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8 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

Scooby Doom is still metal adjacent though. Having been to a few Ghost gigs, the T-Shirts in the line to get in are still all manner of trad, death, black metal etc.

Ghost is a gateway drug, so if you want to see more extreme forms of metal continue, its fine for projects like that to be successful. That ten year old kid might get curious and start mining the good stuff. We all have to start somewhere. For me it was Twisted Sister.

So now what's our definition of metal adjacent? What makes some bands 'metal adjacent' and others not? Are you suggesting it's the bands on the t-shirts of the crowd at their shows? Or in other words bands that aren't metal themselves but seem to have some appeal among metalheads? I haven't heard enough Ghost to where I can clearly remember exactly what they sounded like. All I can remember is that when I checked them out a couple of times some years back I warned myself never to do that again.

Regardless, I have always failed to see how the success of crappy mainstream 'metal adjacent' rock bands or bubblegum metalcore bands helps the metal genre to continue or feeds us new recruits. How is Ghost or Asking Alexandria, or any mainstream heavy rock band you could name some kind of magic portal into metaldom? If you're supposed to be a metalhead then there's something inside of you that craves that heaviness. If it's for you then I firmly believe you're gonna find your way to it one way or another. Metal is a calling, a primal urge that can't be ignored. People don't become rabid metalheads by accident.

I think we'd be better off for recruitment purposes Jon if we skipped the Ghosts of the music world entirely and had them all put to death. (figuratively speaking of course) I know we all have to start somewhere but just let people find their way to some of the more accessible metal bands that might actually be good. Or let them get a reco from a school chum or their older brother or that weird kid up the block or let them hear a metal song in a video game or a tv ad or a movie. Then just let nature take its course. I just don't think real metal is so hard to find in 2022 that we need any help from Ghosts.

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9 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

Opeth and Mastodon have streamlined their sounds, but they very definitely started as metal bands. The issue here is new rock music that has little or no connection to metal.

I'm not denying their start as metal bands, but I was under the impression you were wondering about the current state of rock music. When a band gets to a point where I start hearing their music played on the local hard rock station (as I have with both of these bands) to my way of thinking that means they've mostly moved out of the niche metal genre and into the wider world of rock. This is the trend I've seen happen with more than a couple of bands, though more often it seems to come from the metalcore side of things (a la Bring me the Horizon), and I think at least part of the current crop of rock bands is a result of some more commercially viable metal bands moving into a simplified, easier to digest sound that has wider appeal...

...but apparently I was mistaken. I'll go back to posting new metal releases now and leave you to it

45 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

How is Ghost or Asking Alexandria, or any mainstream heavy rock band you could name some kind of magic portal into metaldom?

..because I think it's pretty rare for people to readily dive into the deep end of extreme music their first go around. It's usually a more gradual process of seeking out heavier, more extreme styles

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1 hour ago, SurgicalBrute said:

I'm not denying their start as metal bands, but I was under the impression you were wondering about the current state of rock music. When a band gets to a point where I start hearing their music played on the local hard rock station (as I have with both of these bands) to my way of thinking that means they've mostly moved out of the niche metal genre and into the wider world of rock. This is the trend I've seen happen with more than a couple of bands, though more often it seems to come from the metalcore side of things (a la Bring me the Horizon), and I think at least part of the current crop of rock bands is a result of some more commercially viable metal bands moving into a simplified, easier to digest sound that has wider appeal...

...but apparently I was mistaken. I'll go back to posting new metal releases now and leave you to it

..because I think it's pretty rare for people to readily dive into the deep end of extreme music their first go around. It's usually a more gradual process of seeking out heavier, more extreme styles

 

Yes I do understand the standard thinking behind how gateway bands work. I just don't agree. I guess my thinking is just that if the worst and most cringey of these supposed "gateway bands" didn't exist, then people would just have to use some other (better) bands as their gateways. No that we have any control over which bands do or don't exist, but people just keep defending this garbage music with "But we need them because they're a gateway band!" I get that almost nobody goes from 0 to 90mph overnight, that there's somewhat of a 'break-in' or 'adjustment' period and probably several more gradual steps they'll need to take before they'll be having deathgrind for breakfast. But aren't there enough gateways out there that aren't horrible that we could lose a few of the worst ones and still be OK?

Obviously my experience is gonna be different than most people's. My gateway from mainstream AM radio into something harder was Zeppelin from a neighborhood Catholic school kid who was 3 years older in the early 70's. NY radio isn't like other markets, they don't take ANY chances here. Zeppelin was too hard for NY radio in the 70's except for Stairway. Wasn't until many years after they'd broken up that they started getting any airplay here. You mentioned hearing bands like Opeth and Mastodon on the local hard rock station in Baltimore and that just doesn't happen here. We don't even have a hard rock station, we have Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Tom Petty, Hotel California and Pink Floyd ad infinitum.

My gateway into extreme metal was Dark Tranquilty, but I had already been a rabid metalhead for 30 years at that point, so it doesn't really count. I just don't see how any Ghost or Asking Alexandria type band could get anyone to metal when it's essentially pop music with guitars. It has much more in common with pop music than it does with metal. I'd think it would be that next step one would have to take after that bubblegum crap into some kind of actual accessible metal that should be considered the real gateway. I have a good friend whose son is about 22 and he loves Asking Alexandria, but I can assure you he will never in a trillion years be a metalhead goat killer like us.

And as far as what Jon-O was saying, I think he was just wondering where that next generation of new young rock bands will come from or if they're even out there, or will guitar based rock music as we know it just die out. Will there ever be a future Eddie Van Halen or Stevie Ray Vaughn?

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49 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

You mentioned hearing bands like Opeth and Mastodon on the local hard rock station in Baltimore and that just doesn't happen here.

Yeah, but to be clear, I'm not talking about Blackwater Park era Opeth or Leviathan era Mastodon here...We're talking about tracks off of their more recent, easier to process material.

 

49 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

My gateway into extreme metal was Dark Tranquilty, but I had already been a rabid metalhead for 30 years at that point, so it doesn't really count. I just don't see how any Ghost or Asking Alexandria type band could get anyone to metal when it's essentially pop music with guitars.

You might be surprised to find out just how hard those melodeath albums are to crack when you're first getting into stuff. It's kind of hard to remember now, but a lot of those bands really only sound melodic by comparison now that you can look back. The thing is though...bands like Asking Alexandria and some of those others like Bring Me the Horizon didn't always sound so poppy and radio friendly. Early on, they and a bunch of those other metalcore acts were much closer in sound to melodeath...they just tended to have very poppy choruses. So it really wasn't much of a jump to go from metalcore to melodeath...particularly since they used a lot of the same riffing. So with your friends kid, it would really depend on which version of the band he listens to, how much of the back catalog doe he care about, and has he ever tried any melodeath. These days though, metalcore isn't really a thing with kids and you can see how the lack of it in the greater consciousness has created kind of a road bump to getting into metal. I had a kid in one of my classes last semester who was asking me about metal band recos and I basically had to kind of feel things out since he was starting from scratch. I know I managed to at least turn him on to late era Carcass and The Crown by the time the semester was done, but he didn't even really know where to start. He just had a few Metallica tracks he was into at the time.

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Although I think Ghost and any similar marginal heavy music is not worth listening to personally, I support any band that might incrementally edge the youths toward extreme music, basically because we need new blood and enthusiasm or metal will get pushed further into obscurity. I like Ghost's schtick. I think their production and presentation is great. The tunes are catchy, just not for me. Chicks somehow seem to like it well enough. I really don't have a problem with any light-metal or metal-adjacent band unless they unironically posture like they are super heavy when they are not, or show total ignorance of metal but try to glean some kind of credibility or style points by aping metal.

I feel like there are a bunch of instances when a label or band drags in some studio musician to help support a marginally talented act, and the poor guy is like a jazz fusion virtuoso and can play metalcore riffs backwards in his sleep, so they make him get frosted tips, wear a choker chain necklace. slap some eye-liner and a Slipnot shirt on him and send him out on tour. Sounds kind of ridiculous but in my imagination that kind of stuff happens and its easy to hate on those kind of acts no matter how many people may find it a gateway metal drug.

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2 hours ago, SurgicalBrute said:

Yeah, but to be clear, I'm not talking about Blackwater Park era Opeth or Leviathan era Mastodon here...We're talking about tracks off of their more recent, easier to process material.

 

You might be surprised to find out just how hard those melodeath albums are to crack when you're first getting into stuff. It's kind of hard to remember now, but a lot of those bands really only sound melodic by comparison now that you can look back. The thing is though...bands like Asking Alexandria and some of those others like Bring Me the Horizon didn't always sound so poppy and radio friendly. Early on, they and a bunch of those other metalcore acts were much closer in sound to melodeath...they just tended to have very poppy choruses. So it really wasn't much of a jump to go from metalcore to melodeath...particularly since they used a lot of the same riffing. So with your friends kid, it would really depend on which version of the band he listens to, how much of the back catalog doe he care about, and has he ever tried any melodeath. These days though, metalcore isn't really a thing with kids and you can see how the lack of it in the greater consciousness has created kind of a road bump to getting into metal. I had a kid in one of my classes last semester who was asking me about metal band recos and I basically had to kind of feel things out since he was starting from scratch. I know I managed to at least turn him on to late era Carcass and The Crown by the time the semester was done, but he didn't even really know where to start. He just had a few Metallica tracks he was into at the time.

You probably think I'm exaggerating when I say all they play on the radio here is from the 60's, 70's & 80's but I mean they literally won't play anything more recent than maybe Nirvana or STP or Black Hole Sun from about 1994 here unless it's newer material from a 'classic' band from the 70's or 80's like AC/DC or Ozzy or Bon Jovi that's already a staple of their playlists and the casuals are already comfortably familiar with them. The only upside of this policy is there's really none of that nu-metal crap to be found on NY radio because that was the late 90's and they won't touch anything that recent. And obviously being even more recent there's no metalcore at all on the radio here either. We did have a station like that in NY briefly back in the mid to late 90's, playing shit like Korn, SOAD, Linkin Park and Staind but it changed formats 20 years ago. I believe there was even a time for awhile when NYC had no rock station at all because the one they had left had switched over to talk radio. 

And yes I probably would be surprised at how hard some of those metalcore bands with the poppy choruses' early albums were. I can't go back in time and remember how it sounded to me back then because being older I missed the rise of that whole sub-genre completely. Understandably nu-metal and then metalcore were marketed to and targeted at teenage kids 20 years ago not to 40 year olds. So they weren't any kind of a gateway for me because I never even heard any of those poppy metalcore types of bands or any of these modern commercial styles of metal that came into existence around the turn of the century until after I had already gotten into actual death and black metal. I went from listening to trad hm and punk and thrash and grunge from the 80's & early 90's straight into Dark Tranquility and Hypocrisy and Amon Amarth and Opeth in the early 2000's and then from that stuff straight into death and black without hearing much of any of the mainstream commercial nonsense in between.

My point though (and this also addresses Hungalooni's comment about bands who might "incrementally edge the youths toward extreme music") is while there are undoubtedly some people who will use metalcore bands as a gateway or jumping off point into exploring heavier sounds and different sub-genres of metal past and present, there are a much greater number of others who just like it for what it is and won't ever have any interest in looking into anything heavier. It's been decades since I've been surpised by the complete lack of interest or curiosity most people display about anything outside of their little bubble.

And out of curiosity Surge, what besides Metallica was that kid who you turned onto the Crown and Carcass listening to before you met him and turned him onto the devil's music?

 

 

1 hour ago, Hungarino said:

Although I think Ghost and any similar marginal heavy music is not worth listening to personally, I support any band that might incrementally edge the youths toward extreme music, basically because we need new blood and enthusiasm or metal will get pushed further into obscurity. I like Ghost's schtick. I think their production and presentation is great. The tunes are catchy, just not for me. Chicks somehow seem to like it well enough. I really don't have a problem with any light-metal or metal-adjacent band unless they unironically posture like they are super heavy when they are not, or show total ignorance of metal but try to glean some kind of credibility or style points by aping metal.

I feel like there are a bunch of instances when a label or band drags in some studio musician to help support a marginally talented act, and the poor guy is like a jazz fusion virtuoso and can play metalcore riffs backwards in his sleep, so they make him get frosted tips, wear a choker chain necklace. slap some eye-liner and a Slipnot shirt on him and send him out on tour. Sounds kind of ridiculous but in my imagination that kind of stuff happens and its easy to hate on those kind of acts no matter how many people may find it a gateway metal drug.

 

Never forget that on that mainstream level music is first and foremost a business. They're entertainers who just happen to be musicians. Frosting the jazz fusion virtuoso's tips and putting him in leather pants and a choker is not unlike an NBA team who needs a point guard so they go into the free agency market to get one and then throw some money at him and give him their jersey to wear. In the history of recorded music it had always been set up like that with most bands being marginally talented they'd usually have studio musicians (mercenarys) to come in and play solos and rythym sections on the records. Before rock music it was normal for performers not to write their own music but to buy songs from professional songwriters. In fact in the late 60's and early 70's when I was growing up older people like my parents thought it was a novelty that these young rock bands actually wrote and performed their own music. 

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14 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

The other day my wife played Toto "Africa" in the car and it dawned on me that the vocal layering was exactly like Ghost. I guess that was Tobias' plan all along, to do a Satanic Toto.

Off topic, but I guess you have all heard/seen the metal version of Africa by Leo Moracchioli? Fun (my word of the week - makes a change from doomy).

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9 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

My point though (and this also addresses Hungalooni's comment about bands who might "incrementally edge the youths toward extreme music") is while there are undoubtedly some people who will use metalcore bands as a gateway or jumping off point into exploring heavier sounds and different sub-genres of metal past and present, there are a much greater number of others who just like it for what it is and won't ever have any interest in looking into anything heavier

That's true...but it's also just as true for people who find their way into actual heavy metal too. How many people stop digging beyond the well known bands we all discover first? How many stop at the upper ends of the underground and never go any further? Not everyone digs as deep as you, I or Hungus...and to be honest, some people dig even further than that. We all find our personal level, but to you still need to have some kind of path to get there.

 

19 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

And out of curiosity Surge, what besides Metallica was that kid who you turned onto the Crown and Carcass listening to before you met him and turned him onto the devil's music?

Honestly, he was a pretty straight laced kid, so he basically listened to just your typical radio rock and pop. I know when I asked him at one point, he specifically mentioned K-pop/J-pop, which is popular with a lot of younger people right now. He was a real gym rat though, like Colin but even more serious about it (like strict caloric diet, up and in the gym by 5 am serious), and he was looking for stuff to listen to while he lifted. I doubt he'll ever go full blown hesher or anything, but I tried to give him enough stuff that he'll hopefully avoid falling down the deathcore/metalcore/nu-metal pathway

1 minute ago, Thatguy said:

Off topic, but I guess you have all heard/seen the metal version of Africa by Leo Moracchioli? Fun (my word of the week - makes a change from doomy).

I admit, I find some of his stuff to be pretty cool. The Africa one is pretty solid, and I liked his cover of Thriller and Up Town Funk (which works surprisingly well with that heavy bass line). His stuff does lean pretty hard into what i consider a very Nu-metal style though.

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And kind of back on topic. I ask - in all sincerity as an old bloke who listens to a bit of radio for the news and the ABC Jazz channel in the car when the wife is with me and that's it - 'Who Listens To The Radio?' (The Sports, if ya didn't get it). Do 'young people' learn about music from the radio? Aren't they getting music on-line - from TickTock - from streaming TV (eg the Kate Bush revival) etc etc. Isn't the 'orrible radio that plays only classic rock for old folks?

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10 minutes ago, Thatguy said:

And kind of back on topic. I ask - in all sincerity as an old bloke who listens to a bit of radio for the news and the ABC Jazz channel in the car when the wife is with me and that's it - 'Who Listens To The Radio?' (The Sports, if ya didn't get it). Do 'young people' learn about music from the radio? Aren't they getting music on-line - from TickTock - from streaming TV (eg the Kate Bush revival) etc etc. Isn't the 'orrible radio that plays only classic rock for old folks?

Most of them use Spotify these days, as far as I could ever tell. Depending on the radio station though, there's still channels that basically play the hit songs by current pop stars...probably a boomer thing to listen to them that way though

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10 minutes ago, SurgicalBrute said:

That's true...but it's also just as true for people who find their way into actual heavy metal too. How many people stop digging beyond the well known bands we all discover first? How many stop at the upper ends of the underground and never go any further? Not everyone digs as deep as you, I or Hungus...and to be honest, some people dig even further than that. We all find our personal level, but you still need to have some kind of path to get there.

Absolutely. But there are many different possible paths and I just don't think that anyone is better served when their path takes them through metalcore and pop metal bands. I found my way to Zeppelin and then Sabbath and then the Ramones/punk and then NWOBHM and then Motorhead and then thrash metal all by myself without any assistance from metalcore bands.

So my original point this morning was in response to Jon-O's "don't rag on Ghost, it's good for these bands to exist as they're still valuable as gateway bands" (paraphrasing) and I'm saying no. While pop metal bands clearly have entertainment value to their legions of fans, they have no real musical value to us actual metalheads. We have no real need for them even as gateways, as there are so many other better and more worthwile paths that can get one to the promised land without having to waste time detouring through Ghosttown or Asking Alexandriaville.

I don't care who likes these bands, that's their problem. I'm just saying I would never send a budding young metalhead who was curious about heavy music and asking for recos through Ghosttown or give him a ticket to Metalcore Station. Why recommend something that we all seem to agree is bad, when you're trying to help someone reach a destination that's good? I would send him back to Black Sabbath or NWOBHM or play some traditional heavy metal bands for him first. Something that's actually good. I hope my 8 year old shows some interest and asks me about my music someday in the next few years, and I'm confident that I can expose him to accessible metal and heavy music without having to resort to odious crap like metalcore and pop metal. Whether or not he takes to it or not will be entirely up to him. 

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Businesses around here are where I hear the radio. Not all of them, but enough to know it's still largely the same radio I grew up not enjoying.

I remember listening to the metal radio station in NYC a bit when I was in college, and I happened to have it on during their last day on the air, heard a bunch of DJs signing off, felt like I was witnessing the end of an era. There was a late night metal show on NYU radio for a while in the late 2000s, one of my bands even played a live set there while Dylan from Pyrrhon was running it. Fun. I miss doing stuff like that.

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Pantera, Maiden, Priest, and Sabbath Where are my gateways and to this day I have a lot of nostalgia never I hear symptom of the universe. I agree with GT nice enough accessible metal out that without needing to send someone down the path goes for melodic Metalcore.

where are my gateways and to this day I have a lot of nostalgia never I hear symptom of the universe. I agree with GT nice enough accessible metal out that without needing to send someone down the path goes for melodic Metalcore.

 

As for the radio, pretty much only listen to it when I’m at the football, the atmosphere at live sport is great but I need some way of following the action… 

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58 minutes ago, Thatguy said:

And kind of back on topic. I ask - in all sincerity as an old bloke who listens to a bit of radio for the news and the ABC Jazz channel in the car when the wife is with me and that's it - 'Who Listens To The Radio?' (The Sports, if ya didn't get it). Do 'young people' learn about music from the radio? Aren't they getting music on-line - from TickTock - from streaming TV (eg the Kate Bush revival) etc etc. Isn't the 'orrible radio that plays only classic rock for old folks?

Before kids reach the age of their own curiosity about grown up music around 10 or 11 or whenever and start trying to find their own stuff they've usually been hearing music in the car radio or on CD's or whatever their parents listen to for several years. This is most kids' first exposure to music. In my day it was looking through my parents' record cabinet and jamming to the Beatles and Bob Dylan and studying the record covers when I was 8 or 9. So when old folks listen to the radio their kids are often listening, and it soaks in.

My kid will ask for Beatles songs by name as well as that Joan Jett I Love R&R song and a few others because I guess the melodies are appealing to him even at his young age. And he recognizes Queen's We Will Rock You from school and sings along, I guess they played it for their music class one time. And yes even the Goatmaster will throw on the car radio sometimes because Honda Motor Company in their infinite wisdom has decided their head units' bluetooth will no longer support my Galaxy 9+ nor will it recognize my phone or my DAP when I try plugging them into the USB port. Sometimes even shitty classic rock is better than silence. The kid will often ask me to turn on the music in the car if I haven't done so already.

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1 hour ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

I don't care who likes these bands, that's their problem. I'm just saying I would never send a budding young metalhead who was curious about heavy music and asking for recos through Ghosttown or give him a ticket to Metalcore Station. Why recommend something that we all seem to agree is bad, when you're trying to help someone reach a destination that's good?

I wouldn't either, but not everyone stumbles across people willing to give the reco's and help them work their way through the weeds, so to speak. Yes, you found all those bands and genres when you were young, but that was a much smaller metal world in a lot of ways and much easier to navigate. You had a much harder go of it the second time around, buying a bunch of albums you hated along with Dark Tranquility. I don't know what kind of shit I'd be listening to now if I hadn't wandered onto the Amazon board when I did, but I doubt it would be new Triumvir Foul. Hell, when I first stumbled on to No Clean Singing, they were talking about bands like Omnium Gatherum and shit like that, and Islander hadn't heard half the bands I was telling him about

Additionally, even though I know you know people require time to adjust, you're still kind of dismissing that aspect here. Metalcore and Nu-metal and all those other styles have their own gradations of extremity, so the easier to digest, poppier stuff may be what brings them in, but finding the heavier stuff may be what allows them to shift over...and that kind of stuff may be all they're aware of at the time, like that kid I was talking about

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1 hour ago, SurgicalBrute said:

I wouldn't either, but not everyone stumbles across people willing to give the reco's and help them work their way through the weeds, so to speak. Yes, you found all those bands and genres when you were young, but that was a much smaller metal world in a lot of ways and much easier to navigate. You had a much harder go of it the second time around, buying a bunch of albums you hated along with Dark Tranquility. I don't know what kind of shit I'd be listening to now if I hadn't wandered onto the Amazon board when I did, but I doubt it would be new Triumvir Foul.

Additionally, even though I know you know people require time to adjust, you're still kind of dismissing that aspect here. Metalcore and Nu-metal and all those other styles have their own gradations of extremity, so the easier to digest, poppier stuff may be what brings them in, but finding the heavier stuff may be what allows them to shift over...and that kind of stuff may be all they're aware of at the time, like that kid I was talking about

Much much smaller metal world back then obviously. In fact metal hadn't even been invented yet when I was in high school unless you count Black Sabbath which is only one band and you can't get much smaller than that. But even if we're just talking about hard rock, to say it was easier to navigate, I'd have to disagree with that. Because even though there were so many less bands back then playing heavy music, as a kid there was just nowhere for me to find out about new music 20 years before the internet aside from like the mainstream rock magazines I'd get my mom to buy for me at the supermarket.

NY radio was playing mostly soft cock stuff like the Eagles, Elton John, Peter Frampton, ELO, Fleetwood MAc, Boston, Paul Simon, James Taylor and Carly Simon in the mid 70's so that wasn't much help to me. I did get a few bands like Kiss, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top and Aerosmith from the radio in the mid to late 70's but I can't think of too many others. And none of them are heavy metal. Basically all the kids at my high school listened to either disco or 60's hippie rock so they were no help to me at all. I was too young to go to shows and clubs at night so that avenue wasn't available. In the later half of the 70's I would go to the record store with a few dollars in my pocket and flip through the records and try to pick stuff that looked "heavy" but there really wasn't much "heavy" to be found in most record stores I found myself in aside from the most popular bands of the day like Zeppelin Sabbath AC/DC and such. There was no listening before you buy back then and you could not return stuff you had opened just because you didn't like it. And I usually only had enough cash in my pocket for one or two records per visit ($4 each back then) so I had to choose wisely.

Wasn't until I went away to college in 79/80 and met some kids in the dorm who knew about some heavier bands like the Scorpions and Priest and UFO and stuff that I started finding out about some more bands. But they were mostly southerners so a lot of what they were listening to was southern rock, Skynyrd, Hatchet, ABB, Outlaws, Marsahll Tucker stuff like that. Not so much metal. But then obviously things exploded in 80 & 81 with the NWOBHM and all these new metal bands were coming up and it was great. By the spring of 1980 I'd flunked out and was back up in NY and we started going out to clubs on LI and in the city seeing bands play live several nights a week and we were meeting people who knew more about the scene than we did so we were discovering a lot of new metal and punk bands that way.

But really until the internet came along in the late 90's I was mostly limited to the mainstream. Which wasn't really a big deal in the 80's because most metal like thrash was still mainstrem then and easy enough to find, until the 90's when the underground branched off went their own way and left me behind. Yes I did have a hard time with that one really unfortunate trip to the record store in 2004 when I bought all that rubbish based on magazine articles. But really within a month or two after that day I had found some bands on the internet and gotten on track to find a lot of new music. Much easier to find bands and more importantly to sample music now before you buy it here in the internet age. I can find more new bands now in a week or two than I would find in a typical year in the 80's or in the entire decade of the 70's. So much much easier to navigate now.

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9 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

So now what's our definition of metal adjacent? What makes some bands 'metal adjacent' and others not? Are you suggesting it's the bands on the t-shirts of the crowd at their shows? Or in other words bands that aren't metal themselves but seem to have some appeal among metalheads? I haven't heard enough Ghost to where I can clearly remember exactly what they sounded like. All I can remember is that when I checked them out a couple of times some years back I warned myself never to do that again.

Regardless, I have always failed to see how the success of crappy mainstream 'metal adjacent' rock bands or bubblegum metalcore bands helps the metal genre to continue or feeds us new recruits. How is Ghost or Asking Alexandria, or any mainstream heavy rock band you could name some kind of magic portal into metaldom? If you're supposed to be a metalhead then there's something inside of you that craves that heaviness. If it's for you then I firmly believe you're gonna find your way to it one way or another. Metal is a calling, a primal urge that can't be ignored. People don't become rabid metalheads by accident.

I think we'd be better off for recruitment purposes Jon if we skipped the Ghosts of the music world entirely and had them all put to death. (figuratively speaking of course) I know we all have to start somewhere but just let people find their way to some of the more accessible metal bands that might actually be good. Or let them get a reco from a school chum or their older brother or that weird kid up the block or let them hear a metal song in a video game or a tv ad or a movie. Then just let nature take its course. I just don't think real metal is so hard to find in 2022 that we need any help from Ghosts.

I'm in general agreement. I'm tired of playing shit for my wife or 22 year old kid who might enjoy a random AC/DC or Zeppelin or Sabbath track, but really have no taste for anything heavy. Fuck it. It's not in you. Never gonna be. 

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43 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Which wasn't really a big deal in the 80's because most metal like thrash was still mainstrem then and easy enough to find,

This right here was kind of my point, along with the fact that metal wasn't fractured into so many sub-genres back then as it is now. Now, I'm still pretty young during this early period of the 80's, so correct me if I'm wrong, but there was a much higher degree of commonality back then as opposed to now. If you liked metal and you met some other people who liked metal, you were probably listening to a lot of the same bands. Just the fact that the genre was so much smaller would indicate that was probably true. These days that commonality really isn't there. You can meet another metal fan and have absolutely nothing in common with them as far as music taste. So that's what I meant by saying it was easier to navigate, just the simple fact that there was overall a lot less to be aware of. Because while yes, you have a lot more available, you also have a lot more to dig through to find what you like. 

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13 minutes ago, markm said:

I'm in general agreement. I'm tired of playing shit for my wife or 22 year old kid who might enjoy a random AC/DC or Zeppelin or Sabbath track, but really have no taste for anything heavy. Fuck it. It's not in you. Never gonna be. 

My daughter's 10 years older than your daughter, but I haven't tried to play her any of my music since she was maybe 18. Back then she told me one night in the car that my music sounded 'scary' so after that I'd just play something else if we were in the car together. She likes top 40 pop and mainstream rap and R&B and that's just the way it is. To each their own. I do remember she went through a brief pop-punk phase as a teen in the mid oughts but I think that was just some boy she liked atthe time's taste, her heart wasn't really in it.

Even my two best friends in real life aren't really into extreme metal so I don't try to convert them or anything. The one dude is younger than me he's 42 I think and he'll go as heavy as like AC/DC or Motorhead or some nu-metal and that's about it. Says the best band he ever saw live was Kid Rock. (this is the guy with the 22 year old who loves Asking Alexandria) He mainly listens to country music though so sometimes I'll let him play that and just deal with it.  I will play some things for the other dude who I've known for 46 years since 10th grade, because we listened to a lot of 80's and early 90's metal together back in the day, and we went to tons of metal shows together back then too. But nowadays I feel like I have to pick and choose the less overtly Satanic and filthy and blasty stuff to play when he's around. I avoid caveman death metal and black/death and the real caustic face ripping black metal type stuff because he wouldn't be into it. But he seems open to most other things like atmo-black and thrash and all the punk rock I like. But when he comes around we mostly listen to a lot of nostalgia stuff that we used to listen to together in the 80's & 90's. When I was much younger I wanted everyone I knew to be into my music with me but at some point I had to accept that it's just not gonna be for everyone, and that's OK.

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1 hour ago, SurgicalBrute said:

This right here was kind of my point, along with the fact that metal wasn't fractured into so many sub-genres back then as it is now. Now, I'm still pretty young during this early period of the 80's, so correct me if I'm wrong, but there was a much higher degree of commonality back then as opposed to now. If you liked metal and you met some other people who liked metal, you were probably listening to a lot of the same bands. Just the fact that the genre was so much smaller would indicate that was probably true. These days that commonality really isn't there. You can meet another metal fan and have absolutely nothing in common with them as far as music taste. So that's what I meant by saying it was easier to navigate, just the simple fact that there was overall a lot less to be aware of. Because while yes, you have a lot more available, you also have a lot more to dig through to find what you like. 

100%. There were a limited number of mainstream metal bands in the 1980's (especially in the first half of the decade) and pretty much every metalhead I knew was listening to most of the same bands we were. We know now that there were some let's say rougher sounding thrash metal bands and obscure hardcore bands and stuff that weren't really mainstream that I only discovered well after the 80's had ended. And of course we know now that the earliest death metal and grindcore bands were actually getting started in the mid to late 80's and I had no idea about any of that at the time. So I suppose someone must have been listening to the more underground stuff in the late 80's, but I think the underground was very small in the beginning and 90% or more of metalheads were into thrash and traditional metal and stuff and we all went to the same record stores and the same shows at L'amour or the Ritz and were all listening to most of the same bands.

But still, even though I have so much more to dig through now to find what I like, I've learned how to eliminate most of what I won't like rather easily now to get to the good stuff that I think I might like. And I can sit down and sample small bits of albums from 20 or 30 bands in a night if I want to, eliminating many within 30 seconds even if I only yield two or three keepers. Back in the 80's we were still going to the specialty metal record store 45 minutes away like monthly or every two months and flipping through stacks of unknown albums which we'd judge by their covers. We had no idea what we were looking for usually and we'd probably only have enough money between us to buy maybe 10 or 15 records at most, and then when we got home at least half of them if not more would usually turn out to be less than satisfying purchases.

So even though I'd get lucky sometimes and discover some really cool records by pure chance, we probably missed out on a ton of killer shit back then because it was all so random. Whereas like now I can easily eliminate dozens of albums per week or per month that I don't care for, and I rarely ever have to be disappointed with an album purchase anymore because I thought it was gonna be something completely different that what it is. So there's a bit more research and work that goes into it now, but at least that work can easily be done. I don't even mind doing the digging, I actually enjoy it.

And the net result is I can easily add 300+ good albums to my collection each year now with very little buyer's remorse. And I don't think I miss nearly as much stuff now. If something's really good I feel like I'll most likely hear about it now. Back then maybe not. Back then I'd be adding maybe 100 record albums a year and then two thirds of them or at least more than half would end up being somewhere between meh and sucks and would end up getting traded back in for pennies on the dollar. I like the modern way much better. It's the fact that you can hear stuff without being obligated to buy it now that completely changed the game.

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Purely anecdotal but I had a conversation with my 18 year old niece and her boyfriend in relation to grunge.

First thing, they don't really know what it is despite my niece's mum listening to a bit of it.  They thought Red Hot Chilli Peppers were grunge.

Second they talked about how they have a few friends of their age who are "huge" fans of grunge music.  Other than aforementioned Red Hot Chilli Peppers these kids are into Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and Nirvana.  No mention of stuff like Stone Temple Pilots or Alice In Chains or Soundgarden - probably too obscure these days.

So this kind of backs up my theory as well as Brian Slagel's statement that kids aren't into new rock music and prefer to just lap up old stuff.

The other thing is that 18year olds being into those old bands is a bit like us in the 1990s being into Elvis, Big Bopper and the early Beatles!

 

 

----

Metal Adjacent

IMO this refers to bands and styles that aren't necessarily metal but their style mainly appeals to metalheads.  Ghost is a great example of this.

  

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11 hours ago, Dead1 said:

Metal Adjacent

IMO this refers to bands and styles that aren't necessarily metal but their style mainly appeals to metalheads.  Ghost is a great example of this.

  

I realise I missed a lot of interim chatter. I tend to log out on a Friday afternoon and not check back until Monday morning. It seems like an unusually busy weekend on the board! 

As to "metal adjacent" the above definition is more or less what I had in mind. In Ghost's case Tobias Forge used to play in death metal bands before intentionally selling out to do something that could have wider appeal.

Grunge itself is probably "metal adjacent." In a recent interview Stone Gossard suggests that grunge was developed partly because they couldn't play instruments as well as their metal/hard rock heroes.  I think he's being self-deprecating though. Grunge musicians (e.g. Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and even Pearl Jam) were just as musically competent as contemporary heavy metal at the time. 

https://blabbermouth.net/news/did-grunge-kill-1980s-heavy-metal-pearl-jams-stone-gossard-weighs-in

However, forgetting grunge for a minute, U2 and Dire Straits or something in that realm are rock bands that are definitely not metal. In earlier posts I just wondered if there were any new acts in that same ballpark. Wondered, but then realised I don't actually care. Except to ponder that even a mainstream rock band might pique the interest of a young kid who is hearing guitar music for the first time. That can evolve to other things.

I guess my introduction to rock proper was Kiss at about age six (1980). Later I liked Twisted Sister (1984) but then went backwards with an interest in Dire Straits (1985). Yet, I didn't like the non-rock side of Dire Straits at all (was it just pop with bad vocals?). It was always going to lead back to metal via brief dalliance with Bon Jovi and Def Leppard (1987). In 1988 I went all in with Maiden, Priest (and AC/DC on the side). Alice in Hell came out in 1989 which steered me more toward extreme metal. 

Jumping straight to extreme metal probably just suggests you are a poser, and it will be short lived. There were some guys in high school that drove round thinking they were cool listening to Deicide cranked at the traffic lights (1990). I highly doubt they still listen to it now, or were compelled to explore more bands in the years since. Someone who actually cares about their music as a fundamental building block of who they are, probably came to things more gradually, because they took the time to get immersed and slowly drown in it.

Those boys at the traffic lights in 1990 are the equivalent of a Kardashian wearing a Cannibal Corpse T-Shirt in an Instagram post. It is for shock value and has no appreciation of the art form.

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Welcome back Jon. I like your theory about people who care about music and think of it as being a big part of who they are coming to things more gradually, but I don't know if you could say it's a rule. I've thought a lot about this over the years but it's impossible for me to know what my path would have been like if heavier more extreme music had been available to me as a choice in my youth. I know I had always been actively in search of the heaviest stuff I could find since I was about 11 or 12. But no matter which albums I bought I was chronically left unsatisfied because there wasn't anything heavier than hard rock and proto metal to be found in the 70's. So I don't know how I would have reacted to extreme metal if I had a time machine and could have heard any as a teenager.

I do know that when thrash arrived in 1983 at 22 I felt relieved and even vindicated almost that no I wasn't crazy, the much heavier harder faster music I had always envisioned and had been so sure was coming one day soon and I was always telling my friends about had finally arrived. That was the level of heaviness I had been seeking all along as a kid. Some say thrash is the original "extreme metal" and I think they do have a point. But a case could be made that thrash is extreme metal adjacent, because the vocals while not always good, still weren't so harsh as to be an obstacle.

So when I did finally not only expose but immerse myself in legit extreme metal 20 years later in 2004 I was 43. (talk about gradual) Was the reason I found the vocals to be such a major obstacle because I had been previously conditioned by 30 years of listening to rock and metal music with clean vocals, or because I was somehow just inherently not ready for the growling? But then if it only took me a month or two to get past that hurdle, was it really even such a major obstacle?

That month or two was such an inner conflict, I was so excited to have a big bunch of new heavy bands to listen to and yet so angry and frustrated that I couldn't enjoy any of them with those growly vocals. I've always wondered if I could have taken that month to get used to growling about 15 years earlier when the first Obituary record came out and then maybe I could have been enjoying death and black metal that whole entire time instead of wearing out my old 80's and 90's thrash records and flirting with grunge and the mainstream all throughout the 90's. But would I have been equipped and able to make that transition to the harsh vox in 1989?

To Jon's point about that dude being self deprecating when he said grunge was developed partly because they couldn't play their instruments as well as  their metal/hard rock heroes, I'd point out that's always been a driver of new genres. Punk rock itself, the great grandfather of grunge had infamously been born in the mid 70's of kids just wanting to be involved and have their own bands even though many of them couldn't play their instruments very well if at all when they started those bands.

And that trend of kids forming bands first and then learning to play their instruments later on the job was much more common and went a lot farther than just punk. Tons of rock and metal bands have said much the same thing in interviews over the years that they could barely play their instruments in the early days. That's what rock and metal is all about to me, the attitude is a much more important factor than the musical proficiency. Also those 3 examples you pulled out as grunge bands having high levels of musical competence are only 3 bands in a movement of hundreds, many of which we've never heard of because they never made it.

Also just wanted to say that it blows my mind how a dude like Jon who I think of as that trad heavy metal guy, only discovered some of his fave bands like Priest, Maiden and AC/DC years after I had discovered, been into, and then left those bands behind for the heavier, more extreme sounds of thrash. I think of Jon as a peer, it's so easy to forget that he's 13 years my junior and that most of the people I'm conversing with here daily are even a bit younger than him. Only Doc and Kuke are boomers like me.

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16 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

.

Grunge itself is probably "metal adjacent." In a recent interview Stone Gossard suggests that grunge was developed partly because they couldn't play instruments as well as their metal/hard rock heroes.  I think he's being self-deprecating though. Grunge musicians (e.g. Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and even Pearl Jam) were just as musically competent as contemporary heavy metal at the time. 

https://blabbermouth.net/news/did-grunge-kill-1980s-heavy-metal-pearl-jams-stone-gossard-weighs-in

I did read that article.

 

I wouldn't agree grunge scene was initially metal adjacent despite some of its bands clearly being or evolving into metal (Soundgarden and AIC).

From what I understand grunge emerged from Seattle's punk/hardcore scene.  Indeed all members of Mudhoney precurser, Green River, came from punk or hardcore bands.  Soundgarden were initially more punky too and Nirvana always maintained a punkiness.

Duff McKagan's autobiography actually goes into a bit of detail on this scene as he was part of it pre-Guns N Roses.  He played in several Seattle punk, post punk and hardcore bands before leaving for LA and he knew a lot of the players that became influential in grunge.

 

I also remember someone from Metal Church talking how the punk and grunge scenes looked down on them.

 

One thing grunge did inherit from Seattle punk scene is its self destructiveness in terms of premature deaths (usually drug overdose).

 

And interestingly, to this day the metal never embraced the underground grunge bands of late 1980s/early 1990s unlike say the 1970s hard rock scene.

 

So grunge continues to exist in its own strange bubble.  The big players (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden) continue to be mainstream and a couple of bands are embraced by metal scene (also Soundgarden as well as AIC).  But rest of it is forgotten.  

 

 

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