It’s been common knowledge amidst heavy circles – the ones with people running around in them – for some time, but now it’s official: we’re the happiest music listeners on the planet, according to The Guardian. Lets celebrate!
We’re Open To All Styles No matter how much we try, sometimes it’s just best to let people call Metallica ‘devil worshipping death metal’. It’s their loss. As a whole, the heavy metal umbrella is a sprawling metropolis of spindly limbs: the inimitable Babymetal is a manufactured J-pop machine blended with death and nu metal sprinkles; Russkaja are a mixture of polka, rock ‘n’ roll and Dead Kennedys bounce that’d make Mother Teresa pogo from her grave and start skanking; Issues blend R&B with metalcore and Devin Townsend has taken pinches of everything from Johnny Cash to Enya throughout his incomprehensible career. Basically, we’re an open-minded bunch who can, at a push, look at Kanye West and say: “Well… the first two albums were good, weren’t they?”
We Embrace All Cultures The concept of bands hailing from far-flung corners of the Earth is in no way a novelty – it’s a commonplace occurrence in metal, especially in the 21st century. Alongside ABBA and Crazy Frog, Sweden is responsible for cultivating the finest strains of melodic death metal; elsewhere, China has excreted the morosely brilliant Ghost Bath, Austria’s blessed us with the fun-fuelled Kontrust and Indonesia has granted us Burgerkill and Jasad, both of whom will make their UK debuts at this year’s Bloodstock Festival. Not only do we acknowledge the exotic and estranged branches of the genre tree, but we actively support them so we can burn in a fiery lake of goo and gubbins together. Heathens.
We Have A Bloody Good Vent At Gigs Even if you stopped liking Slipknot ages ago and now dedicate your life solely to Darkthrone (only listening to them on cassette, in the dark, on your own), you cannot deny that euphoric, utterly defiant rush as you swear along to Surfacing, mosh your bollocks off to People = Shit and circle pit yourself silly when (sic) kicks in. Even if that’s not your cup of mead, there’s similar happiness to be harvested from beard-scratching at an Opeth gig, undressing yourself and pretending to be a helicopter for Skindred or dancing to the same song for an hour at an Andrew W.K. gig.
We Always Have Something To Do On Halloween There’s a metal gig on in just about every pocket of the planet on All Hallows’ Eve. If tickets are sold out, you could always tag along with some trick-or-treaters, fooling everyone into thinking you’re a vampire and scoring yourself some free sweets. What an elaborate ruse.
We’re Encouraged To Think While there’s obviously stuff outside metal forcing people to pull their heads from their sphincters – Sleaford Mods being a prime example – the heavy spectrum of music has always been a thinking man’s game. Black Sabbath’s War Pigs is an early illustration of politically charged riffing, and bands like Rage Against The Machine, System Of A Down and Enter Shikari have all torn into the higher-ups. Even when bands don’t have a bureaucratic bone to pick, there’s still plenty of knowledge seeping from the lyrics; Iron Maiden have turned countless hordes onto Alfred Lord Tennyson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Cradle Of Filth get all libidinous over Lovecraft and innumerable acts have penned concept albums concerning good ol’ fashioned literature. Then again, some bands just sing about drinking. Which is also excellent.
We Can Laugh At Ourselves Metal is, at its core, pretty ridiculous. It’s overblown and pompous at times, but the bands dedicated to it are fully aware of this. Do you really think Powerwolf and Sabaton sprint around Tesco in full battle gear? No, of course they don’t. They’re just people and, more times than not, will happily sign your shirt/face/bum if you happen to cross paths.
We Have The Best Festivals And People Don’t Try To Break Into Them Yeah okay, there’s have been a few Lord Of The Flies moments at festivals over the years, but we’re generally a chilled out bunch and don’t try to break into festivals as we paid for tickets. Because that’s how going to festivals works. Anyway, our annual bashes are fantastic. Hellfest looks like Mordor did the dirty with Tatooine, Bloodstock’s got an art gallery and Hevy Fest allows you free access to a zoo. Inside these little hovels of wonder and merriment, you can witness punters dressed as everything from zombies to the obligatory Mr Blobby and there’ll always be someone swigging from a Viking drinking horn.
We Give To The Community And It Gives Back Spotify’s recent study told the world that us metalheads are the most loyal music consumers. Again, we knew that. Metalheads are sticklers for vinyl and CDs, lapping up various deluxe box-sets and wearing their favourite band on their shirts, hoodies or anything else if you happen to be a follower of Kiss or the Misfits. As a result, more and more events are curated around the fans’ wants and needs, with swathes of tour routes, setlists and line-ups being determined via fan votes. The power is in your hands, as Paddy McGuinness would say.
We Have Lemmy And Lemmy is God.