6 Songs to Convert Your Friends to Metal
Metal is not an easy thing to get into and the odds are you’re not going to convert your friends/girlfriend/parents by blasting “The Aftermath” in the car at full volume. Like anything, metal conversion takes time and careful steps have to be taken to introduce more caustic sounds to the subject’s ears. So instead of trying to make your friend’s ears bleed their first time out, try offering some of metal’s lighter fare. Give them something a little more familiar, something with a little more melody, hook or groove and maybe they won’t cover their ears in disgust quite so fast.
So, for all you metal missionaries out there, I give you these tools of conversion. They’ve worked for me in the past and I hope they serve you just as well in your quest to spread the metal faith:
Operatic vocals, epic orchestral arrangements, that piano line, Finland’s symphonic heavy metal heroes have been a staple of my conversion kit for some time. The song tends to play particularly well with the opposite gender, fans of the female singer-songwriter bit and my Tina Turner fanatic of a father.
For your classic rock loving associates, Denmark’s Mercyful Fate are a great reminder that metal was not always so different from good old rock n’ roll. “Gypsy,” from their 1984 magnum opus Don’t Break The Oath has an almost disco-inspired bounce that fans of any guitar-driven music find hard to resist.
This ditty is a great introduction to the beauty of the the twin-guitar harmony, a staple of metal since Iron Maiden, but without the hammering drums or gruff vocals. The Lord Weird have never been a conventional metal band, fusing Celtic folk, classic doom and sometimes even thrash. They tend to throw the uninitiated for a loop in a good way. Their cover of the Horslips classic “Dearg Doom” isn’t a bad place to start either.
The cheese factor alone might make this superb exercise in classic metal a stretch, but the combination of passionate vocals and mid-paced, highly muscular riffing has played well with fans of musical theater and D&D alike.
I know it’s not fair to include this band twice but since this song inspired me to write this guide in the first place, I thought it should be worthy of inclusion. “Amaranth” has a little more modern flavor to it, but the opening string swells and irresistible chorus have had me blasting this in my room all day.
Sure there’s a few screams on this one, but they’re spaced out, buried under distortion and not quite so in-your-face. Oregon’s blackened folk troupe Agalloch catch a lot of flak from metal heads for their un-metal jam tracks and soft riffing, which essentially means that they’re probably a good gateway band for the uninitiated. Be warned though, though the riffs are light, the mood is as black as you can get. Great for goths and the clinically depressed.
Now, go forth and spread the word of metal!
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