25 May 2024

Baptized in Metal – Thorsten Hendriks

As one of the oldest (vintage year 1968) Tempelores members my story is quite long and very diverse.

My first hint at metal was during the 80s, when I was still living in The Netherlands (moved to the UK in 2000) and once a year we had the Top 100 on the radio. A whole day of excellent tracks and I realised more and more that I found the likes of Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, The Cult, Van Halen, Metallica very appealing opposed to the usual Top 40 stuff. However the uprising of Europe, Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Bon Jovi during that time has done a lot for people who enjoy the more heavy music by putting it into the popular arena during the 80s.

I am a Queen and U2 fan (own all their vinyl records and CDs) and enjoy their earlier work where they were less pop-influenced and had their own style. In my search for more and more heavy music I eventually settled for Metallica to the point where I owned all their albums. The rise during the 80s got me even more interested in them and the self titled Metallica album (so often referred to as the ‘black album’) did it for me, although a lot of ‘tallica fans don’t really appreciate that one as it was too commercial. My youngest daughter is named after the Metallica song ‘Sweet Amber’, Then there was the Guns n’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction album, raw and just up my street.

During the 90s the charts were ruled by Live, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Type O Negative and Foo Fighters – drawing me into their direction. Apart from Live, who I saw at Bospop in Weert together with The Gathering (with Anneke van Giersbergen – now VUUR’s vocalist) I have not seen any of them in concert. My eldest son is named after a Pearl Jam song – Jeremy.

I lived in Eindhoven at the time, not too far from the airport where between 1993 and 1996 the Dynamo Open Air festival was held. From my house I could hear the dulceth tones of bands like Anthrax, Life of Agony, Machine Head, Type o Negative, The Gathering and Venom. During these years the Dutch charts were dominated by the upcoming house scene and I have to admit some of them I might call ‘guilty pleasures’ – but enough of that. I resorted to what was available in the charts – as there was very little (dail-up) internet and no social media – such as Eurythmics, Eric Clapton, Prince, Janet Jackson, Genesis , Melissa Etheridge and Bruce Springsteen. I call this period ‘escapism to normality’, away from heavy guitars and headbanging. :-0

In June 2000 I moved to the UK and the metal scene was more alive here than in The Netherlands at that time. Charts being flooded by bands like Live, Korn, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Linkin Park and the punk bands The Offsrping, Sum 41, Blink 182, Alien Ant Farm, etc. All of those I liked a lot and became a huge Linkin Park fan, the combination of metal and rap was very appealing and their lyrics spoke to me. Sadly enough, after Chester Bennington’s death, these were his stories from his abuse during his childhood and the demons he fought all his life. At the same time I became more and more interested in female fronted metal, mostly influenced by The Gathering. In this remit you will find Within Temptation, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Evanescence to name a few.

From there on my taste has become more and more metal and heavier at the time. Yet I still listen less metal sounding bands but the noughties the sounds of Linkin Park, Metallica, Evanescence, Foo Fighters, Muse, Nightwish have ruled my playlist. I do not adhere to the fashion which is linked to this kind of music, yes I will wear band tees but I am not dressed to show the world that I ‘belong’ to the metal scene. I am a bit of a non-comformist.

From 2006 my mood went down for a few years, mainly during my divorce battle, and so did my music taste. Bands like Cradle of Filth, Deathstars, Enter Shikari, Lostprophets, System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold and Queen of the Stone Age entered my realm. Car journeys were mainly spend listening to Nightwish, Evanescence and Linkin Park to the point where my, then 7-8 year old daughter Megan, was singing along to most of the songs.

In 2009 I met my new partner, wife since 2014, and my music taste has not changed dramatically however I do still prefer symphonic metal, female fronted metal and the like. Since subscribing to Spotify in 2010 I have discovered so many bands and new music it would take me a while to list them all, but here are a few In this Moment, Butcher Babies, Sumo Syco, Parkway Drive, Halestorm, Five Finger Death Punch, Halocene, Pvris, Of Mice and Men, Pendulum.

Currently my Spotify playlist is mainly governed by Rammstein, Disturbed, Lacuna Coil and Slipknot. The latter because their new album ‘We are not your kind’ is one hell of a masterpiece and I am looking forward seeing them live on 17 January 2020.

Of all the music and band above I have seen only a few live at a gig – not much of a concert goer to be honest, but it shows my change in taste of music. So far seen Queen (1986 and 2008 with Paul Rodgers), U2 (1992), Live and The Gathering (1995), Eric Clapton (2009), Genesis (1992), Melissa Etheridge (1996), Deathstars, Saxon, Cradle of Filth (2006), Deathstars & Mortiis (2007), Nightwish & Pain (2008), Metallica, Sword, Machine Head ( 2009), Linkin Park (2010), Magnum & Trillium (with Amanda Somerville, 2012),Deathstars & Rammstein (2012), Butcher Babies & Sumo Syco (2016), In Flames, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold (2019), Slipknot and Behemoth (2020).

My Spotify public playlist is called: “From Trance to Metal” it contains nearly 400 tracks (26+hours) and it shows the whole journey of my music tastes since I was a teenager.