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What is a Metalheads role in society?

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2007-10-27 07:11:17

Metalhead is a popular term for a devoted fan of heavy metal

music and is often used interchangeably with the term "headbanger".

Since the early 1990s however, the use of the term has declined in

favour of the more fashionable "metalhead" tag. There is one school

of thought among the heavy metal subculture that the "metalhead"

and "headbanger" labels represent distinctive groups within it,

with metalhead being a generic term for metal fans as a whole and

headbangers representing older fans or fans of older metal styles.

This idea does have some merit as older heavy metal fans often

dress in a distinctively 'retro' fashion from younger fans, favour

different or more traditional bands and eschew some aspects of the

culture that have developed in recent years. Nevertheless, both

groups share common interests that go beyond a preferred musical

style and together comprise a distinctive counterculture. Apart

from the music itself, the most distinctive aspect of metalhead

culture is its fashion. Like the music at its cultural core, these

fashions have experienced levels of change and diversity over the

decades. The evolution of metalhead fashion has in fact been quite

pronounced, from a style that could almost be defined as a uniform

in earlier times to a far more broadminded look recently. Some

aspects of this fashion have spawned a backlash that seems to be

renewing an interest in older trends among some members of the

sub-culture.

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