I don’t know if it’s the new KoRn album, featuring a plethora of Dubstep artists, or whether it’s the current issue of Rock Sound magazine, which has Skrillex on the cover, that got me thinking, but either way, thoughts have been running around my head, as to whether or not Dubstep and Metal can really exist alongside each other.
Granted my knowledge of Dubstep isn’t brilliant and I’m not going to pretend I know the ins and outs of the scene, however I do want to look at this idea from the perspective of the metal scene.
Take the current issue of Rock Sound (above), this is the first time EVER, that a UK rock magazine has featured a DJ/producer on the cover, surely that is, for one, a sign of the times?
For those who don’t know, Skrillex is the stage name of singer/songwriter Sonny Moore, who rose to fame following his stint in post-hardcore outfit From First To Last. Surely, from that very notion, Dubstep and Metal should be strolling along hand in hand, due to Dubstep’s current poster boy having firm routes in the Metal scene.
The rise of the Dubstep DJ/Producer hasn’t taken long, particularly in the UK, where the scene itself seems to have exploded in recent years from complete obscurity into the mainstream. The idea of someone producing music solely on a laptop may be a fairly new concept for Metal to get it’s head around, however, the scene isn’t exactly a rookie when it comes to experimenting with electronics.
Flash back to the 1990’s when the Spawn soundtrack came out, some of Metal’s biggest names where collaborating with some of the biggest names in dance music. The likes of Slayer, Metallica, Marilyn Manson and Henry Rollins went up against the likes of The Prodigy, Atari Teenage Riot, Goldie and Moby, for what turned out to be one of the most experimental records in Metal as well as being one of the best film soundtracks of the decade, alongside Judgement Night, which reignited the crossover appeal of Hip-Hop and Metal.
The 1990’s and early 00’s also had their fair share of remix albums, a release that seems to once again be proving popular. The likes of Fear Factory, Linkin Park and Nine Inch Nails have all dabbled with remix albums, Linkin Park’s ‘Reanimation’ is one of the best selling remix albums of all time. However, this showed metal bands allowing other artists in to chop up, edit and generally play around with their tracks and then release it as a completely reworked record. This saw everything from Hip-Hop, Dance and Drum & Bass artists remixing Metal and putting it out there to a mass audience.
This remix fascination seems to have been reignited again for a whole new audience, following the success of Bring Me The Horizon’s remix album ‘Suicide Season: Cut Up!‘. This saw the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Slipknot’s Shawn “Clown” Crahan showing off their fascination for remixing other artists in the genre. It also gave Dubstep and Metal that first taste of mainstream attention, with the likes of Skrillex and Tek-One being pushed under the spotlight courtesy of the Horizon lads.
There seems to be a fascination with Dubstep among some of Metal’s big name bands, with many of them either endorsing the genre or having Dubstep artists remix their existing work. However, the real test will be the release of the new KoRn album ‘The Path Of Totality’, on which they are directly collaborating with many up and coming Dubstep artists, including Skrillex. If they can pull off a record that is a complete Metal/Dubstep hybrid, which based on the first two singles “Get Up!” and “Narcisstic Cannibal” (above) they seem to have done, then who knows where the two genres could go. Perhaps the return of Ministry and impending new material from Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails, we may even see Industrial Metal embracing Dubstep as both a remix tool and a collaborative effort.
Music is constantly evolving. Without evolution, we wouldn’t have some of our favourite musical genres. So, love it or hate, Dubstep could very well reshape alternative music in the near future.
As for 2012, it could very well be the year we see Dubstep and Metal as brothers in arms.