Heavy Metal Odyssey XV – My name is Thomas and I am a metal head.

The final entry of the Heavy Metal Odyssey reflects on the journey.

(Don’t forget the index to all the other entries)

Heavy Metal

Everyone likes music a little bit. Whether its Top 40, Classical or anything else, the vast majority of human beings enjoy music. Fate intervened in my life and sent me on a strange journey to learn and enjoy the music, culture and history associated with the phrase “Heavy Metal”. Now I will try to articulate my thoughts about this Odyssey and what it means for me (if anything at all).

Art.

Heavy Metal is Art.

Ok, I’ll elaborate. At some point in this Odyssey, Heavy Metal music became more than enjoyment. There were albums that I didn’t like (Strapping Young Lad – City, Isis – Oceanic & Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works for example) that I would return to and enjoy immensely. Those albums didn’t change, I did.  I had learned the different styles of music, some of which were initially quite inaccessible. When the nuances eventually showed themselves, the joy of discovery felt all the richer. In some ways, Metal has been more rewarding due to the effort required to adapt the abrasive sound and challenging song structures.

This blog in particular has been a great experience in itself. I’ve paid more attention than usual to the music, really thinking about what works in all the different sub-genres and I’ve been able to appreciate even more from it.

My Odyssey has highlighted the bond between Artist and Audience. My instinctive reaction of “Do I like it or not?” still matters a lot. However I have a much greater respect for the technique, atmosphere, the new ideas being used and the established conventions the music is built upon.

The Highlights.

Since the last blog entry (XIV), I’ve been revisiting all my favorite albums seeing which have resonated the most with me. My iPod was refreshed recently, so the play count for albums is reflective of my recent listens. Strangely enough, the results are not that unsurprising.

My top Ten favorite Heavy Metal albums of the moment (as decided by my iPod) are…

10. ISIS- Oceanic
9. Baroness – The Blue Record
8. Arch Enemy – Tyrants of the Rising Sun
7. ISIS – Wavering Radiant
6. Mastodon – Blood Mountain
5. Cradle of Filth – Midian
4. Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
3. Lamb of God – Wrath
2. Be’Lakor – The Frail Tide
1. Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works

And for the winner, a video clip!

Being a Metal Head

So now I’ve laid it all out there. 14 blog entries, some high brow preaching about Art and proof that my iPod recently played is nothing but Metal. The next question is…

What do I think of this transformation from normal Thomas to Metal Head Thomas?

First of all, I haven’t changed that much. I run into old friends and they don’t notice any difference (till I say I bought a Slayer album).

Secondly, it’s great. It’s great loving things. I love my wife and kids and that’s great. I also remember being not lovingmusic back in 2005. It sucked, but that feeling has gone away now. These days, music feels like an ocean of ideas, textures and emotions ready to be absorbed.

Thirdly…

I think I’m ready to really embrace Heavy Metal.

And by that I mean get out to some concerts. Heaps of great bands come to Australia every year. It seems through my laziness I’ve missed Metallica (and more importantly) Lamb of God & Baroness.

But fate has intervened (today!) as a work colleague sent me the band list for the Soundwave festival in Feb 2011.

Basically, I’d like to get out of the house and see some of these bands in person. Then I could check out something like this!

Final thoughts.

I hope those of you who read this had some fun and learned something.

Maybe you already liked Metal and discovered a new band. Maybe you’re ready to give Metal a chance when you wouldn’t before. Or at the very least I hope I’ve convinced you to go find something you love and can get right into.

Who knows, maybe I’ll go and discover a new sub-genre (Pirate Metal? Viking Metal?) and we’ll see blog entry XVI!

Till then, I salute you all!

Note: That’s an advert for a Hard Rock cafe opening in Norway (where else?)