Sunday, December 19, 2010

Becoming The Trend

Above is the (great) video for "Icarus Lives!" by the band Periphery. I must admit that when my brother first turned me on to them I didn't necessarily know how to digest them. I dug their sound but looking back I definitely didn't appreciate just how unique their music really is. Judging by the 'e-chatter' floating around about these guys it is safe to say that they have made an impact on the metal community. Although I wouldn't say they are my favorite band of all time it does speak volumes that I have probably listened to their cd more in the last few months than I have any other cd I have. Why am I intrigued by this band? Because they don't sound like anybody else.

That got me thinking back to all the bands that I have really dug over the years. What do they have in common? They don't sound like anyone else. They have a distinct personality or dare I say it, brand. Of course there are copy bands that will follow in the footsteps of unique bands, but when a great band steps outside of what is common there is a period of time where they truly stand alone. I think those few drops of sand in the hourglass where a band is out ahead of the trends are really special moments. And it is those moments that generally shift the way a genre is headed. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Metallica, Pantera, In Flames, At The Gates, Killswitch Engage, The Black Dahlia Murder are a few that come to mind over the last few decades that have truly been unique and influential and that stand alone for a brief period of time before eventually shifting the direction of the genre (list is definitely up for debate). So what happens when a band bucks the trend and ventures out into aberrance? They become the trend.

Although established social norms often reward conformance and toeing the line so to speak, it is these trips off the beaten path that can be the most rewarding and defining in the long run. How can I seek opportunities to break free from the status quo, to truly grow as a person, yet still remain tangible and enjoyable to be around as a husband, a friend, a professional, and a member of society? Where can I go against the grain and become the trend for the betterment of myself and those around me? That is the challenge, and if it takes analyzing metal bands on my blog for me to recognize this transcendent life lesson so be it.

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