
- In some cases, a form of ativism, in that it originates from reactivated ideas and genes

are you speaking specifically of Romanticism?  or something even more ancient?

Re: What Metal is not
May 13, 2010, 03:57:38 AM
Metal is a focus on the heavy.

The un-heavy is the safe, the personal, the karmic drama. What am I eating? Who am I loving? I am eternal, what are my wants?

The heavy is the unsafe, that which is outside the human realm. War, history, science, death, disease, predation and fear.

This is why metal is a lawless outsider to rock music: they are going in literally opposite directions.

Re: What Metal is not
May 13, 2010, 04:50:55 AM
Depends on the metal and the person.  When I think of thrash,death metal, I can't help but think of after show parties, groupies from the NY DEATHMETAL CLAN(or whatever its called).  Blackmetal is more spiritual and beyond the self for me.

Re: What Metal is not
May 13, 2010, 06:43:50 AM
Depends on the metal and the person.  When I think of thrash,death metal, I can't help but think of after show parties, groupies from the NY DEATHMETAL CLAN(or whatever its called).  Blackmetal is more spiritual and beyond the self for me.

Modern interpretations of both genres stray far from the roots. At their best, death metal and thrash focused on the heavier things in life. Sure, you had a drinking song or 2 in thrash, but it wasn't all out like Tankard or something.


Re: What Metal is not
May 15, 2010, 05:34:18 PM
What Metal is
- In some cases, a form of ativism, in that it originates from reactivated ideas and genes

are you speaking specifically of Romanticism?  or something even more ancient?

It would depend on the band. I think that certain Death Metal bands evoke Romantic feelings (think Dismember's "Like An Everflowing Stream"), whereas the best Black Metal bands express something much more ancient. For example, Burzum's music is very atavistic to me, in that it expresses ideas and thoughts that are of an ancient origin.

Also, please keep in mind that I am not a scientist, so my understanding of biological atavism is not going to be anything close to that of one. That being said, I'm pretty sure from my studies that experiences can have the effect of turning genes on or off. The best Metal is quite profound in how it moves its listener, so I would not be surprised if some Metal activated genes that are normally muted by modern conditioning.

Re: What Metal is not
May 15, 2010, 10:16:42 PM
Why are people so against Death Metal and Thrash in favor of Black Metal because it's more spiritual (I'm not singling out anybody)? Could it be that these people are unwilling to face tangible realities and would rather hear to hear the often (but not always) fantastical Black Metal? I wouldn't be surprised if these are the same kind of Hessians who disparage hardcore punk music.

Re: What Metal is not
May 16, 2010, 01:22:14 AM
I lean more towards Black Metal purely because I find it to be a deeper interpretation of the same ends/goals of Death Metal (and, for that matter, the best of Hardcore).

Re: What Metal is not
May 16, 2010, 02:42:16 AM
Could it be that these people are unwilling to face tangible realities and would rather hear to hear the often (but not always) fantastical Black Metal?

The only tangible realities are highschool cliques and groupies when it comes to a lot of death-metal; from my experience..it comes to no suprise that many deathmetalers play in metalcore as session members and what not.

Re: What Metal is not
May 16, 2010, 05:40:09 AM
Could it be that these people are unwilling to face tangible realities and would rather hear to hear the often (but not always) fantastical Black Metal?

The only tangible realities are highschool cliques and groupies when it comes to a lot of death-metal; from my experience..it comes to no suprise that many deathmetalers play in metalcore as session members and what not.

It's not your fault, but your interpretation of Death Metal and "Thrash" is nothing but a fabrication that you've come to accept via observation of other people. A legitimate search into the areas of genuine Death Metal and "Thrash" (I think you're referring to Speed-Metal though) would yield a binary result of your current view of such. Modernity is convincing, but true Death Metal is better at that game.

I do think it's important to remember that this type of mentailty is a result of the adolescent "lack" of acculturation (in the metal world), and therefore forgivable.