I have heard and read it everywhere – heavy metal is in crisis. My question is where? And how? Because I cannot see it. I have been around long enough to remember what was to be called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal – the period that seems to be the one that many refers to as the golden age. But it wasn’t. It was just a revival after the disco and punk. But there were not as many bands as today, quite few of them were listenable and most of them didn’t even leave UK. Then came the 80’s and a music style that could be mistaken for heavy metal entered many billboards. But to quote one of today’s rising stars BMTH “it ain’t heavy metal.”
Many things grow bigger and better with time. That is the nature of nostalgia. I have nothing for it. Deep Purple were amazing 1972, Soundgarden some twenty years later. So many bands have done so much great stuff over the years. But great thigs are still done. Today Metallica sets crowd records, Rammstein blows up everything and there are over a zillion metal festivals with upcoming bands all over Europe this summer. There is no crisis.
Sure thing, the music doesn’t sound like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or Slayer anymore (besides the retro bands). The reunions are becoming a parody and you seem to need more oxygen masks than cops on Sweden Rock Festivals. But guess what, heavy metal is not a formula – it is a way of thinking and living. And it’s alive and kicking.
Heavy metal is about excess. To play too loud, drive too fast, wear too high heels, drink too much and so on. It is the theory of “these goes to eleven” put in music. And as with any cultural activity or art form it grows from the current context. So instead of having one foot in the blues swamp or folk music, the new bands are inspired by EDM or hip-hop. It is only natural.
I would like to see the development of NERVED the same way. To mix from whatever surrounds us is more natural than looking in a rear-view mirror, wouldn’t you say? The only constant is change, like it or not. The choice you have is develop or die. Your call.