This paean to the late-’90s birth-of-metalcore/proliferation-of-modern-art-metal must mean there’s something loud-and-growly in the air, because I just recently pulled out Cave In’s Until Your Heart Stops and Botch’s American Nervoso after a long mothballing for drunken nostalgia purposes. Without getting into the writer’s fan fave choices, I do have to take issue with two of his assertions.
One: fair enough on the limp heartbreak pop-punk of the Promise Ring–if I bought the played-out idea of calling something a “guilty pleasure,” their cutesy, tuneless Xtian la-la-la’s would probably be at the top of a list crowded with similar indie/emo crybabies–but emo roots/keyboards or not, the VSS were, like, heavy as fuck. Two (as he seems to intimate further down in the comments): I get nostalgic for the salad days of the late ’90s too (and not just for the metalcore), but even notorious haters (and lapsed fans like shameful me) have come to a universal agreement that heavy metal, whether the sweater-vest “Neurisis” art school variety or the hairy suburban loners moving to the sticks to homestead with the forest trolls while cranking out endless lo-fi black metal missives, has been in way robust health over the last few years. Even if that last Cave In record made me tear up a little for my lost youth with its badness.
It Was 8 Or 9 Years Ago Today [A.V. Club]