Metal's growing damn fast for a genre pushing 40. While volume and virtuosity still reign, hordes of practitioners have dumped a host of 20th-century stereotypes—especially rock-star shit. Example: Instead of lording over the backstage scene after shows, band members hang at merch tables for signing and serious discussions. The topic depends on who's talking—degreed individuals are legion in metal now; inspired autodidacts, more common still. Ongoing themes range from South Carolina death-metal band Nile's Egyptology to Shadows Fall singer Brian Fair's considered espousal of vegetarianism and... More >>>