Music series (7) - Pedal to the metal

What do you do when you get angry? Anger’s got to go somewhere. If it turns inward you’re looking at depression. Music might help put that anger into words AND into the world. If you’re a gym rat then listening to metal while you pump weight certainly helps to blow off steam. I have an entire playlist dedicated to “anger” and most of it is metal music.

I got introduced to metal by a friend in middle school. We had a few metal heads at school, like any other school. They never treated me poorly, unlike the jocks and the easily intimidated. Said friend took me on a tour of all “the best” metal bands in the world starting with Metallica’s "Master of Puppets" *, Iron Maiden’s "The Number of the Beast", and Megadeth’s "Peace Sells … But Who’s Buying?".

I recommend listening to all three; all links are Spotify links. I’m not a metal-aficionado, but I made friends with scary looking people simply for knowing and appreciating metal music. I distinctly remember a chatty metalhead on the subway who looked terrifying. He asked what I was listening to. I don’t remember what I said. It was an esoteric metal band. He was impressed. He didn’t think of me as the type and asked for a list of favorites. We became instant friends, a friendship that lasted until we parted ways. It’s a sweet memory.

I’ll highlight two favorite songs aside from the aforementioned albums.

Pantera - "Walk"

A song about self-belief.

It’s about people who have so little going on in their lives that they feel the need to put down those who do lead interesting lives. These bullies are incapable of making real friends. They’re always bullshitting each other, never revealing themselves to anyone frankly. They lead disordered lives because they lack direction. They’re unable to take responsiblity for themselves (“Can you hear the violins playing your song?” They can’t … they don’t know how to lead).

Run your mouth when I’m not around, it’s easy to achieve
You cry to weak friends that sympathize
Can you hear the violins playing your song?
Those same friends tell me your every word

Is there no standard anymore?
What it takes, who I am, where I’ve been belong
You can’t be something you’re not

Pantera’s album “Vulgar Display of Power” is exactly what it says on the tin.

Next up is Rage Against the Machine’s "Guerilla radio".

A protest song if there ever was one. A song about how money in politics corrupts leaders, getting arrested for protesting against immoral acts, and the importance of raising your voice to point out evil when you see it. It’s brilliant.

"Killing in the Name" is a cautionary tale about trusting authority. Authority isn’t a guide for morality. "Bulls on Parade" is about the ugly nature of the military industrial complex. "Wake Up" tells us about the ugliness of the class war. We’re being manipulated into having an “enemy” when the only real enemy are the greedy capitalists doing everything they can to hold onto their power.

All their songs are worth examining, but they don’t have to be to get the message.

That concludes the Music Series for the time being. I have one more entry coming up about my favorite genre to date, but I don’t yet know how I’ll approach it in fear of not doing it justice.

I’m happy I’ve been exposed to so many different genres of music over the years, all by people who were/are deeply passionate about their choice of music. Every time I listen to new music I’m left a different man than I was before.

Created on August 21, 2021
Published on August 21, 2021