"Holy Diver", or Holy Diva? Hell Bent For Metal analyses the Dio classic - Knotfest
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“Holy Diver”, or Holy Diva? Hell Bent For Metal analyses the Dio classic

Posted by Tom Dare in Hell Bent for Metal on November 11, 2021

The LGBT+ heavy metal podcast celebrates Ukrainian black metallers White Ward making their anti-homophobia stance completely clear, nominates Dio classic “Holy Diver” as a Camp Classic (with the emphasis on the camp), and bickers about HCGB jukebox entries from Diablo Swing Orchestra and Møl.

Hell Bent For Metal celebrates when White Ward very recently stood Side By Side with the LGBT+ community, and made their stand against homophobia completely clear in as vocal a way as they could. As they’re one of the hosts’ favourite bands, this one felt personal to the podcast. In a very, very good way.

Despite there being good evidence to the contrary, the Ukrainian black metallers had faced unsubstantiated rumours that they might have something to do with NSBM. In an effort to put any such rumours to bed once and for all, they put out a firm message that they not only weren’t associated with that movement, but stood in opposition to it – and went one step further, and listed some forms of discrimination they stood against, including homophobia. HBFM discuss them going above and beyond disavowing NSBM, and placing themselves alongside their gay fans instead.

The absolutely classic Dio anthem “Holy Diver” is this week’s Camp Classic, as both Tom and Matt immediately agree that it speaks to their queer sides, in many different ways. After a discussion of the song (and, obviously, it’s most famous cover) and the queer relevance the hosts see in it, the digressions begin in earnest.

These include which camp formats the hosts would like to hear “Holy Diver” appear, and the advantages and disadvantages of growing up in a “glass closet”. What started off as a light-hearted, grin-wearing chortle, slowly delves into a surprising amount of depth and meaning, with some personal memories of the hosts’ past that affected their perception of their queer selves, and the world around them, in lasting ways.

There’s some brief queer metal news, with news of a rocky start to Bloodstock’s aim to start regaining the LGBT+ community’s trust after their transphobia incident, as their latest line-up announcement has some problems. There’s also a request for one of Mastodon to stop using “gay” as a negative word, along with the story of why that request was needed, and how the band responded to the incident.

Plus there’s the usual visit to the Hate Crew Gaybar, where this week’s picks for the jukebox are ‘Swagger And Stroll Down The Rabbit Hole’ by almost indescribable Swedish lunatics Diablo Swing Orchestra, and ‘Diorama’ by Danish shoegazy black metallers Møl. And it’s safe to say that there has never been less agreement in the bar, with one pick inspiring disbelief that it actually exists, while the other provokes irrational anger. Have the popcorn at the ready for one of the show’s few genuine rants.

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