Bent Out of Shape: Has Heavy Metal Become a Joke?



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Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats?
me gutsa


You make some valid points, Will. I think the perspective on Heavy Metal hasn't been identified or classified correctly. To me, Heavy Metal can be distinguished from many other genres of music. I like to think that Heavy Metal has developed into it's own genre itself but has progressed by evolving into many "styles".

I do agree with you that Heavy Metal today is missing the tones of its origins but because of that break in discipline, the styles had to develop on their own. I'm referring to the latter part of the late 80's/90's when the Seattle grunge started to emerge and "hair band" L.A. and international traditional metal had reached it's pinnacle. (Live to fight another day) In such ways, the apathy style was what ultimately progressed and brought forth some sound improvement to the styles of Heavy Metal.

Heavy Metal guitar players today are trying to get that thuggish baritone sound either by 7 strings or more or a baritone guitar or changing the tuning on their 6 string. This approach did have a drastic effect but it also lost the full potential of the guitar tone. Guitar solo's lost their melody sacrificing meaning for pointless technique.

There is no dispute that the guitar itself changed. They went from Kahler and Floyd Rose Tremolos to Drop D switches (thank you Eddie for that) to back to the saddle/bridge.

So, styles took a turn, some went down the "el grotto" sore throat style, others went to a symphonic route (Nightwish, Evanescence), others went for speed (Dragonforce) and so on and so forth.

One thing I know that is for certain that Heavy Metal never picked up from the Grunge era was Heavy Metal has never been pessimistic. Heavy Metal to me has always been progressive, energetic and all about the fight. Hardly did I ever here Heavy Metal say, "Life sucks and I wanna die. Feel sorry for me and buy my record."

My points are these. Heavy Metal may sound like a joke to some because todays styles do not sound like the style the Heavy Metal genre once was back then but no matter what style of Heavy Metal you are listening to, old or new, it's still Heavy Metal. No joke.

Will, do not despair. Like it or not, Heavy Metal is on it's 2nd Era, its back and it's here to stay and because of so many styles contributing to this awesome genre, we will hear new things, see new artists emerging because mainstream is starting to see the real joke. Pop music is dying. People don't want to listen to that crap anymore because it's so obviously fake. There are more women now picking up the axe because they are sick of the stereotype. Nothing funny about that. Heavy Metal is becoming more mainstream because it still has the discipline at it's roots. To answer your question. I don't think Heavy Metal has become a joke. It has growing pains just like Rock and Country but it's here to defy as it has always done.

Look forward to your next article.


Blues Deluxe

Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf and Mountain are metal. The term was coined for them and it shouldn't be used for Metallica, Slipknot, A7X and SOAD. They all suck.



First off, I totally enjoy Wallner's guitar work on the latest White Wizzard album. He totally deserves respect. I also agree with his take on the idea that feeling and melody in solos are what really matters. Will shows this on his approach to his solos on the "Devil's Cut." I've seen Malmsteen up close, and he's very good technically, but his music doesn't have any soul. He and Vai constantly regress away from the riff and song writing takes a back seat to showing off technical prowess on a guitar. Only the Malmsteen stuff with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals had great song writing. Also, many of today's nu metal bands' guitarists are more concerned with using feedback to make crazy sounds on the instrument than actually performing solos.

As for the blues influence in metal, I never really looked at Zeppelin or Sabbath as metal. They definitely influenced metal, but Zeppelin was hard rock and Sabbath was more of a stoner sludge. Not that blues didn't play a part, but I always looked at punk as an influence on metal's evolution. Just look at the early NWOBHM movement and the bands included. There was a do-it-yourself attitude to producing and promoting music. Also, most of the bands were heavily influenced by punk. Early Maiden with Dianno had more in common with punk and progressive rock than the blues. Also, the band who most influenced the extreme metal scene, Venom, were as much punk as they were metal. There were a lot of bands that were influenced by the blues in the NWOBHM movement, but punk would also be mentioned.

It's hard to find new bands these days who are as willing to step outside of what is popular and mainstream when it comes to metal. All these new bands have a metalcore sound. Back in the day, there were many bands who were willing to be different from what existed at the time. Bands like Brocas Helm, Dark Quarterer, Cirith Ungol, and Manilla Road dared to be different. No one is that daring anymore.



This is one of the most contradictory and hypocritical articles on Metal I've ever read. Will Wallner should be ashamed of taking the position of denigrating an entire genre to increase his own name recognition. Full of misguided non-facts, obvious bias and the underlying scent of his own disgust at extreme metal, there is no reason why anyone should agree with this sentiment.

My response.



I do believe this article is somewhat flawed, but at the same time I think that perhaps part of the reason my band Overlorde connects so well with our fans has to do with the fact that we do have blues influence to us. We have alot in the way of dynamics and feel. Even my instrumental solo material benefits from the fact my playing is more blues/rock based.

Mark "M.E." Edwards



Interesting thing is that it is always the other guy's music that is the joke. It is because people have adopted new approaches to heavy metal that have allowed it to grow and breathe and to become the many sub genred beast that it has become. Let they who can use the blues in a heavy metal context do so and heavy metal will not become less for them doing so. By the same token let they who will use other scales and phrases use them in a heavy metal context and heavy metal will not be diminished by their usage either. I am proud that heavy metal is a diverse and dynamic genre that I have been able to watch grow from the beginning. It makes me all warm and fuzzy watching the blues and rock and roll's little baby grow up and have children of his own. And they are such talented little babies!



You are spot on in your article and I agree with you 100%. I love 70's and 80's classic metal as it had heart, soul, and for the most part was real and not bullshit.

Metal today sucks big sweaty donkey balls for the most part, and has pretty much for the past 20 years. I think the last heavy metal album I bought was either a Metallica or Iron Maiden CD in the late 80's. After that, piss off metal fags.

Punk rock is where it's at and there are still plenty of punk rock, hard rock, folk rock artists that are killing it these days. Just gotta look underground sorta for them. If you have to ask, fuck off and find out for yourself. That's rock n roll bitches.

Long hair dirt bags, sorry mutha fuckers yeah, everytime I see you you lick my boots kiss my ass, everytime I hear ya playin' yer version of rock n roll, I'm gonna come kick ya up yer fucking booty hole. Heavy metal sucks, heavy metal sucks heavy metal these days fucking suuuuuuuuuuckkkkksssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



lol This is seriously the worst post I have ever seen.



Not only heavy metal, but all mainstream music has become safer and easier to chew (or easier to be force fed) over the last 30 years. In my opinion, mainstream pop/rock-music has become an everyday consumer product, "higher quality background noise", which can be bought from your local supermarket.

Who is to blame then? Through some quite dramatic changes in everyday life in the last 15 years (it's about that long since i've had internet and cell phone) an alarming number of people have adopted a lifestyle, where everything should be easy, readily available and shouldn't require critical thinking or give (even a positive) challenge to your brain.

If my name was Dave Mustaine, I'd write a song about corporate and governmental conspiracy which provides people easily available, retarded and unchallenging entertainment to keep their interest away from what is actually happening.

This "turn away the eye of Sauron"-effect can also be found in music. Popular music has become just another form of brainless entertainment. TV-show "Idols" (or by whatever name it runs in your country) is a perfect example. A huge load of people are auditioned and finally one of those dorks is chosen to become "THE ONE". The marketing idea behind it is perfect though. From the beginning people are being told: "Here comes the next BIG thing!" and the brainwashing machinery in the press, television and internet starts rolling louder, harder and stronger than in Göebbels' wildest propaganda fantasies.

To be able to ignore this constantly chewing money-by-brainwash machinery one needs strong personality, self-discipline and something to fill in the void with. This is the ultimate challenge for aspiring musicians living in "image is everything" world. Showing critical thinking by ignoring mainstream entertainment, can (and will) cause serious social problems in school, at work and other social environments. It may be, that you shouldn't be judged or discriminated by the colour of your skin, but being discriminated because you don't follow the "socially acceptable" mindset is an acceptable reason for bullying, ignorance and worse.

After reading this.... I began to wonder... what was the actual subject again? :)
- Juicy



"The first is the loss of the blues influence in metal."

No, first off, if it has the blues in it, it is not Heavy Metal, but rather, Hard Rock. Therefore, it sucks. In order for Heavy Metal to be Heavy Metal it must retain elements of European-inspired classical music. If it has the blues or folk elements in it, than it is rock music, not metal. So yeah, Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix are not Heavy Metal. These artists may have influenced the image of metal, but not the sound that was refined by early Metallica and Mercyful Fate. This is also why most American metal cannot hold a candle to its European brothers. Far too many American musicians have sullied popular music with blues elements. is Yngwie metal? Yup. Petrozza? Yup. Dimebag? Somewhat. Zakk Wylde. Nope. Blues. Does he dress metal? No, he dresses like a cowboy or a biker. (Not a big difference between the 2.) Has metal become a joke? Well, if it has its been due to the over emphasis of the blues in its sound and the loss of its European classical elements that once gave it its guts and aggression.



LOLZ To say european metal is the way better to american and any other metal is insanely ignorant.



Euro metal fag get a clue. Blues is where it's at and that's that.


Another thing that Will may also know first hand is today's metal fans attitudes to other people - there are two major rock/metal bars in London, The Crow Bar and The Intrepid Fox. Used to be very friendly places
. Today however the staff wil treat you like shit if you don't "look" metal enough. If you don't have tatas and ripped clothes (that's all cost more than standard garbs) don't expect to get served drinks soon. All these folks who say image doesn't matter, just a bunch of sad hypocrites. They're arent even into the music, just the image and attention. Sad. And Will, if you want to hear some bluesy British rock/metal, check out jokers dozen on souncloud, I cut the guitars on it, cheers!



None of the metal bands of today hold a candle to Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, Deep Purple or Jimi Hendrix. I agree about the fact that they use too gimmicks. When Kiss came out with make-up they looked like morons, now look at all the bands that wear make-up and masks. If you can't remember them by their music, you can remember them by their costumes, it's rock, not Halloween. The guitarists have lost sight of where the genre cane from. They all try to out do each other with speed and such technical riffs that it is just garbled together scales. There is no originality, they all sound like novice players practicing scales on steroids. Where is the music in all this? Has Heavy metal become a joke? Yes, and a bad one!



I kind of get what you're referring to. The insane distance between metal sub-genres makes it tough to recognize any cohesion in this thing we call METAL, and the flood of mindless shredders posting their rendition of "Canon Rock" on Youtube is hard to stomache, but something you put out is really bothering me...if you feel the need to (quite publicly) declare that you are no longer a metal guitarist, you never really were, EVER. As for your points to prove why you no longer want to be considered "metal"...if you get beyond those early formative years (the Black Sabbath, Zeppelin and Deep Purple era), and really look at the metal scene that has grown since, you will notice that it is predominantly an UNDERGROUND SCENE...anything that ever came from it that was great was created by true fans, not groups trying to "make it big". They cut their own records/tapes/CDs, book their own shows, do their own promotions, and generally do it for the love of their music. Do they hope they're the next band to get a booking on the Warped Tour, Mayhemfest, or Ozzfest? Sure, but that would mean gaining the ability to do their thing for more like minded, appreciative people. I guess my point is that metal has always fostered an organic, home grown kind of feel, and to look to the few bands that are being marketed by the big labels as the current state of what metal is, ignores that basic fact..everything you stated shows that you're one of those who decided to pursue metal because it was a path to "success", not from love of the music.

You want out of this big dysfuncional family? You got it...but just remember, the moment you put out that first "look at me, I'm not *really* a metal guitarist" CD/statement, you can never come back when you discover what you've given up. While the average metalhead will stick with their own through thick and thin, the moment you insult and deny what they are and what they love, you're DONE. It takes guts to stick with something because you love it, and forgo the chance at easier "success" that comes with selling your soul. Take me for example...I'm 49, have been a metalhead since I was a kid, and even though I enjoy and play many different styles of music it's all to expand the maniac thrasher that is my true essence. I never made it too far out of my ever-shrinking local scene, but to the few who have heard my efforts I have become lifelong friends. Never saw dime one from my efforts (in fact it's cost me) but that's not the point...I play to see the look on the fan's faces, the fists in the air, and the occasional pit where space allows! I've met and talked to kids who are the next generation of metalheads...they give the respect that comes from them knowing I was there in the beginning doing what they're essentially doing now, and I give the respect that comes from seeing their loving effort to keep metal alive, growing and vital. In the end, we're the same inside despite the years that separate truly is a family of miscreants and misfits! If you don't understand that you were never one of our brothers, so seeya dude...we don't f***in' need ya! Metal, a joke? Never was and never will be. Metal rules and always will! \m/ \m/



Answer to Q1- Heavy Metal upon Heavy Metal. This had become a wide spectrum of one thing Heavy Metal. We all want to be accepted yet the Heavy Metal petals are falling and becoming a stray. Leaving once a bountiful array of players to becoming the next melting pot of Heavy Metal music tools of the trade don’t fade away there just things to follow.

Answer to Q2- We have names for these now. Not just Heavy Metal. There was Speed Metal, Death Metal, British Metal, and now Swedish Metal, and they have all left the arena and become genres of others to follow. Names like Pantera, Black Label, and Children of Bodom. Heavy Metal has become a network of places from around the world. So I can't think of Heavy Metal as not just being alone and by itself. Its just there to remind us that prior to that there was a beginning to what you liked.

Answer to Q3- Heavy metal does have a lot of open relationships with their band members. Unless you have taken that final step in your career and made that final decision you’re in and that all what count is you’re in.



Say what you will about the state of metal (in today's perspective), but at least it's not as bad as DUBSTEP! If there was ever a genere I wish could be "un-invented" it would be DUBSTEP...That just sounds like a Fax Machine on speed! How is that even music? How?



Ballsiest blog ever. And I TOTALLY AGREE! And I listen to as many forms of this genre as possible. Maybe Metal just needs a new name.



I really feel that every article this guy posts about Metal is kind of a troll. Its like oh I don't like modern metal here are all the reasons I think its dumb. I like the blues... so anyone who wants to play a non blues scale is ruining the music. Personally I think there are plenty of metal bands now a days that are gimmicky and suck. I also think there are a lot of interesting metal bands that are very much real people and are musicians first. I don't think this is unique to metal, I think this is nature of modern music. If you are looking for real artists big labels and the radio are not where you will find them, instead it will be on soundcloud, bandcamp and countless other websites. Metal is very much alive and kicking and some of us very much prefer jazz fusion to the blues.



I really have to agree. A lot of bands are not metal like the good old days. Yes, the genre is alive and well, but like was previously stated you have to look hard for bands that stand out. There are very few bands that go out on a limb and do their own thing and actually create something new instead of going with what works at the time. right now what "works" is girly vocals of rhythmic palm mutes. That's not metal. That sucks. Metallica became so popular because they were so different, as did maiden and anthrax ect. They did something different that caught people's attention and what this kids are doing now just isn't for the music as much.



There are always new good bands in every genre but sometimes you need to look deeper to find them, but this article is speaking about the metal scene in general and in that sense the article is pretty accurate.



Could not agree more.



I always found it funny when all the guitarist said those two genre's influenced them lol. But all the fanboys on this site are into all the bullshit arrogant shit that comes with their type of 'music'.



I LOVE these posts. Thank you Will for saying what needed to be said. AND... Don't forget Iron Maiden!!!



I love these posts. Thank you Will for saying what needed to be said!



I think Pantara set a new standard. Everybody is trying to follow in there footsteps but thy are one of a kind. Metal is alive and well. It requires some searching but they're still out there.



I think this is a very interesting subject to discuss. First of all, I am a metalhead and I do enjoy Metal in its current form,specially some specific subgenres. But I agree that Metal nowadays is lacking some authenticity in the sense that is way too mechanical. For the most part of the metal music today, I can't feel the vibe that I use to get when I listen to Deep Purple, for instance.

Not so long ago, I fell into a discussion about who should be the best guitar players ever. To me, that place belong to Gilmour, Blackmore, Page and Iommi. Obviously there was some disagreement because they weren't fast enough (specially Iommi). My point was that, even if they're not the fastest or the most technical, they are the best because their music gets me. I mean, Iommi reinvented guitar playing, laying down the very foundations of modern Metal! Honestly, I don't care about speed or how many freakin' exotic scales should be played. What I do seek is essence, substance, feeling. To me, those are the best things a guitar player must have, and they were lost from the Metal music when the blues roots were forgotten.

For the other part, I also think that some bands rely too much on the visual aspect rather than focusing on the good ol'simple musicianship. I do enjoy a good visual show, but as long as the music is good. However, the visual show is no substitute for talent. In this aspect, for instance, I admire Metallica during the 80's. They were four normal dudes, in their normal clothes, playing fast kick-ass music. I really identified with them back then and, becasue ot that, they inspired me to grab a guitar and learn how to play it. To me, their music and their looks were honest. Actually, honesty is a value that most Metal bands and young musicians seem to overlook nowadays.

As a guitar player, I used to try to be fast and technical. Right now I dropped that attitude because I don't feel identified with those values. I prefer to let myself go and express myself through my guitar playing. I think it was Eric Clapton who said "you can say a lot with just playing one single note". And that is the absolute truth!



It depends.



Dear Mr. Wallner, you could not be more wrong.

If you know where to look, you will find:
a) lots of blues influences (Death metal, thrash, dissonant technical stuff, black-n-roll, progressive, stoner...need I go on?)
b) lots of originality (lmao, if there's no originality in metal wtf are you doing in your band? hashing out the same tired riffs and melodies that were played 30-40 years ago??)
c) lots of no-nonsense, zero-image, purebred metal musicians (but I suppose if you are only into classic metal which was all about the rock star stadium thing, you wouldn't know about that...)

You simply haven't bothered to look hard enough. Next time do some proper research before writing such narrow-minded, woefully misinformed articles. If you are not an authority on the wide, sweeping generalized opinionated observations you've made, then wtf are you doing voicing those opinions? How can you even begin to think that it was a smart idea to make these RIDICULOUS accusations knowing full well that you aren't an authority? Actually forget being an authority. You don't really need to be an authority to discuss this stuff - BUT YOU HAVEN'T EVEN DONE YOUR HOMEWORK ON THIS TOPIC!!!!

Seriously, this is just terrible.



There's something else I've noticed with so-called Metal these days. It all seems to be the same one or two heavy chords with just different timing and these types of lyrics "Bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan, whine, whine, whine, this sucks, that sucks." It's absolutely nauseating and the farthest thing from what being Metal is. It's nothing but a bunch of bitch-ass whiners that bought 7-string guitars and tuned them down so much the strings hang like an old man's ball sack!



Yep This is clearly "the same one or two heavy chords with just different timing and these types of lyrics "Bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan, whine, whine, whine, this sucks, that sucks"" (Sarcasm) Also the only people that dislike 7 and 8 string guitars are the pussies that are too afraid to pick one up. They add another dimension and allow you to create an even greater aragement of music.



I can see your point in writing this article, and I agree that there is a formula that the record companies are looking for in bands (ex. asking alexandria, avenged sevenfold, etc.) but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy their songs. Within the enormous community of metal, you can find a range of artists with different sounds, yet all still under the name "metal". Sounds progress over time, which is why the "heavy metal" sound you cited such as Led Zeppelin and Hendrix has moved on. All blues doesn't sound like old blues, think of the Black Keys. Do they sound like Howling Wolf or original blues artists? Does Tosin Abasi sound like Alan Holdsworth? Yet these respective modern artists are still categorized as "blues" and "jazz" without sounding similar to the originators of their genres. I think you miss the music of your time and just simply do not like the music being created today, but this does not mean that it is not "metal".



Anyone who says metal is a joke isn't really listening. There are plenty of bands out there doing the old school metal thing. Havok would be a prime example. They don't care about the image, they play catchy music. If you haven't listened, check them out.



Hey guys please remember my last point made in this blog:

"My goal with this blog post is to provoke discussion. I'm not an authority on the subject. I'm just a fan who loves classic metal bands like Rainbow, early Van Halen, Thin Lizzy, etc."

I don't want to attack anyone, cheers



A 25-year-old kid gets a record contract and then thinks he knows everything about metal music. It is to laugh.



You have hit the nail directly on the head. I couldn't agree more on every single point.



One of the most stupid and hypocritical articles ive ever read. Led zepplin and jimi hendrix didnt wear stupid outfits on stage eh? Led Zepplin didnt throw tvs out hotel rooms and call themselves golden gods? Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire on stage. We all know how crazy ozzy osbourne was.

You can take any genre of music in existence and there will be many bands that sound alike. There will be a few that stand out. Your problem is you are too dumb to discriminate.

Your music could be lumped in with the many 80s hair metal bands.

Should we start commissions and tell all the musicians, they need to incorporate this instead of that. Your condoning musicians to copy one thing instead of the other.



Metal has not lost it's way, it has simply branched out into a million different forms. If you want your Sabbath style, it's out there. If you want "cookie monster" vocals, it's out there. If you want hair metal, it's out there. If you want rap metal, it's out there.

Anyone insisting that metal has lost it's way is simply being lazy. There is more metal out there than ever before, with enough continuously expanding variety to appeal to anyone.



co-sign ^


Leather Rebel7

I think it's telling of the genre when bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple consistently deny the Heavy Metal label. It shows that they do not want to be associated with the genre as a whole, and they rightfully should be avoiding it.

Metal is not becoming a joke, that ship has sailed quite some time ago. Metal is more like a stagnant "Knock, Knock" 'joke' that has been repeated and recycled so many times that it fails to have any comedic value or reaction; Hence, it cannot really be a joke but simply labeled one. Metal is beyond the point of ironic comedy, its at the point of embarrassment and pity.

Modern Metal is just tired, and frankly depressing to even think about. Every single metal band has 'cookie monster' vocals, drop D for dumbass tuned guitars, double bass drums, the ridiculously cheesy 'tough guy' breakdown, a horror movie style music video, promo band pics where all the band members fold their arms, dimebag beards, and the list goes on.

There are so many extreme metal cliches that the genre does not even merit making fun of but simply and justifiably left to what it is today: Irrelevant. How many stupid sub-genres have metal fans and metal artists coined in order to lie to themselves that they are doing something new?

Pantera is arguably the last metal band to do something 'new' that had any relevance and its only been downhill since then. Forget the fact that all the metal artists conform to every single modern metal cliche in order to fit into the genre and be called 'true/real/non-fake/non-poser" metal. The Fans are some of the most hypocritical, self-righteous, insecure and elitist dorks you'll ever meet (over the internet that is, because its not like they have the balls to voice their opinions in public other than walking around hunched over, eyes glued to the floor, sporting some ridiculous extreme metal band t-shirt with an unreadable font that looks like 1000s of others. Ya, real rebellious!).

I'd argue the same has happened to modern rock :

Other than elitist insults that are desperate attempts to cling to musical hierarchy, modern metal has absolutely nothing. Stop trying to be heavier, faster, more technical, more brutal, more satanic, more evil and just try to actually write some actual songs, not 'cool' noise. You know, that thing called music?



This comment is absolutely false and insanely ignorant. Everyone of those so called "cliches" belong entirely to metalcore and deathcore which are by far the worst subgenre of metal. To say Pantera was the last band to do something new is both laughable and insulting. This isn't something new? or this? Both these bands created or helped create a new sound in metal and continue to do so and these are only two examples. There are many many more. There are so many sub-genres of metal out there every shifting and adding new ones and changes sounds. You are nothing more than a close minded and lazy bigot.


freddy says

It’s good to see the varying comments from all the posters. I agree that "Metal" has lost its way somewhat. The genre itself never really clicked with me because I'm an older person (60) that never liked the term to begin with. I still think of it as "Hard Rock" that identifies it with being louder, harder in sound than say 50's rock.
Jimi Hendrix was never really metal as he was more blues-psychedelic rock, but he was loud, colorful, full of energy and the consummate showman. I remember seeing him live and hearing him say, "We're going to play for you, loud, louder & loudest" at the Waikiki Shell in 1969. And we loved it and all the bands that we went to hear in the late 60's, 70s & 80s were the same. We grew up knowing rock to be in its purist form Guitars, Bass & Drums. That's what makes AC/DC great, they play what they play best & they do it well. They didn't go off on a tangent to "reinvent" themselves, nor did they need keyboards.
I've often wondered what constitutes a "metal" band anyway? Is it the leather with studs? The obvious "satanic" references? The "growling" taking the place of really being able to carry a tune? The "musical gymnastics" of being able to play fast, alot of notes? And now the new 7,8 & 9 string guitars? The wall of Marshall stacks? The headbangers & the mosh pit?
Part of the problem is the gap that was left in the rock music world when rap music became #1 on the TV, charts & on the radio. Only because real tried & true rock players were abandoned by record producers looking for something new to compete with "pop" music already dominating the charts. We went from arena packing rock acts to almost seeing hard rock disappear before our eyes, thanks to the industry prejudice. The best thing that has happened to rock in general is internet radio that only plays set formats. Here in Hawaii, rock radio has been dead for years & the idea of the “record store” is passé with vendors like
Many moons ago rock music was king in America, but now it has to compete with all the mainstream mediocre crap. Record producers never gamble on originality anymore and only look for bands the sound like "X". No wonder after funding the industry loyally for years by paying too much for CDs the public got wise and started sharing music in retaliation. In many people's eyes, enough was enough. The real supporters of hard rock/metal are now in Europe & Asia where in general people respect all music - Jazz, Classical & Blues more than America. After all it took musicians like Clapton, Beck, Page & Stones to educate people like me about our black blues legends, because they couldn't get the respect they deserve in America because of racial prejudice. It’s shameful really to me.
When a band like GnR came out I thought, thank God "real rock" is finally making a comeback, but we know that wasn't for long. And other groups like Aerosmith, Motley Crue have had high & low points, so they are not necessarily very consistent. For me it’s disturbing to see monitors on stage that have song lyrics rolling by because the singers can't remember the words to their own songs!
While a lot of the newer hard rock bands can carry a tune and have some phenomenal guitarists, many should have never made it to the recording studio or a CD. The buying public has become satisfied with substandard music that is prostituted by the radio stations as the greatest, latest thing. After over 35 years of listening to rock, I know trash when I hear it.
Kudos to instrumental hard rock acts like Vai, Satriani, Petrucci and others. I thought that I'd never hear interesting and creative instrumental rock since the days of the Ventures, which made me want to play guitar in the first place. The great Metal acts now are struggling to survive (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Michael Schenker – some of my favorites) or have retired, like the Scorpions. If we can’t foster new younger creative bands that can write/sing, we are at the mercy of what the industry tries to push on us. I only hope the great acts get the promotion they deserve in this day & age and that metal gets back to greatness and longevity.



Cookie Monster vocals are LAME... 1,001 Sub-Genres of Metal all looking down their noses at each other is LAME... and for commenter "progfan" While I agree with your love for David Gilmour (also my personal guitar god), Sorry bro, but, The Sword ROCKS!!!



You pretty much stated exactly why I don't even call myself a heavy metal fan. I'm really into Zeppelin, Sabbath, Deep Purple, and I also dig Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Rush, and other early metal bands, but I don't think the "heavy" part of it was even my favorite part. What I liked most about those bands was their experimentation. And I think that's why I don't like most metal. Could you imagine if Megadeth released a song like Zeppelin's "Going to California"? Or if Pantera did a song like "Changes" from Black Sabbath? I think metal turned into a showoff contest where flashy fretboard-tappers adopted a "heavier-than-thou" attitude, and often bragged that there were two kinds of music fans: metal fans and pussies. It's condescending and pretentious, and it only makes you want to like metal even less (why can't I listen to Iron Maiden and then put on a Supertramp CD?). You can only get so dark, evil and heavy before you start to look like a parody of yourself. But I'm one of those people that likes the "sucky" blues aspect of rock music, so that's probably the main reason I don't like modern metal. My favorite guitarist is and always will be David Gilmour; not a fretboard cowboy, but the most soulful guitarist I've ever heard. But thank you for sparking this discussion, someone mentioned Blood Ceremony in the comments section, and after checking them out, I really dig them! I can't say that about The Sword, though. Everyone keeps telling me I would like them, but they're just too thrashy for my taste.



I like the "Cookie Monster" vocals reference. A lot of songs would be great as instrumentals without the growling "vocals". Mixing metal with rap was a sellout and a joke. No solos just showed a lack of ability most of the time. Stupid posing and costumes are only OK if the music is good. To me, I like the blues and classically based stuff, but please, jazz, funk, and rap just don't mix well with metal to me. I listened to djent and didn't like it. Other invented "sub-genres" generally sucked, in my opinion. Definitions of what heavy means, abound. The same with definitions of what metal means. To me, there are far too many "sub-genres", and that is "goofy".
Everyone that has posted here is right in their own way.



I love metal, since Tony Iommi in the 70s, through the 80s and then things went downhill starting with no solos and "unplugged", it's GOOFY! I look at metal bands and think are you serious? I do not like cookie-monster vocals. AT ALL. Additionally, the satanic dark/black metal whatever, seems to have taken over the genre. What's bad is good and good is bad (great only if you are a young kid wanting to piss off your parents or pastor). The double bass drum kits in some new metal bands are mixed too loud and the repetitive beats on every song get old. Who is the EVH or Slash of today? The General Public does not know any new metal players - as they have pigeon-holed the genre into a comical collection of guys dressed as rappers or with faux blood or tar? on their faces - while dressed in long coats in 80 degree weather in CA. Cliche and goofy.



Maybe metal lost it's soul when it started including turntables and sampled beats, and still called itself metal. That's when I turned off and tuned out. And the cookie monster voice is just tired also. I am just sick of hearing it.



What do you listen to? I like the melodic vocals as-well as the rough and cookies. But yes, I dont like the NUmetal and Emo/Screamo stuff :/.

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