Metal Taliban Returns

This is an article I originally wrote years ago… probably heading towards “decades” now. Some of the terminology is definitely out of date, especially since the pandemic. Mostly, the difference now is that you should now replace “clubs” (because they did used to exist and people DID go to them) with “social media”, especially, it seems, TikTok. That’s where I see a lot of negativity and people deliberately trying to tear others down when they should be building them up.

Anyway, the original article’s below. Let me know what you think on socials or in the comments. If you haven’t come from there, you can follow The Wyrd Ways Rock Show at @wyrdwaysrockshow on Instagram, Threads and TikTok.  If you like what you read (and generally agree), give me a Like and a Follow in the relevant places.

I recently joined a couple of Metal forums, to see if anything had changed in the years since I last had the time to use them. I was a member of a few during the glory days of MySpace, as well as being in a few mailing groups. It seems that they have changed, and not necessarily for the better.

The experience I had shows a lot of what is wrong with the Metal scene at the moment, and has been for about the last ten years or so. Actually nearer 20. That problem is fracturing caused by elitism. That’s right. Elitism. What do I mean by that? It’s in the title: The Metal Taliban. They seem to think they have the right to decide what is Metal, and what isn’t. If it’s not Metal, it is derided and so are its fans.

They are the reason the live scene as a whole is struggling and why Metal will not reach the heights it did in the late 80’s. The Metal Taliban have decreed that if it doesn’t have Cookie Monster vocals, it’s not Metal, for example.

That’s bollocks. Are these people saying that Ronnie James Dio wasn’t Metal? Are they saying Simon Hall, Dave Mustaine, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Jorn Lande and Ozzy Osbourne aren’t Metal? They’ll also say that anything “-core” isn’t Metal. I’m here to tell you that it is. It ALL is. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t give you the right to decide it’s not Metal.

So what is Metal? It’s very simple. It’s a more aggressive, louder, faster offshoot of Blues. That’s all you need. Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Judas Priest, Dimmu Borgir, Bring Me The Horizon, Black Veil Brides are ALL Metal. Why? Offshoot of Blues. Blues-y chord progressions with lyrics with meaning (sometimes stories). That is Heavy Metal. That is what it all boils down to. -core is what happens when Hardcore (which is really Punk cross-pollinated with Thrash) cross-pollinates with… Melodic Death Metal.

The list goes on, but they are all formed by another form of music cross-pollinating with Heavy Metal. That makes them ALL Metal. Don’t like that? Tell it to someone who gives one. That, dear friends, is the crux of it. “Like”. There are people (The aforementioned Metal Taliban) who decide that they like Metal. They then decide that if they don’t like it, it’s not Metal. They’re like the “troo kvlt” Black Metal kids (and they usually are kids). Blinkered fools who want to be seen as “special”. Just like the hipsters they so despise. That’s actually what they are, though. Hipsters in Metal band shirts.

Just like all hipsters, they should be laughed at, possibly pitied for being so narrow-minded, but ultimately discounted.

Why do they do it? Well, usually they’re members of various websites (Blabbermouth being the best example of this sort of thing), and know for a fact that they’ll never have to come face-to-face with the people they are deriding. The Asomvel song, Internet Commando sums this up pretty well. If they do venture out, they’re usually with their cohorts (I hesitate to call them “friends”) who are all of the same mind, so they can bully, and yes it is bullying, from a position of strength.

This has the knock-on effect of stopping people going to gigs and club nights because of the atmosphere the Metal Taliban generate. That’s a real change from when I was getting into Metal. One of the things I found back then was how welcome I felt. Go to the wrong gig or (more likely) the wrong club, and you’ll find the opposite these days.

So… there it is…the Metal Taliban are the ones who are doing the real damage to Metal. Let’s get rid of these morons before the damage becomes irreparable.

There we have it.

Is this rant still relevant? Why is it still relevant? Let me know your thoughts.

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