When Atsuo, the single-named singer-drummer for the sludgy Japanese post-metal band Boris, was asked recently in the online magazine radcompany.net about the influence of Satan on the band's work, he gave a predictably high-minded answer, engaging the question's absurdity - heavy metal's Satanic influenceis one of the genre's great clichés - and then trumping it. "It's simple to talk about Satan as a symbol, but it's important to consider the deeper meaning of the symbol," he said in one of his rare interviews to be translated into English. "To me, the Devil is not a symbol, but a moment that touches on morals. The moment when a person changes - that is the Devil."Does that strike you as intellectual or ... I don't know ... something out of the "Spinal Tap" screenplay? But then, it doesn't matter so much what they say as how it sounds. I stop at the heavy metal stations on XM radio when I'm driving in my car and am often surprised at how good things by bands with strange names sound. I tell myself to remember the names. I don't know if the ones I've liked are the same art metal trend the Times is tracking. They do name a lot of bands in the article, but unfortunately I've forgotten all the names I meant to remember.
September 18, 2005
Heavy metal music has gotten rather intellectual. So says the NYT. I don't know. You decide. This is offered up as evidence: