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Is metal just an outlet for anger ?

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Bruticus, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Bruticus

    Bruticus Member

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    There's this idea in mainstream society of course that metal/aggressive music is just a trend for teenagers to channel their angst through, and then they're set straight, and get their degree and a steady job and wife and kids and the best they can do is look back at the good ol' days jamming with the guys and watching Slayer live in 1994.

    But for many, the metal is still very much an essential part of life and for some, we believe we'll still be into metal when we're much older.
    However: when coming across a video of Eddie Vedder explaining how he never knew his dad or wtvr, one gets a sense all those big rockstars: Vedder, Cobain etc... are really only into the industry of heavy music as, indeed, an outlet to channel their anger and insecurities. Seems every single one of em have a story to tell about traumatizing childhoods. That at the end of the day, that's the root cause for being a rockstar in the first place.

    Do you believe you listen to/compose metal music as a pure natural and spontaneous taste and passion for it, OR is it an outlet for your anger at the world (more difficult to explore that option) ?
     
  2. Slammed

    Slammed Active Member

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    FUCK OFF!
    What anger?
     
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  3. CiG

    CiG Salute of the Jugger

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    I find questions like these tedious. It simplifies emotions too much IMO, as if you can experience them singularly. Anger rarely comes without an underlying sorrow, or a fear of something, also questions like these assume that metal can be generalized as angry and aggressive but I don't feel much anger or aggression when I listen to some of the genre's most classic albums like [insert Iron Maiden album here] or [insert Judas Priest album here] etc.

    Every album isn't Reign in Blood.
     
  4. Bruticus

    Bruticus Member

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    WHY. What's wrong with Reign in Blood !!!!1!! :err:

    Agreed, I hear you. It's just that to reiterate a point in the OP it seems all these rockstars/metal legends have that about them, like every single one (practically) that they've had some sort of a broken childhood/life, struggle badly with a kind of psychological disorder and are prone to alcoholism/drugs/compulsive sex or fame... not all of course, but it's such a large number. One can't help but look at that, rather than only look inwardly at how we personally feel about the whole thing.

    It seems there's something about the chaos in metal music that attracts its fans, and perhaps they relate on a deep (and subconscious) level to that musical chaos because it resonates with them and depicts a recklessness or emptiness they deal with in their lives. Maybe not Maiden fans but death/doom/black/industrial/thrash etc...
     
  5. CiG

    CiG Salute of the Jugger

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    Same could probably be said for most actors. I think it's in part because rockstars/pro musicians and actors all start relatively young before they've developed core principals, values, a strong worldview in general and so they're lead by pleasure-seeking. This is amplified when you look at the lives of child actors.
     
  6. Bloopy

    Bloopy Active Member

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    You basically already asked this with your Why metal ? thread, so I'll continue what I said there. I actually developed my cynical sense of humour even more in the last month or so. I realised I can use it like a coping mechanism (but I was coping quite well before so now I'm fantastic). I never really used an 'outlet'. I bottle things up and don't let them out if I can help it. Now I can just view the bottle contents from a humorous perspective to dissolve them. If anything, shedding any lingering negative feelings and being way less susceptible to emotional trauma frees me up to enjoy metal even more.

    Chaos I can relate to, but in that case surely most troubled people would be drawn to even more chaotic genres such as avant-garde metal and noisecore. What you said first about a steady job etc. seems more likely. If stable people with successful non-music careers and families tend to be drawn away from metal and music in general, then it's simply that the people remaining are often oddballs.
     
  7. Bruticus

    Bruticus Member

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    Well you're telling me how you feel in particular but I meant in a general way, is metal as a global phenomenon just an outlet for anger ? We all have the anger inside, life is unfair and life's a bitch etc.. and we each deal with it differently but we all (a vast majority) have the anger and if I take a quick look at the hard rock/metal scene it does look like it's ridden with a shitton of particularly unbalanced and angry individuals.

    I mean the very premise of metal during the 80's was anger (the thrash scene, angry at society) and then the 90's were all about despair and nihilism (death metal scene). It seems particularly aggravated individuals are the prototype of the metalhead, thus the direct link between metal music and anger. Isn't metal at its core (besides power/traditional/prog) a cry of deep distress ? Not necessarily a call for attention, but at very least inwardly, a manifestation of an existential malaise ? I'm just entertaining the thought, nothing more.
     
  8. Bloopy

    Bloopy Active Member

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    I don't. So I assume at least some other metalheads don't either, and I can't agree with you. I think at least some of us enjoy something wild simply because we want to enjoy something wild. That's my point...
     
  9. CiG

    CiG Salute of the Jugger

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  10. Bruticus

    Bruticus Member

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    Well would you at least entertain the thought here with me, just for the sake of the thread like, that our musical tastes may be a reflection of a deep emotion we carry in us ? Like, surely there's a link between having a fascination with aggressive music and aggression ? Not that if you like thrash, you love to fistfight at bars, it's a lot more complex and nuanced of course.

    A personal example: I love Godflesh, and their iconic "Like Rats" resonated very strongly with me when I was a 17yo kid. It's a very bleak, colorless form of musical nihilism. I'm attracted to that artistic nihilism although I believe myself to be all about meaning and positivity in life... however, there is this huge aspect of me that I'm into very obscure stuff that I can't just ignore. Is it possible it's just purely artistic taste ? Doesn't make sense; where is that longing for extreme emptiness coming from ? I'm not your classic pessimist drugged up on antidepressants who secretly hates everyone, so it's a finer trait to pick up in me, but it can't be our artistic side is a completely isolated part of our brain and bares absolutely no relation to our general self. It's not coherent.
     
  11. CiG

    CiG Salute of the Jugger

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    I like pornogrind and disco.
     
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  12. Bloopy

    Bloopy Active Member

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    Yeah, I was partly reacting to the yes/no question in the thread title. It's making more sense now. I agree that it's about a deep emotion we carry in us and not artistic taste, but I still stand by what I've said. Aggressive music doesn't have to be about aggression itself. The aggression can just be an incidental tool to achieve another emotion - a thrill/adrenaline rush or an exciting sound. Sure, some musicians and fans used it as an outlet for real anger at the world, but for others it's purely an act.

    What attracts me to bleak and nihilistic music deep down is more like excitement, morbid curiosity, an ironic/sick sense of humour, and a fascination with the universe in general. I can think of a lot of reasons as to why extreme emptiness is inviting. It could sometimes be a preferred escape from modern life, but that's regardless of how good or bad your life is. Or it's a challenge from an absurd universe, to learn from and conquer. Emptiness and darkness seem dangerous and mysterious, or even seductive and sexy. I'm not one for meditating or relaxing, but inadvertently I once wrote some lyrics about being on a glacier, and now that's the place I'm attracted to in my head when I think about relishing existing feelings of enjoyment and taking things slowly rather than being stressed.
     
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  13. Bruticus

    Bruticus Member

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    It's really complex isn't it. Most things about myself or anything around me, I can break down and make sense of. But why musical nihilism is so attractive ...

    I'm certain there's a link between a form of antisocial introversion and that "nihilism". It feels like that ugly dark place is so intimate, and so profound it needs to be explored alone. It's precisely how Justin Broadrick (Godflesh) felt for e.g. and it feels in his music. It's like this lonely soul, all by itself in some bedroom, longing to express itself with a mic and a guitar.

    About the term "ugly", I believe extreme metal as a whole is basically the worshipping of ugliness. Like, beautiful is so easy, and superficial. Anyone can write pretty music. Ugly is true, and inaccessible. The first thing a mainstream person hears when listening to extreme metal is ugliness. The musical texture, the uneasy production, the resentful spirit of it... it's inaccessible, ugly noise.

    There's a parallel that can be established between that cult of ugliness/vileness, and the principle of truth: as metalheads we at least subconsciously feel the world is an ugly place, we feel organically that life is an ordeal, and musically we feel the need to attain the truest most brutal form of artistic expression. Truth=brutal and ugly, therefor the truest form of music will be brutal and ugly. And the lyrical themes certainly back this up: existential anguish in the words, existential anguish in the music they're both consistent at that.
     
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