The Bizarre, Awful World of Dubstep Metal
I See Stars. Note the guy on the far left who isn't even doing anything.
Recently I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, the guitarist for local metal band Rebuild, and he was complaining about the wave of dubstep that has infiltrated metal. As a genre, metal has historically always adapted to include whatever modern mainstream trends were going on at the time, and metalheads have never, ever been happy with it.
It was only a matter of time before dubstep worked its way into metal and frankly the results have been less than satisfactory. Because I'm a total masochist, I decided I would delve into this burgeoning crossover genre to find the worst of the worst and present them to you today. This is how not to do a dubstep/metal crossover. Take notes, metal bands.
Attack Attack! Attack Attack! was one of the first bands to jump on the bandwagon and start incorporating all kinds of electronic dance music into their deathcore songs. The sad thing here is I actually like the metal parts of this song a lot, and even the synth choruses are fun in a super-cheesy way. It's just that awful bridge that loses me.
Enter Shikari I actually used to really like the synth touches that Enter Shikari incorporated into their music. But then they started to follow trends in electronic music, including full-on dubstep songs like this one that just made them into a gigantic joke. This might be the worst combination of sounds ever put to tape. And this was a SINGLE. Who thought this was going to get airplay and why?!
Korn How does an aging nu-metal band stay relevant? Apparently by collaborating with the hottest dubstep artist of three years ago, Skrillex. Wait, what? No, that's a horrible idea. Predictably, the whole thing turned out to be a bizarre abomination that probably just badly damaged the careers of everyone involved.
Asking Alexandria How could Asking Alexandria possibly make their barely passable mainstream metalcore worse? They got Borgore to do an official remix of their song "The Final Episode (Let's Change the Channel)." It's not just awful, it's also amazingly boring and poorly constructed as well.
List continues on the next page.
Celldweller is actually one of the better examples of this "genre," which is not saying all that much. It's at least a lot more uptempo and enjoyable from a metal perspective, but what really drags it down is how insanely dated all the electronic aspects sound, especially the filtered vocals. It sounds like a relic of '90s industrial metal with dubstep crammed in there for good measure, or as if Trent Reznor just said "fuck it" and gave up on life `5 years ago.
I See Stars Even if this was just a metal song without any of the dubstep influences, it would be hilariously terrible, but all the tacky dubstep flourishes really make it embarrassing. This band is like My Chemical Romance trying to be trendy in 2014. It's a sad state of affairs that a label as good as Sumerian Records would shill this crap, but I suppose the people who run it have to eat and this sells somehow. For my part, all this band's continued success tells me is that the kids are not all right.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.