Metal as 'Angry' Music & 'Phase'
Here's a cliche that I often hear. Metal is supposedly all about anger and other negative themes. I disagree completely, even within the confines of extreme metal. Anger is just one emotion that metal is capable of expressing. Not every death metal band gets off to blood and gore, just as not every black metal band laments about devil worship and raping church nuns.

Those are just really bad stereotypes that get mishandled all too often. Metal is so much more than that, regardless of where it's coming from. I just don't understand the baseless accusations of the genre being only about negative emotions. What about when a metal band has themes of fantasy, literature, and self-improvement? Musically, it can be usually dark, but it's just a form of expression. Classical is also quite dark, expressive stuff, and look at how much it's done to influence modern genres of music. I think of music as a stress reliever, be it expressed in anger, joy, sadness, and the like.

Finally, I hate it when people assume that metal is just a "phase". I don't know about you, but I haven't been any less into this music than the last ten years since I've been actively seeking out the bands. Most baseless claims on the genre come from people who've never really scratched past the surface to find that the underground was and will always be the main source of quality music. I'm sure there's still the belief that after the 1980s, "all" music "died", and that it'll never be the same again. Maybe if you only subscribe to mainstream sellout garbage that hasn't been relevant in so long, but as for me, I'll be gladly listening to the bands that still keep the torches lit.
I wasn't an angry child/teenager or anything. I just wanted something with cool guitar solos! Tongue
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I got into metal when I was young cuz I wanted the angriest music possible because I was really angry and pissed off. A couple decades or so later, I'm still really angry and pissed off, but I don't think metal helped me with that Laugh  I'm usually drawn to music for sorrow/melancholy these days (and I guess I have been for a long time now).

Outgrow metal? I've always kinda feared that, esp. since I've invested so much energy into it. I am pretty burnt out by it, and certain things seem childish to me, but I don't think I'll outgrow it as a whole. Certain parts of it, certainly. Metal is varied enough to cherrypick certain areas I like. I do find I'm far more inclined to the melodic end, and probably some artsy/experimental crap too.
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Absolutely not a phase. Even as a teenager, when I was first getting into metal, it was never about anger or aggression. It was just about what grabbed me. Today, 30 years later, it still is. My musical palette has actually become more varied as I get older, but my love for metal has never waned. I've actually come to appreciate growled vocals in some instances. Music is my passion and I'm always looking for more stuff that will grab me, just like metal did 30 years ago.

I find it sad that most folks my age (mid-40s) gave up on finding new music at some point in their 20s (if not earlier).
Whenever I hear people say they grew out of metal, or 'used to' listen to it, all I can think is that they were never truly fans and maybe just liked it because it was the cool thing to do at the time. I can't imagine just giving up metal, it's definitely not a phase for me.

I always find it funny when co-workers are surprised at what I listen to. It seems that most people are under the impression that metal is about anger, aggression, Satan worship, ect. Not the metal I listen to, haha.
I'm going to play devil's advocate for a moment:

There are plenty of guys who certainly make a mosh pit about releasing anger and aggression, and you typically don't get mosh pits at Celine Dion shows...

The anger thing is absolutely true for some people some of the time and some bands some of the time. Compared to most other genres, that's fairly uncommon as far as I'm aware.
I've seen the phase thing happen, but that veil is usually very thin anyway. And usually that's a matter of hopping on trends and/or the most extreme things available. I've never seen a teenager with a Steel Prophet phase. And if they like it, they usually end up listening to it in their thirties as well.

As for metal being angry music... That's just the ignorance of people who don't know about it. In the same vein, I hate it when people say they don't listen to blues, because it's so negative, which is BS of course. Blues is just as much about the joys of life as it is about the hardships, but that's just the image it has. Like Buddy Guy said: "When BB King sings 'sweet little angel, I love the way you spread your wings', that doesn't sound like misery to me!"
I did stop listening to metal for a while in the mid-90s to mid-00s, but that was more because I felt the genre wasn't going anywhere, and I was a) kind of burnt out on it and b) exploring soul, funk and jazz. 

I eventually realised that metal offers something that those genres don't (in terms of the intensity, for want of a better word) and rediscovered the bands that I previously liked - in addition to the other genres.

There are angry metal bands for sure but it's no bad thing if people get their anger out through music as opposed to other ways. It would be hideous if all music was forced to be cheery and upbeat.
I suppose I'm slightly odd, as I grew into metal in my forties, never having been interested in it before. I was never a very rebellious kid as my parents were never very restrictive or religious. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't really anti-metal, just uninterested. I suppose I always had an image of it as being something like, I dunno, King 810 - some angry dude yelling something unintelligible into a microphone while all hell breaks lose behind him. I preferred something a bit more organised somehow. I guess I wasn't really aware of how broad a genre it really was.
I think I still like metal because I also listen to other genres. It may have bored the hell out of me if I didn't. But the same goes for all the other music I've listened to for the better part of three decades.

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