It’s like getting punched in the stomach

Drop D chords, thundering bass drums and abrasive screams are not for everyone. Metal music is not for the faint of heart. It packs so much emotion and power behind every note and scream.
But those who love metal are more than just fans.  They buy into an entire lifestyle.  Metalheads are different from fans of anything else. Entire wardrobes are devoted to bands, and metalheads don’t take too kindly to others bashing their favorite bands.  Metalheads stand behind their music more than any music fans. That’s what makes metal the best genre of music.
Metal concerts are unlike anything else in the world. 
 
Two summers ago, I went to Mayhem Fest and saw Slipknot, a band with one of the largest and most devoted fan bases in the realm of metal.
For more than an hour, people went insane about this band and its music. After they finally exited the stage, you felt as if you’d been punched in the stomach – in a good way.
On top of having amazing live performances, metal musicians are among the best in the world. This part is tough because as I said before, metalheads are touchy about their bands, and if you ask 10 metalheads, you might get 10 different musicians that are the best. But they would all agree that as a whole, the genre is more talented than the rest.
My favorite metal band is one of the more popular ones, As I Lay Dying. AILD is a metalcore band that has been around for a while and has had a lot of turnover at guitar and bass, but has seemed to find a solid lineup.
The band’s latest album, “An Ocean Between Us,” got all the way up to the eighth spot on the Billboard Top 200 albums when it was released in 2007. AILD is famous for two things, their faith and their musicianship.
First, they are considered a Christian metal band, which really doesn’t make much of a difference other than they write songs with positive values as opposed to other metal bands that have songs about negative meanings.
But the important reason they are popular is their musical talents. Drummer Jordan Mancino is one of the most talented contemporary drummers.
Most pop or rock songs have a hook or chorus that’s supposed to get stuck in the listener’s head, but AILD is different. Their hooks are guitar and drums.
Almost every time after I listen to one of their songs, I get a guitar or drum part stuck in my head and I can’t get it out unless I listen to that song.
Although it may sound extremely rough around the edges, metal music holds an important place in many people’s lives. The violent sound created by bands with disgusting names is music that people find great solace in.
Bill Hopkins is a sophomore sports communications major from Oswego. He is the Scout sports editor.
Direct questions, comments and other responses to whopkins@mail.bradley.edu.