(My original post is at shelftalk.spl.org)
Way in the back of the library, behind the rows of Mozart and Etta James, Jean-Luc Ponty and Steely Dan, in a place where even Frank Sinatra’s ghost won’t tread is a huge, iron-studded door. Locked inside are the dirty little secrets the Librarians don’t want you to know about. They remember the horror and gut-wrenching terror when Pat Boone returned from his brief foray into its depths.
Yes, it is (gasp!) The Heavy Metal Room. Full of Tool(s), Nine Inch Nails, and Chevelle(s). It can make one quite Disturbed. A place where the amp stacks can be turned up to 11….
Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here. Ok, maybe I’m making it up completely, but someone needs to point out that SPL has more heavy metal than a 1957 Eldorado.
It’s a given that SPL carries classic metal artists like Motorhead and Led Zeppelin, as well as a good bunch of Seattle folks such as Jimi Hendrix, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. (We were ground zero for grunge metal, after all.) And what a myriad of metaldom! Thrash, progressive, death, nu, groove, gothic, symphonic, Viking (is Pirate metal far behind? Arrrrr!), Christian (yes, Virginia, there is such thing as Christian metal), funk, glam, neo-classical. You name the metal and SPL has it.
If you’re like me, an old school head-banger who bought all the Aerosmith albums when they were new releases, the big hair band and rock ballad years were tough ones. When Ozzie Osbourne put out that duet with Lita Ford I was inconsolable for days. Only huge doses of Rush (2112 specifically) got me through it and ZZ Top helped erase many of the scars left over, but I was still certain that it was one of the signs of the apocalypse.
Fortunately metal got through that phase and grunge helped re-focus the general genre back onto what us metal maniacs were thirsting for; heavy riffs that put an air guitar in your hands and smacks you up-side the head.
Several bands deserve, no, require, full posts of their own (Tool, NiN, Zeppelin, Judas Priest, to name just a few), so I’ll try to restrain myself while we look at some of the newer purveyors of metallic mayhem that you can find here at SPL.