Modern Metal in Serbia – Where is it?

Although certainly not, by any means, a large country, Serbia has found itself on the crossroads, head-first in the middle of southern and central Europe.

Musically, this has blessed our little weird gem of a country with many influences. From the oriental tones coming from both the East and the West to the soundwaves of ethnic music that feature odd time signatures, musically, Serbia is an interesting place to find oneself in.

 

Led Zeppelin loved experimenting with weird time signatures and accentuation, Black Sabbath gave us the power chord – the pillar of metal, while the likes of Van Halen, Vai, and Dimebag exercised the use of the weirdest noises to bring art to their music – rather successfully, I might add! Yngwie Malmsteen brought the word “neoclassical” into the world of metal, while System of a Down introduced it with some Armenian refreshment. I won’t even begin to explain what Dream Theater did for progressive metal. If there’s a single word to describe the progress of metal music, it’s “innovation”.

As it is, Serbia definitely seems like fertile land for all kinds of modern metal – its innate capacity for a wide variety of different musical genres and styles should be more than enough. Unfortunately, this is far from reality.

 

What about metal?

Sure, toxic pop, mumble rap and that weird inbred child of folk and kitsch that we call turbo-folk are predominant here, but modern jazz ensembles rarely miss Serbia while touring, and Exit is becoming one of the world’s leading electro music festivals as years go by.

But what about metal? The problem here is definitely not the deficiency of Serbian metalheads; the problem is much more subjective.

Everyone is seemingly afraid/disinterested to break out of their comfort zones and try something new! Afraid, or disinterested? I’d say the latter.

It pains me to say that the vast majority of Serbian metalheads are somewhat narrow-minded. It’s not that they are reluctant to hear new things, it’s that they’re afraid to enjoy them. It’s as if they are scared of losing the metalhead identity that they’ve worked so hard to build since their childhood.

 

The angst

You see, when you’re angsty and edgy, you want to say f***k you to the system and flip it off. You want to say “no” when your dad tells you to cut your hair, so you grow it.

Well, most people outgrow this phase. Not necessarily in a way where they no longer want to say and do the above-mentioned rebellious acts, but in a way where they no longer need to do it out of spite or because it’s “scene”.

Unfortunately, most metalheads here don’t want to grow out of their angsty little teenage phases, and it becomes normal for them to hate new, innovative things that help people flourish and progress.

 

Here it is

Fortunately, there are many gems here. David Maxim Micic, for instance, gathers inspiration for his music from such a wide variety of directions that make his music unique and easily recognizable.

When you hear the thrash collective called Quasarborn, you get that they’re deeply rooted in thrash metal, but their uniqueness comes from experimenting with song structures, dancing along the border of progressive music.

To answer the title question – musicians such as David Maxim Micic and bands such as Quasarborn are where the modern metal music is at in Serbia. There aren’t many of them, but I am hopeful that this is about to change. Either way, I’m not afraid to get my own hands dirty and my band’s already on it!

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