It’s March 26 and it’s a rainy day in Portland, Oregon, and in a few hours at the Hawthorne Theatre there is about to be a Metal concert. Fans have started to line up, all excited to see some great metal bands perform (Rotting Christ, Melechesh, HATE, Abigail Williams, Lecherous Nocturne). I have been going to Metal shows since 2007 , and I have never seen what I am about to describe for you.
It may have been raining but it didn’t stop some very extreme religious fanatics from coming out. First let me tell you that he proclaimed to be a Christian. I know some people that are religious, and they have never behaved like this. One fellow was carrying a sign that said “Why do you love the devil, repent sinner , serve Jesus”, with a list of names they think of as sinners. The main fellow came with a bullhorn, which was fine, make himself heard, I understand that. But all he did was scream and yell at people with it, now you now that yelling wont get anyone to listen to you, in fact what it usually does is get people angry, or just walk away laughing. It seems that he could not just have a normal conversation about what he believed in.
It was not long before the bands come out of their tour bus / vans to see what all the commotion was all about. There were lots of good arguments that happened, but when he was at a loss for words, he would say, “why are you looking at me, are you gay, go away” or say such things as “all you do is smoke pot, do drugs, try to take away the people who love Jesus, or all you do is sleep with your whores.” Well in all fairness, him spouting off these statements was very judgmental, he did not know any of the people he was screeching at. He just could not have a conversation, or try to say why these bands were so bad, or why any of us are making the wrong choice (according to him) , instead he was 2 inches away from your face and caterwauling. The main reason for him being there was because of Rotting Christ. I am assuming the name is what made him take notice.
A little on Christian beliefs - (1)God created all that is seen and unseen (2) Jesus is the Son of God and is one with God (3) Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (4) Jesus suffered and was crucified (5) Jesus died and was buried (6) Jesus rose again (the Resurrection) (7) Jesus ascended into Heaven (8) Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead (9) Anyone can have salvation (10) People who repent of their sins will be forgiven.
Now a little on the Metal beliefs -
As a kid I grew up with religion, first it was Catholic, and being young, well I didn’t know any better. When I was older and we didn’t go to church anymore I asked questions, and because my mom had married someone who was not Catholic she was kicked out of the church. I applaud her for that, as she was not hurting anyone, she wanted to be happy in her life and was making the right decision for her. Shame on the church for judging and throwing out one of their own. Then after my Dad died, I thought maybe I should have some kind of religion in my life, so tried Christianity, but because I was older, I could make my own decisions and soon realized that this wasn’t for me either. Especially having the church tell me my dad died because God needed him, and that it was a way for God to make me stronger. Sorry, but I needed my dad in my life, I was just starting to get to know him better. And I guess I just don’t like the fact too that when you sit down to listen that a plate gets passed around and you are to put offerings in it. Some churches even say that you must pay 2/3 or your salary to be part of the church. I found this to be ludicrous. But to each their own, I know for me, I am not going to judge people for what they believe in, that’s their choice.
I personally started listening to Metal in 2007, only to check out what my kids were listening to, to make sure it was all alright. And ever since, I have enjoyed many a concerts, some people judge because you say its Metal, but I have never met such a fantastic group of musicians, friendly, caring and always willing to help when things go wrong….again its called a Metal family. One that I am happy to be a part of. But for some I can see why they think its horrible, yes the lyrics can be pretty brutal, (LOL, if you can hear them with some having such deep brutal vocals) but it’s a song, a lot of them are stories, something that is written by the songwriter because for him there is a meaning to it, something that maybe reflects on his life. They aren’t trying to send out any subliminal messages, or trying to hurt kids. The kids that do commit suicide are ones that were troubled already, it has nothing to do with the music. Because if it did, don’t you think that everyone who listened to Metal would be doing it. Then who would buy the bands CD’s, so to send out messages in their songs that tell people to commit suicide is ridiculous . The names that people use for the band name, its just that, a name, nothing more nothing less. And its definitely not devil worshiping. Yes, there are some extreme bands, and I have seen a few, but that’s stage performance, something that catches you eye because its different from the other bands. The band members take on extensive tours, all on cramped tour busses , going city to city, to give their fans all they can without fail. Which means they have left their own families/friends at home, being unselfish, thinking of making others happy. I support the Metal scene 100% because I have a lot of respect for them, accepting everyone into their world without judging. That’s what its all about.
Metal music is not to be confused with its cousin, rock music. Metal draws its inspiration from a variety of musical and cultural sources. Believe it or not, many metal bands have been influenced by classical composers such as Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven and especially Wagner. What a lot of people fail to realize is the Metal community is one big happy family, and it includes all races, all religions, not like the above mentioned. I know a lot of people that have been saved by this music, going through some very hard times, and especially if there family at home is not there for them, they have turned to metal community and its gotten them over the hump. Which is exactly what a family is suppose to do. To be there to help, and support, not be judgmental, and to be there for each and every one.
Quote from ATF SINNER of HATE “All I can say is: I find it strange what religious choices people make .. It seems everybody makes choices he can afford to.”