The social stigma attached to Metal...

Swiss Matthias

Platinum 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.
Nicely put, I totally agree with that.
 

lefty2

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.
I think Christian Death Metal is a term that fits quite well. I Die Daily, is a name I've considered for a band name. It comes from the bible. The Apostle Paul said that.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
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.
Now that opened my mind a bit. I agree, the vocal affect was perfect for the song. I also liked the composition & performance too.

The reason I'm highlighting this is that screaming/growling vocals are generally the biggest turn off for me. When used as in the above example, I can see it has it's place, but when it's spread all over the song (& usually done far less well than here), I just switch off.

& then there's Sabbath. I like most early Sabbath stuff, but it's most unlike much of the super fast paced stuff I associate with the genre.

The real issue for me is, I don't understand the genre. It doesn't generally interest me, therefore I don't spend any time exploring. I'm sure there are gems in there somewhere. All of that doesn't make me biased in my views re: including metal as a totally valid music form, & I certainly don't attach any form of stigma. Just recently, I have been wowed by Ben's Gloryhammer album, & when I met Derek Roddy last year, found him not only to be a superb gentleman, but also a first class grooving drummer. I might be under educated, musically ignorant, & somewhat close minded, but I apply my life values equally, irrespective of genre association.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
I'm not sure I understand what metal is any more. Growing up there was heavy rock- Deep Purple, Sabbath, Led Zeppllin and then there was the NWBHM bands such as Maiden, Judas Priest (who I never got into inspite of some catchy tunes), Sazon, Def Leopard etc. Then thrash came along with Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeath and the like and my interest dishappeared overnight. I wouldn't invalidate it per se and I get that technically the drummers are very advanced in certain areas, but I just don't get the genre and its sub genres.

I like my music to be musical and the growly shouty 200mph stuff just leaves me cold. I have no issue with its right to exist (some classical music and jazz leaves me in the same boat) as I think every form of music does, even those I can't get into- and there is a tribal bit to it too, as there is with all types of music that are adopted by groups of young people, such as punk, the new romantic movement etc in my lifetime.

I don't think its socially stigmatised- I think its fans, as a group, seek to differentiate themselves from the masses, and people base their reactions on their own reaction to the music. So I wouldn't identify with that grouping as its not my thing, but my brother, on the other hand, does and makes no appology for it.

Variety is the spice of life after all!
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
It's just what you're used to. From a distance, it's all just metal, rather like if you went to live in, say, India, you'd probably find that all the music around you just sounded like Indian music. But after a while you'd start to notice the subtle distinctions between different types and it would start to become a 3D world you could explore rather than a single block of stuff. Same is true of metal. I don't think it's really possible to apply generalisations to it beyond the most basic idioms of the genre (instrumentation) as it's just so diverse. When I was 15 you wouldn't have caught me listening to Dimmu Borgir, or Slayer, or probably even Gloryhammer. It took me years of research and getting fully accustomed to how it all worked before I could understand it and appreciate this kind of music for what it was. I can even listen to death metal vocals these days and enjoy it. It's like learning to appreciate scotch whisky.
 

ohiodrummer1964

Senior Member
Now that opened my mind a bit. I agree, the vocal affect was perfect for the song. I also liked the composition & performance too.

The reason I'm highlighting this is that screaming/growling vocals are generally the biggest turn off for me. When used as in the above example, I can see it has it's place, but when it's spread all over the song (& usually done far less well than here), I just switch off.

& then there's Sabbath. I like most early Sabbath stuff, but it's most unlike much of the super fast paced stuff I associate with the genre.

The real issue for me is, I don't understand the genre. It doesn't generally interest me, therefore I don't spend any time exploring. I'm sure there are gems in there somewhere. All of that doesn't make me biased in my views re: including metal as a totally valid music form, & I certainly don't attach any form of stigma. Just recently, I have been wowed by Ben's Gloryhammer album, & when I met Derek Roddy last year, found him not only to be a superb gentleman, but also a first class grooving drummer. I might be under educated, musically ignorant, & somewhat close minded, but I apply my life values equally, irrespective of genre association.
keep it simple makes some interesting points in this post. I think a lot of us don't necessarily think metal in an invalid style of music, and can appreciate the technical abilities of some of the musicians. However, there is only so much time in life, and too much music to be able to explore each genre in detail. Metal is so high energy and loud that it kind of naturally appeals to people in their youth. Witness how many of us have posted about liking it when we were younger but not being familiar with the current scene.

For me, having tinnitus from all the loud playing and concert-going I did when I was younger puts me off of loud music now. Also, I have played guitar for over 35 years, but the drums for only 2 years, and I remember reading a lot of people say that learning jazz is the most comprehensive way of learning the drums, since it covers the rudiments and theory so extensively. The more I get into jazz, the more I realize that I could spend the rest of my life exploring this style and not master it, so I'd rather put my time and energy into this.

I did like that link that numberless posted, however. Discovering new things is fun, even if one doesn't spend a lot of time listening to a particular style.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
And to bigianw :
NWOBHM, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, Megadeth, Saxon (the more you know).
Given NWOBHM = New wave of British heavy metal. I'm gonna dispute Zeppelin (too early to be new wave.....along with contemporaries like Sabbath and Purple, more considered to be early pioneers of the genre) and Megadeth (too American to be British).
 

StickIt

Senior Member
& then there's Sabbath. I like most early Sabbath stuff, but it's most unlike much of the super fast paced stuff I associate with the genre.

The real issue for me is, I don't understand the genre. It doesn't generally interest me, therefore I don't spend any time exploring.
Understood, well stated, and understood.

I definitely tend toward the more melodic/less "noise"/not insanely fast end of the metal spectrum myself...most of which I suppose might be considered hard rock.

Also, I have never been a fan of any of the "hair metal" bands of the eighties, or the endless sub-genre cesspool that metal has become. I don't think that the bands in those sub-groups are nearly as bad as the fact that they are all considered different (widely based on the specific following that the groups have) enough to have their own classification.

Grindcore, deathcore, melodic death, extreme metal, technical death, hardcore, groove metal, speed metal etc...It does seem a little self-indulgent. And, I, as a lover of music, just hope that the gems within this world of hard rock/metal are not overlooked or under-enjoyed because of this type of issue.

Not only are there some gems, but there really are some diamonds in the rough; and I think that's true for anyone who considers themselves a fan of AC/DC, Sabbath, Zep, Pink Floyd, Queensryche, Van Halen etc...
 
Back in my middle/high school years I used to love metal because it served as an outlet from the conformity of traditional private (catholic) school. Everyone was listening to the radio while I was listening to Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, etc. I was never bullied or picked on growing up, I just didn't like what was on the radio at the time and I thought metal was the answer. When I finally got my first double pedal I immediately wanted to be Dave Lombardo and Paul Bostaph so I practiced everyday and performed in metal bands in my garage until about 11th grade where I was at jazz band rehearsal and the bassist invited me to audition for a punk band, I told him punk was not fast enough and he said, "It's almost like metal but it's easier to play. It'll be fun man, you can't be angry all the time." Those very words changed the way I looked at things forever. I realized, "what the hell am I so angry about? Am I 'so metal' that other genres are inferior? Why am I even playing drums for the jazz band?" So even then, metal had its social stigma and I realized I had to get over myself and remember that my passion was drumming. I couldn't imagine where my career would have went if I stuck to metal but it seems like everything has gotten faster and harder these days and every show feels like a marathon of who can play the loudest and fastest. Every now and then I'll listen to the newer metal bands and appreciate their musicianship and I won't forget my friend opening my mind to the rest of world. In short, to me, metal just seems angry.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Music is, and always will be, a reflection of the generation and it's circumstances that spawned said music. It's not good or bad, it just is. You have to be true to yourself and embrace the music that motivates you. Every generation lays claim to "its" music, always has, probably always will. Every new generation generally looks at the next older generations music as at least a little old fashioned. I'm speaking generally here, there's always exceptions. Metal will probably be seen as old fashioned to a kid born in 2020. Just a guess, but it's fairly predictable. It's been like this long before any of us have been here and will be like that long after we're all gone. The term social stigma could easily be termed generation gap IMO.
 

ohiodrummer1964

Senior Member
Music is, and always will be, a reflection of the generation and it's circumstances that spawned said music. It's not good or bad, it just is. You have to be true to yourself and embrace the music that motivates you. Every generation lays claim to "its" music, always has, probably always will. Every new generation generally looks at the next older generations music as at least a little old fashioned. I'm speaking generally here, there's always exceptions. Metal will probably be seen as old fashioned to a kid born in 2020. Just a guess, but it's fairly predictable. It's been like this long before any of us have been here and will be like that long after we're all gone. The term social stigma could easily be termed generation gap IMO.
That's a good point. I can hear today's 17-20 year old metalheads in 20 years. "You kids call that music? Why in my day we had bands like Cannibal Corpse and Biohazard and Goatwhore and Beneath the Massacre. Now that was music! Oh yeah, and Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, too!"

OK maybe not the last part so much
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
That's a good point. I can hear today's 17-20 year old metalheads in 20 years. "You kids call that music? Why in my day we had bands like Cannibal Corpse and Biohazard and Goatwhore and Beneath the Massacre. Now that was music! Oh yeah, and Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, too!"

OK maybe not the last part so much
I think you're off by a generation :) I'm 38 and Cannibal Corpse, Biohazard and Goatwhore were around when I was a kid... not sure about Beneath the Massacre. But yea, it is a good point...

All that 'djent' and *-core the kids now a days a listening to I just don't get... Back in my day we only had 30-40 sub-genres of metal and we loved it.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I definitely tend toward the more melodic/less "noise"/not insanely fast end of the metal spectrum myself...most of which I suppose might be considered hard rock.
That would be my take on the subject too.

Not only are there some gems, but there really are some diamonds in the rough; and I think that's true for anyone who considers themselves a fan of AC/DC, Sabbath, Zep, Pink Floyd, Queensryche, Van Halen etc...
I was a fan of the bands you mentioned here, so yes, there's some real good stuff out there today (and yesterday too) since I kinda switched off the "metal" type of music.

I have discovered quite a few "gems" because of my daughter, and I listen to them with the same pleasure as those old Purple, Sabbath and Zep records, but like Andy, I don't spend time looking for them nowadays.
 

StickIt

Senior Member
Back in my day we only had 30-40 sub-genres of metal and we loved it.
ROFL!

like Andy, I don't spend time looking for them nowadays.
That is very understandable. I don't actively search them out anymore myself.

I haven't really heard the amount of discord that I expected, which is awesome, but I also haven't seen anyone break any new ground concerning their feelings toward this music...oh well. I guess, like has been stated, kinda like jazz, it is a genre that you either do or just don't "get" (read enjoy).
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
All that 'djent' and *-core the kids now a days a listening to I just don't get... Back in my day we only had 30-40 sub-genres of metal and we loved it.
Oh, yeah I can't stand metalcore. The Ocean shares some characteristics, but I do find them an exception to the rule. Meshuggah is the only djent band. Animals a Leaders isn't too bad though, and they're instrumental.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
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.
Oh my god... Snakes 'n' Barrels are real!
 

toddmc

Gold Member
Given NWOBHM = New wave of British heavy metal. I'm gonna dispute Zeppelin (too early to be new wave.....along with contemporaries like Sabbath and Purple, more considered to be early pioneers of the genre) and Megadeth (too American to be British).
I was just pointing out all of Ian's spelling mistakes- not suggesting all those bands were NWOBHM : )
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
There are more than a few posts that have struck me as being very direct in attacking/disregarding metal music as a step-child of musical culture. Likewise, there are many posts that advocate it quite strongly. I bet that there is a definite connection to age and musical 'era' there.

I am not an advocate of metal per se', but I do find that there are plenty of songs and some complete albums that are absolutely terrific within the genre. (I'm 31 yo btw)

I am just wondering if anyone cares to share any specific reasons/examples of why they abhor metal music in general...and too, if we might have a debate (using links to songs as an example?) as to the relevance of this music within our musical society in general.

FYI - I do not mean to attempt to 'divide' the forum in any way. Just looking for some mature debate/opinion.
Like most teenage boys, I grew up loving heavy metal. Back in the 1980s, there were just a few hundred metal genres, not like today, when just every band defines a new genre. There was black metal, pop metal, butt rock, mustache metal, hair metal, death metal, D&D metal, maybe a few others. I still love heavy metal and I listen to it frequently.

The genre doesn't get much respect because it's just goofy. The fake satanism, the tattoos, the spikes, the hair, the drug references and bad odors. I love it anyway, although I don't like to admit it publicly, because heavy metal is the Ringo Starr of musical genres - the butt of jokes among the general public, even as it's wildly popular among late teens/early 20s males. It seems there are more people who want to play metal than listen to it.
 
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