Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to like heavy metal

I'm going to be posting some heavy metal here. Some people don't like heavy metal and think it's just noise. I disagree and find it sad that they should never experience the things i do when listening to it. So, if you want to give it a go, here's how to appreciate and like heavy metal.

1. Start of easy:
Don't go right into the heaviest stuff. If you haven't listened to a lot of metal before, you might not be able to hear what's going on musically and you will perceive it as noise. If you start out a little less heavy and build it up you will eventually be able to hear what's going on in the really heavy metal. I got into it by listening to AC/DC and then Iron Maiden and going on from there.
If you have a particular preference in music genres, you could transition from there as heavy metal has a lot of subgenres and some of them are a lot like other music genres. Here's a brief overview of subgenres.
If you like pop-music you could try pop-metal bands like: Def Leppard, Dokken and Van Halen
If you like rap-music or hip-hop you can check out rap-metal and nu-metal bands like: 311 and Linkin Park and the songs "Walk This Way" (by Aerosmith and Run DMC) and "Bring Tha Noize" (by Anthrax and Public Enemy.)
If you are into electronica you could try listening to Blood Stain Child.

2. Remember that there are many kinds of heavy metal:
You don't have to listen to the heaviest, most brutal metal you can find. Even if there's one artist or one type of metal you don't like you might still like another one. Try an artist from a different subgenre. Even within subgenres the music will vary greatly so listen to several bands before making up your opinion on a subgenre.

3. Appreciate the skill of metal artists:
Artists who play heavy metal often have amazing skills on their instruments. Here's some examples:
Vocals (There are some great voices out there): Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske ,Jørn Lande, Tonny Kakko, and Jim Gilette (screaming high pitch for 30 seconds)
Guitar (My speciality): Michael Angelo Batio, Sascha Paeth (Mainly a producer) and Oliver Hartman, Eddie Van Halen, Adrian Smith and Dave Murray (Iron Maiden)
Drums: George Kollias, Inferno, The Rev and Mike Terrana
Bass: Steve Harris, Stuart Hamm and Steve DiGiorgio
Keyboard: Derek Sherinian and Jordan Rudess

4. Getting used to it:
You might not like it when you first listen to it, but it can grow on you.
I remember when I first heard the band Slayer. It just seemed like non-musical noise to me. I couldn't understand the lyrics. Then after a couple of months of not listening to it, I gave it another go. This time I could understand the lyrics. I could hear the melodic stuff that was going on. I could hear the beauty in the chaos. That got me into even heavier metal. I still can't make out the lyrics of some of it, but I know that I will eventually.
If it gets to heavy, just back up a bit to something softer and come back to it later.

5. Check out some live performances:
Some metal songs can best be appreciated live. I'm going to let the songs talk for themselves:
Def Leppard - Rock Of Ages (Live in 1988)
Arch Enemy - Nemesis (Live in 2008)
Avantasia - I Don't Believe In Your Love Creds to Oli Hartman for both playing guitar and singing very well.

6. If you don't like it then thats okay, but it's good to at least try:
If you tried out my tips on listening to metal and still don't like it then I guess it's just not for you. At least you know a bit more about it now :)


  1. Nice music blog, I think I'll follow it due to your good taste in music, and partly because you mentioned Tonny Kakko himself! :P

    Well anyway, I started with Metallica in addition to Linkin Park and Sonata Arctica. I guess the tip is to start of with something light and related to what you already like, and then go heavier and heavier from there, until you've reached salvation...

    1. Thanks! :) I'll do a post with Tony Kakko today to show my appreciation (and because he's a great singer). Maybe not Sonata Arctica, but I'll find something good.

      Yeah that sums it up pretty well :) Those three are a pretty good start.

      Thanks again for your kind words :)