The metal community is full of elitists. This is a fact. A lot of us get off on that “holier-than-thou” feeling associated with listening to bands that lie outside of the mainstream. Many of us are guilty of it, but how many of us actively pursue elitism?

Enter 74,000 Riffs, an epic quest to hear every metal band, ever:

“I’ve been in a lot of arguments over the years about metal, specifically about elitism among metal fans.  I hate elitism as much as  the next person, but in a recent argument, I was being accused of it.  So I thought, “Wait, am I?”  I recounted all the times people had recommended bands to me and I’d reply “Thanks! I’ll try them out!”, having no real intention of doing so as the guy giving the recommendation was sporting a Bullet for my Valentine shirt.

So I began to wonder if I really knew what I was talking about when it came to what “good” or “bad” metal is.  I realized that although I know what the genres are, I’m a bit fuzzy about why bands fit the genre they were placed in, and how to place a band in a genre without any help from websites or know-it-alls.   I can tell you a band is good, but I can’t tell you why it’s good.

I decided that I can’t be an elitist until I’ve heard everything.  So this blog is my personal quest to listen to every band listed on the Metal Archives. And to record my thoughts and opinions along the way.”

I don’t know it it’s just me, but this idea seems pretty fucking awesome, and has potential to be something worth keeping up with. I’m kind of surprised this hasn’t been done before now, despite never actually thinking about it before. What he does is pretty simple: pick a band, listen to a few songs, and do a short write-up. Sounds easy enough, but check out these statistics:

Of course, this is basically an impossible undertaking, to do so would require listening to one band a day for 202 years, or 10 bands a day for 20 years. To do it before I’m 30 would require listening to and forming opinions on 50 bands per day, which is basically impossible given my work schedule.  But, such as it is, I will continue until I’m satisfied with what I’ve done.

Those numbers really put it into perspective. So far, he’s heard Hypocricy, A Bloody Epitaph, A Blind Prophecy, and A Band Of Orcs. Who knows? He may stumble upon your favorite band soon. It’s all just another step towards ultimate elitism and the most informed opinion.

Now, it isn’t as pretentious as I’m putting it out to be; it’s just a guy who loves metal and wants to hear what it has to offer as a whole, and decided to go balls-out with it. But still, there’s a certain level of gloatability when you tell people that you’ve heard every single metal band ever. All in all though, he knows that music is subjective and his opinion is no more valid than yours.

I do not claim to be an authority on what’s good or bad.  In fact, that’s the reason I started this blog; to learn more, to understand more about why I’m drawn to some music styles over others.

On that note, go check out 74,000 Riffs. You might just expand your horizons along the way.

– JR


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