Metal is misrepresented in the music industry

Vecktor photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Nickolas Hughes

Opinion Editor

When it comes to music there are a lot of options to listen to. They can range from Hip Hop to Country music. One of the more controversial genres of music is metal. Which, over the past 50 years, has become one of the most dominant genres in America. This is mainly in terms of the fan-base I think. There is a fierce loyalty in the metal community.

Metal does not get the recognition it deserves, however. This year at the Grammy’s there was one award for best metal performance. The winner was Megadeth with their album, “Dystopia.”

While I love the fact that Megadeth finally got a Grammy, I think only one award for such a diverse and talented group of musicians at the Grammys is a oversight that is way too obvious.

I find a problem with this is that there is so much more than just generic metal to be awarded. There are so many sub-genres of metal and none of them ever get the spotlight. These sub-genres include, but are definitely not limited to: Heavy Metal, metalcore, death metal, doom metal, thrash metal, glam metal, grunge metal, pagan/Viking/ non-Christian metal, folk metal, speed metal, grindcore, deathcore, math metal, djent, progressive metal, technical death metal, brutal death metal, and last, but certainly not least industrial metal. There are many more than that as well, but I digress. I understand that things like djent or grindcore will not get a Grammy award because of their relative obscurity. I think that big name bands that have broke through should at least get a nod. Vektor is a good example. Vektor came out with an album called “Terminal Redux” in 2016 that was amazing and, in my opinion, much better than Megadeth’s “Dystopia.” Besides metal heads, I do not know a single person that has even heard of Vektor. They definitely never heard the landmark speed/thrash metal album they came out with.

I understand why there is an aversion to even mentioning metal, but it seems to by hypocritical to me. Artists like Kanye West and Drake get a lot of media attention for their music. Yet, bands like Kreator, a thrash metal giant, and Napalm Death, grindcore pioneers, have no media attention. What I find odd about the whole comparison is that Hip Hop and rap and even Pop Country to an extent have songs with very questionable content. There is content about murder, drug use, abuse, death, and other various things. While there is content in metal like that as well, sometimes taken to extremes, it seems odd that it is celebrated in the other genres.

At least with bands like Deeds of Flesh, you know there is going to be questionable content. The name already is questionable. That is how it is with a lot of metal bands. They call it shock value and metal gets away with it too much I think, but so does rap and hip hop. It just seems wrong to be celebrating music that does this, metal included.

Also, I understand that metal bands might incite thoughts of Satan or other occult things, but they really do not. Believe it or not the lead singer of Slayer is a devout Christian. He sings a song called “Disciple,” that has a questionable chorus to say the least.

Inappropriate band names aside, there are some really funny metal bands too. One such example is Allagaeon who have a video that exhibits a fake metal genre called crabcore. It is funny though that metal is able to make fun of itself and really not care.

I find it odd that rappers like Eminem are able to gain such commercial success, but metal bands cannot. The most popular metal bands are probably Metallica and Black Sabbath, but there is so much more to the genre than thrash metal and old school heavy metal. They define what a non-metal fan thinks metal is. If they do not like Metallica that is fine, but at least give other bands a chance before condemning a whole genre. You would be surprised how many people like metal but do not know it. Songs that are played in football stadiums, for example, almost always include the song “Crazy train.” Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness himself, performs that song.

Now please, go listen to your music, enjoy your music, but do not condemn what other people love just because you do not like it.

  • Vic Rattlehead

    Dystopia no doubt the best metal album of 2016. They dont get the award for the album but for the title track. Yourself dont even get the fact right.

    • Nick Hughes

      Apologies, I wrote the article and will change that part. Thanks for the catch!