I got the first taste of Heavy Metal music in the year 2002 (end of August) when one of my college friends handed me an audio cassette of the Slayer album “Divine Intervention”. Since then thats the only Genre I have listened to! I now own a vast collection of various Metal bands like Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura, Exodus, Testament etc. Metal has become a part of me and I cant imagine a life without it. Hailing from India, where you will hardly find people listening to Metal, I was never a fan of the type of music generally produced here. People usually relate music to melody. Not me. Melody is a different version of Melancholy and love songs usually turn me off and are mood spoilers ( I am sure not many will agree with me and frankly it doesn’t matter to me). . It was only fitting that I started liking Metal as before that I was hardly interested in music.
I may have been introduced to Metal by a friend but that was just a spark which triggered a fire. I got so addicted to it that I saved up my pocket money to buy Metallica and Slayer albums within the first 2 months. In my first 2 years I averaged one album a month and I am currently listening to the 68th.(I have always kept a diary where I keep names of albums and bands I listen to)
The Killing Fields from Divine Intervention(Slayer) was the first Metal song I ever listened to and I could instantly feel that I had found what I had been missing…real music..hard, heavy and stimulating. I usually thrive on nervous energy and this type of music enhanced my energy level and I felt a kind of Ecstacy that I’ve never felt before. (It was as exciting as reading a Sherlock Holmes story).
Since at that time I hardly knew people or friends at college who were true metal maniacs, I had to start experimenting with various Metal bands randomly as I couldnt rely solely upon Slayer and Metallica(I was afraid to exhaust all their albums too soon). Though I was only 8 months into Metal, my ninth album Kill em All by Metallica was to be my all time favorite. Its unbelievable to think that 4 people aged around 20 managed to create a masterpiece in the year 1983. Nothing can match the quality, technical correctness, rhythm, the bass riffs, the lead solos, the precision of drums and most notably the bass solos of the legendary Cliff Burton and the overall effect was awesome! The very next Metallica album I listened to(and my 13th overall), And Justice for All was the most heaviest, brutal and extreme album till date(less aggressive only to Slayer). These two albums are now my scales of comparison. I use them to measure the quality of other albums. Alternatively I bought a few Slayer albums during this period. “Seasons in the Abyss”, “Divine Intervention”, “Show No Mercy” and “Haunting the Chapel” filled my time for a few months. At that time “Skeletons of Society” from Seasons in the Abyss was my favorite until “The Four Horsemen” from Kill em All displaced them all. And also I felt I was exhausting the Metallica and Slayer albums too quickly (I considered them as treasure). Something had to be done…..
It was a blessing therefore when one day we signed up for broadband internet at home and the World of Metal was waiting for me! My first 1o albums were mostly only Slayer and Metallica. But soon I gained access to bands like Pantera, Megadeth and Testament. Though I am not a Black Sabbath fan I respected it as it paved the way for the true Metal bands and I did like their two tribute albums(Nativity in Black series) due to which I gained more knowledge about other bands. One song that really stood out from that series was “Symptom of the Universe” which introduced me to the great Brazilian band Sepultura. That song had the kind of bass riff that made me wonder if anything can be better than this and I felt sorry for myself that my introduction to Metal came only when I was 18.
Better late than never so I rode on. Next band was obviously Sepultura after the impact of Symptom of the Universe. “Arise” was the first Sepultura album I tasted and soon the band joined my Metal army. I gave a break to Metallica and Slayer for a few months and continued exploring. Bands like Testament, Megadeth and Pantera took up my time. Albums like “Far Beyond Driven” by Pantera, “Practice what you Preach” by Testament, “Youthanasia” and ”Rust in Peace” by Megadeth stood out.
By the end of 2005 I had averaged more than one album a month and decided that I would need to slow down to preserve the list of un-listened albums as I knew that I was running out of quality Metal bands. I decided to do more exploring.
Oddly I gave a break to the 80′s metal and looked for something new just for the heck of it. Someone from a Metal chat room asked me to try Static X(mid 90s band). I kind of liked it though its a bit different. I tried Machine Head and a few other bands but they weren’t to my liking. One of my colleagues then introduced me to a new type of Metal which involves growling and throat singing.(I wasn’t aware of this type)… Six Feet Under in 2007. “Graveyard Classics” was liked my me instantaneously. Songs like “TNT” and “War Machine” stood out. Until 2009 I continued on with 15 different bands I knew. I thought I had exhausted all 80′s bands until one day….
One of my friends gave me a documentary video on Metal called “Metal: A headbanger’s journey”. And that really was the begenning of a new era. I realised there were many more 80′s bands that I was not aware of. Kreator, Exodus, Anthrax and Overkill. Four different bands with 40 albums should keep me satisfied for a long time…..