Report: Loud, Proud And Metal To The Core

Iain Shedden of The Australian reports:

Headbanging is a multi-skilled occupation. There is, for example, the side to side, which involves shaking the head while whipping one's hair around with each motion.
Then there's the whiplash, a particularly violent procedure developed by AC/DC's Angus Young that sends the hair all over the shop while obscuring the face of the banger. Or, from an audience perspective, there's the thrust, where one moves one's upper body backwards and forwards, with or without the intention of headbutting the person in front of you or behind you. These are just the basics.

Headbanging and heavy metal music have saluted each other for almost 40 years. So complex is this musical subculture that it would seem well suited to an anthropological study and that's just what Canadian film-maker and anthropologist Sam Dunn and his colleague Scot McFadyen set out to do when they made "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey".

Since the late 1960s, when British bands such as BLACK SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN blazed a trail that would lead to today's multifaceted heavy metal scene, myths, misconceptions and prejudices have surrounded metal music more than any other form. It has been lampooned in the film "This is Spinal Tap", although the real-life documentary on METALLICA, "Some Kind of Monster" (2003), showed that beyond the veil of humour is a genre that does indeed turn its amps up to 11 and take itself far too seriously.

Then there are the fans. The simple view of non-believers is that worshippers of heavy metal are the great unwashed, slaves to a barrage of gothic horror, unfeasibly loud guitars and predominantly black merchandising. Also, it is largely a male domain. This male has long hair, wears black and may have about his person piercings, tattoos or a signed photo of CANNIBAL CORPSE's singer, George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher.

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