Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The stars align

As evidence of the Jungian metaconsciousness, professor Shelby Cobras has some thoughts on the sorry state of heavy metal. Long have I ruminated on this subject. Long have I searched for answers. Coincidentally I came upon answers yesterday.

These days I practice detachment. For great bands will lead to great disappointment, and group association will lead to guilt by association. Therefore I try to reject any labels. To call me a metalhead is an insult; for I refuse to join any club that will have me as a member.

Yet as I introduced my young padewan to some musical gems of the past I realized that my heavy metal collection stops with the year 2000. Oh I have 21st century heavy metal albums. But what I don't have is 21st century bands. I think that Mithras and Lamented Souls are the only bands in my collection that were formed in the 21st century.

As we sit a decade into the new millenium, I ask "did I leave metal or did metal leave me?"

You can see what happened for yourself. Metal left me.

For now it seems that metal has left me. And I wait patiently for it to return. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is never full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

Heavy metal morphology: a brief digression. Often changes in metal arise from cross pollination with other styles of music. I see a blending with punk elements most frequently. Often which side of the punk/metal aesthetic a band lies is nebulous. Here I will cite Motörhead as one band that has long sat astride the punk line.


To be sure there are many many examples of this cross pollination. But there was always a certain point when the punk side was too strong for my liking, and that's where I draw the line.

This is the line, folks. Any more punk and I think I'll take a nap. Boooring!

The recent hardcore/metal cross pollination seems to have created nothing but boring metalcore, and this has basically taken over all the new heavy metal that I can find. Or look at it this way, the bulk of posts on metal inquisition seem to be about shitty hardcore or bands from 1983.

Oh sorry, I was napping. Were you making music? I'm sorry, it is so boring that I must have dozed off.

I even went so far as to go through the "reviews" section of metal-rules to see if maybe I had missed something. This served to only remind me how much I hate "reviews". They're all the same aren't they? They try to tell you if something is "good" or "bad", which is only useful if you have the exact same tastes as the reviewer. Aren't these sort of reviews totally worthless in the age of youtube? Just tell me what the band sounds like, and if I am interested I will give them a listen on youtube. I mean what can't you find on youtube these days?

Hey lookie its Phil Lynot playing live with Motorhead. Just another day of anything you want at the click of a mouse.

Oh look it is Hellhammer. The album that ten years ago you couldn't even buy, now you can hear it free instantly. Lookie that.

So yeah, cd reviews are stupid. Just tell me what the band is like and embed a youtube video for the lazy people.

While I am an old curmudgeon that is scared by change and owns a jitterbug, I can be patient. I don't want to write something "positive", but I'm sure that there are good new bands making music, it is just that finding them is more time intensive than it was ten years ago. But the new crop is there, for it must be.

One generation passeth away

And another generation cometh, but the earth abideth forever.

I find solace in the fact that I don't like whatever turds the young kids are into. When I was a teenager I was listening to bands that started when I was in diapers, or some before I was born. So when the young kids are into emo bands like Jobs for a Cowboy, I take great comfort in being called a dinosaur for not liking them. I've been called a dinosaur since I was 19. Whatever "new" crap you are into is the new glam. Or the new disco. Or the Milli Vanilli.

No mosh, no core, no trend, no fun. It took me a while to understand this mantra, but doesn't that sum it all up?

one generation passeth away

and another generation cometh, but the Misfits abideth forever

I suspect that, like any other phase of heavy metal, the new good bands are somewhere in Europe. Since I don't speak "European" I can't seem to find them. America has always been the land of shitty heavy metal. Sure, sure Metallica back in the 80s and all that. But it started in England with Black Sabbath, and came back again in England with NWOBHM. Great waves of bands came from Scandanavia. America, by contrast, was the land of Poison and Bullet Boys. Sure, Morbid Angel came from America, but good American bands are the statistical outlier. All the good bands are European. American music has always sucked. European music has always been superior.

Here is a band from Europe that is new and "good". Professor Cobras sums up doom well. Ahab surprised me; for one would assume a doom band about Moby Dick would be more boring than the book Moby Dick. You can eschew my worthless opinions of good and bad and click the embed yourself.

And here allow me to once again plug Lamented Souls.

Maybe I'm wrong though. Maybe the ship has sailed to new musical shores, never to return. So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past.

1 comment:

  1. Ahab wears peacoats, as well. I knew you guys would hit it off.