Metal is a lot like religion... and we don't just mean the bits about massacre and the end of the world. Adherents to the genre will explain to you, often at great lengths and whether you want them to or not, exactly what is proper metal and what is not really metal.
Like all major religions, there are schisms and subsets, and they rarely get along save to unite against things that are unequivocally not metal.
So Rocks Off could not be surprised when our longtime songwriting partner Bill Curtner sent us a link to a Decibel article by Shane Mehling slamming the incredible piano metal being put out by the German band In Legend. Now, we're not here to blast a fellow journalist, much less argue with a Decibel writer about metal, but as an outsider we just have to say that same video for their song "Pandemonium" that Mehling says "fucking sucks," we say, "stomps colons inside out."
We can understand the complaint here. In Legend has axed guitars in favor of hand-hammered piano craft, and what is metal without guitars? Well, we never thought we'd enjoy violins and accordions in metal either, but that hasn't stopped Turisas from being one of the most awesome things we've ever heard.
Simply put, no genre can continue to exist without some experimentation, and metal has a long history of mixing its energy with the grandiose execution of symphonic and classical elements. You may wince at the comparatively soft lead melodies laid down by Bastian Emig as he growls through songs of madness, but the strength of the musicality is undeniable.
It's not that different from the kind of things Apocalyptica does, and if you can't get behind that, we don't really want to talk to you. Piano metal is awesome, and we sincerely hope to hear more of it.
Rocks Off asked Emig, via email, a little about In Legend, piano metal, and the Decibel article.