The Meaning of Metal

For general discussion of all things metal-related.

What does the word 'metal' mean to you?

Any heavy guitar music (HGM)
1
11%
HGM in a range or cluster of styles
8
89%
HGM in the style of a certain band/album/song
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 9

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Metalchemyst
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The Meaning of Metal

Postby Metalchemyst » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:17 pm

If your answer is 'a range or cluster' then which band(s), album(s) or song(s) would you place in the middle of it and why?


A chart I made from the info. on releases at metal-archives.com:

Image


How heavy metal got its name:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10 ... 013.846655
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby Metalchemyst » Sun May 03, 2020 10:56 pm

Okay, I'm going to put forward Iron Maiden's Powerslave as an archetypal metal album.

Regarding the development of metal, this is my list of notable songs and albums from the 1970s. There are probably quite a few more.

Andromeda - "Return To Sanity"; instrumental intro (1969)
Black Sabbath - "Black Sabbath", "The Wizard", "N.I.B." (Feb 1970)
Uriah Heep - "Gypsy" (June 1970)
Black Sabbath - Paranoid [album] (Sep 1970)
Led Zeppelin - "Immigrant Song" (Nov 1970)
Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality [album] (July 1971)
Scorpions - "I'm Going Mad" (Feb 1972)
Elf - "Never More" (Aug 1972)
Queen - "Jesus" (July 1973)
Deep Purple - "Burn" (Feb 1974)
Queen - "Ogre Battle" (Mar 1974)
Queen - "Stone Cold Crazy" (Nov 1974)
Deep Purple - "Stormbringer" (Nov 1974)
Black Sabbath - "Hole I.T.Sky", "Symptom O.T.Universe", "Supertzar" (July 1975)
Rainbow - "Man On T.S. Mountain", "Sixteenth C. Greensleeves" (Aug 1975)
Scorpions - "In Trance", "Living And Dying" (Sep 1975)
Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny [album] (March 1976)
Rainbow - Rising [album] (May 1976)
Scorpions - "Pictured Life" (Oct 1976)
Meat Loaf - "Bat Out Of Hell" (Oct 1977)
Scorpions - "Sails Of Charon" (Dec 1977)
Judas Priest - Stained Class [album] (Feb 1978)
Rainbow - "Lady O.T. Lake", "Gates Of Babylon", "Kill The King" (April 1978)
Judas Priest - Killing Machine [album] (Oct 1978)
Rainbow - "Eyes Of The World" (July 1979)
Last edited by Metalchemyst on Mon May 04, 2020 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby someone else » Mon May 04, 2020 10:45 am

Somewhat fallen off the radar, but Atomic Rooster had hit singles and were on ToTP in 70/71 (Tomorrow Night #12, Devils Answer #4).

Easy to forget Grand Funk aswell - no hit singles or albums but filled the Albert Hall and headlined Hyde Park - so Sin Is A Good Man's Brother should be in there.
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby Metalchemyst » Mon May 04, 2020 5:24 pm

I've added a few songs to the 70s list. I'll have to re-visit a few albums to make sure; sometimes the bulk of the album is metal but sometimes it's just two or three songs.

I'll check out Someone Else's suggestions as well. A lot of the early heavy stuff is very borderline metal. What I listen for is a definite dramatic style and not just heaviness. A good example is U.Heep's "Gypsy" - David Byron's heart-felt vocals add a lot to the sound, more than Ozzy's do with Sabbath.
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby metaldinosaur » Tue May 12, 2020 12:40 pm

Just to go a bit more abstract: years ago, I read a quote attributed to the guy from Sarcófago, who said, "Metal is a spiritual protest.` This was discussed as a contrast to punks political protest. I thought it was a really good way of encapsulating it, regarding metals purpose for the listener. I think you can probably say that about all metal. Therefore, if it doesn't feel like a spiritual protest then it is not Metal.
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby Metalchemyst » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:43 pm

metaldinosaur wrote:Just to go a bit more abstract: years ago, I read a quote attributed to the guy from Sarcófago, who said, "Metal is a spiritual protest." This was discussed as a contrast to punks political protest. I thought it was a really good way of encapsulating it, regarding metals purpose for the listener. I think you can probably say that about all metal. Therefore, if it doesn't feel like a spiritual protest then it is not Metal.
I've seen people on Twitter recently claiming that metal is 'anti-fascist' and on the side of progressive politics. I think it blew up from the Black Sabbath T-shirt store saying they were going to make donations to Black Lives Matter. I don't see it myself. I never felt that most metal bands were strongly political - just a bit of anti-Establishment and libertarian stuff mixed in with the angst and escapism.
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby Gandalf the Red » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:33 pm

Metal was about music, beer and trying to shag birds. There wasn't even that much of a drug culture.

Anyone saying anything else is talking out their arse.

Since when was it about black people? The only two I can remember when growing up being even remotely related to Heavy Metal was Phil Lynott and Jimi Hendrix. And maybe some influence from the blues and people like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. But that's it. There wasn't anything like the Two Tone thing going on.

It was hardly a political movement either. It was about having a good time.

Also worth remembering they didn't want US to be involved when they did Band Aid/Live Aid or "We are the world" (whatever it was called)....
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby gavdann » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:42 am

Metal (at least in the 80's) was never overtly political but they did represent from time to time at things like the Freddie Mercury tribute concert.

I always had a feeling most metal heads were a fairly inclusive bunch and we did have popular bands like Bad Brains and Living Colour. Plus of course there was the Anthrax/Public Enemy and Aerosmith/Run DMC colabs.

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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby Black Wizard » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:51 am

Metalchemyst wrote:I've seen people on Twitter recently claiming that metal is 'anti-fascist' and on the side of progressive politics. I think it blew up from the Black Sabbath T-shirt store saying they were going to make donations to Black Lives Matter. I don't see it myself. I never felt that most metal bands were strongly political - just a bit of anti-Establishment and libertarian stuff mixed in with the angst and escapism.

The Black Sabbath t-shirts seem to me more like Sharon taking advantage of a great marketing opportunity rather than Black Sabbath being passionate about civil rights. I hope the anti-capitalists realize this. (I'm not actually sure what association Sharon has with the Black Sabbath brand, please correct me if I'm wrong here.)

The people who have been claiming that Metal is some sort of anti-fascist movement need to be reminded of the prevalence of the Confederate flag in Pantera's branding and Phil Anselmo's "white power" outburst a few years ago. Then there's Dave Mustaine's and Jon Schaffer's weird political views regarding conspiracy theories and the supposed New World Order. Jon has also worn a Confederate flag as a bandanna on many occasions and there are photos of a younger Dave wearing an anti-communist t-shirt.

There's also the Nazi Black Metal scene etc etc etc.

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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby WorMzy » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:08 am

It's music.

That's all.
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby metaldinosaur » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:59 pm

WorMzy wrote:It's music.

That's all.


Looking at how other people enjoy music, metal has always been more than that for me, even now, as I hit middle age.

Still, it's relatively apolitical as a whole entity. Political aspects in metal are the exception rather than the rule.
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby Smerphy » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:01 pm

I've been thinking about this a bit the past few days, metal music is mostly apolitical, the only prevalent political leaning seems to be anti-authoritarian. Even bands that I know are in favour of progressive politics will only focus on an anti-authoritarian message.

Peace and love and equality just doesn't make for good metal lyrics.
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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby slayerslays » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:31 pm

Metalchemyst wrote:
metaldinosaur wrote:Just to go a bit more abstract: years ago, I read a quote attributed to the guy from Sarcófago, who said, "Metal is a spiritual protest." This was discussed as a contrast to punks political protest. I thought it was a really good way of encapsulating it, regarding metals purpose for the listener. I think you can probably say that about all metal. Therefore, if it doesn't feel like a spiritual protest then it is not Metal.
I've seen people on Twitter recently claiming that metal is 'anti-fascist' and on the side of progressive politics. I think it blew up from the Black Sabbath T-shirt store saying they were going to make donations to Black Lives Matter. I don't see it myself. I never felt that most metal bands were strongly political - just a bit of anti-Establishment and libertarian stuff mixed in with the angst and escapism.


I agree with that- definitely anti-Establishment mixed with angst and frustration- not sure it's about escapism though but that could be the bands I prefer

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Re: The Meaning of Metal

Postby Green Man III » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:25 pm

I didn't vote because whatever it was in the past it is so much more than that today and I don't believe there even needs to be a guitar for it to be metal.

Even playing acoustic guitar with my teacher, we have moments where we take a song I'm practicing and hit the strings harder and faster instantly recognize that we just did a metal version of the chords were were playing.

I think there may be lots of experts on the matter but ultimately, like a lot of things, it's all in the eye of the beholder. And metal now is bigger than it has ever been because we can agree to disagree.

So the best choice up there is cluster. There's just something in the elements that make us want to lump sooo many bands under the metal tag.