With the start of 2012 already in full swing I've been currently reflecting on several aspects of my life (ie. my health,life changes, my family/relationships etc etc..) and have come to realize that one of the most constant and reliable things in it has been Metal music. Its been close to 20 years since I've been listening to this form of auditory pleasure in one way or another and I can't help but think on how much (good and bad) it has brought to my life and how it has changed the way I view parts of myself and the world around me.

With that being said I have been thinking a lot about the current state of Metal and what it has slowly evolved into. Metal today is probably the most popular its been since the 80's with bands reaching "the charts" with more frequency, worldwide acceptance in mainstream culture (Hell even hipsters and indie fruitcakes are into it nowadays), feature films and documentaries (The Story of Anvil, Metal: A Headbangers Journey, Hesher etc etc..). The ability for bands to tour on this side of the globe when in past years they would never had gotten the chance because of lack of label support, the popularity of Metal festivals not only in Europe but now in the U.S. with MDF, Gathering of the Bestial Legion, CIM, 70000 of Metal and others. The involvement of major companies like Scion with the Scion Fest and all the shows they put on and a wider acceptance by major venues like HOB to host Metal shows. Come to think about it, its a pretty good time to be a Metalhead these days.

On the flipside one can't help but notice that a lot of what people call Metal these days is utter crap I wouldnt touch with a 10-foot pole. A lot of the bands and music being churned out left and right is unoriginal and emotionless. It is more concerned with fashion and image than with creative riffs and memorable anthems. So much of what kids (old fart voice) listen to nowadays is so watered down,tepid and soulless. Its hard for me to find new bands have any of that spark that would get my heart racing.... memories of listening to Dismember's Like an Ever Flowing Stream for the first time and headbanging nonstop because you couldnt help but feel the music.

Thankfully the old guard is still there. Bands like Priest, Maiden, Motorhead, Unleashed and others still put out great albums and awesome live performances. Do I wish there were more unique and talented new Metal bands coming up through the ranks:Yes sure it would be nice, Do I need them to renew my faith in Metal: Nope, Metal is in my DNA and will only go away the day I die...

What are your thoughts on this?