Behemoth frontman and guitarist Nergal has been pretty public about his general boredom with the extreme metal genre. Last week he said in an interview that a lot of bands were just too mechanical and sterile for his taste, which I 100% agree with, and now he's saying a lot of what's being labeled as extreme metal isn't really extreme. I'll keep my opinion to myself on this one until after you read what the man had to say in his interview with The Quietus.
"One of the factors that makes this record so different, and also I really hope it's something that distances our new record from the majority of extreme metal albums in the market these days, is that most of the music that is offered by so-called extreme metal bands is not extreme. The paradox is that the average extreme metal band these days is just another friendly band, which actually pisses me off, because that's not how 'extreme metal' — black metal, death metal — was meant to be. This is why I don't listen to them. If I want to listen to some extreme metal, I go to the niche of the genre where bands don't give a fuck because there's no money and no business involved, there is no compromise. I'm very much inspired by bands that don't give a fuck, so you could also call The Satanist an 'I don't give a fuck' album! What I'm missing with these 'extreme metal' bands is the danger factor in these bands; they try to be friends with everyone, they play blasts all over the place, playing blasts for 45 minutes is just dull, it's boring. The Satanist is about dynamics, and it's a very diverse record. On one hand, you can say that it's totally the most sinister album that we've ever put out, but at the same time, it's flirting with genres. There's a lot of traditional stuff going on, there's classical hard rock, you can hear it in the leads and some of the riffing and the grooves. It's not a typical death metal record. I like to think of this album as something very unique. So on one hand, yes, we are part of the genre, we are an integral part of the black metal tradition, and we know where we come from, we have so much respect for our roots, but on the other hand, it's more than that…"
Yeah, pretty much.
There are a lot of bands that put out records that are fast with heavy guitars and mind-melting solos and blah blah blah all the technical death metal and black metal stuff we've come to know and love as fans, but how much of that is just pure rehash? How much of that is just so boring and safe that if played back to back with another band or bands you couldn't tell which was which or when one ended and one began? I'm as much a fan as anyone reading this site, but before you up and get offended by Nergal's outcry, really think about what he's saying. The bottom line is that there's a whole lot of playing it safe and not enough thinking far, far outside the box (though that's certainly happening).