So unless you’ve lived under a rock, you have without a doubt heard the story of Unlocking The Truth. Unlocking The Truth is a “metal” (and I used that term loosely) band from New York consisting of three African American 6th graders. If this doesn’t scream “gimmick” I don’t know what does right? In all honesty, when I heard of this band, like always, I put my bias aside and decided to give them an honest listen. What I heard was no surprise to me at all. It sounded like three 6th graders who just got their instruments and started banging the shit out of them.
As I watched their YouTube clips for such cleverly titled songs as “Brutal Breakdown” and “Monster”, I just found myself shaking my head and thinking to myself, “Who would think this was any good?” Well, apparently Sony thinks these kids have what it takes since they recently signed them to a $1.6 million, five album deal. REALLY? You have got to be fucking kidding me. Well, while I totally thought their music sucked I thought, “Don, maybe these kids hearts are in the right place.” There are plenty of bands I hate who have good intentions and even have great influences. I mean, as much as I hate bands like Black Veil Brides and even Avenged Sevenfold, those bands list some of my favorite bands from my childhood as influences.
Well, I went out seeking interviews of these young “metal” dudes to see what they were all about and guess what I found out? Well, I found out that they are nothing more than three, privileged, and somewhat spoiled kids who wouldn’t know a real metal band if one of them came by and put a bill in their Times Square tip bucket. In none of the interviews I read with them did they talk about their love of heavy metal music or the metal bands that they call influences. In the interviews they are talked to like 6th graders being asked questions like “How does your mom like this music” and “What’s your favorite snack food?” Really? This is what you have. These young boys are being called a new coming of heavy metal by publications such as The Guardian and Spin who, much like this band, know nothing about metal music to begin with. As a matter of fact, in a few interviews it was even stated that the kids seemed “less than enthused” to give interviews. That alone pissed me off because again, I know plenty of bands who would jump at the chance to talk about their music and what it is that they do.
Here’s the deal. Why is Unlocking the Truth getting the press, the attention, and the multi-million dollar record deal? Well, because they are a gimmick. They are a marketable commodity. They are 6th grade, African American kids from Brooklyn. Now I’m sure there will be people who will read this and be very quick to call me racist or whatever. In all honesty, I would have ZERO problems if these three young lads grew up in a household where their parents listened to metal and they were truly moved and inspired to play this kind of music but this is not the case. Everything about this story and band reads insincerity and just flat out marketing and money.
$1.6 million spent on THIS band? Now tell me how this band is anywhere near the talent of a band like Holy Grail or 3 Inches of Blood or Kyng or ANY of those bands? There’s no way in hell you can look me in the eye and tell me that those kids are anywhere near as talented? You have these truly great, talented bands out there schlepping it in vans, having to do Kickstarter pages to get their albums made, and barely making ends meet yet Sony gives $1.6 million to these kids who can barely play their instruments and making their parents pretty rich. If you can truly look me in eye and tell me that they are awarding them for their talents more so than seeing a money making freak show then you are a better man/woman than I. This does absolutely nothing to further metal or to even give metal as a whole any credibility. If anything, this just makes metal look even more so like a joke and like a type of music that even a 6th grader can play.
Unlocking The Truth and Sony music are just driving the stake even deeper into the heart of heavy metal and pretty much attempting to kill it in the public eye. Trust me. No real, honest, true metal fan will see this band and think that Unlocking The Truth has any heart or integrity. The kind of people who listen to this band and rave about them being a great band are the hipsters that rave about people banging on trashcans or the people who really have no clue about heavy metal music in the first place. Hell, I’d even give fans of bands like Avenged Sevenfold enough credit to no think this band is any good. At the end of the day, we’re going to have three kids with very wealthy parents putting out shit albums that will end up at $1.99 Amazon sales.
When shit like this happens, it’s no wonder the record industry has failed. It’s run by fat, white, balding men who think that a band like Unlocking the Truth is a “metal” band that will save the industry when in the end, it’s just another reason why the world laughs at them and refuses to buy into what they are trying to sell us. With that being said, Unlocking the Truth will be a rich, fly by night freak show that will never see much more than they’re seeing now. Maybe a year from now you can prove me wrong but I doubt it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to some REAL, broke ass metal band’s music and donate to a Kickstarter to have a REAL metal band make an album for me.