Charlie Benante Thinks Modern Metal Lacks Creativity: ‘Why are we still talking about bands like Metallica and Slayer?’

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Charlie Benante of Anthrax (and now Pantera) fame is a bonafide metal drum legend that’s still firing on all cylinders.

Have you seen the recent footage of the Pantera celebration shows? The man is crushing it (and not that age matters, but the fact that Charlie is now 60 and still pounding the skins harder than most is truly impressive).

In a new conversation with Knotfest, Charlie opens up about many topics he’s passionate about, including some gripes he has about the current state of modern heavy metal. Essentially, Benante feels like metal as a genre is a bit stuck in the proverbial hamster wheel. In his own words:

“I look at music nowadays as very lost. I don’t know where it’s going. The thing that bothers me the most about new music is that you had all this other stuff to build upon. And you completely didn’t even take it.

You took one element, screaming and all that other stuff. Musically, you still sound like Meshuggah. Every song that I hear sounds like a Meshuggah riff. And it’s like… I just don’t get it. I don’t know what the fuck happened.”

Charlie continues:

“I don’t know if it’s just a lack of creativity anymore. Yeah, there’s certain things that pop out here and there for me. But for the most part, I don’t go back and listen to it over and over again. Once you’ve heard it once, you don’t go back and listen to it as you used to.

Why are we still talking about bands like Metallica and Slayer? I use those two bands [as examples]. There’s other bands that we talk about, of course. But there’s songs, and that’s what we’re missing nowadays: a fucking song.

‘Nowadays, I think the same thing that happened to hip-hop has happened to heavy metal where it’s been diluted so much. ‘It’s become something that lost something along the way. We were on this highway. And then it took a detour somewhere and I don’t know why that happened. I really don’t.

I think maybe it just became more about look and less about the quality of the music. You know, everything that you hear nowadays is quantized. Doesn’t sound human. It just sounds wrong to me.”

What do you think? Is Charlie being too harsh? Or is he shining some light on the truth here? Let us know on social media.