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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

How has your relationship with metal changed over the years? (June 2001)

How Has Your Relationship With Metal Changed Over The Years?
By Michael De Los Muertos

While I believe I have always been a metalhead, I began to acknowledge that distinction during the mid- to late 1980s. If you had told me at that time that, 15 years later, metal would be very close to being the most important thing in my life, I would never have believed it!

At first my relationship with metal started out like most people's relationships are with music -- that is, it was entertainment. Probably all people who get into metal start out on this level at some point. People who like pop music generally stay at this level forever, because for most people music IS only entertainment, a way to fill otherwise silent moments. Only the true devotees of a musical subculture -- be it jazz, opera, blues, or metal -- really get beyond that level.

It didn't take me long to get over the "music as entertainment" phase. Of course the music was always compelling, but as you get deeper into it you begin to see the many other facets of it. All of the things that today appeal to me about metal -- its rebelliousness, its individuality, and its depth -- started to grab on to me in college. While it was still far from being the most important thing in my life, for the first time the sense of "being a metalhead" was important, and understanding the music on a deeper level than most people even knew was there.

What has really changed my relationship with metal, especially in the last few years, is the realization that it is a far larger realm than I could hope to exhaust in my lifetime. Before I really knew about the depth of various genres -- power metal, black metal, doom metal, etc. -- it seemed for a time like there wasn't much farther I could go, and while I'd always have my favorite bands and favorite albums, there was a finite limit to what I could discover within metal that was really new. Thankfully, I came to realize that there IS no limit. There's so much good stuff out there, you can't hope to hear it all, or even all the representative examples of it, if you devoted your life to it. This was truly a liberating thought: that I really COULD have a lifelong relationship with this thing I love so much, and that it would always serve up something new and interesting to challenge me and tempt my own imagination. When I reached that point, metal became the driving force in my life. Family, friends, job, home -- all of those are vitally important. But none of those things could, by themselves, define who I am. Metal can do that.

As a result, my relationship with metal has grown much deeper, much stronger, and much more firmly rooted. As if there was any doubt about it before, now I can truly say that I'm a metalhead for life. I can say with perfect conviction that the only way to get me to stop listening to metal will be to put a bullet in my head, and until that day comes, my relationship with it will continue to be a very sacred one. Now, merely 15 years out from my awareness of its presence in my life, metal has become the engine that powers my writing, my personal relationships, and almost every waking moment of my life excepting the comparatively scant hours where I'm forced to tend to certain necessities (like a day job). I can only imagine where metal will take me in the next 15 years, but I'm certain if I'm asked this same question again at that time, the answer will be just as much of a revealing journey as it is now. Long live metal!


Living For Metal: This Is Me and Who I Am
By EvilG

My relationship with metal, in terms of how it's changed over time, is not something I have really analyzed that much. It's become such a part of my life that I don't think I can separate my "relationship" with it from who I am in order to examine how it has changedÖbut I'll try.

I remember when I first started listening to metal in 1983. At the time I was not aware of just how important metal would become and how much of my life would eventually revolve around it. At that time metal was cool, metal was in, so I was exposed to bands like Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Motley Crue. They seemed forbidden, evil, interesting and so very, very coolÖ.I had to get into it. Thus began my relationship with metal. Soon enough I was buying the band t-shirts, reading the magazines, growing my hair long, playing guitarÖmany of the trappings of being a metalhead. The bands I listened to not only interested me musically but they spoke to me and to my frustrations. I began to realize that this "music" was reflecting myself, my beliefs, and my individuality more and more. No longer was it just "music", it was a reflection of me. This took root in the late 80's and was not something that happened after listening to metal for just a year or two. When you are a young teenager you are quite impressionable. I was no different in that regard. Many teens in the 80's were into metal. The regard in which I consider that my relationship with metal was different is that after being a metalhead became no longer "cool" (somewhere between 1990-1992 for where I live and for my "generation") I still stuck with it while many people around me changed by listening to non-metal bands or by changing their image to look like everyone else in the "normal" world. Listening to metal was never about fitting in for me so I never questioned myself or who I was. I knew then, while I saw others change, that metal was something I would have forever while they would not. I knew that it was not a fad and that it was not just music but it was who I would be forever. It was clear to me then that heavy metal and who I was had become inseparable. No fad, person, woman, friends, job, school, etc. will ever change this. This is me and what I am and if for any reason me and that doesn't mix, then I will not compromise who I am and what I believe in for it.

Since the late 80's until now my relationship with metal has only strengthened. Never once has there been a time where I thought I would grow out of metal. As an adult I still find bands every month that remind me of why I love metal so much. Why I have come to feel the way I do, I do not know. I think everyone in their life eventually finds something that makes them tick or that they seem to live for. For some it's religion, for others it might be mountain climbing or even their career. For me it is metal.

"Living For Metal - You Keep Us Going
Living For Metal - We Hear You Roaring
Metal Is Our Life"


How has your relationship with metal changed over the years??
By Rick

My relationship with metal. This is a toughie. I considered myself a metalhead way back in 1983 when I was listening to Quiet Riot. How has that relationship changed over the years? The only way that my relationship has changed is that it has gotten stronger. Back in the early days I was still trying to figure out what a metalhead was. Was I a metalhead (or headbanger as was the common term back then) because of the way I dressed? Because of the people I hung out with? Because of the music I listened to? In the early days when metal was more popular with the masses it was easy to be a metalhead. Metal was everywhere. I felt that I was one with this music. When my friends drifted away from metal I was pulled more and more towards it. It became my closest friend. Always there in the good times and the bad times. If there was one thing I could always turn to it was metal. As I got older I was told that I would "grow out" of metal. I would listen to country music or pop music as my musical tastes "matured". That never happened for me. For awhile it was scary as I had no metalhead friends and I almost believed the things that people were saying about metal being only for kids. My friends listened to pop music and rap and often made fun of the metal that I was listening to. I even tried to like some of this music. After a short period of this I came to the realization that Metal was the only music that moved me, that made me think and feel and most importantly made me happy. My journey to the dark side was complete... wait now, wrong movie.. Since then I have never had any doubts about metal. It is the one constant thing in my life. Over the years I have been accused of being everything from a hippy to a Satanist because of my love of metal. I just chalk those uneducated arguments up to ignorance. Metal has become as much a part of my life as Oxygen. And the last I heard humans die without oxygen.


Joe's Rant!

Well, Iíve done a lot of thinking about this monthís topic and Iím still not sure what to write because in all honesty, I donít think my relationship with Metal has changed much since I first began listening to it back in 1983. My taste in sub-genres may have fluctuated as I was introduced to more and more styles, but as the years have gone by Metal has proven to be my one true love. If thereís been any change at all, it would have to be that I love it more now than I ever did. Probably a strange comparison, but to me Metal is like that one perfect woman (a soul-mate, if you will...), that is supposedly "out there", but is rarely ever found.

Iím not saying that Metal is all I need to make my life "whole" or "complete". To achieve that I also need a good woman (Liz Hurley! I'm available!!!), a well paying job (preferably playing in a Metal band, haha...), a place of my own that doesnít suck, a dog or two, some new music gear, and a 1972 Plymouth ĎCuda 340 (Actually, I wouldnít mind owning a whole garage full of antique cars, but I donít want to seem greedy.) Musically speaking though, Metal fulfills all of my wants and needs. Very rarely does my ear wander to other genres, and when it does I usually only listen to a little Ď80's Rock that I liked as a kid, or Classical. But those styles are more like casual friends or acquaintances, so listening to them is more like hanging out on a Saturday afternoon than actually cheating on my beloved Metal. After some quick catching up, Iím always drawn back to the one I love and whoís always been there for me.

Considering how good Metal often makes me feel (especially when things arenít going right), why would I give up something that affects me on an emotional, intellectual, and sometimes physical level??? I know that bimbo Pop and trailer trash Country could never satisfy me the way that Metal does, even after all these years. Those styles of music are superficial and without depth, revealing nothing in terms of soul, thus leaving very little for a listener to truly appreciate. After all, only fools walk away from the things that help to feed their souls... And I know a good thing when Iíve found it.


ďHow has my relationship with metal changed over the years?Ē
By Nathan

My love for, dedication to, and involvement in metal did not change much for many years (with the exception of just getting stronger). But it significantly changed has over the last few months. In fact you may have noticed my absence from reviewing the last couple months. Donít worry, metal has not left my soul, and it never will. My love for this kind of music is as strong as ever. But my priorities have changed over the past several months, which have affected my relationship to the metal scene, rather than the music itself. I have become increasingly busy in my personal and work life. Things have happened to me that I would never have imagined would happen. At least not this soon. Itís all good stuff and I couldnít be happier! Although I cannot go into any detail here because there are many people that just donít need to know. But all of these things have affected how much time I spend reading about metal, surfing the internet for metal sites, keeping up-to-date on bands, checking out concerts, and even reviewing CDs for Metal Rules. And Iíve hardly bought any new CDs this year (well, compared to how much I normally spend on music). I am a pretty die hard fan when it comes to the bands I like. I feel compelled to buy a bandís new album even though it might suck. But the time has come for me to put certain bands to rest and concentrate on those bands I really enjoy the most. I just simply cannot spend the time and money anymore on bands that are just becoming mediocre. Bands like Amorphis, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Sepultura, Dream Theater, Entombed, The Gathering, Anthrax, Megadeth, and Suicidal Tendencies. And then add to that bands that are starting to piss me off because they are on the verge of becoming total shit, such as In Flames, Slayer, Pantera, Overkill, and The Haunted. Maybe Iíve just been listening to too much challenging, thoughtful, and inspiring music like Dim Mak, Opeth, Cryptopsy, and The Morglbl Trio to really appreciate the boring directions all those other bands are heading in. But whatever happens to me in the future, I will always be metal at heart. It has been a huge part of my life for 15 years. Thereís no way Iíd ever let that go.


How has your relationship with metal changed over the years??
By Pete

These days, I like to think I still have as much passion for metal as I did in my "younger" years, although I'm not as consumed by it as, say, back in high school. But I also remember that back then, you could turn on the TV and see an Ozzy video, or turn n the radio and hear Judas Priest's "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" so it was more accessible back then. I would eat, sleep and breathe metal back then, spending lots of time in record shops and buying whatever I could get my hands on. Later, I would move on to play in a metal band and host a metal radio show at our local university. These days, I'm a little more selective in my CD purchases. I get to jam occasionally, help out on the Metal-Rules radio show and assist EvilG in contributing to this website, which in turn keeps me involved in metal.

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