While I wouldn’t say that have the broadest musical taste, I believe that I do have a taste for music outside of my “main” genre – hip hop. For most of middle school, and a bit of high school, I listened to rock and pop bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Skillet, The Black Eyed Peas, and Three Days Grace. Therefore, would not consider myself ignorant or close-minded towards other genres of music. Appreciate good music when I hear it, regardless of the genre.
That being said, I seriously do not understand why fans of death metal enjoy the music – specifically the band “Cannibal Corpse. Listened to their most popular songs “Make Them Suffer” and “Hammer Smashed Face” hoping to find something likeable about it and I could not. I had preconceived notions regarding the song titles but my mom taught me to never judge a book by its cover, so I listened. The first thing that set me off when giving these songs a try was the overwhelming instrumentals (heavy electric guitar and drum use) that made it hard to hear/understand the lyrics.
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Good instrumentals are important characteristics of a successful song, but don’t necessarily mean the song is bad without them. Next, I read along the lyrics while listening to the songs and I did not like the lyricism at all. The text spoke of death, agony, and other malicious acts being performed or felt by people. When I listen to music, I tend to stick to upbeat artists that sing on inspirational material, with the occasional stereotypical rap song thrown in when looking for a song to have fun to. I suppose that may have been my own bias when listening to death metal.
I try to have a beginners mind when trying something new but the song titles, instrumentals, and lyrics gave off he vibe of satanic and demonic-type music that made me feel uneasy when listening to death metal. The first song that I listened to by Cannibal Corpse was “Make Them Suffer. ” searched popular songs by this music group and found this, hoping that since it was popular it would be the type of song to open me up to this type of music. Like said before, like to come into new things with an open mind so I tried not to let the song title throw me off and give me a biased opinion before listening.
Unfortunately, the song did exactly what the title said to me. The heavy electric guitar, drums, and vocals called “death growls” together made an unpleasant sound that made it both hard to follow along and to take seriously as a respectable genre of music. Furthermore, lyrics such as “Make them suffer! Make them plead for cessation, entirely demoralized and close to mass extinction… ” Did not appeal to me. Immediately, looked to the comment section of this Youth video to read what viewers found appealing about this music.
Numerous people stated that the song was “soothing,” ‘this is what I listen to when want to relax,” and after a hard day, “this is what I needed. ” Others said that they related to this song with regards to how they felt about the world. A few also commented that it brought back pleasant memories for them. I wondered; “What pleasant memories could be brought when listening to this song? ‘ “What kind of life have these people lived that they turn to death metal music to ‘soothe’ them? ” Perhaps these people have some repressed (or not-so- repressed) anger towards the world. An only imagine what they have been through during their childhood or adolescence. It is a scary thought, honestly. But since do not know their struggles, can only continue to imagine. My ignorance was clearly showing, so decided to think of the positives and see from the point of view of fans of this music. It seems like Cannibal Corpse’s music would be great to pump you up for a workout at the gym. Who couldn’t get pumped up when listening to such fast paced, heavy music? The second song I listened to by the Cannibal Corpse was “Hammer Smashed Face. The lyrics in this song were a bit more brutal than the first song – as the title may suggest. The guitar riff, drums, and vocals were very intense. Some lyrics from the song included: “Eyes bulging from their sockets with every swing of my mallet smash your bucking head in, until brains seep in through the cracks, blood does leak distorted beauty, catastrophe steaming slop, splattered all over me. ” was speechless upon reading those lyrics. What about that is appealing? “How can any normal, non-psychotic person enjoy listening to these lyrics? ” thought to myself.
To answer this inquiry’, I interviewed a couple friends of mine that would call themselves fans of death metal. My first friend, Shannon, said that she loves he riffs, how heavy it sounds, the anger behind it and the purpose. She described how there are different growls such as pig growls and that every vocalist has a different sound and technique. “Another reason why like it is because you get so many death metal bands that sound so different and it’s great fun exploring them all,” she stated. My other friend, Yanking said he would also tell me what was appealing about this genre of music. The instruments behind it are amazing stimulating emotion and letting you feel the pain through the drums, guitars, and occasional violin… Hearing someone cream ‘l am the man they couldn’t hang, a force-fed son of romance. Took these hooks and kissed your head – killed twelve dead, baby! Am an addict running winter, a closed door annihilator. Mother ere, burn buried in your bone garden! ‘ can really pump you up, but at the same time calm you down. ” pleaded to Yanking, asking what about these lyrics was interesting. “The lyrics are usually amazing, deep, and brilliant.
Unlike a lot of pop songs that are repetitive and cliche©, metal music can add a beautiful-nightmare tone to the words. When I close my eyes listening to music like this, see a gothic motherland of a sort, and it makes me happy like a sparkly vampire would for most girls my age. Guess, I kind of am ‘fan girl’ for the people I picture singing this… Lovely and deathly. ” It was clear that Yanking has a strong love for death metal music and I respected that. Most of the feelings he associated with death metal were some of the same things I felt towards rap and hip hop.
The instrumentals from some hip hop songs definitely stimulate happiness and elation, and not to mention again, great memories I’ve had in the past. While may not see why these commenter’s are fans of this music, I can sort of understand why they are fans of this music. Perhaps the same way I’m a fan of rap/hip-hop, that’s how they see their music. Have many memories with rap and hip hop songs, and when I listen to them I get taken aback to the place was when I first heard a certain song, who I was with, and how much fun I was having.
Death metal fans and I may have different definitions of “good memories” but can relate to the feeling of euphoria a song from the past can give you, and that must be what they experience. I did more research online to see fans’ seasons of enjoying the genre and to expand my understanding of this. One person said: “I like the really heavy bass tone that comes with it, plus the lyrics are hilarious. They only sound the same because your ears are untrained. ” Something “clicked” in my mind when I read this.
I could finally relate to death metal. Hated when people generalized hip hop, too! When people who primarily listen to a genre other then hip hop and I ask them on their opinion on hip hop, they usually say “All hip hop sounds the same” and “All hip hop and rap sing about is money, girls, and drugs. ” In fact, they are just innervating hip hop when songs in the genre come in many different styles, artists, and song topics. ” Those rookie listeners has an “untrained” just as am to genres outside of the one they would call their own.
I realized that the same way “outsiders” would criticize hip hop music was the same way I was on the outside looking in on death metal. I’m now sure that death metal has many different sound, but I may just be too ignorant to be able to distinguish the differences or appreciate the sound and lyrics in the songs listened to. I have learned a lot about the genre of death metal and actually life through the process of completing this assignment. When you’re on the outside looking in, it is hard – nearly impossible – to judge the inside accurately.
While I’m on the outside looking in at death metal music, would generalize the genre and think that it all sounds the same. This was the most eye-opening part of this whole assignment. Was judging death metal and the band Cannibal Corpse on the basis of a 2 songs. While, in the past people have wrongly judged rap and hip hop the same way. I was being a hypocrite by doing the same thing with another music genre. At first, I found it hard to understand what fans of this genre found entertaining and enjoyable about it.
However, after listening to Cannibal Corpse songs, interviewing fans, and conducting online research I began to get some understanding about how the fans viewed this. While still wouldn’t consider myself a fan of Cannibal Corpse or death metal, can respect other people’s taste of music more. Personally, taste has been shaped through my environment, memories and life experiences I’ve had with this music. Now understand that this could also be the same for fans of death metal, and that’s why they enjoy the music.