Metal means power, anger, rage and rebellion. Metal means washing your pains away. Metal is hatred. Metal is divine. Metal is Godliness. Metal was always an anthem of the underground. But now as we turn these pages of years the trend seems to have changed. It is still the music for "Weird" people, but the term "weird" has a bit of a different meaning. I say this watching all those Black-T wearing kids that flock every other Metal show in town. Which makes me say that it’s not so “Underground” anymore? Is it? Don’t we all now like to flaunt our favourite band T-Shirts now?
As Metal as a genre and "Metal Heads" as a breed have evolved, the Metal scene has emerged as one of the strongest and most sought after Genre in the music scene now. The followers of Metal are to be given all the credit for this. This genre was always under the Rock umbrella for as many years as I can think. But now, although not fully detached, it has a separate identity all together.
As in all over the World, the scene in India is very Heart-Warming indeed as well. There is not a single city in India, I think, where there isn't a Metal Band now. Although many would hate to disagree, I always thought this particular genre was brought up among all of India from a part of the country, where my home is, the North-Eastern part. Now it’s not just a hallucinating old bugger in a grey shack who buys cassettes (Pirated of course) from the foreign and Chinese Markets that listen to Metal.There was a time when bands like AC/DC were thought of being Anti-Christ (It still is somewhere).I mean c'mon. AC-DC, although someone very wittily put the Bands name as After Christ/Devil Comes or something similar to that, but AC/DC I thought were never ever Anti-Christ. They were Kick-Fucking-Ass, no doubt, but not Anti-Christ! The notoriety associated with Metal is still prevalent. But the acceptance has gained momentum. And yes, there are darker sub-genres of Metal which will forever be thwarted by the society, except a precious few Darker ones no doubt. Bands like Gorgoroth and Dimmu Borgir will never be as widely accepted as bands like AS I LAY DYING, LAMB OF GOD, CHILDREN OF BODOM, CHIMAIRA, IN FLAMES, SOILWORK, BFMV, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, HATEBREED, MACHINE HEAD, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, SEPULTURA etc to name a few. Even bands like OPETH, SIX FEET UNDER, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and TESTAMENT have got a fan base now. The lyrics have a huge difference in that regard. While tracks by some of these bands are considered vulgar, inappropriate, explicit or damaging, the Dark Metal bands have lyrics that talk about being Anti-Christ or take pride in burning churches down and Killing people. So their fan base or following will always be "Limited".
I do not know if people have started appreciating repulsive music (as some like to put it) or something that is not very "Good". Or plain and simply people who thought that metal is destructive and violent were dumb and continue to be dumb. Not that those people have changed but this is sure that Metal now is here to stay. And it is not going to fade away. It’s not just some fucked up kids who play this to get attention. It’s the music of a Mass now. A "Cult" and there's no stopping them. There's no stopping this mad fury.
I can’t hide my excitement when I see a kid buying a LAMB OF GOD or a CHILDREN OF BODOM(CD). It makes me wonder how easier it would have been to me to hunt my VENOM and KING DIAMOND and WHITESNAKE and METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN(CD). Situations change I guess, eh?
It is this following that I wish to talk about. These so called "Metal heads". These people have changed everything. Although maybe a certain sub-genre of Metal is always supposed to be underground, a certain part of the Metal has made its impact felt. All of which is due to the "Fans", I should say. It would take all the time in the world if I go on describing how "Crazily" a fan follows his/her band, one point I would like to make is: The fans think their world starts and ends with their Favourite bands. The band members are gods. And they are their worshippers. Every other genre in the whole Music industry would die to have fans as ardent as a Metal fan to his/her band. They follow them everywhere. They do not forget to pick on other bands and always think their favourite band is the best! Yes, true no doubt. It all starts with one fan for a band don’t it? And then the word of mouth and the relentless "gigging" to keep those fans happy!
Now as the India Metal scene in is emerging. It is these fans that are doing it again. They alone hold the key to the future. They will predict the future of "Metal" in India. I, as a die-hard Metal head, would like to urge all those Metal heads out there who are reading this to make sure they do not let go of their hopes. There is better tomorrow for us Brothers and Sisters. We have to do everything possible to keep this Metal Flag alive and burning. I have smelt the stench of the burn. Damn, that feels good.
Souvik Dey (St.Artherius)