The Resurrection of Mainstream Hard Rock

Writer: Rhett Perez

Every year, more and more music gets produced than ever before, and with much easier chance of success, due to Soundcloud being a viable platform to host your band’s tracks. Artists in the hip-hop scene have already the world by storm with artists such as Lil Pump and XXXTENTACION having very prominent success. In the grand scheme of things, this is also happening to the realm of hard rock, with many bands choosing this option to introduce their music.

But many also use Bandcamp to ensure their name is on another outlet. How does this affect the industry? Simple; distribution and reputation. More promoters and producers are easily available than ever before, and with groups such as Twenty One Pilots and Imagine Dragons carrying the torch of mainstream rock, I believe 2018 will hold the next wave of metal.

Metal in general is not as widespread on radio anymore, but that has begun to shift in the last year. Of course, metalheads in general scoff at what typical listeners call “rock” and “metal” now, with even metalcore bands being labeled as hardcore death metal surprisingly, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Twenty One Pilots aren’t really most rockers’ cup of tea, but they incorporate melody and guitar riffs, and basing from their success, many mainstream audiences are beginning to like guitar music again- just in small doses. This is history repeating right under the industry’s nose. A history lesson here: In the 1950’s, the Beatles were looked at after the slowdown of Elvis and rock n’ roll as a genre, and a producer famously turned down the band, claiming “Guitar music is out the door.” However, we all know how the story ends, with hipsters, scene kids, metalheads, and typical music fans labelling them as one of the greatest bands of all time, if not the best.

Now, we don’t have to rely on the simple distribution of word-of-mouth or records because we have the world wide web to cast our next hits. So much so, that the net is used to even form bands as a whole, such in case of Periphery, who formed on an online forum for hard rock, and who are regarded as the flag bearers of the djent movement of the late 2000’s. Many producers have turned to Bandcamp and other outlets to see what talent is out all around the world, and more record deals have been sealed in the last 10 years than the last 100 years since distribution and selling product is easier than before.

Due to these two elements of incorporated guitars in pop and distribution being easier than before, I predict 2018 has a hard rock haven waiting to siege the radio once again, and be a force to reckoned with. Even now, five very popular albums have come out in the last four months, from Marilyn Manson’s “Heaven Upside Down”, to Hollywood Undead’s “V”, many hard rock bands are taking this time to unleash their art. For example, Slipknot has been working on an album and, according to an interview from Metal Hammer on the first of the month, claim to have about 8 songs recorded (For the full Shawn “Clown” Crahan Interview, click here) To add heat to this, System of a Down claims to have multiple tracks recorded and an album on the way since earlier this year (For the full John Dolmayan interview, click here), and even Tool, out of all people, finally broke the silence and has said to have recorded a redone version of “Opiate” (The article with Adam Jones’ claim can be found here), however, the latter two bands are subject to change, but fans hold their own. This is a star aligning time in the late 2010’s, and us metalheads can’t wait for the year of controversy to be over and just enjoy the music we all love.