Featured Events

Coming soon


Album Reviews: 11989
DVD/Blu-ray Reviews: 397
Book Reviews: 401
Interviews: 1740
Concert Reviews: 1435

Share |

Other swag here
metal rules swag

From Hell's Heart

"From Hell's Heart..." is an editorial column written by the team. Every other month or so we pick a metal-related topic and share our thoughts, feelings and ideas on it.

Check out past editorials

Dissension In Metal? (October 2000)

This month we examine the VERY open ended topic of "Dissension In Metal." Since it was so open ended, a variety of topics and ideas were put forth making it all the more interesting to read!!

United We Stand
by EvilG

Part 1 - Dissension and Disgruntlement

 "Brothers unite and fight for the justice.
Honour for all and never give in."
The Iron Force - Nocturnal Rites

Yes is might sound corny, but one thing that many true metalheads strongly believe in is that heavy metal is a brotherhood. It's not about getting drunk or fried and showing up at a gig to knock people over or trying to be Mr. Cool in your "evil" Cannibal Corpse t-shirt when in reality you don't own any of their CD's. This kind of attitude is displayed by many of of the mallcore fans who ARE NOT even metalheads. You know the type - the ones with their pants crotch to their knees, their short spikey hair (usually dyed yellow), their pointy goatees and chains around their necks...these people look like gansta rappers to me, NOT like metalheads. I'm an not suggesting that image is everything, but if you dress up and portray yourself as a rapper then I'll tell it like I see it! These mallcore pricks are the ones who know nothing of the history of metal or metal beyond what some lame media outlet run by a bunch of suits (not metalheads) decide to call metal. You ask these mallcore kids about any band before 1990 and they say it sux unless it's Ozzy and Sabbath because Ozzy's Shitfest for some reason has brought out all these lame bands that all these mallcore freaks love. To them a band like Iron Maiden is "old" and "80's music." Well here's what I say to them FUCK YOU! Iron Maiden are every bit as relevant today as ever. Ask a mallcore kid about a NEW (not nu) band like Iced Earth, Steel Prophet, Nevermore, Stratovarius or even heavier bands like The Crown or Testament and they don't know shit about them! 

This kind of dissention is not really within the ranks of the true metalheads. Real metalheads are in agreement that mallcore has nothing to do with metal and is shit. We do need to stick together more that ever when we are bombarded with media telling people that bands like Shitnot, K**n and Limp DickShit are metal. They are not!!

Part 2 - The "I'm more metal than you" syndrome

The second piece of dissension in metal that I have experienced regards fans who are actually true metalheads but who are very militant in their narrow definition of what they consider metal to be. These people look down on bands and fans of what they consider lesser metal bands in order to put themselves on a pedestal as the keepers of all true metal knowledge. For example (and this one pisses me off to no end), some of these people call a true metal band like HammerFall or Stratovarius "gay" or "women's metal." I don't know what in the fuck is up with that?!?! Since when is "metal" JUST about how heavy something is? Melody and high pitched vocals are as much metal as growling and blast beats. I do not understand fans of one sub-genre of metal trashing fans of another. For example the death metal people saying all other metal is wimpy and "gay", or the power metal fans calling all death metal senseless noise. Open your ears, every sub-genre of metal has something to offer!! I happen to have an appreciation for many bands from the power, death, thrash, black and the traditional metal genres. For some reason, not many people can handle putting on Motley Crue followed by Iced Earth followed by Morbid Angel followed by Dimmu Borgir. I know everyone has there personal tastes, and that's perfectly fine, but metalheads should at least have an appreciation for the other styles of metal. If you want to bash something bash the mallcore bands, bash the plastic shit that is on the radio and bash the bands that sell out but please don't bash bands and fans that are true to metal but just don't happen to represent the sub-genre you like the best. There are greater evils to focus your hated towards.

So why do we need to "stick together"? It's simple. The old motto of "united we stand, divided we fall" is very true. If we want metal to continue and to survive as a genre we have to stick together, to support one another and the scene.


Breaking Away from the PRIEST: The Unforgivable Sin By Jesse

The topic is "dissension in metal" and I'm sure a few of my compatriots are going to go off in completely different directions, but I interpret this as the "breaking away" from the rules and/or guidelines that metal bands follow (so that they keep true to PURE METAL!!!).

Anyway, I have a little bit of latitude when it comes to what I'll accept as metal, but FOR ME real metal is the good ol' fashioned, home-brewed metal of the 70's-80's variety.  I know, I know, I'm a nostalgic bastard and, as long as I write for METAL RULES, I ain't a gonna change!!!

I'll make the history of METAL brief, cause I know that many people have contrary opinions and/or they've heard the "history" so many times it makes 'em wanna puke!!!  Basically, I think most of you will agree that the "big bang" of metal was Black Sabbath and it was Judas Priest that perfected the look, the sound and the fury!!!  Until Judas Priest came along, heavy bands were parading around in hippie gear (long flowing, satiny, monstrosities that one might find at a garage sale).  Just check out the cover of Black Sabbath's, Sabotage (check out what Ozzy's wearing!!!)'ll get the idea. 

Rob Halford and Co. even adopted this particular style of dress for most of the 70¹s, but it was only a matter of time before the LEATHER reared it's ugly head!!!  Now some of you might say that Rob Halford merely pulled from the gay bar/S&M scene and to that I say, maybe...but it's a bit more complicated than that.  The aforementioned look actually can be traced to the motorcycle gang look that originated in the 1950's.  This "look" is obviously a highly masculine one due to the fact that the human body is basically being draped in dead animal skin (and I suppose this might provide us male members of the species with a glimpse back at our primitive selves).  Anyway, the highly-charged, masculine overtones in question obviously appealed to the gay underground scene and they, in turn, stole it from the bikers!!!  Besides, the biker look has a definite universal appeal and many film and music icons have used the leather look to their advantage.  Marlon Brando's use of it in the 1950's biker film, The Wild One catapulted him into superstar status and Elvis' cool-as-hell, black leather ensemble played a huge part in making his famous '69 comeback so successful!!!  So whatever you want to think...go ahead and think it, just know the history of the leather clad, alpha-male before you start making assumptions!!!  Anyway, to tie this shit together, Judas Priest perfected the look that became PURE FUCKIN' METAL.

The METAL SOUND is quite another thing and god grant me the reserve to make this brief!!!  Sabbath brought us the almighty riff (a big chunk 'o destruction that destroyed all in it's path) and, let us not forget, the godly solo.  Some say this pattern of heavy riffing broken apart by an extended guitar solo started out with heavy hippie bands (for example, Cream and Hendrix) and that's partially true.  However, Black Sabbath (and other heavy greats like the proto-METAL, Led Zeppelin) solidified this pattern and made it a permanent part of the metal sound!!!  So, you might be askin' yourself, what was Judas Priest's contribution to the "metal sound" you speak of???  Well, for starters, THEY SPED IT UP TO A LEVEL OF INTENSITY THAT COULD ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS BRUTAL!!!  All jumps forward in levels of sonic assault (Metallica, Slayer, etc.), in my opinion, have been just minor blips on metal's radar screen as opposed to the giant leap made by PRIEST!!!  And so it was written, Judas Priest established a pattern of "upping the ante" that metal bands followed throughout much of the 80's and 90's!!!

Now, metal brothers, we flash forward to the year 2000 and METAL is still a beast to be reckoned with, but a group of dissenters have taken with them one or two ingredients found within our beloved music.  Most importantly, this group has abandoned the "rules" put in place by the PRIEST!!!  No, this is not just a minor infraction like the great wave of hair cutting that took place in the mid 1990's (I myself am guilty of that crime).  This is a much more serious matter!!!  The metal look, within this group, has been dropped for that of other genres and the sound has been watered down with elements of pop, rap and 90's alternative.  What we are basically left with is a hybrid that lacks the full force of pure metal (the metal genre being the MOST POWERFUL of all genres!!!).  The real crux of the situation is that the actual label stamped onto this new mixture of styles was christened "new metal" by the media and ("to add insult to injury") the name has stuck!!!  The name (which obviously includes the word METAL), essentially, is the problem true-blooded metalheads have had with the "new" style.  We don't like to see the two genres being confused!!!  This "new" type of music may have loud, distorted guitars, but the drums are often hip-hop beats, the vocals are either in the style of rap and/or whiny alternative and the full drive and force of the "pattern" we lovingly call METAL MUSIC has been completely extracted from this "new" sound.  WHAT WE ARE LEFT WITH IS NOT METAL!!!  The "nu kids" have dissented and that's fine, let them do what they want (and we'll pray for their sins under the guidance of our PRIEST), but they have no right to the use of the word METAL!!! True, to some it is only a word, but I think that most of us understand the power of words over man (and woman). We metalheads have invested a great number of years into this one word and to us it is much more than just a word...IT IS LIFE!!!  We are and will always be METAL!!!



"Can't We All Just Get Along???"
By Ice Maiden

When I first saw the topic for this month I thought it said "Distension in Metal," so I got all set to write an article about beer and its effects of the metalhead abdomen. Boy was I shocked to look closer and realize that we were supposed to write about dissension in Metal. I'm not sure what this means.

The most overt dissension I have noted in the Metal community is with respect to nu-metal, also known by some as mallcore. I, however, fall within the category of metalheads that does not view nu-metal as a form of Metal at all. To me, it is just another fad form of music completely unrelated to real metal. So does so called "nu-metal" lead to dissension in the real Metal world? Nah. Real metalheads are united in their dislike of that crap.

Then there is the dissension caused by differences in opinion about various genres of Metal. Typically these are the thrash, black, or death Metal freaks that do not believe that power metal fans are true metalheads for one reason or another. Again, this is kind of a "yawn" topic for me. I think that there are elements to appreciate in virtually all genres of Metal, but that doesn't mean you have to like all of it to be a true metalhead. To me, part of being a true metalhead is following your own heart and not trends. Thus, if a person just likes the way power metal sounds more than black metal, they should listen to power. If they like the way death metal sounds more than progressive, they should listen to death. I don't think you have to like all genres of Metal to be a true metalhead, and I certainly don't think a person should listen to something they don't like just to be categorized as a metalhead. If you do the latter, you are being a "poseur," just as much as a kid who wears a Slayer t-shirt just to look bad ass, but wouldn't know Araya if Tom bit him in the ass. Them's my two cents.


Nathan's View

Of course over the years, there has been some quarreling/feuding between bands and fans within the metal scene, and to varying extents. You have the death metalers that hate the black metalers, vice versa, and the old timers that look down on the new comers.  Who knows what other battles are fought.  I myself tend to be biased when exploring new forms of metal (not that new territory has been explored lately).  I am especially biased when it comes to hearing new bands.  I am always open to anything.  One has to be open-minded.  But upon listening, I know usually fairly quickly whether or not I like the band.  There are hundreds of bands out there I’ve heard, but don’t listen to.  Many of these bands are good bands, but they just don’t do anything for me to warrant their addition to my collection.  Let’s face it…I have around 1500 CDs…I just can’t buy every decent CD I come across.  So I have to set some “standards”.  In order for me to really get into a new band, they must stick out and grab my attention…they have to be different.  Or maybe just original, which is hard to do nowadays.  But anything technical automatically grabs my attention.  Because plainly and simply put, technical music rules!!  But then some bands emerge who aren’t necessarily doing anything different, but their extreme talent and songwriting capability is too convincing to ignore.  Of course any judgment calls I make are just my opinions.  But opinions lead to jokes, and jokes lead to putting down bands and possibly even their fans.  Usually it’s all just fun and games.  But some people take things seriously and get offended if someone else puts down a band he/she listens to.  Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?  Well, it happens.  I would go so far as to say that more feuding occurs amongst metal fans than between metal bands!  I think musicians can see eye-to-eye a little better, knowing the hardships of being in a metal band.  But overall, I see very little quarreling between bands and fans.  I only hear and read debates, which is just good fun, really.  I believe the brotherhood and unity that exists between us, as metalheads, and the mutual respect and acknowledgement we give and receive far outweighs those of us that are narrow-minded.


Dissension in Metal by Rick Maloney

Dissension in metal. What an open ended topic. What are you doing to me EvilG? What am I supposed to do with this? Dissension in metal. Dissension def: Difference of Opinion: discord: strife. Ok. Now I am getting somewhere. Difference of opinion. I can see that everyday in the metal community. Metal is such a diverse genre that I can see where there will be differences of opinion on its very definition and what bands do and do not fall within its boundaries.

Many people include 80's bands such as Motley Crue and Fifth Angel under the metal umbrella while other fans will argue just as passionately that they are not metal. To some fans of more extreme metal bands in the Death and Black metal genre, progressive bands such as Dream Theater or Lana Lane would not be metal nor would the power metal bands who are seen by some as all fluff and no substance.

One of the biggest dissensions that I see right now are whether or not bands like Slipknot, Static X, Powerman 5000 and Dope are metal? There are those who would say YES and many more who would say NO! I have seen many a war of words between metal fans who passionately believe that these bands have nothing to do with metal (me amongst them) and other metal fans who feel that they are just another metal "genre". To me this kind of music is nothing but noisy guitars with rapped, whined and screamed vocals thrown over it. Just a fad that is destined to disappear.

My whole philosophy on metal can be summed up pretty easily. I am pretty open minded and I enjoy everything metal which to me includes 80's bands like Ratt and Lizzy Borden up to Morbid Angel and Cryptopsy. If its metal I like it. I don't judge the band on the way it looks, what they wear or where they come from. If they play real metal then they are cool in my books.



Dissension in Metal
By Michael De Los Muertos

I’ll take a view which may prove unpopular:  I’m in favor of dissension in metal.

If you read metal magazines or Internet message boards long enough, you’ll eventually see it.  It’s the inevitable “Metalheads of the World, Unite!” speech.  Some are more skillful at delivering it than others, but the basic gist is always the same: there’s so much carping and bellyaching amongst metalheads, about this-band-is-true, this-band-is-not, you’re-a-poser, no-I’m-not, So-And-So-sold-out, no-they-didn’t, etc.  This negative energy keeps us divided, so the speech goes, where what we should really be doing is burying our differences and turning our common energies toward the enemies we can all agree on: mainstream music and popular culture.  So why don’t we all put our differences aside, forget the infighting amongst each other and stand up for the common ground that all metalheads can agree on?  I may hate Korn and my neighbor may hate Manowar, but we both hate Britney Spears, so why shouldn’t we capitalize on that commonality instead of harping on the differences?  Wouldn’t metal be stronger, better, and healthier if we all did that?

Not exactly, say I. 

I won’t go so far as to say that the “Metalheads of the World, Unite!” speech is fundamentally wrong in and of itself.  Actually it’s a very good message, but I do believe this is not the time for it.  It is dissension in metal which keeps the metal subculture alive and well and thriving.  To squelch that dissension now would be to dampen the energy that powers us in so many directions.  Think about it.  There’s black metal, thrash metal, power metal, and death metal.  All are uniquely different.  All have their share of vehement, dogmatic supporters who often try to shout down and drown out those they view as untrue – posers, for lack of a better word.  All of us know at least one dogmatist.  Who among us hasn’t been called a poser by someone who claims to be more metal than you?  What did you do in response?  If you’re like most metalheads, you probably offered some kind of argument, but then you went home and played your kind of metal all the louder and all the more passionately, because you were convinced you were right and that other person was a judgmental prick who doesn’t get it.  My response to people who call me a poser for liking power metal is to crank up some Edguy or Helloween.  It’s a reflex action, totally natural, and totally correct.  Your conviction in your music is sharpened by an occasional attack on it, especially from one who, by all rights, ought to respect your point of view, even if they don’t agree with it.

Example.  Imagine two very different metalheads.  One is a die-hard fan of ice-cold, Satanic, evil Norwegian-style black metal who thinks that power metal is “happy music” and Dimmu Borgir are greedy, commercial backstabbers that deserve no more respect, and possibly less, than the Backstreet Boys.  The other is a guy who has a Manowar album cover tattooed on his back, thinks a short-haired metalhead is a traitor to the cause and who takes sentiments like “Wimps And Posers Leave The Hall” and “Death To False Metal” absolutely literally.  Both of them are in bands.  The black metal dogmatist, enraged that so much as one human being on the planet could think HammerFall is real metal, doubles his efforts to be more “evil,” to write more grinding, blistering hymns of Satanic praise in order to smite the “false ones” who don’t appreciate true evil.  Meanwhile, the other guy, who thinks black metallers are unforgivable posers who look like Panda bears in their corpse paint and whose “evil” acts are a cynical ploy to gain popularity, notoriety, or maybe just a record deal with Century Black, writes some power metal riffs that make Thor and Odin weep with joy.  Despite their narrow-mindedness, their laughable rigidity, and their cartoonish caricatures of themselves, both of these people have the potential to substantially advance their own particular brands of metal.

Of course, not everybody can be like this, and I’m not for a moment suggesting that everyone should.  The fact that metalheads like this are a fringe minority is what makes the whole thing work.  Most metalheads are, and should be, generally tolerant of others, cognizant of the merits of various types of metal they may not personally like, and mindful of the fact that we do have common ground and we do all stand for something that unites us.  But the extremists probably do more to keep the majority of “moderate” metalheads sane than we give them credit for, and in the meantime it is the extremists who form bands that truly go a step beyond – Mayhem and Manowar being two obvious examples. 

What would happen if you take away this dissension?  True, we would be unified, but unfortunately I think we would become far more homogenous.  As the sense of “metalness” became more concretely defined, the boundaries between genres would begin to blur.  Metal would become very much like punk is today: a very unified, very cohesive, very energetic scene – but sort of boring at the same time.  Is this an acceptable price to pay for unity, and for an end to the infighting that plagues the metal scene?  Personally, I do not think so.  I’ll take the infighting, thank you.

As I said, it may not be that the “Metalheads of the World, Unite!” speech is fundamentally wrong, but it may just be the right idea at the wrong time.  It may come to pass, through some set of circumstances that we can’t even imagine right now, that a threat (or threats) to the continued existence of heavy metal as a musical form and as a lifestyle may become so dire that we have no choice but to bury our differences amongst each other and present a united front against the threat.  But such circumstances will be, in my opinion, so extreme and so unmistakable that we sure as hell won’t need someone standing on a soapbox shouting, “Metalheads of the World, Unite!” to get us to do exactly that.  It will be a reflex action, absolutely instinctive, human nature.  Nobody will give speeches or talk about how we need to pull together, because the fact that we do will be blatantly obvious to anyone with any experience in metal and an IQ over five.  And when the threat has passed, what will happen?  We’ll all go right back to taking pot-shots at each other.  “That’s not metal!”  “Your band sold out!”  “You poser!

That, in my opinion, is as it should be.


Joe's View

Is there dissension among the fans of Heavy Metal? Yes, there probably is. But I think the same question can be asked of fans of any genre of music. I’m sure there’s more than one fan of performers like Garth Brooks / Backstreet Boys / Madonna / etc... who are just as discriminating in their musical tastes as the average Metal fan. But is the music really the source of this dissension? I don’t think so...

For the most part, Metal fans tend to get along pretty well (from what I’ve witnessed, at least). Despite having different opinions on particular sub-genres and bands, most fans still respect their fellow Metalheads. (I think the annual Wacken Open Air festival is a good example of this.) Of course, there are always a few who tend to believe that their way of thinking is the only one. From my personal experience, these folks are often fans of more extreme forms of Metal and they consider the more melodic sub-genres to be "wussy" or "gay" to be "real" Metal. But these are just extremely stubborn people who would probably argue that oranges are better than grapefruit (Grapefruit RULE, dammit!!! Haha...). Yeah, they’re a pain in the ass sometimes... But as the old saying goes, "It takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round." The only solution is to ignore them.

The biggest source of dissension, however, comes from fans of genres outside of Heavy Metal. When was the last time a ‘N Sync fan said "Metal? That’s interesting..." or "That’s cool. Whatever floats your boat..." when they found out what you like to listen to. And even though Metal fans know that these people’s opinions of the music we hold dear are based solely on biased media information (therefore making them unfounded and totally false), we still tend to react in a defensive manner. And while getting angry and defensive toward an obviously ignorant person might be a perfectly natural reaction, especially after all the years of negative media attention Metal has received (DAMN YOU, TIPPER GORE!!!), it’s not necessarily the best course of action. Hostile reactions will only reinforce that person’s already low opinion of Heavy Metal and the people who listen to it.

So the next time a Korn fan gives you crap about your taste in music, be the better man/woman and take the higher road by simply not paying them any attention. Trust me, it isn’t worth it. But if they ever insult Judas Priest, then you have my permission to pound them into oblivion.


Pete's View

Just to touch briefly on our rant this month, what bothers me a lot is the dissention amongst metal fans. There’s all types of metal: speed, doom thrash, power...I could go on all day. I mean, why can’t a fan of Motley Crue be a Slayer fan??? Why can’t someone like AC/DC and like The Haunted??? Unfortunately, people tend to segregate others because of what “type” of metal band they like. I’ve encountered this bullshit many times when the topic of favorite bands comes up in conversation. My own collection spans from a range of Metal bands: Thin Lizzy, Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Kiss, Hammerfall, Overkill, etc. Maybe I’m not a big Deicide fan, but that shouldn't make me any less of a metalhead than somebody else. Stay metal!

Advertise with metal rules today!

Click here to check out VIPERINE sound clips and to order their CD!

Home | About | Staff | Advertise With Us | Staff Openings | Donations

Content is © 2009-2012 All Rights Reserved.
Graphics by Hammerblaze studio.