It was Metal that got me into Classical music

Roman of Astral Eyes with a female friends rant

It’s funny. Growing up, a lot of folks saw Metal as a stupid form of music.

“It’s just noise.”

“How can you listen to that garbage?”

Yeah, the music is no doubt heavier than average music. However, it also has intricacies that modern pop music severely lacks. You’d have to understand music though to know what I’m talking about.

Anyways, it was Metal that got me into Classical music.

In the mid-80s, I was a huge fan of Yngwie Malmsteen. Until I started actually playing guitar, Yngwie was my favorite guitarist. Then of course, that switched to Randy Rhoads.

Baroque at first

My parents both listened to Classical, but I didn’t really get into it until I started listening to Yngwie. I got so into Yngwie that I started to research his influences. Bach, Vivaldi, Paganini, I had to listen to them.

I started to appreciate them big time and became a big fan. However, I also started reading more about Classical music and started to learn the different time periods of Classical music.

Beethoven broke all the rules

I learned how limiting Baroque music was. They followed rules, and the music was too mathematical. Beethoven changed all that with his Third Symphony. Beethoven broke all the rules. He also didn’t follow the structures laid before him by previous composers.

But of all the great composers, it turned out to be Tchaikovsky I liked the best.

Simply put, Tchaikovsky composed the prettiest melodies ever. He also built the most romantic structures of any composer.

Today’s Metal

As big as a fan I was of Yngwie in the mid-80s, by the late 80s, he wasn’t improving. Rhoads had a much higher ceiling because Rhaods was coachable.

What does that mean? Exactly that. Just like certain NFL quarterbacks are coachable and others aren’t. A good coach teaches you to play to your strengths and improve your weaknesses.

Yngwie became redundant. In the mid-90s, I heard he wrote a guitar concerto. I was excited to hear it, then heard it and yeah, it’s OK.

Now, his playing is phenomenal. Folks love to hate on his playing but you can’t show me a technically better guitarist on the planet. Technically, he’s pretty close to perfect.

Then of course Symphonic Metal happened in the 90s and I got really excited to hear about it. It too was a letdown. These bands have very limited orchestral backgrounds. Most of the orchestrations are done by a third party, and that third party doesn’t understand Metal, so you have two competing pieces of music.

Plus, a lot of what you hear as Symphonic Metal is actually a keyboardist playing sampled orchestral instruments. Samples will never replace the real deal. And excuse the adult oriented analogy, but I’d much rather fuck a woman than a robot. Exactly the same thing!

Rhoads would have been the one

I’m quite convinced that had Rhoads not died, he would have continued studying Classical music, and would have discovered how Romanticism is simply superior to any other time period. He would have eventually created Romantic Metal.

I don’t mind not being original. Actually, I would have preferred it. I’m a fan, not just a musician. I buy a lot of music and I ended up creating the music I wanted someone else to write so I can buy it.

Rhoads took his lessons seriously. He really wanted to get a Masters degree in Music (with Classical guitar as his instrument). Of course his death stopped that from happening.


Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie.

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