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Legendary Drummer Nick Barker Thinks Modern Death Metal Has Become Soulless

"There's very little artistic merit these days."

nick barker

Drummer Nick Barker has played for quite a few legendary names over the years, namely Brujeria, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Lock Up, and Testament. Not to mention the countless bands Barker has filled in for live. Basically, the dude knows a thing or two about death metal.

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In a recent interview with Overdrive, Barker was asked what he thinks about modern death metal. Barker responded that he feels the modern scene is more about speed than riffs, and has unfortunately become soulless.

"I think it's become slightly oversaturated, especially death metal. There's an element where it's all beginning to sound the same. Thirty years ago, it was all about the 'riffs,' and now, thirty years later, it's all about how fast the BPM is on the track. It's not about the riffs anymore; it's about the typewriter.

"It's a real shame that death metal has gone that way," he continued. "I'm old-school in thinking the best death metal was Altars of Madness, Slowly We RotPossessed, Death, et cetera. Those bands were all about the riffs rather than just what it had become now. There's very little artistic merit these days. It's almost become soulless. I mean… that's just death metal.

"It's a generational thing also. People don't want to pay for music anymore; they expect it for free. It's lost some of its credibility, and the artists that are creating this music are not getting the respect they deserve. Also, the attention span of people these days is a lot shorter. To be honest, I don't follow it anymore and am very much out of touch.

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"The good bands will always withstand; the others will just be forgotten about."

I think the last sentence is the most true across any genre. There's only so long bands can crank out generic nonsense before they're ultimately ignored and forgotten about.

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