Metal as mindlessness

Metal is rage for the repressed. I can’t scream at people. I don’t do wall-punching. But it’s all within me. That rage, sometimes [redacted length=”short”]ing puerile, sometimes righteous and what-not, is within me. You know they say don’t hold it in, let it out, etc. Yeah. This is how I let it out. Instead of acting like a tantrum tantric, punching people while talking about how I’m going to [redacted length=”short”] them up, I put my headphones on and punch the walls of my skull. And after a bit, I feel fine.

See, not being angry is not an option. There’s so much to be angry about. There’s people you know being [redacted length=”short”]s, there’s people you don’t know being [redacted length=”short”]s, there’s you being a [redacted length=”short”]. There is no shortage of reasons to walk around being [redacted length=”short”]ing [redacted length=”short”]ed. The only option you have is how you choose to deal with that anger. Some meditate, I get a bunch of dudes to scream at me.

Recently, I had all this rage boiling, dying to be expressed. I just went from artist to artist, hoping to find something to give a voice to all the [redacted length=”short”] in my head. Trap Them — heard them too often; the experience of listening to them is now more cerebral than it is visceral. Car Bomb — I have to pay too much attention to the music to be able to just go breakneck. Then I discovered this album called Orange Mathematics by this band called Frontierer that was perfect for letting it all out.

And it was [redacted length=”short”]ing glorious. It was the opposite of mindfulness. It was [redacted length=”short”]ing mindless meditation. It was like I could finally understand the meaning of that [redacted length=”extra”] pun — piece of mind. I got it. Twenty-six years old and I finally got the depth behind that joke. But here’s the thing about mindlessness — I wouldn’t be able to explain it. I wouldn’t be able to explain what I ‘got’. What made the album perfect, I guess, is that it was as breakneck as I wanted to be, and it’s rage was as impotent as mine is.

Metal isn’t going to overthrow governments. When was the last time you heard of a bunch of metalheads marching for peace or something? They have, sure, but it’s not what you think of when you think of metal. Punk, maybe. Folk, maybe. Hip-hop, maybe. Metal? Probably not. Metal is for when you’re too angry to march. Punk is for when you can channel your rage. Metal is for when you couldn’t if you tried. At some point, the album will end, and you’ve got to channel your rage, or for some, suppress it enough, to still be a functioning member of society. But for the duration of the album, [redacted length=”short”] that. [redacted length=”short”] it all.

And why must we be mindful al the time anyway? Consciousness and self-awareness are great and all, but don’t we all deserve some time off? Isn’t that why people go watch ‘leave your brain at home’ movies? Surely that has to be the reason people do it. I listen to metal for the same reason.

Don’t get me wrong. I also listen to metal mindfully. Two of the three examples I took earlier — Car Bomb and Trap Them — are exclusively cerebral exercises for me. But even those listens have a component of aaaaaAAaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAQ!@@@@@@@@@!!!!!!! They have to. All the metal I love has that component. Maybe it’s because I’m this repressed hodge-podge of hormones and emotions, but I’m always on the lookout for a component of that.

Back to Orange Mathematics. I recommend the album, by the way. But that’s because I’m currently still angry. If I weren’t, I’m not sure I would. But who knows? If I’m angry enough often enough, it will enter my playlist. I’ll listen to it when I’m not foaming at the mouth. And I’ll be able to tell. But until then, [redacted length=”short”] you and all that jazz.