Tales from the Jugular

Analyzing Your Metal Collection

By: Frank Hill
Published: Sunday, December 4, 2005
Tales From The Jugular - Analyzing Your Metal Collection

We all have our geekly hobbies here at the site with some of us guys as charter members of the MWC Triad--metal, comics and wrestling. Hell, you might even throw in horror as well just to round out the whole set. Now, I've enjoyed comics for most of my youth and adult life, but at $3 a pop, it's not an affordable pursuit as it once was so I limit myself to a couple enjoyable titles and writers. Don't get me wrong though, if you put a stack of Thor or Daredevils in front of me, I'll have a good time for the evening.

There's a variety of different comics out there to choose from--you have your team books (X-Men, Avengers), monstrosities (Swamp Thing, Hulk), gods (Thor, Sandman), meta-humans (Superman, Spiderman), humans (Batman, Hellblazer), etc--and looking at my own collection, I can see that, with a few exceptions, I usually prefer the soloist characters with certain degrees of power of which they typically use wisely. They don't blow up planets; they save them. They don't ravage cities; they stop ravagers. Sure, Doomsday was uber-cool as a pure killing machine, but as a persona, he has nothing on John Constantine.

Given the stronger character elements of books, I think that on a certain level, you could possibly do a psychological portrait from a person's collection by looking at the groupings they tend to prefer.

So, how about looking at the metal that you hang onto with an iron fist?

Many of us metalheads like a variety of genres with there currently being as high as 25 different genres/sub-genres out there depending on who you talk to. Each has certain defining characteristics, but I think we all have a tendency to key on a fairly small set of particular styles. Within those, take a look with a really sharp eye into the common thread running through your preferences of choice be it hate, sex, gore, death, life or love and see if it may give you a deeper insight into yourself. You may have already seen it or you may not have.

Why is your collection what it is? Of course, this requires some broad generalities since you can't really boil a person down to one aspect of what they collect, but try taking your favorite CDs and set them into a list of say no more than 10% of what you own (200 CDs=Top 20) and see what commonalities are there, if any.

Some may be readily apparent like the more political black metal and the dungeons and dragon power metal. Others may be less apparent with lyrical themes or be more about the mood or instrumentation be it overtly melancholy or outwardly upbeat; maybe guitar tones or loads of crashing cymbals.

It makes me consider my free will internally and that maybe it's not that I'm choosing what I really want to buy. Maybe what I like is so deeply ingrained into my personality that I don't really have a choice.

Maybe the metal is choosing me.

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