Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pop Metal And It's Place In The Metal Community

Everybody in the metal community loves to argue about pop metal. Do pop metal bands have a place? Should they even be called metal? The argument is usually made that the pop metal bands act as gateway bands. The kid that is listening to Avenged Sevenfold today will be listening to Cannibal Corpse tomorrow. This may very well be true. That's how I was when I was 13 and 14 listening to Korn, Slipknot, and Linkin Park. By the time I was 16 and 17 I was into Cannibal Corpse, Kataklysm, and Bloodbath. But does this happen in every case? Absolutely not. Most of the time, especially these days, the bands like like Five Finger Death Punch, Bullet For My Valentine, and Disturbed attract a UFC style fanbase of douche bags. But of course you have that risk with every movement. While the kids that were into nu metal when they were younger, like me grew up to like true metal. The adults that got into nu metal went a very different direction, Getting tribal tattoos and corn rows.

But there is a difference between good and bad pop metal. There are the bands that have serious talent like Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engage that just happen to write catchy songs with an edge. And then you have Black Veil Brides and Five Finger Death Punch who are just so annoying you can't imagine this music doing anything good for anybody. But those bands will eventually die out and we'll be left with the talented ones that will do nostalgia tours 10 years from now.

But what about deathcore? Beyond the radio side of pop metal you have deathcore which is basically the Hot Topic side of pop metal. It attracts a very similar fanbase and has very similar effects as far as getting kids to listen to real metal. The good thing about deathcore is that it gives the bands the opportunity to evolve into a real death metal bands. The Black Dahlia Murder, Job For A Cowboy, Through The Eyes Of The Dead, these are all bands that have distanced themselves from the deathcore movement while managing to keep their original fans and through going on tour with real death metal bands, have turned their fans onto the world outside the brightly colored shirts, the hardcore dancing and the basketball shorts. This is where I see the merit of deathcore.

But then, of course you have the bands who have no merit whatsoever. Sadly these are the bands most associated with the movement. When talking about deathcore Bring Me The Horizon is the first band to come to mind. And that band is absolutely terrible. Luckily for us this movement seems to be on it's way out. I mean, when was the last time you heard a new BMTH song? Or saw someone wearing an Attack Attack! shirt? Unlike the pop metal bands, when the bad deathcore bands die out we aren't really left with "good" deathcore bands. We'll just be left with bands their were deathcore but have evolved their sound to traditional death metal. And isn't that we are really hoping for?