This post does not represent the “official” opinion of Metal Riot, just the cynical author.
So, it seems the last decade or so has seen a growing trend in music journalism to be snarky, dismissive or brief. Sure, the UK press has always been snarky. People have always ripped apart bands or movements they don’t like or think are bloated (prog) or talentless (punk). It is a treasured part of rock writing. These days it often seems like the ONLY kind of writing I see out there.
I just read an article ripping apart a pretty good song by This Or The Apocalypse, a metalcore band who actually write songs with current events in mind. While I love the website the critique was posted on and regularly read it (despite it being the most snarky of sites out there), I was kind of disgusted.
Can we please stop the cynical BS and try and make metal and hardcore grow stronger? For a few thoughts. Click HERE.
The MetalSucks piece said TOTA are unoriginal. It is said taste is subjective but this song is pretty fuckin’ solid and has meaningful lyrics. Everything is influenced by something. How many black metal bands that sound alike still get heaped with praise? Here’s the TOTA track for you to check out:
I know sites need to stir the pot and people also have bands they just don’t like. I am guilty of writing about how I think Chelsea Grin have a terrible name and I don’t like their musical style. I used to trash on Disturbed as pedestrian until listened more and I gained a lot more respect for Draiman after seeing him live and finding out more about what he is about. I’m not a Nickelback fan in that I think polished hard rock like that isn’t as potent as something more raw like Kyuss. I still understand why it matters to some people’s lives.
Doro Pesch should be the spokesperson for metal. She is always flying the flag, trying to inspire and bring people together. I know it is metal and we like to punch one another in the faces and not hug, but things are kind of wack right now.
Whatever style you like, I’d like you to consider the following. Before the public rallied around Nirvana and “punk broke” the underground was more fractured into sub-genres. It has happened all over again these days. There is no unifier. Sure, it was weird hearing “Teen Spirit” in themed food chains on Clear Channel Stations decades later, but I would rather have it part of the zeitgeist than not. It allowed the Melvins to release three of their best records on a major label. Mastodon being huge helps all of extreme metal. People shit on Nu Metal or bands who had Nu Metal dalliances, but when Nu Metal was popular a LOT more people were supporting hard rock bands, buying and thinking about heavy music. Sure, downloads have a lot to do with declining sales and I don’t really miss Fred Durst, but would you rather have that money go to louder bands you aren’t fully crazy about or bad pop music?
SOME good bands always get more money out of more general public attention to hard music. I really don’t understand people hating on Lamb of God for being a “big” band. I put on Wrath and it is a fucking powerful record with major balls regardless of how many people like it. If you don’t want anyone to hear your band don’t play music. If you don’t want anyone to hear a band you like, do you own the band? If you don’t want to be aligned with corporations or view your events as promotional you can be like Ian Mackaye and book shows in unorthodox venues or self-release albums.
But please…can you seriously watch this Soulfly crowd and performance and think it isn’t 100% metal?
Right now there is backlash against the Thrash revival. Who cares if some kids like thrash and want to pretend they were part of the 80’s? Some of these bands are writing good tunes and other ones write weaker songs. That’s how music is!
But we need to encourage a climate where people are more supportive. Otherwise things get more fragmented and everyone is “cooler than thou” and only their type of fans end up liking the band and they eventually break up. Not that every band NEEDS to be huge, but it would be nice if people could live off their art more these days. I was at New England Metal Hardcore Fest this year and it was awesome to see Every Time I Die, The Mongoloids, Trap Them, Anthrax, Black Breath and other wildly different bands all kicking ass. Some bonehead in the crowd dissed Hatebreed as meaningless tough guy music. Do you understand any of their messages?
Look, some bands have more of a jock following or more of a kvlt following or beard man D&D following or lesbian nerdcore following (my favorite), but let’s try and unify and support the scene.
Here’s to these dudes: