When I First Went To Hell

June 4, 2009
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I can remember the night of August 16th well, but without great clarity. However I do remember how little sleep I managed to get that night. The reason being, my mind was lit up with a non-stop party called excitement. The cause for this excitement was because the next day I would be attending my very first concert. This was not just my first concert though; it was my first metal concert. When most people hear about metal, they think of bands like Metallica, Van Halen and Slipknot. These bands are metal, so those people are not wrong. However metal goes much deeper than this. The largest subgenre of metal, death metal, is the kind I’m into. The band that was performing was Arch Enemy, a death metal band, and my friends and I had managed to get tickets for their venue in Anaheim. We were ready for this. Or so they were and I thought I was. The concert lasted from 7:00 PM till 1:00 AM. I envisioned a perfect evening, slightly hardcore, but fun and perfect nonetheless.
The concert went nothing like the one I planned in my head. The air smelled horrible, for would be hard pressed to find a person wearing a shirt, male or female. The floor was barely visible for it was carpeted with beer bottles, some broken, some not yet, vomit, blood, and most horrifyingly, people. However this was just in the pit. The area around was somewhat clean, yet the same aura of brutality could be found all the way around the stage. The band that was opening, 3 Inches of Blood, set the mood for the murder of morals and arrival of demons. Arch Enemy brought it all together by emanating waves of madness that drew anyone into a fit of rage. As scarily brutal as it was, as much trouble as I would be in if my mother knew I went to such a place, I did not care. This may sound crazy, but I loved every minute of it. The thousands of fans and I were all there for the same reason anyway: to act like animals and hear amazing music.
When most people hear this story their faces contort to that of someone who had just touched something filthy or someone who has just seen a banshee. However I laugh about it and smile. Ever since that date I have been to over 40 different concerts and shows of this caliber, and I’ve regretted none since (remember that there are always exceptions). The point I’m trying to make is that a lot of people would never allow themselves to be at a place like the aforementioned described. In fact, some wouldn’t even listen to this genre of music for fear of ‘their soul being corrupted by Satan.” It is true that a lot of these bands claim to be Satanist and from what they call “the Utmost Darks of Hell.” However people need to learn to see through this and realize it is an act. These bands are performers, for money, and they market whatever sounds brutal and loving (and slightly traumatized) fans like me buy into this. I think people should learn to be more open-minded and allow themselves to be taken outside of their comfort zone every now and then. Buy that dress you aren’t sure you can pull off. Spring for the good set of stationery you want instead of the cheaper ones that just happen to be on sale. And for the love of God, go to a death metal concert and allow your mind and body a chance to scream!

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