Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Metalcore - Was It Something The “Real” Metal Fans Were Asking For?

All arguments to whether metalcore is “real” metal or not I’ll leave to everyone else to argue about. I remember a time when metalcore bands like As I Lay Dying went on tour with Six Feet Under, Behemoth and Skinless, and got good reactions from the death metal crowd. People who had been into underground metal like death metal, modern thrash and melodic death metal weren’t worried about short hair or tight pants and often gladly accepted those bands with open arms.

Today we know all about how popular metalcore is and how many bands (both clone bands and variants) of the genre there are. I remember seeing deathcore and some more technical stuff gain an inkling of popularity, and it’s almost as those the anti-trend people are looking for the next trend to beat up on, as though it’s their next trendy thing to do.

I remember a time in chat rooms and message boards when people in the metal crowd said that metal is what people should be listening too, that it’s what should be influencing people, and that bands should be more technical. Late 90's and early millennium metalcore was built upon being influenced by real metal.

As it stands right now, just about any type of real metal you can think of has gained huge amounts of popularity. Many claim that old-school death metal is stronger than ever. black metal as a whole is much more popular. There are 80's styled thrash bands coming out, getting signed, and gaining interest, and even the once maligned power metal has grown by leaps and bounds as well, not to mention many other variants.

I watched a news program on TV one time about commercial groups gauging trends. They split up teenagers into four groups in different levels of trendiness. There were of course the trendiest people, who follow the newest trends pretty close, but they don’t set the trends. It’s the people in tiny subcultures that don’t buy a lot of standard products who set the trends.

In essence, isn’t it us, the people in the underground metal crowd, who were willing to do it first when no on else was, who set these trends? We spoke, telling people what bands they should listen too, what they should be influenced by, and that there should be more technical playing, and the public listened. Yet the underground metal crowd is now mad that what we love has become more popular.

I could use the old cliche “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”, but our wish was granted, and we got what we asked for.



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