Metal has to be pretty popular still, just it's not as public as it once was. For example if it wasn't places like this forum wouldn't exist or there would only be a few members devoted to it. Because metal is frowned upon by most of the general population the music is only played in certain shops therefore restricting who hears it. Metal still has a huge marketing franchise we can be proud of. Doubt it will grow much unless we get a new version of Rob Zombie amd Manson though. It needs the uniqueness back imo.