Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Thematics of Heavy Metal

Of course there are many things that should worry us about heavy metal, but even the most dispassionate can't fail, surely, to be interested in what makes it work, or not. But even Planet Rock DJ's appear not to be interested in this dissection. I suspect they are not allowed to, for it would cause discontent. Hence we evidence the flattening of our culture. I fear people who fear to declare this better than that, or declare such declaring be inappropriate (not that again!) The Planet Rock malaise is a shame since it would seem the best part of a potential Planet Rock DJ's task to mumble occasionally 'it's good because it's bad' just as Proust said of Ruskin, and potentially terribly entertaining too. However I don't give a damn as long as today I don't meet any Iron Maiden fans in Tescos; because to be sure 'Run for the Hills' is truly awful and I need to find out why and indeed, declare it from the hills while I'm running.
It's the galloping bass line I think. Imagine them, sitting in the studio making the bass line gallop harder and harder, like horses, like galloping chargers. It's so Derek Smalls, it's so Dungeons and Dragons, and it's sooo crap. Clearly I like my bass to sound like bass, and with heavy metal I would prefer we are not in the special effects cabins of the BBC.  So Iron Maiden can be very bad indeed with their metaphors, let alone subjects, as far as I'm concerned.
So how come I love the Immigrant Song eh? Where they charge in from the land of ice and snow!!! It doesn't make sense unless I realize that on the Immigrant Song the drums sound very much like drums. Meanwhile I do note that on Celebration Day, even Robert Plant comes over very sheepish about having to sing about Gollum and Mordor in 2006.
A taxonomy of metal, that unique aggregation of teenage angst and masturbation into sound, illustrates a limited but interesting realm of endeavour that concentrates mainly around issues of Satan, Tolkien, war, apocalypse in all its forms, Goth, motorcycles, death, wargames, maidens and the lack of, murder...(just as the Blues has roads, trains, heartbreak, satan, starvation, work or lack of, weather...) that desperately demand some thematic analysis (just like they do to Jane Austen).
If only it wasn't that the masters declare that RocknRoll is just rock and roll ('yuhh!') when even their own night prowlers are faintly plausible. It gets in the way of a feast of peculiarity. It's only rotten taste but I like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment