Is it sad half the things I grew up with that were labeled as metal went from hard rock in later years and now are just called rock? Metallica, Dio, Kiss, and Twisted Sister to name a few. Back when I was too young to know what metal was, it was about "the man," it was about girls and money...and not the way that rap is about girls and money, real stuff. It was to disregard what authority told you, it was about fighting for your right...to PAAAAAAAAR-TY! I love and still listen to the stuff from then, and I still love it, things like White Snake, and Ratt still do it for me. I love hearing Bonn Scott sing about his "Big Balls," and the "God of Thunder." Some of this was written before I was born. Aerosmith was a household name, instead of an emo turned band that sings about the color pink, and judges American Idol, in fact, this was when they revolutionized music with Run DMC making a rap/metal/rock inversion (which is where I feel sampling comes from, but that's a whole new blog.) Now the time I am talking about is both when both Sabbath was starting, AND ended...when the Blizzard hit.
When the 90's hit, metal had a new twist, I mean it still had the stick it to the man vibe, but they were harder, angrier, and sometimes raunchier. Nine Inch Nails were close to a decline (slowly, like when you turn 25) and Manson and White Zombie were getting their feet wet now. We were getting somewhere, even grunge was starting to get noticed. But the problem with grunge is it tried to be metal. Though metal was starting festivals, metal's strength was growing in numbers. The likes of Megadeth's Youthanasia, and Cryptic Writings, and Slayer's Divine Intervention albums were taking away that of things like The Mamas and the Papas and Herman's Hermits ever existed. Metallica's Justice For All album was making people say "what is grunge?" (metaphorically of course.) Of course this was before Motörhead re wrote their song for Spongebob Squarepants, they were writing more for Ozzy.
After the new millennium, band stayed solid through albums like God Hates Us All, there were albums like Manson's now cooling rack The Dope Show (which was taking him from industrial metal, and more into a light shock rock,) and the acquired taste of Metallica's St. Anger, I was for sure that metal was going away and not going to write for a while...but just as things started dulling down, tragedy struck, and Dimebag was gone. No more Pantera, Damageplan, or anything from him anymore. One of the worst losses in metal (because Kevin DuBrow was self inflicted.) That is when metal realized they can't go down without a fight. Taking down the emo first (they are the weakest) and moving on from there with bands like Hellyeah! on their side.
So how do I think the future of metal will look? Well with the swapping and breaking up of bands, side projects, and so forth, I will stay positive and say that with classics like Metallica doing a redemption (Death Magnetic) and Ratt's new album along with a lot of talent out there (All That Remains, Diecast, and Dope to name a few...) we have a lot of good stuff to look forward to. Just saying...
So until next time, keep hitting the high notes.