With a new Metallica album out it seems only fitting that this week’s playlist kicks off with ‘Moth Into Flame.’ However, they weren’t the only band to release an album last week, and we also have a track from Petrol Girls which you can listen to while reading our review of their debut album. We then mellow out with some Pink Floyd, hit up our weekly Ginger Wildheart pick and finish up with the two punch of Frank Turner and Creeper. Nae too shabby even if we do say so ourselves.
I can count on one hand the bands that mean more to me than Metallica. Which is hardly rare, if you were to ask a hundred heavy metal fans they would probably say the same. In fact, ask a thousand, they’ll still be up there. And yet recent years haven’t been too kind to ‘Tallica. The whole Lulu debacle came after two average at best and downright bad at worst albums. While ‘Lords of Summer’ and some sloppy live shows didn’t exactly set the bar high for what was to come in the future. That was until they dropped ‘Moth Into Flame’.
Metallica are one of the greatest bands of all time. Some people would call that an opinion, but they would be wrong. It is fact. Few bands have rewritten the rulebook as many times as James Hetfield and co. Go back and listen to Kill ‘Em All and then throw on Justice For All… and tell me that sounds like the same band. You can then mosey on down to the Black Album and hear something completely different.
There is an unsettling feeling in the air right now, rock and metal heroes seem to be dropping like flies and for the first time, we are about to see an enforced changing of the guards. In the last few months, we have lost Lemmy, Scott Weiland, David Bowie and now today the sad news of Glenn Frey of Eagles fame. We are reaching an age where the rock and roll bands of yesteryear are getting old and their members are passing away. So the question is, what next?
Where is the next Metallica? Where is the next Iron Maiden? Where is the next (insert big rock and roll band here)? They are questions that pop up at least once a year. Usually around the time that Download announces a batch of headliners who are near identical to the ones announced a couple of years before. But the question is, do we need a new Metallica? Do we need Iron Maiden? Or is this obsession with bands needing to sell out arenas preventing the next generation of metal bands making the step up to festival headliners?
Here’s a little secret for you, that isn’t actually at all a secret. The first heavy metal band I truly got into was Bullet For my Valentine. They broke at the same time I was moving from Nirvana and Jimmy Eat World onto Metallica and Iron Maiden (not that I stopped loving either of those bands). They were the first band that felt like one of my bands and The Poison is still a cracking album. However, at some point in the last few years things have gone a bit off the rails for Bullet. Rather than, as many predicted, a rise to festival headliner status, they have seen themselves flounder around the same level. Never able to make that next big step.
So Metallica will once again make their way over to our shores in the summer of 2015. This time they will grace Reading with their presence and as usual there is a lot of people very happy about it, but a more vocal group of people pissed off. Why? Because of the feeling that Metallica have over saturated the UK with festival headline slots. In the last four years they have played Download, Sonisphere and Glastonbury, all with only one new song and the pile of steaming shite that was Lulu. People are apparently fed up of Metallica and want someone new to take the spot.
There is a common misconception that all heavy music is angry. Yet that couldn’t be further from the truth. If I listen to a band like Metallica or Iron Maiden, anger is usually the last thing on my mind. Yet to many people those bands are the personification of heavy metal. However, that does not hide the fact that there are some very angry bands out there, who recently I have taken a lot of joy out of spending time listening to.
By the Sunday of a festival it becomes very easy to spot the day ticket holders. They lack that feral look in their eye that people living in a field for several days have gained and aren’t that lovely British shade of red we all go when we get a bit too much sun. They’re also the ones most likely to not be holding their head and groaning.
I have never hidden the fact that the recent Metallica output leaves me cold. From the total non-entity that is Death Magnetic back to St. Anger and lets not even talk about Lulu, the band that played as big a part as any in getting me into heavy music have continually disappointed when it comes to studio releases. So why then do I instantly get super excited when I hear that there’s a new Metallica song out in the world? Why do I keep going back for more pain? Why do I let myself be continually hurt by a band I truly love.