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Metal - image or a way of life?

Written by Gothina, October 2004

had to write this article - it happened that i went to a gothic metal festival (fest is a strong word ,having in mind the average level of the local bands there). Lets just say it was one of the numerous concerts. Anyway, i was patiently waiting to buy a ticket. I knew nobody there, for i was in a foreign country. The people around me obviously knew each other (it was a small town!) and they observed every newcomer with an apparent curiosity. I seemed to be an easy target- it's a pity my knowledge of the language was not good enough to get every word they said, but at least i got that they obviously disapproved that a metal fan (in this case they figured me!) was not wearing black clothes, chains, lots of makeup, etc.

ell, most of the critics were kids compared to me and surely they wouldn't have said the same if we had met years ago. But this is another topic. It was the attitude that irritated me. They regarded metal as an image, something that gives them an opportunity to be different. But being different means a lot more than a fancy dress (with a huge price!) or boots ordered from a famous catalogue (the Dimmu Borgir type). I don't know… Maybe i am getting older. But as far as i remember years ago every metal fan with self-esteem was trying to look as shabby and careless in his/her outfit as possible. Apparently things have changed obruptly. Obviously its not so important what kind of bands you listen.

remember that in an ex-communist country (from which i originate) it was bloody difficult to possess a simple thing as a t-shirt of your favourite band or a sweater with the logo of your idols. Nowadays these things are not really preferred and their place is occupied by the trendy, stylish and ultramodern attributes (dresses, jewelry, coats,etc.),in general- my ideas about metal images suffered a great change! Everything seems to be awfully commercialized and i think it's a pity. I also hate the attitude of most of the female metal fans towards metal music.

t the same fest it was crowded with "princesses", just like in a medieval fairytale, all of them glamorous in their new expensive dresses (i myself like the dresses very much!). So, i thought the girls with such an image might be very keen on the gothic genre and thus put so much energy and efforts to follow the example. I decided to ask one of them about her type of metal. I must admit i expected to hear something like Nightwish, Within Temptation, Edenbridge or any other gothic-like band. Obviously i was very far away from modern tendences and music preferences. The girl just happened to like Evanescence!!! Well, the only thing i can scream out is: Well done, MTV!

adore Evanescence, but this is not my concern at the moment. My anger is about something else. Evanescence are not the problem. Maybe the fans are also not to blame. They are just too stressed and confused by the commercials and chaos in music industry. And yet- they are the ones who have the final word and the right to reject or welcome with enthusiasm every new album that comes out.

etal is not a fashion, friends! Its a way of life , ideas, a special feeling you get when listening to your favourite bands… Its more than being interesting to your friends, it's your soul if you let it become part of you!

Gothina - October 2004