Tales from the Jugular

Heavy Metal Therapy

By: Frank Hill
Published: Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Tales From The Jugular - Heavy Metal Therapy

I've been listening to metal for 30+ years and through most of the last year I went through a deep marriage crisis that was extremely taxing on me both mentally and physically. In fact, I still feel reverberations from it to this day. All was not lost though.

I actually used a lot of *metal to get through the stressors that were dragging me down. No, it didn't give me any advice on how to behave and it wasn't coddling me in its night embrace. It's a paradox with most outside the style that music so loud, noisy and overdriven can have such soothing effects. The music was theraputic and a coping mechanism that I could turn to at anytime without fear of recrimination.

Good music, especially heavy metal, has always been a source of power and inspiration to me and I'm just now understanding some of the ways the music plays on my subconscious. We are being plucked and fretted internally by sounds and spaces without being totally aware. A lot of metal songs stress independence while at the same time, pull us into a framework of unity (gang chants are good at this) where steady grooves offer stability and guitar solos break us free to fly unencumbered and uncontrolled.

It didn't always matter what the lyrics were about I could yell, I could scream, I could rage enough to shake Heaven and Hell and everything in between. The songs could have been written to fill a contract or toiled over with blood and sweat from the heart. It only mattered what I got out of it.

Lyrics inspired me, music empowered me, notes liberated me.

Heavy Metal is a common brotherhood where WE know the signs, symbols and icons. To the music makers, I salute you for sharing your power. To my fellow headbanging brothers and sisters who feel the songs deep in their souls and live the music with all they have, I raise the sacred horns to all of you.

I am alive within the riff and I rise free within a thousand guitar solos.

* For those who really care, here's a short list of what I enjoyed:
Anthrax - W.C.F.Y.A.
Anthrax - What Doesn't Die
Biomechanical - The Empire of the Worlds
Biomechanical - Disintegration
Blind Guardian - The Soulforged
Children Of Bodom - Hate Crew Deathroll
Dreamaker - Forever In Your Arm
Gamma Ray - Lust for Life
Iron Savior - Titans Of Our Time
Kamelot - Until Kingdom Come
Killswitch Engage - Rose of Sharyn
Mercenary - World Hate Center
Mercenary - Lonliness
Mother Misery - My Enemy
Mother Misery - It Comes Again
Motorhead - The Game (Triple H)
Nightwish - Ghost Love Score
System Of A Down - Toxicity
Tool - Schism

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