How I Came To Love Death Metal

date: 06/18/2012 category: features
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How I Came To Love Death Metal
Growing up, I never really had a favourite band, or genre at that. I was the kind of kid who just listened to the radio and occasionally pick a song I favour over other songs that reached into the top 40's. When I was 11, I discovered Green Day, and I was fanatic about them along with bands like Good Charlotte, Blink 182 and Yellow Card. At one point, I dyed my hair black, spiked it into a makeshift faux-hawk and wore punk band shirts and black baggy jeans. I started school a year early, so I was in the 6th grade when this happened. I was called a punk by other school kids, and teachers phoned home to tell my parents that I might have depression. After my very first therapy session, it was clear that I was just ecstatic about music. Soon after things went back to normal, I started dressing more like the other kids, and life was going good for me, until one day I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. At first I wasn't as affected by the fact I had a lifelong medical condition, until I got out of hospital and watched all the other kids eat candy, and basically consume everything I was not allowed to even touch. The only thing that kept my spirits up was my music. But after weeks, of listening to the same songs I needed something different. I started learning guitar, which at first I gave up at and switched to bass. But soon after wards I kept switching between the two until I settled with bass. But my musicianship didn't really progress until years to come Although, I loved punk and punk rock, I was always looking for new genres to listen to. And one day I had found the genre that changed my life. A friend of my brother, brought a burnt Korn CD to our house to show us this band that to us back then sounded funny because their name is "Korn" and well, we'd never heard low tunings or these strange types of vocal and chordal patterns. Now Im not saying I actually liked Korn, but it did interest me enough to look them up on the school computers until I had been taken from sites to sites until I ended up finding Heavy Metal. My school yeah was nearly over, and soon I'd be starting high school. At this point I was already into bands like Metallica, Motorhead, Slayer and Black Sabbath. Kids would ask me if I was goth, because my band shirts started turning from green, red, blue, white etc to just black with sometimes unusual graphics on the front. I had to put up with this label until I started 7th grade. New school, new people, goodbye all the people who gave me a hard time during 6th grade. I didn't have any new friends so I hung with my brother and he's friends who were now in the 9th grade. One day, I went through a magazine and saw a band called Slipknot. I instantly fell in love with the idea of a masked band playing music that really felt deep to me. I know I may get some crap for this, but to me their music was deep and meaningful and helped me through a difficult part of my life. Soon I ditched punk, and became a metal head. In 8th grade I started to grow my hair which then reached to my shoulders. I kept it my natural brown, and wore a spiked wrist band, a Slipknot tee with numerous holes in it. My pants were now completely black, and all my books were littered with the "S" symbol. I had found some friends who shared an interest in Slipknot too as well as other bands like il Nino, Killswitch Engage and Disturbed. We kind of became the socially outcast group at the school, until 9th grade when I met and started dating my now girlfriend of 4 years. We didn't exactly like all the same types of music, but she did like some of the music I liked, but most of all, she was nice to me, no matter how different from the other kids I was. She was one of the more popular girls, and soon after, I became a part of her group. Now we were not the most popular group, but the popular kids didn't bother us, and we were certainly above all other groups. By 10th grade, everyone was throwing parties. I had never drank at a party before, and I chose to barely drink anything. Of course everyone in that group loved electronic and pop music, so I had to put up with it for a while. Soon after my girlfriend ditched nearly all the bands she used to listen to and trade it with pop. I was now the outcast of the group, only having one other friend who still had interest in music and like me, was also a musician. I had become a much better bassist and guitarist and soon I was in two bands, one playing guitar, the other, bass. I then became friends with all the music students and studied music with a passion. I started to drift away from heavy metal, to rock and comedy rock. I became obsessed with Tenacious D, Flight Of The Conchords, Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machines and Muse. At a point I tried taking up singing, mostly for comedy and comedy rock. In a way I was told by other musicians that I should keep singing those genres, but the music teachers told me to stick with guitar, nothing else. I had grown a bitterness between me and the music staff, often rebelling against them. I grew joy in knowing they disliked much of the music I used to listen to ie metal. I started listening to System Of A Down, a lot and one of my teachers started to ban students from the music rooms if she heard them play "Aerials." My love for metal came back, and at this time, hardcore had come into the scene. But I did not like hardcore and to this day I still dislike all types of "core" music except for grindcore. As kids were getting into hardcore, I too was looking for something more heavier and disturbing than heavy, nu, thrash and industrial metal. I started listening to Cradle Of Filth, and instantly became a huge fan of gothic metal. Following Cradle Of Filth, I got into Children Of Bodom, and soon my books were scribbled with "COF" and "COB." I grew my hair again, longer, but due to my Portuguese genes, it went curly as hell. Imagine a dark brown version of Dave Mustaine's hair and you had me. At the risk of being labelled gay, I never straightened my hair, also because all the hardcore kids were doing it and I didn't want to be labelled with them as well. My guitar skills were getting better, soon I was called the best guitarist in the school, until breakdowns became a necessary thing to play to become the best guitarist in school. I was sick of being surrounded by other guitarists and never being able to express myself through distortion. So I decided to switch back to bass. The problem was, many bass lines are simple, and repetitive throughout the song. I started searching for harder songs, but still inside metal. I bought Power Tabs and was loaded with tabs which helped me create some tabs of my own. Until I got Guitar Pro months later, I was getting bored with just learning from tabs. I had noticed a CD in a second-hand shop, with band names like Psycroptic, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Bloodbath, Behemoth and Morbid Angel scribbled on the front. I bought it and decided to listen to it. The first song was Hammer Smashed Face by Cannibal Corpse, and when I heard the beautiful little bass riff in it, I loved the song. But I wasn't really impressed by all the gutteral vocals, so it was one of the only death metal songs I liked, with Scars of the Crucifix by Deicide and Cruelty Incarnate by Psycroptic. I set out learning these songs by ear and then by tab. I was in 11th grade by now and I had now become the best bassist in school. I started learning the 3 finger technique on bass, but didn't get good at it until late 12th grade. But back to 11th grade, I decided I needed a favourite band, and although I did get into electronic bands like Daft Punk and Justice, I wanted a metal band to call my favourite. One day, I was on the computer looking up Cannibal Corpse lyrics to Hammer Smashed Face, and found a list with all Cannibal Corpse songs, lyrics and meaning to the songs. I had not listened to any other Cannibal Corpse songs besides Hammer Smashed Face and Stripped Raped and Strangled. The site took me to a page saying "Evisceration Plague" and I decided to click the play button. The intro riff, double kicking and the brutal chorus instantly rebirthed my interest in Cannibal Corpse. Soon I bought the albums Vile and Kill. I would blast Make Them Suffer, and make songs like Devoured By Vermin and Frantic Disembowelment my song on myspace (before it was abandoned.) People thought I was weird, because they thought I'd turn out to be a serial killer listening to those lyrics, but I didn't listen for the lyrics, but the technicality in the instruments. In 12th grade I had learnt bass to songs like Evisceration Plague, I Will Kill You, Stripped Raped Strangled, Hammer Smashed Face, Evidence In The Furnace, A Cauldron Of Hate and I Cum Blood. I had also become a fan of Deicide and Dying Fetus. I decided for one of my assessment performances in music, I'd pay tribute to the song that got me into all this music, Hammer Smashed Face. I had now become quite good at 3 finger galloping so I did it, and got a band 5, which is basically a B+. I also played Hourglass by Lamb Of God on guitar which got me a fairly similar mark. My highest mark was a Daft Punk medley I did on bass with the same friend from before. When school finished, I had no trade skills, only music and hospitality. I had a slave job at McDonalds since 2009. Sine I had so much spare time, I spent most of my days either with my girlfriend, or on YouTube or Facebook. I came across YouTuber "infidelamsterdam" AKA "Ed." He showed me to be tolerable of people's choice in music, as well as being respectful to others, and also showing me cool new unsigned bands. I am now a huge follower of Ed, as well as people like TheAmazingAtheist, MrRepzion, and Undertakerfreak. These people taught me numerous things, some things I agreed with, some things I questioned. Skip to tonight as I am writing this article, I have found many new death metal bands to listen to, as well as keeping Cannibal Corpse as my favourite band whom I'm seeing first time ever in concert this year in Australia. I've also left McDonalds and found work in a hospital. Im in a melodic death metal band, after many failed attempts of forming a death metal band due to barely few people liking the same music as me. My girlfriend and I are still going strong, as is my friendship with my friend. I lost a lot of friends once school finished because they couldn't accept the new me, but I still have contact with a few of them. So. If you think this is the end, Im sorry, but you'll have to read a bit further. The biggest reasons, I am a fan of Death Metal is, because I could be myself when I listened to is, I didn't have to pretend to like the music like I did when at parties. It gave my musicianship multiple challenges in technicality and also finesse. It showed me a culture, not of aggressive, violent idiots, but some really nice and intelligent people, who I could relate to (Im not saying Im really intelligent, but Im not entirely stupid either.) I love the fact that a lot of people hate death metal and it satisfies me in sinister ways. And of course, because I think the music is freaking awesome! Some people tell me that Im a sad little man. I tell them that Im very happy with my life, because I dont listen to PG rated pop or happy feeling rock, doesnt mean that I want to be uncivil and want attention. I believe we can all listen to what we want and not judge others because it is not their thing, or because they dress differently, or they are of another race, sexuality or religion. The world is a dump, let's not make it worse for ourselves. Sorry if this is too long, but I feel I needed the back story to give more information than just saying "I like Death Metal becasue: A, B, C, D" etc. Thanks for reading, and tell me why you like a certain genre, or just tell my why your favourite genre or band is as it is? And to any other Aussies seeing the Corpse, I'll be hitting up Venom club afterwards come meet for some drinks and metal! Just ask around for anyone who uses UG and by the name DeathMetalHub. See Yas!
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