First of all folks, I'm pretty damned heated about this. It's no secret that I've been a fan of the band Disturbed since their inception in the late 90's (1999 to be exact) and consider them my gateway drug into the world of heavy music (as well as Sevendust, but that's not applicable to my point.) So hearing the fact that I'm a "masturbating troll-like person who calls myself a journalist" is a little fucking heartbreaking to say the least. I've never said much about the man, personally; but have heard that he's got a very big ego and a godlike persona. I wasn't actually sure of either of these things until I watched the Golden Gods and saw this for myself. The man literally does seem to go in there like he's the best vocalist who's ever lived, despite the fact that I've always liked his work (even some of the animal grunts, I'll admit) and feel that Believe really solidified his vocal ability, before he got so damned adamant; I couldn't believe how much of a absolute prick this gentleman was being on the program.
Yes, there are trolls who enjoy this sort of thing, it really gets them ticking - gives them a reason to live in some cases - and it's rather comical that Draiman never got the simple memo of "Don't feed the trolls." The more he tried to defend himself, the more they were eating it up. It's like walking along a path in the woods and running into a serpent. Certainly, you wouldn't continue to antagonize it, lest you feel it's bite and taste it's venom... and that venom can destroy your life. Standing on that stage with those remarks "to the haters" as he called them, he made himself the internet's bitch. To add fuel to the fire, his announcement of a forthcoming child will probably result in doled up images of babies with chin rings, or toddlers dressed in his classic getup.
But what does all this have to do with me? Quite a bit actually. I gave the man's disc a 2.5 for New Noise Magazine, because that is truly the rating that I felt it deserved. It had nothing to do with his personal character, it was a judgment given in the most professional of manners. Perhaps he didn't like that review, even though the fans have been clamoring over it. I certainly feel that Device has potential, but just not enough at the current state. However, I think it's only a matter of time before he returns to Disturbed in just a couple more years.
Maybe the man doesn't feel that "just anyone" should have the right to professionally review his album, especially the guy that runs "random album review blog" and doesn't have enough money for a professional dot com domain name or to hire someone to do a layout for him. Perhaps because I'm an un-average Joe, a peasant in all regards and I don't necessarily have the right to debate about such a piece that I clearly don't have the experience in dealing with. Maybe he feels that people shouldn't be able to review his work on their sites, or to demean his character. But you know what? I respected Draiman's work for years and still regard "Hell", "Dehumanized" and " Perfect Insanity" as some of my personal favorite hard rock songs. But it's tough to even listen to them now because of how much of a prick this guy was on stage and how much of a prick he's been to the online society. People took their shots at the guy for years, I even got picked on quite a bit because I was a fan of the band in high school and yes - I actually still own some Disturbed albums.
However, when a man questions my integrity because I didn't sit in a room and jot down shit for a few hours a day and answer a test every so often on the material; it makes me quite irate. Perhaps I'm supposed to have a 100% professional journalism degree and then that would give me the right to speak as I wish. Yet I am reminded of my ever-dwindling freedoms in America and that I still have my first amendment rights. I intend to use those rights to their full extent in every piece that I write, with regard for professionalism in applicable situations. That being said, I've probably shoved my foot down the throats of quite a few bands (and the one I'm currently listening to right now called Davey Suicide would definitely be one of those bands) and I'm sure that my words can be a bit demeaning and harsh. But isn't that my job?
That's what you come here for, right? The truth? When I talk about things like these, someone's always bound to get upset or "butthurt" as I've heard it referred to on the internet. It's just comes with the territory. But I've never had any bands personally leave anything hateful or derogatory to me in reply. This is because there are musicians that simply respect my opinion. So why can't David Draiman accept that some people just don't care for him? Why do The Black Veil Brides give so much of a damn on the Golden Gods stage that they had to demean certain members of the audience just to make themselves look better? It just kills the artist's image. So what if you won song of the year three times in a row. The internet must have really liked you, I guess. I didn't vote for you. I didn't even vote at all.
When artists like David Draiman bitch and nag and get uppity to the fans on stage, they make themselves look bad. People lost appreciation for Axl Rose because of his ego and quickness to anger. When Disturbed first began and no one really knew who David Draiman was, I remember watching two concerts from the band (one was uncut and originally aired on HBO's Reverb and another one aired on Fuse, back when they still cared about hard rock and metal) during their first era, The Sickness era. I still have one of these recorded on an old VHS somewhere that I'd like to transfer to DVD one day along with a load of old recorded videos and such; but that concert was amazing. I watched it quite a bit in my younger years and probably would still find favor with it today. Because when you saw the band that young, they weren't fronted by such an egotistical madman. They actually reminded me of a young Metallica in the fact that it was just a bunch of young guys with a lot of angst and energy, but still looking to have a bit of fun. When you look at their later concerts, it just seems so processed. Everything seems so fake and staged - it doesn't have that youthful vigor anymore, and I think that's why Fuzz left the band to begin with. It had changed into something much different after The Sickness, something that sounded like more of Draiman's response to those who thought he could do nothing more than make animal sounds. So that's why we got a future of melodic material and nothing to date has been quite as heavy as that first record. But you should know this. When that disc starts with "Voices" it's a throwdown from beginning to end. The band also experimented with so much on the album that not every track on it sounded the same. Then things got political with the record right after, Ten Thousand Fists and then the band jumped onto the "after Guitar Hero metal" trend with Indestructible which only has a hint of the band's past on "Perfect Insanity" which was originally penned on the band's demo. After that, they put out Asylum which brought a little bit more class to the band (It contained two covers of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and Judas Priest's "Living After Midnight") and marked a different turn for their sound. Now Draiman considers himself a legend in the industry and a businessman (originally he was a physician) in most regards, which has further inflated his ego.
As I said, I never would've believed he had such a god complex until I saw it there on the stage that night. I also never would've believed he'd strike back at people like that - people on the internet of all things. Surely there's something more that he could be doing, other than to rattle off at people with false assumptions. It upsets me both as a person and as a fan of that legacy that the lead singer of one of my favorite rock groups as a teenager grew to be such a dick. But I guess this is what fame and money can do to a person.
The same thing is with The Black Veil Brides and whatever in the hell flews into Maria Brink's mind and died there. "How Illuminati can I be?" seems to be the only question she asks herself these days and it's the reason for her over the top image. You know, I even remember the lead singer of Five Finger Death Punch - Moody, was it? Yeah, that guy used to be in a band called Motograter that no one really seemed to give much of a shit about. Everyone, except for me. There are still songs from that band that I actually remember. No one else does, but I gave a shit. He also jumped into a band called Ghost Machine and did some really interesting experimental/electronic rock that I do recommend. That never went anywhere either. Five Finger Death Punch did. I liked that first disc, but after that they started to go with the motions. And now we've got talk of an album with Rob Halford in addition to a new album from the band itself, (which I expect horrible things from, as American Capitalist was complete garbage) to come out this year. Then we have Lzzy Hale and Halestorm. She can sing, I'll give her that - just about as well as any girl can on American Idol though. Which sells records, I'm sure. But the whole "woman scream because I'm angry shit" is really ridiculous. Otep did it, but she had a point to some of her shit. She literally was pissed. Now this new trend is starting to sound more like "angry bitch rock" than actual rock with female influence. You ever hear Heart start screaming? They put out a new album this year and I doubt you're going to hear any screaming on it. So why this angry bitch trend? Same thing with the nipple tape girls surrounded by guys who look like they woke up in a mud hole somewhere. Seriously, you seen these guys? The girls come out in almost nothing with their fake boobs threatening to burst out of whatever taped up shit that they're using to hold them up and then these guys in the background (the ones that play the instruments) look like someone came by and dumped a truckload of dirt on them.
You'll say to me, "that's what we call a metal band today?"
And I'll tell you, "yes, they're supposed to be a metal band in the current era."
While my stuff isn't quite as rough as Scrutinizer's work, (www.theblankpage-ps.blogspot.com) it's the damn truth for the most part. To be honest, I really hate what happened to metal. Some of the older guys are actually coming out with some good shit (you guys are gonna shit yourself when you hear the new Dark Tranquility) and I guess that's because the labels are busy using the current bands to cash on, leaving the older guys to do what they do best.
But are we to blame for this? Is our government to blame for this? Is Bush to blame for this? The American economy is crap, so anything that sells these days will be pushed out. No one wants to even take a gamble anymore. Dave Grohl (of all people) had a point when he recently quoted that Nirvana started out as just a bunch of guys who sucked for years and then got better and that's just what you have to do. He said that following American Idol, The Voice and shit like that is not leaving the right image on young people. Now everyone is training themselves to sell, rather than to be unique. It's a fucking tragedy.
I'm going to say it again - I cannot believe how some of these bands acted during that show. There's a difference between " a metal attitude" and just being a prick. I'm also hearing all this shit about scene kids. Who the fuck are these scene kids? Why is this metal? Why do I sound like an old fucking man? Probably because I was born when Rob Halford was still young and wasn't guesting for Metallica while standing on a cane like I just witnessed today. It almost makes me think that the genre of metal is dying. There are bands aplenty and billions of albums in the metal genre these days that go unnoticed behind the ones who do get noticed. But if it all falls down, I'm still going to be that old fucker who listens to metal with a hearing aid. "Keep your hands off of grandpa's heavy metal records!" I'll say as I sit in my rocker and remember the days of old. Because that's all that I'll want to remember, not this shit. Not this scene shit, when bands have no goddamned common sense and come packaged like candy bars on a shelf near the checkout counter of a supermarket.
These days, I listen to a lot of dead men. Sadly, that's going to increase. Eventually, it's going to hurt less and less as I listen to music from bands like Dio and Woods and Slayer and Type O Negative and Deftones, because even more people are going to die. The future of the genre isn't certain either. We're really getting to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to innovations and even if there are innovators, they're being popped off for the next new trend. I also think we'll be seeing the death of gaming before long, but that's a different thing entirely. I also think we'll be seeing the death of mankind after awhile, but in all honesty; after seeing things that I've loved and respected in my life turn to such shit, it doesn't matter. Many things in this world have gone to shit, like popular music (when's the last time you heard a good song?) movies (all special effects, no stories) games (guns and birds) and literature (my books will never sell because of fan-fictions of crap (Twilight and it's fan-fiction, Fifty Shades) that strangely become popular! What in the fuck happened to this planet?) and even the minds of people have turned to garbage. Not all, but damn near most. I truly believe that this next generation will be out final. There's no way that these people can take the reins when we leave.
These days, two songs seem to make me very happy: Dark Fortress' "Ylem" and God Dethroned's "Typhoid Mary." But you know, they're both songs of hope. I'm also becoming quite fond of The Mead's Of Asphodel's cover of "Wonderful World."
Many of you may not remember my state of metal address in 2012, but that's because I don't think it was posted here. At any rate, this will serve as a my state of metal address for 2013 and things appear even more grim than this fucking Tower. But as usual, most things are more grim than this Tower. But there is still some hope - Sabbath is making that new album, Megadeth is going to commit career suicide and Gwar seems stronger than ever. Of course, I haven't mentioned umpteen million other albums (I'm hopeful for the new Korn with Munky, please NO FUCKING DUBSTEP) like the new Amon Amarth and Children Of Bodom. There was also that new Suffocation and The Monolith Deathcult which were both amazing. Not to mention the slew of awesome underground releases that I've had the opportunity to promote (classic bands like Satan and Surpuration) and Oceans Of Slumber and Sidious among many others (Xanthochroid, Morgengrau, The Advent Equation) who are budding with potential. So maybe things aren't that bad in the underground, where meta has prevailed for many years undisturbed.
And that's how I'm going to end this one I guess, with the word "undisturbed." Which is what brings me back to the first topic of this speech (by now it's a yammering) which is about David Draiman and it says a lot about the current state of hard rock and heavy metal music. There will always be commercialized material above ground where the artists can act like imbeciles, and there will always be the true spirit of heavy metal buried beneath all of the dirt and fecal matter from the above ground artists. The good stuff is at the bottom of that pile of shit. It always has been and always will be.