In the digital age, change is the only constant, and music fans, like everyone else, are constantly having to change their frames of reference.
This doesn’t just apply to musical fashions and trends that have always come and gone, but also to the way we consume music. Just as vinyl gave way to CD, so today, even MP3 players are rapidly becoming obsolete as there are so many online outlets from which we can listen to our music of choice from our smartphones.
YouTube is, perhaps, the biggest case in point. Here’s a platform you can access for nothing from any platform, and that will have an inexhaustible supply of anything and everything you can think of. From classical to K-Pop and from big band to trance, if it exists, you can listen to it on YouTube.
Of course, the fact that something can be accessed for free doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make money from it. Judicious use of ads can be a serious money-spinner, and the more subscribers a YouTube channel has, the more valuable those five seconds before the video starts playing become. This means there are plenty of talented and dedicated people out there who have the financial incentive to create a great channel that will entertain viewers, generate exposure for sponsors and bring in revenue for themselves. Everyone’s a winner.
Even metalheads are changing
Metal fans are feeling the wind of change more than most, particularly those who were around in the early days when the likes of Iron Maiden, Slayer and Metallica were in their pomp. Back then, they were the edgy, dangerous outsiders. Today, they might feel like the grand old men and women of the music scene from an era that, while still popular, is decidedly retro in the 21st century.
Yet even they move with the times. YouTube enjoys a strong, vibrant and ever-growing metal community, consisting of an intriguing mixture of long-established bands and all new metal performers who have chosen this as the best outlet to share their music with the world and grow a fanbase. Here are five metal related YouTube channels. They couldn’t be more different from one another, but the common factor is that they are all worth checking out.
There’s always been a connection between metal music and casino games, from Motorhead’s The Ace of Spades to The Angel and the Gambler by Iron Maiden. Metal Casino is a channel available on both YouTube and Twitch that combines metal music with casino gaming. It’s far from being just a gimmick, and the involvement of Ozzy Osborne, Ryan Roxy, and David Ellefson shows that this is a channel that can bring in the biggest hitters.
A major part of the attraction is that while the shows stand up in their own right, this is more than just a channel about metal. It also offers a wide range of games within the platform for anyone who wants to spin the slot reels or take on the dealer across the blackjack table. It’s often said that virtual casino platforms are becoming ever closer to the real world. Think of this as your very own neighborhood casino where every night is metal night and Ozzy might just pay a visit. What’s not to like?
Any dedicated metal fan will be aware of Banger as a heavy metal website that’s been around for some time and is run by a knowledgeable team with a genuine love for metal. They have brought that infectious enthusiasm to Banger TV, a YouTube channel with some 233,000 subscribers. New shows are uploaded twice a week, and these are a lively mixture of interviews, in-depth reviews, discussions, special features, and new releases.
Communication and interaction with the viewers is second to none. It soon feels like you have known these guys for years and are just shooting the breeze with some buddies in your living room.
Nuclear Blast Records
The biggest independent heavy metal label on the planet has the advantage of exclusive backstage access to a whole host of bands, influencers, and general gossip. They cover everything from established classic bands such as Slayer and Anthrax to international acts from far-flung corners of the globe including Children of Bodom from Finland and Brazil’s Sepultura.
The channel adds fresh material every day and has gained more than 2.5 million followers in the 13 years it has been running, making it one of the most active and long-standing metal channels on YouTube.
Frog Leap Studios
If you’ve yet to discover the unusual talents of Leo Moracchioli you’re in for a treat. Think of a song, any song, and if Leo hasn’t covered it already in his unique metal style, he will probably do so soon. You’ll find metal versions of everything from Hello by Adele to A-ha’s 80’s cheese-fest Take On Me – a song that’s also been given the ska treatment by Reel Big Fish, incidentally.
Leo discovered his talent by accident, blasting out a metal version of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face just for fun. It met with such a positive reaction that he decided to see what other songs would benefit from his unique form of interpretation, and so far, the answer seems to be “all of them.” Leo told Metal Injection that he finds YouTube to be the ideal outlet for his creativity, as he can add further entertainment value for his viewers by going “totally apeshit” in the videos.
Do you know those guys who take metal so seriously, and reverently, as if it is some cross between fine art and religion? Well, you’ll see them ripped to shreds on Jhoffflims. This is a metal channel devoted to comedy, irreverence and bringing anyone on a high horse back down to earth with a bump.
Nothing and nobody is off-limits, but even when they poke fun at genuine legends of metal, it’s done with affection and good nature. The fact that the majority of their comedy skits are filmed in their local Walmart store only adds to the surreal humor.