Is Metal Music dying?
Nils Oberg asks the question.
I have no doubt that this article will probably annoy or even enrage a few people, but after all, this is my opinion having worked with bands of all genres over the last 5 years. Some of you might share my opinion, others won’t.
Heavy Metal, or Metal, has gone through a massive evolution since the term was first coined by a reporter who listened to the first offerings that Black Sabbath produced in the 1970s. It has since sired so many sub-genres that the lines have become blurred as to what "real" Heavy Metal is these days.
Elitists and the older generation find it hard accepting Heavy Metal that’s been produced over the last 10 to 15 years and feel that Heavy Metal these days will ever match the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament and Black Sabbath. The list can go on and on with bands that first brought about the whole Heavy Metal genre.
The truth is they are right, but at the same time so very, very wrong.
Nothing will ever replace the bands I have already mentioned, this is very true, but the mindset of the Elitists is one of the reasons Heavy Metal is dying a slow death. New ideas and new bands are ignored because they don’t match up to the classic Heavy Metal bands and bands who try something different are ridiculed for selling out or for being too different and therefore are ignored, I speak from personal experience as I’ve done the same thing.
Now it would be unfair of me to blame just the old school metallers as it’s not just them destroying Metal. "Scene Kids" are just as much to blame for the slow demise of a musical genre I hold dear. Scene Kids are the new emos when it comes to the current generation of kids who "love" metal.(Scene kids, for those of you not sure what that phrase means, are the kids who all dress the same, have long fringed haircuts, loads of piercings, covered in tattoos, all wear skinny jeans, plaid shirts and listen to music because it’s popular or "scene", rather than because it’s good)
So many kids who conform to the Scene Kid image, listen to bands because their friends listen to these bands and therefore are willing to accept the utter mediocre sh*t, that gets produced these days. These kids will continue genre hopping because it maintains their image "to like what everyone else likes".
The individual has been replaced by the masses.
Lastly and I feel most importantly. The internet is just as much to blame as elitists and scene kids. Having studied Sound Engineering, Music Production and the Music Industry over the last 3 years, I’ve been able to see the devastating effect the internet has on the music industry in general. With the inception of broadband internet, downloading music has never become easier. Gone are the days where downloading one track took you a whole day, these days you click on a link and you can have a whole album within 10 minutes. We’re all guilty of downloading music and that’s the bottom line.
How does this affect Metal you may ask? Metal has never been a mainstream musical genre, with the exception of a few high profile bands like Slipknot (yes they are metal), Metallica and Lamb of God. The one thing all these bands have in common is that they have all either been nominated for Grammy Awards or won them. Can’t get more mainstream than that can you?
Bands like the ones mentioned have such a high profile that while downloading their albums does affect them, it’s not detrimental to their existence, as say lesser established bands or up and coming bands. Being able to download albums by bands that haven’t had the chance to establish themselves yet, makes their struggle to make it so much harder, as they are constantly losing out on money from albums sales and have to tour more in order to make the money back which leads to quicker burn outs, bands going on hiatus or bands breaking up.
After all how would you feel if someone stole the work you’re passionate about while sticking their hands into your pockets and stealing your money? Pretty p*ssed off is how I’d feel.
In order for Metal to come back from the dead we need to change our perceptions, accept musical differences, stop the genre bashing, support the local scene, buy a band’s merchandise and buy the album instead of clicking on a free download.
In closing we are all indirectly responsible for either making or breaking bands, for the growth or decline of the metal scene in your area. Support bands by buying their merchandise and album and just bear in mind what bands have to go through to become known or to produce and album professionally.
Tags . metal