So let’s talk about metal. And maybe keep it really simple. As I personally think one of the biggest hindrances to people actually trying to get into metal is how knotty the music and the history of it is. When I was a kid metal was pretty simple. You had Black Sabbath and then a bunch of 70’s shit that was kinda metal, but not really. Then the “New Wave Of English Heavy Metal” came with Iron Maiden, Saxon, Judas Priest, etc and the early 80’s heyday of metal really started. Eventually Metallica and the rest of the thrash metal revolution would come along and that’s when the massive splintering into what seems to be a million sub-genres started. That’s about the time I stop listening to metal altogether. I think I can safely say I listened to zero heavy metal from about 1986 to 2014. Obviously 28 years is a helluva long time away from anything. Suffice it to say when I got back into metal a few years back I had blind spots. And I still have tons of them. But metal is such a healthy genre in 2017 I’ve more or less decided I’m not gonna go back and try to mine the past and find all that shit I missed. Keeping up with the new stuff is hard enough, trust me.
There! We just covered the history of heavy metal in it’s entirety! Feels good, right? JK, dear reader, jk. But that does lead me to today’s playlist. I like the new extreme metal but not TOO extreme. Some of the stuff our metal staff listen to is simply too much for me at this point. Although I must admit my tolerance for extreme metal seems to grow with each passing month. It’s worthy of note that basically ALL my knowledge of heavy metal comes from the writing staff for The Black Market over at Stereogum and even more so from the collected metal writing team here at Blocland. So thanks to Lobster, DFrye, Black Antler, and of course, our man Meat. Who I kinda got back into metal with a couple of years back. I chose to dabble in metal. Meat actually became a goat’s head. Which was a commitment I simply was not willing to make. But good on him for the kvltness of that choice.
I’ve attached a little playlist below. I try and keep my playlists as close to a one hour running time as possible. But considering this is a metal playlist I figured at least double the standard running time is appropriate. These tracks are banded together loosely in mini groups. But I didn’t want to get too hung up on keeping genres segregated. This is a bunch of the metal I love. For the serious metal people most of this stuff is more or less the usual suspects. But hopefully somebody will come along that isn’t a metal fiend and some, if not all, of this new and fresh. I genuinely think heavy metal is the single healthiest genre in all of music right now. I think a good argument could be made for outlaw country or ambient as well. But right now heavy metal just feels extremely fresh and exciting with bands pushing the boundaries of what is and what isn’t metal in ways 18 year old Blochead could’ve never imagined. As they old timers are fond of sayin’ “Jump in, son. The water’s fine”