Hell Bent For Metal this week welcomes Rich Lowe, the editor of overtly political, progressive multi-platform media outlet Astral Noize, about his experiences as an out but discreet queer man in metal.
Rich tells Tom about his complicated relationship with both metal and his own querness from a young age to the present, detailing how going to a Catholic school where he was taught that gay people don't go to heaven understandably messed him up. He discusses how he got into metal to try to find an escape from things and outlines how some particular bands helped him.
Rich also explains what it was like for him being bullied for being queer when he was at school, how that continued after school, and how he'd hoped that finding a metal community would be different but ultimately wasn't, as he felt that the metalheads he met were just the same as the high-school bullies previous. This leads on to how he felt he couldn't fit in to the metal community with its uber-masculine, heteronormative ways, and ultimately led to him turning his back on the genre for some years.
Tom and Rich also discuss the seemingly common experience of newly-out queer folk being very defensive and deliberately inimical as a rebellion to the repression they've faced for years, and talk about owning up to previous homophobia and how internalised homophobia can be so detrimental.
After all that, there's the usual visit to HCGBs and it's a bumper addition to the jukebox this week. Tom and Matt unite on The Buried Storm, the second LP by Darkher, the solo singer-songwriter/folk/doom project from Jayn Maiven. The individual picks this week are from black/folk metal band Månegarm with their album Ynglingaättens Öde and the latest album from straight-up death metallers The Troops of Doom, Antichrist Reborn, but which host has picked what?