Due to circumstances I don’t want to go into, concerning people I don’t want to talk about – I’ve already put hexes on their heads anyway – I’ve been doubting my place in the metal scene.
I’ve found it impossible to wear my band shirts, I’ve found it impossible to listen to my favourite bands, I’ve found it impossible to imagine myself ever attending a gig again. And this depressed me. It depressed me massively.
I’ve felt let down by the scene that’s always held me up, that’s always had my back, that’s always made things better when things have been really shit. I was so frustrated and sad, it almost came to the point where I wanted to punch a wall. (And I NEVER want to punch walls.) I didn’t punch a wall though, because otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to write, and if I wouldn’t be able to write, well, then it’s the end of the fucking world. And no, I’m not being sarcastic.
So, I was all about ready to give up and bow out of the scene that’s fueled my existence since I was a kid. But then, in something of a daze, I found myself navigating to YouTube and typing in Windir Sóknardalr.
Bearing in mind I hadn’t headbanged in well over a year, within 30 seconds, I was banging my head like I’d never stopped. After just a few songs, I felt like I was taking back what was mine. I was taking back my freedom, my joy, my life.
When I’d listened to Windir, I went to my YouTube homepage and was gifted with Enisey by Russian band Grima, one of the best atmospheric black metal bands I’ve heard in AGES, and from there I remembered how much I enjoyed the track Yukon from Lindemann. Then after that, I went to Swedish band Grift and the album Aftonklang which is just fucking sublime.
With each song I found myself gathering courage and strength. I sit writing to you today a more powerful version of who I was a few days ago. I don’t want to punch walls anymore. I do want to wear my bandshirts. I don’t want to fret about the horrible people who exist – they’ve inevitable. I do want to re-immerse myself in the music that’s helped me to grow and thrive and find solace when I need it.
In celebration and to show that, despite being pushed down, I will always, always rise, I took these self-portraits. I’ve entitled the series Metal, Myself & I.