Or at least in the most traditional sense. Now before you go nuts and say “DEN Y IS UR BLOG NAMED DAT BLACK METAL D00D DEN?”, I actually have a few okay-ish reasons lined up. Whether or not they’re good depends on if you’re a meanie. I simply have discovered in the recent months that several of my friends were not wearing their Metalhead tags, and blatantly refused to be called one, or listen to metal frequently enough but don’t like to use that “M” word. Well more power to ’em, and I wish to share.
1. I Like To Throw Down
I’m well aware that the ultimate form of “Metal Treachery” aside from not being vocally part of the contrived “Justin Bieber Is Gay” Movement is unfurling your folded arms and making like a drowning otter in a space where others are well at work rehearsing Revenge Of The Shinobi Meets Tekken’s Eddy.
Here’s the facts, push pits are fine if they’re so intense that even the more-stoic-than-thou types feel like they can come in. For instance, one time when I saw Decrepit Birth play The Infestation, it was off the goddamn charts with medicated zombies trying to eat one another. Otherwise, you get three or four dudes wearing their most “br00tal” Death Metal shirt or patch jacketed Thrashers playing Red Rover. I’ve lost the sense of fun that comes from pretending the pit is a large hadron collider, and have ceased trying to make black holes.
2. Metalheads Have Too Many Rules
I once deluded myself into thinking that because I followed metal’s amorphous and unreliable rule set(s), I was a free-thinking individual. Almost like a religious apostasy where you come to realize that maybe there’s more to music listening than numbly reciting the lyrics of Slayer songs and putting energy towards hating poser Black Metal. Here’s some rules of my own design that sum up what Metalheads think.
2. TRVE KVLT BLÅKK METAL
3. Power Metal is gay unless it’s from Germany
4. THRASH TIL DETH.
5. Karate Mosh is gay. PUSH IT!
666. No more than ten non-metal artists in your iTunes allowed. One J-Rock band counts for 6.
7. Absolutely no radio-friendly artists! OR WE WILL CRUCIFY, DISEMBOWEL, AND SET YOU ON FIRE.
8. Always threaten posers and non-metal fans with sharp weapons! Instill fear in their red normal sized hearts!
9. Always wear Black. Or white. Yellow is okay if it’s a Thrash band shirt. Red is okay on some occasions. All other colors are always gay.
10. SLAYER 666 \m/
If you’re not good enough to meet the rules and requirements of being a Metalhead, then you are simply a “Metal listener”, which is like saying that if you’re missing an arm you’re not a human, just a human shape that happens to have a little less body mass to throw around.
3. I’m Not As Enthused About Listening To An Unfamiliar Metal Band As I Once Was
I’LL TELL YOU LE-WHY! Because while all genres adhere to Sturgeon’s Law that 90% of anything is shit, I believe that (brace yourself for this) Hip-Hop and Metal are the worst offenders. Rally together with your pitchforks, barbarians, but it’s true.
I can run into 5 shitty Metal bands faster than I could run into one shitty hardcore band (Hardcore meaning real Hardcore Punk, not whatever you call I Set My Friends On Fire[even though I like them]). Truth be told, a lot of Metal bands are a group of friends who got together —not to speak of bedroom Black Metal— and wanted to make music that wouldn’t get any radio play. Hell the earliest Metal bands formed from Rock bands who got bored and decided to play louder than their contemporaries, to varying success. Every other band that came out in the early 70s was just a Black Sabbath cover band in the end, and while we still have those, the problem back then was that not enough bands actually had the talent to make it or even stay interesting. These days, with the internetz and all, your band better be damn good to make it amongst the swarths of shitty ones, and that’s just an insurmountable task for any band of Maiden-loving 15 year olds to accomplish.
In short, too many Metal bands think that they’ll be the next Slayer, the next Metallica, the next Suffocation, the next Judas Priest, the next Sabbath, etc. etc.
4. Slayer Is Not The Pinnacle Of Metal Achievement
Now while SLAYER certainly are by no means a bad band, they’ve become more of a merchandizing machine than an actual band. Yes they still put out albums and play live, but c’mon, when’s the last time you’ve been to any gift shop and didn’t see something that had Slayer for any casual rock/metal fan, or been anywhere and didn’t see at least one person wearing a Slayer shirt? As a matter of fact, count how many shows you go to where you don’t see two smartasses who look a bit confused because they thought they’d be the only one to go out wearing the ol’ Eagle logo or Wehrmacht helmet with a Slayer insignia. No harm intended against Slayer or their fans, but they’ve simply grown too large to be taken seriously. They are certainly far from Metallica, but like I said, it’s just a name to throw around when talking Metal as opposed to a band anyone listens to for their artistic merit. They’re just not that great, guys. Plus, Kerry’s whole tribal tat thing just seems to be ignored by a fanbase who HATES that shit.
5. Any Random Prog Metal Band Is Not The Pinnacle Of Musical Achievement
Now Prog Metal fans, you like some good stuff, and you like some overrated stuff. Deal with it. Dream Theater aren’t the best Prog Metal band, in fact they’re quite hit’n’miss. 20 minutes a great song does not make. If a band can condense awesomeness into 46 seconds like this:
They’ve done their job infinitely better than any band who insists that unneeded time-signature changes are what legitimizes music. I love a lot of Progressive bands, hell Between The Buried And Me are just about my all time favorite band ever, but I’m in no way going to insist that they’ve completed musical ingenuity for generations to come. Symphony X fans, mark my words: They’re okay. Not great, just okay.
5. “True” Metalheads Are Er… Dorky
I remember when I used to post 666 \m/ YEAH METAL RULES on things not even a matter of years ago. I was about as dorky as they come, trying to fit into a subculture that was oh-so individualistic. But take a closer look at how a lot of “True” Metalheads act, and you see a gathering of nerds who simply happen to like cool music. It’s all a dog-and-pony show in the end, where bands that try to be extreme are just making themselves look foolish, with Black Metal being the number one export of unintentional hilarity since the late 80s. Peep this.
“Now don’t get me wrong. Black Metal is pretty badass. But you spend more on corpsepaint than a truck driver does on gas.”
Which brings me to my next point.
6. Metalheads Care Too Much If Others Are Metalheads
I bet you remember high school, where you didn’t really fit in with all the “cool” kids and had to form your own clique where everyone listened to Rock/Metal and was just generally a bit of a dork. Dorks can’t hang out with anyone but fellow dorks, and thus is the social food chain. But those who don’t really care what subculture another identifies with are a bit more socially pliable. I myself have Metalhead buddies (or those who call themselves that), Punk friends, a couple Hardcore people, etc. Metalheads are infamous for taking a stance against hanging out with non-metalheads, and I say why bother? Just because someone doesn’t think that the German Teutonic Thrash Metal movement wasn’t the best thing to come out of Germany, or that Slam Death Metal can be legitimate, likes Punk, Hardcore, and all its offshoots, or that a couple of rappers can actually be good, does that mean that you can’t associate with them? Fuck that. I’ll go on being a “Metal-listener”, I suppose. My table is all-inclusive, except for Christian Crunk artists. God-awful.
What I mean to say is go hang with a bunch of punk kids, edge or not edge(but not FSU), because they know how to party. I will love Metal til the day I die, but please do not call me the “M” word, I’ll take slight offence. Nah, go ahead, it doesn’t matter.