Is heavy metal teaching children to be evil? There are many people that condemn and criticize heavy metal whenever given the chance. This is partially due to the fact that heavy metal addresses some key issues in our society that many people choose to ignore. Still some of them argue their personal views very passionately. The following is a series of claims and charges against heavy metal, and the how the author, Robert Walser, of “Running with the Devil” refutes them.
The first statement made was that heavy metal incites rebellion and violence. There have been many accusations against heavy metal and its ulterior motives. During 1985 one study in wall street journal reported that there is a remarkable complex relationship between music listening and brain organization. The author Carl A. Raschke of “Painted Black: From drug killings to heavy metal” has even gone so far as to say heavy metal dissolves the fragile bonds of repression that make civilization possible, and it unnaturally corrupts human nature itself. Robert Walser states that the critics believe fans are passive unable to resist the pernicious messages of heavy metal. Heavy metal survives because it exist in a world of inequity and injustice not to mar and degrade culture.
“The most celebrated public controversy over heavy metal to date revolved around a lawsuit against Judas Priest, tried in 1990”. Subliminal messages from Judas Priest’s song Stained Class had supposedly brought the two young boys to a suicidal state of mind. It was a direct attack on heavy metal. The whole case depended on if, in fact, Judas Priest had subliminal music in the music that would drive kids to kill themselves. In the end the case was almost a joke, because many of the songs were played backwards revealing absurd sentences. Judas Priest said they “thought their music was all these kids ever had”. In the end any obvious person can understand the absurdity of a band encouraging their worshiping fans to kill themselves.
The last topic of heavy metal that hasn’t been addressed yet is the motives behind the mysticism and horror heavy metal produces. Many bands surprisingly don’t touch on satanic topics. As with other icons however the Devil is not conjured up to be worshiped but rather to be used as a social symbol. Heavy metals most infamous “Satanist” King Diamond quotes “Satan, for me, is not a guy with a long tail. Satan stands for the powers of the unknown, and that’s what I’m referring to”. “Heavy metal’s lyrics are less concerned with celebrating satanic rituals than with exploring tensions between reality and dream, evil and power”. Heavy metal is just another form of art used to express its own message to those who are willing to take the time to listen. In closing I would like to give a thought provoking quote from Stephen king. “The tale of the irrational is the sanest way I know of expressing the world in which I live. These tales have served me as instruments of both metaphor and morality; they continue to offer the best window I know on the question of how we perceive things and the corollary question of how we do or do not behave on the basis of our perceptions”.