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The next Grand Ol' Men in Metal?

Written by Tommy, February 2002

ven if I don't find the very thought of it appealing at all, there comes a time sooner or later when today's icons in the metalscene have to put the guitars and mic's on the shelf, and call it a day.

eing 29 years old as I am, it feels like guys like Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy, Udo Dirkschneider, Biff Byford, Rob Halford, Tony Iommi and all the guys in Maiden have been around since the dawn of time. They have always been there....delivering one classic after the other, showed the way for others to follow. There may frequently come brilliant albums from new, excellent and skilled bands, but when a new release from one of the old boys groups is approaching - all eyes are turned in their direction. All focus are on them some time before, and it often or always turn out to show that you can always count on the "homeboys" - they know what we want, and they deliever it....over and over again.

ut - either if it's by lack of motivation or ideas, age, familymatters, healthissues or anything equal, we will sooner or later have to face the fact that they are no longer around. T hen a question suddenly arises in my head: Who will be the next generation of guys that will "always be there"?
Who among the bands or soloartists will be the icons that everybody knows about, are known to release solid albums every 1½ year, and the future youngsters talk about as "the legends", "the ones that made me start play guitar myself"? Which of the bands present today will recieve the status that the icons of today bare?

ill the scene even look like that in, let's say - 15 years? Will we have a handful of groups that are vast steps over the rest when it comes to reputation, fame and importance, or will we see a more even hierarchy with not many bands that are considered more first and foremost than any other? I personally have thought a lot about this, and I have a really hard time seeing that any of the bands we know about today will take that place. Edguy? Rhapsody? Blind Guardian? Grave Digger? Even if these bands in my eyes have the musical potential - I still doubt it.

he bands of today also work in a scene with whole different conditions than their predecessors - today bands that doesn't change style, sound or are bringing in new ideas for every new album recieve bad critics, and are considered losers. According to the (professional) reviewers, the best thing a band can do is change style for every album until nothing remains from the original band after approximatly 3 records - otherwise they get to hear that "we have heard this before", "they are moving on in the same tracks again, and nothing happens". I personally am of the opinion that if I like a band, I like them for the style they have and that's what I want them to play - different songs for every album, of course - but not a change of musical style from album to album. Luckily the bands that are in this business for the pure love of true music don't give much for such statements - they keep giving us what they know we crave.

o me it seems like people of today are too impatient to recieve "the next impression around the corner" to let bands just deliever their thing for us to enjoy as the great pieces of art they are. People nowadays discover a band, enjoys, likes and praise them for a few albums, and then move on to some other new, fresh band that has a better and cooler image. For youngsters growing up in the late 70's and early 80's, metal became a lifestyle and they devoted themselves to it completely and by their whole heart and helped building the strong scene that followed by that - but kids of today are growing up in a whole different world, with so many impressions interacting in their life around the clock day out and day in. I don't think kids of today are able to be fully devoted to anything anymore - there are too many things to discover, test and explore - and that brings the lack of enthusiasm that are needed to build future icons in the metalscene.

I hope that we will continue to have the kind of order we are having at the moment in the scene - it is needed for it's survival, but I for sure can't tell who is gonna take over after the old men's retired.

Tommy - February 2002