The Myth that Heavy Metal Warps Minds

Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden I almost cannot pick my jaw up off the floor. With all of the bad press and lack of thought that fills the mainstream media especially where Heavy Metal music is concerned, it is nearly impossible for me to believe that CNN has a story bucking the trend:

So while upside-down crucifixes, homicidal zombies and lashings of blood might continue to fuel our preconceptions about heavy metal music, it's worth remembering, appearances and reality can be very different beasts indeed (

I am upset that they fixed on the horror-themed and death metal lyrics while interviewing Iron Maiden fans. This just shows that they are still not seeing the various types of metal, and they are still ignoring the more popular songs by the artists that have evoked the most public controversy.

It is easy to fixate on the songs about gore and violence while invoking the traditional boogie men, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy Osbourne. What goes against the grain is the songs about WWII heroes and novels by Iron Maiden, and the pro-environmental, anti-hate, anti-nuclear war songs by Ozzy.

There is so much variety within the genre, the straw man that all metal is about death and carnage needs to be left to the same bygone era when we believed the earth was flat.

As a fan of the genre, I have always found that these songs, of defiance gave me an escape from my circumstances and the courage to stand up and make it through some of the most trying times in my life.

There are numerous songs by more bands that I have time to name that have rolled through the back of my head at just the right time to give me strength or a very needed moment of catharsis, which I could not find in any other genre.

In times of need, it is important for people not to feel alone. These songs and artists, like Otep, Trivium and Slipknot, let you know that other people have the same frustrations and touch points that you have.