facebook-icon twitter-icon mail-icon

National Metal Day

Photo By Marko Zamrznuti Tonovi on Shutterstock

Observed every year on November 11 (11/11), the entire metal community is celebrating the National Metal Day and cranking up their favorite costumes, which was inspired by a scene from the classic movie "This is Spinal Tap", during which Nigel Tufnel describes the custom volume knob on his amplifier that "goes to 11". Metal declares independence from the mundane and conventional while insanity, alienation, and death are the foundation for gloomy introspection, which is actually all part of the metal culture.  

How it started

The real metal-ness of National Metal Day dates back to the classic 1984 rock movie satire 'This is Spinal Tap.` In the mockumentary, the farcical heavy metal guitarist, Nigel Tufnel, displays with pride a set of amplifiers with a volume control that goes up to 11. Normal amps only go up to 10, but these allow the band to kick it up one more notch to 11 when the occasion calls for it. When asked if the amps are louder than those used by other bands, the slightly dense Tufnel says "Well, it's one louder, isn't it?" continuing the gag, the mockumentary filmmaker then asks, "Why don't you make 10 louder, and make that be the top and make that a little louder," Tufnel pauses like a deer in headlights for a few moments, points to the amp and repeats, "These go to 11.”

Moreover, National Metal Day was first celebrated way back in 2011 (which makes it 11/11/11) by the 24-hour music network VH1 Classic. The celebrations began on November 1, allowing more time for the network to focus on airing metal concerts, specials, movies, and videos every night — leading up to the grand finale on 11/11/11, when VH1 Classic premiered the film “Metal Evolution.”

Metal music generally is a very fast, aggressive, loud and technical sounding music. It is a genre of rock music that includes a group of related styles that are intense, virtuosic, and powerful. Driven by the aggressive sounds of the distorted electric guitar, heavy metal is arguably the most commercially successful genre of rock music. It’s not made for those light of heart and modest, but is made to be enjoyed in excess through its music, aesthetic, and lifestyle.

The genre originated from industrial working class areas within the UK, specifically in northern and midland England, where a number of factories process actual metal and steel. Apart from that, it also dates way back into the 19th century, when it referred to cannon or to power more generally. It has also been used to classify certain elements or compounds, as in the phrase heavy metal poisoning. Heavy metal appeared in the lyrics of Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” (1968), and by the early 1970s, rock critics were using it to refer to a specific style of music.

Since then, Metal music began owning its title as a genre in the late 1960s early 1970s, with Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple sharing ownership as the first metal bands. It has since spread into many different sub-genres such as thrash, death, black, doom, Christian, and the oft-reviled nu-metal.

For many fans, metal isn’t just any music. For some of them, it’s a religion, a way of life, and a philosophy.