I was having a conversation with my best friend on the phone today. We were talking about the current state of heavy metal today. This is a really touchy subject as you can imagine with me. As someone who has been running this one man operation of a metal blog for the past five years, I can honestly tell you that I have heard some metal bands out there that very well could single handedly save metal forever. These are bands that are not just good but outstanding. They are bands that I feel like could wait in the wings for the forefathers before them to take their final bow and carry the torch for them and proudly do so for generations to come.
If you’ve read my blog, you’ve heard me talk about these bands. Holy Grail, 3 Inches of Blood, Graveyard, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Draekon, Scorpion Child, Vindicator, Kyng, etc. These are just a few bands off of the top of my head that represent many different faces and aspects of metal music. The only problem is this: these bands are almost completely ignored by the general public, the media, and most importantly and sadly, the ones that should be paying attention to these bands the most: the forefathers themselves.
So as I write this piece jacked on coffee and utter frustration, I am looking at the cover of the latest issue of Revolver Magazine. The cover reads “The Future of Metal” and shows Black Veil Brides, Motionless in White, Of Mice and Men, and Periphery. Yeah, I know right? Who the fuck are these fucking s? If you’re like me this was met with a big ol’ “what the fucking fuck?” True metal music is in absolute danger of being flushed into a black hole of forgotten obscurity by these shitty mallrat Hot Topic employee bands like this. These bands calling themselves “metal” are the equivalent to calling generic store brand cola “Coke.” It might look like it, and might kind of taste like it, but coca cola it definitely is not.
Exodus at one point took out Holy Grail as their support act. Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel took out Bonded by Blood and even Megadeth took out Kyng as their direct support on their last tour. King Diamond recently did it very much right when he chose Finnish up and coming occult metal band Jess and the Ancient Ones as his support act on his US tour. This was such a bold move but it proved that King himself is still has his eyes and ears tuned in to what is currently going on in metal beneath the surface. He actively sought out a band that is fresh and new and gave them the opportunity to show audiences that they were one of the many new faces of metal. While these bands did it right, why are the legends themselves such as Priest, Maiden, and Sabbath totally dropping the ball for heavy metal?
When Judas Priest hit the road this year and announced they were taking Steel Panther out as their opening act, I just couldn’t believe it. Why? As a legendary, iconic metal band, why would you not take out one of these true, real, honest defenders of the faith (pun intended)? Show the massive span of generations that there is hope and that REAL heavy metal is alive and well. Why not support those bands that are working so hard to preserve the style of metal that you set the foundation for? Let them be the ones to show the people that it’s not going away. This was a total lost opportunity at a changing of the guards so to speak. Instead, those audiences got “treated” to a raunchy comedy routine.
It’s sad and unfortunate but the great forefathers of metal have let us down. They have totally missed the opportunities to pass the torch. They want to say that metal isn’t what it used to be or that there are no bands to carry the torch. Well, that’s because those bands are older guys with older ways of thinking. They have closed their minds, eyes, and ears and really seem to not have much desire to do the digging any more to see what is out there. As great as they may be, they are so out of touch with the music that they created to even know that there are bands out there willing and able to carry the torch for the years to come.
If I could have just 10 or 20 minutes in a room with these bands I would hook up my iPod and play them bands that would blow their fucking minds. There’s no doubt in my mind if Rob Halford heard “Trial of Champions” by 3 Inches of Blood that he would fucking lose his mind. If Bruce Dickinson heard “Black to Gold” by Christian Mistress and “Fight to Kill” by Holy Grail he’d be climbing the fucking walls. If Wolf Hoffman from Accept heard “Bastards of Noise and Aggression” by Vindicator he would probably feel the urge to fuck shit up. If Black Sabbath heard “Salvation Slave” by Scorpion Child, “Wizards” by Crobot, and “Electric Halo” by Kyng they could probably feel very comfortable knowing that metal would be just fine.