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Hello to those reading this post.
This is Gil, who you'd probably see as kurt-cobain-yadda-yadda-yadda. I've been out of the grunge scene for a couple years now and heavy into the metal here. I recently posted a demo track for a song I had just come up with on the fly a couple weeks back and I'm surprised at how well it's been doing so far. With something like 5,000 downloads (last time I checked at least), and a rating of 4.01 out of 5, I'm pretty proud of that. How ever, what I am not proud of, is the scene that I'm now unfortunately a part of.
I live in Dartmouth Nova Scotia, a small city that's rather peaceful and all around beautiful compared to it's opposite, Halifax. Halifax is probably best known for having the largest man made explosion occure before the discover of hydrogen and nuclear arms. It also has a pretty large underground drug scene (which I do not partake in and steer away from, nothing Straight Edge, just fucking hate anything above weed and shrooms). Oh, and we have a citadel... cool.
Anyway, I've started noticing a downward trend in the metal scene in Halifax as of late. I had officially found out about it 3 years prior to now when I went to see a show of probably the two best metal acts to come out of here lately, heavy metal oriented Black Moore and black metal band Hellacaust, at a local record shop that I still frequent at. At the end of the show, I had nearly gone deaf in my right ear, a split LP and CD from Hellacaust and a new found appreciation for metal as a whole. Since then, I worked hard at writing metal lyrics, ranging from Heavy to Death to Thrash to Black and even in Grind Core style and improving my guitar skills. But as I progressed over the past year, I started to realize something horrible was happening to the scene.
Earlier this year I had gone to see a show at the local all ages music hall for anyone who was interested in what was playing. There were three bands playing that night, a core band called Destroy Hope, some punk band that was singing about summer nostalgia and did a random Slayer cover, and a great speed metal band Shattered (seriously, shameless plugging aside, MySpace them just for the song 2012). I got there and realized that when the last band had gotten on stage, I was one of maybe 7 or 8 people there through the entire show. And I was the only one where a metal shirt of any kind. The rest were preppy looking scene kids or hood looking people who only showed up because they had a friend in one of the bands.
I then stuck around afterwards because I needed a lift home as I live out in a sticks part of Dartmouth that's too far to walk back to, and I'm not walking through Halifax at night neither. So I end up chatting up one of the guys who works at the Pavillion, I just ask how much a band makes here playing a show, the guy responds by saying that the bands play for free. Now, I can understand that, a normal show goes for 5 dollars, for that you see 3 or 4 acts before the place shuts down at 9, and the Pavillion needs to make money somehow as they don't have any other means of making money. But that has to suck if you're in a budding band and you're trying to scrape a little money together for future plans of recording or touring. I then ask what's coming up for other shows and the guy pulls up a calendar, all I see down it is nothing but crap bands, all of them either core or something trying to be glam without the spandex and aqua mascarra.
My pain doesn't end here. I also have been in talks with my friend Nick, the former lead singer of Panic & War. The band had been nothing but a mess before he joined in, and with his help he made it an awesome thing, a technical black metal band that tore the roof of venues and ravaged the audience with everything it had. The band fired him for undisclosed reasons that shall remain a private matter earlier this summer, and has since found themselves a nice little ass wipe who doesn't know the lyrics and just cups the mic whilst squealing like a pig. I had been in talks with Nick about rebooting an old band of his, Circle of Raven, which was pretty much a straight forward black metal band with alot of influence from the first wave of Norwegian black metal. He had written up five songs or so and had recorded three of them and I had been working on a solo project of my own, Dark Spring, and would probably combine it into Circle of Ravens. However, it came as sad news that the band would not be going on as Nick had had enough with the Halifax scene and was heading back to Montreal, to which I don't blame him.
His reason for leaving was that scene was filled with nothing but pretentious bands thinking they were going to be the next big thing in their (dis)respective genres. Bands like Built for Sin, which were fine until they played a few too many shows, Severance and Thy Flesh Consumed. These and many other bands have become high and mighty of themselves, starting feuds amongst each other for the sake of starting feuds and trying to seem metal. They also focus more on appearance rather than the music itself. One band I remember seeing over the summer were more focused on their female lead singer dressing up like a witch and performing a shitty little ritual on stage rather than focus on how they sounded.
I have to agree with Nick though, this scene has become too full of itself. It thinks it's the top of the A list when really it's just the bottom of the F post-it note. Yes, there still are a few good bands out there, but for every good band, there's at least 3 shitty bands opening for them. I can name three of those good bands off the top of my head right now actually,
- Burning Moon
Those three bands are really well put together and focus on their music. They have a great sound and can put on a great show, getting the crowd into a fury of moshpits. Unfortunately, they hardly played a thing this year because of limited booking touring outside of the province as well as other commitments the people had outside of their bands.
I myself am trying to do my own style for death metal. Sticking with my influences from the Florida Death Metal scene of the 80's and early 90's, though most likely have a huge influence from Morbid Angel, I don't know exactly where my music is gonna go. For all I know, I might end up doing rotating members, like Death with having new people work on each album or such. Maybe I'll have a normal band with people who are honestly interested in performing the same kind of stuff I wish to perform. Or maybe I'll do like my Nick has done and look for greener pastures outside of Nova Scotia for metal. Or lastly I can just say fuck you to people that are around here and do it like Grishnackh or Quorthon did and record everything myself. Either way, I'm tired of the scene around here. It needs to either be resuscitated or left to die, either way, I'm giving it another year, just ONE more year, before I officially give up and try to find new territory to cover.
Thank you for your time if you read all of this. If you're in agreement with me, post a comment saying your two cents, if not, do so anyway, I don't mind other's opinions here.