The joy of… euphemisms in metal, on Hell Bent For Metal this week - Knotfest
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The joy of… euphemisms in metal, on Hell Bent For Metal this week

Posted by Tom Dare in Hell Bent for Metal on July 19, 2021

The LGBT+ heavy metal podcast delves into the joy of metal’s frequently suggestive lyrics, starting with ‘Like The Oar Strikes The Water’ by Grand Magus. The queer relevance of TesseracT’s ‘Altered State – Of Matter – iii. Resist’ is discussed. And albums by Majestic Downfall and Ophidian I go in the HCGB jukebox.

One of Hell Bent For Metal’s favourite things in metal is unveiled – that being how many of the lyrics and titles sound euphemistic and/or phallic. And where else would they start but with one of the classics of the genre: Grand Magus’ superb “Like The Oar Strikes The Water”.

What could they possibly be reading into the Swedish trad doom metal three-piece’s 2008 anthem? Is it some mishearing of one section of the verses? Or is it simply that, sometimes, singing about a great long piece of wood will just immediately bring certain things to mind if you’re a “fan of musical theatre”?

This obviously gives plenty of license for snickering, and also for inevitable discussions of euphemisms in metal, but also in general. Which, as usual, leads Tom to talk about that sketch from ‘The Catherine Tate Show’. Who dear him dear predictable dear yes dear. There’s also the promise of many more such euphemism chat in the future. Because what says “heavy metal” more than someone talking about a hammer or sword or other long implement in a way that really demands a Muttley gif in response?

In far less superficial, puerile discussions, this week’s Camp Classic is “Altered State – Of Matter – iii. Resist” by TesseracT (and yes, we had to write it down to remember – prog metal, innit). Both Matt and Tom find many queer interpretations from a comparatively short set of lyrics, covering topics like the unrequited love of their younger gay selves, to battling inner conflict about your LGBT+ status, to more general things like the closeted experience. It’s a set of topics that aren’t easy to talk about, but should be familiar to many members of the LBGT+ community.

Uniquely for a Camp Classic, the lyrics to this selection are by a former guest on the show, Ashe O’Hara, who joined us in HBFM #10 – Queer And Loathing In St. Petersburg. The hosts have no idea (yet) if they have just read too much into the lyrics because they knew (or, in Tom’s case, gaydar-ed) Ashe was himself a member of the LGBT+ community, but it adds an extra element to this week’s chat.

As usual there are also two new additions to the Hate Crew Gaybar jukebox. The first is ‘Aorta’ by death/doom gloombringers Majestic Downfall, which is Matt’s thoroughly miserable pick. So Tom tries to cheer everyone up with ‘Desolate’, the new album from Icelandic tech death virtuoso Ophidian I. Because sometimes only dizzying widdle will do.

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