*Metal, aka Asterisk metal, is a form of heavy metal that combines post grunge mediocrity with grunting, often times pushing “metal” howls from the bowels. The entire *Metal movement began when the music formerly labeled as “grunge” died off. As record companies collectively shit their pants when Kurt Cobain died, Alice in Chains stopped recording, Pearl Jam went soft, and Soundgarden broke up within just a couple of years, they desperately tried to replace the sounds of the classic alternative metal bands. What they found, instead of looking for something original, was that they stumbled upon a generation of manufactured musicians who not only strived to be characterless, but took great pride in being second-rate.
The *Metal movement was really brought to the forefront of rock radio by Nickelback and Creed. While you can point your fingers at Trapt, Days of the New, Bush, or Saliva, this genre of music, often referred to as “post grunge,” really gained traction among those with bad taste when Nickelback and Creed hypnotized millions of listeners into buying their albums. If you’d like to refer to Nickelback and Creed as the pioneers of the *Metal movement, then they truly are the cream of the crap here.
If you’re a true metal fan, you might be wondering, how on earth did this happen? How could a legitimate form of music, like grunge, be popular one minute and have this derivative garbage be on top the next?
It’s all about mainstreaming. While nu metal did a great job in providing something popularized into mainstream pop culture, it was still too foreign for most casual rock listeners. Did you hear that word? “Casual” is the key here. Bands don’t sell millions of copies of their albums (well, no one does anymore – but they used to) without providing a product that is widely loved. Nickelback and Creed served no specific rock niche, , they added nothing new that hadn’t already been done (and much better, at that). They generalized their sound so much that it appealed to the largest possible swath of boring, sheep herding masses that were looking for the next big thing in rock.
And what happens when one bands hits it big? The Beatles, Nirvana, even Motley Crue, all had their imitators. Band after band plagiarize the popular style until it’s been trampled so far into the ground no one wants to hear from it again until it’s in the realms of nostalgia. And what’s sad about Nickelback and Creed’s success is that the sound was already very watered down, and a new group of bands have actually ripped them off.
*Metal bands tend to crossover from other genres like nu metal and post-grunge. The pioneers of the *Metal movement opened doors for conventional, bland, and completely uninspired bands like Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Seether, Godsmack, Nonpoint, Bullet for my Valentine, Theory of a Deadman, Hinder, and Finger Eleven. In other words, these are the ho-hum, nauseatingly boring musicians you will hear on Sirius XM’s Octane.
It even raises the question, are these bands even metal?
Essential *Metal Albums:
- Meteora (Linkin Park)
- Statement (Nonpoint)
- Blackbird (Alter Bridge)
- Weathered (Creed)
- 14 Shades of Grey (Staind)
- The Strange Case of…(Halestorm)
- Days of the New (Days of the New)
- Leave a Whisper (Shinedown)
- All the Right Reasons (Nickelback)
- Disclaimer (Seether)
- Staind (Staind)
- Silver Side Up (Nickelback)
Other Names for *Metal:
- Yawn metal
- Sheep metal
- Shit metal
- Pussy metal
- Butt metal or “butt rock”