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Would you allow your teenagers to listen to Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden?  I was a teen in the 80's, and we were always told these bands were satanic etc..  

 

I don't want a debate but just some input.

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I'd say that if they like heavy metal to show them some alternatives (there ARE Christian heavy metal bands but we don't tell our kids they should only listen to Christian music) and just let them choose.  Our kids, I think, have appreciated that we've looked into the different music styles that they've enjoyed (usually temporarily) and helped them discover other artists.

 

I honestly don't think those bands were Satanic.  Here is an article that you can take or leave with an interesting perspective.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/plato-pop/201210/black-sabbath-and-the-secret-scary-music

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Probably not as young teens, because I think music can be very influential. In later teen years, I really haven’t censored music to any extent. Once in a while we would discuss lyrics to particular songs. My kids listen to pretty much all genres of music.

Edited by Cindy in FL.
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The Devil Wears Prada...  Blessthefall...  Disciple... Underoath...  Just to give you some options.

 

Family Force 5 is one of our favorites, more variety and some screamy dance music that is just fun. 

 

One fun thing to do is play some of this while they are in the house and see if they come running to see what in the world you're listening to.  lol

Edited by 6packofun

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The church told me, if God lets that reach your ears we aren't going to force you to stop. That's between you and God and part of your relationship.

 

That was pretty effective.

 

I ended up tossing my entire music collection because I knew that I was not able to stop myself from listening it. Music was super important to me. My mom wasn't religious. It was a personal choice. I only remember this because I tossed the collection which was painful to me. But I wanted to be closer to god.

 

Unless your kids spend a TON of time alone with headphones on, they won't have a ton of time to listen to it without that discussion anyway. Device / media limitation to my mind is a better overall tactic than trying to sort out satanic vs. not satanic. I know it sounds weird but giving them limited time to make that choice might result in an hour of bad choices but it's still outweighed by 12 other waking hours of your choices.

 

Full disclosure: I left the church for other reasons, and I love Iron Maiden, but I still agree that violent and hate-filled media should be limited. 

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No, we do not let our kids listen to music that would not be appropriate in our very conservative church.

 

Of course, music is not entirely in our control; e.g. the grocery store, etc. 

 

I know that this is not a popular opinion, and I don't want to debate -- I'm tired -- but I wanted to answer the question.

 

 

Edited by Junie
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My kids for the most part listen to what they want to listen to, but none of it is something I find to be a problem.  I do remind them to be mindful of what they are listening to and what influence it might have on their thoughts just like with any medium like books, tv shows, movies, etc.  Kind of the old "garbage in garbage out" thing.

 

If I found that the lyrics of what they were listening to were very objectionable DH and I would probably have a conversation with them about why they wanted to listen to it and about our reservations with it.  We would likely recommend that they pick something else, or help them find alternatives that are more appropriate.

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I am more into censoring lyrics than censoring music. I don't find a certain beat or rhythm to be evil. Words, though--

I don't know any BS or IM lyrics so I can't say. 

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Umm... Yep. Opps. My 2 year old likes AC/DC.

 

My parents were hover parents, but they usually let me make my own choices and rarely told me I couldn't do this, wear that, listen to certain things and I turned out mostly choosing the right paths. I have relatives that regulated everything their kid did and they ended up in drug rehab before 25, so...

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I let my older teens listen to whatever they want to listen to.  It's between them and God.

 

With my younger teens, I choose to gently guide rather than restrict.  A good rule of thumb that we employ is, "Would you listen to that if Jesus were physically sitting next to you?"

 

Only one time did I have to make one of my teens throw away a CD because the lyrics were so vile.  He said a friend gave it to him.  I don't know about that, but it ended up in the garbage because it was garbage.

Edited by Kinsa
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I am more into censoring lyrics than censoring music. I don't find a certain beat or rhythm to be evil. Words, though--

I don't know any BS or IM lyrics so I can't say. 

 

Yes, I agree with this.  I let my kids listen to Christian heavy metal bands.  I personally don't like that music, but whatever.

 

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Our kids are now grown and are solid Christians. 

 

Our belief was that if we did not allow them to exercise their own moral judgment in some areas that they would never develop their own "moral muscles." They would just be either compliant or noncompliant with us. So we stayed out of their music decisions altogether. I am sure there are some things they listened to that we wouldn't have advised, but we wanted them to decide, "You know, this is actually pretty gross or does not fit with my faith or whatever." 

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I've found that by filling my dc with wonderful, high quality music, such as classical, jazz, Spanish guitar, opera/broadway, they have no desire to listen to music that has no variety of chords, melody, dynamics, phrasing or lyrics.  There is SO MUCH great music out there. 

 

Now for some weird reason, they love the repetitiveness of the background music on computer games. I can't listen for more than 1 minute.  :laugh:

 

Most country and pop music (and I personally classify heavy metal as loud "popular") gets a thumbs down from my dc.  :thumbdown:  They couldn't be bothered with it.  

 

They are also not impressed with most contemporary Christian music, either. It is boring and repetitive, even if the message is meant to be uplifting. ;)  I can't argue with them, as they are correct.  :o  The number of chords, the harmonies and the melody lines were much more sophisticated 50 - 100+ years ago. 

 

As nice as Gregorian chanting-style of repeating the same line over and over can be, it's not meant to be the template of most worship music. 

Edited by wintermom
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My son has always chosen his own music (except when he's in my car). Instead of teaching some music is bad and some good, we went for the "think on these things" principle. In other words, how to apply Philippians 4:8. 

 

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things. Phil. 4:8 NASB

 

 

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I find Iron Maiden lyrics to be very poetic and the music to be energizing and interesting.

 

I'm less familiar with Black Sabbath but the songs I am familiar with are interesting commentary.

 

I have always loved loud energizing music. I appreciated that my parents were open to me sharing my music with them. (My folks were born in the 1920s to give you an idea of their musical tastes)

 

The band Skillet might be worth a listen.

 

I positively don't think those bands are satanic.

 

We have always listened to (and discussed) a wide variety of music in the house and car. My kids (ya) do the same with their own picks now.

 

.

Edited by happi duck

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As a teen my husbands mom took his music collection away from him because the church told her it was devil music. Let's just say that his heart was not won to Jesus that day and it's been a huge barrier between him and religion to this day.

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As a teen my husbands mom took his music collection away from him because the church told her it was devil music. Let's just say that his heart was not won to Jesus that day and it's been a huge barrier between him and religion to this day.

I'm sad this happened to him.

 

The music I love was especially important to me as a teen. I would've been devastated if my folks considered something so important to me to be evil.

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What about AC/DC?  I know not a thing about them but DS has taken to listening to them.  

 

Just a funny (to me) story about AC/DC: 

 

Two years ago ds and I went to a football game to watch his friend who went to the local, private, Christian school. As the friend and his teammates ran out onto the field in their black uniforms, AC/DC's "Back in Black" was blaring on the PA system. It was the last song I expected to hear at that game. I loved it. 

 

 

Edited for clarity because I'm, you know, me. 

Edited by Angie in VA

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When I was a teen I loved heavy metal/hard rock/rap/hip hop, all the stuff with questionable lyrics. (Metallica is still my favorite band. But I also enjoy Baroque very much. And "I Can Only Image" by Mercy Me brings me to tears every time I hear it.)  I will tell you the same thing I told my mom. Half the time, I couldn't understand the lyrics. It's not like enunciation is a feature of metal. But, this was the late 80s, early 90s. It's not like I could hop on the computer to look up the words. Now kids can do so.

 
I loved, loved, loved the music. For me, the music and the lyrics were completely separate things. The message of the song was never on my radar. 
 
I don't think my musical choices have had any effect on my relationship with God. And I don't, at this point, censor what my children listen to.
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As a teen my husbands mom took his music collection away from him because the church told her it was devil music. Let's just say that his heart was not won to Jesus that day and it's been a huge barrier between him and religion to this day.

That would be hard, as a teen. I hope he’s found his music again.

 

Similarly, a friend asked me, as a young teen, to borrow my favorite record (yes, vinyl, gasp! I’m old!) ... his mom broke it in half. :(

 

It was early Depeche Mode, 1983. Construction Time Again, I think. Not satanic. Of course, I don’t think any of the bands listed here are satanic any more than I think troll dolls are satanic (we also heard that in the 80s!).

 

I would have been crushed if my parents acted that way toward me, much less toward a friend’s property.

Edited by Spryte
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Younger teens (15 and under?) I “censor†a bit more. Older than that- they know I don’t like/approve of some of their music- but really they have to make some choices on their own. As someone mentioned above about “exercising†their choosers or something to that effect. That’s how I look at it. I mean my favorites as a teen were Ozzy, Alice Cooper, and AC/DC. Even now as a fairly conservative Christian I like 5 Finger Death Punch- though Casting Crowns is still my favorite. 😉

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That would be hard, as a teen. I hope he’s found his music again.

 

Similarly, a friend asked me, as a young teen, to borrow my favorite record (yes, vinyl, gasp! I’m old!) ... his mom broke it in half. :(

 

It was early Depeche Mode, 1983. Construction Time Again, I think. Not satanic. Of course, I don’t think any of the bands listed here are satanic any more than I think troll dolls are satanic (we also heard that in the 80s!).

 

I would have been crushed if my parents acted that way toward me, much less toward a friend’s property.

When I was a teen, I remember my mom freaking out when I was listening to Blasphemous Rumors by Depeche Mode. I wasn’t even raised in a family that went to church, but I guess that song just was too much for her. I can also remember my dad changing the radio station because Huey Lewis & the News were singing, “I want a new drug...â€. That one still makes me laugh thinking about it. I remember trying to tell him it was love, but he wouldn’t hear any of it.

 

OP, as for my kids, we listen to all types of music. My 14 year old son’s favorite singer is Billy Joel. But today in the car when we were flipping through the radio & a female artist was singing about how someone wants her sex... just No. I don’t want to listen to it and I don’t want my kids listening to it. It’s just smut to me. My almost 17 year old changed it (and always does) without me needing to ask her. She doesn’t want to listen to it either. We listen to a lot of Christian music, but we all have preferences outside of that genre. But all of us try to listen to songs that aren’t lyrically offensive.

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Well, I don't think those kinds of bands were generally really Satanic.  They were young guys getting drunk and making too much money.

 

I probably wouldn't totally tell them they couldn't listen to it.  I might say not in my house for younger teen, for certain content, or an older one even if it was bad enough - I don't want to listen to some stuff, though I actually tend to associate it more with hiphop music.  

 

I'd be more likely to talk to kids about thinking about what they listen to.

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Our kids are now grown and are solid Christians. 

 

Our belief was that if we did not allow them to exercise their own moral judgment in some areas that they would never develop their own "moral muscles." They would just be either compliant or noncompliant with us. So we stayed out of their music decisions altogether. I am sure there are some things they listened to that we wouldn't have advised, but we wanted them to decide, "You know, this is actually pretty gross or does not fit with my faith or whatever." 

 

YES!   :hurray:

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my brother listened to black sabbath in the 70's. . . . . (as loud as the stereo would go.  for starters - it gave me tinnitis.)

 

no way in hades would I have it in my home.

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Well, I don't think those kinds of bands were generally really Satanic.  They were young guys getting drunk and making too much money.

 

I probably wouldn't totally tell them they couldn't listen to it.  I might say not in my house for younger teen, for certain content, or an older one even if it was bad enough - I don't want to listen to some stuff, though I actually tend to associate it more with hiphop music.  

 

I'd be more likely to talk to kids about thinking about what they listen to.

 

they were also doing drugs.   loud music that was supposed to be "loud" with maximum bass.

 

what I noticed - and my chief objection - when it is that loud, you can't even think. (let alone talk to the person standing two inches from you while screaming at the top of your lungs.) 

the goal of having it that loud is to not be able to even hear yourself think.

I was stuck in it in my own home too many times growing up.   because my mother was such a weakling.

 

eta: clarity

Edited by gardenmom5
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When I was a teen I loved heavy metal/hard rock/rap/hip hop, all the stuff with questionable lyrics. (Metallica is still my favorite band. But I also enjoy Baroque very much. And "I Can Only Image" by Mercy Me brings me to tears every time I hear it.)  I will tell you the same thing I told my mom. Half the time, I couldn't understand the lyrics. It's not like enunciation is a feature of metal. But, this was the late 80s, early 90s. It's not like I could hop on the computer to look up the words. Now kids can do so.

 
I loved, loved, loved the music. For me, the music and the lyrics were completely separate things. The message of the song was never on my radar. 
 
I don't think my musical choices have had any effect on my relationship with God. And I don't, at this point, censor what my children listen to.

 

 

One of my kids' first word was music. He was trying to get me to turn on the music in the car. It took me weeks to figure out what he was saying! He focuses better when doing schoolwork when listening to it and just loves music!

 

With that said, I'm not a huge fan of the lyrics to a good amount of the songs out there. I would say I'm pretty sensitive to certain types of lyrics, like misogyny and objectifying women. I mean we were playing Katie Perry's Fireworks today, so I don't have a no secular music home. But there is so much nasty out there. My kids like Christian music, but they also want to listen to more variety. So they've really gotten into finding music of varying types of genre. Like how some people listen to classical music. 

 

OP, perhaps presenting various options of music sans lyrics and seeing if that fills the need. One of my DS's newest fav:

 

 

Edited by IfIOnly

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Would you allow your teenagers to listen to Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden?  I was a teen in the 80's, and we were always told these bands were satanic etc..  

 

I don't want a debate but just some input.

 

 

And my forthright answer is, no. I did not grow up in a Christian home at all or with any music restrictions, and I did not listen to this type of music and lyrics. It bothered me. It would sometimes catch some Metallica around friends, but I listened to more positive music. 

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Ds preferred Led Zeppelin as a younger teen - we were practicing christians then. He listened to select songs from Black Sabbath and Ozzy later on. Not sure if he got into Iron Maiden or not. 

 

Thing is most 70s rock songs are about sex and drugs. Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden were dark, but not satanic, although there are bands that are. If you're going to restrict based upon lyrical content, you'll need to check every band. If you're going to censor based upon the band's lifestyle, you'll need to some of your research and no rely on 30 year old rumors. Black, Dark, and metal does not mean satanic.

 

There are some decent christian metal bands out there. 

 

 

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When I was a teen, I remember my mom freaking out when I was listening to Blasphemous Rumors by Depeche Mode. I wasn’t even raised in a family that went to church, but I guess that song just was too much for her. I can also remember my dad changing the radio station because Huey Lewis & the News were singing, “I want a new drug...â€. That one still makes me laugh thinking about it. I remember trying to tell him it was love, but he wouldn’t hear any of it.

 

 

Yeh, I could see Blasphemous Rumours being too much. My experience was a few years before that song came out. Different album. I can’t recall the trigger anymore.

 

Breaking a kid’s record is a bit much though. I was bummed.

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We don't really censor music, but I do tend to discuss the more interesting options lol. We've actually had some very good conversations.

 

When one of my sons was 3, he would sing along with rage against the machine in his car seat!

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Would you allow your teenagers to listen to Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden?  I was a teen in the 80's, and we were always told these bands were satanic etc..  

 

 

I wouldn't give the song writers and producers that much credit, actually. It's music to make money, just as all pop and country music is. It's for and by people with no endurance or background in good quality music, as it's very simple (relatively speaking) to play and create. 

 

If wanting making money characterises the concept of "satanic" then perhaps it is.  But I wouldn't say that there are undertones or hidden messages. If you want multiple layers of music, go to Bach. He's the master. ;)

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Yeh, I could see Blasphemous Rumours being too much. My experience was a few years before that song came out. Different album. I can’t recall the trigger anymore.

 

Breaking a kid’s record is a bit much though. I was bummed.

In total agreement. It wasn’t her record to destroy. I’m sorry that happened. People can be jerks.

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Our long-distance pastor enjoys listening to heavy metal music.  (He also plays in a band.)  He has severe ADHD, and he has mentioned several times that heavy metal music also allows him to go through the whole range of emotions, (unlike a lot of flat, modern Christian pop-songs), which helps absorb all the excess energy in his chaotic ADHD brain.  I thought that was interesting.   He's very discerning about the lyrics though.  

 

Our kids didn't like heavy metal as teens, but if they did, I would only have made an issue of the lyrics.  If the lyrics were violent or pornographic, then no.

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Our kids are now grown and are solid Christians.

 

Our belief was that if we did not allow them to exercise their own moral judgment in some areas that they would never develop their own "moral muscles." They would just be either compliant or noncompliant with us. So we stayed out of their music decisions altogether. I am sure there are some things they listened to that we wouldn't have advised, but we wanted them to decide, "You know, this is actually pretty gross or does not fit with my faith or whatever."

This is what we do as well.

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And my forthright answer is, no. I did not grow up in a Christian home at all or with any music restrictions, and I did not listen to this type of music and lyrics. It bothered me. It would sometimes catch some Metallica around friends, but I listened to more positive music. 

 

same here.   I listed to soft/pop rock.  I had a friend who was really into the beattles (this was after they broke up.).   I also listened to classical music.   now,  classical is my preference, though I occasionally listen to other stuff.

 

Our long-distance pastor enjoys listening to heavy metal music.  (He also plays in a band.)  He has severe ADHD, and he has mentioned several times that heavy metal music also allows him to go through the whole range of emotions, (unlike a lot of flat, modern Christian pop-songs), which helps absorb all the excess energy in his chaotic ADHD brain.  I thought that was interesting.   He's very discerning about the lyrics though.  

 

Our kids didn't like heavy metal as teens, but if they did, I would only have made an issue of the lyrics.  If the lyrics were violent or pornographic, then no.

 

dh was invited to a christmas program put on by a very large non-denomiational church around here.  they did heavy metal music to accompany it.   it wasn't as loud as I had been subjected to growing up - but I noticed there was no peaceful nurturing spirit which i expect in a church - it had been driven away.  that type of music literally grates on my nervous system down into my bones, so I walked out and ended up sitting in the car.  (talked with my dd and dsil.)

 

  - it wasn't the lyrics - it was the physicality of the discordant music that drove me out.

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same here.   I listed to soft/pop rock.  I had a friend who was really into the beattles (this was after they broke up.).   I also listened to classical music.   now,  classical is my preference, though I occasionally listen to other stuff.

 

 

dh was invited to a christmas program put on by a very large non-denomiational church around here.  they did heavy metal music to accompany it.   it wasn't as loud as I had been subjected to growing up - but I noticed there was no peaceful nurturing spirit which i expect in a church - it had been driven away.  that type of music literally grates on my nervous system down into my bones, so I walked out and ended up sitting in the car.  (talked with my dd and dsil.)

 

  - it wasn't the lyrics - it was the physicality of the discordant music that drove me out.

 

Yes, I agree -- I don't think it would be appropriate for a church environment!  I don't like it at all.  I'd probably walk out! 

Edited by J-rap
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Probably.

 

My kids grew up in a very conservative, open Bible church where the majority of kids were homeschooled, so I believe we fit your demographic.

 

As a parent, I was careful of what music they were exposed to. As they got older (and got iPods), they were exposed to a lot more. I was wary at first.

 

But also as an adult, I can listen to the music we listened to in the 80s--Van Halen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, etc. and be shocked by the lyrics. Yet we KNEW the lyrics back then, we just never connected them to a true meaning. That gave me a totally different perspective and erased my concerns.

 

I've learned over the years that it's much more important to make rules for my own family that work for us, rather than feel the pressure of other parents on what my kids should--or shouldn't--be allowed to do. It can be uncomfortable to go "outside of the norm" for our crowd, but it makes for a better relationship at home, and this is NOT because I am more permissible in every situation.

 

 

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I wouldn't give the song writers and producers that much credit, actually. It's music to make money, just as all pop and country music is. It's for and by people with no endurance or background in good quality music, as it's very simple (relatively speaking) to play and create.

 

If you don't like it, you don't like it. That's what personal taste is all about. But the above statement has no basis in reality. Here is a blog post by a classically trained singer and vocal instructor analyzing various heavy metal singers for better or worse.

 

This is what she says about Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden.

 

I have nothing but admiration for this singer. Listen how he starts off with a soft growl, then moves seamlessly into a well-supported, sustained high full-voice sound that then evolves into an effortless long scream! His diction is easily intelligible, regardless of the range he’s singing in or the effect he’s going for. He achieves an intensely rhythmic delivery of the lyrics without losing legato and musical momentum, something a lot of classical singers struggle with, especially when interpreting the many staccato and accent markings that crowd scores by Bellini, Donizetti, etc.

 

A couple of observations for my classical readers:

There is a visceral dramatic intensity driving this singing. Many rock and metal singers are tenors who sustain much higher, much longer than operatic tenors are ever required to. It’s not just the microphone that makes this possible. These guys are singing their guts out with incredible commitment. Intention is a very powerful thing.

 

Notice the rasp that occasionally colors his sound. This is an effect that is totally distinct from strain – his entire larynx and throat needs to be completely loose and free to respond this way. In some of the following examples, you’ll hear singers deliberately making their voice more shallow, shrill, nasal or “harshâ€. If they know what they’re doing, they can set up all of these effects without creating resistance and strain. You can tell the difference in much the same way you would listen to a classical singer – free singing is like a massage, while entangled singing makes you sympathetically tighten up your own throat.

 

 

And then she says this about Dio, who was the singer of Black Sabbath for three albums after Ozzy Osbourne left the band, and is probably my favorite singer.

 

This is another very fine singer. His voice is so naturally resonant – he reminds me of Freddie Mercury. Like the first singer, he performs with perfect legato, clear diction, and a consistent, organic vibrancy. He arranges his resonance space to create a shallow snarl without setting up any resistance for his breath. You can tell how healthy his delivery is from the way he moves in and out of brief moments of harmony with the other tracks with impeccable intonation.

 

Here is the Dio song she's talking about, together with lyrics. If you think this music is simple to compose, play, or sing, you either haven't listened to it or you don't understand music.

 

Falling off the Edge of the World

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If you don't like it, you don't like it. That's what personal taste is all about. But the above statement has no basis in reality. Here is a blog post by a classically trained singer and vocal instructor analyzing various heavy metal singers for better or worse.

 

This is what she says about Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden.

I have nothing but admiration for this singer. Listen how he starts off with a soft growl, then moves seamlessly into a well-supported, sustained high full-voice sound that then evolves into an effortless long scream! His diction is easily intelligible, regardless of the range he’s singing in or the effect he’s going for. He achieves an intensely rhythmic delivery of the lyrics without losing legato and musical momentum, something a lot of classical singers struggle with, especially when interpreting the many staccato and accent markings that crowd scores by Bellini, Donizetti, etc.

 

A couple of observations for my classical readers:

There is a visceral dramatic intensity driving this singing. Many rock and metal singers are tenors who sustain much higher, much longer than operatic tenors are ever required to. It’s not just the microphone that makes this possible. These guys are singing their guts out with incredible commitment. Intention is a very powerful thing.

Notice the rasp that occasionally colors his sound. This is an effect that is totally distinct from strain – his entire larynx and throat needs to be completely loose and free to respond this way. In some of the following examples, you’ll hear singers deliberately making their voice more shallow, shrill, nasal or “harshâ€. If they know what they’re doing, they can set up all of these effects without creating resistance and strain. You can tell the difference in much the same way you would listen to a classical singer – free singing is like a massage, while entangled singing makes you sympathetically tighten up your own throat.

 

 

And then she says this about Dio, who was the singer of Black Sabbath for three albums after Ozzy Osbourne left the band, and is probably my favorite singer.

 

This is another very fine singer. His voice is so naturally resonant – he reminds me of Freddie Mercury. Like the first singer, he performs with perfect legato, clear diction, and a consistent, organic vibrancy. He arranges his resonance space to create a shallow snarl without setting up any resistance for his breath. You can tell how healthy his delivery is from the way he moves in and out of brief moments of harmony with the other tracks with impeccable intonation.

 

Here is the Dio song she's talking about, together with lyrics. If you think this music is simple to compose, play, or sing, you either haven't listened to it or you don't understand music.

 

Falling off the Edge of the World

Well said!

Thanks for posting!!

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If you don't like it, you don't like it. That's what personal taste is all about. But the above statement has no basis in reality. Here is a blog post by a classically trained singer and vocal instructor analyzing various heavy metal singers for better or worse.

 

This is what she says about Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden.

 

I have nothing but admiration for this singer. Listen how he starts off with a soft growl, then moves seamlessly into a well-supported, sustained high full-voice sound that then evolves into an effortless long scream! His diction is easily intelligible, regardless of the range he’s singing in or the effect he’s going for. He achieves an intensely rhythmic delivery of the lyrics without losing legato and musical momentum, something a lot of classical singers struggle with, especially when interpreting the many staccato and accent markings that crowd scores by Bellini, Donizetti, etc.

 

A couple of observations for my classical readers:

There is a visceral dramatic intensity driving this singing. Many rock and metal singers are tenors who sustain much higher, much longer than operatic tenors are ever required to. It’s not just the microphone that makes this possible. These guys are singing their guts out with incredible commitment. Intention is a very powerful thing.

 

Notice the rasp that occasionally colors his sound. This is an effect that is totally distinct from strain – his entire larynx and throat needs to be completely loose and free to respond this way. In some of the following examples, you’ll hear singers deliberately making their voice more shallow, shrill, nasal or “harshâ€. If they know what they’re doing, they can set up all of these effects without creating resistance and strain. You can tell the difference in much the same way you would listen to a classical singer – free singing is like a massage, while entangled singing makes you sympathetically tighten up your own throat.

 

 

And then she says this about Dio, who was the singer of Black Sabbath for three albums after Ozzy Osbourne left the band, and is probably my favorite singer.

 

This is another very fine singer. His voice is so naturally resonant – he reminds me of Freddie Mercury. Like the first singer, he performs with perfect legato, clear diction, and a consistent, organic vibrancy. He arranges his resonance space to create a shallow snarl without setting up any resistance for his breath. You can tell how healthy his delivery is from the way he moves in and out of brief moments of harmony with the other tracks with impeccable intonation.

 

Here is the Dio song she's talking about, together with lyrics. If you think this music is simple to compose, play, or sing, you either haven't listened to it or you don't understand music.

 

Falling off the Edge of the World

 

She's talking about singing technique though.  It is interesting that heavy metal singers have been noted for often having quite good vocal technique, compared say to more recent singers like Adele who end up damaging their voices.  A lot of the singers in those metal bands ended up looking for training because otherwise they simply couldn't keep singing the music that way.

 

As far as musical complexity - well, some is more complex than others, but overall metal isn't known for a lot of complexity.  It isn't necessarily known either for strong musical instrument skills though I think that is more variable.  But to some extent metal has had some of the same attitude that punk music did where there was a certain amount of anti-expertise philosophy behind the conceptualization of what the music was doing.

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I would consider our family a strong Christian family, and in our car, etc. we only listen to contemporary Christian music (Air 1 if you are familiar with that). As a matter of principle, I would say, definitely not listen to that kind of music. However, as a parent with a very difficult child, who has to seriously choose her battles, I would say these are things you need to consider....

1) what is your relatinship like with your child??

2) is this a battle you are willing to fight? A hill you are willing to die on? Because it could turn in to that....

3) how compliant is your child?

4) how are you going to enforce this? What are you going to do in the face of rebellion??

5) what is this going to do with your relationship?

 

I ask these questions because our oldest is extremely difficult and the only thing getting us through these teen years is focusing on relationship. We have adopted a don’t ask/don’t tell policy with music. Officially, we only allow Christian music, but it could get really ugly really fast if we started closely monitoring it. So, we choose our battles very carefully, only battling things that we feel are very important, and keep in the forefront that our relationship with him is the most important thing. We try to uphold the standards at all time, but not nitpick, it that makes any sense. It’s not easy.

Edited by KrissiK
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As far as musical complexity - well, some is more complex than others, but overall metal isn't known for a lot of complexity.  It isn't necessarily known either for strong musical instrument skills though I think that is more variable.  But to some extent metal has had some of the same attitude that punk music did where there was a certain amount of anti-expertise philosophy behind the conceptualization of what the music was doing.

 

That is also not true. I have never once heard any band or heavy metal fan celebrate lack of good technique or expertise. Many well-known metal guitarists come from a classically trained background. Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest first learned to play classical music on the piano before he ever touched a guitar.

 

Here is a well-known (and somewhat self-indulgent) guitar solo by Ritchie Blackmore of Rainbow. Watch this solo and ask yourself if this represents anti-expertise. How many hours do you think he spent just on this stretch of music?

 

Gates of Babylon Solo.

 

The claim that metal doesn't have any lyrical complexity is also misguided, although there are certainly some bands that have weak lyrics. Iron Maiden covers poetry like the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, historical subjects like the Charge of the Light Brigade and the frontier wars against the Native Americans. Saxon has songs about steel mills in Belfast in the 19th Century and the Crusades. Metallica sings about the plagues of Egypt. Judas Priest has an entire concept album about the life and trials of Nostradamus. Sabaton is pure home schooling gold with their historical subjects.

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