Getting Old in Metal


You think you still have it. That you’re still in the game.

Your tastes are more refined than they used to be.

You look at that “kids these days” are listening to and you scoff.

What is it about the music “kids these days” are listening to that you’re missing? You begin to wonder, “Wasn’t I once a kid these days?”

You begin to doubt yourself and consider that you might just be out of touch.

You insist that, no, you’re not out of touch. You know better from your years — decades — of experience.

Finding new favorite bands becomes more difficult. Not only are you jaded, but you just don’t have the energy to endlessly seek out new music anymore. It comes to you, instead of you going to it.

You become aware of a new scene/trend after it’s already started to bubble up, instead of being a part of that bubble without realizing it.

People just a few years younger than you, that got into metal just a few years after you did, don’t get what was so special about bands that were seminal to you and everyone you knew (see above: you were a part of the previous bubble without realizing it). No amount of explaining helps.

You get a lot less angry than you used to about mainstream metal and/or bands that aren’t cool to like.

You enjoy a few of the above bands yourself. “Good songwriting.”

Bands you once hated for being a part of the next big trend seem to have morphed into more mature and palatable versions of themselves.

Attack Attack still ruined everything.

You find it amusing and perplexing when trends from 20 years ago come back around… since, for the first time in your life, you were an adult during the original time period for which the revival is nostalgic.

You find it even more amusing and perplexing when those trends come from obscure niches that weren’t that popular the first time around. Like the current swell in bands that ape Helmet/Quicksand/Unsane.

Music simply being “heavy” or “brutal” isn’t enough anymore. It’s got to have something else to it.

You only go to the shows you really want to go to instead of devouring everything that comes through town.

More often than not, those bands are old favorites of yours. You seek solace in those more and more often.

You stay as far away from the moshpit as fucking possible.

You cheer on the inside whenever you see someone else at a metal show who has grays.

You’re excited when a show ends early so you can go home and get to bed at a decent hour.

You leave a couple of songs before the headliner finishes.

You insist you still have better taste than kids these days.

You’re right, you probably do.

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