Speaking as a metalhead, I can safely say that metalheads are some of the worst music elitists out there. Most of our musical choices are based on fads and trends and others’ perception of the band. And as soon as a band hits the big time, we stop supporting the band. Of course, not all metalheads are like this and some of them do have genuinely good taste in music. But here are some of the more annoying things that metalheads say/do.
That band sold out: I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this particular phrase from a fellow metalhead’s mouth. It seems as after a point, whatever a band does can be constituted as selling out. So when Metallica made The Black Album in 1990, they sold out because they changed their sound. And when a band doesn’t change their sound, the band sold out because it was afraid of experimenting. So the band is always in a lose-lose situation with some fans. Any move by the band is heavily scrutinised and it always seems to polarise the fans. I have heard people calling getting nominated for a Grammy as selling out.
Hopping on the trend bandwagon: In the 90’s it was nu-metal. In the mid-2000s it was metalcore. And now it’s djent. Musical trends in metal take the metal fans by storm initially but always leave with a whimper. These trends are universally hated when they end and are the source of much embarrassment to metalheads all around. Nu metal is so vilely hated nowadays that being a fan of it can lead to immediate ostracization. Although djent seems to be very popular nowadays, it remains to be seen how fondly it will be remembered 10 years from now, or if it will even be remembered at all.
Coolness factor of a band: Bands aren’t always considered cool throughout their career. There is a specific period in their life when bands are cool. So when a band starts out and is an unknown commodity in the underground metal community, it is considered cool to be a fan of it. However, as soon as it reaches a wider audience and becomes more popular, it loses some fans who no longer consider it cool to like them. But later on in the band’s life when the band loses its popularity and has been around for 25-30 years, it suddenly becomes acceptable to be a fan of the band again. It’s kind of like how fashion trends come and go in cycles. Who knew fashion and metal had so much in common.
MOAR BREAKDOWNS: Breakdowns are an important part of modern metal music. There are complete songs which are built just to showcase breakdowns. Thus you have metalheads screaming for more and more breakdowns. This has reached a point where the breakdown has lost its usefulness and there are songs which start and end with breakdowns.
Clean vocals are not metal: This is a trend which has picked up pace in the recent years. A majority of metalheads today do not care much about vocals until the singer is growling vague things about death in the background. The vocalist could just growl the word “Die” for 4 minutes and metalheads wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Even screamed vocals are looked upon as emo and are barely acceptable by metal’s standards. This even led to the band Veil of Maya recording a hilarious spoof video called “Breaking Bands” which was a Breaking Bad style parody about clean singing.