"I ordered Nightwish from Ali Express..
And I got something better! Or rather different anyway."
Hm, actually, I have never ordered anything from that or any similar sites, because all stuff that they sell there doesn't look like "the original stuff"; that made me wonder about one of the most important things about music and any other form of art. Originality.
To non-metalheads, all metal music sounds the same. It's the fast and loud drums, it's roaring guitars, screaming vocals... and some bass here and there. :)
But we all know that's not the case. Far from it. Metal stretches through themes, sounds and sub-genres further and deeper than any other genre of music, or rather any other subculture. From the northern glacial-cold black metal, clean and epic power metal, technical death metal... to pirate chants. And everything imaginable in between. With that in mind, one would think that you could not possibly find two bands that sound even similar and yet, every time a new band shows up, the community hops on the "they are ripping (insert band name here) off!" train.
There are pioneers in every style of music and they lit the torch that we carry today, they influenced bands that influenced bands that influenced me, and my generation. If we go deeper in the past, we can see that the musicians who influenced the pioneers of metal were not metal musicians. Did they rip them off? No. Nor are we, today, ripping off our influencers.
Originality (or rather lack thereof) is a standard spice when symphonic metal is on the table. Young symphonic bands (especially with a female singer) are often being criticized for not being original and bullied for their visual style, or both.
Lack of originality is something that can happen in art but it's rarely the band's fault. That same toxic part of community has already decided up-front how something is supposed to sound, and if you don't follow those rules you are not interesting and "true", and yet, if you do, you are not delivering original music. It's kind of a puzzle because if you want to be true to your art you don't need to listen to anybody but yourself, and yet, when you are a professional musician you need to respond to the demand on the market to make your money.
When I was first contacted by Aurium, I must admit, I also thought "that's just another bad Nightwish interpretation", but since they were very serious about it (and also quite fun) I gave it a chance and very quickly realized that I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, it's symphonic metal - but it has very progressive song structures and very deep melodies with no pop elements.
Yes the singer was a woman, but her crushing voice was nothing like I had ever heard before.
So I was judgmental and I had prejudices and was very, very wrong about it.
The thing is - it's normal. When you are young and starting out, it's very expected to sound more like the music you like, but if you practice, and more importantly, if you spend time with your instrument, your dreams, your band mates, and if you are being in touch with your creativity in general, you will eventually discover your unique way to express yourself through any form of art that currently exists, or even create your own. I must add that the safe, accepting space we formed within our band has impacted us both privately and professionally, enabling us to bypass the toxic parts of the metal community that would have normally held us back. And you will see the results very soon! :)
Taking into account everything written above, I'm very grateful for my time in Aurium, and will do my best to aid in creating a healthy metal community we all need in these dire times.