Heavy Metal: Loud, Brash, and Misunderstood
Heavy Metal music is arguably one of the most criticized music genres on the market today. One of the biggest criticisms that a lot of people make is that it “just sounds like noise” due to the strong in-your-face instruments or it’s signature styles of singing such as growling or screaming. The truth about the genre, on the other hand, is that it is rich with musical value and is arguably far more complex than the majority of music out there. For the sake of the argument one would have to admit the sheer speed of the instruments in traditional metal is impressive enough on its own, right?
Due to the extensive backlash that Metal gets as a whole in the mainstream media, Metal remains as a more underground genre of music that doesn’t generate a whole lot of attention to the majority of the public (at least here in the United States). The Grammy Awards for Metal musicians are quickly brushed over rarely even presenting a live performance from any sort of Metal band completely disregarded from the audience (which, in all honesty, the majority of the audience anticipate the winner of best Country or Pop artist anyway), which is what gives metal musicians a reason to hate the Grammy Awards, because they don’t get the mainstream attention that they deserve. The Grammys debacle aside, what about the Super Bowl half time show? Will we ever get to see a band like Slayer play at an event as big as that? In fact, when was the last time a local radio station played a song by Cannibal Corpse or Carnifex? Although these things would be crucial to make Metal more popular, the genre seems to thrive just fine in the shadows of the mainstream media. People who want to find the latest and greatest in Metal rely mostly on the internet where metal maintains its exclusivity strictly in the Metal community among “metalheads” and away from the unnecessary criticism of the Country folk or the typical high school prep. There are many reasons why Metal may resonate with it’s fans such as myself, and with many sub-genres to go off of, its sound can be so diverse to catch what a particular listener likes. Whether it’s loud and aggressive or subtle and depressing. Metal surprisingly draws people who are more passionate about the music creating a much more passionate and loyal fan base than any other music genre according to Spotify.
Despite how Metal seems to be better off among it’s own community, there are some great success stories that come from the genre where bands break through from the wall of obscurity and into the eye of the public. One of my favorite success stories happens to be one of my personal favorite bands, Slipknot. Who would have known a band originating from humble beginnings in a state as small as Iowa would eventually become a staple to modern Metal? These masked marauders who often sport satanic imagery have recently rivaled the popularity of Ozzy Osbourne, how is this even possible in today’s society? Believe it or not their popularity began to creep up on us ever since their conception during the Nu Metal boom of the late 90’s among other bands of the like such as Korn. Slipknot quickly made a name for themselves for their sheer number of band members at a whopping nine members, extremely intense live shows and their signature masks, not to mention their unforgiving heavy sound.
To express a sense of how quickly they exploded onto the scene, shortly after they released their first official album the band found themselves a gig on Conan back in the year 2000.
Today, Slipknot has gained such a massive following and would eventually become a world wide phenomenon with some of their biggest fan bases being in Mexico, London, and even Japan. Despite the tragic loss of their bassist, Paul Gray, and the recent outing of drummer and founding member Joey Jordison, Slipknot is still just as big as ever having their own annual “Knotfest” and which had recently joined the very popular “Ozzfest”. Whether you like them or not, Slipknot has made their mark on the music industry and will go down in Rock and Metal history.