I had the opportunity to see Henry Rollins on his current "Capitalism" spoken word tour, something that I do whenever the chance presents itself. What I have found over the last 15 years of seeing Mr. Rollins speak is that every show has a message. Sometimes it is obvious, other times it is subtle. With the US presidential elections around the corner, his message was clear and powerful. "No matter who wins the election, we still have each other." Every time he said it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. And while Henry Rollins is an icon in the punk scene, that sentiment rings so loudly in metal that I thought it deserved mention.
Over the last 18 or so months, the existence of Sorrow Eternal, I have been so lucky as to talk with some of my favorite bands, bands I never knew existed, labels, fans, and everything in between. And the central theme of all of those conversations has always been brotherhood; the idea that no matter where you are from, what you look like, or how you got here, we are all united under the banner of heavy metal. There is a shared respect for one another, big or small, that is refreshing and completely unique.
If you haven't already, the documentary "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey" tackled this thought with a great deal of detail and thought. Sam Dunn's travels to explore the beginnings of the genre and it's growth around the world turned up an interesting sociological trend. The idea that metal fans, at some point in time, were considered to be outsiders couldn't be more false. With the legions worldwide, we have become the majority. We are no longer isolated or "weird"; our lifestyle and musical choice is becoming the norm.
So, if there is one thing to think about in all of this, it is that one word: brotherhood. That bond between all of us that may begin with the music itself, but goes so far beyond it. And remember that no matter what is going on in the world - elections, war, natural disasters - we are all in this together. We will always have metal, and we will always have each other.