1: If you have a three word name your metal band probably sucks. There are exceptions to the rule of course, but most won’t make it out alive. I don’t think I’ve read one yet that has any depth, power or real meaning and this almost always extends to the music. You can smell the weak song structures and predictable cliches a mile a way. These types of names are flimsy, naff and blow over the minute anyone so much as farts, so forget about them surviving a real storm, like the test of time for example. Identifying one of these names is quite easy. If your metal band is called “As something something”, “When something something”, ” Within something something, “After the something”, if it starts with Beyond, Below, Beneath, Above, well, you get the drift. If you meet these criteria it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that your metal band probably sucks. Even if you’re gigging, touring and have a strong fan base these are actually no insurance that the core ethos of your band is bullet proof against sucking. Chances are you have no real ethos. You are probably working hard on your image and making sure it slots nicely into your chosen sub genre. Acceptance. How can anyone forget that classic taxi cab exchange between Patrick Bateman and his “supposed” fiance Evelyn Williams?
Evelyn to Patrick : “You hate that job, I don’t see why you just don’t quit?”
Patrick to Evelyn : ” BECAUSE I WANT… TO FIT…IN!”
Let’s move on shall we?
2: If the image of your metal band you present to the world is one of being misanthropic, nihilistic, anti human satanists, but you then fail utterly to be true to these ideologies in your real life, you are full of shit, your ethos is about image and your metal band probably sucks. If you claim to align with any of the above philosophies, but in your real life lobby for gay rights, animal rights, if you express genuine remorse ( which is a very real and natural human trait I might add) at human tragedies, like learning of ilness or death of any friends, family or pets, if you are miserable at the fact your work or relationships make you miserable then you are full of shit, your ethos is about image and your metal band probably sucks. Let us not forget, you tell the world through your projected imagery, lyrics, and interviews that you are misanthropic, nihilistic, anti human satanists and by not rejoicing in the examples of worldly suffering I mention is to be disingenuous in your projected artistic ideology, phoney, and anything phoney means your metal band probably sucks. Moving on.
3: If you are one of these new breed metal bands that operates off this latest trend of song structure, i.e. half time break down verse, screamo, boring, hollow annoying vocal that kids itself it’s angry and full of feeling, but is actually devoid of both, then seemlessly floats into a totally “no surprises here” chorus that’s fitted out with one of those “heard it a thousand times before” big, fake epic, melodic pop hooks that’s equipped with the spawn of Justin Bieber for the vocal, your metal band probably sucks. If you fit into both point 1 and 3 of this list simultaneously, forget probably, your metal band DOES suck.
4: No amount of lo fi production is going to make your half arsed Darkthrone rip off be the next Darkthrone. That was a moment in time and it ended 20 years ago. Get over it. If your songs are shit, boring and unimaginative, deliberate lo fi production will not be your saviour. You will NEVER be accepted into the halls of Valhalla with your idols so stop trying so hard to follow scene rules. They were put there to keep the likes of you out. If you think you are honouring Quorthorn, Euronymous and Dead with every riff you lay down to your $100 soundcard your metal band probably sucks. I invite you to ditch your uniform and find out who YOU are, and stop being who you think you have to be to fit in. You’re missing the point. Also, if you’re not Norwegian you probably shouldn’t wear corpse paint. It’s disrespectful.
5: Did you even bother to ask yourself whether the world needs your band and it’s music in it? If the answer is no then your metal band probably sucks. If you have honestly never asked yourself this question before continuing to gig or release an album you are likely more concerned with not being left out, of feeling like you’re running out of time to get noticed, feeling like you’re behind in the race. There’s the problem. You treat what should be your art as sports or an avenue to fame, a way to be known which illustrates flaws in your character like impatience and envy. Your only concern should be whether you are leaving the greatest work of art you can to the world, and if that was your concern you wouldn’t release the same bland rice and beans as everyone else. If it takes 20 years to paint 5 brush strokes of red against 6 brush strokes of blue exactly the way you see it in your head then that’s how long it takes. It doesn’t matter if someone else has completed 20 similar works in that time. It’s irrelevant. They are not you. All that matters is if you care about your art enough to allow it the time it requires to end up at it’s best. If you see your metal band as a vehicle to climb up a scene related ladder that has nothing to do with any real artistic statement that’s ok, but it does increase the chances that your metal band probably sucks.