Linkin Park are pop now. With their last three tracks - “Heavy,’’ “Battle Symphony’’ and “Good Goodbye’’ - they are one step closer to becoming an all-out boyband. Even for a band who are hated by a significant portion of metal circles, the new tracks have incurred the wrath and mockery of haters and fans alike. But it’s not that much of a grand departure either; Linkin Park has always been rooted in pop music to an extent. When they arrived on the scene during the apex of nu-metal, they brought a polished shine to the genre that was much more accessible than that of their peers. Hybrid Theory was a groundbreaking album in many ways, but it lacked the abrasiveness of Limp Bizkit and Korn records, offering a squeaky clean alternative to many of their peers. While pop elements can be found in the music of most popular nu-metal bands from the genre’s heyday, Linkin Park embraced them more on a grander scale from the get go.
How does one incorporate elements of poppier, more upbeat music into metal's mix and perhaps even its external themes like album art, lyrics and delivery? While many bands have taken a pass at this question, none of have solved it quite as well as Ninjaspy. In 2013, the Canadian band released their short (and excellent) debut EP, coupling it with a home-brewed, Ninja themed comics that elaborated on and worked together with the album (NOTE: we'll not be referencing the obvious similarities between Ninjaspy and a certain Australian band who shan't be named. A simple look at a timeline will give you all the facts you need). Their music incorporated elements of reggae and surf right into heavier influences from hardcore and modern metal. The result drew comparisons to System of a Down, SikTh, Limp Bizkit and others.
Limp Bizkit are far from the most unanimously loved band to ever grace the metal spectrum. Often derided as abrasive and angst-ridden rap metal for beer-swilling frat boys, it’s perfectly understandable why they’ve never found acclaim among the purists. However, there was a time when they were inescapable commercial juggernauts with a tendency to make headlines for the wrong reasons, as well as poster boys for the much maligned nu-metal subgenre.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.
With the possible exception of crunkcore and whatever you call the music that the neo-goth kids at Hot Topic are listening to, nu-metal is perhaps the most divisive genre in metal (if you even consider it to be metal in the first place). Nowadays, the names Korn, Slipknot, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Godsmack and the dreaded Limp Bizkit are often followed with some sort of insult or derogatory humor in the metal world. Even us at Heavy Blog are guilty of this, to the point that we’ve made Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” into a meme in our own circles. Nu-metal is, at best, a joke in the minds of modern “TR00” metal fans.
...shit! iTunes will probably get mad if I swear on the episode title, so there you go. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually reads these descriptions. Well, in case you do, here are this week's links for new music: Be'lakor, Hatebreed, Lacuna Coil, Whitechapel, Astronoid, Unlocking the Truth, Oracles, Fallujah. Also, Kylesa are done, and as you probably know, Prince passed away. Well, this week we talk about the external and internal perception of metal as intellectual/ignorant, then we talk about people who "leave" metal and feel that it's for "angsty teens" and that we should "grow up". Can you feel the salt already? Also, a brief tangent about where some MTV-metal artists are now.
SINCE THEIR INCEPTION, UK'S ENIGMATIC THE HELL HAVE DEFENDED HARDCORE AND CAPSLOCK ALIKE, UNAPOLOGETICALLY SLINGING IGNORANT HATEMOSH AND SKEWERING THE ENTIRETY OF METAL CULTURE ALONG THE WAY. IN A SCENE THAT... Read More...
Guest contributor Chris Catharsis of Soul Cycle opines on instrumental music following a run-in with a cardboard Jens Kidman at a Meshuggah show.