The origins of heavy music are rooted in overlapping themes of evil, power, and rebellion. Its a form of music that gave some people an outlet they never even realized they needed. Over the years bands like Metallica and Pantera became giants of the genre, and brought heavy music into the mainstream. People outside the genre actually reflected fear towards it, as its brutality and power were beyond intimidating at times.
During the transition into the new millenium heavy music started to become comedic. People began mocking the genre, and laughing at its representatives. Granted, Nu-Metal didn’t help the cause much, but even black metal bands were being mocked for their ridiculous garb and attitude. Once people realized most of these band names originated from Lord of the Rings, they became nothing more than a group of nerds dressed in face paint.
As technology progressed throughout this time, it opened a door to musicians everywhere who could never afford the high cost of booking a recording studio to create an album. The advent of digital recording gave every musician across the globe limitless opportunities in making a record of their own. Something that had once been a highly sought after prize that only bands with large amounts of money could attain. This turned the world of heavy music from a pond into an ocean. There was now an endless sea of heavy musicians clogging the ears of listeners everywhere. Some of them good, some of them horrible, but all of the up and coming bands lacked a sense of direction.
In the past, heavy music had various outlets like magazines, tv shows, and even radio play to act as a central hub for all the headbangers to get their fix. With the rise of internet technology, these media sources disappeared into a vast wilderness of endless blogs and websites. Much like music itself during the home-studio invasion, the media supporting heavy metal seemed to be just as lost over time. Heavy music had gone from a powerful source of inspirational evil, to an art form drowning in mockery and ineptitude. Nobody could have predicted the one thing that was about to change the trajectory of heavy music would be a simple chart full of band logos.
2005 was the year Metal: A Headbangers Journey debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, and metal heads everywhere were screaming its praises. The catalyst for this films popularity was an enormous family tree of heavy music. A chart separated by sub-genres listing all the bands at the top of their class. It was the first time in a long time that fans were able to see their favorite form of music visualized on screen with immense attention to detail. The film also featured a plethora of interviews where fans finally had a chance to hear directly from their favorite underground artists like Mayhem, Arch Enemy, and Cannibal Corpse.
The company responsible for the documentary was Banger Films, a Toronto based production company created by metal mastermind Sam Dunn and director Scot McFadyen. Fast forward to where we are today, and Banger has created a central hub for metal heads to share their love for all things heavy and all things metal. With a handful of various metal focused productions, they even gave people outside the genre a chance to see heavy music as a respected, devoted, and honest form of expression. People were now able to see the sheer amount of passion and dedication that makes heavy music one of the most honest and true forms of sonic therapy we have today.
Much like heavy music itself, Banger Films is also evolving well into the future. With subsidiaries like BangerTV, the company is branching off into various paths to create even more compelling content such as album reviews and live sub-genre discussions. Its more metal than an old church burning devil worshiper can shake a stick at. Needless to say, Banger is carrying the torch and using it to start a fire that the whole world can see. Heavy music is entering a new era of dominance, with bands coming out of the shadows and expressing new forms of music that we’ve never experienced. In the forefront is Banger Films, a company devoted to bringing us the content we (as metal heads) so desperately yearn for.
As both a metal head and a metal musician, its important for me to share respect for the genre so as to ensure its longevity. We, as metal fans, have a duty to uphold this music for future generations. While an article like this could seem like ass kissing, its a point I needed to share with whoever was out there willing to absorb it. On the off chance that theres one single fan of heavy music out there who has yet to experience the pool of content Banger Films has to offer, this article has done its job. So even if you have or haven’t heard of Banger, and you love what they do, share it with the world. Let truth be told that metal is a form of music that deserves respect, and we now have proof of that documented by a company who is just as passionate as we are.