IMO the most important part of being a true metal fan is knowing your roots. There is nothing worse than a newjack poser who doesn’t know or care about the older bands who paved the way for the generations after them. For example, IMO you can’t consider yourself a real fan of Avenged Sevenfold without also being a fan of Pantera and 18 Visions/Velvet Revolver. I mean I love A7X but obviously they are pretty much just taking what those two bands did, only doing it a lot better. On the other hand, it also sucks when someone gets older and they stop liking stuff. I mean if you like Suffocation then you should also like Devourment, right?? But contrary to what you would expect, older metal fans do nothing but hate on newer bands.
Which one is right?? The younger fans, full of energy and enthusiasm, but unaware of the shitty bands that people used to like?? Or the jaded, bitter has-beens, with seemingly endless knowledge of irrelevant, music that nobody really cares about anymore??????
In this post I will do my best to tackle this topic and answer the question of which is better, NEW MUSIC or OLD MUSIC. I know it’s hard to compare things from different eras, but I think it will help all of us grow as metal fans!!
While a lot of people feel like “things were better back in the day,” if you take an honest look at old music you will see that it is a pretty mixed bag.
For example, older bands were more original and experimental, but they didn’t really know what they were doing so the results of their experimentation were usually really embarrassing and amateurish. They were more passionate and their motives were more pure, but since they weren’t very good at their instruments and didn’t have access to good recording technology most of the records sound like shit. That said, sometimes I think it’s cool how shitty and raw older bands were, sort of like how sometimes it’s funny to play old Nintendo games and be like “WTF people actually thought this was good?! LOL”
Most of the bands that we liked back then would be laughed at today, but for some reason there are people who still like them. From what I can tell, those people fall into two categories: 1) bitter, old farts who are clinging to the past and/or stopped paying attention to new music 2) younger kids who pretend to like them because they think it’s cool to be “into old-school stuff that their peers don’t know about” and tell other little kids that “you should know your roots!!”
Death probably sounded really heavy and awesome back in 1981 or whenever this came out, because at the time disco was popular and by comparison this was probably really brutal, but when you listen to it now it just sounds like a kid goofing off at Guitar Center. And also there is so much fucking reverb on everything you really can’t even hear what is happening.
LOL I actually really like this song, is that bad?? I mean I know it’s silly but IDGAF, it’s really fun and makes me think of riding dragons and stuff! IMO Judas Priest has held up much better than any of the other dinosaur metal bands, probably because they were always like 50% a joke band.
Back in the 80s there was this band from Canada called Mordred who were one of the first to have a DJ and play funk parts. It’s cool that they tried something new but let’s be cereal: this is PURE FAIL. I’m sorry to expose your ears to this awful band, but it’s just a reminder that for every Demilich or Forced Entry back in the day, there were ten bands like Mordred or Green Jello!
Will someone tell me why anybody ever liked Venom?? This song is basically a Chuck Berry riff (only more sloppy, and with the absolute worst production of all time), with lyrics about how Cronos wants to eff his teacher… and they are considered a “seminal metal band”?!
Old bands who won’t go away are the most embarrassing thing of all. When they were cheesy and crappy back in the day, it was OK because they didn’t know any better and their youthful enthusiasm was kind of charming. But when it’s 2011, they are 45 years old, and even more crappy/cheesy than ever, you just want to hide under a rock when they carry themselves as though they are still a legitimate, credible band.
This song goes on forevvvvvvvvver!!!! They just play the one riff again and again and again and keep saying “AB-DUCK-SHUN!” over and over– why did old bands have such long fucking songs???
When you compare new music to old music, there are two main things that you will notice.
First, it is basically better in every aspect, but is more generic. The average local deathcore band made up of 19 year-old kids who met on Twitter can play rings around the bands of the old days, and when they record it will sound way better than anything we could have imagined back in the day. On the other hand, they will sound exactly the same as every other deathcore band, because they are all influenced by the same bands, use the same equipment, and record the same way. They don’t experiment very much, because it is easier to just stick with that you know will work, and kids don’t know the difference.
Second, you will also notice that the metal is way more popular now. Back in the day, only the most socially awkward outcasts, burnouts and fuckups were into metal, but that is not really the case anymore (unless you are talking about bands like Between The Buried And Me or Dream Theater, who still attract the nerd/outcast/beta crowd). Metal bands now are way better at marketing themselves, are much better looking, and get way hotter groupies than the disgusting hags who you would encounter back in the day. The downside of metal’s increased popularity is that there are a lot more posers, hipsters, and other annoying people in the scene.
This Veil of Maya song/video is a good example of what is both good and bad about new music: they can play way better than any of the old bands and there is a really heavy breakdown, but on the other hand LOL @ how perfect and sterile the production is, everything sounds like a computer! Also when you look at the guys in the band they look more like artsy/emo kids (posers) than real metalheads.
The stupidest kind of new music is all those “retro-metal” bands. There is nothing cool about that; it is the metal equivalent of LARPing or Civil War reenactments. I think hipsters are into “retro” stuff because they lack creativity and are too busy trying to look cool to do something new, so to me this is the worst of both worlds: new bands that look and sound like shitty old bands. Stop it, you guys!!
Thanks to the internet, newer bands have a much wider range of influences than older bands who had to rely on time consuming methods like tape trading to hear new music. The problem with that is that you get bands like Periphery, who try to do too many things at once: they are like part nu metal, part emo, part prog rock, and it just sounds like a big mess.
With metal being so popular, you get oddities such as Black Veil Brides. They make metal nerds very angry because they sound a lot like nerd-approved bands such as At The Gates and Iron Maiden, but are basically a boy band ala N Sync or NKOTB whose fanbase consists of girls with low self-esteem who are so young that they just stopped watching Suite Life On Deck last year. Personally I don’t get mad about these things, but it’s funny when other people do!
It’s pretty cool that technology has come so far that this Big Chocolate/I Declare War collabo, which is basically a joke that they made in 3 hours, sounds better than 99% of old school death metal. I mean, can you imagine if this came out in 1991?! Your brain would explode!! It would be like witnessing some insane new alien technology for the first time, your mind unable to process the unprecedented levels of PITT RIFFMENT.
The Sword = what happens when a bunch of indie rockers from Brooklyn are riding around on their fixies and decide they should “start a sweet metal band.” As much as I hate this kind of thing, I have to accept it as an inevitable side effect of metal’s increasing popularity– if the existence of The Sword is the price I have to pay for A Day To Remember and Emmure, it’s worth it!
IMO you can’t really say that one era of music is better than the other, I think that they both have something to offer you as a listener! Even though the majority of older bands sound really bad by today’s standards, I don’t think you can totally write off all old music. That said, the amount of older bands who are good compared to all the crappy ones is so small that I totally understand if you don’t feel like putting the time into sifting through it all. Even though newer bands sort of all sound the same, the good news is that they are all pretty good, so if you like one of them you will probably like all of them!
The bottom line is that if you have the time and energy to spend on digging out the tiny fraction of diamonds in the rough among the giant sea of feces and garbage that is old metal, you will find a handful of songs that are pretty good, even by today’s standards. But if you are like most people and you just stick with new music, don’t worry, you aren’t missing out on much!
Which do you think is better, old music or new music??? Do you ever get mad bc the music now is so much better than what you had when you were a kid? Why do some little kids think it’s cool to like old bands, even though they obviously not good????
Sergeant D. schools olds every day at Stuff You Will Hate.
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Music of the Past vs Today's Music
February 16, 2011
Go back in time a few decades, to the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Lots of the bands from these eras have become internationally famous, and their music has become classic. Artists like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Nirvana, and so many other successful bands. All of these bands became famous, because they had something that’s hard to find today- real talent. Many of the bands of the past wrote music that had real depth to it. Their lyrics were meaningful, they wrote their own music, they played multiple instruments, they didn’t use auto tune or synthesizers, and many other factors. Using something like auto tune was considered an insult back in the day. Today it’s almost on impulse, and everyone is using it so it’s not much of an indignity anymore. It’s more of the new regular, which makes it obvious that some mainstream artists of today lack the real talent of the music of the past.
Many of the lyrics have no real depth to them anymore either. Lots of mainstream artists don’t even write their own. The music is repetitive, and the lyrics sometimes involve swearing and the same typical situations, like “going to a club tonight”, “let’s get this party started”, or the typical thought that every song has to be about love, falling in love, being in love, or something having to do with love. It would be great for some artists to try and expand their music into more than just one topic of “love”, and try writing a song about a different issue or situation in life. This music is great for hearing at a party, or something upbeat to hear. But when you actually want to listen to the music, I’m not sure this is exactly what everyone is looking for.
To finish this, I’ll start by saying that not all music of today is bad. There are lots of underground bands of today – and even some mainstream- that still have the actual depth and talent in their music, to become even greater someday. It disappoints me though, when underground bands with real musical talent are getting less attention than a popular artist that constantly uses a synthesizer or has someone write their songs for them. It is an opinionated topic, but I still think it’s something for everyone to debate, whatever genre or era you’re a fan of.