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Heavy metal music is one genre that typically does not get as much attention as it really deserves. To many people, heavy metal has carries a lot of negative connotations that turn them off right away. I hope that in the future people are able to get past these perceived negatives so that they can enjoy the complexities and, perhaps surprisingly, beauty of heavy metal music.
What is heavy metal? Well, like most genres, it can be divided into a number of sub genres as they are called. For example, there is death metal, thrash metal, black metal, classic metal, doom metal, folk metal, metalcore / hardcore, progressive metal, power metal, and many others. On top of that, each of the mentioned genres can be broken down even further with their own sub genres.
Many bands transcend the seemingly strict lines created by the genre “rules.” These, to me, are the most interesting bands because they are letting their own musical interest and talents guide their work. They are not doing what others tell them , or playing certain songs because it fits their dictated genre. Instead, they are playing what they like to play because they truly enjoy it. This is where you find the best music and also where the most talented musicians usually reveal themselves.
In heavy metal you can see some of these characteristics in figures like James Hetfield, Cobain, etc. These are the most popular, but that certainly does not mean there are not others. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other talented metal musicians waiting to be discovered.
That is, essentially, one of the motivating reasons for this article. The only way these talented musicians will be discovered is if people give them a chance. Try to look past the perceived negatives and other stereotypes that may keep you from listening to metal music. Do not let a few songs you have heard keep you from listening to others. Give the genre a fair chance by listening to a wide variety of musicians and try to listen to bands from many different sub genres. In this way you are more likely to find an artist that plays the kind of music that you will like. Many metal fans hate certain sub genres of metal—in fact, on a popular forum I read from time to time (www.allmetalforums.com), there are fans who will literally fight with each other over the legitimacy of a certain metal sub genre, artist, or style.
Let me conclude by saying that I am well aware of what heavy metal music may look like to those who have not listened to it extensively. It seems like something made for confused kids, with a bunch of morbid band names and lyrics. The reality is much different. While some of the stereotypes can be seen in popular bands, this is just the way of stereotypes, and one should look past that in order to see what is really out there to be enjoyed. I end by saying “give it a chance.”
About the Author: You can discuss heavy metal music at the all metal forums, with band specific sections like the Megadeth Forum and the Iron Maiden Forum, or Metallica Forums.