The social stigma attached to Metal...

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNkzsYDakXY Hahahaha.

Seriously, though, I think the stigma comes from misunderstanding, especially from "non-musicians." A musician can usually respect the level of skill in a song, at the very least. I think that most people only know the stereotypical metal sound. Blast beats, harsh vocals, and how they probably just want to kill themselves or something if they listen to such angry and hateful music. To me it's weird, because I feel the same when it comes to mainstream music, be it Beyonce, dubstep, or Dave Mathews (how it is considered rock?). All it is is repetitive dribble. Heck, there's even generic and awful metal bands too. Typically, at least in my experience, because metal isn't mainstream, it's wrong. It's wrong to listen to metal music because no body else does (where I live at least).

Then again, isn't this true in most forms of entertainment? Foreign movies are weird and stupid because the US makes the most and best selling movies, but not necessarily the best. Video games are stigmatized still despite being pretty mainstream now.

I've been listening to heavier and heavier music for the past few years now. At first it was Tool that I thought was the heaviest band I've ever listened to, and now I'm finally into Meshuggah. Metal music today, in my opinion, is absolutely home to some of the most innovative and talented bands. Groups like Cult of Luna, Isis, and Truckfighters are super heavy and crushing, but still beautiful and moving, and guess what? Only one of them completely use harsh vocals. Agalloch is another incredible band, with an atmosphere that's dark and mysterious, but not aggressive. Opeth = yes. Intronaut is a fairly underground band still, but they incorporate elements of jazz and prog into metal that doesn't offend your ear drums. There's a bunch more, but this is long enough as it is.

Anyway, metal rules, for the most part. But the reality is there are so many different sub genres and bands that play so many different brands of metal, any one can find what they love. Both Nile and Electric Wizard are metal, but couldn't be farther apart.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
To me it's weird, because I feel the same when it comes to mainstream music, be it Beyonce, dubstep, or Dave Mathews (how it is considered rock?).
Hey now! Dave Matthews has some serious metal-like qualities here and there (srs). Try Warehouse, Two Step, the live version of Halloween (from the Recently EP, including a Carter Beauford drum solo)... plus quite a few more. They build and release with the epicness of any Tool or Opeth song (well maybe not quite, but close).
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
Hey now! Dave Matthews has some serious metal-like qualities here and there (srs). Try Warehouse, Two Step, the live version of Halloween (from the Recently EP, including a Carter Beauford drum solo)... plus quite a few more. They build and release with the epicness of any Tool or Opeth song (well maybe not quite, but close).
Will do. Thanks. 0200
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I'll probably gonna sound a bit naive, but for me today's Metal is just an evolution of the Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands of the 70's, no more no less, with all the sub-genre which came in between throughout the years.

As a teenager and in my early drumming years, I listen a lot (almost exclusively) to heavy rock music, and it still a music which tingle my fancy even today, providing I'm finding something satisfying within the music, granted, there's tons of today's Metal I dislike, but it's a taste thing, not putting down what these musicians are playing.

Jazz has a similar storyline, there's so many jazz sub-genres, some of it has nothing to with jazz anymore IMO, but it still classed and identified as some sort of jazz.

It's happening in Hard Rock, Metal, Symphonic Metal, Prog Metal and whatnot type of style.

At the end of the day, you listen and appreciate the kind of music which brings something to you, no one's forced to listen to what they don't like (except parents maybe, lol)

There's music I like and music I don't like, but I don't put down what I don't like and I still respect the musicianship required for any type of music.

My daughter listen to a lot of Metal and Heavy Rock music and I do find some of it quite good, I'm 55 years old, but because of my daughter, I'm listening to the latest release of Halestorm in the car.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxQLKqr-XFM
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
Hey now! Dave Matthews has some serious metal-like qualities here and there (srs). Try Warehouse, Two Step, the live version of Halloween (from the Recently EP, including a Carter Beauford drum solo)... plus quite a few more. They build and release with the epicness of any Tool or Opeth song (well maybe not quite, but close).
Just listened to some Warehouse, the live version, and it was pretty good, I won't lie. But I liked the rest of the band more than Dave Mathews. I mean, that SAX!
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Just listened to some Warehouse, the live version, and it was pretty good, I won't lie. But I liked the rest of the band more than Dave Mathews. I mean, that SAX!
Yea I know what you mean. I used to be pretty anti-DMB too, and then I saw them at a festival (the Tibetan Freedom show in like '98 or '99) and they blew me away. Their version of All Along the Watchtower at that show pretty much converted me.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I liken listening to aggressive music to driving fast - the average person will want to do it from their teens and into their 20's but they'll reach a point when they wake up and say "hey, I don't like this, it makes me feel anxious/stressed and I now enjoy relaxing and cruising". There are those that only listen to it because they want to be part of a scene or they want to distinguish themselves from others.

I still listen to Meshuggah, Periphery, Underoath and a bunch of other heavy stuff but only if it's somehow interesting or unique. I now listen to alot of softer and slower stuff too. The rhythms and styles I've learned listening to some of those bands make up who I am as a musician and I think some of them adapt to other styles quite well.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
Growling is just a voice effect, one which in my opinion fits the music really well, there's nothing worse than having a great heavy crushing riff being followed by some wussy clean singing. If every instrument can be distorted, why can't the voice be as well?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TN7earYLig

This song has a couple of growls, check out the lyrics, the growling distorted voice is so perfect at 5:45, it really makes the song for me, an appropiate musical effect used at the right time to achieve a great emotional impact.

Also listen to this song because it's frigging awesome.
 

rjoyce

Member
I think that part of the issue with a negative opinion towards metal, as a few people have all ready stated is that people lump many things into the category of metal. I find this similar to people lumping many bands into a punk category where debates on what is true punk range from acid punk, to the sex pistols, to greenday, to blink 182 to Avril lavinge. These bands have a wide variety of styles, but all get lumped into the general category of "punk." And a couple of those bands are my favorite and some I really hate. If all metal is compared 1 to 1 if you will people will be comparing Metallica to Tool to Mötley Crüe to Aerosmith to Bon Jovi in some cases. Again I really enjoy a couple of those bands and some I really dislike.

On a side note, a really goo insight into metal as a whole and its evolution, is MTV's series Metal Evolution. I found this series really well done.
 

ohiodrummer1964

Senior Member
I would also posit that it's a generational and genre gap thing. Because speed and endurance and double bass are emphasized by metal drummers and their followers, and obsessed over by aspiring metal drummers, those who don't hold that those are the key values in drumming (say, jazz, pop, or fusion drummers) are turned off by it.

Another perception (one I personally share) is that many younger and newer drummers focus on the physical, mechanical aspects of drumming with no appreciation of the musical aspects of what they are doing. If you don't know what an eighth, sixteenth, or thirty-second note is or what it means or how it relates to the music, it is much harder to mesh with the rest of the band, and the music becomes a "how fast can you hit things" drill. Since metal is a popular genre with certain segments of the population, metal has a very large proportion of these types of aspiring drummers.

I agree that there is good and bad metal, just as there's good and bad of all kinds of music. And there's always going to be music that's so experimental or outside our personal tastes that it is unapproachable. Add to that the imagery and lifestyle that many metal adherents espouse, many of which emphasize shock value, nonconformity, and running counter to conventional tastes in and of themselves, and it's not hard to see why metal has many more, and more vocal, detractors than, say, freeform jazz or polka.
This is a well written post. I agree about the focus on physical, mechanical (I like to say athletic) aspects of metal, sometimes to the detriment of the musical qualities. I'm sure some of the younger players on here who are into metal could list some exceptions to that, and I'd be into checking them out.

One exception I like is Avenged Sevenfold. I realize they are pop metal, and not hardcore, so sorry to the younger guys if they aren't the most relevant group for this thread. What I like about them is they have melodies to the lyrics, they write in standard song structures (verse-chorus-bridge), and the late James Sullivan didn't just play a constant stream of 32nd notes on the double-bass. He used the double-bass more musically, for instance throwing in a quick fill at the end of the 2nd line of a 4-line verse. Or he would use a double-bass fill during a transition between a verse and chorus. I think holding back and using the 32nd notes sparingly like that makes them stand out, and makes them more effective when you do use them. When I hear nothing but one long stream of 32nd notes from start to finish in a song, my ear gets desensitized to it and it kind of loses its effectiveness.

Of course I'm 48, and since starting on drums 2 years ago after playing guitar for the last 35 years, I'm gravitating towards bop, so my awareness of what's going on in metal isn't the most in depth or up to date. I'm enjoying reading what some of the metal guys have to say on the subject, though.

Oh I forgot: Nuberless, I checked out the youtube link you posted for the Ayreon song. Very interesting, it uses dynamics, drama, melody and a lot of other things I like in music. The only slight negative I hear in it is a bit too noticeable Queensryche influence. It also reminds me of an older group named Uriah Heep, who were popular before you or the guys in Ayreon were probably even born. I'm not sure what to say about that, but I'll bet if anyone else who's familiar with Uriah Heep checks out your link they'll hear it too. Thanks for posting that.
 
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MikeM

Platinum Member
To me 'metal' is just too serious about itself and I just can't take that seriously. Just look at a couple band names on this thread (that jumped out at me as being fairly typical):
Sad Wings of Destiny
Pain Of Salvation

These kinds of names aren't atypical at all - they're par for the course. Who thinks of names like that? I mean, seriously ... I like heavy as much as the next guy, but that element has always been a huge turn off to me and that aesthetic will probably always have me running the other direction. Sneering macho guys all hairied and leathered up who look like they need a big hug more than anything just looks friggin' embarrassing to me. I couldn't do it.

I'm glad Melvins always maintained a healthy and visible sense of humor. They're definitely not metal, IMO. Even Meshuggah cracks me up. I think those guys are hilarious and love 'em to death!

It's the serious one's that ruin the genre for me. I know, shallow, right? No accounting for taste, I guess.

But then again, I didn't like metal in the early '80s when I was starting out on my drumming journey (because of the uber-seriousness combined spandex and spikes - ha!). Just not a vibe I could ever feel. I can see why people don't like it. Not a stretch for me at all.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
To me 'metal' is just too serious about itself and I just can't take that seriously. Just look at a couple band names on this thread (that jumped out at me as being fairly typical):
Sad Wings of Destiny
Pain Of Salvation

These kinds of names aren't atypical at all - they're par for the course. Who thinks of names like that? I mean, seriously ... I like heavy as much as the next guy, but that element has always been a huge turn off to me and that aesthetic will probably always have me running the other direction. Sneering macho guys all hairied and leathered up who look like they need a big hug more than anything just looks friggin' embarrassing to me. I couldn't do it.

I'm glad Melvins always maintained a healthy and visible sense of humor. They're definitely not metal, IMO. Even Meshuggah cracks me up. I think those guys are hilarious and love 'em to death!

It's the serious one's that ruin the genre for me. I know, shallow, right? No accounting for taste, I guess.

But then again, I didn't like metal in the early '80s when I was starting out on my drumming journey (because of the uber-seriousness combined spandex and spikes - ha!). Just not a vibe I could ever feel. I can see why people don't like it. Not a stretch for me at all.
I can agree with this. You should check out Kvelertak ("Stranglehold"). They only care about making super fun and hyper metal (but it's, like,rock too). And Clutch, who are closer to hard rock, really. Very funny lyrics, for example, "Condoleezza Rice is nice, but prefer 'Aroni!"
 

rjoyce

Member
I can agree with this. You should check out Kvelertak ("Stranglehold"). They only care about making super fun and hyper metal (but it's, like,rock too). And Clutch, who are closer to hard rock, really. Very funny lyrics, for example, "Condoleezza Rice is nice, but prefer 'Aroni!"
The funniest (and crudest) metal band out there has to be steel panther hands down. They are a ban mocking the 80s glam rock and metal, and play the part so well. Their music is great and their interviews are even better. As far as the topic goes I think this whole cliche metal image is why people either love it or hate it.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Have no issues with metal per se. But the fans can be great for a giggle.

The daily quest to invent a new sub-genre is an endless source of entertainment for me. With the absolute pinnacle being "christian death metal".....the sheer bloody irony is hilarious.
 

ohiodrummer1964

Senior Member
Have no issues with metal per se. But the fans can be great for a giggle.

The daily quest to invent a new sub-genre is an endless source of entertainment for me. With the absolute pinnacle being "christian death metal".....the sheer bloody irony is hilarious.
We all die, brother. It's just a question of where we bang our heads for the rest of eternity.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I really think the community aspect is the thing that you have to understand to properly evaluate the music. In mainstream popular music the 'community' is the media circus where artists' wares are displayed, apart from at the fringes where you get the more dedicated fans who'll pick over stuff and analyse it or just spend ages talking to one another about why they love it so much. Metal is one giant fringe, on the whole. I hypothesise that one day metal might be viewed in a similar way to the way jazz is viewed now. Both place high demand on technical expertise and a deep involvement in the music, both have their moments of high drama and theatrics, both are regarded as unlistenable non-music by their detractors, both were originally thought of as being highly dangerous to the fabric of society...etc. And both give drummers lots to do!
Well said. I'm 53 and I like Christian metal. Aug. Burns Red, Demon Hunter, Etc.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
To me 'metal' is just too serious about itself and I just can't take that seriously. Just look at a couple band names on this thread (that jumped out at me as being fairly typical):
Sad Wings of Destiny
Pain Of Salvation

These kinds of names aren't atypical at all - they're par for the course. Who thinks of names like that?
Well, technically, Sad Wings of Destiny is the name of a Judas Priest album, not a band.
(their 2nd album from 1976 to be exact).

But I'm sure you knew that.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Well, technically, Sad Wings of Destiny is the name of a Judas Priest album, not a band.
(their 2nd album from 1976 to be exact).

But I'm sure you knew that.
Actually, I didn't know that, but not surprising since they were among the first metal bands I didn't like :)

Funny that I almost started to not mind Iron Maiden but that was only because I thought Clive Burr was such a badass.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Actually, I didn't know that, but not surprising since they were among the first metal bands I didn't like :)

Funny that I almost started to not mind Iron Maiden but that was only because I thought Clive Burr was such a badass.
I somehow never got into Maiden. But I said above, I wasn't much into metal much as a teenager, it didn't start until right after high school. And then I started digging backwards (generally, because I loathed grunge, but I needed something to listen to that I didn't already own).

Although I do like some Iron Maiden songs. I played a few Maiden covers back at PIT.
I finally bought a "best of" a few years ago, but I don't listen to it that often.
 
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