A hub of heavy metal influence, England has always had some admiration from right across the spectrum of metal. The likes of Black Sabbath, Diamond Head, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Motorhead all hailed from this fine nation and helped shape a powerful & incredibly diverse genre of music.
Metal may not be at the forefront of commercial culture, but it is still immensely popular. It’s often been described as a “cult” but it’s a far bigger phenomenon than that. Feeding on the “against the world” mentality, metal fans are passionate and are utterly loyal to the bands they follow.
Yet, despite all this, England’s major influence on a big genre of music seems to have been shunned. What’s new? I hear you cry. Well, let us think back to the opening ceremony of the Olympics. One of the most impressive sections of the show was the showcase of British music, snippets were played of various of British bands from various genre’s. It was a decent (albeit mainstream) of British music down the years. But there was at least one major genre missing, metal. Some huge, influential British metal bands were completely ignored.
Metal is mainly an aggressive, confrontational type of music, so why would they dare play it to unsuspecting ears? My first point to that would be the fact that Sex Pistols were played, a band that courted controversy and were known for been viciously anti-royalist. If Punk is represented in some form, why can’t Metal be?
Now I’m not expecting Napalm Death to be played (another extremely influential British metal band funnily enough) but we do have some metal bands which the wider public do enjoy. The first one that comes to mind was Black Sabbath. Hugely influential and revered in certain circles around the world. They also have a signature song which most people enjoy in ‘Paranoid’. This would have been perfect for some part in the olympic opening, yet was completely snubbed.
Now I don’t deny the fact that metal fans no doubt like been some sort of alternative, musical cult but I think it would be nice if every so often England’s proud metal past was acknowledged and maybe a little bit appreciated. I’m not expecting regular four page spreads in newspapers saying how great it is, but just a bit less of a dismissive, snobby attitude towards a significant genre and Englands influence on it.