Allow me to begin this vicarious post with a brief introduction: I am Chris, the older brother of Tommy on this board. An engineer, tinkerer, amateur chef, and casual guitarist, I will be entering my first year of graduate school at Virginia Tech. I would like to believe that I am chiefly responsible for Tommy’s tastes in music, for which I am most proud.
As the title of this post suggests, I wish to draw your collective attention to the resurgence of what Tommy and I call real music. While what Neil Young said is true, rock certainly did take a back seat recently. As such, it pleases me that a slew of new hard rock bands are gaining attention on the national level. Perhaps there is hope for music yet.
This past year has been particularly fruitful, with nearly a dozen new albums from major rock and metal bands, including Disturbed, Chevelle, Bullet For My Valentine, All That Remains, Halestorm, Sevendust, and even Puddle of Mudd. Capping this peak of progress is Avenged Sevenfold, releasing their new album, Nightmare, in the wake of the passing of their drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. Barely two weeks old, the album is being hailed as the band’s greatest work to date, and achieved the rare honor of holding the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 list. More importantly, the record usurped the position of bestselling album in the country from Eminem’s freshest attempt to polish a turd.
Rock has gained new exposure from the video game market in the form of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band series, which have sought out increasingly more difficult guitar pieces for their games. Their search seems to have landed them on the goldmine known as metalcore – harsh, loud, aggressive, and most of all, technical, metal that will blast the pop crap out of one’s rear with extreme repugnance.
So, cheers to rock and metal, striking fear into the hearts of the ignorant, joy and euphoria into those who are not, and proving that some of us still realize that lip synching and prancing about onstage is not music (or even evidence of talent for that matter). Cheers to those out there who have joined the ranks of rockers and metal-heads and who have thus helped bring about this change in the wind. Now go to the nearest concert and rock out!