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Metal Fans Predict the Genre’s Future

October is Metal Month at Throughout the month, we’ll have artist interviews as well as mini-documentaries about metal, metal fans and the birthplace of metal. And book reports: reading is fundamental, even for headbangers, and we’ll have reviews of some of the best recent metal biographies and retrospectives. Horns up!

Throughout the month, we’ve talked to a lot of metal legends, but what about the people who keep them in business? Metal fans are often described as a fiercely loyal bunch, but the community isn’t necessarily as insular as the stereotypical metalhead portrait suggests (i.e. young guys with long hair and tattoos). In other words, it’s a surprisingly diverse bunch, as far as gender, age and look go. We talked to the early arrivals at Pantera singer Philip H. Anselmo’s show at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre a few weeks back to get a sense of their take on the community and where the genre is headed.

Related: Inside Out: Metalheads Talking Metal, Starring Rob Halford, Dave Mustaine & More

As opposed to other genres of music, there’s a lot of respect for the founders of metal. Many of the young fans we talked to name-checked Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne. In fact, many of the fans had seen Black Sabbath’s concert a few weeks earlier at PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey. Everyone there obviously loved Anselmo and his former band Pantera, as well as his current band, Down, and a lot of folks named Lamb Of God as the future of the genre. Hm.

One thing that everyone agrees on: metal isn’t just a genre — it’s a lifestyle. And it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Related: 5 Under the Radar Metal Bands That Are Pushing Boundaries

— Brian Ives,


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