Friday, September 23, 2011

Metal truly jumps the shark

This is revolting.

For those who haven't bothered to click, it's the site for a "guitar retreat" hosted by Alex Skolnick of Testament and Chris Broderick of Megadeth. Back in the day, these used to be called "fantasy camps," which was a much more apropos moniker, but in this day and age "guitar retreat" is employed instead. It is a horrifying display.

Now it's not as though I haven't understood that metal (especially with bands as popular as Testament and Megadeth) can be a moneymaking venture. It's not even as though I expect more from a scene where Iwrestledabearonce is actually signed to a label, or where a new Agalloch album is met with cries of enthusiasm rather than derision. However, I expect the sort of sellout idiocy displayed above to be expressed in a slightly less crassly corporate fashion. It's a complete embarrassment not only to the scene but to the people involved (both hosts and attendees.) Somehow, though, I see people on websites proverbially licking their chops at the opportunity to participate in this cavalcade of sorrow.

Let's think this through: no one gives a shit about either of these guys. No one can name a member of Testament anymore and Broderick can basically be referred to as "the guy who isn't Mustaine." Moreover, who do you think is actually going to go to this? Real metalheads? How many real metalheads do you know that can fork over a staggering $2000 (including a completely non-refundable $500 deposit) for what amounts to a long weekend of playacting with two aging, irrelevant pseudo-icons of thrash? None that I know- most of the metalheads I've met are too busy trying to pay the rent on their roach-infested studio apartments to even entertain this idea. We know who's going to this: aging could-have-beens with bald spots widening in parallel with their oncoming mortality, desperately reaching for a hint of the glory they felt emitting from their "Practice What You Preach" tapes so long ago.

It's not that I have an issue with age, or money, or the sheer idiocy of this in particular: I just thought that the metal scene as a whole was above this. But with these two jokers making caricatures of whatever ghostly careers they still maintained, I'm forced to conclude that metal has finally jumped the shark. It's over, kids. Pack it up and go home.

I knew I should have jumped ship for dubstep when I had a chance.


  1. Heh, i predicted metal's shark-jumping months ago in a shitty piece I wrote about the Liturgy album.

    "I also agree that right now, conditions are such that simply slapping the label “black metal” on something seems like a sure-fire way to get it press, and thus that label, as well as the “doom” label, are being tossed around a lot where they don’t make sense, which is hurting the integrity of those subgenres, for those who care about that sort of thing. In other words, in case you didn’t notice, this shit is trendy right now, which as we all know means it’s about to get shittier and shittier before eventually dying off and returning to the underground — at least, that’s my prediction, if historical evidence is anything to go on. So hang on, metalheads, the pop-culture machine is about to co-opt your thing and water it down, and it’s going to annoy the piss out of you for a few years and there isn’t jack shit you can do about it other than bitch and wait it out. Thankfully, maybe this means it’s moved on from indie rock, so indie rock is finally about ready to stop sucking so much."

  2. One could probably get the same benefit out of this by simply listening to old Jag Panzer/Testament records on repeat for hours on end and learning their licks, and reading the countless interviews with the guys if you wanted to know "how they view the guitar". All for free.

  3. Iwresteledabear and Aggaloch are pretty good for mainstream metal. What's a crime is that Killswitch Engage and Suicide Silence are signed and met with enthusiasm.

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  5. really hope anonymous was trolling