Metal and Me

michael - santa monica, California
Entered on June 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in heavy metal. I believe in heavy metal as an art form, I believe in heavy metal as a lifestyle, and I believe in heavy metal as a mindset.

It was the sound of the music that first enticed me. That sonic blast is what first drew me in. And the emotion, as well as the precision, that goes into playing metal is what keeps me here. I believe in the pounding, blasting, and beating of the drums. I believe in the rumbling, thundering, and chugging of the bass. I believe in the wailing, screeching, and grinding of the guitar. I believe in the influencing, inspiring, and invigorating power of the lyrics. I crave the dark atmosphere and brutal attitude of metal. Heavy metal gives me a release from reality, and offers me a world where, in the words of Behemoth, “blindly I follow none but myself.”

To me, and the millions of other metal heads around the world, metal is more than just music. Metal is a lifestyle. Metal is about more than just listening to music, it is about living it. It’s about being yourself, and defending your beliefs. It’s about respecting others, but especially yourself. But it’s mostly about having a good time. These practices are what I Believe in. Through these ideas, metal brings together millions of people, and invites in a million more. Metal is about establishing strong bonds with people, and remaining true to your friends and family. So in essence, it is metal as a unifier that I believe in and support. After all, it was Rob Halford, the Metal God, who proclaimed “united, united, united we stand, united we never shall fall!”

Often times, non-metal fans are surprised by the attitudes of many metal fans. Although we may outwardly appear gruff and angry, we are generally laid back, open minded, and easy to get along with. And these attitudes are what I believe in. I believe in listening to other people and respecting what they have to say, but not letting them alter my own beliefs. I believe in accepting people, especially those with similar ideas. It is the fact that metal is one big family that no one can bring down, that makes metal so important to me. Bruce Dickinson of the legendary Iron Maiden is a perfect example of this mindset, for he frequently acknowledges his audience as “part of the Maiden family.”

Metal has definitely had a deep impact on my life, and I couldn’t be happier. It is this music that gives me a reason to pursue my life. It is this music that gives me the confidence to be myself. And most of all, my belief in heavy metal has led me to believe in myself.