The Encyclopaedia Expands
Any metalhead who has spent any time online, so, every metalhead, has at one point or another stumbled across The Metal Archives, an incredible living compendium that attempts to track, classify and expose every metal project in the world. Since 2002 the wiki-like collaborative site has grown considerably in size and scope, but today they reached an unbelievable milestone: 100,000 bands have now been added to the Archive.
That number is a bit tough to wrap your head around. How can there be that many metal bands in the world? Obviously it’s slightly arbitrary as it counts every one-off bedroom recording, parody band, and even non-metal side projects but it’s still incredibly impressive. I first discovered the site about ten years ago when I had a passing interest in metal. Now that I consider metal the very essence of my being, what I spend most of my free time and energy consuming, seeking out, and trying to put into words, the Archives are absolutely essential. From the powerful advanced search tools to the active forums, there’s an endless wave of recommendations, information and of course, new music to discover.
It’s a lot of information to absorb, that’s for sure. Luckily, one of my heroes – Spotify data alchemist and blogging pioneer Glenn McDonald – has tried to make sense of it all by taking the plethora of user reviews and other band information and making it easily digestible with Empath. Check out what the community thinks are the best releases organized by genre or year and dig into how similar certain bands are. He still updates this page on a monthly basis and it’s one of the best the best tools for discovering great metal I’ve ever found.
The number of bands I have discovered through the Metal Archives has made me the proud metalhead I am today. Without it, it’s unlikely The Alchemist’s Cave would ever have come into existence as I never would have come close to scratching the surface on the esoteric musings contained herein. Congratulations to all the moderators and selfless contributors that helped make this goal possible. We’re looking forward to 200,000.