The Future of Metal Music: Balancing AI and Human Creativity

Over the past thirty years, I’ve seen computer technology evolve and significantly impact the music industry. Our band, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, has consistently embraced the use of computers. In our earliest albums, Sinner’s Serenade and Vilda Mánnu, we primarily used computers and drum machines for composing. Nowadays, technology has advanced dramatically, revolutionising how we create and record music.

Presently, we can record demos at home with a quality that can compete with professionally produced tracks. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also grown increasingly sophisticated, leading us to question whether AI might one day write songs indistinguishable from those created by human artists. Although it’s tempting to view AI as a potential threat to human creativity, I believe it’s more fitting to consider AI as a tool that can inspire us to explore new songwriting paths and rediscover those we might have forgotten.

Currently, AI systems learn from existing art and combine elements in innovative ways, sometimes producing peculiar or fantastic results. However, they have yet to create something genuinely new or original. As the saying goes, AI is akin to fire: an excellent tool but a dreadful master.

The essence of music transcends the mere statistics and mathematics found in AI models. Music should evoke emotions and feelings in listeners, an aspect AI has not yet mastered. Songwriting remains a largely analogue process rooted in human experience, even as we’ve left analogue recording methods behind.

The future of AI in the music industry is undeniably thrilling. Potential applications could range from promoting albums and providing valuable insights on lyrics and song arrangements to revolutionising band photos and mixing and mastering processes in our home studios. The possibilities seem limitless, but it’s crucial to remember that AI should complement human creativity, not replace it.

As we anticipate the role of AI in metal music and the broader music industry, we must strike a balance between embracing innovation and preserving the essence of human creativity. By harnessing the power of AI to inspire and enhance our music, we can ensure that the metal genre continues to evolve and flourish in the digital age. These are truly exciting times for all of us.

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