Apr 092010

Anger plays an important role in extreme metal music. It’s a motivating force in the creative process of many bands. It works its way through the lyrics of many songs. And even when the lyrics don’t reflect anger, a lot of the music just sounds pissed-off. A while back, we got a comment on one of our posts from a guy who described himself as “an old fart.” He wrote this:

“The whole scary-metal scene is confusing to me. You all seem like very literate and intelligent folks, yet you seem to find pleasure in art that celebrates darkness and pain. Do you do it to be ironic or to make a point about how you feel that you have been treated by the world? I saw the word cathartic used – is this music a way of healing some pain that you feel?”

We wrote our own answer to those questions following his comment here, but we don’t pretend to speak for all extreme metalheads. We will make a few other points now: Some bands are angry and probably don’t know exactly why. Some bands pretend to be angry, on the theory that being über bad-ass is one of the keys to success. Some bands are angry about shit that really doesn’t matter.

And some bands really are fucking pissed about important shit, they use the sound of their music to express those feelings (as only extreme music can do most powerfully), and they write lyrics that articulate what they’re angry about.

And then some bands do all that in an even more nuanced way, joining to their anger feelings of rebellion, remorse, resignation, compassion, and solidarity.  Monument to Thieves is one of those bands, and their new self-titled album is worth hearing.  (read more after the jump, and listen to a song . . .) Continue reading »