Metal: 101
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What is Metal? A Brief History

What is Metal? A Brief History | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it

This article explains the influences of Metal during the late 1960s, its creation in 1970 by Black Sabbath, the sub-genres that were created during the 70s - 90s and the current state of metal today.

Nicholas Lai's insight:

Looking at the evolution of metal during its early days of the 70s to the 90s, it is clear that metal has become louder, faster and more extreme as seen in sub-genres such as Trash and Power metal. This can be explained from two angles: the band's and the consumer. From the band's point of view, it is simply about product differentiation. After all, it is never a good idea to create that's already out there so in order to differentiate from earlier bands, newer bands just made the genre loud, faster and more extreme. To understand the consumer's point of view, one should keep in mind that music can be considered an addiction and like any addiction, tolerance levels get built up. Hence upon listening to something that's "hard and fast', it is only natural a consumer crave for something even harder and faster. Hence, such a demand has allowed the newer bands of metal after the 70s to become successful.

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What is Metal? The One Unique Aspect

Double Bass Drumming

Nicholas Lai's insight:

Putting aside the screaming and growling, controversial lyrical content, heavily distorted guitar riffs and blazing fast solos, the one thing that separates Metal from all other genres would be the way the drums are used. Typically, the drummers of most genres only use a single bass for their drums. However when it comes to Metal, almost all metal drummers use a double bass for their songs as seen in the video above.

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What is Metal? The Sounds of the Different Genres

34 DIFFERENT TYPES OF METAL MUSIC

Nicholas Lai's insight:

This is a good video that allows those who are interested in finding out how the different genres of Metal sound. The creator of this video has compiled the lists of artists he has used. However, he doesn't state the genre of the artists in that same lists. For easier reference, the artist and genre are below:

 

Track list:
01. Behemoth - Lucifer  (Black Metal) 
02. Debauchery - Blood God Rising (Death Metal)
03. Isole - Forevermore (Doom Metal)  
04. Guns N' Roses - Paradise City (Glam/Hair Metal)
05. Aeternitas - Dies Irae (Gothic Metal)
06. Brad Doné - Trust (Djent)
07. Sabaton - 40:1 (Power Metal) 
08. Dragonforce - Fury of The Storm (Speed Metal)
09. Suma - Papertiger (Stoner Metal)
10. Slayer - Necrophobic (Trash Metal) 
11. Metallica - Master of Puppets (Heavy Metal)
12. Three Days Grace - Riot (Alternative Metal)
13. Napalm Death - Scum (Grindcore)
14. Diablo Swing Orchestra - Bedlam Sticks (Avand-Grande Metal)
15. Stryper - To Hell With A Devil (Christian Metal)
16. Amebix - Arise (Crust Punk)
17. Black Boned Angel - Godflesh (Drone Metal)
18. Atari Teenage Riot - Speed (Digital Hardcore)
19. Satyricon - K.I.N.G. (Extreme Metal)
20. Skyclad - The Widdershins Jig (Folk Metal)
21. Cosmin Lupu Baritone - Funk Metal Riff (Funk Metal)
22. Herrschaft - Human Soul (Industrial Metal)
23. Numberphile - Golden Ratio Song (Math Metal)
24. Boyinaband ft. Shawnnnn - DUBSTEP METAL BATTLE (Dubstep Metal)
25. As I Lay Dying - Comfort Betrays (Metalcore)
26. Guilty Gear Rock You - Neo-Classical Metal Song (Neo-classical metal)
27. Linkin Park - Crawling (Nu-metal)
28. Rosetta - Au Pays Natal/Sol (Post metal)
29. Constantine - The Darkest Grace (Progressive Metal)
30. LA PAN - Rap Metal (Rap Metal)
31. Void Of Sleep - Blood In My Hands (Sludge Metal)
32. The Shadow Theory - The Sound of Files (Psychedelic Metal)
33. BlackSheep806 - Kingdom Come (Symphonic Metal)
34. Eldkraft - Gränslös Gräns (Viking Metal)

 

P.S. The author has used the wrong choice of song for number 11. Metallica's Master of Puppets is considered TRASH Metal and not HEAVY Metal. For an example of Heavy Metal, check out Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water

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Why do people like the Metal genre? - Cathartic Effects

A video interview from the University of Warwick

Nicholas Lai's insight:

Adam Richmond, a participant of the study, explained that metal helps him in dealing with stress because of its “trashy” nature. Richmond added that “You can't really jump your anger into the floor and listen to your music at the same time with other genres." Such a reasoning is best explained using the Cathartic Hypothesis which maintains that aggressive energy are relieved by "releasing" it usually through action or fantasy. In this case, it is Metal.

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MYTH DEBUNKED: Metal is not the cause of school shootings

Great clip from Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" documentary. Marilyn Manson speaks intelligently and eloquently in regards to the shootings at Columb...
Nicholas Lai's insight:

Following the horrific Columbine High School Shooting of 1999, many were quick to point the fingers at metal bands, particularly Marilyn Manson, for it's violent lyrical influence in causing the two students to go on a shooting rampage. However, it should be noted that both students were being regularly bullied (http://extras.denverpost.com/news/col1003a.htm) for at least 4 years. Even IF metal had a part to play in this shooting, it should at most be considered as an isolated class simply because not every Metal listener decides to embark on a school shooting. Besides, it's not like any metal bands directly approached those two shooters and instructed them to go on a rampage.

 

To better understand the effects of such a shooting on the public, I'll provide a simple Stakeholder's analysis.

 

People who are mad about the shooting: Metal bands, parents, student and basically any normal peace loving human being.

 

People who are happy about the shooting: The Media

 

Do keep in mind though, I'm accusing the media AS A WHOLE of being "happy" for such an event simply because there's publicity for them and with increased publicity, revenues increased. After exhausting all angles of the shooting event, the next natural step to further increase publicity would be to play the blaming game and that's when people like Marilyn Manson gets involved. On a micro level, I hope that every individual in the media feels mad about the shooting if not, God help us all. 

 

I would like to end this post with the conversation between Michael Moore and Marilyn Manson.

 

Moore: If you were to talk directly to the kids of Columbine or the community, what would you say?

 

Manson: I wouldn't say a single world but I would listen to what they have to say because no one did.

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MYTH DEBUNKED - Metal is generally not Satanic in Nature

MYTH DEBUNKED - Metal is generally not Satanic in Nature | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it

Top 10 Christian Metal Bands according to Noisecreep

Nicholas Lai's insight:

A common misconception about Metal is it's association with Satanism. While there's no denying that certain bands have Satanic lyrical themes (e.g. Slayer - Skeleton Christ), it should be noted that a large majority of such bands are just doing it as part of their theme and are no way Satanists themselves. However, there are certain bands who are truly Satanists and they are commonly found in the Death/Black Metal genre which itself is a minority in the metal genres.

 

Furthermore, there's a sub-genre called Christian Metal which is characterised by band members professing their Christianity through their lyrics. For such examples, check out the link I've attached. In short, the Metal genre is generally secular but at the same time, there are those who choose to associate it with religion through their songs.

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It's all show business - Impression Management

Interviewer - "But God Hates Us All (A album title from Slayer), how does it fit in?"

Tom Araya - "He doesn't hate us, but it just makes a great f****** title"

Nicholas Lai's insight:

While it is true that Kerry King, the guitarist from Slayer, clearly denounces religion, his bassist band mate, Tom Araya, proclaims his Catholicism faith and explains "its all part of the show". This is a very good example of Impression Management occurring in which the band portrays itself as anti-religion in order to achieve the goal of driving album sales up. With the amount of attention it attracted due to its controversial nature, it comes as no surprise that the album debuted at number 28 of the Billboards 200 in 2001.

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The sign of a wealthy country? HEAVY METAL

The sign of a wealthy country? HEAVY METAL | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it

"It’s a stereotype that’s reinforced by the genre’s roots with metal gaining popularity throughout the 1960s and 1970s in economically ravaged, deindustrialised areas. But while heavy metal may have once appealed to alienated working-class males, today the music enjoys its greatest popularity in the most advanced, wealthy, and knowledge-based areas of the world."

Nicholas Lai's insight:

Personally, I feel that this article has overestimated the extent that wealth plays in regards to people liking Heavy Metal. Considering the fact that the Metal genre is mostly sung in English, it is not surprising that such a genre isn't popular in countries like China, India, Africa and the Middle East. To add on, China is one of the wealthiest country in the world too so it is safe to assume that cultural differences is the main reason why there aren't much Heavy Metal listeners over there. Considering Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Africa's rather low socio-economical status, this article supports the notion that there are hardly any Metal listeners in that continent due to the fact that a large majority of Africa's populace at more concerned about satisfying their Physiological (Stage 1) and Safety (Stage 2) needs rather than to discover newer genres of music such as Metal.

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What is Metal? A Definite Family Tree Chart

What is Metal? A Definite Family Tree Chart | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it

An overview of the metal genre with examples

Nicholas Lai's insight:

This family tree chart lists the different genres of metal, their beginnings and how each of them evolved to form their own sub-genre over time into. Examples of bands are given for each sub-genre too and this allows first time listeners of Metal to easily find a sub-genre they like by listening to any of the bands.

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Why Do People Like Metal? - A Sense of Community

Why Do People Like Metal? - A Sense of Community | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it
Sting, Arkarna, Jason Mraz, and Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal have all sent messages of support ahead of the July 9 election
Nicholas Lai's insight:

As explained in the following article (http://www.waikato.ac.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/149248/DaveSnell-DarrinHodgetts.pdf) on the Psychology of Metal Communities, fans of Metal, or better known as Metal Heads, are known to be fiercely loyal to the genre and supportive of its members. Such a good group dynamic has given members a Psychological Sense of Community which could lead them to experience several positive effects such as increased self-esteem. 

 

A good example of what a close knitted community Metal fans are in can be seen in the link above where international artists send their support for  Indonesian Presidential Candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo who is a Metal Head.

 

However, it should be in an article by the Jakarta Post (http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/06/09/will-metal-scene-help-jokowi-july-9.html), several Indonesian Metal fans will not be supporting him or even participating for the election because they are just not interested in politics.

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Who's the Top Selling Metal Artists?

Who's the Top Selling Metal Artists? | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it

Led Zeppelin

Nicholas Lai's insight:

With over 111.5 million units sold, Led Zeppelin is currently the best selling Metal artists. They are also currently the 4th best selling artists of all times.

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Why Do People Like Metal? Comfort Music for the Brighter Minds

Why Do People Like Metal? Comfort Music for the Brighter Minds | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it
Intelligent teenagers often listen to heavy metal music to cope with the pressures associated with being talented, according to research.
Nicholas Lai's insight:

Upon surveying 1,057 members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth - a body whose 120,000 student members are within the top five per cent academically in the 11-19 age range, researcher Stuart Cadwallader explains that "Participant appreciated the complex and sometimes political themes of heavy metal music more than perhaps the average pop song." While this is the only article which information is based on actual research, it would be safe to assume that higher IQ has a role behind the appreciation for the complex nature of metal. After all, research has shown that people with higher IQ are better able to appreciate classical music which itself is pretty complex (http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2011/02/09/iq-and-musical-taste/).

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Why do people like Metal? Building of Psychological Resilience

"Stand and fight, Live by your heart, Always one more try, I'm not afraid to die, Stand and fight, say what you feel, Born with a heart of steel.”

Nicholas Lai's insight:

Psychological resilience is defined as an individual's ability to adapt to stress and adversity. One such way of sustaining or developing a person's resilience would be through a positive self-concept and confidence in one's strengths and abilities. As seen from the strong lyrics above along with the "powerful" sound of the song, songs like this from the metal genre can play a positive role in one's psychological resilience.

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MYTH DEBUNKING - Metal is not bad for the heart

MYTH DEBUNKING - Metal is not bad for the heart | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it

Heavy metal listeners beware...

Nicholas Lai's insight:

According to an experiment by Dr Miller at the University of Maryland Medical Centre in Baltimore,  the arteries of volunteers opened 26% wider on average during music they liked but narrowed by 6% when “anxious” heavy metal music was played.

 

Frankly, such an experiment is a disgrace to the world of academia. Firstly, there is only a very small sample size of 10 participants and it would be unfair to say is representative of anything. Secondly, music is all about personal taste. Obviously the arteries of those participants decreased in size because they were not fans of Heavy Metal. I'm pretty sure if an experiment was to be conducted with participants who loved heavy metal, they would have had their arteries opened up wider upon being exposed to heavy metal music and their arteries would narrow upon listening to country music. 

 

Due to the controversial nature of heavy metal, one should always keep in mind that some articles on line are clearly made with the intentions of putting heavy metal in a bad light and from the way this article was "framed", this is one of those articles.

 

To all readers, please also be mindful of such factors (e.g. sample size) when it comes to reading any academic research and switch on your Crap Detector

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MYTH DEBUNKED: Heavy metal does not cause riots

MYTH DEBUNKED: Heavy metal does not cause riots | Metal: 101 | Scoop.it

In 1993, thousands of Indonesian young people rioted in Jakarta after they were excluded from a major stadium where the heavy metal band, Metallica, was playing.

Nicholas Lai's insight:

In my opinion, I strongly feel that the main factor behind such a riot can be best explained using Crowd Psychology. We're talking about at least tens of thousands concert goers in this case and with such a large number, people end up becoming different from how they normally act (Deindividuation) due to several factors including the ability to remain anonymous in such a large crowd. Having being "hyped" up by the aggressive nature of concert, all it took was for a spark to set off a riot and that spark came the violent approach of security personnel. To add on, a sociologist would argue that these people have already been holding angry sentiments particularly due to poor life they were having in Indonesia at that time and such sentiments probably have played a part in driving concert go-ers into starting the riot.

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