Unrestricted, unbiased and brutally honest – this has been the treadmark of Rock and Metal lyrics. Hate, anger, suffering, substance abuse, war, death, the devil and sometimes, broken relationships are popular themes that have created a long list of songs appreciated by Metal heads around the world. So much so, people even tend to pick out the negative meanings of few ‘innocent’ rock numbers and branded them as evil. Classic example would be the controversy surrounding the Led Zeppelin’s legendary masterpiece – Stairway to Heaven, which was accused of being some weird devil’s song when played backwards!!! The British Hard Rock band fittingly replied the devil chant theorists that their turntable plays the tape only forward. More recently, German band Rammstein’s popular track ‘Du Hust’ is translated as ‘You Hate me’ instead of the actual meaning ‘You Ask me’.
Could this attitude at large possibly explain Rock or Metals or any related genre’s exclusion from mainstream pop culture? The popular culture seem to be reluctant to leave the tried and tested formula of 4×4 beats and sick love or party songs in Intro-Chorus-Solo-Chorus format. Afterall, everybody in the show business is here to earn money. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone, including me wants to get rich…filthy rich. But does that means you turn a blind eye on all the evil in the society and pretend that they don’t exists?
Black Sabbath sang about ‘evil mind plotting destruction and politicians using humans as pawns in chess’. How true! Yet we went ahead and term them as Sympathizer of the Devil! Why? Is it because their front-man Ozzy accidentally bite a live bat on stage or these questions made someone uncomfortable? System of a Down number ‘Coupsey’ was banned from airplay because its ‘lyrics are controversial’ WTF. All they said was that they don’t trust in your self righteous suicide. I don’t believe in it too. Sepultra’s recent album was banned because its album cover had sensitive images of Christ. (Whatever happened to artistic freedom and all that jazz?).
I can go on like this forever and ever about all the injustice they did, and are still doing to people like us in the name of moral policing. Looking away from a problem doesn’t make it go away. They remain till you don’t talk and do something about it. Hiding away in plastic beats and synthesized voice is a gross misuse of a strong medium like music. Instead it should be used to inspire generations to ask questions, to speak their mind, to judge whats right and wrong on their own.
If listening to “EVIL” music makes you speak your mind…I’d say, bring it on!!