See also: Metal Mondays: Phoenix Needs a Heavy Metal Strip Club A friend of mine brought up a very pertinent question the other day, questioning the validity of current heavy metal.
Metal will always have fans, turned on by classic metal gods who've been around for decades or whatever crap currently being spewed out -- and by that I'm referring directly to the Black Veil Brides. So is heavy metal doomed?
I'm into the good old stuff.
The music I can't get enough of is by artists that have been around the block a couple of times. It's honest, makes you feel good, and showcases talent. Don't get me wrong: I'm not opposed to new types of metal or artists whatsoever. But are there really any current bands out there that can be put anywhere near the same caliber as such heavy hitters as Metallica, Slayer, and Iron Maiden? Twenty years from now, are we still going to be looking back and praising these acts or are there actually going to be emerging acts that are just as good? Will people still be stoked on The Devil Wears Prada or 36 Crazy Fists? Taking a look around at the heavy metal landscape of today, I wonder if this is how it felt in the early '90s, when grunge was taking over and metal was hanging by a thread in the mainstream.
Metal has been evolving since the '60s. It's like the ginger stepchild, mistaken for a misfit. Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Poison, Van Halen, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Megadeth, Slayer, Slipknot, Rob Zombie -- hard rock and heavy metal have paved the way for dozens of pop and country acts. It's strong, with a handful of bands that will always have a rock-solid following, like Godsmack and Disturbed (which, personally, I could take or leave). But who can keep up on all the sub-genres? Power, gothic, death, speed, nü. It can all be really, really obnoxious. Particularly when so much of the music is shitty.
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So here's the thing: Everything's always evolving, including music. But I don't think that heavy metal is really supposed to change that much. I think the originals got the formula right, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Heavy metal is based around a trifecta of speed, power, and precision. A live show should be the sensory equivalent of war. While I don't want to misjudge any new styles or bands, sometimes it can be difficult to not feel as though these young bands are ripping off the styles of the classic acts but recycling them in a really sloppy manner. If you're going to do that, at least take some pride in it and add something new.
Nobody knows what the future of metal holds. Through new possible genres (R&B metal? Pop metal?), growth spurts, and stints, one thing is for sure: Metal tells the truth, no matter the costs. And if the truth fails? We've always got A Different Kind of Truth.