Is Heavy Metal the Most Virtuosity-Focused Form of Music Nowadays?
As you can probably well imagine, we are probably going to get a lot of flak for the title of this article. The title, if you’re reading through it carefully, can easily be read as a loaded question.
You know what a loaded question is, right? A loaded question is a question that actually already has an answer. It is just being positioned in such a way so that the answer looks like it’s coming out of the mouth of the person being asked. In reality, the loaded question already answers the question it’s supposedly asking. It’s just going through the motions. It’s just a formality.
Well, keep in mind that the question being posed by the title of this article is not a loaded question. It is a very real question because, let’s face it, we live in a time and age where almost anybody can call themselves a musician. There are, of course, all sorts of technical tools, software and resources available that would turn even a person who sounds like two cats mating in the middle of the night into the latest incarnation of Elvis. No joke. That’s how powerful and scary musical technology is.
Music engineering used to require a lot of physical dexterity and an ear for music. It definitely required manual labor. Not anymore. In fact, you only need to set up software in such a way that you can turn almost anybody into some sort of musical genius.
In fact, they don’t even have to sing. They can just be saying something or they can even be reading out some sort of shopping list. And by putting all those audio signals into a software, you can digitally reconfigure and splice and dice it to come up with some sort of a musical masterpiece.
Given this hellscape of creative lack of imagination, you can see why a lot of people are turned off to modern music. In fact, the moment they hear the thump of electronic dance music, they tune out. They drop out. They don’t want to hear another note. These are precisely the type of people that would love heavy metal because heavy metal is not a liar’s form of music.
Now, I’m not saying that everybody who listens to Justin Bieber is a liar, I’m saying that there is no way you can lie with heavy metal. You either know how to play the guitar or the drums or the bass or sing, or you don’t.
It’s like trying to hide your private parts using a towel the size of a postage stamp. It’s just not going to happen. Why? The formula that underlines heavy metal music is tight, clean and oh so demanding.
People have to know how to play their instruments. They have to have the right timing, and they have to have impeccable taste, otherwise, it’s not going to work out. All these loose strands will not fit into each other, they won’t flow into each other, and the sum is going to fall apart.
This is why a lot of people flock to heavy metal because they think that it’s virtuosity-focused. Either you know how to play or you don’t. They welcome that. They love that because it’s a traditional value.
You don’t rely on machines. You don’t rely on tools. You don’t rely on software. You don’t create something that doesn’t exist. Either it is or it doesn’t.
Now, most people can respect and admire chipping away at the raw form that you bring to the table, but you have to bring something real. And that’s what heavy metal offers. That’s its biggest promise and that’s why people continue to flock around it and get excited by it to this very day.