Earlier this year, independent music distribution platform Bandcamp claimed that many stoner rock bands are in fact doom metal. This is a common logical fallacy based around associating the pace and instrumental tone of the music with actual musical content. The stoner “doom” trend of bands that started in the late 90s and early 2000s and has continued non-stop right up until the present almost twenty years later was one of the earliest hipster attempts to assimilate heavy metal before the waves of speed, death, and now black metal aesthetics rehashed into pop rock for the safe space generation.
Right now, above the metal underground there is what was coined, I believe originally by Pogrom from Arghoslent, the “Funderground”. The funderground consists of independent labels, sometimes mainstream distributed, releasing thousands of albums each year full of rehashed material or rebranded three-chord hardcore with different superficial aesthetics to fuel a bar show audience’s drunken moshing or make hipsters feel smart for liking an indie rock release with a dirty production. One can see this divide in most of the popular “underground” web forums such as those of Nuclear War Now! and Full Moon Productions. The most popular “underground” “metal” releases of each year are all older metal rehashed into pop-rock structures or rebranded hardcore. This divide is similar to what is felt in mainstream Western culture with the leftist “elites”‘ constant Marxist virtue signaling and branding freethinkers with various epithets for refusing to chant the praises of socialism mandated by the vanguard party.
Ignyaz Degtyarov of “flowing black metal” and folk “metal” website and zine Black Ivory Tower slammed and parodied Death Metal Underground for Lance Viggiano’s negative Sadistic Metal Review of Condor’s recently released inferior third album, Sangreal. Apparently reviews of metal records evaluating the actual music behind the recording when compared to the works of past greats is autistic to Degtyarov, who only judges metal by how well it conforms to his Slavic nationalist Weltanschauung. Lance Viggiano speculating that a Black Ivory Tower contributor writing an ultimately boring upon repeated listening album due to chugging wine coolers and wearing The Rocky Horror Picture Show makeup like Sentence of Death era Destruction wounded what appears to be quite a fragile ego.
Despite being a huge animation nerd, I was never able to develop much interest in Metalocalypse, but my support certainly wasn’t required for the companies involved to release four seasons, four Dethklok studio albums, and seriously concern Brett. A couple years of production may have fatigued its audience, though, as the show has essentially been canceled by Adult Swim. Show creator Brendon Small seeks to reverse this – enter the “Metalocalypse Now!” campaign, which at first glance is presumably intended to mobilize fans into a veritable army of demanding Adult Swim and/or Hulu provide the funding for a series finale. In isolation, this is at least a sign of the times – growing social media efforts and the theoretical possibility of crowdfunding continues to open up opportunities for content creators to promote and distribute their work.
On closer inspection, though, I began to question how relevant the efforts of fans would be in this campaign’s success or failure. The campaign has already attracted an enormous amount of corporate sponsorship, ranging from understandable fans like metal journalism/interest sites such as MetalSucks and MetalInjection, to record labels and surprisingly the computer peripheral company Razer. This leads me to believe that the result of this campaign is already predecided by the corporate sponsors. At best, anyone who participates in the social media end of this is a number they can pull up at the inevitable business presentation with Adult Swim’s executives. With some of the names involved, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a huge promotional blitz and a successful conclusion to this campaign, but our readership would likely be disappointed either way.