Part 2 of a 2-part series.
There’s only a finitude of genres in existence for Metal to borrow from, in an attempt to create something new. Other bands, old and new alike, follow the recycling formula of mixing 80s guitars with 90s growls, adding modern production and so-forth to reinvent something fresh. But is all this enough or has the creativity in Metal become truly exhausted? Is the devil’s genre still relevant or is this the symbolic end of the Metal we have known for largely the past 45 years?
Singer of Finnish bands Grave Pleasures (formerly Beastmilk) and Hexvessel, Mat ‘Kvohst’ McNerney, disagrees with the whole question of creativity in music and the relevancy of Metal there-of: "To me, making music of any kind is creative.”
“Creativity is not really the same as originality,” McNerney continues, “but originality is a very uninteresting topic for me when talking about music in general. To me, art itself is always a reaction and will always be derivative. That’s the whole point… There isn’t a measuring stick for how creative something can be. To debate it would just be subjective pontification. But we have to admit that it’s kind of futile, since music, with time, always progresses no matter where the genre is heading at that moment."
McNerney’s impassioned argument further underlines the genre's relevancy: “Metal is not a passing fad. It’s a way of life and when done properly, it's a way to express deep knowledge and understanding of the universe through music.”
“To be true “Metal” is to be true music,” the British singer-songwriter enthuses. “The classic albums that are Metal, emerge from Metal, or are rooted in Metal, still appearing today are absolute testaments of total and pure creative expression.”
“It is pure art but it’s pure spirituality too,” McNerney continues. “When you are a master of Metal, you are a Buddha, you are a shaman and a magician. I absolutely would put Trey Azagthoth in the same category as Miles Davis. ‘Know what I mean? Even if nobody created new albums, and you just had different musicians on stage playing Morbid Angel or Death covers, as musicians do in Jazz when playing a heap of classic songs, or classical music with orchestras playing the songs of long dead composers, the genre would still be creatively relevant in my opinion.”
If anything continues to be deemed creative and relevant, inherently it must continue. "It will evolve and continue on forever,” McNerney concludes. “As long as humans have eardrums and limbs to pound a drum kit or thrash on some guitar strings, there will be Metal and it will be good."
Words: Brian Cooper
Photography: Robban Kanto