Heavy Metal with its history, sub-genres, culture, and all of its complexities is definitely a genre that requires its fans to know their information. From the technical style down to which members founded the band and who still remain.
Heavy metal and its adoring fans make up more than just passion for any given piece of music. Heavy metal now requires it’s fans to be studious and to pass a course for credit…at least for the students attending West Texas A&M University In Canyon, Texas where professor Martin Jacobsen teaches ENGL 2341; Heavy Metal as a Literary Genre.
As I was talking to Martin I asked him if it’s an English course and he replied;
“It’s an English class, but the majority of the students take it to satisfy the core humanities requirement which, to me, is right and cool and really metal. It’s a standard 3 hour class, a sophomore course. This is the fourth time. The first class was spring 2013.”
I have a photo posted here which is Professor Jacobsen in the middle of his death metal class.
CL: So Martin, can you describe to me what is happening in this photo?
Martin: “As I was preparing the lecture – “Subgenres of Death Metal” -for part 2 of death metal week. I chose the Cannibal Corpse song “Hammer Smashed Face” as on example of classical death metal.
As I was making the Power Point slide for this song, I was hit in the face. I have a plastic skull I use in a different class, and a little tool box I keep in my office, and it occurred to me that smashing a face with a hammer would illustrate the concept of brutality and directness and provide a memorable introduction to the song. It seemed like a metal thing to do.”
This goes to show all those out there who place judgement on metalheads the many layers of elaborate intricacies involved with our beloved genre, so much so that it takes a college professor to teach people about this in depth and complicated music genre.
Cannibal Corpse – Hammer Smashed Face
By Christy Lee