On a lazy Tuesday afternoon, while bored out of my mind, I was watching YouTube videos of cats with my girlfriend. I clicked on a "recommended" video of a song by metal band, Morbid Angel, mostly just to annoy her.
She wasn't into it: Dude, this song is so scary. What's up with metalheads and the whole heavy music thing? Do they all, like, worship Satan or something? As a devoted heavy metal fan, I'm tired of answering these kind of questions. Allow me to educate you. The short answer to everything: no.
No, we do not eat babies, we do not beat each other up and we're not all Satan worshippers who are possessed by demons from hell. In fact, I think we are probably some of the most amazing and kind people around.
Metalheads are honest and strongly opinionated.
Metalheads are unapologetically forthright with their opinions. If they don't like you, you'll know from a mile away. If they find you to be a pretentious, dim-witted Justin Bieber fan, they won't hide their feelings about it.
Metalheads show true brotherhood.
I've been to so many gigs — Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Metallica, to name a few. And at every show, I've huddled with fellow metalheads, head-banging in unison as bands belt out our favorite tunes. Even before shows start, while I wait for bands to perform, I've engaged in deep, passionate conversations with other, diverse metalheads about our mutual love for the music.
One specific incident at a Metallica gig sticks out in my memory: When Metallica first took the stage, the crowd went crazy, nearly to the point of trampling fans. Unfortunately, I was in the front of the crowd and fell flat on my face. Immediately, metal fanatics around me stopped, helped me up and cheered me on to enjoy the show. Whenever metalheads meet, a brotherhood forms.
Metalheads have a deep appreciation for faith.
Metalheads are sometimes perceived to be anti-religion. The truth is contrary; many metalheads use the music to consider a particular faith on a deeper level, be it Christianity, Hinduism or even Satanism. If you actually speak to a metalhead (rather than blindly judging), you would realize that he or she may have a vast knowledge of his or her chosen faith.
Metalheads do not shun non-metalheads.
Yes, you read that correctly. Metalheads don't regard non-metalheads as lesser beings. No big deal if you're not into Pantera or Mötley Crüe. You like your thing and I like mine — we can still be good friends.
Metalheads accept people of different backgrounds.
Metalheads aren't intolerant or bigoted. A fellow metalhead is a fellow metalhead, and nothing else matters.
Metalheads are loyal.
Metalheads are true fans to the bands they love. At an Iron Maiden concert, it seemed like every other fan was middle-aged — that's loyalty. There are plenty of metalheads who travel worldwide following their favorite bands, repeatedly.
Metalheads are confident, empowered individuals.
I am a testament of this; I'm a football fanatic and always listen to Pantera songs to pump myself up before tournaments. Right after unplugging my headphones, I feel like I could crush a woolly mammoth with my bare hands. No lie.
Metalheads just want to have fun.
For the most part, Metalheads are a fun-loving, happy bunch of people who are deeply in love with the music.