Striding along with the vibration of amplified, distorted guitars in a concert hall brings out a wave of ecstasy as you wear your leather jacket and studded belts—a metal chord progression that brings you to a state of rhapsody causing you to sing violently along with the growling vocals, and bang your head with the drumbeat. Exhilarated, the heavy metal’s distinctive element of an aggressive throat less scream suddenly gives you the feeling of enraging desire to let all your temperaments out. The angry nature of a heavy metal found in the lyrical wordplay as most people would claim isn’t necessarily the case. It’s simply the art of bringing distorted sounds and strong themes all together to create the most driving power of music, thus making you feel mighty.
Do you picture how powerful a heavy metal can be?
This heart-pounding genre has been around the music industry since the late 1960s, revolutionizing the ranges of blues, acids, and psychedelic rocks. Among the bands and artists that pioneered the genre was Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath which was credited with birthing heavy metal after the successful release of their iconic albums Black Sabbath and Paranoid.
The entirety of traditional heavy metal’s characteristic as a piece of extreme music brings out the raging personalities within us, although the creation of subgenres over the years have made significant variations on vocal styles ranging from melodic to hostile singing. Doom Metal, for instance, is a slow style of metal accompanied with down-tuned guitars emphasizing the theme of melancholy and gloom. Gaining credits as the pioneers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath is also considered to be the first band to introduce the subgenre inspired by their song “Hand of Doom” in 1970, although some musicians claim the band Pentagram should take the credit. The moderate tempo often evokes the feeling of desperation, anguish, and fear. Metalcore, on the other hand, is a combination of traditional extreme metal and hardcore accompanied by gang vocals and death growls. Unlike doom, metalcore is often characterized by heavy guitar riffs, blast beats, and double bass drumming. The style is already doubled aggressive in nature, although what sets is extra unique is using the first person point of view in lyric compositions since it depicts hardships of life in general, thus making it more personalized. Killswitch Engage and A Day to Remember are famous metalcore bands from America.
Metal music does not just welcome those who seek husky, deep voices. High-pitched vocalizations were also integrated into the abyss of the darkest theme, particularly pagan subjects, which gave rise to black metal. It sounds completely diabolical with the accompaniment of keyboards giving it an elated melodic tone. A famous band under this genre, Immortal, incorporates the motif of folklore, Satanism, and Nordic mythology creating a final product of morbidity.
What links the diversity of heavy metals is the element of distortion, which is scientifically similar to animals making distress calls. When an amplified instrument’s sound is altered, it produces a growling tone when its gain is increased, making it comparable to an animal distorting its sound for a warning call. The commonality of both is the sensation that metalheads feel when hearing these types of harsh sounds, causing them to be highly stimulated and emotionally excited. This means that when a depressed listener scrolls through his heavy metal playlist, the extremity of one’s current negative emotion can be matched with the extreme music, bringing him into a state of stability and a new level of inspiration. It is therefore unfair to conclude that heavy metals are guaranteed to be associated with dark themes.
The aggressive common sound style of metal, associated with bass-heavy music can make you feel confident, giving you a new sense of power. The headbanging intensity generally evokes strong feelings and emotions –a unique ability of music to give an individual a different persona. Whatever makes you feel excited, whether the incongruous strum of strings from an electric guitar or the painful sound of a death growl, jarring music can just provoke you into action. Now it makes more sense why vocalists go as deeply as they can in their throat to perfect the metal vocal. They wanted to achieve the voice of authority and dominance, just as how a leader lion roars against a competing pride.
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