Heavy Metal music has always been source of intense critics, because of its codes and its alternative sounds for the uninitiated. The relation between the music and extremism has always been one of the first argument and stereotype I have always read and heard about it. 2 years ago again at the french festival Hellfest, catholics associations tried to make pressure on sponsors and at the french assembly because according to them the festival would be a satanic gathering. This action sparked the attention of the media and an outrageous documentary crystallising all the classic cliches (thanks to the broadcaster TF1) about Heavy Metal music was describing the headbangers as satanist, antisocial, racist and deviant.
But how a culture sharred all around the world nowaday could be racist?
Heavy Metal culture doesn't have any national borders anymore, thanks to Internet and the globalisation. Bands have been emerging all around the world. Brazil, Japan, and more recently China, Afghanistan and Iraq, the genre isn't only occidental and reveal a global Heavy Metal community sharing common codes. Film director Sam Dunn realised a really interesting movie about the subject called Global Metal and shows that Heavy Metal culture is much more than all the stereotypes shared by some.
Global Metal, Sam Dunn, 2008
However Heavy Metal has always generated incomprehension and fear to people who doesn't understand it, and religious extremists and traditionalists have always been source of the most intense critics. The situation in Iraq reflect well this aspect as 14 young people have been stoned to death these last 3 weeks by religious activists because they were wearing Metal, punk and slim clothes. The reason of the murders are simple, the way the kids were dressed with slim fit clothes and long hairs is seen as homosexual and provocative.
Heavy Metal in Bagdhad part 1, Vice production
Vice production realised an excellent documentary following an Iraqian Heavy Metal Band named Acrassicauda. But the band faced extremism with threats of death as their music is raging for peace and liberty.
Every years Metal bands are accused to influence badly the young spirits, but as protest music has always contested politic and social conditions, Heavy Metal promotes freedom of speach, independency and liberty to choose another way of life as the hippies did in their time.
"They want the war, and you want the peace. But you know you gotta kill the beast" Acrassicauda