The ten biggest arguments in metal
Along with booze and a bowl, a metalhead's favorite pastime is arguing about all things metal -- the who, what, where, when, why and how something is the best of the best. These arguments typically end with broken teeth, bloody noses, fat lips and a cold can of beer on a swollen eye. Ready to grapple? Keep reading for the ten biggest arguments in metal.
10. Guitar vs. Drums
The drummer is the metronome of the band, while the guitarist takes the metal to a higher level. The first point made is that without the drummer, the other musicians in the band couldn't keep the right time. Then a swift blow back is that without a ferocious guitar, the whole genre wouldn't exist. Even if you've never had this argument before, drummers will pounce back saying that guitarists are a dime a dozen and drummers are more in demand. Guitarist counter with: Epic guitar solos are more prevalent than a sad repetitious drum beat. Then a friend steps in saying they are equally as important, so shut up!
9. Heavy Metal vs. Nu Metal
If you hate on nu metal, nu metal fans will give you shit for being an old fuck with a saggy ball sack who doesn't like anything metal past 1990. Heavy metal fans are firm in their metal beliefs, as purists of metal don't even consider nu metal a derivative of metal. To heavy metallers, nu metal appeals to the masses with a more watered down sound, along with a sad whine which appeals to teenagers who take up most record sales. Nu metal devotees are adamant that heavy metal is too pissed the fuck off, while traditional heavy metal fans think nu metal fuckheads are pussies.
8. Thrash Metal vs. Death Metal
Thrash metal traditionalists always remind death metal brutes that their subgenre would've never come about without Slayer's Reign in Blood. Death metal brutes usually counter with the argument that just because it's first doesn't mean it's the best. I mean, a son can kick a father's ass once he grows up, right? Another counter is that thrash isn't as hardcore as death metal.
7. Dimebag vs. Slash
These guys were usually placed head to head because they were well-known at the same time. They both win when it comes to nicknames. With two of the best nicknames in metal, it's surprising the shredding skills argument doesn't end with who has the better name. But when pitting the two against each other there is always a never-ending argument that has fans of the two pulling on an overhand knot. There can also be a third indifferent person in this argument that thinks it is ridiculous to compare the two because they both have very different styles.
6. Ozzy Sabbath vs. Dio Sabbath
Two lead singers of the same band, both with very characteristic vocals and new albums Blizzard of Ozz and Heaven and Hell, both released within six months of each other in 1980. Some would say Ozzy was the first frontman of the first heavy metal band, and when Dio stepped in the direction of Sabbath changed, becoming more melodic unlike earlier raw sounding Sabbath. Others normally counter with the argument that when Dio took the lead with Sabbath that the lyrics outranked older Sabbath, as well as his power punching vocals. Satan, meanwhile, says they're both worthy disciples.
5. Metallica vs. Pantera
Both have sections of their career when their music wasn't purely metal. Pantera's walk of shame was early in their career as glam metal, while Metallica's is still at the forefront of our minds in the present day. Pantera's badassery was emerging while Metallica was losing their thrash edge yet exploding with popularity in the early '90s. So when making the comparison, Pantera was always fresh in the mind while Metallica was rotting. This is an unwinnable argument to say the least.
4. Randy Rhoads vs. Zakk Wylde
Zakk Wylde was a more stable replacement after the untimely death of Randy Rhoads. The people who come after the first person always get compared to their predecessor, like a first wife and other consecutive wives. With varied styles, these two were each a different kind of beast on the guitar: Rhoads was a composer, creating songs within a solo within a song, while Wylde's style is more in your face and groovy.
3. Halford vs. Dickinson
Both broke new ground with operatic heavy metal vocals along with Dio back in the day. When Halford was a strapping young lad, he had a much larger vocal range than Dickinson, but many think Halford fans focus too much on his vocal range, when clearly some of the greatest vocalists only have/had a few octaves in the bag. Bruce sings more; Rob screams more. Rob sounds better on albums; Bruce sounds better live. Halford could reach that bloodcurdling shriek, while Iron Maiden lyrics surpassed Judas Priest lyrics.
2. Best of the big four of thrash
They're all the biggest badasses in thrash metal, or are they? Metallica more often than not gets the hit first in the argument for selling out first, while Anthrax and Slayer were steadfast to the thrash sound, only straying momentarily. Metallica fans then point out that Metallica was the first to produce an album, but only by a nose -- Slayer released Show No Mercy only six months after Kill 'Em All. Plus, Slayer was way more sinister with controversial lyrics about Nazis and serial killers. The argument then usually goes toward Slayer, that they never changed gears from the same intensity, and too many songs ended up sounding the same. Megadeth, meanwhile, had more of a unique sound and vocals.
1. Who is metal?
When many music lovers talk about metal, they usually throw Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, AC/DC and Guns N' Roses into the bunch. Led Zeppelin, though a big influence on metal music, isn't heavy metal; they're sometimes hard rock, but much of the band's music is blues rock and folk rock, which is far from metal. Motörhead and AC/DC are debatable with a very aggressive and foul fist of music that many metalheads listen to just as equally as any other metal band. Guns N' Roses fans consider at least some of their music metal, while other hardcore metal fans laugh at this remark.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.