Head banging and fist thrusting. Stage diving, crowd surfing, pushing and shoving. These are the ways that metalheads celebrate their beliefs. They also celebrate these beliefs by wearing black often and leather with chains, studs, and spikes, and have pictures of skulls on their t-shirts. Their long hair symbolizes the rebellion that is heavy metal. This may sound like a crazy way to show your beliefs, but not when you hear and feel the music like we do. I believe in metal. This is the metal that is the heavy and loud noise that I call music.
I believe in the beautifully distorted sounds of the dual guitars that originated in heavy metal. The guitars that give the ridiculously fast solos of thrash metal and gnarly riffs represent axes that are dangerous weapons that wield the power to make beautiful sounds. In hair metal, the slow tempo and long notes of power chords are so loud and filled with might, it’s like the guitarists are touching your heart with lightning bolts that come out of their distortion pedals and overdriven amplifiers. The guitars are backed by the deep, dark sounds of the bass guitar. The loud, rapid beats of the excessively large drum set with double bass and extra toms and cymbals hold the musical piece together.
The vocals and lyrics of heavy metal send shivers down my spine. They are the shivers that fuel my every day. They are the shivers that make me feel good that others get the same shivers for being scared of the very same music. Whether the vocals are understandable or not, they fit the sound and are an explicit display of the emotions that I feel when listening to heavy metal. I believe in the theatrical vocals of Iron Maiden, the rough vocals of Pantera, and the screaming, growling, and pig squeals of modern metalcore. I believe in the lyrics of heavy metal; the lyrics that are usually about sex and violence. Whether the lyrics are subtle or straight forward and in your face, I believe in them. The political lyrics of Thrash metal, the deep, thought-provoking lyrics of progressive and black metal, the magical and fantasy lyrics of Dragonforce, the gruesome, violent lyrics of grindcore, the war and death inspired lyrics of death metal; I believe in it all.
I believe in all metal: from the roots of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Judas Priest to the Hair and Glam metal of the 80s, to the Thrash metal of Municipal Waste that pumps my blood, to the death metal that sends doom through my body.
When I see hair swinging Cannibal Corpse-style, a huge, brutal circle pit of kids moshing, an outrageous, theatrical metal performance with guys dressed in armor or white and black paint with blood everywhere, I will hold the devil horns and the metal claw high in the air because I believe in metal.
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