Tough as it is to admit, I'm pretty damn bored with metal these days. My first clue was when I compiled my Best Of 2011 album list and realized all the bands' logos were easily decipherable. Then I noticed that I only recognized about two thirds of the acts friends and colleagues were name-checking on Twitter, and worse still, I didn't give a shit enough to look up the remaining ones. This is my crisis of faith.
I deeply respect the passion held by folks like Grim Kim and Fred Pessaro for the darker, more dissonant facets of black and death metal, but I've rarely enjoyed the genres. Too much treble, those interchangeable shrill vocals, the typical shock-for-shock's-sake imagery. Not my steez at all, but it feels like they're metal's most vibrant sects these days. Never liked Lamb of God either (no hooks at all), Ghost sounds like Blue Oyster Cult and don't even get me started on the whole embarrassing pirate/symphonic/folk metal circle jerk scene and their fucking Utilikilts. The last really great new metal record I thoroughly enjoyed was Mournful Congregation's The Book of Kings. (More 2011 metal records I liked listed here.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm not chilling at home with a buttery chardonnay and the Adele record. But truth be told, the music events I'm most excited for so far in 2012 are Monster Magnet's show on Friday (Dopes to Infinity in its entirety, y'all), the new Cursive record—and catching the Afghan Whigs reunion wherever I can.
The last time something like this happened, I was in college and totally over Pantera when I started listening to tons of hardcore and punk rock. Then At the Gates' Slaughter of the Soul blew my mind and pulled me back into the scene. Maybe that's what I need right now: that one unfamiliar act or at least one ridiculously good album to excite me again. Any suggestions?