Of course metal bands are influenced by old favs like Iron Maiden! Every metal fan has to get into metal by listening to a metal album and it's usually a big name like Judas or Iron. At times it may sound like there's no influence but believe me it's there. Check out Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, and Dragonforce for 80's style metal with a modern twist.
If metal for some reason feels dead to you, it's because you're not getting new albums by new bands. (It's a monumental task for a metal band to write 5 or more good albums in my experience.) Satelite radio, pandora.com, and magazines like Metal Maniacs can get you back on track. Heavy metal is typically too extreme for a mainstream audience, so your typical radio isn't going to play anything worth owning. You have to go a little further to find cool stuff.