[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3hG--gOYsY]Doug Pinnick on bass guitar use in Heavy Metal - YouTube[/VIDEO]
He's right on a lot of levels. Bass players these days compared to the 60/70's...BIG difference. Alot of old classic rock jams have GREAT bass lines. Smoke on the water might be the first song every guitar player learns, but the bass line and licks/fills in that song are freakin' awesome.
Today bass players seem to play better live than on records. Most of the time records are weak bass lines following the root on an driven 8th note feel it seems like. Session bassist for recording, actual bassist live? Maybe.
But for metal - unless the bass has a solo intro piece, it's almost non-existent. Sucks for bass players that love the metal. Lot's of bass love to be had in other genres though - blues and jazz specifically.