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Heavy Metal Subculture

Heavy Metal Subculture

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Published by Jordan Aguilar

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Published by: Jordan Aguilar on Jan 29, 2012
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 Heavy metal subcultureFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"Headbanger" redirects here. For the figure skating lift, see Figure
 
 A heavy metal fan wearing clothing typically associated with heavy
 
metal and displaying the"metal horns"gesture Fans of  heavy metal music have created their own subculture which
 
encompasses more than just appreciation of the style of music. Fansaffirm their membership in the subculture or scene by attending metalconcerts, buying albums, in some cases growing their hair, and most recently, by contributing to metal websites.
 
[edit ] Nomenclature  Heavy metal fans go by a number of different names, including Metalhead  ,
  Headbanger  ,
 Hessian
 and Thrasher .
 These vary with
 
time and regional divisions. There is no universally accepted single phrase to refer to fans or the subculture itself.[edit ]Subculture The 
 neutrality  of this section is  disputed 
.Please see
 
the discussion on the talk page.Please do not remove
 
this message until the dispute is resolved. (October 
 
2010) Heavy metal fans have created a "subculture of alienation" with its own standards for achieving authenticitywithin the group.
 Deena Weinstein‟s book 
Heavy Metal: The Music And Its Culture argues that heavy metal
“…has persisted far longer than most genres of rock music” due to the growth of an intense “subculturewhich identified with the music”. Metal fans formed an “exclusionary youth community” which wasdistinctive and marginalized from the mainstream” society.
 The heavy metal scene developed a strongly
masculine “community with shared values, norms, and behaviors”. A “code of authenticity” is central to the
heavy metal subculture
; this code requires bands to have a “disinterest in commercial 
 
appeal” and radio hitsand a refusal to “sell out”.
The metal code also includes “opposition to established authority, and 
 
separateness from the rest of 
 society”. Fans expect that the metal “…vocation [for performers] includes total devotion to the music and deep loyalty to the youth subculture that grew up around it…”
; a metal performer 
must be an “idealized representative of the subculture”.
 
While the audience for metal is mainly “white, male, lower/middle class youth,” this group is “…tolerant of 
those outside its core demographic base who follow its
codes of dress, appearance, and behavior”.
 The
 
activities in the metal subculture include the ritual of attending concerts, buying albums, and most recently,contributing to metal websites. Attending concerts affirms the solidarity of the subculture, as it is one of theritual activities by which fans celebrate their music.
  Metal magazines help the members of the subculture to
connect, find information and evaluations of bands and albums, and “express their solidarity”.
 The longhair, leather jackets, and band patches of  heavy metal fashion help to encourage a sense of identification
 
within the subculture. However, Weinstein n
otes that not all metal fans are “visible members” of the heavy
metal subculture.[edit ]
 Authenticity
 In the musical subcultures of  heavy metal and   punk 
 
 ,the word  "poseur" (or "poser") is a pejorative term used 
 
to describe "a person who habitually pretends to be something he/she is not.".
  In a 1993 profile of heavymetal fans' "subculture of alienation", the author noted that the scene classified some members as "poseurs,"that is, heavy metal performers or fans who pretended to be part of the subculture, but who were deemed tolack authenticity and sincerity.
  Jeffrey Arnett's 1996 book Metalheads: Heavy Metal Music and Adolescent 
 
 Alienationargues that the heavy metal subculture classifies members into two categories by giving"...acceptance as an authentic metalhead or rejection as a fake, a poseur."
 
Since decades ago, heavy metal fans began using the terms "sell out" to refer to bands who turned their heavymetal sound into radio-friendly rock music. In metal, the term is used to refer to "...someone dishonest whoadopted the most rigorous pose, or identity-affirming lifestyle and opinions". The metal bands that earned thisepithet are those "... who adopt the visible aspects of the orthodoxy (sound, images) without contributing tothe underlying belief system."
  Ron Quintana's article on "Metallica['s] Early History" argues that when Metallica was trying to find a placein the LA metal scene in the early 1980s, "American hard-rock scene was dominated by highly coiffed,smoothly-polished bands such as Styx
 
 ,  Journey and   REO Speedwagon." He claims that this made it hard for 
 
 Metallica to "...play their [heavy] music and win over a crowd in a land where poseurs ruled and anything fast and heavy was ignored."
  In David Rocher's 1999 interview with Damian Montgomery, the frontman
 
 ,he praised Montgomery as "...an authentic, no-frills, poseur-bashing, nun-devouring kind of gentleman, an enthusiastic metalhead truly in love with the lifestyle he preaches... and unquestionably practises.
 
 In 2002, "[m]etal guru Josh Wood" claimed that the "credibility of heavy metal" in North America is beingdestroyed by the genre's demotion to "...horror movie soundtracks, wrestling events and, worst of all, the so-called 'Mall Core' groups like  Limp Bizkit 
." Wood claims that the "...true [metal] devotee‟s path to metaldom
 
is perilous and fraught with poseurs."
  In an article on metal/hard rock frontman  Axl Rose ,entitled "Ex
 – „White
-Boy Poseur", Rose admitted that he has had "...time to reflect on heavy-metal posturing" of the last 
 few decades. He notes that “We thought we wer 
e so badass...[until]  N.W.A. came out rapping about this world where you walk out of your house and you get shot." At this point, Rose argues that "It was just so clear what stupid little white-boy poseurs we were."
 
Christian metal bands are sometimes criticized within metal circles in a similar light; their faith and adherence to the Church an indicator to some extreme metal adherents as membership to an established  authority, and therefore rendering Christian bands as "posers" and a contradiction to heavy metal's purpose.
 Some proponents argue personal faith in right hand path beliefs should not be drawn into
 
question within metal, but should not be promoted within it .
  A small number of Norwegian black 
 
metal bands have threatened violence (and, in extremely rare instances, exhibited it) towards Christian artistsor believers, as demonstrated in the early 1990s through occasional church burningsthroughout  Scandinavia.
 [edit ]Social aspects  In place of typical dancing, metal fans are more likely to mosh
 
 ,a movement in which the head is shaken up and down in time with the music.
 Fans from the heavy metal culture often make the "Corna"hand-signal formed by a fist with the "pinkie" and 
index fingers extended, known variously as the “devil‟s horns”, the “metal fist” and other similar 
descriptors.
 [edit ] Attire  Main article:  Heavy metal fashion 
 
 A heavy metal fan wearing adenim jacket with band patchesand artwork of the heavy metalbands  Metallica , Guns N'   Roses , Iron Maiden , Slipknot  and   Led Zeppelin 

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