Every week, I start my day with a different song. It’s usually metal. “Broken, Beat and Scarred” by Metallica, “Walk With Me In Hell” by Lamb of God, “The Grudge” by Tool and “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden are recent selections. That first piece of music invigorates me more than any triple shot ever could (I’m drinking one now so can attest).
I love metal. It’s the first music I discovered on my own and a genre often abandoned under the guise of “maturing.” Fuck that. I love it now more than ever, my driving playlists no doubt aural torture for those raised on graceful Laurel Canyon jams. I adore that stuff, don’t get me wrong, but have you heard “Five Minutes Alone” by Pantera?! Listen to that song when you’re dismayed by my not liking Steely Dan. Go on. I see your inner devil horns rising.
A long-standing argument for foes of the genre is that heavy music causes anger. I dabble in meditation, and what I’ve found is listening to heavy music first thing in the AM puts me in the same headspace as sitting in silence. It focuses my sadness, enhances positive thoughts and helps me explore the full emotional gamut while leaving me feeling more active and inspired. I have, after all, been air-drumming in my underpants for the past ten minutes.
I love all genres of music, always have, and I understand how a circle pit of 300 pound tattooed dudes in cargo shorts might be off-putting. But maybe, just maybe, slip “Paranoid” into your playlist and feel your inner-badass stepping to the forefront. Neil Young’s a patient man. He's happy to wait.