Whatever happened to metal?
It used to be this awesome and brutal force but, in the last several years, it has become watered-down crap.
We used to have bands called Dark Throne and Ghoul but now we've got emo kids who got sick of being emo kids and now call themselves metal-core. They've got names such as Blessed Be This Nightmare and The Devil Wears Prada.
Give me a break.
These bands play a contrived and boring version of something that used to be all about evil and tearing up corpses and stuff. The guttural growl and ferocious screams have been replaced by screechy, girl-pants wearin' hairdos, and the music has become a vague photocopy of a vague photocopy. What's a boy to do?
I went to Warehouse 21 to see up-and-coming metal gods Bloodweaver and was blown away. I saw the band a few months ago and thought it was pretty incredible but, I must say, it has really polished up since then. As Bloodweaver began its first song, the youngsters trickled in and grouped at the back. Like them, I know what it's like to be hesitant with a newer band. The last thing you need is to let some awful band see you in the front right as it starts to suck.
Within the first 30 seconds, everyone moved right up front. Bloodweaver was brutal. While certain influences certainly showed up in its sound, Bloodweaver made the music its own. Math rock time signatures seemed to be the name of the game as the band moved in and out of total thrash and slow, crushing breakdowns. Guitarist Dylan Currie and bassist Zac Scheinbaum complimented each other well. Whereas Scheinbaum's bass work seemed to be influenced by stoner metal and even sounded Middle Eastern-ish at times, Currie's frantic and scattered guitar had definite undertones of mid-'90s hardcore and math rock bands such as Botch.
Completing the trio was Ben Durfee, on loan from Santa Fe metal veterans CassoVita. This guy was not just one of the best drummers I've seen in Santa Fe, he's one of the best drummers I've seen period. Durfee played in his underwear, which seemed strange, but necessary given how fast he played. His fills were incredible! Plus, if you're anything like me, you know that a band is only as good as its drummer. Except for AC/DC, whose drummer is boring as hell, but the band seems to be popular.
According to Currie and Scheinbaum, their songwriting process is a group effort. Each band member writes his own parts and no piece of music is turned down without giving it a shot. Currie said the subject matter can be anything from cannibal weddings to human indifference.
"The world is shat," Currie said. "And I don't mean shit. I mean shat. Nobody's doing anything to make it better."
Though I'm not sure exactly what it is that Bloodweaver does to make the world a better place, it was a welcome change in my week…a metal band that is actually metal. Weird.
Whatever happened to metal?