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Back in the late 90s, when I first started writing about underground metal for the Washington City Paper, music critics tended to ignore the so-called extreme underground or they specialized in it to the exclusion of everything else. Now it’s different. Pitchfork, which barely existed back then, has an extreme metal column. And Spin reviews records by the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan, Xasthur, and Mastodon. So, I was kind of surprised to see the following sentence in Idolator’s “Anono-Critic” history of Revolver magazine (via Metalsucks):
“YB has been told by someone who should know that many [of Revolver’s] edit staffers and freelance writers…do not swear undying allegiance to the varieties of extreme metal, hardcore and screamo covered therein.”
Granted, the magazine cultivates a certain lifers-and-true-believers image (full disclosure: I am a contributor). But this ain’t 2002. Here’s one example of the new brand of metal critic: Kory Grow, the Revolver contributor who snuck “yenta” into an Ozzy live review, is not only a non-metal musician (“I played viola for 10 years,” he told me in an e-mail), but also—whaddya know—a generalist.
Here’s his bio: Kory Grow is a New York-based writer and musician. He is currently associate editor for Revolver magazine and assistant editor for PaperThinWalls.com. He was recently an editor at both CMJ New Music Monthly and CMJ New Music Report. He’s written for the Village Voice, Magnet, Decibel, Harp, Signal to Noise, Alternative Press, Rockpile, Long Island City Ins & Outs, Red Flag Media’s in-store magazines and Mass Appeal. Highlights have included talking music theory with Ornette Coleman, skirting Vincent Gallo with Jenny Lewis and discovering what David Yow really keeps in his pants. Check out his blog at http://sadnessisdelicious.blogspot.com/.
Kory adds, “I write a monthly classical-music column for Red Flag Media’s in-store mag Snap.”