Starting over is not the easiest thing in the world, but it does have its benefits. There is freedom in going back to the point of inception because there are no preconceived notions of what is to come. Even if people remember what came before, that was the past and this is the future, which stops for no one. When Vattnet, previously known to us as the post-black metal band Vattnet Viskar, lost one of their two founding members, they saw an opportunity to go back to the beginning and build from the ground up. Cleaving their band name in half, they looked toward the future and decided to make a self-titled album album that, in the words of guitarist Chris Alfieri, “we could listen to forever, even if no one else liked it.”
Some might say hair metal died in the 90s when Nirvana disrupted the rock industry. Yet, all of hair metal’s celebration of excess and sexism, musical dilution, and market oversaturation is present in today’s mainstream country scene. The factory seems to have just moved from the Sunset Strip to Nashville. It’s massive appeal to young listeners has created a divide in the country music scene not unlike the divide in the metal scene in the 80s. On one side industry titans argue that Bro Country is just the music of the times and that old people are just whining about being left behind. On the other side, more “authentic” artists are rising under the banner of “real country.” This is all quickly acessible on Wikipedia and Saving Country Music in more depth. But is Bro Country really just the second coming of Hair Metal? Or does Hair Metal deserve a little more credit?