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cultofkraken
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:18 am
Posts: 2498
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:37 pm 
 

It’s totally a new frontier out there. There’s no longer a “centralized” pop culture because the internet has made that completely irrelevant. It’s actually insane how easy it is to just pick up your phone go into Apple Music and add whatever new metal release tickles your fancy. There’s an argument to be made about the commodification of metal which ultimately makes it much easier and therefore albums less rewarding (creating more of a throwaway culture) but hell it’s absolutely crazy how technology has made art that much easier for folks and therefore made bands/artists that much more prolific.
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Acrobat
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
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Location: York, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:38 pm 
 

caspian wrote:
You are far, far more likely to find a 40 something dude into metal than a 15 year old, which is fairly bad news


We could say the same thing about Christianity. Is that dying, too? :D
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 29650
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:46 pm 
 

cultofkraken wrote:
It’s totally a new frontier out there. There’s no longer a “centralized” pop culture because the internet has made that completely irrelevant. It’s actually insane how easy it is to just pick up your phone go into Apple Music and add whatever new metal release tickles your fancy. There’s an argument to be made about the commodification of metal which ultimately makes it much easier and therefore albums less rewarding (creating more of a throwaway culture) but hell it’s absolutely crazy how technology has made art that much easier for folks and therefore made bands/artists that much more prolific.


I even think the "throwaway culture" thing is overblown; anybody who was not giving albums proper listens or only picking a song or two likely was not a rampant listener of complete musical statements anyway. These people have always been out there.
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Kalaratri
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:22 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:50 pm 
 

Yeah, chances are if you're a diehard fan of any musical genre and buying into the full album experience and giving records the time they deserve. Are you going to listen to everything out there, or give everything equal attention. No, because there's too much music out there for that to be possible and you'll gravitate to some bands or albums more than others. But at least in my case, I try to give the albums I check out multiple listens to fully absorb the music.

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Curious_dead
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:13 pm
Posts: 672
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:59 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
No doubt getting laid is a perk of being in a band, but if that was the sole impetus, then none of the nerdy epic metal bands or any extreme metal acts would've ever been formed.


Well if they're nerds they might not know that singing about Lord Alfstrom's glorious battles against dragons and evil wizards is not going to get them laid.

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AddWittyUsername
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:40 pm
Posts: 206
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:04 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
cultofkraken wrote:
It’s totally a new frontier out there. There’s no longer a “centralized” pop culture because the internet has made that completely irrelevant. It’s actually insane how easy it is to just pick up your phone go into Apple Music and add whatever new metal release tickles your fancy. There’s an argument to be made about the commodification of metal which ultimately makes it much easier and therefore albums less rewarding (creating more of a throwaway culture) but hell it’s absolutely crazy how technology has made art that much easier for folks and therefore made bands/artists that much more prolific.


I even think the "throwaway culture" thing is overblown; anybody who was not giving albums proper listens or only picking a song or two likely was not a rampant listener of complete musical statements anyway. These people have always been out there.

I do think it's overblown sometimes, yeah, but at the same time it is somewhat more present than it used to be. Makes some sense. If you buy a tape/lp/cd, you listen, and it comes across as decent but not amazing on first listen, well, you already paid for it and it doesn't suck, so might as well give it another spin every now and then. And if there's one stand-out song, well, it's kind of a hassle to keep popping physical media in and out just for one song (especially if it's a tape or lp), so may as well listen to the entire thing. And sure, maybe with a few spins it goes from decent to bland and boring, but it can also go the other way around and grow on you.

On the other hand, if you're browsing youtube/spotify/etc. where either you don't pay at all or pay for the service not the individual release, and an album strikes you as decent but not amazing, or there's just this one song on it you love while the rest seems kinda bland or average, then unless you have an actual reason to give it another spin, you probably won't be listening to the entire release again. Or maybe you even intend to revisit it in a few months, but well...it's easy to forget about a band or album when it's one among the hundreds you've come across within those months.

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Sepulchrave
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 1840
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:15 pm 
 

caspian wrote:
I think it's dying. it's still producing interesting music, but it's dying. New bands- that is, bands with young people- are getting rarer and rarer, and most of the time these days the audience and the bands have grey hair. Whether we want to admit it or not it's kinda fair to say that a big impetus for genres and new bands etc is the idea of getting laid, and unless if a slightly unwashed 40 year oldin a leather jacket is your idea of the perfect lay, then if you're an 18 year old you're likely to get into something else. You are far, far more likely to find a 40 something dude into metal than a 15 year old, which is fairly bad news

In_Zane wrote:
Not even close to dying.
Blues is even older, and it's not dead.


lol cmon man. Blues is dead. There is plenty of random throwback stuff, but traditional blues is about as relevant as doo-wop these days.


Because black metal players were totally getting laid but then started to lose popularity. (???)

I'm pretty sure Quorthon also mentioned in an interview that he used Satanic lyrical themes with music influenced by Motörhead when he started Bathory because he didn't know the sex, drugs, rock'n'roll lifestyle.

Also a quite a few teenagers still really love metal, it's just more likely that they'll also branch out more to different genres like emo rap or digital hardcore. There is less of a genre purism in our generation, I find. And the metal scene is just more spread out into various niches. There is no real equivalent to Judas Priest or Metallica popping up in the past 10 years, sure, but that doesn't really say anything about metal's status other than that it went out of mainstream fashion.

In short, no one is getting into metal with the expectation of getting highly popular anymore. You can use your metal aesthetic to promote yourself on Instagram, however, which is very much a thing.
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Last edited by Sepulchrave on Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hexenmacht46290
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:30 pm
Posts: 249
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:32 pm 
 

I was born in the early 90s, and I got into metal in the late 2000s. I wasn’t “raised on classic rock,” like a lot of people, because my parents didn’t play any of it.

Some kid I hung out and smoked weed with, before class, had fucking Slayer, Metallica, Death, and Kreator shirts. I was young, and I knew I didn’t want to listen to mainstream shit, and he had shirts with cool, tough, blasphemous imagery. I asked him about Cannibal Corpse, and other bands with edgelord lyrics, because I thought it was funny. He told me, that when I got home, I should get on YouTube, and look up Dying Fetus’ “kill your mother/rape your dog. I was a blank slate, pretty much, I wasn’t into any music, because, listening to music wasn’t something I had actually cared about before. I was looking for entertainment, and I found it.

I had just recently gotten access to internet that wasn’t 56k dialup, and had looked up some thrash and death metal, but Dying Fetus was the first band I ever got into. I didn’t even get into Black Sabbath, until one of my good friends showed me Electric Wizard, then I got into sabbath, then when I first listened to a Jimi Hendrix album(not just the hit singles), I thought, “this sounds like Black Sabbath.”

I got into metal from illegal downloading, not mainstream rock/metal. Now, I download on Bandcamp. The point is, people have freedom, to listen to whatever now. Over a decade ago, I knew a lot less about music, but I made cringey Facebook posts about how bad Justin Bieber is. Now? I wouldn’t be able to tell you what’s popular. I know it’s something that sucks, because, some stores I walk into play something resembling what I’ve heard is “the thing.”

But the truth is, the most popular music, is like a prime minister, in a coalition government, in a parliamentary system. It’s like how Guinness claims to be the world’s biggest brewery. It is, or was, but it just happened to be the biggest. Doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of the worlds beer is Pilsner, and most people don’t even know stout exists.

Be the change you wish to see.
It’s up to metal bands, to put out good albums, and put on shows, that kick ass. Will metal “die,” though? Like jazz? I don’t think so, and here’s why.

If you think metal elitists are bad...count yourself lucky, you haven’t met a jazz elitist. My mom’s brother is one of these. He hates pretty much everything. He makes money, doing sound technician stuff, and playing music, for corporate crap, which he hates, and he looks down on everything, that isn’t some pretentious asshole jazz.

Why isn’t there a scene, with dedicated fans, he could play shows for, even if it’s just a US tour, in clubs and bars? Because, his genre stamped out fun. Most jazz musicians I’ve met, want to play in an orchestra, to make money, and don’t get together, and have fun, writing songs. They do asshole things, like busking, on streets with tourists, playing saxophones, playing pretentious stuff, that sucks. They do it, because their “inferiors” “need” to be “educated.” Musically, they are like teenagers, at guitar center, showing off their Malmsteen impressions, or their Zakk Wylde/Dimebag Darrell impressions. In attitude, they are like ANUSites. Once rock replaced it, on the top of the charts, the posers went on to whatever made money, and the elitists were so offended, that they became too elitist, and killed off their genre. When I listen to new music, looking for a new experience, jazz isn’t even something I consider, because, I’ve met the assholes that like it. I grew up around them. No.

Keep metal fun. That way, it can never die. It’ll never be mainstream again, but why would you want that? Why be popular, when you can be good? Just don’t get too elitist, because it’s supposed to actually be entertainment(which you can still combine with a serious message).
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Kennermahn
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:36 am
Posts: 275
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:04 pm 
 

Yuli Ban wrote:
The trickle down theory is just piss in economics, but I do think it exists for music, and the fact there's no really big mainstream presence for hard rock probably does negatively affect the growth of more distorted genres just because there are fewer ears aimed at them. Plus because you can't hear Led Zeppelin clone #46,853 on pop radio, that likely does feed perceptions that rock is even more dead than it already is. Because it is absolutely true that, even in the late 2000s, you could hear guitar-driven songs right next to crunk and R&B songs. I distinctly remember this, even though that music was predominantly emo, that you could hear "Welcome to the Black Parade" and "Through the Glass" by My Chemical Romance and Stone Sour respectively right next to Rhianna and Soulja Boy, that "Dance Dance" from Fallout Boy and "Like a Stone" by Audioslave were peers of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold." It was definitely only after the Great Recession that even this faded into memory, but it would be like hearing Ghost, Mastodon, and Greta van Fleet next to Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and the Weeknd, on pop radio. It did happen, I know it happened, I remember it happening


This. I wish I could share the optimism of some of the people posting here.

Metal is not in good shape, even though it's still miles better than most rock music. There haven't been commercial powerhouses in metal like Nightwish, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Mastodon, Trivium, or even an Ensiferum ever since... well, those bands' heyday. Love them or hate them, but popular bands are what truly keep genres alive and keep their fanbase renewed. Someone pointed out that over 8000 metal albums were released last year as a sign of metal's health, but the thing is that almost all of them are being listened to by the same metal nerds, in their 30s and 40s, not really a thriving scene. Metal hasn't hat a "hit" such as "Wish I Had an Angel", "Blood and Thunder" or "Redneck" since the 00s too and popular songs are what draw attention from "outsiders" to the genre and some of these outsiders eventually become actual fans of the style.

Back in the second half of the 00s, when I was in my late teens and early 20s, in Barcelona there were plenty of metal bars and even clubs (yeah, metal clubs). Nowadays, all of those metal clubs are gone and most of the bars have closed too or have stopped being metal bars at all, owning a place for metalheads to hang out at is simply not profitable anymore.

In my day, you could see throngs of metalheads (who were around my age) hanging out on the street on any given Saturday (not due to a metal concert or anything, mind you) at one of Barcelona's main nightlife streets, whereas today (before the pandemic) groups of metalheads are almost impossible to see. They've been replaced by small gangs of "alternative" kids, often dressing somewhere between metalhead, goth and emo (but not really looking like either); one day I walked past a group of them and they turned out to be listening to reggaeton, which definitely shocked me. At least here, metal has become a niche genre for older people.

Another thing that shows that metal is not very healthy is the increasing number of one-man bands being formed these days, a trend I have noticed (perhaps mistakenly). Some are good and whatnot and in black metal this has always pretty common, but to me metal always was about friends hanging out making music together; if people need to make music on their own it's generally because they can't find anyone to make it with, which isn't very positive, if you ask me.

However, all I've said before doesn't mean there isn't good metal being made these days, of which there is, and a lot, but my point is that the current situation doesn't speak a lot for its future. Although metal is much healthier than older genres back when they had stopped being relevant (such as jazz in the 80s) because the scene is/was much bigger than other "alternative" scenes and has a very loyal fanbase.

Yuli Ban wrote:
Because of the death of guitar-driven rock music (largely due to a 1-2-3-4 knockout punch of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the mediocrity + meteoric success of 2000s butt rock/whitebread rock, the Great Recession, and the wider sonic appeal of hip hop supplanting interest and the countercultural appeal of rock music all coming to a head right before the rise of streaming, which I believe would have kept guitar-driven rock music alive had streaming been mainstream five years sooner), there isn't much to direct people's attention to new developments in heavy music other than heavy music itself. Whatever does pop up tends to be derivative or overhyped only by rockists desperate for any proof that "rock is coming back" (see: Greta Van Fleet for classic rock, Socotra for grunge).


You're also right here. Another thing that needs to be pointed out is that the fans of these newer popular rock bands tend to be much older than them, which is not a good sign for a scene. General rock is in even worse shape than metal I'd dare say.


Last edited by Kennermahn on Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Red_Death
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:51 pm
Posts: 762
Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:06 pm 
 

Hexenmacht46290 wrote:
Once rock replaced it, on the top of the charts, the posers went on to whatever made money, and the elitists were so offended, that they became too elitist, and killed off their genre.

Just out of curiosity, what does killing off a genre/the death of a genre mean to you?

I mean, the little off the entire jazz tradition I listened to (mostly newer but with some classics like Mingus and Miles) was insanely diverse (and very often good and entertaining), leading me to make parallels with metal re: niches. I mean, I consider the collaboration album of Erik Truffaz and Murcof (an electronica/ambient artist), Being Human Being, a jazz album...kind-of, maybe-jazz? The entire so-called dark jazz "scene" was my gateway in the first place. And there's so much cool stuff, different in vibe and technique, though it may be explorer's enthusiasm with little to no quality control on my part.

I guess I just don't see these death-stories as anything other than a common myth, unless it's backed up with figures and data having to do with some relevant categories.
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Saanen
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:45 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:13 pm 
 

Metal isn't dying, not even close. It's evolving, just as the rest of the music world is. You don't even have to dig very hard to find an incredible variety of new bands that don't sound anywhere near the same but are all obviously metal. Sure, if you want clones of the same old bands you grew up with, it's thin pickings, but if you're that stuck in a rut then you might as well just listen to the music you already know. That sounds pretty boring to me, though.

I've been listening to metal for over 30 years (holy crap, how did I get so old?), since before I even knew what the genre was called. I haven't been this excited about music in decades! In my case, I'm all over folk metal and can't get enough of it after hearing The Hu for the first time in early 2020 (I was supposed to see them live last May...), so you can call them my re-onramp band.

Seriously, when I first got into metal, Metallica was still a new band and I was as deep in the scene as I could be pre-internet when I lived in the sticks. These days things feel even fresher than they did back then. It's also a lot easier to find new music.

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Hexenmacht46290
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:30 pm
Posts: 249
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:30 pm 
 

Red_Death wrote:
Hexenmacht46290 wrote:
Once rock replaced it, on the top of the charts, the posers went on to whatever made money, and the elitists were so offended, that they became too elitist, and killed off their genre.

Just out of curiosity, what does killing off a genre/the death of a genre mean to you?

I mean, the little off the entire jazz tradition I listened to (mostly newer but with some classics like Mingus and Miles) was insanely diverse (and very often good and entertaining), leading me to make parallels with metal re: niches. I mean, I consider the collaboration album of Erik Truffaz and Murcof (an electronica/ambient artist), Being Human Being, a jazz album...kind-of, maybe-jazz? The entire so-called dark jazz "scene" was my gateway in the first place. And there's so much cool stuff, different in vibe and technique, though it may be explorer's enthusiasm with little to no quality control on my part.

I guess I just don't see these death-stories as anything other than a common myth, unless it's backed up with figures and data having to do with some relevant categories.


I was a little too off topic, in that post, but, what I meant was, word of mouth is the most important thing. That’s how Metallica, and even Black Sabbath, got so popular, so quickly. An algorithm can recommend you stuff similar to what you already like. Articles can give you good recommendations, but what recommendations are you actually going to check out? Especially, when it comes to getting into a new style? Recommendations from friends. That’s how I’ve discovered a lot of music I really like.

I was harsh on jazz. I’m not going to say it’s universally bad, but it stays unpopular, precisely because most people’s experience of it, is that it was the pop genre(probably the first one), from the 20s, until the 50s, and that most of its proponents are pretentious assholes. Imagine if the only metal fans you ever met were talking down on every other style of music, and most bands refused to make anything accessible to normies, like if Bolt Thrower and Celtic Frost weren’t gateway drugs to more avant-garde death metal, because few people listened to them, and instead told people that those bands were posers. Jazz can never get close to mainstream exposure, because of its trend toward unrelenting elitism. Meanwhile, trendy death metal bands get songs in video games.

Word of mouth, from friends is the surest way anyone gets into new music. Metal isn’t in danger of dying out, although it would be, if it were the edgelord caricature of it.
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Red_Death
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:51 pm
Posts: 762
Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:57 pm 
 

Hexenmacht46290 wrote:
Meanwhile, trendy death metal bands get songs in video games.
I don't see this as anything even remotely positive (from experience of what usually hides behind what's "trendy", and I especially shudder to think what would video game death metal be like - apart from Zombie Grinder 6000), but I guess this betrays a pretty important difference in outlook.

Hexenmacht46290 wrote:
Word of mouth, from friends is the surest way anyone gets into new music. Metal isn’t in danger of dying out, although it would be, if it were the edgelord caricature of it.

May be, but as numerous other posters here stated, the era of streaming and the Internet really shook things up and changed a lot.
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hells_unicorn
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:58 pm 
 

Sepulchrave wrote:
Because black metal players were totally getting laid but then started to lose popularity. (???)

I'm pretty sure Quorthon also mentioned in an interview that he used Satanic lyrical themes with music influenced by Motörhead when he started Bathory because he didn't know the sex, drugs, rock'n'roll lifestyle.

Also a quite a few teenagers still really love metal, it's just more likely that they'll also branch out more to different genres like emo rap or digital hardcore. There is less of a genre purism in our generation, I find. And the metal scene is just more spread out into various niches. There is no real equivalent to Judas Priest or Metallica popping up in the past 10 years, sure, but that doesn't really say anything about metal's status other than that it went out of mainstream fashion.

In short, no one is getting into metal with the expectation of getting highly popular anymore. You can use your metal aesthetic to promote yourself on Instagram, however, which is very much a thing.


The caspian show is not liable for content that is meant for his own entertainment purposes only. :-P

In all seriousness, I really wish that people would qualify precisely what they mean by "x music style/genre is dead or dying", because I think every other person offering their 2 cents on this thread has a different idea of what amounts to that happening. If caspian's definition of "nobody's getting laid to this music anymore" is what the OP intended and he had said so up front, I would not have bothered contributing to this thread because its not really a serious discussion. From my vantage point, the genre's life and death is tied to its audience, and while there seems to be an ebb and flow with certain sub-genres, I'm seeing a lot of new acts popping up every few weeks across the board lately. In the past when the major labels had more of a stranglehold on the music scene, it was possible for genres to be killed off in a commercial sense due to all the barriers to entry that existed, the internet has largely solved that problem, at least for people who rely upon it rather than old media.
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oilerfan
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:46 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:51 pm 
 

I don't think it's dying. The underground is thriving with quality bands. You just have to dig deep. Get used to the growling vocals and there are so many great bands to find.
There will not be any younger, solid mainstream acts in the foreseeable future. I guess Gojira and Lamb of God are closest.

It may not be dying. However, I will say it's getting old. The mainstays and popular underground bands are all grey. I've been watching the Decibel 200th issue livestream and all of the bands giving congratulations are all grey and old. Time goes by.

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caspian
Old Man Yells at Car Park

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 1:07 am 
 

Acrobat wrote:
caspian wrote:
You are far, far more likely to find a 40 something dude into metal than a 15 year old, which is fairly bad news


We could say the same thing about Christianity. Is that dying, too? :D


yeah man of course it's dying, and the parallels are pretty obvious, aren't they! Old scenes from a bygone era that are full of old people with little fresh blood.
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caspian
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 1:08 am 
 

oilerfan wrote:
It may not be dying. However, I will say it's getting old. The mainstays and popular underground bands are all grey. I've been watching the Decibel 200th issue livestream and all of the bands giving congratulations are all grey and old. Time goes by.


I mean cmon, this is not the sign of a scene in rude health, yknow?
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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 6:33 am 
 

It's weird to say metal is dying when there's more metal being recorded now than ever.

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Demon Fang
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:42 am
Posts: 172
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 6:47 am 
 

caspian wrote:
I think it's dying. it's still producing interesting music, but it's dying. New bands- that is, bands with young people- are getting rarer and rarer, and most of the time these days the audience and the bands have grey hair. Whether we want to admit it or not it's kinda fair to say that a big impetus for genres and new bands etc is the idea of getting laid, and unless if a slightly unwashed 40 year oldin a leather jacket is your idea of the perfect lay, then if you're an 18 year old you're likely to get into something else. You are far, far more likely to find a 40 something dude into metal than a 15 year old, which is fairly bad news

Yeah, I don't know what it says when the youngest halfway notable metal musician I can think of off the top of my head is John Yelland, who's 30.

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LithoJazzoSphere
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 7:51 am 
 

I think ultimately this discussion is one that we're probably not going to have much agreement on, because everyone is focusing on a different slice of the scene to make their points. There are definitely many advantages in the way things go about these days, but I don't think we should ignore their downsides either. There might also be to some extent some generational and other differences in how we discovered metal in the first place, some of which may or may not still be relevant. Growing up my network of friends in real life wasn't into metal, so it was chance exposures in various media that sucked me in.

Gravetemplar wrote:
It's weird to say metal is dying when there's more metal being recorded now than ever.


The difference is that a ton of those releases are a guy recording the album on his laptop. Sometimes they're really good, but a lot of them are unknown for a good reason. It wasn't nearly as easy to crank out an album several decades ago, so of course there are a lot more of them. It's also common for many bands to self-produce demos and then either send them to a studio to polish up or rerecord them there. It's just a lot easier in that regard than it used to be due to technology, so on its own I don't think that proves anything.

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Red_Death
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:51 pm
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Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 8:09 am 
 

Demon Fang wrote:
Yeah, I don't know what it says when the youngest halfway notable metal musician I can think of off the top of my head is John Yelland, who's 30.

I guess it depends on just how you think about this "being notable" thing (and your exposure to new stuff, in combination to taste-related preferences).

For instance, Josh Raiken of Suffering Hour got a lot of praise for his playing (seem to recall some mid-tier metal site had him as one of the two most creative guitar players, or something like that), and the dude is 26 (22 at the time they released their debut LP; 19 when they released the first EP, and 17 when forming the band under a different name).

This whole age-related demographics thing in relation to metal is tricky business, as obviously a lot of it boils down to impressions (and is culture/geographical area dependent). It would be interesting to some some data on newly formed bands and the age of the members for sure. And my two little cents here in terms of audience and live shows is that the last show I went to before the pandemic was pretty much packed to the gills, and I seem to recall the audience being fairly mixed re: age. It was Suffocation and Belphegor by the way.
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Demon Fang
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 9:16 am 
 

I guess you aren't entirely wrong @Red_Death. There are likely some younger bucks here and there, but compared to even ten years ago, the under-25 talent pool seems a bit small. At the very least, I am having a very very hard time naming any off the top of my head.

I mean, I guess the Lovebites chicks might be more notable, but the only one I actually know the age of has a couple of months on John Yelland. Maybe if the others are in their mid-20s, there'd be something there. There is one of Mefitis guys being as old as Josh Raiken; at least there may be a start there. The only other one I can think of after some double checking is that the Cathartic Demise guys are on the younger end of their 20s, but who's listening to Cathartic Demise? At best, maybe the Rateyourmusic guys are being cool about them - their latest being a 3.50, and all.

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Kalaratri
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 9:53 am 
 

We had a whole thread about bands with an average age under 30. One that comes to mind right away is Sarcator, all of the members are either in their teens or early 20s at most. Cryptic Shift is another band that has gotten a ton of attention recently where the oldest member is 30 and the others are in their mid 20s.

https://forum.metal-archives.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=130704&hilit=Sarcator

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oilerfan
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 11:13 am 
 

I guess it all depends on what metal dying means?

Let's face it, most of the greybeards currently in metal now that are making music with well known or "popular" underground bands have maybe 10-15 years left. I can't see many of these bands surviving into their 60's doing demanding and technical music.
It's been said that one truly dies when your name is spoken for the last time after you are gone.
While the underground has tons of newer solid bands, a fraction of a percent will get to be decently known by the casual metal fan in terms of spreading the awareness. Once the long tooths die of or retire (Iron Maiden, Metallica, At the gates, Cannibal Corpse, etc), the next tier are left (Lamb of God, Gojira). These groups have a smaller fraction of fans than the standby's.

In terms of dying, I think no matter what, metal will be a very very small niche genre in 15-20 years.

I mean, look whats happened to rock, yes it's not dead but it is incredibly hard to find any newer rock bands that stand out.

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Yuli Ban
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 2:08 pm 
 

In terms of rock music's decline into something like jazz, I put it this way a while back:

Imagine it's 1994 and you're excited by the new Black Sabbath album as an example that rock and roll is alive again. Is Black Sabbath cool? Obviously. But why are you pointing to a 25 year old band as an example that rock is alive and kicking and not any of the newer acts like Pearl Jam or Soundgarden or Korn or Green Day or Pantera? We were getting interesting and massive releases from multiple different regions in America alone, let alone Europe or Japan. If the Rolling Stones, Meatloaf, Rush, Black Sabbath, and whatnot were the only major "rock" bands in the mainstream circa 1994 (no subgenre specifically, any guitar driven group) and the wave of bands popular in the last five years plus up and coming acts that would achieve popularity in the next five/ten weren't there or were trapped deep in the underground, we'd absolutely consider have said "time to pull the plug on the genre."

It was a rolling life-cycle going back to the 1950s. The rock artists that were big in 1960 were the big names from 1955 with new groups and acts popping up as well; the big artists and up-and-comers had shifted by 1965, and then again by 1970, and then again by 1975, all the way up to around 2010-2015 when the genre and its many subgenres largely stagnated. The names that were big in the 2000s remain big today. This is also true for pop and various genres like hip hop/trap and electronic music, with the caveat that there are still massive new names striking it rich in these genres too. The state of rap music circa 2010 wasn't the same as it was in 2005 or 2015 or 2020. There are clearly still scenes and superstars there. What's true for rock music isn't true universally.

I'm glad people started mentioning the age of the artists playing metal; I thought I was going insane with it, but for years I've noticed that a lot of hard rock and metal bands feel like they're fronted by people's dads and that the average age of any band has creeped up into the 30s and 40s. The cold fact is that people tend to gravitate towards those who look like them, and thus kids are most interested in other kids. Watching your parents rock out on stage is either the coolest thing ever or horrifyingly embarrassing, but watching someone around your age (or at least in your age bracket) rock out is so badass that it might inspire you to start playing a guitar too. There seems to be less of that in metal recently, save for maybe bedroom black metal groups that obviously aren't going to achieve wider appeal to begin with.

And for rock, metal, punk, and whatnot, if you have to point to bands that are 10, 20, 30, 40, even 50 years old as an example of a genre still being alive, then that genre probably isn't as healthy as you might think it is. It's the latest thing I've seen, of rock fans pointing to new releases and tours from decades-old bands to say "rock is alive, perhaps even doing better than it has in years." I'm not saying it's a bad thing that these old groups are keeping their flame going; it IS great to see old'uns rocking out. But without that new blood, the party won't last forever.

It's Children of Men but for rock music. Grown men can play on the swings all they want; there still aren't any kids being born.

It's fine that the genre isn't what it once was. All things have their time, and keeping that fire burning is up to you.

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Frank Booth
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 2:31 pm 
 

Bands also rise slower these days, and if they rise fast, they're usually made up of members who have been around for a bit in other projects. For example, Shadow of Intent, Rivers of Nihil, Brand of Sacrifice, and Slaughter to Prevail are all newer bands that rose extremely fast over the course of a few years and have fanbases that overwhelmingly skew young, and all of them are in their late twenties or early thirties. I can't think of a single major new act with a fanbase predominately under the age of 23 whose members are around the same age as their fans.

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Sepulchrave
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 4:05 pm 
 

While I wouldn't say I am intimate with my local scene it appears to me there are younger bands playing who do get younger audiences in their 20's, but seem to be overcrowded by more established acts from elsewhere that trend on the internet. I definitely agree with Frank Booth here.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 6:06 pm 
 

Yuli Ban wrote:
In terms of rock music's decline into something like jazz, I put it this way a while back:

Imagine it's 1994 and you're excited by the new Black Sabbath album as an example that rock and roll is alive again. Is Black Sabbath cool? Obviously. But why are you pointing to a 25 year old band as an example that rock is alive and kicking and not any of the newer acts like Pearl Jam or Soundgarden or Korn or Green Day or Pantera? We were getting interesting and massive releases from multiple different regions in America alone, let alone Europe or Japan. If the Rolling Stones, Meatloaf, Rush, Black Sabbath, and whatnot were the only major "rock" bands in the mainstream circa 1994 (no subgenre specifically, any guitar driven group) and the wave of bands popular in the last five years plus up and coming acts that would achieve popularity in the next five/ten weren't there or were trapped deep in the underground, we'd absolutely consider have said "time to pull the plug on the genre."


This is a good point for sure.

I guess where I was coming from is just that I truly don't really care about the relevance of stuff I like. I know what I like and just don't think in these terms about the genre being "dead" or "alive." And I guess I'm an optimist in thinking that there'll always be some people interested in various underground things - nothing ever really goes away now. May not be too many prominent bands with young members that are getting big, but there'll always be somebody.
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Nocturnal_Evil
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 8:40 pm 
 

Absolutely not. Nowhere close even. The glory days were great, but so far as sheer quantity of good metal goes, it's only gotten better.

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tomcat_ha
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 10:57 am 
 

We will have to wait and see what the lasting impact of covid will be but we can make a strong argument that the last 15 years have been the true golden age of metal. As many big festivals as ever, a gargantuan number of releases loads of bands touring across the globe. The difference is that its all spread out over more bands and indeed the average age is only going up.

I think the development of metal overall is quite similar to the lifespan of the average person. Metal right now is in its early 40s which is also past the prime for most people in terms of pushing their own creative boundaries they tend to be quite developed and skilled at what they are doing at that age. The real decline of metal is perhaps on the horizon and it might have been brought forward by covid we shall see.

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Kalaratri
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 12:59 pm 
 

tomcat_ha wrote:
We will have to wait and see what the lasting impact of covid will be but we can make a strong argument that the last 15 years have been the true golden age of metal. As many big festivals as ever, a gargantuan number of releases loads of bands touring across the globe. The difference is that its all spread out over more bands and indeed the average age is only going up.

I think the development of metal overall is quite similar to the lifespan of the average person. Metal right now is in its early 40s which is also past the prime for most people in terms of pushing their own creative boundaries they tend to be quite developed and skilled at what they are doing at that age. The real decline of metal is perhaps on the horizon and it might have been brought forward by covid we shall see.


If you consider the first Black Sabbath full length to be the genesis of metal proper, it's actually 50 years old. In any case, I don't think it really works that way. Musical genres are not people. By your logic hip hop should also be past its prime since it's around 40 years old now, but if anything it's more popular than ever.

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Yuli Ban
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 3:30 am 
 

To give a straightforward answer to the OP, no it's not dying. It's evolving, while also settling into its niche. We've gone from pushing boundaries and developing subgenres to perfecting the sound altogether.



For a bit of longwindedness that might seem to refute what I said before (but fits into the point I was trying to make): Guitar-driven rock is largely dead in the mainstream as a relevant force to the youth, and without that gateway, metal will definitely suffer in some capacity, but metal was never an extraordinarily mainstream genre/scene to begin with, only occasionally getting enough recognition to be put on pop radio or teen magazines. So metal ultimately hasn't changed positions in history as much as it seems. People recognize there's a sparsely-populated gulf between softer indie rock and much more distorted metal music for a reason; neither are going anywhere. People who would otherwise be into guitar-heavy hard rock or its variants are into metal (or punk/noise); people into the ballads and soft-rock anthems are into indie. It's a fine equilibrium, if not exactly exciting.


Last edited by Yuli Ban on Mon May 03, 2021 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Curious_dead
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 10:40 am 
 

I'd say it's changing. Just before COVID struck, there were plenty of upcoming shows and tours, from big and small bands. There are still plenty of new releases and new bands. There are bands that still draw big crowds, some even enjoy mainstream appeal, although they are rarer. Festivals are still pretty crowded. Yeah, the crowds at shows are generally older now. But there are still shows where I feel like an old man (and I'm only in my early 40s), it depends on the band, the venue, etc. Also, it feels like the crowds are becoming more varied. It's less "white dudes with long hair wearing band shirts", there are more girls, more people of color, more people wearing different types of clothing... again, depends on the particular show, but the fans are changing too, it seems.

Anyway, those were my very anecdotal 2 cents.

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tomcat_ha
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 4:45 pm 
 

Kalaratri wrote:
If you consider the first Black Sabbath full length to be the genesis of metal proper, it's actually 50 years old. In any case, I don't think it really works that way. Musical genres are not people. By your logic hip hop should also be past its prime since it's around 40 years old now, but if anything it's more popular than ever.


I didnt say music genres in general are comparable did I? Regardless metal is arguably closer to its original forms than hiphop is.

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oilerfan
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 9:56 pm 
 

Like everything, there always needs to be a new influx of talent to continually balance the old. To use a sports analogy, a league cannot survive without draft picks and rookies constantly entering. Metal is the same. There will always be a new influx of talent, but the genre will likely never hit the highs of the 80s and some of the 90s in terms of mainstream visibility. Metal will always survive, but it will be largely underground.

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Turok12
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 12:52 am 
 

Are there any new stars that ACTUALLY inspire new musicians and bands, on a wide front?

Was ALEXI LAIHO the last one?

Because I know he inspired tons of musicians back in COB days. Many started guitar because of him.

What are the biggest bands today, that started max 5 years ago? Not counting bands with previously known musicians.

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Turner
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 3:53 am 
 

This is something I do struggle with a bit. Not that heavy metal is dying, but more that there's less and less I'm interested in as time goes on, and whatever is perceived as "cool" by the majority leaves me cold. I'm aware that lots of it lies with me as an individual (for example, nothing will ever compare to the first time I heard Master of Puppets, and I'm sure if I'd been listening to metal as a 2-year-old in 1986 I would've laughed at how bad a lot of now-forgotten contemporary bands were), so I try to keep an open mind. But there are still pockets of metal bands that absolutely blow me away - some examples from the last few years are Sulphur Aeon and a few related bands (that sound really hit me hard as something super cool when I first heard it), and then Power Trip in particular. That's not just revisionism cause Gale died, but Power Trip was imo (excuse the cliche) a real breath of fresh air in a stale room. But even now I just heard the latest Enforced album, and that's enough for me to go "yeah nah, metal isn't dying just yet". The cool stuff is there, but given the effort it takes to churn through countless albums looking for it... eh? I'm 37 now, that's a chore. By all metrics thrown around in music journalism, I'm well past the point where I actively seek out new music anyway, and just revert to listening to bands I loved in my teens/early 20s (which is definitely true).

Metal might have also faded from mainstream consciousness - as I've heard a few here lament in this thread - but that's not something I really care about. I do think it's cool that there was a time where bands like Pantera, Skid Row, Metallica etc were all charting on the Billboard 100 and could sell out arenas easily, but I also don't feel like the fact that (imo) equally-good bands are now just playing clubs is any real cause for concern. I wouldn't put my eggs in that basket; metal has never really had the same mainstream appeal as, say, R&B bands do. They can do their thing and enjoy success, metal bands can within their own... idiom... as well. If people stopped listening to music altogether that'd be a worry, but that the mainstream face of music isn't my favourite bands? Not a huge deal.

One thing that I do think is a bit detrimental is the willingness of some metalheads to just accept and love new music when it clearly doesn't deserve it. Not explicitly on this forum, but I have a couple of mates that seem to just worship any new album that comes out by metal bands, particularly younger bands putting out their first albums, or older bands putting out what I feel are "tired" efforts. Where they hear genius I just hear first-album immaturity, or laziness/irrelevance etc. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but no need to pretend it's something that it's not just for the sake of "metal". And yes it's subjective, but I'd much rather see someone devote a bit of energy to pushing a band like Enforcer (second mention lol!) to anyone who'll listen, rather than spreading the love too thin and including bands from <insert western Sydney suburb here> who have just recorded their first album in the guitarist's bedroom. etc etc.

But yeah, not dying imo.

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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 4:05 am 
 

LithoJazzoSphere wrote:
Gravetemplar wrote:
It's weird to say metal is dying when there's more metal being recorded now than ever.


The difference is that a ton of those releases are a guy recording the album on his laptop. Sometimes they're really good, but a lot of them are unknown for a good reason. It wasn't nearly as easy to crank out an album several decades ago, so of course there are a lot more of them. It's also common for many bands to self-produce demos and then either send them to a studio to polish up or rerecord them there. It's just a lot easier in that regard than it used to be due to technology, so on its own I don't think that proves anything.

Even if you ignore all the "guy recording the album on his laptop" bands, there's still more extreme metal being recorded nowadays. I'm talking about quality metal. I can name 50 great black metal albums recorded in the past decade easily. There are only 10-12 great classic black metal albums. I could probably do the same with death metal. Metal is way more diverse and engaging now than it has ever been and there's a bit of everything for everyone.

Metal, isn't dying, it just got back to being an underground genre. Metal is right where it belongs. If you only want to listen to the new Metallica and Iron Maiden while you sit on your porch and think about the golden days of arena heavy metal then sure, metal is dead. I'm perfectly fine with that.

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Turok12
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 5:13 am 
 

cultofkraken wrote:
Look at those numbers for Cannibal Corpse’s new album and I can say it ain’t dying.


It's a very very old band by now.

What NEW bands from last 5 years are selling like that?

You can't calculate a genres well-being on dinosaurs.

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Boychev
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:49 am
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 5:28 am 
 

The problem with pronouncing a genre "dead" when it's still being played and listened to by a fairly big audience is that the assumption to me seems to be that the only valid form of existence for an artform is to have a youth culture attached to it. Metal's probably getting older - both the audience and the musicians - but I don't see how that makes it "dead" when there is still a mass of people willing to listen to it and learn to play it. Like yeah, probably in 20-30 years there won't be any teenagers who listen to Black Sabbath but who cares what teenagers listen to? It probably means that it won't survive on the market, but the market is not the only way to support musicians - neither classical nor jazz music survive on the market, but there are still plenty of schools, ensembles, festivals, concert halls, etc out there. Unlike those genres, metal is not likely to receive public grants, but also unlike those genres it's viable to learn to play, compose, and record metal entirely on one's own especially given how cheap decent instruments are nowadays and how ubiquitous information is on the Internet - not to mention how you don't need a label to support you in order to record and release an album. I don't see why a future consisting of a sea of small bands with dedicated fans is necessarily a bad thing. It just means that there might be less concerts on big stadiums and less glossy entry-level bands for the kids.

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