Sunday, December 16, 2012

Savage Beasts

I grew up on a small farm near a small town in a small country. We had no TV and my only exposure to music was my sister's The Osmonds records. Needless to say it wasn't until I left home at 13 and went to boarding school that I discovered that music was actually worth listening to.

Like the other guys in my age group I became a metal head. The kids a year older were into Talking Heads, the 5th formers were into Punk. We didn't ask the seniors what music they liked, because talking to them would get you beaten unconscious (seriously, my year at boarding school is the subject of another blog post).

I embraced bands like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead and Dio in a way that I had never felt about anything before. This music channelled perfectly the seething rage of adolescence and made a good soundtrack to my year in the gulag.

Returning to the city I got into metal more and more. I owned albums of Iron Maiden, Dio, Black Sabbath, White Snake, W.A.S.P and anything else I could borrow, bootleg or buy. Mum bought me Iron Maiden's The Number Of The Beast on LP for Christmas in 1985. She asked the guy at the store if it sounded as bad as it looked.

Bless her for buying it anyway.

Through out the rest of the 80's I just got angrier and more unsettled (PTSD will do that to you) like a junkie I kept looking for some new fix. I kept digging and found bands like Candlemass, Venom, Death and Slayer. 

I coined the phrase Death Metal to describe what I was listening to, a few years later I heard it being used as the label for this sub-genre of rock. Candlemass are Doom Metal, but like H. Sapiens and every other primate, it all comes from the same common ancestor.

I'm 41 now. My birthday was a few weeks back, I still listen to all these bands (though my tastes have expanded exponentially). I no longer listen with the same adrenalin filled need to scream, but with a casual nostalgia. It's what tells me how far I have come.

I'm sitting here alone in darkness, waiting to be free,
Lonely and forlorn I am crying
I long for my time to come, death means just life
Please let me die in solitude

~ Candlemass "Solitude"

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