Sunday, 14 September 2008

Lead me to the mosh pit!

Friends to stay for the weekend, including a heavy metal fan. Some thoughts:

1. (a) HM doesn't have any respect in the wider world. It's a bit of a joke: literally, of course, in the case of the sublime This Is Spinal Tap*. (b) Lyrically it is obsessed with violence, death and decay. (c) In my experience HM fans are some of the gentlest, nicest people you could ever meet. I'd rather share a late night empty tube carriage with a scary looking bloke with long hair and an Anthrax tee-shirt than any other category of unknown lone male. 

(a), (b) and (c) must all be related. Someone do some research on it!

2. It's amazingly diverse. Black metal, death metal, the spooky doom metal, the extreme grindcore, thrash (which I quite like, if I'm honest) - the list goes on, and they're all different, and the musical virtuosity can be stunning. 

3. But, and this is one of several sticking points for me, they all feature vocal styles, whether shouting or shrieking, that sound a bit, well, silly.

4. I can never tell if there's any irony in what they do.

5. I was glad to hear that 'true' HM fans consider Slipknot, the unpleasant mask-wearing Americans who apparently got banned from Swansea after crapping on the stage during their performance, are 'not very good, really'.

6. At the moment I plan to buy 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica next week. This will probably not survive the embarrassment I feel whenever I drift towards the HM section of a music shop.

*Lest we forget...

Nigel Tufnel: It's part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy I'm working on in D minor which is the saddest of all keys, I find. People weep instantly when they hear it, and I don't know why.
Marty DiBergi: It's very nice.
Nigel Tufnel: You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know, very much like - I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece, really. It's sort of...
Marty DiBergi: What do you call this?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, this piece is called "Lick My Love Pump".

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