Why I (still) listen to metal.


I’m trying to like these bands.  I’m trying to like these kind of “rock” type bands now.  I keep thinking I’ll find the new Rush, right? I like rock. I do. And look, this 3 Doors Down isn’t bad. At all, this isn’t bad at all:


And this one, well, you know. It’s in 6/8 time and that’s cool, right?


But the lyrics are pretty whiny. As is the rest of the album.


What is that? Seriously?  What the hell is this song?

It’s time to let you go, it’s what we had to do,
It’s time to give this up, I think we both knew,
There’s nothing left to say, there’s nothing left to prove,
And now it’s time to turn and walk away from, what’s left of
me and you…

… that’s the best we can do for lyrics? Major band, 2011? Seriously? Does music not evolve?


Here, here’s some real eloquence on relationships:

Different eyes see different things
Different hearts beat on different strings
But there are times
For you and me, when all such things agree…

This is the metal I found, what… six months ago?  I’m still listening to it. It doesn’t get old. I hear new things, understand new things about it all the time.  Music should unfold.  Music should start dense and opaque and each listening should bring understanding and illumination and I guess if I gotta go to to metal to get that then I will.


Segos brigos

From antumnos the life-giving winds
Fanned the flames into a blaze
The awen of the mighty

By the force of sucellus sledge
By every impact of ogmios club
With bricta’s invincible epiphany

A tribe arose
A tribe broke forth

Cause we’re born free
Cause we’re born wild
Cause we are indomitable and bold
Cause we are fire (brave)
Cause we are wave (strong)
Cause we are rock (tribe)
We are one – we are helvetios

The ears tethered to the divine tongue
Following the ancient wise
As laughter fills antumnos

Drinking from the cup of life
The well that’s never running dry
We wandered into the light of day

Again taranis enthean wheel revolved
From antumnos life was upheaved

By the force of succellus sledge
By every impact of ogmios’ club
With bricta’s invincible epiphany

While the English part of that may be somewhat questionable, this shit has things to say. It’s an exhortation, meditation, assertion. It’s part of a long story the album tells not just of a tribe or an historical event, but a state of mind that a whiny “well, I guess that’s it then,” breakup song isn’t, never will be.


I’m not saying “back then in days of fur kilts and plague we were much better people.” That’s a trap.  You know why it’s a trap?

Y lovede a child of this cuntre,
And so Y wende he had do me;
Now myself the sothe Y see,
That he is far.

Here, let me translate that for you:

I loved a child of this country,
And so I thought he also loved me;
Now, myself the truth I see,
That he is far.

That’s fifteenth-century whiny lovestricken bullshit right there, not so different from 3 Doors Down at all.


Maybe Helvetios is in some ways some illucid, pretentious crap, appropriating a past culture we’ll never really understand and certainly not by means of romanticization. What the fuck does “upheaved” even mean?

But see, it’s a state of mind thing.

I’d rather sit here and contemplate “upheaved” and being indomitable and bold than listen to some guy whine on about myriad wrongs of his life and the world. In the end, I need music to push me, exhort me, not echo and amplify any of my own whiny voices.

So I still listen to metal.


I’ll leave you with this, today. Listen to whatever lights you on fire. Don’t listen to anything, don’t make any art that consigns you to your fate.


2 thoughts on “Why I (still) listen to metal.

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