If you’re anything like me, you probably started the day by recognizing that the start of a new work week had indeed arrived and then immediately began shaking your fists at the sky in anger. Monday is rarely anyone’s favorite day, and from what I have seen firsthand it feels safe to say it’s the one day of the week some people outright hate. I guess to them the arrival of the work week symbolizes the end of their quote/unquote freedom, and as a result they head into the office/factory/restaurant/store with a negative outlook already on their mind. This leads to bad attitudes, which only makes the experience of being at work worse, and for some reason it also seems to make time slow to a crawl. We’re not about that life, and we hope this post can do the same you that the song contained within it did for us.
There are few genres I hesitate to discuss in public forums more than heavy metal. In the last fifteen years the world of metal music has been sliced and diced into countless subgenres for no other reason than the increased ease of new music discovery, but one unfortunate side effect of those efforts has been the battle lines it such subjugation has drawn between metal fans. For some, there is only one true form of metal, and everything else is just heavy noise that wishes it were up to par with the very rarified air that particular fan’s favorite bands inhabit. For others, all metal is mediocre unless it is born from the mind of an artist with decades of experience ticket under their belt. Both schools of thought are wrong, as we believe the subjective nature of music is part of what makes it so endearing, but we learned long ago not to question the tastes and interests of metal fans unless we were prepared to fight.
This realization sucks. It sucks that people who enjoy one area of metal music feel they are either inferior or superior to another area of the same genre simply because some assholes on the Internet decided rock’s numerous subgenres needed to be ranked. As far as we are concerned every genre of music is just as good and horrible as the next, the only determining factor as far as your personal tastes are concerned should be you. This doesn’t mean critics are full of crap, but it does mean that you cannot let the opinions of others dictate everything you do. Critics, at best, are curators to a world of music that has long passed its saturation point. Critics do not know everything, and if you find one who claims to then you should immediately write them off. It is impossible to know everything the vast world of music has to offer, but that should not stop you from taking time to explore as much of it as possible during your short time on this Earth.
With that in mind, my choice for Monday Motivation this week is none other than Michigan metal outfit It Lies Within. Some of you may recall the band and their name from the short time they spent on Victory Records a few years back, but there is much more to this forward-thinking product of America’s murder capitol than an association with a once great indie label. It Lies Within are a band born out of a desire to make metal interesting again, and they have spent the better part of the last half decade fighting for every bit of critical and fan acclaim they have been able to gain. Their continued success is a testament to what can be achieved through hard work and a fierce dedication to engaging with fans on a regular basis. Those who enjoy It Lies Within not only feel close to the music, but the members themselves, as the band constantly works to share their lives and personalities through those that support their music.
Paramount, the upcoming release from It Lies Within that is slated to hit stores this Friday, January 8, is the first great heavy album of 2016. As with every other record in the band’s catalog, Paramount serves as a bold declaration of It Lies Within’s continuing efforts to push the envelope of modern metal with unique riffs, thought-provoking vocals, and an overall quality of songwriting that far exceeds that of their genre peers. It’s not an album everyone will love, but both the band and their fans have already accepted this fact. There is never going to be a record capable of capturing the imagination of every metal fan, but it’s hard to believe anyone with even a passing interest in the world of heavy music finding themselves unable to find something worth applauding on this record. You can use the songs of Paramount to prepare for battle against your greatest foe or to serve as the soundtrack to your next sweat session at your local gym. Whatever the case, know that when times get tough It Lies Within has a song or twelve ready to help boost your belief in the fact you can do anything you set your mind to.
James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also a professional entertainment critic, covering both film and music, as well as the co-founder of Antique Records. Feel free to tell him you love or hate the article above by connecting with him on Twitter. Bonus points if you introduce yourself by sharing your favorite Simpsons character.