Everyone, it’s over. It’s been over for a really long time. It’s time we accept it and move on.
I am going to waste energy writing about this now.
Metallica announced Orion Music And More Tuesday and were immediately greeted with outrage, scorn and derision. This (I think) is because Orion is basically a mainstream music fest (I don’t really think so, it’s kind of a mainstream alternative thing, it’s bands for confused 30somethings that mistake themselves for hip like I do sometimes) and it doesn’t include any metal bands except “false” metal groups Avenged Sevenfold and Liturgy. (Which again is like “!!!” to me because I remember about 2 years ago when Liturgy were ok and made a lot of best of lists.) This left me in a weird position and one I’m not very used to, I understood what was going on when no one else did. Let’s break it down:
Our starting facts:
- Metallica have been hated by “real” metalheads since ’96’s Load. Arguably since The Black Album in ’91. By either metric they haven’t been credible or relevant to the trOO since well before people even used that term.
- Metallica have taken pretty severe critical beatings but still manage to sell a ridiculous amount of music.
- Despite the scorn, derision, ridicule and persistent claims that care is not given, there is an instant outrage whenever Metallica do a thing.
Our conclusions and suppositions:
- Metallica have given up on their old fans. The people that have hated them since changing their musical direction have long since been replaced by fresh waves of people who like their new stuff. Couple these fans with those who are not particularly into anything since the day, but continue to by albums anyway out of a sense of allegiance to the band, or with some dim hope that “the next one will be good.”
- People who are basically professional at metal do not have any friends that are not also professional at metal. They have no pals that drive a trucks, work collections, are in medical billing or any field outside making and discussing heavy metal music professionally, aka normal people into relatively normal music. This is the reason they cannot comprehend the continued interest in and success of Metallica. There are tons and tons of people who think that Slayer is the absolute pinnacle of the heavy metal genre. A lot of them are actually ok, they’re just too busy with a job or kids to worry about what is thought in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
- The concept of a festival that is not solely devoted to a singular type of music is incomprehensible to a heavy metal fan.