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MetallicA as Philosophy (For those of you that don't understand)

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I've always wanted to check this guys book out ("Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course In Brain Surgery")

I think this article (pertaining to the release of Death Magnetic) is a very cool read!

I often get MANY responses when I tell people how adamant I am about metal, particularly thrash, death and black metal. I get everything from "Don't kill yourself, it'll be okay" to sneers of disgust and comments like "Unlike you, I don't worship satan." to people even calling me ignorant.

Well, this article is one of the best things I've found that explains HOW I view metal and WHY I'm such a big fan. When your life is a daily struggle to survive (Like mine was at one point) all of the "motivational" speakers in the world can't inspire like a good dose of MetallicA or Pantera or Dimmu Borgir.

To me, metal teaches us to get up off our asses and fight harder than ever before. And that's why the heavier it is, the better. Because fans and others alike FEED from that energy, negative or positive.


'Death Magnetic' and Metallica's redemption

By Bill Irwin | Special to The Morning Call

September 20, 2008

In 1985 Metallica saved my life. Listening to the suicide song, ''Fade to Black,'' while rain fell on hopeless high school nights, I felt I wasn't alone, that someone else knew my pain.

Listening to ''Creeping Death,'' I knew I had brothers in rage. The music was not easy to listen to and the lyrics provided no easy answers.

In an age of whiney political rock stars, Metallica challenged me to think for myself, to focus on the ''struggle within.''

Last week Metallica's most anticipated album ever, ''Death Magnetic,'' was hailed with acclaim as it went straight to No. 1 the Billboard charts, iTunes and amazon.com, and sold nearly 500,000 copies in the first three days.

But the title begs the question -- if Metallica is so life affirming, why is it so obsessed with death? The existentialist philosophers understood this paradox well.

To acknowledge death is to accept freedom and responsibility. ''Through black days/through black nights/through pitch black insights'' we must all decide whether, why and how to live.

''Death is the elephant in the room,'' frontman James Hetfield muses. We're all terminal, but most of us don't act like it.

Death's imminence should impart an urgency to the now, as the galloping tempo of Metallica's music mimetically reminds us. Metallica does not glamorize or celebrate death. Rather, the band elicits the inspiration and desperation that nearness to death evokes, a constant theme throughout its discography. Its second album, ''Ride the Lightning,'' is particularly effective in this regard, presenting first-person accounts of a prisoner about to be electrocuted, a soldier dying alone on the battlefield and a man contemplating suicide. The years and albums to come would bring the brutality of ''Battery,'' ''Damage Inc.,'' and ''Dyer's Eve,'' followed by the cerebral depiction of a limbless veteran deprived of his senses, begging his caretakers to kill him in ''One.''

With all this gloom, we must wonder: what does consideration of death tell us about the meaning of life? Perhaps there is no objective meaning, as suggested by the empty universe that stretches out infinitely before and after us in time and space in ''Through the Never.''

To give up is too easy, though -- not the Metallica way. Thinking about death isn't meant to paralyze us with reflection, but rather to spur us into action.

The ideal life as Metallica portrays it in songs such as ''Of Wolf and Man'' involves acting naturally and with a heightened sense of consciousness -- as we do when our lives are literally imperiled.

The meaning of life is to be made in the moment; no matter what the circumstances, we can ''redefine anywhere.''

Metallica has been surpassed in morbidity by the metal subgenre it helped to inspire, death metal.

Indeed, in the past 10 years, with a change in sound and a related decline in sales, Metallica has barely been metal at all.

But ''Death Magnetic'' finds the band playing with the speed and verve of years gone by. More than a comeback album, ''Death Magnetic'' is a resurrection.

Hetfield has experienced a personal and creative rebirth in recovery from alcoholism -- a condition that left him ''living dead inside,'' as he sings in the new song ''Cyanide.''

As ''Suicide and Redemption'' indicates, even the greatest sins of inauthenticity need not go ''unforgiven.''

With ''Death Magnetic'' the prodigal son has returned. Let's slaughter the fatted calf and celebrate life.

William Irwin, Ph.D. is the editor of ''Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery'' and professor of philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre

SOURCE: http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/music/a...0,5061370.story

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Pretty much, yah. Metal is all about embracing that which most people would rather ignore. Even the non-metal songs I like tend to be focused on death. My friends think I'm weird, but I find people who try to avoid dark subjects completely to be much creepier.

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Close minded people ignore anything which they do not want to open their mind to.

The new album is nothing short of brilliant. It is bringing me back to the Metal which I seemed to abandon partially because nothing good was going on.

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