(Grant Skelton reviews the new album by a Norwegian band named The Devil and the Almighty Blues.)
Even a cursory listen to metal will reveal elements of two of its parent genres, blues and jazz. But metal’s kinship with these genres does not end with musical derivation and composition. Metal, blues, and jazz also share similar folklore. Long before parents were blaming Dee Snider and Rob Halford for their little hellions’ (see what I did there?) adolescent tyranny, jazz was called “the devil’s music.”
One might trace this attribution to the decadence of the “Roaring 20’s.” Alcohol was outlawed, and that meant no sales taxes. On the black market, anyone who could provide alcohol could make a pretty penny from a customer who wanted his choice poison. As it happened, the establishments that provided the booze provided the music. Jazz itself had nothing to do with the alcohol, cocaine, and hedonistic sexuality of this era. But in the minds of many, jazz was guilty by association. Sin sells. And in the 20’s, jazz was its soundtrack.