So I'm having a personal rock revival, going back and listening to some good records (e.g. currently Soundgarden, Superunknown) I never took the time for, and it made me wonder again: is rock really "dead" or are there still original, intelligent, musically-oriented (as opposed to merely trying to be as heavy or aggressive as possible) rock artists out there? It feels like the last great rock era was mid-2000s Tool, System of a Down, etc. No way this is really the case, is it? There must be fans of rock music as a musical form out there still cranking out great, if obscure, tunes... Right?
And for the sake of truly being a discussable topic, what do you think constitutes quality rock? For me it would be something that goes beyond aesthetics, ie rock for the sake of being heavy, loud, and angry/angsty. To take the example of Soundgarden, I appreciate how they synthesized the aesthetics of metal with a timeless blues-based sound, an emphasis on natural rhythm and soulful performance. The guitars rip, the rhythm section is driving and tight, and overall the music itself is something you can sink your teeth into. With Chris Cornell's melodic, expressive vocals it all comes together to evoke a classic blues-rock sound stylized for the next generation.
For clarity: I'm including pretty much any kind of rock that is - for lack of a better term - blues-inclined. So that's metal, alternative metal, grunge, "hard rock", anything like that. Not pop-punk, but I'd be glad to hear about any developments in genre punk.