Inter Arma's 'Stillness' under the queer microscope on the new Hell Bent for Metal

Inter Arma's 'Stillness' under the queer microscope on the new Hell Bent for Metal

- By Matt Rushton

Inter Arma's 'Stillness' turns out to have some unexpectedly gay resonance for the LGBTQ+ heavy metal podcast, plus releases from Full of Hell & Primitive Man, Host, and Brymir go into HCGBs.

Hell Bent for Metal this week starts off the show with the latest Camp Classic, this time from sludge/post-metal stalwarts Inter Arma, in the shape of 'Stillness' from their 2019 triumph Sulphur English.

For the third week running, Matt starts off with no real idea how a song ostensibly about a river could possibly be at all queer, but he quickly comes around to Tom's way of thinking.The conversation brings in both a musical and lyrical angle, with the former taking in the sound of the song mirroring the emotions experienced on the journey of a lot of queer folks to reach a point where they're settled in themselves, out and proud.

Matt and Tom discuss how mimicking adults by having girlfriends or boyfriends as a child feels normal until peers start having actual feelings toward the opposite sex, which begins the point where the feelings of abnormalcy creep in and are often attempted to be suppressed. There's note on how it's learned that this in fact cannot be the case, and so thus begins the long, challenging journey of self-acceptance. The conversation also tangents onto how schools in the UK lack teaching children what they need to know about themselves to be comfortable, and the damage this can do.

The lyrical angle is far removed from the musical, and highlights a very different but equally common experience of LGBTQ+ life that is still more taboo than it should be, and especially when compared to how it's talked about in heterosexual spheres - queers have sex too y'all! The guys discuss, with the help of euphemistically-interpreted lyrics, the concept of one-night-stands being way more common in queer circles, and the feelings experienced the morning after, whether that be regret, wanting more, or wanting this stranger to get out of your bed stat. (Heads up, this gets rather explicit even for HBFM!)

After all that, the guys have worked up a thirst so it's off to HCGBs for a triple-entry this week, in the shape of the utterly horrible (in the best way) collaboration album from Full of Hell & Primitive Man, Suffocating Hallucination, the debut album from Paradise Lost side-project Host, IX, and fourth album by Finnish folk fans Brymir, Voices in the Sky.

Listen to Hell Bent For Metal on Spotify here, listen on iTunes here, or choose one of the other ways to listen here.

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