The Grammy nominations for 2016
are out. So of course I had to hop straight over to the metal nominees, so I could start predicting the kind of outraged think pieces that will be popping up on metal blogs. And really, I'm kind of stumped. Here are the nominees:
"Identity" by August Burns Red
"Cirice" by Ghost
"512" by Lamb of God
"Thank You" by Sevendust
"Custer" by Slipknot
I mean, everything on this list is fairly straightforwardly an actual metal song* and not a comedy track, or a rock song, or something else ridiculously inappropriate. It's a list that has zero overlap with what I found most exciting in metal this past year, is clearly strongly shaped by what did well on the Billboard charts, and is disappointingly American-centric for a genre where much of the best work is not happening in America, but all that is par for the course for the Grammies as a whole.
Fortunately, we still have the various year's best lists coming up to spark some genre drama. Some relatively high-profile blog or magazine is sure to name Myrkur's M
as one of their top metal albums of the year, and then we can have yet another round of earnest blog posts about gender, authenticity, and black metal. (For those not following along: Myrkur is a one-woman Danish black metal project whose debut EP in 2014 got a lot of people excited. The excitement got complicated when it was revealed that Myrkur was actually Amalie Bruun, who had previously recorded pop music and spent a lot of time living in New York. People flipped their shit and a lot of virtual ink was spilled dissecting the question of whether black metal musicians, especially women black metal musicians, are allowed to like other kinds of music or have lifestyles that don't involve living in remote snow-bound cabins that they built using their bare hands and their grandfather's axe.)
* "But August Burns Red are actually metalcore!" Hush. "And Ghost are really just a rock-" Hush. No one cares. It's metal enough.