So This Would Make Drinking Horns Some Sort Of Chalice..?

Posted: December 15, 2012 in Current affairs, Music
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Religious piety and heavy metal devotion are not so much bad bed fellows as they are sleeping in separate rooms and scowling at each other across the breakfast table. But this week it appears that heavy metal has been (somewhat officially) declared a religion. With over 6,000 people stating the claim on this year’s census forms the movement has pushed the genre ahead of Scientology in terms of popularity. Which is a bit like entering a race against catatonic children for the sole purpose of winning an easy contest. Also, you’re the only one not on fire.

Whether you think this is a joke or not or whether it makes a mockery of the whole thing it does feel a little redundant to lay claim to heavy metal having such a reverent following when it already has probably the most devout legion of fans in the world. Originators and innovators of the genre are held up as god-like beings. You only have to look to the immediate few to see obvious examples: Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio, as well as Judas Priest’s Rob Halford. Judas Priest even have a song titled “Metal Gods”

And speaking of song titles, gods are featured throughout and are not exclusive to just one belief structure. You have Dave Mustaine of Megadeth singing about having conversations with the Christian god in “Peace Sells”:

What do you mean I don’t believe in God?
I talk to him everyday

You have Amon Amarth waxing lyrical about Viking deities as well as Florida death metallers Deicide pissing a secular nation off with an unending slew of satanic ditties.

And let’s not forget the look. I’ll wager a lot of people conjure up a particular image in their heads when they think of the average heavy metal fan or band member.

And the Lord did say "Let there be Newcastle Brown Ale"...

And the Lord did say “Let there be Newcastle Brown Ale”…

Tell me that guy didn’t come from a family of divine beings. Only instead of omnipotence and holy power his life veered off onto a different path of stein mugs and tattoos. Teenagers, eh?

My point being is that I’m not sure if I’m happy about heavy metal being declared a religion because of a campaign started by Metal Hammer magazine. I say this as a huge fan of the genre – as well as its extensive list of deviations. Let’s please not get into a debate about sub-genres.

As the article in the first link up top states, if these things become recognised religions nation (or even world) wide then they are likely to attract government attention. A tax exempt status may sound like fun but it seems to cost the major religions much of its integrity and spiritual virtue. Imagine if metal enjoyed such a status. Man, all you’d have to do was wear your least mustard stained Iron Maiden shirt to prove you were a ‘follower’ and you’d be able to purchase as many BC Rich guitars as you could hold in your room.

Wait. Hang on…

…Excuse me I have a form to fill out…

Tell me what you all think in the comments below

  1. Next up we’ll have the Home Secretary telling us he loves Slipknot…

    • Andrew says:

      There is nothing more hollow than dry, uncool people proclaiming some passing love of a cultural phenomenon in order to win public favour. I think as a test we should all pretend that Nazism is in vogue and see how politicians respond…

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