Categories: MusicMusic

Top 10 Myths About Metal

For over 40 years people across the world have explored Metal and it’s many subgenres. So many misjudgements popped up over time that I believe it is important to let people know how misunderstood the music really is. Here are my top ten myths about Metal, and the truth that comes with them. Please note that these are not my personal opinions.

Heavy Metal

Myth: The music is called “Heavy Metal”

So I thought I’d start you off with an easy one. Most people believe that the name of the harsh-sounding screams and heavily distorted guitars is “Heavy Metal”. In actuality, Metal has hundreds of subgenres and “Heavy Metal” is barely even one of them. Bands such as Cream, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath paved the way for metal bands by creating a unique sound. But while these bands can be called heavy metal, an alarming majority of non-metalheads, especially elderly people and teenage girls, refer to all rock music as heavy metal. Simply because they know nothing of the diversity in the genre.


Myth: Metal musicians are uneducated freaks who can’t form sentences

Another common one. Most people view metal lyrics and music as simple and stupid. In reality, most metal musicians are highly intelligent, highly focused people who are capable of writing deep, meaningful lyrics and music. For example, the black metal band Bathory derived much of their music from classical composers. And most metal lyrics are surprisingly literate.


Myth: All metal is against religion

In most non-metalhead opinions, metal bands religion deserves to be hated, but such is not the case in metal. In most cases, metal is not anti-religious in general, but it is often against Christianity or forms of Christianity. However, many artists are religious, like the American Metalcore band As I Lay Dying, or David Dramian of Disturbed. It is safe to say that Religion is not well liked in metal, but it’s not exactly hated. Although there are exceptions to all rules…


Myth: Metal promotes Satanism

The genre of music that does feature lots of satanic themes and imagery is called Black Metal, derived from Venom’s thrash album; Black Metal. Although some death and thrash metal, like Slayer, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel features Satanism, very few black metal musicians actually have satanic beliefs, and the ones that do tend to try not to promote it.


Myth: Metal promotes criminal activity, like murder

While a few people in the metal community have been tied into crime and murder, only one predominant case; that of Varg Vikernes, is relevant. Most metal bands that do have violent or disturbing lyrics and imagery have stated that their content is not to be taken seriously. Most notably Cannibal Corpse, who are infamous for their lyrics, which often elaborate on the more gruesome depictions of murder, death and sexual fetishism.


Myth: Metal is sexist

While it seems that much of metal, especially in the late 80’s, was designed to trivialize sex and women, now the issue is much less common. And many bands, especially of the Black, Grind and Doom metal genres avoid the topic of sex completely.


Myth: Metal musicians have fascist, racist or neo-Nazi beliefs

While many musicians say they believe certain races or ethnic groups are better or worse than others, and while some have legitimate beliefs, it is most common that it is part of a stage presence. A good example of this is former Gorgoroth vocalist Gaahl, who is not only homosexual, but has stated that he has racist views, but that he is not serious about them and tries not to express them openly.


Myth: Metal is bad for children

Much of metal is oriented towards children and teens as a less serious way to cope with stress than other means available. Although people may tell you that metal poisons the minds of our children, keep in mind that those people are generally very closed-minded and don’t understand.


Myth: Metal takes no skill to play

Any professional will tell you that metal and jazz are the two most difficult genres of music to play. And while it seems that metal musicians just thrash around while hiding behind distortion, the fast riffs and extreme percussion are almost always 100% real, without any synthesized material. The subgenres of music that tend to edit their music digitally are metalcore, industrial and grind. Most everything else is legitimate.


Myth: Metal vocals is just screaming

If you like metal, you’ve probably heard someone say, “Wow, can’t he actually sing?” This really annoys metalheads as it is a fact that metal vocals are extremely difficult. And while it seems like it’s effortless, metal vocals range greatly, from growling, to screaming, to shrieking, and everything in between. Next time someone says metal vocals are not singing, simple reply; “It’s just different.” So that concludes my list, and to all those who believe these stereotypes and think metal is dumb. We’ve had a great 40 years, and were getting along just fine without you.

View Comments

  • first of all I'm sorry for people like me and more than that for people like you 1-I'm educated currently in oxford 2-from the first time I remember when I was a kid 6 or 7 I was with a guitar when I was 10 all I had to do was hard rock and heavy metal -death metal and..... so as a kid I was happy and so is my kid now 3-before anything else you must know that I was boron IN Persia A.K.A Iran here these kind of musics including hip hop or rap is illegal , I grew up in a religious country I know about what I'm saying now for the rest ,why is it so hard to accept no religion ? and who asked you to leave your religion for listening to these musics? I had a research for all my beliefs spending 5 years of my life for them I know they are right and I can prove them one by one my point is If your sure about what you believe some music can't change it or crash it or every other thing 4-I know 4 languages and I'm a theoretical physicist I can play piano and guitar and e guitar my IQ is 121 (you can't even imagine having it) so I'm talented 5- I wish I could use a good f word here but I respect what other believe so lets just say that I'm not Fascist I wasn't and I won't be one 6-being sexy or attractive or showing sth sexy is in all musics regardless of the type and genre pop ,hip hop, classic musics and ... just check out their pics and you can see what I'm talking about what's wrong with being flashy or attractive it's normal just because some people face them unusually it doesn't make it offensive or anything 7-Crime: I never smoked a cigaret not in the past and not now and my record is completely clean I'm pretty social and outgoing and hopefully I have no problem with anyone except the "W" key on my keyboards which needs to be change! 8-everyone has an individual understanding of his life some are : becoming a president or teacher or killing people or killing them self I you believe in religion so you believe in freewill so they can choose what they wanted if you don't believe in religion your determinism so that person future was to be a president or kill him If you are nihilism there is nothing to say-- so being Satanic is what YOU look at it like this not every individual 9- even no music is music ! even not believing in anything is believing in sth and heavy metal or hard rock DOES HAVE A RYTHEM you can't find it maybe because you don't know enough to judge them and it's wrong to be judge with no rights or to be judgmental If you want to say your idea regardless of what you judgment is you MUST HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION about all u said religion . different ISMs and groups having a research or maybe talk to a few of your subjects 10- I was free so I decided to leave A comment at least I knew that the "W" key needs fixing from this text or anything it is - we Are all humans we have responsibilities for each other save each other help each other AND find your own belief by your self *********************************************************************** *********************** thank you for reading this article -Parham Asemani -

  • Scream-o is not a myth. It isn't singing because it very rarely follows a melody or even takes pitch into account. Now there are metal singers that occasionally scream for effect, but straight out scream-o is NOT singing. It's vocals.

  • I did laugh at how you tried to say metal isn't sexist but then singled out ''teenage girls'' specifically in your first point, which is pretty sexist :P

  • Many of the comments pro-metal written below,confirm sone of the "Myths" included in this list,in espcially way the 9 myth.

  • at least u didnt try to debunk the fact that all metal sounds alike oh and by the way just because metals "really really" hard to play doesnt make it good music technicality doesnt mean shit half of todays metal scene sounds factory made like they just pulled it off an assembly line for example burzum and venom are both very creative artists however venom is usually so drunk or doped up they can barely stand let alone alone play but they still have some badass music and as for burzum their music as the wikipedia describes it "Vikernes' music is characterised by hypnotic repetition and simple yet profound song structures" nuff said

  • Professional drummer here and i must say that there were some parts here that were wrong. And while Metal is hard to play in its own way (Genre requiring stamina and endurance to play) It is nowhere near hard as jazz, fusion or other types of musical genres.

  • Screamo vocals are incredibly difficult to do properly. I applaud those who can actually sing screamo