Allow me to introduce you to the night

My first exposure to metal was “Violent Pornography” by System of a Down, the eloquent first lines of which were,

Everybody everybody everybody living now, everybody everybody everybody fucks,
Everybody everybody everybody living now, everybody everybody everybody sucks!”

I remember thinking to myself, What the hell is this?! But then I heard “Empty Walls,” System of a Down lead singer Serj Tankian’s first single, and the lyrics stuck with me. “Don’t you see their bodies burning? Desolate and full of yearning, dying of anticipation, choking from intoxication…” Not the prettiest imagery, I know, but I couldn’t shake it. I was hooked.

A week later I was enthusiastically showing “Violent Pornography” to my poor, bewildered brother and urging him to listen to it the whole way through. My alarm became “Chop Suey!” by System, and I aptly woke up on the first morning of my junior year of high school (the year of a million AP classes, oh god) to the lyrics, “Trust in my self righteous suicide, I cry when angels deserve to die.

Educated by my metalhead friend Natesh Sood (shout out to ya!), I was introduced to Disturbed, Nightwish, Korn, Manowar, Iron Maiden…I remember my respect for metal increasing tenfold when I heard “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Iron Maiden – I never expected to come across a modern day metal song that alluded to an eighteenth century Coleridge poem.

Then came the fateful night of my first concert – Three Days Grace. Probably one of my best high school memories, I remember coming out of that concert with my ears ringing and souvenir dog tags around my neck – and almost getting run over by a taxi. Seriously, I touched the hood of the car. But near-death encounter aside, it was a night I’ll never forget.

I discovered that metal could even be comical that night. My Darkest Days opened for Three Days Grace and sang what is now one of my all-time favorites: “Porn Star Dancing.” I’d include lyrics here, but seeing as the whole song is hysterical I can’t really pick my favorite line. Guess you’ll just have to look it up yourself!

“Indestructible” by Disturbed became my theme song for every track and cross country meet during senior year (“I’ll have you know that I’ve become indestructible, determination that is incorruptible!”) but when I came to college, my metal playlists faded away into the back of my music library the same way my miles run per week diminished to zero.

But last night, as I was studying for an exam, I suddenly had the urge to revisit my metal music. And I fell completely and irrevocably in love with “The Night” by Disturbed. My heart would literally pound like crazy every time the chorus came on and I just wanted to break out dancing like there was no tomorrow.

“There can be no better way of knowing,
In a world beyond controlling
Are you gonna deny the savior
In front of your eyes?
Give in to the night.”

And on that note (pun intended), I want to conclude by saying that I am an avid listener of Disney music, I love Josh Groban and would die to go to a Norah Jones concert, I am a sucker for cliché pop songs, and I am the farthest thing from a metalhead you will ever find. But there’s just something about it – it’s loud and it’s angry, and you won’t love every song and won’t always be in the mood for it – but it’s passionate and powerful and if you give it the chance it can really make you feel something. Seriously.

Give in to the night.