Saturday, August 6, 2011

Heavy Metal and D&D

Back in the day there was a definite link between heavy metal and swords & sorcery (and thus with D&D). About half of us were metalheads to some degree or another, although about not everyone in school was (I'm talking about middle school). Heavy Metal magazine, album covers, etc.

I'm not sure whether the question is, "Why did Heavy Metal have such a strong S&S influence," or if the question is, "Why did D&D have such strong links to heavy metal?"

The link between gaming and metal seems to be much less strong thirty-odd years later, although the link between metal and S&S seems (although I'm not current on heavy metal any more) to be pretty much just as strong from the bits and pieces of more recent metal stuff I've seen on YouTube. Medieval imagery is still in there quite a bit.

Anyway, that's my navel-gaze of the day, with no answers offered, because the dilithium crystals apparently aren't sending any power to the sonic speculator this morning.

9 comments:

  1. Metal isn't as "cool" anymore, and the more "popular" metal is more Death Metal and Rap-Rock. But there is still a huge fan base of "Classic" and Power Metal, which still to this day, uses very Sword & Sorcery imagery. Bands like Avantasia and Rhapsody [of Fire] still make concept albums with S&S themes. "From Chaos to Eternity" was released in June: http://www.rhapsodyoffire.com/releases/studio-albums.html

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  2. You should hear Gates of Slumber, Portrait, Orchid, Electric Wizard, Bible of the Devil, Slough Feg, Rainbows are Free, etc. There are a ton of bands making Old School Metal . . . you might even call it an OSR. :)

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  3. I am a diehard metalhead, mainly into death metal and thrash, but I have been and always will be into metal. It's quite literally 99% of the music I listen to, and I own nearly 1000 albums. I'm as big of a nerd for metal as I am for D&D. For me, they've always walked hand in hand as "outsider" entertainment, much like pulp sword & sorcery and b-movies. Niche genres for niche fans. It's all about thinking outside the box and not wanting what's shoved in your face by big companies that think they have what you want. Independence, free thought, and the decision to like what you like is all it's about. They all intersect there.

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  4. We gotta thank Ronnie James Dio and Gwar for the connection.

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  5. Funny - I've thought this before, too (about the connection between metal and D&D). I wrote about it on my blog a few months ago when I saw an interview with 5 OSR "luminaries" and they were asked what their "desert island" album would be. Most of them picked some sort of metal album. I thought it was pretty interesting.

    Read more here.

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  6. I wasn't sure how to contact you directly, Matt. I'm interested in acquiring your City Encounters, but can't find it anywhere. Is this product still available?

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  7. Thirty years ago what was considered metal told stories. Many of those stories dealt with fantasy themes but in the long run they told stories. I don't think metal today tells as many stories. I may be wrong though as I have long since stopped being into metal so my commentary on today's metal may be wrong.

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  8. @Chris
    City Encounters will get released in an expanded form by FGG fairly shortly, but email me at mythmere at yahoo dot com.

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  9. I blogged in a more aural way about this recently with regards to the upcoming Crypts & Things (S&S Swords & Wizardry variant)

    http://sorcererundermountain.d101games.co.uk/2011/07/02/appendix-m/

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