My Journey To Heavy MetalI grew up with very little exposure to music beyond what my parents listened to. My dad listens to country "music" and my mom loves '80's rock, so that's mostly what I listened to, more from habit than from actual enjoyment. When I was in my first year of High School, I heard "Enter Sandman" by Metallica for the first time, and it changed my life. The hair stood up on the back of my neck, my pulse started racing, and I had the distinct feeling that something was happening in this music. I asked my friend who it was that played that song. He told me it was Metallica, and that they were a Heavy Metal band. I checked them out online, and found that I like most of their old stuff (Black Album and before) but not much else. I quickly found other bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and fell in love with their music. I found out quickly that there are about a million different subgenres of Heavy Metal, and explored as many as I could find. Death Metal, Black Metal, and Power Metal quickly became favorite subgenres of mine, and I developed an extreme hatred for Metalcore (it's basically generic rock with distortion and a backup screamer). The subject matter of Heavy Metal was so different from everything else I had heard. They weren't all about relationships or booze or sex. I listened to songs about politics and war, about feelings of rage or hate, about murder and Satanism, and even songs about Vikings and Ancient Egypt. There was and is so much variety in Heavy Metal, I loved it!
I began growing my hair out, wearing mostly black clothing or band t-shirts, and found a second family that actually understood me in the local headbanger community. My real family was none too pleased at this sudden change in behavior, but could tell I was happier, so they only put up a little resistence. I made a few attempts to start a band, but nobody in my area wanted to play Black Metal (only a few people knew what it was to begin with), so sadly it never happened. Years came and went, and I found other genres of music I enjoy, like the Blues and Classical, but Heavy Metal has remained my favorite form of music.