Six Things You Learn From Being Addicted to Metal
4. Medical Terminology
One of the most magical things about pre-internet metal was the mythology behind new and old bands alike. We had pardoned murderers, born-again Christians turned Satanists, Greek vampires who were banned from their home countries and, of course, the coolest rumor -- that members of gore-grind bands were medical school students who had gone insane and gotten a record deal. To a fifteen year old in 1998, this was the most intriguing thing to ever happen to your music collection as you take your education in your own hands, skimming through lyric sheets.
If it weren't for bands like Carcass, Exhumed and General Surgery, I would never have come up with the idea to call in sick for my McDonald's shift by claiming I had vomited my anal tract. Or learned that the prefix "hepa" means liver.
Tragically, the medical school rumors were proven false. The lyrics provided a decent layout of terms, but upon asking a real doctor you'll find out most of these strings of literary gore don't mean a thing.
Unless, however, you're reading the lyrics of The County Medical Examiners, a band containing three real medical doctors playing gore-grind under pseudonyms. The band's latest record is unique in another way -- it's a scratch-n-sniff disc that smells like a corpse.
3. History and Culture
What do you know about the Battle of Karelia or the book of folk stories and poems called the Kanteletar? If you listened to far too much Finnish death metal such as Amorphis, then you probably know more than anyone in your office whose last name ends with "onen," "anen" or "inen".
Next time you're in your work lunchroom, forced into a political conversation by that guy who always smells like egg salad, ask him his feelings about Yggdrasil coming out of Ginnungagap and what will happen after we feel the scorching flames of Muspell. Unless he studied Norse mythology (or just listened to Einherjer's Odin Owns Ye All album) he'll probably brand you as a freaky new-ager and stop trying to befriend you. Problem solved.