They say it’s important to teach your kids a good foundation early on, and I can only assume “they” are talking about classic metal albums. After all, I want to raise my daughter right; if that means Swedish Melodic Death Metal 101 comes later, so be it! We’ll play things by the book.
As Mostly Metal Parents it’s our responsibility to usher in the next generation of metalheads. This means providing our progenies with timeless works of the genre’s forefathers. So slip one of these on after her evening bath or when she goes down for a nap, and she’ll be following you in your footsteps before she can even say your name.
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
As far as I’m concerned, Black Sabbath is the first metal band to ever exist. That’s how this household is run, dammit! Paranoid may not be Sabbath’s deepest cut, but I think it’s a more significant, more refined metal sound. Yeah, “Black Sabbath” the song is almost enough to singlehandedly change my mind, but against “War Pigs,” “Hand of Doom,” and “Fairies Wear Boots,” my daughter will be off to a better start. Look, as soon as she’s lolling her head in time to “Iron Man,” I’ll know I’ve made the right choice.
Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast
How do you introduce just one Maiden album to your burgeoning metal disciple? Simple – choose the one with the most satanic imagery! In all seriousness, it’s the quality of the songs I want her to focus on; the other stuff is just an added bonus. Number is not my favorite Maiden album, but I’m not sure which is really, so when in doubt, stick with the classics. “Number of the Beast,” “Children of the Damned, ” “Hallowed Be Thy Name” – do I really need to go on? This is just the tip of the iceberg that is Maiden’s discography. With luck, those NWOBHM boys will put out at least one more before they’re through.
Judas Priest – British Steel
I really, I really want this to be Painkiller. Not to discredit British Steel, which is admittedly both metal and British as fuck, but I suppose Painkiller will be a nice treat when she’s older and she can really appreciate the change in direction. For now, however, she’ll enjoy hits like “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight,” which pretty much provide a blueprint to a metal lifestyle. I mean, the song “Metal Gods” is on this album. “Metal Gods!” You don’t get much more self-explanatory than that.
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Yeah, I know the Black Album has an actual, literal lullaby on it. That’s useful for babies, but I’m looking for staying power. Master of Puppets is timeless, the result of a metal band defining what “metal band” even means with blistering tracks like “Battery” and “Damage, Inc.” while taking the genre to new places with “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” and “The Thing That Should Not Be.” And once we’re done here, it’s onto …And Justice for All. That way if this whole plan of mine backfires, she’ll have some appropriate lyrics to pin the blame on me: “Dear Mother, Dear Father / What is this hell you have put me through”
Start ‘Em Young
There are plenty more albums I could have included, but this is a good start. So before you go asking “why isn’t X on this list?!” know that it’s entirely up to you what albums you show your kids. It’s an open curriculum! Just so long as your intentions are in the right place – namely, making sure your child has a taste in music as good as yours.
Now, I don’t want to come right out and reveal my diabolical plans, but maybe I’ve got ulterior motives for this whole Mostly Metal Dad thing. This could be my way of corrupting today’s youth, starting with molding my very own in my image. But consider that she’s only two and a half months old; my daughter can’t really understand any of it yet. If or when she decides to perceive these albums as more than just senseless noise, well, that day is a long way off.
Will showing her classic metal albums really have any impact on her future musical preferences? Maybe not, else I’d have started right from the womb. But then she might be able to take me to court for subliminal messaging.