Just as countless men before me – old at heart, cantankerous beyond their years – time and age have made me salty. From daily displeasures to all-out rancour, anger on some level finds its way into my routine more often than I’d like. Some forge through life with a clear, level head. Mine, meanwhile, clouds with a pinkish mist.
This might come as a surprise to people who know me. I’m not big or loud or quick to violence, and there are household pets which cut a more malevolent figure. I put this (relative) outward calm down to being able to find the right emotional outlet. Music has always offered a way to vent, but as life twists and changes, working at my psyche as a blacksmith works red-hot scrap, the music I choose has had to deliver heftier blows to work me back into shape.
There is no denying the cathartic power of the right music at the right time. A wallow heals. The day brightens in the closing strains of an indulgent ballad, just as simmering blood cools in the wake of a crushing instrumental breakdown.
My hunt for this catharsis has led me on an excavation ever deeper towards the impenetrable bedrock of heavy music, where the heat and pressure of the abyss is only assuaged by guttural screams and choking riffage. If the day must be challenging, its soundtrack must be doubly so. The hunt is bleak, malevolent, and glorious – the music a necessity to process how I feel.
It would be valid to argue that gorging on these gnarlier frequencies is counterproductive, with their ability to provoke and rile. For me though, heavy, angry music provides a salve for anger when the hot wound threatens to crackle to the surface.
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