Before I start, I just want to say that I do realize that I am somewhat being an elitist by hating elitists, but hear me out because it’s not as bad as the Hipster Paradigm.
By now, you probably have figured out that I am a metal fan by reading my last post or my bio. Either way, you know it. Being a metalhead is something I’ve always been proud of but I don’t boast about it. What I do is offer up music I enjoy to someone that is open to new things and if they deny, I simply accept it. I don’t flaunt it in their face or try and make them enjoy what I enjoy.
I bring this all up because there are a lot of elitists in the metal community. I am on Reddit quite frequently, and have been for the past 2 and a half years (when I first signed up). I have subscribed and unsubscribed from a lot of subreddits, most notably the main metal subreddit. This subreddit is supposed to be all things metal but sees just a few types of metal because that’s what they all like. I went there expecting to see some really cool metal bands that I’d never heard of but what you usually get is Death Metal, Black Metal, or some other form of growling, extremely heavy metal. Prog sneaks its way in every now and then and some 80s thrash appears here and there but usually gets shot down (due to the Black list they have on posting bands everyone knows about, which is reasonable).
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But this isn’t only the place this exists. I follow a few metal pages on Facebook. Meme Theater (a Dream Theater comedy page), Kirk Wahmett (a Metal comedy page focused mainly on Kirk Hammett and other thrash metal), and Progressive Rock/Metal (just a typical fan page of Prog Rock and Metal). You want elitism and Facebook idiots in one place at the same time? Look no further. The admins must rarely read comments because they are just littered with “this song is better” “no fuck you this song is better” “no fuck you…” and so on.
But my personal favorite is Metal Reviews.com. Metal Reviews is a site I stumbled upon back in 2011 when looking up a review for Dream Theater’s “A Dramatic Turn of Events.” This site gave it a 73/100, which I thought was harsh since it, in my opinion, was a pretty good album. I decided to look up Five Finger Death Punch and found that they reviewed 1 of their 3 albums at the time: “War is the Answer.” It got a 58/100. Why? Because they’re not “real” metal. They just play down-tuned chug riffs while Ivan Moody screams and sings while trying to be a bad-ass and is totally not a bad-ass because of multiple reasons (all of them being, in summation, “because he’s making money and getting radio airplay which totally isn’t metal”).
Now I’m exaggerating a bit, but if you talked to one of these people, you’d get that feeling from them and may even hear some of those things said. Here, I’ll do you a favor and give you just a short list of things almost every metal elitist thinks:
- Before 1991, Metallica released masterpieces and then took a shit on their fans
- If it’s on the radio, it’s obviously not metal because it’s light enough to make it onto the radio
- Metalcore isn’t metal
Shit on their fans with their music, not how they dressed.
Photo from ddart.com
So what’s true out of all of that? Well, Metallica’s first 4 albums were masterpieces, I’ll give them that. The rest is not true at all. The Black Album (Metallica) is a great album. Yes, it’s different from what they used to do, and it changed who they were as a band, but it wasn’t a death sentence to their fans. You can’t get mad at a band for getting tired of playing the same style for 10+ years.
Radio airplay is good for metal because it’s expanding it’s audience. Granted a lot of extremely talented bands won’t get played on the radio, the ones that do are at least opening a door to a new world to those who haven’t experienced metal. I started with Metallica and KISS. I moved on to Five Finger Death Punch and Bullet For My Valentine. After that I found Dream Theater, Riverside, and Opeth. It wouldn’t have happened unless I listened to Metallica on the radio.
I think they just hate their font choice.
photo from Rant Chick
So what’s my point? Well, no matter what you do, you’re going to encounter elitists. Any hobby you have, there will be elitists. Anything you do as a profession, there will be elitists. It’s not like you can avoid them. My point is that if you’re reading this, don’t be one of those elitists. You can take pride in what you do and not be an asshole about it. You can like things that others won’t like and not be a complete dick to anyone who disagrees. You can be yourself without being a dick.