Why Metal Music is Underrated

More stories from Eric Beck


When people think of popular music, most won’t say metal as their first pick since it is discounted through stereotypes. Most people just don’t understand metal, giving it a bad reputation due to stereotypes like people believing it is just screaming, drugs, and alcohol. This can be alleviated by giving it a chance to find something in it you can enjoy. Metal has a lot to bring to the table from a critical and emotional perspective.

The lyrics of most songs in popular genres are repetitive and mindless, not really having meaning and just designed to get stuck in your head. And that is only if you can understand even a word they say. Metal doesn’t have this problem as much, as the lyrics are well though out, well written, and even better sung. Metal musicians design their lyrics around a theme, whether it is trying to provoke an emotional reaction, tell a story, or both.

Bands like Dragonforce and Breaking Benjamin write songs that are designed to make you feel something. Dragonforce makes songs that are encouraging and confident while Breaking Benjamin makes songs that are more caring and compassionate. Thought is put into the how the lyrics will fit with the rhythm and tone of the song. TOOL does this very well, incorporating rhythm and tone into how the song is supposed to sound. Parts of the lyrics in their song Lateralus follow a rhythm of the Fibonacci sequence with the syllables, and in the song Sober some of the sounds of the singing are choked down to fit the theme of the song better.

Metal musicians make the instrumental parts of their songs with skill and precision, not having to rely on cheap psychological tactics to make you think it is well played. Most popular groups and genres make songs and music designed to get stuck in your head on repeat, which makes the mind pay more attention to it. This is done so that you want more of it.

Many people believe metal to be chaotic and disorganized, but if you pay attention to it, it is very controlled; just fast. Bands like Soen and Van Canto make and execute complicated “instrumental” riffs (Van Canto is an A Capella metal band), giving the song more presence and resonance showing that they know how to make music that sounds complicated and good, while popular bands make simple and repetitive or inconsistent acoustics.

In short, Metal is stereotyped and misunderstood in many ways, like the lyrical and instrumental styles. The lyrical styles are meaningful and significant, not nonsense. The instrumentals and controlled and fit with the theme of the song, unlike popular genres. Because of these factors, people should really give Metal a chance.