Heavy Metal is a lot friendlier than you might think

Heavy metal seems scary, but given a chance, you might be surprised at the message that much of it sends.

Heavy metal seems scary, but given a chance, you might be surprised at the message that much of it sends.

Sean Pruett-Jones, Staff Reporter

Heavy metal has always been thrown under the bus as being evil, full of anger and hate, devilish, and enticing kids to commit suicide. From the Judas Priest trial to some Ozzy fans dressed up in satanic robes, it’s been a common opinion that heavy metal is evil. Many people says it goes against the church, that kids who listen to it will go to hell, and that heavy metal is just the devil possessing them.

Now, it’s impossible to deny that some bands really do sing about Satan (like Ghost B.C and Rotting Christ, quite lovely bands) and that other bands really do sound intense as all heck (Bodyfarm, Kalmah, Infernaeon, etc), but what I’m trying to argue against is the idea that ALL metal is satanic and evil.

Still, don’t get me wrong – I love joking around with friends about heavy metal being as evil as the next thing, but cute comments aside, it’s really not.

Once again, satanic bands do exist, like the aforementioned Ghost B.C. They literally can’t get any more satanic – “Depths of Satan’s Eyes”, “Satan’s Prayer”, and so on. I can understand why christians would be against such a band, but I’ve seen people with the mindset of “you’ve heard one metal band, you’ve heard them all.” The other side of heavy metal, the one that’s never given a chance, is often pushed under the rug and never listened to. Bands like Gojira, Eluveitie, Becoming the Archetype, Lamb of God, even Demon Hunter. These bands certainly have heavy-as-lead riffs, and the singers growl their butts off, but deeper down, there’s a lot more going on with those bands, and SO MANY MORE, that should change opinions.

Gojira is entirely environmental, and they spend a lot of the money they make on saving the whales. Eluveitie is entirely cultural and plays nothing but songs about their heritage. Becoming the Archetype, Lamb of God, and Demon Hunter are all Christians. They are men of faith, and yet they scream like crazy to play some pretty sweet metal.

And you know what? Ozzy Osbourne himself once said that all the satanic vibes that Black Sabbath was going for was entirely theatrical. He felt like he was giving the audience the equivalent of a horror movie – people pay to scare themselves silly!

Other bands that certainly are metal just don’t even sound evil at all. I’ve played metal bands that even my mother loves. Bands like Subsignal, Ayreon, Pain of Salvation, Tyr, Haken, and so on. Sure, they write lyrics about human growth and childhood and vikings and mountains and space and science fiction (basically, lots of un-evil things), but that isn’t the point. The music they play could never be considered evil. Subsignal and Pain of Salvation have so many pianos and acoustic sections, and when they are heavy, it’s actually soothing. Ayreon is so relaxed and light hearted its impossible not to smile during a listen.

Apparently, babies listening to Mozart will end up smarter. I think that if someone plugged in a Gojira CD by a baby’s crib, he would grow up to have a slightly more open minded person because of heavy metal. I highly doubt the devil will possess a baby through some speakers, nor will he possess anyone ELSE through some speakers.

Especially pirate metal – that stuff is brilliant.