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 Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ? 
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
It's because people are generally regarded as having a rebellious phase during their youth & metal music ties into this idea beautifully. Of course there will be those people who take that phase on for life but I think it would be naïve to think that there's not some truth in the concept. I know plenty of people who went through a metal phase only to move on to less extreme forms of music as they got older. It's a natural thing for people to mellow a bit with age. For example, I was a techno DJ for many years & was renowned for playing the darker, tougher industrial techno sound coming out of Birmingham & Madrid. I always said that I couldn't understand why a lot of the producers moved on to alternative styles of techno that were less abrasive & it really annoyed me. Now that I'm in my mid-40's I find that I can't relate to the more industrial strength techno as much as I used to & prefer a more minimal sound. I feel it's a natural progression in the same way as people start to like more savoury foods & beverages as they get older but then start to return to the sweeter tastes late in life. Having said all of that I'm still obsessed with metal music 30 years later so I'm not a good case study.


Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:50 pm
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Storm Trooper
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
I copped some flack for saying this in the past, but my belief is that in most cases, if something is a 'phase' then you were probably never really into it to begin with.

I think Op took me to task on that a while ago, but even he just said that it's about 'rebellion' for many people with metal. That suggests to me that the image takes priority over the actual thing itself. What it represents is more important than what it actually is. i.e music.

I can underground people growing out of hardcore techno, because most of that music lacks substance (it's meant to be danced to and sounds great on drugs etc) and I can also understand people not liking extreme forms of metal as they get older for the reasons Op stated, but the idea of metal being a 'phase' has nothing to do with deciding in your late 30's that metal is no longer for you after listening to it for 20 years. A phase is short term.

I went to school with a few guys that ask me why I still listen to metal. They 'got over it' almost 20 years ago. It's clear to me though when I question them about it, they never really understood it in the first place.

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Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:46 am
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Star Trooper
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
I pretty much agree with what Opaline said. Most interests in music during our teenage years are generally regarded as ‘a passing phase’, it’s just the nature of adolescence regardless of the musical genre or subculture. I think it’s less of a case of people moving onto other types of music (or pop music, as mentioned in the OP) and more people just not feeling as passionate about music/art in general. Which is understandable for a lot a people who have things like career and family become the epicentre of their universe.

With that being said, I would wager the thinly veiled subtext of, “they’ll grow out of that phase,” is assuming immaturity, which I imagine is why people get a bit defensive. I’ve never really paid it any mind. Best to just enjoy what you enjoy than grab your battle axe and protect your honour like a true metal warrior and force the posers to leave the hall... or something :P

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Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:52 am
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
What I don't like about the 'growing out of it' idea is that generally what happens is people abandon interests in general. It would be different if they moved on from metal and horror movies etc to something more 'sophisticated', but that isn't usually the case. Their taste actually becomes less defined as they get older and more rigidly conformist. It's really about conforming to a narrow bourgeois view of life, and it's motivated by fear rather than genuine lack of interest.

As I've gotten older, I've become a bit less tolerant of people who don't have adequate 'compensations'. Part of getting older is being able to look at things more deeply/closer. If you aren't at that point, you haven't really grown up in my view.

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Last edited by Stat_Rad on Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:55 am
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Star Trooper
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
Stat_Rad wrote:
What I don't like about the 'growing out of it' idea is that generally what happens is people abandon interests in general. It would be different if they moved on from metal and horror movies etc to something more 'sophisticated', but that isn't usually the case. Their taste actually becomes less defined as they get older and more rigidly conformist.


Yeah, that’s what I was getting at Statters. ‘Culture’ just doesn’t become a focus for most people as they become adults, like it does for some of us. I don’t know why that is, it’s a social thing I guess.

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Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:58 am
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Climate Control
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
OP deleted as it was spam (edited after the fact, sneaky bastards).

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Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:47 pm
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
I don't have anything worthy to contribute to this thread except a funny little story. Few years ago my cousin, who was around eleven years old at the time, asked about my music taste. ''hey Colin, do you still listen to that music you call death metal or is that just a phase?'' :lol:


Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:29 pm
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
Solaris wrote:
OP deleted as it was spam (edited after the fact, sneaky bastards).


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Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:55 am
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
I've been listening to this shit since 82. Longest fucking 'phase' I've ever gone through. I'm sure I'll get over it.

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Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:57 am
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
Metal is for life, all else is faggots!

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Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
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I copped some flack for saying this in the past, but my belief is that in most cases, if something is a 'phase' then you were probably never really into it to begin with.


I'd agree with that.

It seems that anyone who isn't into the music only sees the aggression side of it. Aside from the fact there will always be things to be angry about, regardless of your age, there is far more to the music than aggression. For example, I love listening to some good uptempo thrash when I'm in a good mood: It has very little to do with aggression, more like the adrenaline rush I get from hearing a good thrash band at full pelt. Then there is the, at times, bewildering musical talent on offer. I also find Meshuggah quite mesmerising, almost zen-like, when they do their most twisted rhythms. The same with an epic doom band.

People who aren't into metal just don't see that and therefore only associate it with being angry, which people also associated with "youth".

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Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:31 am
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
^^That's exactly what I was driving at with that comment. It's a superficial appreciation at best, and that kind of thing inevitably fades.

The aggression of metal is only part of its appeal. It's definitely a big part of it when you are young, no doubt, as if was for me and others, but even then it wasn't the sole consideration.

I went through a stage when I was 16-17 of seeking out the fastest and/or heaviest bands on the planet, but that was short lived. Now that was a phase. I knew a few people back in the day that also went through that phase, but they stopped listening to the genre shortly thereafter.

Your Meshuggah example is a good one because it demonstrates the kind of layers and tensions that you often find in the best metal bands.

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Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:58 am
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Space Ranger
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
I agree with most of what Stat says. I'll add in a couple of personal observations based on my experience:

1) I like dramatic music and metal usually is pretty good at delivering that

2) it's just the innate energy of the music. Difficult to explain this really - I suppose the best example is Sabbath, who I've been listening to since I was 16 (I'm 33 now). Dio or Ozzy or even Gillan, the singer doesn't matter so much to me - what DOES matter is the Iommi-Butler powerhouse that is the engine room of the band and IMO taps into the core energy that fuels the universe with their playing. Admittedly most metal bands aren't quite as profound in that regard, but they still have plenty of energy which stokes me up when I listen to them - Iommi and Butler to me somehow hit a deeper level than all else though.

But yeah. That kind of energy, that life force - it's just where it's at for me, it's life-affirming. And IMO, best found in the live setting (which is why I'm a pretty keen enthusiast of live albums and bootlegs from any bands, not just metal ones).

I sometimes spend a while listening to more laid back stuff, but I always play something with punch and drama and energy at some point of any given week, and most of a time that's hard rock/metal.

PS - Agree with Stat's thoughts about seeking out the most extreme music for the sake of it - I've always wanted excitement and interest and hooks and atmosphere with my music, which is why most death metal just doesn't do anything for me - it's kind of dull - but black metal is more interesting. I don't think I've ever been into something heavy for the sake of it being heavy, or at least not for long. Being a doom metal fan, this has led to me refining my tastes a bit over the years, as quite a few bands and albums I find have the weight and punch of sound but not much in the way of songwriting. I suppose that feeds into my interest in dramatic music - dynamics and structure are often what creates that drama IMO.


Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:54 pm
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Space Ranger
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
Well if we're turning this into a ''why do you like metal'' thread...

I like metal because of its variation. Be it in tempo, riffwork, vocally, ect.


Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:13 pm
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
Funnily enough - the older I’m getting - the more I am getting into heavier and faster stuff. It’s like my interest in extreme metal is inversely proportionate with the decline in testosterone. Strange, that.


Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:14 pm
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
Obviously for most of us, our interest in metal is certainly more than a ‘phase’, so we’re probably not the best people to ask about it (because it is certainly a ‘phase’/passing interest for some people). I’ve often wondered what attracts me (and continues to do so) to metal, and I have a very hard time putting my finger on it. I’m fairly certain it is not nostalgia, as there were few people I knew when it first caught my ear, and the bulk of my discovery was during my adolescence which were certainly volatile years. Familiarity certainly helps to an extent, but I probably wouldn’t seek out new material or have such a wide palette if it were purely just comfort. And even with evolving tastes and interests I still come back.

Does anyone relate to a lot of the studies of ‘metal culture’ that come out? Personally I find a lot of them are not really applicable to me at all. They seem more likely focus on people much, er, younger than I. :lol:

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Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:45 pm
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
The idea that it's just 'nostalgia' or 'having on to one's youth' is a very flawed and superficial take on the matter that tends towards ridicule. There is probably an element of that, yes, but for those of us who continue to seek out new music that is not necessarily based on old forms/styles, it doesn't apply too strongly. There are also plenty of albums I loved in my teens that no longer sound appealing to me. If I was driven by nostalgia, I'd give those albums a blind pass. Sometimes nostalgia will keep me from getting rid of particular albums, but it doesn't prevent me from seeing their flaws or make them eminently listenable.

As most of us agree, some bands continue to prove their worth, no matter how long they have been going. I've been listening to Clutch for over 20 years because they are a bloody consistent rock band and one of the best rock bands currently around. It isn't 'nostalgia' that keeps me following them, it's the quality of their output.

As for studies, no idea, but if they are focusing on young people that is a huge mistake because rock and metal are rapidly aging genres.

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Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:20 am
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
I don't get why anyone assumes metal is a phase at all. Never have. My mam's been into The Beatles since the bastards came out and no-one's ever levelled that 'are you still into that?' nonsense at her. In fact, most people I've encountered who use that line have been blokes who 'used to listen to that'. You know the type. You're sitting having a pint at some bar or other, wearing a band t-shirt and some cunt pipes up with 'Ahh yeah, I was mad into metal. Guns N Roses!!' This is usually where I ignore the fucker.

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Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:13 pm
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
Stat_Rad wrote:
As for studies, no idea, but if they are focusing on young people that is a huge mistake because rock and metal are rapidly aging genres.


I’ve read the odd one, fully knowing that they will be focusing on teens for the benefit of concerned parents :lol: They are definitely are not indicative of people our age.

It’s interesting that you bring up the ‘age’ of rock and metal (and I guess it ties into Cuchulainn’s comment about the Beatles). As a comparison, a genre like jazz was maybe just starting to move beyond being music for rowdy youths and into a more ‘mature’ audience. I’m just pondering thoughts on this. Does this happen to metal eventually (I think a lot of what would be considered ‘classic rock’ already has become somewhat revered even in a more mainstream culture - just look at the recent success of the Queen biopic)? Or the fact that metal was never part of ‘pop music culture’, or the very least, not at more than a very shallow level, like jazz, rock, dance, rap, etc. have managed?

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Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:57 pm
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Post Re: Why is metal music popularly considered a “phase” ?
I’m also curious to whom of us would consider themselves participants in the metal sub-culture?

Personally beyond an interest in the music, and by extension the odd live show, I must admit that I don’t feel particularly connected to the sub-culture. I’m interested if the sub-cultureis maybe bigger than the music, or at least more than just the music. Something people get involved in in their teenage years before moving on it as they enter post-schooling life.

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