This is a frequently asked question: what is the future of metal music?
The best answer: no one knows.
However, it’s fun to try and predict what the coming years will bring, even if any predictions made may be laughably off the mark. To do this, we have to start by looking at the current trends. The most successful (non-legacy) bands right now are the likes of Gojira, Trivium, Mastodon, Ghost and Avenged Sevenfold. The list goes on, but what defines these bands are they broke onto the scene around 2000 and have been building a steady following ever since. However, each has a distinct style.
What is apparent is this: metal is still very popular, which means bands will keep emerging with no sounds. The eighties saw a thrash-metal revolution. The nineties and early two-thousands experienced the dawn of ‘nu-metal,’ while recently, a new wave of thrash has emerged fronted by bands like Havok, Warbringer, and so on. Personally, I don’t see the future being the second coming of thrash. The genre is great, but the giants all reside in the past. The best has already been done.
I’m looking at bands like Gojira for the future. See, complex, mechanic metal like Meshuggah has been making rounds for a good two decades now, but bands like Gojira have taken that style, streamlined it slightly and added a bit of commercial flavor. That is in no way a diss, as it has made the music more accessible. We only need to look at the success of Gojira’s ‘Magma’ album for proof. It fared well with fans, critics, and even with the Academy, as it was nominated for a Grammy award. This is a style of metal that seems to please fair weather fans and purists, alike. My guess is that we will see more bands in the style of Gojira in the next few years. They might add more traditional guitar solos–imagine Gojira with Marty Friedman style soloing? Or what if we see more bass involved in the mix… interesting.
It’s hard to predict, the future that’s for sure. Don’t count out a revitalization of seventies-style metal in lieu of Ghost’s recent success. Satanic elements aside, their music has the potential to reach the masses, with the clean sung-vocals, yet chunky riffing. I would not be surprised to see that grow even more popular as the years go on.
Or who knows, maybe we’ll get something crazy.
Imagine death metal with metal like choruses? Mixing anthem metal with blast beats and tremolo-picked guitars… we’ve seen a bit of that with the new Trivium song ‘The Sin And The Sentence.’ It’s fun to think about, that’s for sure.
What will the future bring? Only time will tell!