Eventually you reach a point in life where you realize youth has expired. The things that once seemed exciting no longer are and there is a change in life direction. Anyway, I look here and hear people talk about how great this new crop of blackened death or deathened black metal bands are. I've heard samples from this generation of dark and evil metal and I just don't get it. It's mostly derivative to my ears and ergo fundamentally boring. I started listening to dark-sided metal in the early nineties and I remember hearing the previous generation of metal listeners making similar accusations about "my" metal. Back then, for example, the old farts thought the early Norwegian black metal sound was indistinguishable from old Bathory. In other words, current metal was dismissed by the old farts as extrapolation, natural consequence, obvious development, or second-rate in other words. Now I'm a pretty studious guy generally and I have a developed rationale for why I think those old farts were ignorant mainstreamers or otherwise illiterate slobs. However, I recognize that historically a self-conscious break from the past signals a decline in culture. I look at metal musicians past and present; and when I see them or hear them talk, I honestly think "what a bunch of inconsequential losers" or "what a bunch of marginally articulate dirtbags." What does this mean? My thought is incomplete here so I plant an ellipsis in its place ...
Your post seems to be a bit ambivalent. You criticize the new derivative crop of metal that relies on the previous generation of metal (death and black metal), but then criticize that criticism by pointing out that the previous generation said the same thing about death and black metal when they were emerging. You feel their criticism is illegitimate (but then why couldn't your criticism of the new crop be just as illegitimate? More must be said, as you allude to). The situation is made worse by pointing out that self-conscious breaks from the past signal declines in culture, so if we were to self-consciously try to break away from what has come before (death and black metal) because all the new bands are derivative, we would be even more lost (and I think it further implies we are already culturally lost if we are reaching like this). You then seem to express the gloomy nature of this situation by your feeling that so many musicians sound inconsequential and marginally articulate. Your overall opinion seems to be that you think the genre is at a hopeless point - it is cursed to continually produce derivative extrapolations on previous works, and if the artists were to become aware of this depressing situation and try to break free, they are bringing decline to the culture.
I think the solution is this: not all extrapolations are merely derivative, merely extrapolations. Creative insights are required in the song writing process and breathe life into previously stated ideas. This forces the genre to go in a new direction but not in a self-conscious way for the sake of going in a new direction. The genre goes in a new direction because it has to, because that is what it does if it is still alive. From the outside, it can be called merely derivative, merely an extrapolation if the person judging does not also have a feel for the culture, if the culture is not alive within them. They will quickly become pessimistic. All music really can be seen as derivative or as an extraploation in this most general way. All the music we hear nowadays is in some way an extrapolation on or derivation of something before. If artists simply sat around judging what came before them in their tradition, then they are the last men of it - there is only the past, and slowly they let the genre die. If they all judge that the genre has died, it is dead.
If there really is some great eternal cultural component to metal, it can be lived, and those who live it will continue to produce great works in its honor and to preserve the culture. They contribute the extra component that escapes extrapolation and derivation, that instead motivates and lets the music blossom forth alive. We must be careful not to become mere analysts in our judgments, for if we do, the culture has died within us and is weaker for it. Any genre will seem dead from your perspective if you only analyze it. We must NOT only be cultural scientists or tourists! A Muslim is not a Muslim because he loves Islam and finds it fascinating; he is only truly a Muslim because it lives in him and so he lives it in one way or another; the label only genuinely applies after that fact. This is just as true of metalheads.
Genres go extinct like animal species, with something (or more often, many things) causing all members to go extinct, particularly something systematically unhealthy in the environment. A culture's environment is the people who compose it. This is where it lives. All members of a given species are dead when no one feels the vitality of the genre in them anymore; this can happen easily when everyone feels disenchanted by thousands of terrible amateur bands that don't understand shit (a cultural environmental catastrophe). The culture's air has become polluted and confusing, and no longer can it flourish. It's then quite easy for the genres to slip as fossils into the confines of museums where they are merely studied. I really hope this doesn't happen with metal, because its vitality is so engaging and beautiful! If some metal species do die out, though, we shouldn't feel so bad that we fall into despair and eternal mourning. It means their time is over, and their niche is gone. So long as the world helps nurture certain lively impulses in human beings, something like metal will always be reborn and people will live it out anew. Just don't forget to live - don't spend all your time around tombs!