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Remember “Refuse, Resist”

refuseresist

Metal music offers the strength to persevere. I think that is its most valuable aspect.

The emboldening quality of this music drew me to it in the first place. When I was a teenager listening to Sepultura’s “Refuse, Resist” I was a young idiot, but I was barely self-aware enough to realize it. Even knowing the political and historical undertones of the song, when I thought of refusing and resisting I thought of my parents, I thought of principals, I thought of police officers pulling teenagers over for drunk driving. This is music for boxing with the peons of the cosmos, I thought, and I was reasonably certain I would grow out of it.

I was wrong. Obviously.

The first song I listened to this morning was “Refuse, Resist”. I woke up with its rumbling drum intro lodged in my brain. I mouthed the words while walking into my office this morning like a mantra.

The song’s indelible power to motivate me is critical. Regardless of opinions on Sepultura’s history or members, or the music they made after Chaos A.D., “Refuse, Resist” is capital-I important. Like a religious text or philosophical doctrine, it offers a guideline of how to live one’s life. Few songs in any genre do the same with such almost-boneheaded simplicity. In this moment, it feels like the most important metal song ever written.

Some readers will disagree with my opinion here on musical grounds. Some will backpedal from its obvious political undertones – every news outlet in the world right now is blasting what I feel like refusing and resisting straight into your sensory organs.

That’s fine.

The important thing to remember is: find music that will take you through your life’s deepest and darkest trenches. We offer so much music on this site, much of it wonderful, but I don’t know if we’ve ever covered anything that means as much to me as “Refuse, Resist” does right now.

Remember that music is not a product or a commodity. Music is the soundtrack to your life, and like a soundtrack it informs the mood and character of your life. Change the music and you change the genre of the film. Pick the right songs for the life you want to live.

Right now, the life I need to live is “Refuse, Resist”. Its chorus and message overshadow the people who made it. They offer a way to persevere.

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