Some heavy metal bands know when to quit. With the release of SwanSong, Carcass made their bow at the curtain and kindly left the stage. Applause all around, great career, killer material. Others don't, and the list of these embarassing excuses for classic bands goes on so long, it begins to resemble Santa's "naughty" list.
The most noted contract-filler is Metallica, pumping out Loads and ReLoads of forced crap that is so far removed from their metal roots, it makes me want to wretch. A band named Metallica playing alternative...there you go. Why? Money, record contracts, white people in business suits pulling the strings, twisting your mind and smashing your dreams. Blinded by me you can't see a thing, and I haven't seen Metallica in years, it's a waste of time and $65.
Then you have Pantera. Allow me to pause and scream like Phil circa Vulgar Display Of Power. Too bad I seem to be the only one doing that anymore, Phil stopped about a decade ago. Once he got onto heroin and other drugs he used to renounce, it was all downhill for the frontman, who now heads the ridiculous Super Joint Ritual. Sounds like the name of a high school garage band, Phil.
But that wasn't until we had to be disappointed, no that's not the word, utterly awestruck by the lack of inspiration, the lack of anything even closely resembling metal on the Reinventing the Steel album. It's weak, very weak. Especially for Pantera. I can't say enough bad things about it, so I'll leave it at I am very glad that I didn't actually purchase it.
Then of course there is the unspeakable condition of Guns 'N Roses, the heart and soul of which has been ripped out, chewed, churned around in the stomach acid of life, and puked back out at us, usually a couple of hours late if the vomitous mass decides to show up at all. Buckethead left, what's that tell you?
Crappity crap crap! I'm tired of this, truly tired. Why is it that the only quality material seems to be coming out of Sweden these days? Is it because of a lack of talented heavy bands in the States? No, there are plenty of them, and every time I go see a small show at a bar with some black or death metal band ripping it up on stage, I think "Why does nobody know about this?"
The answer: something is very wrong with the music industry in America. It is the Machine of Perpetual Bastardization that lays waste to everything good, everything Holy, everything brutally sacred about American heavy music. My advice for metal bands today? Move to Europe where people actually listen to this stuff. Here in the states you have no chance.