Saturday, January 30, 2016

An Open Letter to Robb Flynn

Robb,

I watched your video "Racism in Metal," all eleven minutes of your yammering finger wagging. I have to say that a giant, shall we say, inconsistency jumped out at me. You see, any metal fan that is being honest with himself knows that Phil Anselmo has a history of spouting racist nonsense. The most glaring example being the extended "white pride" tirade from the mid 90s, around 95 if I'm not mistaken. The time for you to call Phil out for his racism was not yesterday, no. That time was 1997, when you toured with Pantera. If this was such a problem to you, if you're such a principled crusader against racism, the time for you to say something was when you were both relevant. By ignoring it then, you gave up any moral high ground that you perceive yourself as having from which to wag your fingers at a bunch of young idiots, many of whom weren't even alive when Phil was spouting his "white pride" nonsense, and as such have likely never seen it. Pantera were a disease on this music. A disease that should have been purged long ago, and likely would have if not for idiots like yourself constantly playing booster for them. Anyone who suffered through your eleven minutes of whining can see your rant for what it is. That is self-serving proselytizing. Why did you wait until now to say something? Simple: because your drunken redneck idol trashed the Jncos and dreadlocks phase of your career right to your face. I am not giving Phil a pass here (I'm not you, after all). Unless you're a 14 year old juggalo and it's 1999, you should not be listening to Pantera in the first place. Their music is a little snapshot of everything that was wrong with the macho pseudo-thrash of the early 90s. However, you shouldn't attempt to clothe your self-serving ego boosting in the swaddling of anti-racism. That just makes you a douche bag. Of course, since you're "done" with the metal community, does that mean I won't have to put up with another album of your own particular brand of hyper macho, white trash pseudo-thrash? Will you dust off the Jncos and have your hair re-frosted?  Frankly, neither you nor Phil are a great loss to the "metal community."

Cheers,
   
         Central Scrutinizer

Friday, January 8, 2016

Metal Journalists vs. Nostalgia Trolls

It has become something of a trend lately for online Metal publications to blame their lack of reporting on new and interesting bands on their readership. While their certainly has been a shift by websites like Metal Sucks, Metal Hammer, and Blabbermouth away from covering up and comers and semi-underground acts toward covering aging Thrash bands and the "cock rock" nostalgia circuit, that coverage shift can not, and should not be blamed on the readers. The reader commenters that obsess over these old bands were attracted by your coverage of them. I remember well when these shifts began. The readers routinely complained about the pervasive coverage of these leather and lipstick relics, but the complaints fell on deaf ears. The coverage continued on, and the readership shifted away from metal die hards and toward the "stuck in the 80s" and "stuck in the 90s" crowds. These nostalgia trolls did not create the situation where you are forced to report on so many old bands, they are a result of you piling on the vintage coverage. However, the thing to remember is that you are not forced to cover so many old bands. You are free to shift your coverage toward focusing on newer acts at any time. The problem isn't the militancy of the oh so dreaded trolls. No, the problem is that you, the staff at these magazines, are lazy. I'll use Metal Hammer as an example here. Consider this your penance for staging that idiotic Golden Gods crap (the only awards ceremony more clueless about Metal than the Grammys). A recent piece published on Metal Hammer's website once again decried overly conservative Metal fans forcing the poor staff to cover so many nostalgia acts. When one reader rather astutely pointed out that the fault lies with the magazine and not the readers, they were quick to point out that they do cover new and underground acts. In a small back page feature and on a separate Facebook page that no one reads. You can not expect people to embrace new bands when you treat their music as second rate like this. You're just selling the underground to the underground, and I've got news for you. Those of us that pay attention to off the radar Metal acts, well, we've already bought, so you're essentially selling no one on these acts. If you truly do want to cover new and interesting bands, you should do it on your main website. Being as I'm speaking strictly as a Metal fan right now, and not as a writer for The Grim Tower, I'll give you a few suggestions as to how you could make room for some of these acts. First, you could dump the coverage (at least some of it) of some of these "mainstream" bands that no one seems to really give a damn about. Seriously, do you care about what colour Frankie Palmeri's bowel movements were this week? Does anyone? Is there even such a thing as an Emmure fan? No? Then it is time to move on. Next, you could just maybe look at axing the unhinged spewing of verbal diarrhea from the likes of Corey Taylor and Randy "I R smart for a hillbilly" Blythe. Their inane blabber has nothing to do with music, and dropping coverage of it would free up the writers and editors that are forced to parse, edit, and type up this crap to cover different bands. I, for one, along with many other Metal fans would welcome these changes. Otherwise, enjoy pandering to the Gen X nostalgia crowd.

-Sincerely,
      Central Scrutinizer