I obviously wouldn’t be writing a column for Hard Rock Hideout if I didn’t love hard rock/heavy metal music. It’s a style of music that I have enjoyed since I was a boy. I remember getting turned onto Kiss while in the 3rd grade. I bought a vinyl copy of Destroyer at a yard sale and wore it out on my Hardy Boys record player. Def Leppard, Van Halen, and AC/DC were all beloved before reaching the 5th grade. The older I got, the more my love for hard rock and heavy metal intensified. By high school, I was a real metal head. My basic musical tastes had developed into what they still are today. Heavy metal spoke to me like nothing else had. It was my new passion.
Over time, my tastes evolved and I grew an appreciation for jazz, classical music, country, and rap, but I always returned to metal music. There was something about it that spoke to me. The music was a form of expression that I could relate to. It was loud, angry, and a way to unleash frustrations through song. In my late teens/early twenties, metal was the greatest expression of me that there was. When emotional, I could turn up the volume on Metallica or Judas Priest and get lost in the wall of sound. If there was a bad day, Iron Maiden could get me through. If a scream was needed, I was just put on some Zeppelin and let it rip.
The power of metal music has always been intense and I think that’s what draws most fans to that particular type of music. There is unlimited potential in that power. Fans feel the music the way they don’t feel many things in life. From the vibrations of the bass, to the bang of the drum, to the rhythm of the guitar, to the lead singer’s voice, the power of the music is evident in every note. Hard Rock and Heavy Metal make you feel a power that no other music can bring to the table.
However, heavy metal is more than the wall of sound that baptizes your ears. It’s also about the powerful feeling that burns deep inside the listener. Metal music can make you feel invincible. It can make you feel like you were ready to take on the world. It can also help you through most rough patches in life. Did your girlfriend leave you? Slap on some Motorhead and yell along with Lemmy. Does your job make you want to stick needles in your eyes? Crank up AC/DC’s Back in Black and watch your anger melt away. Your favorite team blew yet another game? Some Ted Nugent will clear that sorrow right up.
The best thing about metal is how it brings people together. Diehard fans may feel like outcasts in certain social situations (try talking to your father-in-law about the relevance of Black Sabbath in the music world). When we meet other metal fans though, there is an immediate bond, an instant connection. And while that may be true of other genres of music as well, I’ve found it to be most evident amongst metal fans. There’s a passion there that can’t be replicated. That passion is the true heart and soul of metal music fans. That passion is drawn from the power of heavy metal. May the spirit of metal live on forever!