Aug 202015



(The author of this piece is Andy Synn. I expect it will generate some critical discussion — I hope it will — and as the editor of the site I expect to join in that discussion.)

Now, don’t worry, this has nothing to do with the (supposedly woeful) new Fantastic Four movie (“Fant4stic”?) that’s just come out. No, it’s just another rambling column by yours truly about the perils and pitfalls of this thing we call “blogging” – in this case on the topic of negativity, or the lack thereof, at this site and others.

You see, there are definitely times when I wish that NCS could be a little bit more negative in its outlook. Not much. Not drastically. But there’s definitely times when I’ve felt like writing about an album in order to point out its flaws more than to praise it, particularly when I see that album receiving what I feel is undue (or, worse, downright suspicious) levels of praise (more on this topic in a subsequent column).

That’s not to say we aren’t critical here at NCS, when the occasion calls for it. Though we try to remain positive and post mainly about music we’ve heard/found/discovered that really kicks our proverbial asses, we’re also willing to say when we think certain aspects or elements don’t seem to be working, or need a bit of polish, or simply aren’t quite up to the band’s usual standards (see my recent Soilwork review for an example of this).

So, I think there’s definitely a time and a place for a bit of negativity, without sliding into full-scale abuse. But where do you draw the line?


Now you may not be aware (or care), but I actually do take time to read the reviews and features posted by a lot of other Metal blogs. Often they’ll expose me to new bands I might not have discovered on my own, and/or to new points of view about albums and bands which I might not otherwise have considered. I’ll even admit that there have been times when I’ve been reviewing an album and I’ve come across a concurrent review at another blog that has caused me to pause and re-evaluate what I’m writing in a “damn, how did I miss that?” kind of way.

But with the internet enabling everyone and their dog to become a “blogger” and set themselves up as a font of critical expertise (which of course is what enabled the creation of this blog, too), I’ve observed a wide range of quality along the way, from sites that always seem to treat albums with a sense of critical clarity, even if I don’t always agree with them (looking at you here, AMG), to sites that you know decided to praise an album even before hearing it, to blogs that viciously attack anything outside of their very small area of preference.

Perhaps most frequently I come across sites/blogs which seem to show absolutely no sense of critical thought or objective appraisal in deciding what to praise, where the writing simply seems to applaud everything to the same extent, such that I don’t see how anyone could take their opinion seriously. If there’s no balance, no clear reference point or relativity… if absolutely everything is idolised without question, then what’s the point?

It also doesn’t help as this proliferation of blogs means that almost every band, no matter who they are or what they do (or how well they do it), can find numerous sources to cite and “prove” how awesome they are.



For instance, I came across a band recently whose album I’ve previously checked out, and whom I’ve seen live, yet whose selected press quotes seemed in no way to reflect the same music I’d had the dubious pleasure of listening to.

We’re talking middle-of-the-road Metalcore circa latter-day As I Lay Dying, perhaps with a touch more generic Thrash, where the riffs are all 10th generation knock-offs of the same toothless At The Gates rip-offs that were big about ten years ago (with every second half of every verse dropping into a part where half the band does a rhythmic “chug” pattern while one guitarist continues playing the exact same riff), where the song structures are resolutely bound to the standard verse-chorus pop song arrangement, and the vocals are delivered in that same melodramatic yowling half-yell meant to convey “deep feeling” without being too extreme, right up until the requisite clean-sung chorus…

And yet the quotes were full of praise for the album’s “raw emotion”, its “technical writing”, its “innovative sound”… what the hell was going on?

Well, looking at the sources cited, I must say… I didn’t really recognise any of them. The band weren’t exactly getting lauded by any of the big names, or the trusted names. No, they were pulling the most positive quotes from various small blogs that seem to praise everything to high heaven, from the masterful to the mediocre, regardless of their actual quality. They just don’t seem to have any standards at all… or if they do, they are incredibly low. And it really made me question if the reviewers really knew what they were talking about. Praising an album this safe and mediocre as being “technical” or “innovative” just reeked either of bias or ignorance on the part of the writer.


Now I know that probably sounds a bit snobbish – I’ve tried to rewrite it a few times now and I can’t completely cleanse it of that – but I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing, stumbling upon writers or reviews which simply don’t seem to know what they’re actually talking about, but present themselves as some sort of authority.

And we’re not immune to that here at NCS either. No sir. Ultimately we’re just a bunch of guys who love music, and take time out of our day to write and wax poetic about it, simply due to the love of it. We’re certainly not the supreme authority on all things Metal, nor should you feel inclined to take our word as gospel (as if anyone actually does). But I do hope that we’ve earned a little bit of trust and respect over the years, from our readers, from bands, from labels, as a blog with at least a smidgen of self-awareness and an ability to critically assess things on their own terms – good OR bad.

But the level of blinkered praise, all attributed to “supporting the scene” or “not being a hater”, doesn’t actually do anyone any favours. For one thing praising everything without being selective about it means that the reader has no real basis for judging whether or not any album or song or band is actually going to be any good, basically wasting their time in the process, but it also means that bands don’t receive any honest critical feedback or constructive criticism – which, I must say, can be very important.

Often (and I speak from experience here) you’re simply too close to your own music to make this sort of analysis for yourself, and if many small blogs are ceaselessly praising even your most mediocre efforts, it gives you no impetus to step up your game to the point where the larger, more respected, sites will start taking notice – and leaves you in danger of simply treading water even while others continually tell you how great you are.

This is one of the reasons I’m somewhat against expanding the core writing team here, as well as indiscriminately accepting guest pieces (and I don’t mean to imply we’ve been doing that). The way it stands now we have a purposefully limited team of “staff” writers (people who have been consistently and frequently contributing to the site for years and have carte blanche to write about whatever they choose), each with their own specialities but generally overlapping sets of standards and taste (though you should see the arguments we have about Bloodbath…), along with guest writers who appear on an unpredictable or only semi-regular basis to chime in with their own contributions.

Not everything we receive gets published, however – sometimes it’s just not up to scratch, or doesn’t really reflect the ethos of the site, and sometimes we simply collectively agree that we can’t, in good conscience, put the site’s name behind an album that we don’t really think is all that good… even if the contributor does.

And although there would certainly be positives from expanding our “staff” in some ways, it would also risk diluting the site’s overall critical style. As it stands at the moment we’re able to be extremely focussed and extremely selective in what we cover. But the danger in expanding too much is that we end up trying to be all things to all people. At the moment if we don’t like something, we simply don’t cover it. And there’s no pressure for us to produce something disingenuous in praise of an album or to tarnish the site’s good name in the process.

But the more people we might bring in, the greater the risk that we’ll end up covering everything in a positive light, just because someone on staff happens to like it. And I see that sort of thing happen a LOT at other blogs – where their writing staff is so big that there’s always going to be someone in the group willing to put a positive spin on things, with the result that you end up with yet another site that positively reviews absolutely everything, and ends up trapped inside its own self-sustaining bubble of borderline sycophantic praise and reward.



It’s also why I’m leaning, more and more, towards introducing a touch of critical negativity into my writing – though only in measured doses and where I think it will do the most good.

Because criticism… constructive criticism… is a vital part of the reviewing landscape. Even if it goes against the prevailing opinion, a single review simply saying “must try harder” – if well enough written and well enough argued – can influence a band to do exactly that.

I honestly don’t think any band (or, at least, not the ones we try and focus on here) does this just to be praised and fawned over. In fact I know for certain that a lot of artists and musicians really appreciate positive criticism.

Now NCS is never going to be a site that posts purely negative reviews or attacks bands for producing sub-par material. I know for a fact that Islander has no interest in such an approach, and although I can’t speak for any of the other main writers, frankly I just don’t have it in me to dedicate my precious time and effort to dealing with bad albums. Eject. Discard. Move on to something better.

But I do want to ensure that people continue to view NCS as a site they can trust to be honest and truthful in their assessments of the bands and albums we cover. I don’t want people to simply assume, because of the site’s philosophy of writing almost entirely about what we want to recommend, that we’re going to praise everything blindly. Rather I want people to know that if we’re writing about an artist or an album it’s because we honestly think it’s good and worth writing about.

Because I believe that as a dedicated listener, a fan, a consumer… however you categorise yourself… of music, it’s important that you/we can trust what you read about an album or a band. And that includes criticism. And writers (particularly good writers) shouldn’t be afraid of being a little negative when they truly think it’s warranted – especially if it’s in service of the greater good.

But it continues to gall me how easily people – particularly those with a “voice” in the Metal scene — will settle for the generic, for the comfortingly familiar, to the extent that when I see a writer spewing what I see as spurious praise and insubstantial flattery over bands who honestly don’t deserve it… well… I just have to write an angry rant about it and post it on the internet under the guise of “critical opinion”.

But don’t worry. NCS isn’t changing. We’re not going to stop posting about the bands we love and urging you to discover 10,000 new acts a week. That’s going to stay the same. It’s just that I, personally, am going to pay much more attention to how –and what – I write, and try to be more critical and careful, particularly when dealing with the bigger bands.

After all, who doesn’t appreciate a bit of negativity, now and then?



  35 Responses to “THE NEGATIVE ZONE”

  1. As a fan, negative blogging doesn’t have any benefit for me because if I like something I’m not going to change my mind simply because someone else doesn’t like it. But for the bands I don’t like, a positive review just might persuade me to give it a second listen.
    As a musician negative blogging can be helpful to an extent. I’m extremely self indulgent with my own songs and there’s a lot of things about them that I’ll never change no matter how much criticism I receive. Minor technical issues are different, like if multiple reviewers were to complain about the bass overpowering the other instruments or the lead guitar having a piercing high end. But most negative reviews tend to focus on the songwriting and musicianship. I’m a Metal God of the Epic Awesomeness, so I know these kind of criticisms of my music are nothing but filthy lies.

  2. Not publishing negative or critical reviews, in my opinion, strikes me as similar to not publishing non-significant findings in science. Sometimes the only way to know what you’re reading is to know what other things have looked like. It gives a person a full taste for a writer’s sense of taste, what they like and dislike, and–and for me this is important–if you’re _good_ at your job, negative reviews can often even lead to people purchasing a record, because they know your taste and they know that when you pan a record, they like all those things you hate. When I bitch about what I hate about NeO, there are plenty of people who respond with “That’s sounds great!”

    I guess what I’m saying is that it makes me more trustworthy, because then people know precisely where I stand.

    • ^What he said.

    • Whilst I do admire and applaud the positivity of NCS, I agree with AMG who makes all of my points for me and far more succinctly at that.

    • One of the things I like best about the nitpicking parts (and other parts) of the AMG reviews is that it shows that the reviewer has listened thoroughly. Critical thought is also a sign of intellect in many ways.

      Over all I think it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff, as there’s just too damn many releases these days. For the very same reason I totally respect NCS’s principle of not wasting time on mediocrity and worse, and go straight for the crème de la crème.

      My philosophy is that I never accept a promo that I don’t think will be more or less up my ally, but if I have already wasted numerous hours searching for positive elements, than there’s no mercy.

    • Amiable Metal Guy once more puts my writing to shame with the simplicity and clarity of his summation.

      Oh, how I loathe him.

    • To be clear, I’m not preaching to anyone about what they should do. It is likely a function of my own personality, but I am uninterested in writing negative reviews, and as a reader, I’m (almost) equally uninterested in reading them. A review that is on the whole positive and recommends an album but makes note of aspects of the album they wish were better is a different subject. I have no problem with that.

      I also disagree with the notion that for a reader to understand a writer’s tastes, they must know what that writer dislikes and is willing to shit upon in print. Why? I think reading what a reviewer likes — and knowing nothing but what the reviewer likes — is just as clear an indication of the person’s tastes, and whether those tastes are likely to be persuasive to someone thinking about the music. I have virtually no doubt that people who read the reviews on our site and do so regularly have a very good idea of each writer’s predilections and whether they are worth paying attention to, from each reader’s perspective.

      Again, I’m not telling anyone else what to do, but I bristle at the implication that our reviews are deficient because the writers aren’t explicit about what they DISLIKE.

  3. I’ve actually had this discussion with a few of my friends before, it drives us crazy. I wouldn’t mind these changes at all personally. I’ve been making conscious efforts to be more critical of the music I listen to. I was very excited for Wombbath’s new album, and I wanted to like to so much, but sadly it just bored the piss out of me, it sucked to realize that, but now I can save my $12 for an album that I will actually enjoy. I buy less albums, but buy more albums I think higher of.

    I know some people who (apparently) listen to *thousands* of albums a year, and hundreds of albums a month – it’s quite popular now to kind of flaunt how much new music one has heard, or consumed – though I do not believe a hundred albums per months (3-4 new albums per day) can be properly digested.

    Turning that criticism on myself, I guess I’m pretty fortunate (unfortunate?) to have a rather divided set of reviews (that I can read or translate anyway) that give me a clear perspective. 125 minute albums already cut the amount of people willing to give it a listen by like seventy percent, so most of the reviewers who do make honest reviews of my music I really do value, even the negative ones who valid and worthwhile criticisms about how I write.

    That being said, the difficult thing I see about negative reviews is articulating them well. It’s extremely easy for me to explain why I don’t like something, but I scarcely feel the need to be more specific than “I don’t find this particularly interesting, or its generic to the point of redundancy”. For a reviewer, I think it should be a bit more in-depth than that, and I see few people manage it well. Some turn to comedy and parody (which when it works, is gold) and some people try to be as analytical as possible, which is the most common, but also comes off as preemptively detached from the album to begin with.

    Basically, I more or less what was going to say when I started writing this comment but I said those things I said above and now they are on the internet and you guys have to deal with it.

    Or something.

    • Ignore missing words and punctuation, I just had blood taken and I am hazy.

      • 🙂 You, sir, have just spawned our new blog sub-header. (And coincidentally I had blood drawn yesterday at my annual physical. I hope to find out soon if my suspicions about loathsome disease vectors are correct.)

    • It’s not going to be any change to the site itself, or any of the other writers… nor am I going to be producing wholly negative reviews of albums I don’t like (though I’ll still be doing my “Disappointing” column at the end of the year, despite Islander’s repeated attempts to stifle it!)… I’m just going to try and apply a bit more critical thought and analysis to certain albums.

      I’ll probably focus this more on established acts, rather than new ones though, for various reasons (fairness being one of them – or at least, my perception of it!).

  4. I’m not sure about introducing more critical reviews here at NCS. In particular, if their introduction would result in a decline in the amount of positive reviews on the site, that’d be a shame — for, I’m quite time-constrained these days and have had to cut some of my daily NCS reading time. Therefore I’d like my time to be spent on good albums over bad ones.

    If on the other hand there will be simply more content posted on here, a factor to take into consideration is that fewer and fewer people will have enough time to check out everything written here. This will decline the user base for such lovely gems as “That’s metal — but it’s not music” which make NCS as good as it is. There is definitely a limit to how big a blog like this one can become before it risks evolving into multiple sub-blogs (niches, probably). And that would likely come at the loss of diversity and peoples’ exposure to styles they normally tend to avoid.

    In summary I wholeheartedly support the decision not to expand on the regular writer-base. I also think that about 20% more content would still be sustainable, but beyond that I fear it’d become too much. Reviewing some big releases that happen to disappoint would be a nice example of a way to fill this 20% that might draw a new public to NCS.
    For the rest, my recommendation is that more effort is put into putting critical notes in reviews of good albums, so as to “elevate the masses” beyond unconditional love. This is probably an infinite void of time where you can toss your excess time in. 🙂

    But then, please feel free to ignore a humble NCS lurker’s voice — others may vehemently disagree.

  5. 1. Riffing on what Derek/Godless Angel said about not being swayed by negative reviews, I think a related issue is that negative reviews have become less important now that you can stream some or all of almost every album out there. I don’t have to rely on anyone to decide where my music money goes, because the first time I hear it won’t be after I get it home and open the record/CD/whatever. I’d much rather read a review pointing me to something that the author found interesting/enjoyable, rather than essentially saying, “This album sucks. Here’s the link to the full stream. Listen to it if you’re a big dummy-jerk-face.” Granted, I’m coming to this from the point of view of Max, my cruel taskmaster over at metalbandcamp, as it’s particularly apt for a site devoted strictly to driving attention to things we think are worthwhile.

    2. I’ve mentioned this idea on an NCS post a while back, but I double-don’t understand why you’d pick out an underground/relatively unknown band just to shit on them. And that’s not because I think, “Oh, be nice, they’re TRYING HARD,” but rather because it’s a waste of time. Obscurity will take care of the problem without anybody needing to waste time on writing about it or reading it. Granted, bigger bands are always going to get reviews, even when they suck, because people are interested and interested gets clicks. We’re going to see all manner of press about the next Metallica even if it’s a complete turd. (Hint: It will be.) But some independent release? I don’t need to hear about it if it’s not good.

    3. I do think some (not all) reviewers suffer from what I used to call “copyeditor syndrome” when I worked in publishing. Copyeditors are there to fix grammar, spelling, and general language clean up/style. However, presented with a pretty clean piece of writing, some copyeditors just can’t resist changing something, ANYTHING, either because they want to make it look like they’re important (which they are regardless) or just out of ego. I’ve seen a lot of reviewers do the same. If something’s genuinely wrong, then by all means, point it out. But if you feel like you must put in a lot of effort to find some, ANY fault, then maybe your time could be spent elsewhere.

    4. I also think as reviewers, particularly of metal, there’s that temptation for us to do nasty reviews because we feel like we’re being funnier when we’re tearing something apart, or because it makes us more grim and kvlt. I see people succumb to that quite a bit. If you’re reviewing something for NO other reason than because you think you found a particularly clever way to insult it, then don’t bother. You’re offering no more perspective than your garden-variety message board troll.

    • I had an intro line that got cut: Basically, I just said that I actually agree with a lot of what’s already been said, but I wanted to offer some counter-point-y ideas of my own.

    • Well said on all points — and I also agree with all of them.

    • 1. “This album sucks. Here’s the link to the full stream. Listen to it if you’re a big dummy-jerk-face.”

      I’m really tempted to start a review like this now.

      3. I don’t think Islander has to fix/edit my work too much (though he advised some changes to this one, mainly in tone and focus) – most of the time I end up asking him to edit stuff that I’VE noticed I’ve done wrong after publication. Which I’m sure he loves.

      4. I’m simply not funny enough to get away with it. Some of the writers over at AMG though have a cutting turn of phrase that I really appreciate.

  6. I think we could introduce negativity in a format APART FROM the mainstay reviews. I’ve considered a series of pieces on “What I think of… – Insert Band Here” where I do all the positive AND negative perceptions I have of those bands. Including ones I love.

  7. I did some music reviews for a local indy publication (actually called THE INDY) a while back, and I found that after a while I started looking for flaws. Sometimes it was simply so I wouldn’t be repeating myself, but other times I surrendered to that most tempting and insidious of pitfalls, which was the idea that bands should be making music according to what I liked and I thought about their strengths/weaknesses as opposed to what those bands damn well wanted to do with their time, talents and energies. (Once you notice this, you’ll start seeing similar tendencies in all strains of criticism, and it’s usually some sick, narcissistic shit, rarely constructive.) This probably says more about my limitations as a writer than anything, but when I first applied for the gig I was looking for an outlet where I could rhapsodize about the music I loved, and then it turned weird as my opinion or my own opinion became unreasonably bloated.

    Speaking for myself here, but one of the reasons I find NCS so valuable is that it’s a nice change from the usual smarter-than-thou, witless smiting that goes down on any number os sites. Nothing easier than unreflective negativity. Do what you need to do but beware the perils. Either way, I’ll keep reading.

    • Another comment that’s in sync with my own very personal predilections. I still don’t know exactly where Andy is headed with his new resolution. The proof will be in the pudding. Everyone who writes here has complete freedom to select what they write about and to speak their minds — with the sole guideline being that they believe in the music they choose and want to recommend it. I never have to “enforce” that guideline because everyone who cares about being a part of what we’re doing understands it. And i don’t think that will change.

  8. I wholeheartedly agree that NCS should not expand their staff, unless I am that expansion. My morals are no match for my narcissism 🙂

  9. A reviewer should feel the freedom to conduct reviews as he sees fit. The reviewer should wrote exactly what he pleases, however brutal, abusive or offensive it may be. A review has just as much to do with the integrity of its author as it does the album in question.

    Metal has a culture. Within that culture are smaller subcultures. And a website like this one also has a culture. If I don’t like the culture or the attitudes of a particular site, then I will not visit it. Likewise, from my standpoint as a consumer of music (as a product) the best way for me to discourage it is not to purchase it.

    Now, as a reviewer, I don’t do negative reviews because I view my time as a limited resource. I want to invest that time wisely in something I legitimately believe is worth a reader’s time. I write reviews because I enjoy writing, this is true. But as a writer I keep my audience in mind because I write with the intention of being read. To that end, I do not think a negative review is the best way for me to accomplish that goal.

  10. NCS, probably the only music blog that I go for anymore, lots of great ideas and new bands, not everything is to my taste, but I have found lately that I am more critical of what I want to put my money towards, and this site helps. Thank you.

    As for some negativity, it depends. If it’s a band that you’ve been listening to for years and then something strange happens they take a weird turn with their sound of music and in that process they lost something, then pointing that out is worth while. An example on my own end would be Watain, two excellent first albums, and good third, but then they became a rock band who dabbled in black metal – it’s probably the most accurate that I can give. Why that has happened is something else, for me it seams to have coincided with their rise in fame (truly deserved), adapted a more modern sound (has both positives and negatives), with a change in style towards a more rock orientated approach. I could go on but that’s enough for now.

    Constructive criticism, has its place, and I would like to see something like that on here, but very rarely (once every 2-4 weeks, Maybe), I enjoy and thrive on the positives that I find on here.

    One thing that I would like to see on here is when a band have had a number of albums out, good to great albums – as in all excellent high quality / standard, but then release one that’s not. When it’s regarded as “standard”, it’s safe, it opens up an opportunity to give some constructive criticism to open a bands eyes in order for them to realise that “good enough” will not be tolerated. Dark Tranquillity (last few albums), Arch Enemy (everything since Wages of Sin, don’t know about the last album), Slayer/Metallica/Megadeth (last half dozen albums?), genre defining artists who are resting on their lorrels – while their albums will sell no matter what, the albums are poor in quality in comparison to their earlier work.

    Went on a bit longer then planned, sorry about that………

    • “One thing that I would like to see on here is when a band have had a number of albums out, good to great albums – as in all excellent high quality / standard, but then release one that’s not. When it’s regarded as “standard”, it’s safe, it opens up an opportunity to give some constructive criticism to open a bands eyes in order for them to realise that “good enough” will not be tolerated.”

      This is very much where my thinking is going. Not so much criticising up-and-coming bands (UNLESS of course I think it would be useful and positive to do so) but more I think I’m going to open myself up to reviewing albums by artists who have, or should have, a certain set of standards, and whether or not their latest release lives up to those standards, or sees them spinning their wheels. I think it would provide some valuable context for our (or my) other reviews.

    • I think the few times when writers here have expressed disappointment in an album (i.e., chosen to write about something they found disappointing rather than inspiring) has been in the case of bands such as the ones you’ve mentioned — i.e., big names whose past music we like and who can stand the heat (though of course they will pay no attention to what a site as modest as this one will say).

  11. What’s worse, the shrill cry after broken playground toys, when a chosen favourite faces the brunt of simply unjust criticism, or saccharine reviews heaping oodles in gloopy praise upon any new release? The choice is difficult when the reward is existential rumination and a sycophantic readership either way.

    My view is this. A reviewer is dispassionate; seeking objectivity is a fallacy when one is close to the subject matter, they look upon the subject matter like the culture will end tomorrow, and here before them is its achievements. A reviewer is not sentimental, however, remains in touch with a full range of emotions, with which the subject matter is able to create a dialogue. A reviewer can compose concisely, using a great depth of vocabulary, while ably applying their opinion accurately. Said with a flourish helps too.

    More can be said but it’s unremarkable.

    Turning to the over-the-shoulder anxieties of the metal brethren. Conservatism is rife in a self-described progressive bunch. The innovation that has bubbled at the surface in recent years is routinely and thoroughly stamped. Like always. Is it any wonder between djent and post-black precious little has fizzed since 2010?

    The varying vitriol these movements received is not surprising. Protectionism of a culture fans have invested their identities is its own burden. Any use of ‘hipster’ leaves many rubbing their eyes in disbelief. Any notion of -what was the word? – ‘pussifying’ metal is divine comedy. A puny concern of one who’s neck is so twisted round they can’t see straight.

    Perhaps we’re right, though, perhaps we should be anxious. Many genres have embraced electronic music, a strong flavour our culture feels threatens by, antagonistic to our core beliefs of guitar driven music. Wolves in the Throne Room’s record Celestite was not welcomed warmly. Ulver remains ‘experimental’. Since 2010 other genres have enjoyed ricocheting surges of innovation, hip hop especially, such flashes found absent in metal. Perhaps the modern day crowd is just making the best of what they’ve got.

    All this leads me to some questions.

    Is it possible modern listeners could acquiesce, stop demanding innovation? Isn’t that accepting death?

    Is metal the smartest it can be? Intelligent people like making money, with music’s worth and career sustainability decimated, absenteeism of the intelligentsia might deprive a culture of innovation in this way?

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