Is Emo Metal Underrated? – XS ROCK
From the early 2000s to the 2010s, emo culture seemed to take over. For some, it was the next big thing. Some have considered it to be a goth diet. Others saw the emo as a joke. Often it would even be confused with Gothic. Many gothic pop culture characters have also been deemed emo by many, including Teen Titans’ Raven.
While I never joined the “phase”, I never hated it. Again, before entering the metal world, I was not yet familiar with other cultures, subcultures or even anime. One of the things people tease emo people about is music. It was often more based on emotions and had a message, compared to money, sex and drugs. Sometimes musicians made legitimate art but were rejected because they were different. Or we assumed that all emo people were the same. Many bands that fit the “emo metal” genre aren’t metal either. Or at least do not see themselves as such.
My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way has personally rejected the label. The group is best known for their creative and dark compositions, emotional lyrics and the unusual voice of their singer. Their most famous songs are “Welcome To The Black Parade”, “I’m Not Okay”, “The Ghost Of You” and “Helena”. These songs all made an emotional connection with their audiences, most of whom were emo. The band also wore a lot of dark clothes and their goth outfit didn’t help destroy the label that destroyed them. “Welcome To The Black Parade” is often referred to as the national emo anthem. The first group people think of when hearing an emo is not an emo. But their sound, style, and vibes match so well that it’s hard to imagine them as anything else.
Flyleaf and Skillet had singers who grew up with depression and death in the family. Many of their songs deal with rebellion as well as emotions while seeking light in the dark. This is similar to My Chemical Romance. A big difference in the groups would be that the members of Skillet and Flyleaf are openly Christian. Their faith is often reflected in the words.
While Skillet seemed more emo at the start of the middle, they are now a “sports” group. Everyone from WWE to the NFL to college sports have used their anthems to the pump. This has made them one of the best-known bands of the past decades. Another band known for their anthems and punches is Flyleaf. With countless hit singles and huge commercial success, they have become one of the greatest punk / metal bands in recent memory. Another group with Christian themes that hasn’t knocked you off, Flyleaf has also been huge both inside and outside of the emo community.
Green Day is one of the best-selling artists of all time. With a record total eclipsing 75 million, they are (in sales) bigger than Black Sabbath. Commonly referred to as the greatest punk band of all time, they have enough material that many consider them emo.
Three Days Grace could also be included with songs like “I Hate Everything About You”, “Never Too Late” and “Time Of Dying” easily falling into the emo category.
Another big name from this era is Panic! At the disco. For years, they’ve been huge. For many it was them and My Chemical Romance. With Brendon Urie at the helm, they made a huge impact. Although they converted to a more pop sound, the group will always be known for their roots.
To be fair, a lot of punk bands do fit into emo. The same goes for those of Gothic inspiration. This is because a lot of their classic themes cross easily. The same can apply to most forms of metal and to many pop artists. Overall, emo music can take many forms and shouldn’t be a label per se. Like Christian metal. Everything should be labeled metal if it is metal. Unless you want to call Skillet a “Christian Emo Punk Hard Rock and Nu Metal” band. Global labels are stupid. They divide and music brings us together.
A lot of good things have come from the “emo movement” including a lot of great music. Many great artists would not be known without them, or the movement. So thanks. I like music with a message, with emotion. It’s more relevant and artistic to me than a song about drugs or sex. Or grunge. Even happy people can identify with “emo metal” and appreciate it for what it is. This is where I fall. I like good music for good music. “Emo” music, from what I’ve heard, is actually great.
Article By: John Ward