Genre-Bashing: A Quintessential Right Of The Metalhead


Tyrants and Slaves
Jan 18, 2006
Maine or Iowa
An interesting article from The Metal Observer. It speaks volumes:

How many times have you heard one your favourite bands being slagged by another Metalhead who doesn't listen to or understand the Metal sub-genres you love?

The reality is this…it happens all the time in online bulletin boards, at shows, and at the local pub. If I had a dime for every time a Power Metal fan told me that they think ENTHRONED are awful, well…I'd be able to retire about right now with a fairly sizeable bank account.

Although it can be quite disheartening when one of our beloved bands is publicly trashed by another Metalhead, we have to realize that we ALL do it one form or another. Some of us are quite vocal in our disdain and hatred for certain types of Metal, some do it without even realizing it, and others still do it in a less direct, almost subtle, (nonetheless intentional) off-handed way - but regardless of that, each is an opinion (or a critical review perhaps?) that highlights the underlying passion for our music. I'm still trying to understand why I absolutely loathe RHAPSODY, yet vehemently worship HAMMERFALL and BATTLELORE ??!!

I personally cannot think of any other genre of music whose fans and practitioners share an almost tangible intensity in their respective convictions than those of Heavy Metal. We argue ad nausum about which genre is better, why that band sucks or why that band has sold-out, or why that band is no longer relevant.

Our fundamental differences aside, these exchanges prove without question that there is an open line of communication between the vastly different worlds within the scope of Heavy Metal, and that (among other things) is what sets us apart from the rest of the music world. Black Metal warriors mingle with Speed Metal thrashers. Power Metal devotees converse with Doom Metal enthusiasts. Goth Metal souls gather with Death Metal followers. Why? Simply to discuss Metal.

Sometimes the genre-bashing can be juvenile and riddled with utter nonsense, but for the most part, the discussions/criticisms can be quite in depth, full of useful and well-thought out arguments and insights. And it's through this fevered inter-genre dialog that we all come to understand Heavy Metal on a much more meaningful level…that of the opposite point of view, which in turn, helps us understand our own favourite genres even further. The "point/counter-point" dissection of any Metal sub-genre can be an amazing (not to mention educational) thing to behold…

I guess the crux of my argument is this…go ahead and argue with your fellow Metalheads about Metal. But if you choose to do so, approach your "genre-nemesis" with an open mind and critical intelligence. Resorting to the old refrain "Death Metal sucks!" or "Power Metal is gay!" not only makes you look like a fool, but it demeans the entire genre of Heavy Metal, which doesn't help forward the cause, now does it?

Do Heavy Metal (as well as your chosen sub-genres) proud and show it the respect and recognition it deserves. Think about why you truly don't like a genre before you begin to condemn it. Speak with other Metalheads before you wield an uninformed opinion, and most importantly - take the time to actually listen the other genres of Metal before you "fly off the handle" about any one of them.

You might just learn something about Metal, and perhaps even about yourself and the Metal genres you love. Perhaps one day you'll begin to actually like Power Metal or Black Metal …. and you should never balk at the opportunity to expand your Heavy Metal horizons!

Keep yer Metal Heavy.
This is lame. Who really cares what other people listen to. I can listen to whatever I want to. Some people think being metal is all about proving how metal you are. And this includes being very close minded towards other genres, even in metal. I can still listen to Disturbed and Necrophagist and still call myself a metalhead. This is the thing that most annoys me about metalheads. that elitism.
im guilty of gerne bashing as well. its just i hear a bunch of power metal and most of it all sounds the same its too cheesy and what not i only like 2 or 3 power metal bands and thats it. im more into extreme metal.
Hmmm i dont think i've ever bashed genres in metal, but some years ago when all i listened to was maiden and metallica and some power metal, i bashed more extreme metal, especially the vocals! But over time i learned to like this type of metal. So now i like all kinds of metal :)
The thing is with genre bashing, is that there is generally an exception to a rule. I generally can't abide what most people would call Black Metal, but for some reason I think Immortal were utterly awesome.

I don't generally like Power metal but I have enjoyed some Primal Fear.

I'm not a big fan of stoner rock, but I do like Orange Goblin.