October 26, 2002


I love Metal. Metal Music. I really dont want to bother about definitions or try to tell you what *I* really think Metal Music is or ought to be. That is not how I work. Rather I will just try to make a little distinction for those of you, who are not necessarily into this kind of music.

The entire scene of Rock and Metal is not really clean. Once you start delving into it, it starts getting murkier and horribly convoluted. The convolution starting with the nomenclature. There are a variety of rocks, metals and other stuff all over the place, each band promoting yet another of its own variety to stand out. I dont have either the patience or the capacity to go into all these. Primarily look at three kinds of music, rock, metal and alternative. And that is more than enough for you to enjoy music in all its glory.

Rock basically stems from the early rock-and-roll bands of the beetles with their amazing (now dated) attitude towards life. It progresses with time becoming more modern and more rich with groups like Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, Van Halen, AC/DC and peters down at groups like Guns N' Roses. Here you see attitude, a common aspiration set, and musically an increasing dependance on guitar strings, on distortion and a decreasing volume and increasing pitch of vocals. The technology use also increases across this set. The themes are predominantly emotional, with love hanging in big time. "she" is almost always there. So are misunderstandings and broken hearts. Of course you do also find traces of other stuff, like fear, animosity etc. But that is more attitude than anything else. Rock is one of the biggest influences on the lifestyle of a large number of people over a particularly long period of time.

Metal is the big brother of Rock. Whatever Rock can do Metal can, only harder. Metal is the more noisier, faster and more rich cousin of rock, so much that it almost becomes a disincentive to a majority of Rock fans. "GN'R is fine, but I just cannot listen to anything harder". Metal in its numerous hard and noxios forms - hard, trash, neo, industrial, etc. focusses on topics different from the traditional ones. Aliens, Satan, God, the Sandman, fear, anger, jealousy and other more baser and powerful influences are found in plenty. Guitars are particularly caustic, vocals throaty, lyrics explicit and sex being not the only reason. Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Slayer and other incredible powerful bands form the line up here reaching bands like Clown, Gwar and others that make words like 'music' a distant stretch of the imagination. Metal is more about making a statement, not to those around you, but to yourself. While rock shaped how people lived, ate, drove and danced, metal shaped the way people thought and felt. "she" and love a mostly missing.

Alternative is all else. In between, in the flanks, all around. Floyd, Linkin Park, Amorphis and so on and so forth. Probably all other forms like Gothic, Grunge, Rap and the lots can be dumped into this couldron. Alternative is what you do when your emotions are too raw and need either a time-out or healing. "she" might hang around, either to be dumped or slaughtered. Alternative is everything from bad-ass to everything sensible about music.

This is good. But the problem is not to tell a Rock fan what I feel about Metal, not to tell an Alternative fan about the stirrings of a Gothic Symphony. Rather, it is to address that mire that thrives in what we call the pop and the classical. Pop is all that rock is not. Infested with sugary femme fatales and boyish kids with neither the originality nor the substance to move from the disco floor to the home, from the lips to the heart. It is not that I am against pop. It is just that I hate it.

Classical is everything pop and rock are not. Classical is what I call all other forms of music, especially indegenous music evolved over the centuries. Music where everything is not just black or white. Music that realises what it really is, and the incredible power it holds over the listener. Music that is single minded in its pursuit to replicate the world in the air waves. Music that told you where to go, not what is or what can be. That is what I refer to as Classical.

Classical music is really a mature form. Evolved over time, it is aware of its potency. It knows what music does to the emotions, and knows how to manipulate them and how to effect them. Only that it is simple. Classical normally deals with music in its elements. I deals with singular, basic emotions. I knows happiness, sadness. It knows peace. But it does not care about higher emotions. Nor does it concern itself with more baser forms of emotions.

Rock and Metal fundamentally differ in this respect. These are considerably richer forms of music. Richer in the amount of emotional content that they can carry. They can tell a story and not just evoke an emotion. They can evoke fear, anger, angst, helplessness, anxiety. They are emotions from one mature intelligence to another. They deal with the adult and not the child.

People are put off from heavier forms of music because it is noisy. Because it will affect the ears and cause deafness. Hey, dont do that! Give Metal a Chance. If it is loudness that concerns you, just turn the volume down. But listen to harder stuff. If you thought noise was not for you, you are sorely mistaken. Nothing can replicate you as powerfully and as completely as metal or rock. While classical can make you yearn for what you are not, metal can show you what you are. Metal is noise, but noise is not bad, or silly or a cause for deafness.

People tell me that Metal really hits them when they are drunk, when their defences are down. If you want more proof that metal talks to your heart and your soul, you probably are better off listening to britney spears talking about how beautiful she is.

Dont discount something just because it is noisier.

Give metal a chance.

Ever wondered what would happen if you were all alone in a city. Everything else existing, but if you were the only living person in the entire city. How would that be.

I am thinking I will write a little fiction in the days to come. Am kinda fed-up with all this serious stuff. The first part of the story coming right up.


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