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Finster Forst

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Metal Music - Satan or Santa? (公选作业。。求轻喷)  

2014-05-07 17:13:36|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Metal music, similar to Rock n’ Roll, is somehow much stronger or even fiercer than the latter. When searching through Google Scholar using key words “metal music”, what hospitably greeted me were astonishing researches including arousal and anger, reckless behavior, drug abuse or even suicidal tendency among metal fans, urging me to think over immediately that I, also a metal fan, am indeed normal, calm, physically and psychologically healthy enough to write this essay. I should have expected it, though, for I have already witnessed too much prejudiced remarks or behaviors from the public towards those who have a crush on metal music.

To be frank, I have been enjoying almost all kinds of metal music for several years, and those fascinating songs with strong beats and solos have accompanied me through my brightest and darkest days. However, four years ago, even my parents couldn’t take it easy on hearing that I fell in love with metal music instead of a boy. They couldn’t even imagine that their dear daughter, relatively good tempered and mannered, should be addicted to such music that only hooligans would love. A stereotype of noise, restlessness, violence, and even juvenile delinquency arose in their mind, exactly the same as the above search results.

I feel so unfairly treated when my parents and friends consider it a weird hobby to enjoy metal music, as a girl especially. To them, “noisy” music means chaos and riots. Notwithstanding, I would argue that metal music is not a necessary evil. To me and other metal fans, it is not a Satan that seduces us to deteriorate, instead, a Santa who presents gifts to us from time to time. I would not bother to explain how the previous stereotypes formed, which is meaningless to those who are both metal lovers and decent people. Instead, I would strive to correct the bias and discriminations, for my own good and for my misunderstood mates.

 

“Melody? Does melody ever exist in metal music? I could hear nothing but noisy drum beats and electronic guitars. It’s unpleasant, even annoying.” Spoiled by simple, monotonous but pleasing melodies of pop songs, the mass have raised similar questions indicating that they couldn’t find easygoing melodies anymore. Bet on it or not, they hardly know what is true metal music. In fact, metal music covers a considerably wide range of genres, maybe wider than their wildest expectation. In general, metal music includes heavy metal, death metal, power metal and black metal. If we are to divide them into subgenres, we may add terms in front of the genre names, such as melodic, symphonic, industrial, progressive, gothic, Viking, pagan and doom. In this way, hundreds of subgenres have been created by metal bands, and chances are that a new genre was born right after a progressive band was formed.

As the genre names suggest, different genres feature differently, some of which are rich in melodies while some are rich in drum beats. “Metal music is nothing but noise” is a rude remark from people who are terribly blind to the diversity of metal. Actually, melodies of some genres are invariably much more complex and delicate than those of pop songs. In a normal symphonic metal song, sounds of acoustic guitar, electronic guitar (solo and riff), bass, drum beat, key, strings and other special effects can be amazingly weaved and assemble together as one, which makes me feel fairly difficult to learn every detail by my heart. Hear lies the charm of metalevery time you listen to it, there are always some new sounds that you did not notice before. It’s a secret adventure in the realm of metal music, and the joy it brings is beyond words.

 

“Behold the rain of stars - The blazing fire came pouring down

Falling from the dark - And life and death became unbound”

“Sleep now for a while before the storm awakes

And one day it will reward you with the burden of wait”

Could you imagine that the above lines are lyrics from songs of the melodic death metal band Wintersun? If not, it is high time that you should update your old fashioned views on lyrics of metal music. Though bloody words such as death, killing and even suicide appear rather frequently in some metal songs, it shouldn’t be ignored that lyrics with profound meaning exist in songs of some extraordinary bands including Wintersun, Metallica, Masterplan, Guns N’ Roses and so on. Unlike most pop songs that repeatedly complain love affairs and cry for sympathy, poetic metal lyrics contemplate on the issue of life and death, and reveal the truth lying under some kind of cover. Sometimes, a thought-provoking sentence from a song could be so powerful that I will be greatly shocked and moved every time I see it even when not listening to that song. Word has its power. Lyric too.

 

Melodies and lyrics of metal music are not as scary as you expect, are they? Nor are metal lovers who have been continuously misunderstood and separated. “In contrast to the common stereotype of metal fans as sullen and inarticulate, I was surprised by the friendliness and enthusiasm I found among fans and musicians alike. Most fans were pleased to find someone taking their music seriouslyI received many more requests to do interviews than I could accommodate.” Robert Walser, a musicologist and cultural critic wrote in his book. It is a vivid reflection of most metal fans who are eager to express their own feelings about metal music, probably because they consider themselves as the minority and long for the sense of identity. It goes just to show that how the majority regard metal music as peculiar music and their fans as cranks.

Two common misunderstandings: People turn bad after listening to metal music; only bad man listen to metal music. Neither is completely true. From my perspective, metal music is designed to express considerably strong feelings and emotions of musicians, and to strike a chord in the audiences through powerful melodies, lyrics and performances. To this extent, who is to blame for creating or enjoying metal music? Can people judge the character of a metal fan only by his or her taste for music? I am afraid not. Given the fact that metal fans can be college students, professors, doctors and even CEOs, will you still insist that metal fans are worse than others? Frankly speaking, we need a change in concept and a friendly attitude towards metal fans.

 

Reference

1.     Robert Walser. (1993). Running with the DevilPower, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music. Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press

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