In times like these...
There is no other genre of music that combines such musical punch with equally intriguing lyrics. Two songs that never fail to lift my spirits (and can even bring tears to my eyes) are "Heart of Steel" by Manowar and "Dawn Over a New World" by DragonForce. 'Normal' music doesn't have lyrics like this. Even if it did, 'normal' music doesn't have the sheer unadulterated glorious power to carry it off.
It has been said that Speed and Power metal both tend to be rather overblown and pretentiously silly. I mean, the argument goes, who on earth actually thinks they are mighty warriors fighting some vast eternal evil?
Well, in a word: Me. I do, and my famed 'hero' complex goes far deeper than just wanting to rescue girls. :) In my saner moments (rare, I admit), I can agree that the music does tend toward something strongly resembling overblown bombast. However, I like that. :P
As the Manowar song mentioned above says:
Build a fire a thousand miles away to light my long way home
I ride a comet
My trail is long to stay
Silence is a heavy stone...
I fight the world and take all they can give
There are times my heart hangs low
Born to walk against the wind
Born to hear my name
No matter where I stand I'm alone
It's tough to stand for what you believe in, especially when that belief is being challenged not only from the world outside, but from your own treacherous heart. But there's a certain invincibility to those who dream the impossible and pour their every effort into the accomplishment of that vision.
At HQ I was, from time to time, called 'dark'. I suppose I am. There's nothing particularly wrong with dark. The night is beautiful in its very own way. God made both light and dark, and so what is wrong if someone likes the latter over the former? But regardless, I've never been able to get the hang of optimism. The best I've managed to arrive at is a pragmatic realism, but I continually lack that childlike belief that the world is really a wonderful place and this current tough time is just a passing phase.
I guess much of that is because my life has been pretty tough. I don't mean to say that I've had it bad - because I haven't. In fact, the external circumstances of my life have been quite good. But the fight to maintain, to stay with the onwards and upwards journey, has never - in my memory - eased.
However, in the words of Manowar, there are those who are born to the fight. And I tell you... Many times I have really felt like it was my destiny to walk against the wind. Still, even though there have been times when I've had to deal with the oppression and scorn of others, for me the real battle has been against myself.
The hardship and struggles I've gone through in life have almost exclusively been internal, and I think that for that exact reason I love these songs. They remind me of who I should be, and if the goal was easy there would be no honor to gaining it.
But even aside from the songs, I also have friends who stand along side me - even though I'm sure I don't make it easy for them - and support me when I tire. Just for now - since I don't have time - I want to mention Nomes.
She has that knack for optimism that I continually lack. Combined with her indomitable spirit and driven personality (with an added bonus that she's nearly as crazy as I am), she never fails to be an encouragement. And she's one of those people who doesn't think I'm a freak and look the other way when I come around - which is always nice.
So, for those who still read this - I'm feeling better, but it's thanks to you.