Metallica just released ’72 Seasons’ and I have to be honest, I really love the album. Now, hold your fire, please, but give me a moment to explain why the album is more than just a Metallica album. Yes, we are about to go down a deep path of a possible rock revival and why it all feels very bittersweet.
Metallica’s ’72 Seasons’ has garnered massive success, and this is a great time to be a Metallica fan, with Jason Newsted even returning to the stage. Sure, it’s in the name, of course, but it’s not just a name and a solid album. It seems to be a call to action. Metallica have always been more of a stripped down metal band. James Hetfield’ vocals have never been overly processed, in fact, much of the time it sounds like James is just screaming into an Iphone speaker in a normal room. There’s not much glamour or pitch shifting or reverb used.
I think this is what people want in music right now. In ways, it feels like it’s rebellious to sound so raw and unfiltered. So, could this mean rock is alive?
Well, James had something to say about it.
In a recent interview with The Project, when asked, he said: “Gosh, [heavy metal is] a misfit music. It’s an underground feeling still. It’s like a rebel music. It’s a thing you need to fight for. Every decade, [they say] ‘rock is dead’. That is fuel for a hard rock band. Absolutely.”
It seems like he was pointing at Gene Simmons.
Gene Simmons, the bassist and co-lead vocalist of the iconic rock band KISS, caused a stir in the music industry in 2014 when he declared that “rock is dead.” His statement was widely reported in the media and sparked a debate among music fans and industry insiders.
Simmons’ argument was based on the idea that the music industry had changed dramatically in recent years, with the rise of digital music and streaming services making it harder for new rock bands to achieve success. He suggested that the era of rock bands headlining huge stadiums and dominating the charts was over, and that the genre had been surpassed by other forms of music, such as hip-hop and pop.
Simmons’ comments were met with skepticism and criticism from many in the rock community, who pointed out that the genre had always been subject to cycles of popularity and decline. They argued that there were still many talented rock musicians and bands who were finding new ways to connect with audiences and create innovative music.
Despite the controversy surrounding his comments, Simmons continued to stand by his assertion that rock was no longer the dominant force in the music industry. While his words may have been provocative, they also served as a reminder of the challenges facing rock musicians in a rapidly changing music landscape.
The statements made by Gene do reflect some truth, sure. It’s no secret that rock has been on a decline, but let’s check out some current trends. Blink-182 stayed number one of the charts for weeks recently, MGK made his rock buzz, and Metallica’s new album is trending.
Small sample size? Sure, but it seems like a wave is here. All music can be loved without bashing another. At the end of the day, it’s all just sounds and vibrations. Let’s see if James or Gene is right in nine more years, shall we?