31 March 2012

Precious Rocks & Rare Heavy Metals: Chapter 2

The second of a series of fun articles aiming to explore the impact that Rock and Heavy Metal artists/bands had on the world and the impact the world had on them. This series will cover a number of artists so all favourites are presented. Read the first chapter here

Please note: There is no specific reason (e.g. greatness, preference etc) for the order bands are presented!


The leading band of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM) music, with its frontman Rob Halford, a.k.a. the Metal God, introducing homosexuality to the once thought of as the “macho” music genre. Halford also defined the whole Heavy Metal image with the introduction of leather, denim, studs, and everything S & M. Priest’s history though has been stigmatised in the late 80s, with court battles where they had to defend their music. The Vance Vs Judas Priest trial made subliminal persuasion a trend in that era. One good thing came out of it though; society realised how stupid people can be when it comes to interpreting simple phenomena.

It’s sad that what comes to mind for many when they hear Judas Priest is the crazy court battles over subliminal messages. The act of playing a vinyl backwards showed that people had too much free time in their hands and nothing better to do. Parents should have been more focused on the rising pandemic of childhood obesity considering all the cleverly chosen logo colours by the McDonald’s empire and the more obvious, not that subliminal, increasing number of fat children! An informative article can be found here


I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that Lemmy is Motörhead and the most versatile thing out there for that matter. So low profile as being able to walk amongst mortals undisturbed, yet so high volume as to make even the strongest eardrum “kneel” before his bass; this man needs no introduction. In the past he was invited to the Welsh Assembly by the conservative party of Wales to give his opinion on drugs and more specifically heroin. To everybody’s surprise he argued for the legalization of the drug he, himself, hates so much presenting some good arguments. Full story here.

In a world where all Rock stars sold their souls at some point, Lemmy still remains the only one true to himself and his fans. Sure he’s been high, wrong, broke, with hundreds of women, but he rose from the hippies, defined Heavy Metal, admired by Glam Metal, inspired Punk Rock, re-established Heavy Metal, and still surviving Nu Metal. Lemmy is immortal. If you haven’t done so, I highly recommend reading his book and watching his documentary.


The leaders of the thrash metal movement, this band has produced more controversy than good records in the past few decades. A favourite to pretty much everybody, from your average hardcore heavy metal fan to your, below standards, typical pop music lamb. Still, there is more to their music that we know about. Apparently, some songs by Metallica have the same effect on monkeys as the St. Anger album has on fans, i.e. general apathy! In an experimental study by psychologist Charles Snowdon (University of Wisconsin) and cellist David Teie (National Symphony Orchestra), the behaviour of 7 pairs of tamarin monkeys was compared after two listening conditions:
  1. Listening to two ballads and two more aggressive songs, one of these the "Of Wolf and Man," by Metallica. 
  2. Listening to two calming ballad-type songs and two more aggressive heavy metal-like ones but this time incorporating the pitches and sounds of the monkeys and matching them to their tempo (x8). 
It seems these mokeys are indifferent to the No 1 condition, i.e. human music. But condition No 2 did induce some strong emotions! You may read the full article here.

Now my purpose is not to ridicule Metallica (again). As most of us I am a big fan and we have a saying in the Cypriot dialect, i.e. “Απ’αγαπά παιδεύκει” which roughly translates to “he who loves, tortures” (let me know if there is anything equivalent in English!). So therefore my point is: yes the St. Anger album left me with that cow-like expression which really translates to the more pedestrian “What the fuck?”. I will not elaborate on the feelings of mass-destruction caused by listening half a song from LuLu! Oh, and did I mention they want to put their music in cereal boxes now? [link] Aaaaaanyway, if you wish to read the lay-person summary of the above study, it can be found here.

Watch this space for the next chapter of this series.
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