Pounding New Metal

After reading The Times' front-page article "Dead Pets to a Human Sacrifice" (by Tamara Jones, Oct. 19 and 20), I was a bit perplexed if not appalled to open up Calendar and see writer Jonathan Gold extolling the virtues of the very "music" that most experts agree influenced three youths to club their friend to death "because it is fun" ("Metallica and the Poetry of the Power Chord," Oct. 23).

Gold started out by calling it "rock 'n' roll that erases the line between performers and audience as it enriches them both." Enriches?

He added that it is "the music that brings suburban teen-agers together and holds each of them aloof from that huge segment of society that would rather stick their heads in cement mixers than listen to the latest from Slayer." I'll take the cement mixer.

The most disturbing paragraph started out: "The next LP, 'Ride the Lightning,' explored the adolescent obsession with death: by nukes, suffocation, God's will and the electric chair. The song 'Fade to Black' was the sort of lonely meditation on suicide that denim-jacketed teen-age girls listen to 17 consecutive times and then burst into tears."

Is this guy getting paid for such drivel?


Huntington Beach

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