“We play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal…”
From the underground to the mainstream heavy metal is a global phenomenon attracting thousands of fans – but along the way it has gained many enemies too. “Long haired music,” as it has been described in Malaysia and China, has been banned by both governments.
In several Middle Eastern countries, both musicians and fans have been arrested and accused of devil worship. Heavy metal continues to be banned from radio and television in China, Malaysia, Iran and Egypt, and public performances are often prohibited. But as one Moroccan metal musician reasoned, “We play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal.”
The new Freemuse report written by Mark LeVine reveals a different face of the artists behind this music, young, engaged people who yearn for change in their restrictive societies. According to one Chinese musician, “Youngsters can express their hatred and emotions through metal. The music of Chinese metal groups reflects injustice, political inadequacy and corruption in government.”
The Freemuse report explores the roots of heavy metal in a number of countries as well as the restrictions and bans placed on the genre. LeVine explores why this particular type of music has provoked governments and religious authorities wherever it has taken root and shows despite intense pressure the music lives on and even prospers as fearless musicians struggle for the right to express themselves through their music.
Publishing date: 22 February 2010
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