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Author Topic: You think you know Metal?  (Read 35750 times)

KharBevNor

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You think you know Metal?
« on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:06 »

We've had threads talking about metal for those who like it, but scooting around the forums I notice lots of prejudices and misconceptions about metal popping up, and as I, really, love metal only slightly less than my own left testicle, I thought I'd disabuse some stuff, make some suggestions etc. etc.

There are several points I'd like to make:

1: "Metal is all screaming/growling etc." = As someone who has a reasonably wide musical palette, and wider experience, I have to say that, next to electronica, metal is probably one of the most diverse genres...well, ever. Within the scope of what is generally agreed to be 'real metal' (very little of which you will ever hear played on the radio, btw) are an insane variety of bands, sounds and genres. Metal encompasses a vast range of sounds, both homegrown and exterior: metal bands have been influenced by and incorporated literally everything: space rock, punk, opera, folk music, techno... if you want to get some basic idea at what you're dealing with, get a track from Sigh's latest album and a track from Nattefrost's latest album. That's just the diversity in what you could very loosely call 'black metal'. (elitists debate genre boundaries constantly)

2: I've noticed lots of indie people seem to like Mastodon, Isis and sometimes Opeth. Whilst not meaning to be uncharitable, I think this is mainly because they are the only metal bands you've been exposed to that fall anywhere near your musical environment. Those of you who like these sorts of bands could do with exploring the genre more and picking out other prog-influenced bands: Ayreon )or anything else with Arjen Lucassen in it), Dream Theatre, Wuthering Heights, Amorphis, maybe even the later works of Edge of Sanity/Dan Swano. Then there's the instrument-driven genre of Melodic Death Metal, which will totally throw out any conceptions you may have about the word 'Death Metal'. In Flames, Dark Tranquillity,  Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Soilwork, maybe Arch Enemy...  be prepared for rawriness here, but all in a good cause. the Older works of a lot of these bands are normally the best, the genre is tired and oversaturated nowadays, but to a new-comer this can be pretty vibrant stuff. Just drop your pre-conceptions. Focus on the instrumentation. A lot of this stuff kills the conception that metal is all about killing people or being depressed. Concept albums about the information age, songs about astrology, punk-like sociopolitical rebellion songs, commercialism, even (som) love: this is what you'll find in MDM, and even more in prog metal (along with the songs about killing people and being depressed of course, but nothing's perfect). Want stuff that's totally off the wall? Try the Opera metal of one of the later Therion albums, or get the wits scared out of you by the raucous Polka metal of Finntroll or Korpiklaani. It's a whole musical universe you haven't been to before.

3: Linking on to the previous point, not all metal is violent, or stupid. Commercial 'metal' (which is nine times out of ten not actually metal) often appeals to the lowest common denominator of it's teenage audience with lyrics about angst, violence, etc. Whilst a relatively common theme in metal, such things are normally treated with a great deal more intelligence and musical ability outside the mainstream. Added to them are all manner of other themes: Fantasy and Sci-fi are a relatively strong one, with some bands turning whole albums into sci-fi/fantasy novels set to music. Metal groups have poltical agendas that cross the entire spectrum, from socialism to the ostracized fringe of neo-nazi black metal bands. Bands have written songs about everything from gun control (Edge of Sanity - Enter Chaos) to nuclear weapons testing (Skyclad - Bombjour!). There are joke metal bands: The black metal band Sportlov sing entirely about evil winter sports (grim snowball wars, the dreaded figure-skaters of Satan, etc.), Satans Penguin's dedicate tracks to themes such as the ultimate victory of Gargamel over the Smurfs. Viking and folk metal have plenty of good drinking songs, as well as rousing battle hymns. Religion and spirituality are a common topic (both for and against), and complex philosophy is regularly delved into by bands such as Borknagar and ...And Oceans. There are all sorts of literary references (Lovecraft and Poe featuring quite heavily as one might expect), concept albums, and so forth floating around.


Anyway, I could rant on for ages...but what I'd like to say finally is, give metal a chance! You may not like all, or even most of it, but there's bound to be at least one or two bands you'll like lurking out there in the vast ocean of metal. If you really like unique, interesting and challenging music that does something different, and are willing to push the envelope of your musical comfort zone, the only thing to do is to get heavy*

* and no, not all metal is even heavy, really.
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godbowstomath

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #1 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:18 »

metal always seemed soulless and boring to me
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KharBevNor

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #2 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:20 »

*What Robbo said below*
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Robbo

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #3 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:20 »

What bands? Did you just not read the above or do you really think you'veheard enough to say that?
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godbowstomath

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #4 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:34 »

i checked out a random slew of 30 second samples on amazon, and it just feels glossy and safe to me. not my thing, for sure
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Robbo

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« Reply #5 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:37 »

Again, what bands? And 30 seconds...wow, such an insight into the music. And yet if that's what we did to check out Indie, we'd be dead.

So what have you actually heard that is or you think is Metal? Glossy and safe? Right....sure.
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Kai

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #6 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:42 »

I sense a harsh musical bias from godbowstomath. Metal is most certainly not glossed and safe. Not all of it is anyways. Plus, how much can you really tell from random 30 second clips?



PS. Skyclad rocks your face.
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but the music sucks because the keyboards don't have the cold/mechanical sound they had but a wannabe techno sound that it's pathetic for Rammstein standars.

godbowstomath

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #7 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:47 »

buh, bias?
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Robbo

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #8 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:48 »

Yes, so again, what bands are you using to judge Metal on? Or are you gonna keep avoiding it because you dont have a good answer?
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godbowstomath

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #9 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:49 »

i just downloaded a 9 minute opeth song, and i want my money back
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Robbo

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« Reply #10 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:50 »

Wow, 9 whole minutes! That's what, an average track. What track hmm? What did you think of it, did you even understand it?

Even Jeph likes Opeth, can't be that hard a jump for anyone really.
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KharBevNor

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #11 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:51 »

Try some Crotchduster monsieur 'metal is safe and glossy'. I recommend 'Mammal Sauce' or 'Let Me Into Starfish Land'

Pre-packaged radio hits ;)
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
[22:26] Dovey: like, maybe, 4 or 5 times that i know of?
[22:26] Dovey: and at least one of those was a blatant ploy at getting sigquoted

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Robbo

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #12 on: 28 Apr 2005, 14:57 »

http://www.robbo.oeck.net/Stuff/Crotchduster%20-%20Mammal%20Sauce.mp3'> Crotchduster - Mammal Sauce So you have NO reason not to listen.
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godbowstomath

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #13 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:01 »

alright, i listened
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blindsuperhero

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #14 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:02 »

Describe to me what characterises music as 'metal'
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happybirthdaygelatin

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« Reply #15 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:04 »

Hmm.  I am never sure of some of the stuff I like is some sub-genre of metal or influenced by but I like alot of stuff that I associate with metal.

I have a feeling I've heard Mastadon somewhere and liked it.  I'm almost thinking it was on one of the Tony Hawk Skateboarding games.

 A list of things I like I consider metal (or influenced by)but am not sure (and slightly too apathetic to care) what their sub-genres are considered:  Turbonegro, GWAR, Motorhead, Zeke, Clutch, Neurosis/Tribes of Neurot, Faith No More/slough of alot of things with Patton on them, and uhhh damn if I can think of anything else.  (Oh, I Dillinger Escape Plan I like as well.  Murder City Devils I'm not too sure what to consider them as far as genre names go.)

I can imagine that a majority of what I just listed would not be considered metal but that hardly concerns me.
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Robbo

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« Reply #16 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:04 »

Quote from: godbowstomath
alright, i listened


No you didn't, because there's not enough time between downloading it and the song playing through. (Gotta love log files) So, what was the track like then?
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ForteBass

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #17 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:07 »

Kids, relax. We all have absurdly different musical tastes. I personally do not like metal. Just not my bag. But a couple points for both sides of this.

1) just because you may dislike metal does not mean it sucks. It just means you don't like it.

2) If people don't like metal, don't get all bent out of shape and worked up about it. Turn your sarcasmotron beams down a bit, step back, and just realize we're all quite different.
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godbowstomath

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #18 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:08 »

it played immediately, but i will admit that i fast forwarded through the skit at the beginning. :(

EYE LUVD THEE ARTIFISHAL HARMAUGHNICKS THEIGH WERRE TEH RADDE
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Robbo

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« Reply #19 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:09 »

As for 2) It's fine, if they have a base for it. Because like I said, if me or Khar said such things bout Indie without being to prove about a dozen albums of good bands we'd heard, you lot would have us against the wall.
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KharBevNor

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #20 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:10 »

Quote from: blindsuperhero
Describe to me what characterises music as 'metal'


That takes a very, very long time.

http://www.anus.com/metal/about/faq/*

and in slightly more condensed form:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_metal_music

*A.N.U.S: American Nihilist Underground Society. Not the bottoms.


The thing I object to is, if somebody had just come into the rap thread, for example, and said, without qualification 'ALL RAP SUX TOTAL BOTTOM'. Then it would have gone down totally differently. Plus, statements are being made that are definitively stupid. Metal is by no stretch of the imagination 'tame and glossy', and I have the County Medical Examiners albums to prove it.
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ForteBass

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #21 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:14 »

I'm not saying it's wrong to debate it. I'm just saying don't go bat-shit crazy over it. It just makes you look angry and screaming. And, yes, it is a two way street, indie kids.
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happybirthdaygelatin

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #22 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:18 »

Besides why hate on each other when we can pick on the those foolish hepcat jazz kids?
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Robbo

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« Reply #23 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:20 »

Hey, dont be dissing Jazz. Jazz is great...and had a few key influences on some of my favourate stuff.
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a pack of wolves

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #24 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:22 »

Crotchduster as dangerous and raw metal? Oh come on, they're just too silly. And... well they do get a bit tiresome after the first couple of listens. The words 'mammal sauce' just aren't that funny. The County Medical Examiners are mint though. Is it them or General Surgery who are all real doctors?

Dismissing any genre (well, apart from a fairly narrow sub-genre such as screamo) so easily based on a few songs is a bad idea. I like metal, but if I clicked on 30 random songs on Amazon I probably wouldn't hit on anything I liked.
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ForteBass

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« Reply #25 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:24 »

Robbo, he was taking a shot at me. I'm a total jazz kid. He's just being a smartass.
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Robbo

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« Reply #26 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:24 »

I know he was. But you're not the only one that likes a bit of Jazz.

A pack of wolves, blame the fact I had the track uploaded from ages ago making it easy. Should break out some Zyklon or something later, really scare the kiddies.
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happybirthdaygelatin

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #27 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:26 »

A friendly shot mind you.  I dig on jazz.
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a pack of wolves

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« Reply #28 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:32 »

I think Zyklon might hurt them. How about a little Thorr's Hammer? :)
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Robbo

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« Reply #29 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:33 »

EDIT: Had the band names the wrong way round in my head. Thor's Hammer is the NS group.

Thorr's Hammer is the Southern Lord band of Doom goodness.
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blindsuperhero

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« Reply #30 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:35 »

Quote from: KharBevNor
That takes a very, very long time.

http://www.anus.com/metal/about/faq/*

and in slightly more condensed form:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_metal_music


Well, the first link has a lot about 'culutural implications' and the such like but I could only find about 1 sentence as to actually what it's like musically, but the Wikipedia link was quite good.

Right, the reason why I asked this is, is because I don't think I like the fundamental musical characteristics of metal music. Guitar riffs, heavy drums, the kind of 'dark' sounding distortion (along with the various non-standard vocal styles), and as a lot of people say "oh that's not metal" when I say bands sound metally, I thought I'd make sure. For example, even a band like Thrice, who I don't think you guys would consider metal in any way, I don't like them because they use metal-style guitar riffs and have quite heavy (probably double-bass) drumming. I don't know why I don't like that whole thing, but I really don't, and I can spot it a mile off.

Of course they are probably lots of metal bands that don't feature this quite so much, but then if I did like it, it wouldn't really be metal that I was liking, if you know what I mean. For example, let's say someone hated how guitars sound. If they heard an indie rock song that only had keyboards in it, they might like it, but that wouldn't mean they liked indie rock at all.
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Robbo

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« Reply #31 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:42 »

Thing is Metal is big, really really big. And there's a large number of people who like some sub genres but not others.

You go to say a Motorhead concert, you'l find a load of people who love Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal, but hate stuff like Death, Black and Power Metal. Then you'll find people that love that lot.

The whole dark thing...yeah...when you have Prog and Power bands that sound as light and symphonic as possible...even getting some the nick name "Flower Metal".

Now, some people do just like Metal, as in pretty much any and all real Metal. Other people, just like bits of it. Just like your Indie Rock example.

So what Metal and so called Metal have you listend to then, just so I know where you're coming from. Yes, I know I've seen you throw a few names around before, but ya know.
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KharBevNor

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #32 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:45 »

Quote from: a pack of wolves
The County Medical Examiners are mint though. Is it them or General Surgery who are all real doctors?


It's the County Medical Examiners. One of them is sixty!
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a pack of wolves

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« Reply #33 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:54 »

Sixty? Awesome! I keep meaning to get their split, one of the guys from General Surgery was posting about it on a grind board I go on and the tracks sounded pretty sweet.
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KharBevNor

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #34 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:57 »



Yes folks, that's a goregrind band.
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
[22:26] Dovey: like, maybe, 4 or 5 times that i know of?
[22:26] Dovey: and at least one of those was a blatant ploy at getting sigquoted

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blindsuperhero

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« Reply #35 on: 28 Apr 2005, 15:59 »

Quote from: Robbo
So what Metal and so called Metal have you listend to then, just so I know where you're coming from. Yes, I know I've seen you throw a few names around before, but ya know.


Oh crikey, I'll try and remember. Ermm, firstly the usual 80's stuff you might hear in a rock club: Metallica, Iron Maiden, Guns 'n' Roses, Motorhead, all that. Some Slipknot, if that counts, Soulfly I think (this is back in the late 1990's here), maybe Slayer. Ermmm, some ridiculous troll-related stuff on the Forced Listening thread - 'Sigh' and 'Sargeist' (they all seem to begin with 'S'). Oh, I can't remember. Also, (presumably) non-metal stuff that I didn't like for the same reasons I don't like metal, such as Funeral For A Friend and Planes Mistaken For Stars
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a pack of wolves

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« Reply #36 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:00 »

If anyone feels a little confusion as to just what the hell grindcore or goregrind is, there's a pretty good rundown here: http://www.traumatizedzine.com/grind.htm
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Robbo

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« Reply #37 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:06 »

Thanks for the effort to drag names up.

Metallica are average at best.
Iron Maiden are classic and Hallowed Be Thy Name is the best Heavy Metal song ever damn you.
GNR are just over liked Rock.
Slipknot are Nu Metal that really really wants to be Goregrind.
Soulfly are just a Nu Metal to the core.
Slayer have their good moments, but nothing beyond their classics.
Sigh are brilliant.
Sargeist I don't know.
FFAF just down right suck.
PMFS just dont have anything to do with Metal.

So yeah, not the best run down of Metal ever and fairly limited as well.
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Johnny C

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Re: You think you know Metal?
« Reply #38 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:18 »

Quote from: KharBevNor
[specially noted for its humour -John] I, really, love metal only slightly less than my own left testicle

1: i) "Metal is all screaming/growling etc."

2: i) I've noticed lots of indie people seem to like Mastodon, Isis and sometimes Opeth.
ii) Ayreon
iii) Melodic Death Metal
iv) Opera metal
v) Polka metal

3: i) Commercial 'metal' (which is nine times out of ten not actually metal) often appeals to the lowest common denominator of it's teenage audience with lyrics about angst, violence, etc.
ii) There are joke metal bands: The black metal band Sportlov sing entirely about evil winter sports (grim snowball wars, the dreaded figure-skaters of Satan, etc.), Satans Penguin's dedicate tracks to themes such as the ultimate victory of Gargamel over the Smurfs.


I'll respond to these in the order I've taken them out.

1: i) Oh, of course there's a lot of variety. The problem is, SO MUCH of metal is "HRURR" that it really just grinds on one's nerves after a while, or at least the nerves of one who likes it when his music has audible, middle-C-and-beyond notes and its frontmen sing, dammit. But I will concede that metal does have a lot of variety, once you burrow past the incredible number of derivative, sound-alike bands. (more on that later.)

2: i) Yeah. What can I say, it's good tunes. Plus Isis sits comfortably next to Mogwai on playlists I make.
ii) Yeah. Ayreon are possibly the best metal band ever (besides, you know, Sabbath and early Priest and stuff). They are actually beyond words to try and describe. Well, no, they're not beyond "FUCKING XTREEM" but it's hard to get much deeper than that. Unfortunately I've run across bands that try desperately to sound like Ayreon and fail, and that's never pleasant.
iii) ARGH ARGH ARGH. I can't stand MDM. It's everything I hate about metal, wrapped up, packaged neatly, and presented to me in one genre. Hooray!
iv) Opera metal is one of the best things to ever happen to metal. Seriously, it totally makes sense: the grand musical wankery that is metal mixed with the grand musical wankery that is opera! And the best part is, opera metal is always a sterling example of either what metal could sound like at its most amazing and grandiose, or what opera would have sounded like had it been invented by angry, morbid white kids in the 1970's who were obsessed with Hammer horror movies! A vote for opera metal is a vote for free America.
v) Oh my GOD it actually exists? I told one of my friends that it would be the coolest genre ever - a bunch of goth kids in black leather lederhosen jumping around with one playing an electric accordion somehow hooked through a deathmetal distortion petal. Please tell me they work in the tuba somehow.

3: i) Reading that, I've... I've just... I've become so numb. I can't feel you, there.
ii) You have not divulged the existence of these bands sooner? Why? Are there more like them? Can I invite them to my home and have them tell me why they're so awesome?


In summary, I like metal when it stops wanking and being unlistenable.
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a pack of wolves

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« Reply #39 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:24 »

None of those bands can beat my mate's band LBW. They're grind, and play in full cricket whites. Mint.
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Johnny C

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« Reply #40 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:28 »

Are their songs about running the bowler or pitcher or whatever he's called through with their cricket bat?
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KharBevNor

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Re: You think you know Metal?
« Reply #41 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:36 »

Quote from: Johnny C

v) Oh my GOD it actually exists? I told one of my friends that it would be the coolest genre ever - a bunch of goth kids in black leather lederhosen jumping around with one playing an electric accordion somehow hooked through a deathmetal distortion petal. Please tell me they work in the tuba somehow.


Imagine a folk musician.

Imagine a finnish folk musician

Imagine this finnish folk musician is a troll who listens to black metal.

That's roughly what a polka metal band is like. I am giving Robbo some Finntroll to upload over MSN as we speak. Whilst you await your troll metal, may I tell you about the rest of folk metal? Why stop at accordions,  when there are hunting horns, tin whistles, bodhrans, fiddles, bagpipes, yodelling and goodness knows what else to be included into metal?
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[22:26] Dovey: and at least one of those was a blatant ploy at getting sigquoted

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rynne

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #42 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:37 »

As someone who only likes a bit of metal (the Isis/Mastodon/Opeth triumverate Khar mentioned, as well as industrial-metal and some grind), I'll say that I didn't read most of Khar's post.  I didn't because I know that metal, by and large, doesn't interest me.  There are certain elements that do, but most of it doesn't.

I know that Khar's post won't reflect my own tastes, though I don't doubt that it was sincerely written by someone who really loves that kind music.

Sorry, Khar.  I'm saying this because a lot of people who don't share your enthusiam for metal probably did the same thing with your post.

I respect you and I respect your convictions about the greatness of metal, but your convictions don't affect my personal tastes.  But then again, my personal tastes don't affect your enjoyment of metal.  :)
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KharBevNor

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #43 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:44 »

Ooooh...but it's so great! ;_;

Anyway.

HUMPAA!!


Finntroll - Kitteldags
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
[22:26] Dovey: like, maybe, 4 or 5 times that i know of?
[22:26] Dovey: and at least one of those was a blatant ploy at getting sigquoted

http://panzerdivisio

a pack of wolves

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #44 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:44 »

I don't think he was trying to change the tastes of the well-informed, but rather to clear up some misconceptions about metal that float about.

I think LBW's lyrics are more serious in their cricket obsession. These men respect their game.
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KharBevNor

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #45 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:47 »

Clear up, and also maybe help show people some of the wierd and wonderful stuff out there.

I mean, when I was a 14 year old listening to Metallica, I had bloody all idea that I'd be sitting here right now listening to a version of Iron Maiden's 'Fear of the Dark' with violins, bagpipes and black metal vocals. What I was really trying to say was: there's all sorts of cuhrazy stuff when you scratch the surface, and you may like some of it!
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
[22:26] Dovey: like, maybe, 4 or 5 times that i know of?
[22:26] Dovey: and at least one of those was a blatant ploy at getting sigquoted

http://panzerdivisio

Johnny C

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #46 on: 28 Apr 2005, 16:53 »

Quote from: KharBevNor
bagpipes!

I was highlighting to delete the rest of the post to emphasize what I wanted to emphasize, and I ended up missing the tail end, and it ended up summarizing how I felt about it.
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Revenge_Therapist

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #47 on: 28 Apr 2005, 17:01 »

Everyone should listen to Keelhaul, insturmental metal one of the most badass band I've ever seen.
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a pack of wolves

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #48 on: 28 Apr 2005, 17:21 »

Yeah Keelhaul are pretty great, Hydrahead in general is worth some investigation. There are all kinds of great intelligent heavy bands out there these days, Boris are also well worth a look.
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kilconey

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You think you know Metal?
« Reply #49 on: 28 Apr 2005, 18:58 »

most things that i have heard described as 'metal' i have ended up not liking.  MOST characteristics that the metal bands i've listened to all have in common, i don't like.  (i didn't bother to read the articles linked because i really don't care WHAT metal is - i know enough of what it sounds like).  i've listened to quite a few 'metal' bands.

but i'll listen to any band once.  no description of any band will turn me away before i hear them.
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