I came across this article
bashing MA for banning the infamous troll reviewer bitterman, who was more or less a disciple of the site Death Metal Underground (DMU).
Those who are not familiar with DMU should know their presence on the net is much older than what is indicated on their homepage. It's basically the successor to an even older site called ANUS (American Nihilist Underground Society), which boasts itself as the net's oldest page dedicated to underground death/black metal. Oddly enough, they were more well-known for their articles on philosophy and societal decay. The site was run by the infamous Vijay Prozak, who recently switched aliases and is now known as Brett Stevens (DMU's primary contributor). Prozak felt it necessary to seperate his philosophical/political writings from those about metal and created DMU. From the beginning, Prozak/Stevens promoted his idea of what metal is and what it should represent. He would disseminate these ideas via articles and trolling other metal sites (I believe he did so here as well many years ago under various accounts).
DMU's central contention, which is essentially ANUS', is that metal in the last 20 years has taken a massive nosedive in terms of circumventing increasing commercialization, branching out into various subgenres they feel have very little to with metal in terms of ideology, and embracing newcomers (hipsters) who are attempting to hijack and co-opt the genre. Since the end of 2014, they've been writing an endless stream of articles on a phenomenon in the community called #Metalgate, which is some online movement in the vein of Gamergate, but about repelling an alleged SJW takeover of metal, who seek to make it more tolerant. Even before the movement, almost every other article they released pertains to the status of metal and its decline.
DMU, along with the NWN! forum, appear to be one of the few places left that harbour an explicitly elitist MO and attack anything outside the traditional metal paradigm. DMU has even gone so far as to claim music is not subjective
and argue its quality can be measured objectively.
Personally, I don't know where I stand exactly on this issue. On the one hand, yes, I do agree that metal in recent years has begun to parody itself by embracing gimmicks that are antithetical to what it stands for in the name of being "open-minded" and appealing to outside demographics. I think Babymetal and Dethklok are good examples of this. However, I also think innovation has always been a part of art, so long as it is natural and not contrived. When it is the latter, it tends to create polarized imperatives on what approach is best (e.g. "open-minded" hipster metal vs. throwback, retro-whatever metal).
Historically, metal has always had its dedicated fanbases that would clash with whatever style was prominent and considered metal by the mainstream (glam, nu metal, metalcore, indie metal, etc.) and arguably it is these dedicated fans that served as a vanguard against co-option and commercialization. So, would it be unfounded to say a genre is only as healthy as its fanbase?
What do you think? Does metal stagnating or being in a healthy state have as much to do with its fans and what they deem acceptable as it does the quality of the bands they listen to? Furthermore, what are your thoughts on metal elitism? Do you think it is pretentious chauvinism or a necessary vanguard?
The biggest influence of Swedish Death Metal is In Flames.
That's not right. That's not even wrong. It's so fundamentally inaccurate that I think it may well be incorrectable.