2017 Grammy Nominations: Metallica Not Metal?
With the 2017 Grammy nominees freshly announced this morning, the rock and metal categories expectedly included a few surprises. The Recording Academy now seems to have their collective ears closer to the ground regarding heavy music, nominating more underground acts like Gojira and Periphery in the Best Metal Performance category. As history has shown, Metallica and the Grammys have had their share of odd moments, including the time Jethro Tull beat Metallica in 1989 for the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.
Metallica, the band who have the word "metal" in their name, surprisingly did not appear among any of the 2017 nominees for Best Metal Performance. The nominees are the aforementioned Gojira ("Silvera") and Periphery ("The Price Is Wrong"), as well as Baroness ("Shock Me"), Korn ("Rotting in Vein")and Megadeth ("Dystopia").
The band wasn't snubbed altogether as they're in contention for Best Rock Song for the song "Hardwired," up against tracks from David Bowie, Radiohead, Twenty One Pilots and Highly Suspect.
With Baroness, a band who lean much harder on rock than metal on their latest album, Purple, and the song "Shock Me" which landed in the Best Metal Performance nominees, they easily could have flipped categories with Metallica and all would have made sense — but this is the Grammys and it wouldn't be right if we didn't have one complaint.
So now the question is: Do the Grammys no longer consider Metallica a metal act? Even in the mid-'90s when the band cranked out the more groove-intensive Load and Reload albums, there was still a distinctive metal edge to the sound. If the group had dialed up a track similar to something like "The Unforgiven," we could have forgiven the Grammys for lumping the song into the rock side, but "Hardwired" is one of the most aggressive songs Metallica have written — ever.
Metallica are uncontested as the biggest metal band on the planet and while metal is within the rock realm, it feels odd to leave them out of the metal category but include them in the rock one. They've proudly flown the banner for metal throughout the decades and are a household name within the genre.
Anyone reading this has undoubtedly experience this scenario: When someone outside the metal world asks you what kind of music you listen to and you respond "metal," the first thing that person asks you (if they're not a metalhead themselves) is, "Oh, like Metallica?" The Bay Area thrashers are the only band that ever comes up in that response as the general public understands Metallica to be a heavy metal band.
So, what happened, Grammys? See the full list of nominees here.
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