HEAVY metal doesn't often penetrate the mainstream sensibility, but perhaps we're making strides. Iron Maiden's The Final Frontier has penetrated the UK album charts at Number One this week, and even the tweedle dee tweedle dumb pop pages of the Daily Mirror managed to mention this (of course, given the hordes we know are out there, like a Nightbreed of Cabal fame it was always going to happen).
And, in the latest shocker the Financial Times, that bastion of besuited bankers and stockbrokers, has included a (brief) review of Black Label Society's Order of the Black.
This, surely means that the pop-tastic pricks and the orderly ranks of merchant bankers has been infiltrated. To those that, by stealth and guile, have snuck upon the unwary, orderly world well done.
What next? Heavy metal in Bollywood? Well Panic Cell have done that with tracks appearing on the forthcoming Pusher movie (they've also snuck into the wholesome world of Lego with their video for 'Crazy' and its hilarious massed ranks of headbanging lego figures).
Hell there even is a Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book (you too can indoctrinate the kids before boy bands steal their mojo or Katie Price steals their virginity!).
In all seriousness (no seriously I'm sober so have a tendency to be serious once a week without fail) heavy metal and hard rock lurks in the consciousness of the wider, unwashed and unbidden folks who are normally content with bland, beige tunes. Play them a little AC/DC riff, Metallica's Nothing Else Matters, a snatch of Maiden, a hint of G 'n' R, and a smidge of Sabbath and they nod; a little (bitter) part of their soul yearning for the sweet abandon of metal.
But the, boring, soft, yielding part of their make-up urges them on, forever cautioning them against the wearing of the black, and not caring what the neighbours think about Reign in Blood upsetting the cats.
I cry for them. I despair that they will never have that sweet abandon of having drunk too many pints, yelled till hoarse and been dazzled by the brilliance of a live performance and then stumbled into the street with the brothers and sisters of metal and ears a-buzzing and face-a-grinning.
But, we shall perservere, we'll hail those that infiltrate the beige and slowly, but surely begin the world dominance that will see every speaker blown (tangential Manowar reference there!) in the cause of metal.
[NB: for those who have read this far you may have gathered that the tongue was firmly inserted in cheek (and that wasn't a sexual reference...though I'm sure Steel Panther could come up with one). All heavy metal, even in its most serious, reverential knows the danger of taking itself too seriously!]