A Metal Lesson…

Heavy metal is iconic. It dates all the way back in the late 60’s to early 70’s, during the birth and infancy stage of some of the greatest music to date. Bands like Black Sabbath,and Led Zeppelin, just to mention the godfathers for starters.

For you newbies, heavy metal isn’t just music, it’s a state of mind, well being, and life itself. Heavy metal has branches full of different genres, and sub genres on their family tree. I personally couldn’t even name them all, but to name a few that you’ve heard of like, mainstream, glam, punk, hardcore, death, and grunge, to a few not so heard of, like symphonic, Celtic,Viking, pirate, and electronic. Metal in short, has come a long way, and your about to embark on an incredible journey into the relm in which metal is it’s own world.

Any person can enjoy metal, whether your a kid, teenager, lawyer, dr, nurse, teacher, well, you get the point. To begin, think about what you presently listen to. Is it on the radio, tv, podcast, or you tube? Do you, or have you ever listened to your dads old record player, tucked away in his garage? Have you discovered a bountiful amount of classic music like Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Iron Maiden, or Judas Priest? These are all great beginnings in our metal lesson.

Listen closely, can you pick out a multitude of different instruments? Guitars are a given, so are the bass, drums, and rhythm guitars. However, more and more bands, depending on their genre, use a multifaceted array of different  instruments, like keyboards,to full on orchestras. Many bands like Eluveitie, from Switzerland, uses traditional Celtic instruments in their Celtic folk metal. Nightwish a favorite of mine from Finland uses keyboards and orchestral accompaniments in their symphonic metal.

Sound isn’t the only thing,metal bands from different genres utilize in their music. Vocals also set them apart from one another. Old school glam bands such as Motley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Poison, and today’s Nickelback, (yes to me their glam), they have understandable vocals. To the extreme spectrum,there are various bands like Cradle of Filth, Opeth, Arch Enemy, that scream their vocals, in either a high pitched wale, or a dark throaty growl, which are incomprehensible. My personal favorites combine operatic vocals in their metal, such as Tarja Turunen,(formerly of Nightwish), and bands like After Forever, and Epica, just to mention a few.

So now that the music, and the vocals have your attention, pay attention to the lyrics. Lyrics can make or break a band for my liking. If you can understand what their singing, listen to the vocals.What are they singing about anyway? For instance take my favorite band Iron Maiden for example, they always tell a story, I love a good story. Usually the story is based on many things from what could be real life, to reciting of an old poem, to telling a really good tall tale. The sky is the limit, so I’ll give more of a detailed example. Rhapsody, is a Hollywood,fantasy metal band, they have a sort of ” lord of the rings” style about them. Others such as Moonspell have a darker, more of a religious stylings of lyrics, (another one of my fav bands). Most bands write about what they know best, their own lives, but like most, they write about sex, drinking, and pillaging,(yes pillaging)like Alestorm, a pirate metal band from Scotland. The 69 Eyes, from Finland whose lyrics are as immortal as the vampires they write about. So not all bands are simply sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, there’s a vast array of all very talented writers. It takes a lot of skill to write the best lyrics, with the combined force of the music to go along with it.

Now that you’ve learned about the start of metal, the different genres, the types of music, the deep lyrics, and a couple of my favorite bands. Go  forth, buy some CDs, records, videos, download music from iTunes (for your I’everything’s), and love, listen, and learn about the greatest genre of music ever created; Metal…….

Your first lesson, by Gypsy Rose……

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