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A new generation of metalheads rises

by Jay Cochran
March 7, 2013 –

new_generation_of_metalheadsMetal is not dead, but very ill.  In an age of ironic corpsepaint and essentially overdriven indie rock, it’s understandably difficult to find any one source of this stagnation. Young Hessians such as myself must accept that a finger will naturally be pointed at our generation by those who have performed and contributed during Metal’s greater years. Like it or not, this is a valid concern.

However, we are not our generation. At not one point has Metal ever truly adhered itself to one generation’s ways and trends. There are many trying to assimilate our culture into mainstream acceptance, only to be abandoned and further ridiculed like any passing fad. There have been people like this since the beginning — let’s not lie to ourselves: they are posers.

Yes, you could simply ignore those ironically attending hipsters firmly planted in the back of your local concert venue of choice, faces buried in their iPhones, only moving to order the cheapest canned lager possible (“it adds to the novelty of this angry music!“) or casually bantering with less threatening concert-goers about some acoustic black metal project which “you’ve probably never heard of.” Furthermore, we could shrug off the kids in their Immortal costumes from Halloween, forming grossly intricate mosh pits at Black Metal shows – chalk it up to ignorance? Or you could fight back, starting with the essential actions: distance and better yourself!

This is a call to arms for the youth of Metal. The merciless, yet ultimately heroic art of this music is our culture. We walk alongside the Hessians who formed such a legacy over the past four decades. Any contribution will prove to be more than what is given by the casual and mainstream. Do you enjoy Speed Metal? Start buying those T-shirts and logo patches in bulk, because you’re starting a mail order list. Maybe your town has a history of Crossover, and some open-minded Punks may be willing to help set up D.I.Y. shows for Metal bands. There are many options, and it’s up to you to find your calling.

Many of us were born during the fading times of Death Metal. Give or take a few years, and we are now old as the entirety of Heavy Metal was when we were infants. We cannot let that cycle of decay repeat itself. This our time to pave the way, and if we can set the right conditions? Well, a select few of us are bound to start putting together some strange riffs that sound heavy, yet unfamiliar – exploring new themes of existence, always in a brutally honest light. Next thing you know, Metal has returned.

Jay Cochran is a 21-year-old Hessian insurgent who believes the salvation of metal is not past-worship nor future-worship, but quality-worship. He is in the process of moving to become a fisherman, and draws lyrical inspiration from the terrors of the sea. Jay is a strict and devout Motörhead fanatic, and would love to take a few minutes of your time to talk to you about Lemmy Kilmister.

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4 comments

  • Anon

    Decay is necessary for growth; Metal will rise now, and fall again, and rise further, and fall again, and onwards until its hegemony, before eventual demise, whence its next expression will grow.

    Reply
  • Steve08

    “Well, a select few of us are bound to start putting together some strange riffs that sound heavy, yet unfamiliar – exploring new themes of existence, always in a brutally honest light. Next thing you know, Metal has returned.”

    You can’t make such generalized and vague statements as this while simultaneously promoting “quality-worship”. To articulate that better, I’ll go ahead and say that Romantic ideals and Classical composition must be applied to Metal for the sake of its progression. No new timeless works will be created while kids are just picking up guitars, not developing any technical knowledge of music, and aesthetically “throwing paint at the wall” in “trying to come up with something new”. Metal bands seeking to “outdo” each other in terms of aesthetic extremity worked when Metal was not as developed as it is now, but there is so much Metal now that it’s impossible to “out-do” each other in that way. That explains the derivative nature of all “technical death metal” bands as they are caught up in the BPM wars that old school death metal bands already went through in 1991-1995. Thus, structure in music must have a crucial emphasis placed upon it; it is the most essential aspect of music yet understood by almost none.

    The idea of Metal as an artform which is comparable to an academic essay with a clear thesis, beginning, middle and end, as opposed to a subjectively interpreted collection of pitches in space (as many perceive music, often bleating with indignation when this nebulous definition has holes poked in it), must be propagated. If that can occur, Metal bands will have an ambition to create conceptually unified art indicative of abstract concepts and themes and also have the technical knowledge (thinking in terms of objective tones, themes, motifs, etc rather than just “riffs”) to compose on a higher standard than less dedicated bands, and only then will a glorious future for Metal be enabled, with new timeless works being created and influencing new generations. Good musicianship is the norm rather than the exception in Classical, and Metal essentially needs to become modern Classical for its own good; almost everyone thinks they can pick up a guitar and write some riffs and it’s okay to them because it makes them feel good, but this must be rejected in the same way that a poorly written essay with no logical construction will be given a failing grade.

    Reply
    1. my2cents

      Friendly ribbing follows (I’m not a keyboard kommando):

      Steve08,

      Can we let a young, motivated Hessian get a word out without shitting on him, er, knocking the wind out of his sails with our own grandiose pet theses? To better articulate that™, none of the great bands in the history of metal started out as (or ever became) anus.com scholars. Slayer, for instance, started out exactly as Mr. Cochran describes: putting together some strange riffs that sound heavy, yet unfamiliar – exploring new themes of existence, always in a brutally honest light.

      By the way, what’s the name of your awesome band (which no doubt embodies all the qualities you wax poetic about) so I can check it out? Thanks.

      Reply

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