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Metal music is perceived by some as obnoxious, loud and a whole lot of noise. However, fans of metal music see and appreciate the craft that goes into it. They enjoy listening to metal music and get hyped from listening to it. Fans of metal music are commonly associated with stereotypes such as dressing up in edgy clothing, wearing all black, staying up all night or even being part of biker gangs. This genre of music is much more than how it has been perceived by many.
So, what is metal music? According to YoungPost, metal music can be characterised by components such as heavily distorted guitar riffs and chords, extra-low bass notes, heavy drumming and aggressive, throaty vocals. Another key element of metal music is speed, be it in the tempo of the song or the shredding of guitar solos. Metal music can be traced back to the 1950s when guitarists started experimenting with harsher tones. For example, songs like The Kinks’ 1964 hit, “You Really Got Me” which was created around two heavily distorted guitar chords. Other artists and bands within the genre tried to include feedback in their songs and drummers began to play much louder and with more force to compete with the loud volume of the guitars.
Metal music can be split into various subgenres. According to Life Falcon, among these subgenres are black metal, heavy metal and alternative. Black metal is what many perceive metal to be, with profane lyrics, shrieking vocals and distorted instruments. However, this form of metal music has decreased in popularity in recent years. Noteworthy bands in this genre include Celtic Frost and Hellhammer. Heavy metal, also known as death metal, is another subgenre that is known for its aggressive sound. The themes discussed in the lyrics of heavy metal songs mostly surround the evil and injustices taking place within society. Key bands of this subgenre include Iron Maiden, Metallica and Pantera. Alternative is the most commonly listened to subgenre of metal among the general public. It has elements of metal but sonically, it does not sound as harsh compared to the other subgenres of metal music. Recognisable bands in this genre include groups such as Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Breaking Benjamin.
There are many reasons why one should listen to metal music. First, metal music is a way in which one can reduce stress and other negative emotions as you can scream your lungs out while listening and release any negative energy you have been holding in. Secondly, according to a 2015 study, listening to metal music offers the listeners a healthy and productive way of processing anger and can increase positive emotions despite what some may think. Another positive of metal music is by becoming a fan, just as with any other genre, you get to be part of a community with other fans of metal music, also known as metalheads. After being a part of this new community, you can meet new people with whom you can attend concerts and events together.
However, one thing you have to be careful of while listening to metal music is the volume at which you listen to your music. Listening to metal music at maximum volume may enhance the experience. However, if the listener is listening through headphones or earphones, they may risk damaging their ears. Furthermore, if you are listening through speakers, it may disturb your neighbours or the people around you.
One way metalheads show their love for metal music is through their personal fashion. A common example would be vintage band t-shirts. You may have seen t-shirts like these in public or in clothing stores. They would have the band logo printed on the front or back. For metalheads, it is also common for a significant part of their wardrobe to be in black. A more classic look would include a leather jacket and jeans. You can customise the leather jacket with accessories such as pins, the logo of your favourite band, stickers and chains. As for the pants, you may wear jeans or leather pants. Finally, how could anyone forget accessories? Accessories with skulls incorporated into their design, heavy chains, gauntlets with spikes or even belts with spikes are common among metalheads. Jewellery like rings, earrings and necklaces are also commonly used accessories.
If you are thinking of finding metal music to listen to, you can discover popular bands and different subgenres through streaming platforms such as YouTube or Spotify or by visiting a music store and looking at albums under the rock genre.
Now that you have had a glimpse into the world of metal music, you should give metal music a chance and who knows? It might be your new favourite genre of music to listen to!
By Sean Lee