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Taking Inspiration vs Stealing

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We live in a world where there is so much damn musical variety. There are so many different genres and styles available, it really is a wonderful time to be a music fan. However with every genre of music having a rich historical background it makes it incredibly difficult for new and emerging bands to have a name of their own.

However there needs to be a clear distinction between new bands taking inspiration or simply just stealing elements from those who came before. With the development of the internet, it’s incredibly easy for music fans to discover previously unheard musicians and bands – YouTube, Spotify and Bandcamp have largely been responsible for the discovery of countless artists. Yet there is a huge problem within such an overpopulated world of music, countless emerging bands just appear carbon copies of bands who have been active previously.

The sub-genres within heavy metal are a prime culprit of this. Both the sub-genres of death metal and thrash metal are riddled with countless bands that sound identical to many of the more established bands so to speak within their genre. Many of the new wave thrash metal bands sound identical to the likes of Kreator, Anthrax, Destruction and so forth. It makes for a stagnated listening experience – with no creative or unique elements it becomes a incredibly repetitive process.

This lack of unique elements in many new bands results in a stagnated and thus overpopulated musical world and the huge problem this creates is a massive lack of diversity within music. However! It’s not all doom and gloom (excluding the fact that doom metal is mostly all carbon copies), when bands emerge that have a voice of their own and have only taken inspiration from their influences it really is a wonderful listening experience.

Look at Melechesh, an Israeli black metal band who’s sound is completely unique. Look at Enslaved, a band who have combined black metal with progressive elements to make a sound of their own. Look at Kartikeya, a band who have fused death metal with traditional Indian music. Bands like these and others do take inspiration but have created a sound of their own.

Bands need to follow in the footsteps of the above mentioned and seek to create their own unique sound. However that is easier said than done, as often all the key elements to music have been nailed down to a precise point. However if the overall sound is not a carbon copy of the previous work done by bands who have came before then the end product will still be thoroughly enjoyable.

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