Five years. Five years into the genre and there is still an endless sea of music to explore. 7 years back, I started listening to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Deep Purple and such classic acts. But 5 years from today I decided metal is my thing, my identity. It was right then when Music, and most importantly Metal, played an extremely supportive role in my life. It gave me hope, strength, and a dark alter-ego to myself, which was very much needed. Metal music has recreated me into a much more mature, strong and all in all, a better person. And I, never cared about what others listened to, or others’ opinions on what I listen to.
But, Metal is slowly becoming the meaning behind the picture above.
In these few years, I have found that a lot of people claim to be a ‘Metalhead’ considering it to be cool or to ‘fit in the scene’. On the other side of the fence there are the ‘old school metalheads’ feeling insecure that Metal is being ‘killed’ by new ventures like the newly brought to fame, “Djent” music and core music. Tag lines like ‘Core music is for emo fags’ became more like a fashion, with no necessity. Amidst this fight between ‘Real Metal’ and ‘Fake Metal’, there are fans like me who are sandwiched in between, just to witness this horrendous treatment of my genre where respect is given least value and other selfish desires, more. Needless to say, every coin has two sides to it and I have to exclaim, with a wrenched heart that there are a lot of new schoolers who actually fail to respect the bands without which there would be no new bands that they follow! Respect should flow from both sides, equally, to form a state of equilibrium.
I thought Metal was a genre of the outsiders? I thought it is the genre which is ‘different’ from the others and that’s why not ‘universally well accepted’? Well guess what, it looks like we’re coming back to square one. There is this part of the community that doesn’t accept and respect the newer sub-genres in Metal, making the latter, now the outsiders.
The very reason that we implement, while fighting for Metal, is spreading like an epidemic, creating a whole world of oxymorons, hypocrites and contradictions where scenes like the Core scene is now the genre of the outsiders, the genre which is not accepted, and the genre which is, where ‘Real Metal’ once was. I don’t believe in dissing a band and spreading hatred related to them just because I don’t like it. Many people wish to be born in the 80s because they think that the music back then was ‘real’ people with ‘real’ talent. I’m not saying that, in fact I like both the eras equally. The only reason I would like to be born in the 80s (excluding the glam vs thrash genre brawl) is because of the fans. From what I hear, fans then were much more supportive, united, and most of all, restricted their judgement within themselves. NOT shoving opinions down one another’s throats.
As different metal bands try different things, the fanbase tends to have a narrow-minded opinion on the experimentation. Mind you, they’re playing metal because they love it, and not for us. Then what different are we from the society if things are done for success and not passion? Experimentation is a risk taken by the musicians and not a trump card to sell out. Eg: Metallica, The Faceless, etc. So stop cribbing, move on and listen to something that suits your taste. You’d rather go support your local band who are working their asses off, rather than sitting in front of the computer and crib along like a kid deprived of candies.
I’ve always noticed a problem of insecurity and bigotry in us metalheads. Going out of your way to put down someone’s opinions and trying to show that we are more superior is a terrible thought in itself. Another sad problem we face is when a band gains mainstream success, it is flooded with hatred. Well, the band has now been accepted by a larger crowd, so what?! We tend to contradict ourselves by saying that metal is only a culture of the outsiders and is hated by everyone else, but when it does get accepted by a larger fanbase in the world, we still have a problem? Tch, tch.
Metal that was meant to ‘unite’ people and what is often called the ‘Metal Brotherhood’, just like how bands like Arch Enemy and Manowar boast of, and just like how different people with different opinions and thoughts come as one and mosh in one pit, now seems more like a raging battlefield. From attacking bands at a concert to spreading hatred on the social networking site, the Metal world that I knew, or rather thought of to be a ‘Listen to what you like and shut up’ community which gained so much respect in my life, is slowly coming to a dead end. I feel aghast, appalled, disgusted, and most of all, heart broken to see the fans of this genre, not paying enough respect or value to how it has changed not only me, but a million other people into a better, and stronger person.
Lastly I’d say, just like how the ‘Real Metal’ world wanted to be accepted by the rest of the world, similarly, the bands playing the newer genres wish for approval too. Don’t we know how it feels to not be accepted? Is it that tough to even respect a god damn band, others’ opinions and tastes? Is it that tough to share what we were fighting for, a few decades back? Is it so tough for you all to listen to what you like and shut up, ignoring the rest? And most of all, just to be yourself and not try to fit into any kind of scene to be “cool”? I don’t think so.
Now a large part of the community hates Slipknot but seriously, this deserves a mention.
“Now I’m not pretty and I’m not cool
But I’m fat and I’m ugly and proud – so fuck you”, taken from “I Am Hated” by Slipknot.
For those who care, I thank you for taking your time to read this and I do hope you can change the mindset of a lotta people out there. And for those who don’t care, you should ask yourself if you can live in a house that is infested with wild, toxic weeds and just stay cool about it. I can’t, and I did, and am doing my best to exterminate this parasite.
The only day I will be satisfied with what’s happening with my genre is when Metal is back to what it was supposed to be like. United.
I dont expect it to be a brotherhood because people are different and negativity is a part and parcel of life but we’d rather keep it to ourselves than start a shitstorm or add fuel to the fire yeah?
‘A group of people who listen to heavy, strong music, supporting a group of people playing heavy, strong music, Not necessarily united by opinions or tastes, but by the community we all exist in.’ That’s what I think.
I promote a lot of under-exposed metal in my own ways so if anybody is interested just have a look at my ‘About’ section.
EDIT : This is my reply to a few very common reactions I’ve got from this article.
1. “This used to happen way back. It is nothing new.” – Well this article isn’t a war between the old and new era, this article was written because a particular problem disturbed me and is disturbing the image of metal to newcomers.
2. “Stop whining, listen to what you like and show your metal horns!” – Yes, that’s exactly what I’m requesting others to do. I’m not whining here, like I said in the above answer, the aforementioned problem is disrupting the image of metal.
3. “Stop trying to fuse core with metal music. You listen to Slipknot and A7x, you have no say.” – This article is exactly for people like you. I know what is metal and what isn’t. Asking Alexandria isn’t metal whereas a deathcore band like TBDM or All Shall Perish is surely a metal band. Either way, that is not at all the point I was trying to convey. And yes, I listen to Slipknot and A7x. I might not be listening to them much nowadays, as I’m totally into listening to under exposed bands, (currently Spiral Architect, Myrath, Mithras, Time Requiem and such) BUT, I respect them for lending a helping hand in cementing metal as a spot in my life as my favourite genre.
4. “Stop hating on elitism, stop adding fuel to the fire, and stop trying to make metal a hippy brotherhood” – Hahaha, this one is the best of all. I’m all for elitism and if you’re an elitist, I’m obviously nobody to judge you. I’m not judging anyone here and am fighting against it really. Publicly hating on bands, and elitism has its hundred differences, and so does disliking a band. I dislike Blood on the Dance Floor and Black Veil Brides but I wont go about ranting on how they sound terrible publicly, unnecessarily. And no, I’m not asking the metal community to turn into a brotherhood, but you’d rather agree to disagree than initiate a raging battlefield, yeah?
P.S – I’m very open to sensible criticism and trolls are hilarious.
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