Is That Stage Wheelchair Accessible?


Metal is getting old. Literally. Don’t believe me? Well here’s a list of most major metal/rock bands (that I could think of).

  • Slipknot: formed 1995

  • Kiss: formed 1973

  • Metallica: formed 1981

  • Korn: formed 1993

  • Iron Maiden: formed 1975

  • Linkin Park: formed 1993

  • Rammstein: formed 1994

  • Trivium: formed 1999

  • Avenged Sevenfold: formed 1999

  • Five Finger Death Punch: formed 2005

This is far from an exhaustive list, but I think the problem is clear. These bands are old and getting older (because apparently, that’s how time works). All of these bands are still going. You might say, “well that’s fine, they’re good bands.” Which this author would agree with this. Most metal/rock enthusiasts would agree with that sentiment on a few of these bands. They are still producing good music (most of them).

Perhaps that is the problem. Everybody loves them, so venues keep booking them and the bands keep playing. This has the weird effect of crowding out up-and-comers that would normally replace the older bands or at least provide a challenge for them. But this doesn’t really happen. I can only name a couple of newer metal bands (formed within the last decade) that are mainstream; Beartooth and Bad Wolves. Now rock sites will always try to shout out new up-and-coming bands, but it always seems to ring hollow as none of them ever seem to climb out of obscurity.

This brings us to an interesting philosophical question. Does any of this matter? The metal of the 70s and the 80s is incredibly different from the Nu-Metal craze of the 90s and the Metalcore craze of the 2000s. Music changes, genres change. And is it really fair for me to tell rockers who have been doing something really, really well for so long to hang up the hat? They still sell the tickets and bring the crowds. Not in the way they used to, but is that really a problem? If you like the music, then you are going to listen to it and boo-hoo to the rest of the world that doesn’t like it.

I suppose the one thing I will hold onto in this discussion is the shifting in tones that an aging rock and metal scene provide. You don’t see bands like My Chemical Romance running around anymore, a band that played about the hardships of being a misunderstood, angsty teen (Man!). Instead, as the “scene” grows older, the philosophy and ideas espoused by these bands are older or rather written by and for an older generation. They are not really the sound of rebellion anymore. This is a bonus for an individual like me who never liked the angsty, rebellious crap. However, the aging does provide the problem of vitality. Is there going to be more and more experimentation if a band has been playing the same style for the past two or more decades? Probably not. Avenged Sevenfold seems to have no problem doing it, but they were always pretty flexible on how they did their music.

Here is an article and video that can help contextualize the issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2nwioKr3o0

https://observer.com/2016/01/the-slow-death-of-heavy-metal/


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