I love walls of sound, I love intensity that feels like it takes a surplus of cognitive bandwidth (ADHD) and gives it a little bit of resistance to tug against, almost like those various rubber stress toys. I think most metal fans hear lyrical gruesomeness as something between fantasy and a cause for more empathy than anything else. And let's be real, a lot of it is flat out unintelligible. It's an aesthetic.
Most of the metalheads I know are absolute teddybears. I listen to some pretty heavy stuff (see links), but the other day I cried at a dog video, and recently had to turn off the police scanner at the mention of a particularly sad crime. Mosh pits look scary but there's a shared ethical framework. Injuries happen, but they're almost never due to malice. Somebody falls down, you pick em up. Bigger people stomp around keeping the peace and returning lost shoes, aha. It's bounded, consensual violence – just like a martial art.
Exceptions exist – there are church burners and skinheads, but they tend to cluster in their own sects and you don't get mixed up with them accidentally.
In my music hobby as a guitarist, I've been involved in heavy rock and classic blues bands, played in a classical guitar ensemble, and did some sessions in a jazz setting. More recently I've been guitar tech and roadie for my son who plays in a metal band.
By far, the nicest people I have come across have been in the metal scene. I've been invited around to try gear, and been offered the lend of more gear from heavy metal guitarists.
My former co-founder in my business is a fan of extreme Northern European metal, and she is one of the nicest people I've met.
There is a lot of social batesian mimicry in adopting a "vicious metalhead" image (or any other image from a band). I would expect a sexual agressor adopting an innocent "boys-band" image (agressive mimicry in this case), underdogs trying to pose as "I'm richer than you, b*ch", and common people trying to identify him/herselves with a strong badass image or a more exciting life. Admiring the opposite of who you are is in the root of any fandom.
There's a weird rule of opposites which can happen with music. I think people often take up art and music as a form of healing, so there's some kind of reaction vector involved. Lots of people who take up Irish Trad are tortured souls or have "thorny" sides. Also, the corpus has a lot of happy sounding songs talking about truly horrible things.
(One of her albums is called Ultraviolence)
I'm about 10 years older now, and have traded in that sound wall, for a different kind. As an "adult" (Is 29 adult, probably not) I can get that same feeling listening to people like Lawrence English, and Tim Hecker, who are most assuredly not metal at all but produce much denser layers of frequency that would put any metal band to shame.
I mostly just listen to jazz though, which takes a severe bit of concentration, attacking the "ADHD" from a different angle. Forcing me to follow a phrase through, for fear of it becoming noise.
Wimps and posers, leave the hall. --- Manowar, Metal Warriors
(Age and cardiovascular fitness matter more, but tt the time we were all young and relatively fit).
It's not 100% true, but I find that it tends to be.
Pretty sure that's everybody.
vctms is a metalcore band
jfac is a deathcore band, esp during the doom ep era
deathcore being a combination of death metal and metalcore
actually, none of the bands you linked are metal
that doesnt invalidate the fact that metalcore isn't metal, since it's rooted in punk hence, metal core
Extreme metal rooted from Discharge. Sounds close enough anyway. Crossover thrash isn't metal because it has punk on it, too?
Regardless, this is just pedantry.
Yeah, that's totally closer to punk than metal...
As you point out, there are a number of subcultures, some of which are generally wholesome and aesthetically sound. For example, Manowar fans are usually intelligent, driven, and extremely muscular.
They are my friends for a reason.
I'm thinking of black. Sometimes I'm just happy that a few of the bands I listen to sing in Swedish or Norwegian etc that I don't understand, so that I can't tell what they're singing about. Although the imagery can often give a bit of a hint, rather.
To make it absolutely clear in case people don't know what I'm talking about: there is a clear trend of black bands that are downright neonazis. By no means all, or even I think a majority, but they are right there.
Concerning the lyrics, I generally categorize them into two groups (with non-empty cut set):
* Intellectual lyrics, which criticize some part of society or human behaviour, or they deal with personal issues (e.g. http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/todtgelichter/angst.html#1)
* Theme lyrics, which try to fit a core concept of the bands music, like satanism or some war/Third Reich theme (e.g. Graphic http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/behemoth/thesatanist.html#1 Graphic). Also, note that a having a certain theme does not automatically imply endorsing it.
Usually, the music as well as the lyrics are cold and cynical, which can make their actual meaning hard to place or even ambivalent at times.
Concerning the neonazis: Personally, I do not see a trend towards the worse, but there are a few sketchy bands out there (the ones I know of are usually older, from the 90s or so).
Oh, P.S.: while the black metal fans may be not as teddybear-y as death metal fans, we are usually quite a nice bunch :)
The first segment about the Satanic Prayer Hotline is really amusing. Act One is about a talk back radio preacher who went on tour with Slayer & wrote about it for Spin Magazine, and that's also worth a listen.
That's true- often it's done for the shock value.
But that's a bit of a controversy there, rising on the horizon. Personally, I don't want to be the one to say that it's all a performance and all that stuff about uncompromising self-expression and antisocial-ness, is just, you know, posing.
When it comes to the fans (who are also the musicians, usually), I've seen my fair share of total dickheads and absolute darlings, and lots of folks in the middle so eh. Let's not generalise either way.
Edit: Btw, with "intellectual lyrics" you're talking about a new generation of bands, including Misþyrming and Mgła. They are still a little rare, I find. Or I just like more traditional stuff and I'm missing all the serious lyrics :0 Please point to more stuff like that you link above, thanks.
Love the name though :)
Years ago, there were the fundamentalist types who would've thought that the vampire/occult theme was a cutesy backdoor into pulling kids into satanic occult stuff. Same sort of people who tried to stigmatize D&D and video games. Same sort of people who wanted to censor books, music, movies, etc.
In 2019, we have a new kind of fundamentalist running around trying to de-platform wrongthink. I see them as just the 2019 version of the same people.
Either for sinfulness or privilege, which serve the same purpose in their ideological frameworks.
Take the Asgardsrei festival in Ukraine for instance. It is literally run by neo-nazis, with the far-right Azov Battalion acting as guards, avowed racist/fascist bands on the stage, and a whole day of militia workshops and talks by known neo-nazis.
So yes, it is real. It's a small scene, and most black metallers hate their guts, but it shouldn't be ignored.
By the same token, this small subset shouldn't be used to tar the entire black metal scene. There are activist pseudo-journalists who have done this in the past, and this is a prevalent pattern in recent years. Look out for this happening, and be sure to speak out when you see it happening.
pensees nocturnes dropped a circus black metal album and its pretty fun/literally 0 nsbm elements https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FiKXVZnlQE
I don't really see any difference between your comment and claiming death metal listeners are violent. It's not true. Black metal doesn't make someone a neo-nazi. Neo-nazis are already neo-nazis.
For context, I've never understood death metal or anything in that realm. The screaming in particular... but I realize that's just my personal preference. No judgment intended. Just opinion, not objective fact.
So only recently I discovered the ASMR phenomenon. And it seems like ~10% of the population (estimated) get a particular response to those sounds.
Other commenters here talk about a "wall of intensity" and things in that realm. What if metal appreciation is the same way as ASMR? By this I mean, what if you just have a predisposition to the sound intensity?
Just a question. I have no answers. This might be ridiculous. I have no idea.
My parents have always been musically inclined, my dad played drums in a rock band and my mom played the flute and sang. There was also always a lot of music in our home, I got my introduction to rock music via Deep Purple's Machine Head on cassette tape, which my parents bought in the 70s and gave to me in the early 90s. I still have it, along with Sgt. Pepper's and Dødens Triumf by The Savage Rose. Absolute classics that helped shape my taste in music.
So there was always rock music nearby as I grew up, and I think specifically Jon Lord on hammond organ through a distorting guitar amp (the intro to "Lazy" is so damn good) is what opened my ears to heavier distortion and the enveloping sound it creates. And of course Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. I also discovered Motörhead around this time, and started to love the raw punk-influenced edge to their sound, compared to Deep Purple's more polished compositions, which also took me in the direction of over-the-top dragons and swords power metal.
From there, I was introduced to progressive death metal in the form of Opeth, thanks to an open FTP at a LAN party (I think piracy was and is hugely important in a lot of peoples' personal musical journeys). That got me used to growled vocals, and I slowly got into harder death metal, and branched out to brutal death metal and grindcore/deathgrind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCsoB8p578Q
I've started branching out to more old school death metal now, wanted to catch up on what I missed in the 90s and early 2000s.
I guess I'm rambling. My point is that it's a musical journey of exposure and experience and learning about new bands and genres. I don't think very many people start out enjoying extreme metal, and I don't think it's a genetic ASMR thing.
After growing up with Sabbath, Lemmy, Maiden, ACDC, UFO etc, when I first heard death metal and growl vocals I just thought it sounded a bit naff. Yet somewhere along the way to middle age I grew to love them and also stopped noticing genres. There's now plenty of Ensiferum, Arch Enemy and so on in among bands of all kinds, classical and jazz I listen to these days.
AFAIK I like more genres than I don't, but everything I've ever gotten into (Rock -> Metal -> Jazz -> Hip Hop -> No Preference) has been because I've convinced myself to like it. Possibly a genetic trait but it doesn't feel right, especially given that metal music can be appreciated for totally different reasons: One doesn't listen to Opeth the same way as meshuggah
 - https://youtu.be/lk2-bgwA0Ro
 - https://youtu.be/Nh10gL_GP_w
Avenged Sevenfold - Fermi Paradox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl8rofNa0tI
Avenged Sevenfold - Exist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntgOlFbGWLY
Nightwish - The Greatest Show on Earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJb3xwtpmmc
Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUb1p8fm7Ag
Dream Theater - The Great Debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z6vpiXQJNA
Allegaeon - Gray Matter Mechanics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu-NvEec8y8
Allegaeon - All Hail Science: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONPMWHP8AZ4
 - https://youtu.be/OvW2xeSn4As
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IEqf9mo93w
> I didn't personally write them, but I would be frankly astounded if anyone listened to that song and then felt a desire to be eaten by a cannibal
If anything, "Happy" by Pharrell Williams is more likely to make me want to be eaten by a cannibal.
Could it be that the listeners were simply tired of hearing an overplayed song (Happy) to the point that even death metal was refreshing?
An obscure song should be compared to another obscure song.
You experience intensity, highs and lows, tension and release. You expose yourself to a harsh emotional rollercoaster, to digging deep into one's psyche, and come out on the other end hopefully invigorated and refreshed.
If metal music inspires violence, so do the Odyssey, Star Wars, Othello and many many others.
A vast majority of the music we listen mocks stereotypes, oppression, points out to hypocrisy, the real violence and aggression shown by the 'normal' masses.
We have cleaner track records. Some of us will dress up to appear aggressive and immoral, but we know you have pitchforks and judgments that you're waiting to hurl at us.
The children that were prosecuted also raised eyebrows because of their philosophical interests in LaVeyan Satanism (which is absolutely not what most people would probably assume it to be)
But generally, of course, this experiment seems like just one bit of a proper comprehensive study.
Norway didn't really have much of that. It was (and is) a really safe country, very stable, religion is mostly pretty bland non-offensive Protestantism, most people maintain very ordinary non-spectacular lifestyles.
The 2nd wave black metallers felt completely suffocated by this quiet peaceful existence, so they rebelled against the peace and quiet and tolerance, and took teenage rebellion to absolute extremes, doing whatever they could to frighten the ordinary people.
There were probably also other issues wrapped up in it, I think Dead (Mayhem's lead singer, who killed himself) was depressed or maybe had even deeper issues. These guys felt like outcasts in their own homes, so they acted out.
TROO or TRVE metalheads aren't just in black metal, although I think they are more prevalent there. We have them in every genre, from death to folk to power metal and beyond. There's a drive for some people to identify themselves by the things they like and even more by the things they don't like. Some people just get really wrapped up in something they care a lot about, and music affects us on a very primal level.
Here's a great Defcon talk from Neil Fallon (lead singer of Clutch) about how music tugs at our emotions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVx5Y1OE-KE
Don't underestimate the calming effect from death/black metal when writing code
For a looong time, I've been looking for techno or breakbeat with proper metal, i.e. more than some vague guitar buzz. No luck.
Filmmaker's ‘Crepuscular’ might be the closest thing yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XvB64VU3yw
For some reason, a steady rhythm vastly outperforms anything else as a soundtrack for coding.
ironically now the 1st and 2nd wave bm bands are used as aesthetic pieces for edgy mainstream artists
Party Cannon Bong Hit Hospitalisation - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eki2SNegxIE
KILLITOROUS // IT'S NOT STANLEY, IT'S STAN LEE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YflBqKgLyks
technical party dm