While browsing YouTube I came across a music video called Dr Who Meets Metal, which features a guitarist shredding the Doctor Theme tune and it is extremely good, if you are a fan of heavy metal that is.
However, even if you are not a fan of heavy metal, it is certainly interesting. Here it is:
And, dangerously, this got me thinking.
People who hate heavy metal often tell me that it is a dirge, a hellish noise. The truth is while it may be noisy, typically a great guitarist plays his instrument with extreme virtuosity, similar virtuosity to any great musician.
That is one of the reasons why I genuinely love the genre.
I also read an article once that suggested that people who like classical music share almost identical personality traits as those of us who love heavy metal. What personality traits are these? Apparently classical music lovers and metalheads are both:
(a) Introverted – I am an introvert definitely. That is not the same as being shy (which I am also); I love my own company – but can be extrovert depending on the situation.
(b) Creative – Am I creative? Possibly, if you regard the bilge you are currently reading as “creative” then maybe I am – a little.
(c) At ease with myself – Definitely – more so as I get older.
Classical music devotees and heavy metal lovers are both obsessive about music, something I hold my hand up to – and have no shame about.
And as unlikely as it seems, you can actually mix the two genres.
My favourite heavy metal and hard rock songs are those that walk hand in hand with classical music. I can almost feel the scepticism, dear reader. I can sense you saying:
“Hang on! How can you possibly meld beautiful orchestral music with the dreadful noise pollution that is heavy metal? You talk a lot of rubbish normally but this is a new low even for you.”
I can understand that view – but I am right and hopefully I will prove it.
Here is an example from Rainbow, with their interpretation of Walking In The Air from The Snowman:
Rainbow also produced a song called Difficult to Cure with elements of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony:
These days, bands are not really covering classical music but writing their own versions. Dream Theater for example, a progressive metal band, produced a 42 minute epic called Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, split into seven parts. The first part is the overture and has all the elements of a spectacular piece of classical music, but with added drums and guitar:
I would also like to introduce you to a concept called Symphonic Metal, which is a beautiful amalgamation of hard rock/heavy metal and classical music, including orchestral arrangements, opera and sometimes even choirs. A lot of these bands use keyboards to simulate orchestral arrangements and the effect is quite amazing.
An example of Symphonic Metal is a band I have discovered at the start of the year called Nightwish. Well, they are not exactly new, having been around for years, but they are to me. The band is from Finland and their style of music completely embraces both heavy metal and classical music, often merging the two seamlessly.
Here are a couple of examples of their work:
Another example is one of my recent discoveries, a Dutch symphonic metal band called Within Temptation who produced one of my favourite recent albums. Here are a couple of examples:
So, dear reader, there is something more to heavy metal and hard rock than noise and loud guitars; it can embrace other styles of music.
I’ll leave you with another beautiful song that has classical overtones; it is by a little known Manchester band called Ten, who I think ought to be a lot more famous than they are. This song is simply magnificent and the guitars and drums have been toned down in favour of the melody and the vocals.
I hope you like it.