IN DEFENSE OF POWER METAL
Professor Cosmo Lee at Invisible Oranges, ever the metal theologian, asks in this morning’s blog post what, exactly, the appeal of modern power metal is:
Seriously, though — can anyone explain modern power metal to me? I like the ’80s stuff. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept — that’s good, strong music (given the right albums). But at what point did power metal become so saccharine, synthed-out, and bloody ridiculous? The only “power” it has is in making me laugh.
In response to his own question, Lee posits the following:
Modern power metal is pop music with everything turned up.
… but then proceeds to attempt to explain away this theory by over-intellectualizing. And therein lies the problem, Cosmo; I’d like to suggest that power metal ought to be subject to zero intellectualization, rationalization or any kind of deep thought. It’s cheesy and it’s ridiculous but it sure is fun, and that’s the end of it. Any attempt to invoke European history as inspiration — while this might explain why American metal musicians aren’t as willing to be so overtly corny — is already taking things too far. Power metal is big, dumb, and goofy in just about every way but if you take your brain out of the equation and just let the music flow directly into your ears it sure is really fucking fun. Less intellectualization, more listening.
And not for nothin’, all metal is pretty damned ridiculous when you take a step back and look in from the outside. Black metal? Come on. It doesn’t get any sillier.