Metal is beautiful.
Being a metal fan is hard. Living in a country with low metal fan density (metal fans per unit area ) is even harder.
The past couple of years that I have been listening to this godsend of a genre were not without problems. When people take a peek at my music library, skim through the titles, and even accidentally play them, I always get comments like “I’m listening to the devil’s music”. It even goes as far as calling me someone who’s satanic just because the word “devil” is in the album’s title. Cool conclusion.
But I’m not writing this to vent out anger, or to force-feed you my opinion that metal is the greatest byproduct of human evolution.
I’m writing this to show you that metal can be beautiful.
I understand that there are metal subgenres and bands out there that stain the metal name, but I won’t be going through those.
Whatever is best is subjective. Metal, specifically melodic death metal, is best. That’s at least for me. There are a lot of metal subgenres, but I picked these to prove my point.
If this is too long and you don’t like reading, skip to my last paragraph.
1. Of course, you get death-themed songs (if that’s what you’re expecting)
The perfect example for this would be Insomnium’s “Down With the Sun”, also a testament to how much I like it as I’ve been listening to this for a really long time with zero signs of boredom.
What I really like about this song is its ability to grasp the concept of death, and stretch it out to a 4:23 long song. It talks about death in different ways, and doesn’t really show anything else other than that.
Simplicity. Simplicity, and not death, has been the reason why I find this beautiful. though it’s also true that I listen to it on times of depression.
“Rock here in the birch’s lap
Swing in the manor of wind
Lay down your weary head
Let the blue stars darken”
“Maid of twilight, lass of duskfall
Serve thy goblet to me
Let me drink to the last drop
The sweet opiate of the dreams”
“For vain is all the toil and trouble,
Vain is all the heartbreak
In the end I’ll find my solace
In an earthen cradle
So good night.”
2. But it’s not just about death.
I’m not a master of poetry and I can’t interpret every single line, but this I’m very sure of: Insomnium’s “Through the Shadows” and “Weather the Storm” talk about…not giving up.
“And I feel tired, empty and hollow, heart-broken inside
And I feel this life has nothing for me anymore
And I feel revived, sacred and honoured, one of the kind
And I feel this life is something I was chosen for.”
“One fleeting moment
Few short-lived seconds
Mere short flicker in time
For the shadow to grow and die”
“Thrown down into the flames
Enfolded by ash and ember
Quenched in scorching fire
Hardened in undying flare
Through demise and disaster
Past the flames of the end
Rise above ever stronger
Disown the past for the present”
3. It can be about anything.
Dark Tranquillity’s “Misery’s Crown” is about bullies.
Amorphis’ “Silver Bride” is about the Finnish god of forge Ilmarinen and his efforts to “rebuild” his wife…with silver.
Solar Fragment even has a song about one of Lost’s (the series, in case you were living under a rock) main characters. This isn’t melodic death metal by the way.
What I’m trying to say is this: Behind all those growls, screams, and admittedly, noise, is art that I find very very beautiful. I’m not asking you to like the same music as I do, but I want you all to understand. I’m not that shallow to like one song simply because they’re really loud and I like the devil.
The words “Don’t judge a book by its cover” have been overused but under-practiced.
I don’t mean to bash, but ask yourselves this: Have you ever thought about titles such as Who Run the World (Girls) and lyrics like “so what we get drunk so what we smoke weed” as VERY FUCKING SHALLOW?
That’s what I thought.
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