Saturday, September 4, 2010

Separation of Religion and Metal

Lately I've been seeing a number of news stories popping up on the various metal sites which feature artists spewing out religious comments or bashing another religion.

Every other day we hear Dave Mustaine give out a Christian rant or __________ (insert black metal band) bashing the blind followers of faith. Just the other day Nergal of Behemoth posted a message to fans while ill, saying that his experience with leukemia would not make him convert to Christianity (which of course it would be stupid to think it would).

And by now most of you have probably heard about Rev Rachel Mann's support of metal music as a release of aggression to make a person more fun-loving and peaceful.

While I respect all of these people's rights to comment on various religions, I almost feel like I'm sick of hearing it all. It's one thing to incorporate these lyrics into your music, but another to send out messages to fans saying how God/Satan/Allah has inspired you to become a better person.

What happened to the days when we could just enjoy music, without all of the religious context? If you are an "anti-Christian" black metal band, bash away in your lyrics, but just entertain when onstage. The whole Bible burning thing is tired now (and disrespectful, as it turns out ironically, there are plenty of pent-up Christian kids that listen to black metal too). And those dead animals onstage are just plain smelly.

Of course there is always the counterpoint in saying that if you take the religion/politics/message out of the music, you're just going to have Motley Crue style metal, but that's not exactly it.

You can still get your views across without alienating your fans offstage and in the live setting. Or at least come up with something a little more original (like Gojira's eco-friendly metal or maybe we can start up some more Mexi-metal and get into the immigration issue...).

1 comment:

Rob Liz said...

The problem is that in the case of extreme music you're never going to get away from the mix of religion and metal. It has been around since the days of Mercyful Fate, Venom, and Slayer to name a few.
If it has the ability to shock and offend a portion of society then it has done it's job. The problem is that it was more shocking when there were fewer bands doing it. Now there is a whole series of subgenres that exist for it and they go unnoticed mainly because if you're exposed to something too much you become desensitized to it.
On the flip side you have all of these musicians that have become Christians because they led such poisoned lives at their peak that its almost a redeeming factor to find something to straighten them out. I hate born agains though because they are usually the preachiest set of people. they become so what they think is enlightened that they think everyone else should come over too.