While Coheed is one of my favorite modern bands I wouldn't consider them happy. Many of their songs have a major and poppy chord structure but the lyrical context in most of Coheed is either very disturbing and violent or dark and angsty.I think you're scope of "metal" is incredibly broad and narrow at the same time, there are tons of good heavy rock acts out there.... Have you heard Maid Myriad, or Coheed & Cambria, or Mandroid Echostar? Some people get a kick out of a doom and gloom, don't like it, move on.
You should listen to Devin Townsend.Guitar-driven music has gone from Wanting to Rock and Roll All Night to, well, living in its own self-loathing.
Yeah, rock music has always entertained the darker side of life, from addressing depression to war to drugs to sex addiction. But so much of rock's heritage had a sense of redemption about it, or a sense of desiring social, political, or personal change, or at least some very artistic usage of language and melody.
But today, guitar-driven music is so inwardly dark. I'm not talking the more pop-inspired rock out there today. I'm talking the guys so many young guitarists view as modern guitar heroes.
Nevermore... so dark
Meshuggah... so dark
Avenged Sevenfold... so depressing... and lame
Here are the lyrics to Bleed by Meshuggah:
"Beams of fire sweep through my head
Thrusts of pain increasingly engaged
Sensory receptors succumb
I'm no one now, only agony"
Seriously? That's what a modern rock thinks about all day? I get it, a few folks and kids out there like that kind of stuff. It's the progeny of acts like Metallica and Tool--stuff I listened to when I was angsty.
But it's simply just not "fun" anymore. There's no more rock 'n' roll laden with guitar magic and stuff that makes you turn your head and go "Wow!". There's no more turning up modern rock and getting people dancing to it all night.
There are a few guitarists who are utterly fantastic, but they're most certainly in the minority and are hardly of the same popularity of the Jimis and Stevies and Eddies, let alone any of the guitarists of the Hair Metal era. The "Party On!" era of Wayne and Garth is dead in modern rock, and the age of popular guitar heroes is over.
I think it's rooted in a deep kind of sadness permeating modern culture. Country music is trying to be the new rock 'n' roll but its a harder sell on folks who don't like all that twang. And it's not really guitar-driven music, although there are a number of great pickers in that genre.
So, does guitar-driven music ever come out of its dungeon? Do we get to have music we want to drive, rock, and dance to again, with guitarists who create awe across a wide swath of culture?
I'm on this page, lots of good, dark metal without the cheeseball content. I find the party metal just as trite as the self-loathing metal, though. I'm glad that stuff died in the 80's for the most part.I like dark. But when I think dark, I think of Tool, A Perfect Circle, Opeth, Porcupine Tree and such. I'm not sure if that's what you're rallying against. I definitely can't take the "more heavier" movement. And I can't handle the whole Slipknot "slit your throat and f*** the wound" stuff, either. It's not even offensive to me, it's just cheeseball.