This generative work produces a 4 line stanza out of lines from Metallica albums every 5.5 seconds. It uses a single variable (“hair”) and a data set consisting of choice Metallica lines to produce what seems like endless Metallica lyrics. On the right hand column Tempest explains the impetus for the poem:
Many of these lines have played at random on my brain-station since I was a child, so to some degree they’re part of my story as well. Camel Tail is my attempt to find an overall narrative within Metallica’s work, or at the very least, to help uncover why I’m so mad all the time
So what has Metallica been trying to say in the past 30 years? I borrowed the lines Tempest chose for the data set and ran it through Wordle to visualize the word choices (see image below).
This kind of analysis emphasizes word choices more than how they’re put together, which provides some insight. Using a modified “Taroko Gorge” engine as a tool for analysis yields other insights, such as the lengths, rhythms, and logic of each line.
Let the poem wash over you as you soak in its lines, and perhaps you’ll find the key to Metallica’s message… or at least to Sony Rae Tempest’s rage.