Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Devil Music: Why Metal Is Considered Evil?

"Metal is devil music". "It is the work of the Devil". "Heavy metal is devil worship music." Or worst "Heavy Metal is the devil". These are some of the famous lines you would often hear from people who positioned themselves as religious. 

Devil's Music?
I grew up listening with Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera. Then came death metal such as sinister, Dismember, Napalm Death, Sepultura and others. 

As a young boy growing up with metal, I wonder if I'm worshiping the devil by listening to the music and this really puzzled me for many years.

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But what's really makes metal the devils music? 

Why these people would consider this beautiful type of music the work of the devil? Is it the lyrics or there is something else? In order to find out, let’s go back from the beginning. Back to the time when heavy metal doesn't exist yet.

Trace the root and you'll know its history.

Most metalheads firmly believed that heavy metal was conceived through the creative minds of the band Black Sabbath. Though there are other metalheads who consider Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple as the pioneers of heavy metal, but still Black Sabbath wins the majority.

The Devil and Music

In the midst of the industrial revolution in Great Britain, Black Sabbath draws from its womb in the rough streets of Birmingham. But the very critical point of heavy metal history is when Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi incorporated the Flatted 5th in many of their songs which later became their signature sound. Little did he know that because of his heavily usage of the tritone, it would revolutionarize the rock music industry forever. The flatted 5th is also called the Devil's Interval or tritone

Iommi is not the first man to discover the tritone. Long before him and black Sabbath, The Tritone has already known by classical composers during the 19th Century. The Roman Catholic considered the Flatted 5th to be devil music so this was suppressed by the church during the middle ages. In modern day, Black Sabbath did not escape the critique of the church and the public. They were banned and were forced to play underground in England.  

So the answer why metal is considered to be evil is because of the flatted 5th note or the tritone.

The funny thing is that Iommi never had an intention to make their music to be some kind of devil worship music. In fact in one interview he said, "When I started writing Sabbath stuff it was just something that sounded right. I didn't think I was going to make it devil music.

Where the hick the term "heavy metal" came from?

Originally, black Sabbath is a jazzy blues rock band but because of the devil's note they developed a new kind of genre. No one knows what kind of genre they were playing at that time. Too heavy to call it blues rock or Psychedelic rock. In an interview with Iommi in a heavy metal documentary film Metal - A Headbanger's Journey, he said that he already heard the term heavy metal but he doesn't even know the meaning of it. 

Many metalheads believed that the term Heavy Metal was inspired by the industrial revolution in UK where there are huge factories processing heavy metal ore and they relate it to this new breed of music.  

The heavy metal soon evolve and being split to several genre. It evolved from just musically evil to both musically and lyrically evil. The evil thing is the favorite topic to many death metal and black metal bands in the 80's up to present. Maybe because the topic about the devil and music grabs attention to the public and make the bands popular. But there are some Norwegian black Metal band literally worships the devil on their lyrics and on stage, to the extent that they even actually burn down Christian Churches. These guys are really taking being evil to the next level and not just a plain marketing strategy.

However, many of heavy metal bands today doesn’t use the devils note and doesn't have evil lyrics but still considered to be satanic. Why? Simply because their music are so loud, they have long hairs, their wearing black t-shirt (with skulls on it), and most of all, their body is wrap with tattoo! Crazy! Isn’t it?

In my own point of view, there is no such thing as devils music. The flatted 5th is just part of the music and I simply love the way it sound. Heavy metal is just another form of music and it can be evil or not. I think the thing that makes a song evil is the lyrics and not the music itself. Any type of music can be evil. One can worship the devil by making evil lyrics in a pop song, hip hop, orchestra, and even national anthem.

To wrap things up, lyrics, appearance, and misconception of the close minded religious people makes metal the devil music.


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