This following train of thought started as I tried to work out why I still had a copy of Chimaira’s debut album ‘Pass out of Existence’ and if it was worth keeping.
For a time in last 1990s and up to the mid 2000s it was fashionable to put US heavy metal bands in a genre box called the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. This genre is often referred to as WOAHM and derived its name as a nod to the 1970s New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
The British wave was linked with Angel Witch, Saxon and the mighty Iron Maiden who all have an overall sound in common, whereas the American wave is very eclectic in both sound and mentality.
For example the American wave allegedly features the following bands:
- Demon Hunter who are very Christian and who, according to Wiki, deny claims from a Navy Seal that they sanctioned the use of their music to “assist” the US military with interrogations in Iraq. They are nu-metal with some metalcore influences.
- As I Lay Dying who are also Christian and who allegedly believing in hiring people to kill estranged wives. They are the more metal-end of metalcore.
- Trivium are more traditional heavy metal to my ears and I am happy to say that I have no idea about their religious views. They tend to have odd inspiration sources for each album – with ‘Shogun’ being particularly interesting and featuring my favourite Trivium track ‘Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven’.
- Chimaira who specialise in screams and failing to retain any original members except their vocalist. I only seem to have bothered with their first album and it sounds like if early Hatebreed had recorded a nu-metal album on a day when Jamey Jasta had a sore throat.
But somehow American Head Charge aren’t counted in this wave, apparently they are considered Industrial. This is strange because they have a similar sound to Lollipop Lust Kill who were apparently Alternative Metal – although they insisted on calling themselves “murder metal”.
As such I have concluded that the New Wave of American Heavy Metal is a security blanket for the consumer – you’d think that a band being in that genre would mean that you know what you are getting and it will protect you from harm (i.e. bad music), but really the monsters can still find you and start screaming in an unexpected manner.
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