Growing up in the suburbs of Central Florida, I was no stranger to anger. I was no less a victim to hormones than any other adolescent. I was no less an enemy of the establishment than other youth who tried to think for themselves.
So when I was introduced to the counter culture at an early age, I knew I had found my release.
Baggy JNCO’s, Dyed hair, spiked bracelets, Doc Martens, violent tendencies… All that shit came with certain types of music that allowed me to feel represented. I began collecting what cassettes I could; Dead Kennedy’s, Black Flag, The Misfits, Biohazard, Rage Against the Machine, the works…
And then there was Metallica.
An entity at the core of the whole mess of my angst and opposition to the world. Their sardonic, intelligent, political and satyrical music resonated with me, as it had with so many other pissed off brats. It was such a testament to the energy and springtime of youth.
And as the years have passed, and as time has changed, as I have grown and learned, healed and calmed down from that pimple-faced asshole, I have but one question;
WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU, METALLICA?
Here at HorrorHomework, we tend to focus on the aesthetics of horror. But this particular subject deviates from that, as it is an ugly side to American horror. A once wondrous thing has become something very… Awful.
Let us first examine early Metallica; a band from California that toured extensively across the U.S., honing its skills to the tune of rock greats like Merciful Death, The Misfits, Queen, Black Sabbath and others. Like their contemporaries (more or less) Slayer, Motorhead and others, Metallica was not only a band that represented masses of pissed off, mostly white kids. They not only represented what the rest of society wanted to hate, but they were good musicians.
So, as I grow older, and the testosterone has somewhat subsided, I tend to consider my roots. And when I see what has become of the band, I hold some kind of contempt for them.
Yes, we can go with the whole ‘but what happened to you also happened to them, they grew up Merkin.’ To you sir, I say, fuck that. A band can evolve, or grow up, or even mellow out, without asking a dedicated audience to buy in to this:
I’ve heard it all before:
– ‘Let them make whatever music they want to. They DESERVE it!’
– ‘Artists do this all the time. They are no different.’
– ‘They got too old to make music like they used to.’
– ‘Blah, blah, let’s get passive about it, blah fucking BLAH!’
I don’t see Slayer or Megadeth selling out like that. I don’t hear them growing old like that.
My one request, Metallica. My one request:
Please, do one more good album. Change it up if you must, but don’t forget your roots. You can go Prog. You can go Fantastical. Artsy. But don’t go the direction of vanity.
Otherwise, thanks for a few great albums and notsomuch for the rest. I am proud of part of your legacy.