It dawned on me recently that I am a 32 year old man who still listens to music about medieval knights fighting each other with swords. Isn’t it about time I moved on to music with more mature themes? Or maybe even something with more of a social/political message?
I remember reading a blog post by a music journo a few years back arguing that although heavy metal generally has superior technical musicianship to other genres like punk and hip hop it will always be less important as it lyrically it never ‘progressed’ to singing about social issues and politics.
This supposed weakness is actually one of metal’s greatest strengths.
There are exceptions of course, but on the whole metal is an escapist form of entertainment. The sound is the main attraction; powerful, loud and aggressive.
Some metal friends and I meet up for dinner once a month. Our views fill the entire spectrum from left to right, republican to unionist. Yet we can talk about our differences civilly because we are united by the camaraderie that metal brings.
As identity politics increasingly poisons every artform it touches, the need for communities like metal fans become more important.
Even as I’ve branch out into other types of music over the years, metal will forever be the greatest!