Trends and scenes come and go with metronomic regularity like the waxing and waning of the moon – one minute the light side, in full view of the world and worshipped from afar, the next out of sight and ignored along with the inhabitants that dwell there. And thus the procession of shallow *cores or death/black/hardcore crossovers becomes a footnote in the history of metal only to be resurrected in 20 or 30 years as the new big thing.
As the bright face of the Death Metal and Trad revivals seem to be waning, the new school are already lined up to take it’s place in the hearts and minds of the kids. So what will come next, and will it really go nuclear and become the next HUGE thing (like NWOBHM, Thrash, Grunge, Emo)?
There seems to be emerging 2 real growth areas under the metal banner that could make the transition to mainstream: Doom/Stoner and Grindcore. On the surface, these two genres couldn’t be more different – slow, monolithic, gloomy, subdued against fast, frenetic, angry, complex – but there are similarities, if not so much musically. The denizens of these genres are generally un-metal (in the traditional sense) and are neither flamboyant or posturing (unlike much of the current crop of trendies) displaying more Alt-like characteristics. There’s no clear fashion other than jeans+t-shirt+tats. They both descend from a very clear ancestor (Black Sabbath and Napalm Death respectively) and have a old school DIY ethic.
The key here is that both genres are opposed to the brash and showy incumbent scenes and have a very ‘anti’ feel about them – they are primed for insurrection. Both genres are enjoying an upsurge in popularity and visibility (witness High on Fire ransacking the US albums chart) which could see them hit a critical mass to swells them into the mainstream. Finally, both genres are offensive/parent baiting enough to have teenagers the world over slathering with delight. The effect this may have on the scene and culture is a subject for another post, but there’s a conversation happening here on the subject to whet your appetite.
And the players in these surging genres? Here are a few, that are indicative rather than representative.
Fuck the Facts