The allure of metal music

I don’t get why I like metal music so much. I like it in preference to all other types of music to the extent that I hardly listen to anything else these days. In fact, I don’t really get how someone does not like metal music. Especially if given enough time. Enough time to get used to the screaming, the pounding of drums, the excessive guitars and distortion, the sometimes incomprehensible rhythm, the “aggressive” breakdowns.

Even so, I find it weird that I do like metal at all. Or that anyone might like metal. It is as though someone tried really hard to hide the most soulful melody in a myriad percussion and distortion, and you might even ask yourself why this is appealing at all. The ability to find that melodic/rhythmic/technical magic in a barrage of instrumentation allows one, for the briefest of moments, feel superior to those who simply don’t get it. Surely though this cannot be the only reason for its relentless allure.

One might suggest that it is a question of taste. The reason for my liking metal cannot be explained unless you want to indulge in the philosophical question if what taste really is and whether someone’s liking of any music, or anything at all for that matter, can not simply be compared generically by simply evaluating its intensity/amplitude? I think there is more.

Perhaps half of the reason of my liking metal music so much has to do with the apparent chaos that, at first glance, even the greatest metal bands seem to present. Sometimes they are simply just overwhelming. In fact, some, if not most, of my favourite bands were those whom at first, I did not like at all. Most of them I found too heavy, too fast, too aggressive. Simply stated, I didn’t like them for the same reason most people don’t like metal. It was just noise.

Now I know I like metal, because for some reason during my youth I (mis)spent the time listening to something I did not like at fist, barring maybe one or two songs, and discovered something in the chaos that completely captured my fascination. Now when I am presented with something I don’t necessarily like, I can take the time to look behind the initial auditory assault and find that something glorious that exists in there somewhere, as though placed there only for the few of us who persevere. The reward is remarkable. It is not comparable to anything else. It cannot be shared with someone who doesn’t understand it. Someone who hasn’t taken the time to filter through all the same noises, to find the magic in the information overload.

Another reason might be that when you eventually spend enough time to find the melody (or  “beauty”) in those hidden musical notes – hidden amongst the screamed lyrics, distorted guitars, overloaded drums – it jumps out at you like the image hidden in one of those 3d-cards where you can only see the image if you cross your eyes. You don’t know what it is that you should be looking for until you find it and it is as obvious as daylight. The melody hidden in plain sight, seemingly obscured by complexity and aggression, is more rewarding somehow. Maybe it is the reward of working so hard for it. I suspect it has to do with the way in which all the random elements seem to,  at one very specific instance, align just so that that it resonates with your mind. With your soul.  Once you have experienced that moment, you have trancended. Your mind now exists in a place where it is possible to truly evaluate that which has been created, and you get it. You just fucking get it.

I have always maintained that someone who doesn’t like music, hasn’t tried the right music. Someone who does not like metal has not spent enough time. I don’t really know whether this is true for all music and I just tailored these ramblings to fit a genre that resonates with me. Perhaps it holds true for anyone who likes any type music of a whole, whole lot! I don’t know. I certainly hope so.


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