Teenagers: The Future of Heavy Metal?

Do you all remember a band that came out a couple years ago with these teenage kids who played 80s type thrash metal named Black Tide? They made quite a buzz in 2008 with that single "Shockwave"? Well...look at and hear em now...


My my. How things have changed.
If you think the image is bad try listening to one of their latest singles posted in the link above. Clearly they've been hanging out in LA for too long.

It's really interesting to spot the different trends throughout the years in metal music and how they affect the industry as a whole. I think for any band that wants to become successful, while (Mind you, I said successful not famous or even mainstream) it will be difficult holding on to your integrity as an artist and keeping the original intent of the band pure.

There have been plenty of disbanded bands and "Hiatuses" popping up recently in the metal world that include Cathedral (Seriously, not that much of a loss IMO), The Human Abstract, Oceano, Ludicra, Dismember, and Carnal Forge (loved em').

As famous metal/hard rock icons die, like Dio, Nevermore's Loomis and Williams quit, Arch Enemy releasing the fucking godawful Khaos Legions (I freaking hate when people misspell something to make it sound cooler, like "kvlt.")and even Killswitch Engage's Howard Jones walks, I'm sure fans are wondering what the sordid and unknown future is headed for metal.

I just heard this Dubstep/Djent/Prog Metal Fusion band or I'm sorry, "project" that made me scratch my head.
I don't have a problem with Djent or experimenting but I'm pretty much DONE with dub step. I never really took to it so I hope that it doesn't bleed too much into metal. *shudders at the thought of a dub step black metal/jazz fusion album*

I'm all for experimentation but I think it certainly comes to a point when your losing a sense of your original and organic sound to the need to be unique and different.
I like my metal traditional, straight to the point, hard, fast, guttural and mean.

To get back on topic, I think teenage metal heads have the right idea. Take the example of Black Tide I have above. They are seemingly influenced by bands like Death, Metallica, and I even hear Testament in there. They clearly had a set style that they started out with.
As you all know, metalcore/deathcore is this looming black cloud that seemingly is engulfing the mainstream music of the genre (anyone still remember nu metal?) and and has clearly seeped into the once virginal ears of Black Tide. That new single that I linked you to sounds like some Attack Attack BS with better guitar work.

Metalcore/Deathcore/all the other cores is where I'm seeing a lot of young people get into metal from and THAT scares me. If a band like the Black Veil Brides is the first band that got you into any kind of metal then you may be doomed for all of eternity.

And here here! That's not to say that there aren't great bands in which young people play in....but for the life of me I can't think of any at the moment that formed RECENTLY who impress me enough to consider mentioning in the blog. I could go on about new releases from excellent bands (Vildhjarta, Across The Sun-thanks Israel-, Arkona, etc) but none formed by younger metal heads.

I honestly think there is a good interesting future for metal, you just have to wade through all the shit to get to it.

What say you?

Side note/P.S: I was walking through Target the other day and saw a black kid around 11 or 12 wearing a Venom T-shirt. I wanted to take a subtle picture but I couldn't because his mum was hanging around. But it made me really happy to see someone so young and black (yeah, I said it) listening to it. True metal knows no age, color or boundaries. I would have been just as happy to see some white kid that age wear the shirt as well. Maybe there is hope.


Kaya said…
Good post, it got me thinking about the subject as well. I think that it's hard to use Black Tide as an example for bands because even in their first album, it just felt like they were trying to emulate their idols and not create anything truly new and vibrant. And their current effort just shows them trying to create something within a certain scene (which is even worse imo).
I think the problem with teenagers creating metal today is that they are not hungry enough and not innovative enough. I love TRYING to find young bands in the internet, but sometimes they are just trying so hard to sound a certain way that I don't feel any passion behind their music. But I feel for them because SO much innovation has already been done in the past that it's hard - if not impossible - to come out with something totally new. Another problem is that the competition for listener's attention is SO immense, I feel that there are a lot of great young bands out there that I'll never get to hear just because there's just so many bands flooding the market.
But in defense of the teenagers playing in the metal scene, I think that the instrument players of today are SO much better at their instruments than in the past, they can learn so many songs and play them so well that it even parallels the creators of the music in the first place. I dunno. It's hard to see the future of metal right now, to tell the truth.
@Kaya: Welcome! and thank you for your insightful post.

I know! Black Tide was the only clear example I could think of when trying to conceptualize this topic. It is very hard to try to do something different in an over saturated market where everyone has a band and all the fans have seen everything that the music basically has to offer at the moment. I felt Black Tide was heavily emulating a lot of the older bands but I could TELL they were passionate about the music and were not washed out with any other outside influences yet.

Definetly, the hunger is gone. I don't think you have to work as hard as you used to back before the internet and for that reason, bands are getting lazy. Also they are seeing thousands of other bands doing the same thing, seeing that they are getting famous and billed for tours for a certain kind of genre and thinking, 'Maybe we should try it like that".

And I do agree the musicianship has revved up. The problem is finding a way to constructively use that talent without diluting their sound with other influences.

Nice comment ^^
I think the good musicianship has hampered most of the younger bands. They get good at their instruments, but forget the blood and fire of the music itself. I'd rather listen to Venom.

Sylosis is an example that pops into my head. They play some pretty decent stuff with decent influences, and as far as young bands I can't think of much better. But I still don't like them. They can't put a whole song together right, and the idea of a cohesive album must be completely foreign to them.

I can't think of a band with members under 30 that I actually like. Which is weird, because metal used to be all about the young kids.
@Kelly: Off topic, but, Big Trouble in Little China is probably one of my top 3 fav movies ever.
Hegg Mandaba said…
"If a band like the Black Veil Brides is the first band that got you into any kind of metal then you may be doomed for all of eternity."

I agree, I cringed at the thought of Black Veil Brides x_x Though there will always be exceptions. In my case Whitechapel.
I liked the post a lot, made me happy that I'm not alone with those kinda thoughts. Though I don't wanna think of this kinda thing all the time. As long as I listen to my good ol' traditional metals without anyone in my way, kids can listen whatever the fuck they wanna as long as they don't start goin on with 'emselves about how metal they are while talkin bout Attack Attack.

That kid in the Venom t-shirt. Wonderful, I prolly would've tried to grab a picture too but then I'm too scared to be pinned as a paedophile haha Though I would've asked the mum for a picture of both of us (you lol). It reminds me of this little kid I saw while at my fav pub when bands were playing, she must've been like 3 or 4 years old and she was wearing a Motorhead shirt and headbanging (as best as a small can do) to the bands. I stopped paying attention to the band and just watched her kick arse. There were quite a few kids there and it made me happy :] Little crèche goin on at the back haha Metal kids rock!

P.S I was devastated when Cathedral did their last gig coz I wasn't there. I've seen them before but still. Welp I'm just sayin lol I'm not arsed whether you like em or nut. You're still made of win :P

I think my comment is long enough now I shall stop rambling and go to bed haha
Dare Devil said…
People used to think of bands like D.R.I., the Cro Mags or the Suicidal Tendencies as Hardcore/Metalcore, but this has obviously changed. It is not as if *I* would care though. I will always think of these bands as Hardcore/Metalcore. I have no idea how or why modern bands drifted so far away from this style.

Anyway, here is something from D.R.I.:

And here is something from a modern REAL Hardcore Band:


Enjoy! ;)
Hansi said…
Hi I landed on your blog by accident. (Well Google brought me here) I know this will sund off-topic but I just wanted to tell you that I find your ideas really interesting- a unique breath of fresh air. I am so happy that a YOUNG BLACK WOMAN is coming out not only to tell the world that she listens to metal, but also that you write abut it analytically (for the lack of a better word), proving yet again that this is a music genre that you live, learn and embrace, not another fad! And that it is not a pit for angst-filled white boys :P I don't need to tell you that you are breaking so many stereotypes at the same time!! I am a Sri Lankan woman (for those of you who do not know, it's a small island in the Indian Ocean) and I'm only a year older than you are. Whenever I say I listen to metal I raise a few eyebrows :P Keep up the good work! Proud of you!!
Mary Spiro said…
Looks like someone told them to change their wonderful thrash metal to be more "popular"
Anonymous said…
Luke sez:

Okay Khaos Legions may have the stupidly misspelled name, but you are being seriously harsh on it, I thought it was great, easily better than Anthems and Doomsday machine.

As for teenagers, I can relate to what you're saying a bit, I was listening to Sikth the other day, and I thought, "no one will remember this band in the future" and it made me kind of depressed, until I heard that they're getting back together, that cheered me right up.

I don't feel threatened by the likes of Black Veil Brides, that's a band for children, it's like getting upset about Finland's "Hevisaurus" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXhhlYdySqQ
DareDevil said…
I’ve just given the Black Veils’ song ‘Knives and Pens’ a listen. There were a few elements in the song that I did not like, but all in all it was not as bad as I had expected. The visual aspects are debatable of course, but I am not going to downtalk them, because they bear a certain similarity towards what Hair Metal bands like W.A.S.P. did. You know, make-up, feminine styling and such. Just the high heeled boots were missing… ;)
To make it short, in a way they are more ‘Old School’ than one should think. The only thing that is different is the Emo attitude behind the songs. Bands like W.A.S.P. had more of a biker/rocker attitude and/or back ground, but times change. Other than that this band’s music feels like ‘Hair Metal 2.0”, but that is not necessarily a bad things. It is okay for kids to like this music and it is great when this kind of music opens kids for all the other forms of Heavy Metal as well.

Here is an old W.A.S.P. to illustrate what I mean. They have less tattoos and their attitude is a lot meaner, but there are also lots of similarities. The ribbons, the hair, the make-up… You will see what I mean.

DareDevil said…
Attac Attack! sucks though. I have no idea how to call their style, but it is not Metal!
OK, I have been corrected on one thing. Horrendous is awesome, and they are younger than me (just out of college it seems). I wrote a review of their debut.

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