There is a sad bias against classic rock in the metal scene today; too many death metal fans think that if something is not “omg troo metal dude” then it CANNOT be worth listening to. However, I beg to differ. Classic rock has made its place is in rock history… Why on Earth would we try to push something that amazing OUT?
Think about the first time you heard AC/DC. Those RIFFs… Those freaking riffs. Almost everyone in their right mind can’t stop humming “Highway to Hell” when they hear it. But let’s go a little further back… Have you ever listened to “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals? That song set the blueprint for folk rock/metal as we know it today. I always love hearing the songs that made the music scene what it is today.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is another band that has given metal a boost in the direction it’s taken today; folk metal bands like Ensiferum owe a lot to Lynyrd Skynyrd for adding folk influences to heavy rock. Without bands from the 70s and 80s that are willing to break the bounds of traditional metal, we might never have such amazing bands as Wintersun and Korpiklaani.
The Eagles also showed that adding country and folk influences to rock can sound amazing; modern black metal bands have taken this to unprecedented heights. Bands like Burzum and Behemoth and even Dying Fetus use influences in their music that come directly from folk music sources. Without classic rock bands to pave the way, music would be MUCH less inventive than it is today.
And let’s not forget the reason metal exists today: Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper. Between these two artists, a blueprint for metal and punk emerged in the 1970s that has had an influence since that time. Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper STILL do concerts today! Metal fans realize that those artists still offer a lot to the metal world. Alice Cooper’s live shows still aim to shock and entertain; you will find fireworks, snakes, and actors fighting like Ninjas to the beat of the music for entertainment on stage. Violence and anger is a huge part of Alice Cooper’s act, now and in the 1970s. Black Sabbath’s 2015 tour sold out EVERY SINGLE U.S. VENUE. Their first album came out in 1970… 46 years ago. 46 years later, they are still selling out venues.
And THAT is the power of classic rock and metal. Those artists tapped into a raw power that many bands today can only hope to gain. Modern bands can often rely on technology and recording techniques to make them sound better, but those bands did not have the amazing equipment that we do today. Instead, they had to make do with low-fi tech and let the MUSIC do the talking for them. Bands like the Foo Fighters are taking cues from those older bands and making albums that are recorded all in 1-2 takes. Give classic rock a listen; some of the best music is the old music!