In many circles around town, I am known as "Metal Dave". I would like everyone to believe this name derives from my having a metal plate in my head due to the shrapnel hit I took in the war, but this is not actually the case. Wars don't often come to Ohio, I've noticed. No, this is actually a name bestowed upon me by those who consider me their intellectual superior in the field of heavy metal knowledge. Many a metalhead would consider this a true virtue, but it is really just a reflection of my not having a life outside of my own direct interests.
I often have people come to me with questions about a particular band or genre. A couple weeks ago, a young kid of about 16 years asked me if I'd ever heard of Napalm Death. I actually laughed believing this child to be joking with me. He then revealed that he had bought one of their albums and thought it was really good. This young metal Jedi in training was birthed from the school of modern deathcore, a hybrid of death metal and hardcore, and had no idea that there are a number of bands who came before his who were direct influences. There would be no Suicide Silence, Job For a Cowboy, Annotations of an Autopsy, if there were not a Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, or Carcass. So I sat the lad down and schooled his ass on the forefathers of this music he holds so dear. We spoke of Death, Necrophagia, Morbid Angel, Cynic, and even Bathory. Of those bands, the kid had heard of Morbid Angel. He then geared the conversation towards Municipal Waste, a new band he thinks are pretty rad. I asked him if he ever listened to Exodus. His response was that he had never heard of them. So I told him of The Big Four (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer) and all of the smaller but equally influential bands that popped up in the early-late 80's. With the resurgence of gritty, old school thrash metal, it was a perfect time to introduce the child to Razor, Slaughter, DBC, Sepultura, Kreator, Sodom, and a number of other bands he may not have been familiar with. The kid had no idea that Sepultura were even a band in the 80's! So, with a list in his hand, I sent the young one home to scour Myspace for the bands I had told him of. A few hours later (and well past curfew) the kid showed back up enlightened. He now knew more about metal than any of the kids in his band (which, I might add, sound a hell of a lot like At The Gates...a band they had ALL heard of.)
So, to all the budding metalheads young and old, I plea for you to dig deep into the genre, and ye shall be enlightened to the fullest extent! For every kickass band you discover on Myspace, there is likely a band much like them who broke up twenty years ago! This is not a new movement, it is just one which never truly goes away.