When you think of metal, one of the first things that has to come to mind is rebellion. Whether it’s the way metalheads dress, to their lyrics to the type of lifestyle they lead, this heavyset genre is meant to stand apart from the rest. It’s great to see then, that metal bands from different parts of the world are going one step ahead and championing social causes that mar the world today. Not only are they breaking barriers with the type of music they create, but they are also making sure that their voices are being heard for stuff that matters. In this month’s article by Metal Hammer, here are the bands that are making a positive difference:
Name of Band: Al-Namrood
It’s really refreshing to see that the talons of metal have spread to the Middle East. Members of this band include Mephisto, Ostron and Humbaba, their true identities are hidden because they may face prosecution that includes lashings, jail time and beheading if they are found out. They have managed to be active since 2008 and their lyrics consist of anti-religious slogans, based on the fact that where they’re from, their lives are ruled and confined to fanatical beliefs in a religion.
Name of Band: Against Me!
Cause: LGBT Rights
Laura Jane Grace, lead singer of this punk-rock band is taking the cause home because she has been fighting for over 2 decades for LGBT rights. She herself had to go through the ordeal of transitioning from a man into a woman, and as one can imagine, that path wasn’t easy. She takes the true meaning of rock n roll to heart, being a true rebel in the sense that helps others accept themselves the way they are and have society do the same.
Name of Band: Slipknot
This band needs no introduction. And loud mouth frontman, Corey Taylor never shies away from speaking up about the madness that takes place in the world today. Whether it’s interviews, books he’s authored or even through the songs he writes for both his bands, Slipknot and Stone Sour, Taylor has one cause at the forefront – Politics. In an interview with Metal Hammer, he is quoted as saying: “I think it’s (music) great. Not enough people are saying enough; I don’t think that music is just something you can use to get your next Pepsi endorsement – it should actually help change, or guide people towards doing the right thing”.
Name of Band: System of a Down
Cause: Human Rights
Frontman, Serj Tankian is very vocal about his Armenian roots. He also doesn’t want to brush the 1915 Armenian Genocide under the carpet. Hence, he has arranged the score for a documentary film called 1915 about the incident that saw hundreds of thousands of Armenians slaughtered. He believes that many artists aren’t open to bringing up social causes, which he says “is a shame”. Let’s hope more of this patriotism and human rights issues make their way into future SOAD songs as well!
Name of Band: Cane Hill
Elijah Witt, lead singer of nu metal band, Cane Hill, is bringing out his band’s voice against something that plagues almost every niche of society, and what he has observed in the metal community itself: sexism. As he puts it, “Metal got too macho, and it glorifies this very gendered stereotype. It’s stupid that in 2016 such archaic ways of thinking are commonplace”. Well said, Elijah! May the prophet of metal speak forth!
Name of Band: Linkin Park
Cause: Disaster Relief
As the band finished their tour in Asia way back in 2004, they were appalled to hear and see the devastation that ravaged the far East due to the tsunami that claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed miles of land. They didn’t just sympathize, they vocalized and moved into action, forming the Music For Relief Foundation. Since then to now, they have raised thousands of dollars and partnered with the likes of UN Foundation, Oxfam, Save the Children, WWF and International Medical Corps.
Name of Band: Arch Enemy
Cause: Animal Rights
Melodeath giants, Arch Enemy have been around for a really long time. Their new lead singer, Alissa White-Gluz is as badass offstage as she is on-stage. She says she’s been a vegetarian since she was little and turned vegan for nearly 2 decades now. Her support for animal rights is hardcore, as she believes that animals don’t have a voice to speak up for themselves, which makes human beings responsible on their behalf.