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First album I ever bought for myself (my 10th birthday), was Metallica's "...And Justice For All." Thus began my journey into metalhood.
Life changes your taste in music, at least it did for me. After certain events incurred, I wanted the heaviest music I could find for self-help therapy. At the time I was in junior high, so the more undergound metal wasn't known by those around me.
I wanted angry, pissed off music, so I asked around, and people suggested Slipknot, Manson, MuDvAyNe, etc. And I did get into them, Staind, Cold, Nothingface, basically Nu-Metal was my gateway to darker expressions of art.
As I grew older, a screaming voice wasn't doing it anymore. I wanted more evil, I wanted sinister. What was once KoRn, Disturbed, Godsmack and Rob Zombie, began to descend into Cradle Of Filth's "Midian," -- my introduction into blackmetal.
I instantly fell in love with the synthesizers and keyboards, the symphonics, the orchestrial side to what they had to offer. I couldn't stand the vocals at first (Dani Filth is an acquired taste), they grew on me more and more.
I then purchased Dimmu Borgir's Death Cult Armageddon, found "Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse" to be the most intriguing piece of art up to that point in my life.
Years rolled by, I became more and more into blackmetal, branching off of side projects from mainstream blackmetal. My friends at the time didn't share my tastes for it all, but did expose me to deathmetal. I didn't see the talent in grunting at first, but it eventually did appeal to me, especially the brutal deathmetal subgenre with its breakdowns and slam-riffs.
Deathslam eventually got me into deathcore (yeah, I know, but breakdowns are catchy), and here I am. A hybrid of the more extreme: blackmetal, deathmetal, deathcore, and all fused in between.
I do have weaknesses every now and then, usually that's expressed through depressive blackmetal or super slow funeral doom (TotalSelfHatred, Nortt, Sun Devoured Earth, etc). Hell I'll even pop in the old Nu-Metal bands I grew up with.
Do I like where today's metal music is headed? Meh.. Right now in america all the rage is "Verbing The Noun" deathcore. Granted some verbing the noun bands can really get you moving, a lot of just generic copies though.
Hopefully things change here, America is primarily known for its deathmetal (birthplace right here in new york, and down south in florida). Other genres should shine, someone's gotta take out the American Idols and the X-Factors...