>Heavy: The Story of Metal


Heavy Metal. This word evokes in most people an image of some crazy dudes headbanging madly and spewing out ear-splitting guitar riffs. Similarly people see metalheads (a term used for heavy metal fans) as smoking, drugged out guys wearing leather and chains, and a vocabulary full of abuses. Well, i wouldn’t say this is completely false, but still, it’s way way far from the truth. True, in last half a century, almost all the genres of music have developed and flourished, like a second Renaissance. But heavy metal, which was among the early starters of this revolution, was left behind in this ever increasing race, while other, newer genres, which were born fully or partially from metal(punk, alternative, grunge, nu-metal), raced far ahead. For decades, denounced as Satanic, anti-social, and inducing mania, heavy metal has been pushed underground by the moral forces of the society, forced to live in the shadows. Fortunately, it has seen some daylight by the turn of the century.

Ronnie James Dio & his Devil’s horns

Interestingly, the sound of heavy metal wasn’t something intentional, but the result of an accident. But the turn of 1960s, as rock was burgeoning all around Britain, a small factory accident in Aston caused a guitarist named Tony Iommi to lose the top of his left hand fingertips, forcing him to use finger caps, and his band Earth was forced to tone down it’s guitar sound, changing to a dark, ominous sound, with slower riffs. And heavy metal era was born. Earth, now known as Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin popularized the sound, but the world was yet to accept it as a new genre. Soon, plethora of British bands exploded on the scene, in what was termed as ‘The New Wave of British Heavy Metal” and heavy metal arrived on the world music scene. After that there was no going back. Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Metallica, Megadeth, Judas Priest, ruled the roost in 1980s. It’s road hasn’t smooth though. Rise of the punk movement, brutal censorship by media and government(the infamous PMRC incident), self-destructive life-styles had almost killed the genre. But heavy metal was really heavy, not to be shaken that easily. Rise of new metal forces like Pantera, Alice in Chains, along with old giants Metallica, Slayer not only resuscitated but established firmly the impact of heavy metal on music in the last decade of 20th century. From then on, heavy metal has seen new heights, active inclusion in mainstream media, acceptance by music elites etc. and now it stands firmly alongside pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B and other music genres.

Metallica in 2008

As the years have passed, society has been forced to accept metal as it is, and abandon the myths it fostered. Thought to be lyrically vapid, profound lyrics filled with human angst, political issues, anti-war stance, Biblical references, have changed that view. Also musically, socitye has accepted it’s depth and profundity. Metal fans, or metalheads, are among the most fiercely loyal of music fans. I am myself a heavy metal maniac, and can say with worldwide support that heavy metal is more than just headbanging, drugs and mindless noise. It’s also a part of the soul of the music. So metal fans worldwide, have three cheers with me for the heavy metal. And the quintessential Devil’s Horns \m/ \m/
Metal Rules!



Photograph courtesy: http://www.gabita.net and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Hetfield_live_in_London_2008-09-15_2.jpg

Note: The Title of the post is taken from a 4-part documentary on heavy metal of the same name.

And yeah, please vote for my post at Indivine: http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=55243  πŸ™‚


13 thoughts on “>Heavy: The Story of Metal

  1. KingSpawn

    >Awesome article, I would love to read such an article in the meander..But for publication i think too short, and needs to connect with the people outhere, and it doesnt tantalise the avg reader to dwell more and explore more..Throw in a few more anecdotes and the controversies how about the RIAA warning saga, and sellouts and why is it not just noise..I would be really glad to help you get it publish it! Are you Game !!?

  2. Mitostargazer

    >of course i am game :)as for it's length, i kept it short purportedly as meander discourages (or at least i thought so) long articles. You are right, there's been a lot of legends in the 50 year history of metal. I've talked about PMRC (you said RIAA, it's the same) incident, but that's just the tip of the iceberg; what happened actually, Tipper Gore's campaigning, Dee Snider's amazing trial and all, as well as Gorgoroth's Gahl, and Varg Vikernes, Euronymous's suicide/death and everything….. it's just the tip of the iceberg :)when's meander coming out this time? have they started inviting article submissions?

  3. Monk Avant Garde

    >another well written post bro and i think the size of article is right from the point of view of internet poeple dont read long posts of this kind this article however is very well places the only advantage as well as the disadvantage of this article is, its sectoral. anyone who is not interested in Music that much more so in rock wont bother to read it on the other hand anyone with the slightest of interest will be captivated and hooked to read it and owing to the quality of stuff is bound to like it too.

  4. Mitostargazer

    >@monk: you are right about sector, but we can't help much about it, can we? i can broaden the target audience by writing about rock rather than metal. anyways, it was for college mag. and about size, even i feel it's right. i could have filled pages, but it wouldn't have been appropriate from magazine point of view. also i think articles of this kind have very large scope regarding internet viewing. it's article format can be easily tweaked to give it different kinds of look, suiting our convenience.

  5. Akash

    >Nice post manA brilliant post for all metal fans or 'metal heads' :)The words used are truly awesome and only flow out of the pen of a born writer only :DCarry on \m/Regards Akash

  6. Abhinav

    >Good post. As a metal fan likes it for its sheer energy (is there anything better than metal to lift you up when you're down? or higher when you're already up?), I really don't care much for its 'decadent' sub culture. Turns out, there are other people like this. If you don't already know about this, you should check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_edgeOh, and are you into astronomy too? Just curious, because your blog's name has 'stargazer' in it.

  7. Mitostargazer

    >Yeah, i've read about the straight-edge thing :)yeah, i am into astronomy, quite much. But ironically that's not how it came to be. Green Day's song "Are we the waiting", there it came from πŸ˜‰

  8. anusha

    >Though i am not a 'metal head' but i have heard few heavy metal songs and i liked them.. After then didn't paid much attention to 'em as you know becoming a doc is not an easy job.. πŸ˜‰ but after reading your blog i think i should look forward to this…Anyways,very well written.Awesome… πŸ™‚


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