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  #151  
Old 08-21-2018, 03:24 PM
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Oh and don't forget Ministry with Psalm 69! Full album!
  #152  
Old 08-21-2018, 03:33 PM
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Oh and don't forget Ministry with Psalm 69! Full album!
Oh I am all over that. It was an excellent recommendation! Thanks. It did make me think of NIN a lot, and I see they were kind of contemporary bit also Ministry was a little earlier. Very much up my alley.
  #153  
Old 08-22-2018, 12:07 AM
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First, I like that song. The vocals, are still a bit much for me, but not in an impossible way, just in a "need a second to adjust to this" sort of way. And I see what you mean about the deliberateness of the choice to sing clean or not. And your post did make me realize that some of this is me lacking context still. Because the thing is, I DON'T need good vocals, and in fact actively tend to prefer "bad" singers. Heck, cookie monsterness doesn't' even necessarily bug me.
Glad this wasn't so harsh that it put you off. And yeah, as I mentioned, Opeth are pretty much the top of the progressive death metal pyramid. They bring in a lot of acoustic elements and facets of rock, jazz and even childhood lullabies into their music, mostly because Mickael Akerfeldt is a freaking genius but also because his bandmates are at least his match as far as technical ability; their help in bringing his ideas to our ears is actually invaluable. So I'm glad this didn't put you off from CMVs and that you liked the song; I would definitely encourage you to listen to Opeth. They are a unique band, much like Pink Floyd was unique to rock music back in the 1970s.
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So why did Hammer Smashed Face send me over the edge into "I just can't even?" Some of it is clearly them being totally unintelligible. That's something I am going to have to just adjust to. I'm used to vocals being very very important or non existent, this particular use of vocals is confusing on a gut reactions level. I think also maybe it is a bit of too much too fast. Too many things that are still new together too quickly? Blast beats, crazy vocals, musical idioms that are unfamiliar all together is too much. S.O.D. and Slayer work because there is a level of familiarity I can hook into with punk and even hip hop. NWOBHM works because it's still guitar, drum and bass doing guitar drum and bass things that I'm used to. Death sort of works on that same level. But the real Death Metal stuff gets rid of most of what I find familiar on purpose and focuses on the stuff that is strange.
Yep; that last sentence is some good insight. Just as punk rock is often misanthropic music made by misanthropes, so too is heavy metal. That whole "fuck you I won't do what you tell me" thing looms large over the genre.

Metalheads, both fans and artists, kind of like all the things about good songs that make most other people go "well it would have been great except for ----" and just insert "yelling instead of singing" or "the really loud guitars" or "the long crazy solos in every song" or "the way the drums just felt like they were pounding me in the chest", etc.

So yeah, there's a lot of working with those palettes, those sounds, those images in their lyrics, etc. And yes, ultimately there are genres that are pretty much just about being misanthropic.

So why did Hammer Smashed Face cause you so much trouble, invoke so much instant repulsion? Prolly because it's designed to do just that.

Cannibal Corpse always has been and still is today one of the most extreme metal bands around. The whole purpose of the music is to invoke feelings of rage, disgust, repulsion, anger, and squeamishness. From the unsettling drums to the skwonky guitar sounds to the guttural vocals to the album cover art to the lyrics, this is music that is supposed to cause that gut-level, instinctual turning away.

I'll level with everyone: I didn't even bother trying to listen to this band for the first 17 or 18 years they were around. They were just too much. I couldn't make sense of the vocals, not even after I was listening to CMVs regularly. Their songs seemed half-assed, like bad attempts to play Slayer but with poorly constructed lyrics that read like something a 14 year old would write.

Then Kill came out and I picked up a copy for less than $10. And it worked. Good songs; the vocals were excellent. Harsh, guttural, brutal- but they worked for the songs. Loved the drumming. Loved the guitar parts. It just worked for me, ya know? Anyway, now I own their catalog and while I don't like every song, every album does have some good songs, just like lots of other bands. And I find that I like them better with eery new album. They've improved at being Cannibal Corpse, and I continue to educate my ears, eh.

So don't be frustrated if you don't like or don't get them. Just put them aside; there's plenty of other stuff to listen to. And eventually, your ears may get educated enough that you'll go back sometime and be like "oh hey; these guys are pretty good."

Or not. /shrug

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I keep seeing Animals as Leaders, Killswitch Engage and Lamb of God on similar lists as the ones Mastodon are on, Opeth too, so I have some modern stuff to check out. But I do want to crack this Death metal thing. Oh, I also listened to Gojira "From Mars to Sirius" that was pretty cool. Not as good as Mastodon though, man I really liked that album.
Animals As Leaders is Tosin Abasi's band. IMO he may be the greatest guitarist alive today. I've seen them twice and I'd gladly go see them again and again. His bandmates are also awesomely talented (ffs they keep up with him), so the trio is able to make some truly jaw-dropping music.

Killswitch are great, but I can't take too many songs in a row before I need something that doesn't sound like Killswitch Engage.

Lamb of God are awesome, but of course I prefer their first Burn The Priest album and the first Lamb of God album (it's the fucking bomb) to their newer stuff. They gained a lot of polish after New American Gospel and while they still write some kick-ass songs, they also started straying into much more mainstream type songs. Still, I'd happily go see them live anytime.
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It's still crazy to me that there is this GIANT world of music that I more or less had no idea existed. From what I can tell this is a good time for new metal too.
The past 12 or 13 years have been an extraordinary time for metalheads and there is no sign of things slowing down. Many of the most talented musicians are drawn to the genres because they can feel free to exploit their skills for all their worth; that just isn't true in most other genres of music. No one in country music gives a shit about a drummer who can bang like Dave Lombardo, because there's no place for those sounds or rhythms in the genre, for instance.

Looking at your lists, I would urge you to skip (or at least know that you prolly aren't going to like) Pig Destroyer, Cannibal Corpse, Gorguts and Carcass. Autopsy too maybe, but honestly I find them bordering on cartoon-y some times. The rest are a bit less extreme and you should find elements in each that you know and like.

I'm not a huge fan of Baroness, although some of their songs are amazing instant-classic-earworm songs. Overall I find them much more of a progressive hard rock group than a metal group.

Mastodon was awesome on Leviathan and again on Blood Mountain, but after that they entered their own progressive hard rock phase and I stopped listening.

-------

A band that has been mentioned already is one that I think you should check out, tho. They were one of the first to use that really low, really indistinct almost indecipherable growl. They were one of the first to down-tune their instruments as a matter of course and not just for a single song. Aaaaaaand they're one of my own favorite bands. I managed to see them once, in Austin, at a cost of about $1400. It was worth it.

Bolt Thrower plays old school death metal. Very down-tuned. Very low growl vocals. ALL songs are about war.

So I'll walk you through how I got into them. First, I heard World Eater. I was hooked by the opening riff. I loved the build. I loved the demonic growl of the song title that opened the lyrics. I never understood another word of the song until I actually had the lyrics in front of me, but I simply could not hear that riff enough.

I honestly wasn't that enamored of anything else the band did on their next couple of albums, so I mostly forgot about them, even tho that one song would always get turned up when it started to play.

Then I picked up a copy of their 1998 album Mercenary, totally on a lark. IIRC, I found it used for like $4. I was hooked. I listened to that ddamned CD every day in my truck for like 2 years. I snowboarded to that album. I fucked to that album. I made dinner, ate desert, went kayaking, hiking, running at the track... I still couldn't hardly understand a word that he was "singing", but I couldn't get enough of these riffs and these rhythms. I was in awe at the restraint the band showed in every song. Check out the title track: Mercenary.

It turns out that the band had been on a singular mission since their inception: to produce the most Bolt Thrower album possible. And by Og, they did it. Every album built on it's predecessors in a way that few bands are able to do, keeping everything good and discarding anything that wasn't an overwhelmingly positive addition to their music. They spent 20 years honing their craft and in 2005, they gave us Those Once Loyal and simply stopped writing new songs: this was as Bolt Thrower as Bolt Thrower could be; they had achieved their goal.

IMO, songs like The Killchain and Anti-Tank (Dead Armour) make a good case for that. The other 7 songs one the album are just more of that, too. I've never really been as proud of a band who stopped writing songs and recording as I was and am with Bolt Thrower.

In fact, back in 2016 they announced that they would no longer perform. Their long-time drummer passed away at just 38 years old in 2015 and a year later they announced that Bolt Thrower without Martin Kearns wouldn't be Bolt Thrower; they were done. This is a band with goals and ideals and they. do. not. compromise themselves. I freaking love that.

Anyway, Bolt Thrower are an important early death metal band, playing a particular style that is echoed today in grindcore, brutal death metal, slam metal and metalcore, while reverberating keenly throughout other sub-genres. Karl Willets' vocals helped lay down the template for CMVs, for instance.

So the best way to listen to Bolt Thrower, IMO, is to start with Mercenary, then listen to The IVth Crusade, then ...For Victory followed by Honor Valour Pride and then with their crowning achievement Those Once Loyal.

The bands early albums and their Peel Sessions (John Peel was a huge supporter of them from their early days) are interesting, but frankly the recording technology and techniques of the time weren't quite up to capturing the band properly and the poor presentation hurts the experience of their music quite a lot. I own them, I like several of the early songs, but overall they simply don't compare to their later work IMO.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 08-22-2018 at 12:10 AM.
  #154  
Old 08-22-2018, 12:28 AM
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I forgot I was gonna give you another band to try.

So when you listen to this, and the video will help, picture that the singer IS a Viking warrior, hoarse after a lifetime (and perhaps a recent night) of bellowing cries as he attacks villages, kills rivals, drinks himself stupid, fucks, etc. Here's Amon Amarth - Twilight Of The Thunder God.

I offer this because even tho the singer is growling like a motherfucker, he's also nearly always intelligible. Oh, and because the band just kicks all kinds of ass, IMO.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 08-22-2018 at 12:30 AM.
  #155  
Old 08-22-2018, 01:58 AM
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Or, if you liked Kyuss but don't want to be burdened with vocals, may I suggest Karma To Burn, who pretty much do all instrumentals: their songs have numbers, not names.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:19 AM
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Whelp, I have a day of Bolt Thrower lined up for myself in that case.

If I get bored I have Opeth: My Arms, Your Hearse and the full Amon Amarth: Twilight of the Thunder Gods album lined up for change of pace. And if I need a serious change of pace, Electric Wizard.

I also added the Khold album that was suggested along with something from Emperor and Cradle of Filth because Black Metal is interesting and I do plan to come back to it.

But for now, Bolt Thrower!
  #157  
Old 08-22-2018, 05:18 PM
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Emperor
Heh - I was JUST coming here to suggest Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk .

Fine production, songwriting and musicianship.
  #158  
Old 08-22-2018, 05:21 PM
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Bolt Thrower might be my gateway band. Mercenary is a really fun album and the vocals are starting to work for me.

It also is getting me to understand something that is didn't realize I had been having a problem with which is the double kick drums. The almost helicopter feel of the high bpm kick drums makes so much sense the way this drummer plays them that it made me realize it hadn't quite been working for me with other songs.

Good recommendation. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:51 PM
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Bolt Thrower might be my gateway band. Mercenary is a really fun album and the vocals are starting to work for me.

It also is getting me to understand something that is didn't realize I had been having a problem with which is the double kick drums. The almost helicopter feel of the high bpm kick drums makes so much sense the way this drummer plays them that it made me realize it hadn't quite been working for me with other songs.

Good recommendation. Thanks!
Excellent! You're welcome, of course!

See, that's what I meant about the restraint the band shows. It's their secret power: they never go full retard, if you get my meaning. They have harnessed the forces at their command and they control them, utterly.

Where Slayer shows their mastery of their instruments in being able to play with such seemingly wild abandon, Bolt Thrower's goal seemed to have something to do with control and direction. It's like Slayer needs to create chaos with their music and Bolt Thrower is trying to create order, maybe. Or Slayer is pointing out the chaos in what we think of as orderly and Bolt Thrower is pointing out the order that can exist within the chaos of war.

I think it's awesome that what you noticed was the drums, because that was what I noticed most as well back when I first was listening to this album. The drummer is quite capable, but he's playing in the pocket, which is highly unusual for a metal drummer. Turns out this is the only album with this drummer, a guy named Alex Thomas who now plays with Squarepusher, among other endeavors. (Don't worry: like I said, this band built on their foundations like few others. When Kiddie came on board he developed a similar style.)

He holds that double kick back, not like a last resort, but as a burst of machine gun fire every so often, as if to remind us that as brutal as this is, it can get heavier: "you can't afford to pop your head up and take look between rounds because sometimes there might be no safe gap, sucker!"

The guitars and vocals have this quality too, IMO. It's not that they aren't roaring; they clearly are. It's that somehow, we can sense that while they are at 10 on volume and intent, they still have some reserve of berserker rage or strength to draw on if they feel we aren't quite getting it. They are the power behind the fist instead of being the fist.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:15 PM
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Or, if you liked Kyuss but don't want to be burdened with vocals, may I suggest Karma To Burn, who pretty much do all instrumentals: their songs have numbers, not names.
Aye! Terrific band! Fantastic live act! And they even did a song with John Garcia (of Kyuss) that's one of their best, IMO: Karma To Burn - Two Times.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:40 PM
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I was listening to bands on YouTube tonight and a video popped up in my recs that I thought might be good to link here, so I gave it a view. Not only was it a fairly decent job of history-telling, the guy who made the video at the end recommended a written piece published by another guy just before he published this video. I gave that a whirl as well and thought that the video guy's rec was terrific so I'm providing that link as well.

For all interested parties, here's the video: The Surprising Origins of the Death Growl (7:24 long)

And here's the written piece: Harsh Vocals: A History by Andrew Hatch over at Heavy Blog Is Heavy.

Both go back hundreds of years in describing other guttural vocal styles and techniques; it's a nice touch to show that they're serious about this endeavour. But they mostly focus on metal, of course, and show the evolution of the style in much more detail than I did in my post.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:34 PM
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Thanks for those. That article in particular was really great. I'm going to go back to that blog.

I have been listening to Bolt Thrower pretty much non stop for the last couple days. It's really really fun. But I'm here to talk about Amon Amarth. I don't know if I will ever play Twilight of the Thunder God again or not, but I will forever charish the memory of driving home from work going 70 on the highway and driving into the sunset while that played full blast. Hell of a way to end a day.

Strikes me as a touch cheesy in the same way King Diamond is. Cheesy but leaning into it and sort of saying "screw you we are going to be too awesome to be lame" So, very fun. Would gladly take suggestions for other albums or other similar stuff.
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:14 AM
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Thanks for those. That article in particular was really great. I'm going to go back to that blog.
You're welcome; I thought that you and perhaps others would appreciate them.
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I have been listening to Bolt Thrower pretty much non stop for the last couple days. It's really really fun.
Awesome! Glad to hear it. Not only am I glad you enjoy them, but I'm glad you're listening to them a lot. I really can't stress enough how much of this education has to with repetition. Just like we did multiplication tables and spelling quizzes and all manner of other rote things in school, we can educate our ears best by exposure.
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But I'm here to talk about Amon Amarth. I don't know if I will ever play Twilight of the Thunder God again or not, but I will forever charish the memory of driving home from work going 70 on the highway and driving into the sunset while that played full blast. Hell of a way to end a day.

Strikes me as a touch cheesy in the same way King Diamond is. Cheesy but leaning into it and sort of saying "screw you we are going to be too awesome to be lame" So, very fun. Would gladly take suggestions for other albums or other similar stuff.
Oh, I think if you listen to more of them you'll find that they're as committed to their style of death metal as Bolt Thrower was to theirs.

I don't find them cheesy, but I understand what you mean. The thing is, you have to remember that theatrical aspect.

Rock stars are all about the person that the fans supposes is on the stage.

Metal doesn't do it that way, for the most part. When you look at a metal act on stage, you're looking at theatre, remember? And theatre is only cheesy when it's half-assed or pandering and acknowledging it. GWAR is kinda cheesy; Amon Amarth not so much IMO.
  #164  
Old 08-25-2018, 12:47 AM
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Okay, I forgot to incude a single link in that post; I've come back to rectify that.

So now we've got you all the way up to 1990 as far as metal in general but also death metal, black metal and thrash. We've actually got you into the late 1990s and even 2000 with Doom.

You know many of the basics of the genres, how they developed and who some of the key formative bands were. You even know who influenced many of those bands, providing more insight into the music and its evolution.

At this point, I'd encourage you to keep listening to bands and noting what you like and don't like about specific genres and styles. Because from here on out, there's like a million sub-genres to explore, but frankly, you'll encounter lots of them naturally if you just keep listening to stuff and remember to stray from your comfort zone once in a while.

For instance, I really like doom, but I can't only listen to doom bands. When I go to bandcamp and hit 'explore' I end up searching thru all the different genres of metal. People misclassify their bands, they cross genres, etc. so browsing is a good skill to develop. Myself, I developed mine with decades of bookstore, record store and magazine rack shopping.

So anyway, some bands to keep in mind that we haven't really mentioned yet:

Atheist brought a whole new level of musicianship and a crazy jazz influence to metal starting in 1990. While I find their music more compelling than rocking, it's more the arrangements than the parts, and I wouldn't change the arrangements at all. I think the music is meant to be compelling rather than rocking, to focus us more on the changes than the grooves, and in that I think it's remarkably successful. This band ended up exerting a ton of influence on metal even if they had less-than-stellar sales.

In 1994, as thrash bands were fleeing for arena rock territory and grunge was converting the record industry, Rob Flynn emerged with his new band's debut album. Machine Head's Burn My Eyes. This was huge, and fans weren't disappointed with the follow-up, 1997's ...The More Things Change.

Then, after what seemed like 6 or 7 really lean years, we were suddenly inundated with metal (okay, sure, a lot of it was nü metal, but ffs, a lot of that shit rocks). Korn's first couple of albums, Snot, Suicidal Tendencies, Tool, Helmet, Kreator, Marilyn Manson, Metallica and, of course, Slayer.

In short order we had deathcore and tech death and microgrind and darkwave and all manner of crazily-named genres and bands.

So at this point, like I say, just keep listening and feel free to ask if you need help getting pointed in a particular direction. Oh, and let us know what you like and why you like it so we can try and help you find similar artists.
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Old 08-25-2018, 01:55 AM
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We haven't really done Tool yet, and I like them a lot. I'm not even sure what genre their later output is classed as - there is definitely a lot of prog in there - but Opiate, their first EP, was like being suddenly and unexpectedly punched in the face by a very angry, articulate Oxford don turned bare-knuckle boxer.

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  #166  
Old 08-25-2018, 11:20 AM
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So would you consider this whole exercise worth the effort? Have you come to appreciate Metal, which was the point of the thread? Do you have a sense of what elements of the diffrent subgroups you enjoy and which you don't?
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:36 PM
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So would you consider this whole exercise worth the effort? Have you come to appreciate Metal, which was the point of the thread? Do you have a sense of what elements of the diffrent subgroups you enjoy and which you don't?
Interesting question.

I definitely have a new appreciation for Thrash Metal. Slayer in particular is a band that a month ago I would have written off as just noise and I have been listening to Rein In Blood every couple of days now just because I want to. I am sort of disappointed by the Thrash bands outside the Big Four. I don't hate what I have heard but I haven't fallen in love with any of it. I do like Celtic Frosts first three albums quite a bit. They feel like they strike a nice balance between Thrash and some of the more theatrical NWOBHM. I think from this point in my life I want stuff that has that level of depth behind the pure aggression. The big four seem to have it, the other stuff mostly seems to not. I may, genuinely, be to old to listen to some of it for the first time. The crossover bands trip my punk rock trigger so that's a whole other thing.

Doom Metal and some of the early NWOBHM stuff it was more about me simply being exposed to it. I knew Judas Priest existed but had never heard of, for example, Mercyful Fate or Venom. I don't care for Venom much (they are fine and I am glad to know them, I get why they were influential.) but Mercyful Fate is awesome as is Judas Priest and Motorhead. There is something genuinely powerful about how they take the hard blues rock that I already liked from the 70s and push it forward.

Beyond that there is still a bit of wrapping my head around things I need to do. I think I'm starting to get the death growl thing. I actually really like it in Bolt Thrower. Bolt Thrower is, for me, what I liked about Motorhead but cranked up even further and in that sense the vocals make sense. I love that there is a sense of groove and drive and every now and then chaos, but mostly control. It's exciting. I literally listened to them for 4 hours on Thursday non stop.

In Opeth the death growl is still a little weird but I prefer it to his clean vocals and, I like Opeth. I think what they are doing with instrumentation is really cool. Their use of rhythm is interesting and the textured worlds they build with their music are awesome.

Mastodon almost doesn't feel like a metal band if that makes sense. They feel like any of the art rock I listened to in college and immediately after. Harder maybe? But that might comes from them growing out of the Doom (and sludge? I'm not totally sure I understand sludge) environments. Doom Metal instantly made sense so I almost want to leave them out. It's like, oh this is where rock and roll disappeared to. It called itself doom metal and disappeared from public view. I haven't explored some of the funeral doom and what not, but that's all familiar territory for me.


Then there is drums. I think, I get the blast beat thing? But I'm still having trouble with it on the black metal front. There is a disconnect for me between what it feels like the rest of the music is trying to do and where the drums are going. I don't know what to do with that. I'm going to keep plugging with the Black metal thing. I don't get it. I don't hate it, but I don't get it.

Then there is the theatricality. Amon Amarth was fun, but Bo might be right I'm not appreciating the theater of it. I really like the theater of an album like Abigail by King Diamond. It's was like listening to Opera. I plan to listen to more of his stuff, but it is a bit like listening to Tommy by the Who. It's great, but works best as a whole not in pieces. When you add the death metal and dial back the overt theater just a notch it gets weird. I do feel like if I can wrap my head around it I might really like it. I had a similar reaction to bands like The Pogues when I first heard them, and they are a top ten band for me now. Sometimes it is just about exposure. And, Amon Amarth are the only band that I have felt really compelled to find out if they are playing in Philly anytime soon. They seem fun live. So there is that.


So, what elements am I connecting with independently of bands. I tend to have a hard time with bands that don't have one of these elements. Lyrical interest, rhythmic and dynamic variety, melody. You don't need all three but I need one of them. So, SOD is all fast and loud with no melody, but the lyrics are funny and they manage to surprise you with their songs too. Slayer lacks much in the way of melody and their lyrics don't do anything for me but the rhythms and dynamics are constantly shifting in weird and interesting way that keep me engaged.
Motorhead and Mercyful Fate are pretty much all fast and loud but have melody to hook into. Bolt Thrower weirdly manages all three though they don't do much with dynamics their rhythms kick ass and they manage to create melody in weird ways. They are a little light on lyrics that mean anything to me I guess, but with them I'm just jazzed that I can tell what the songs are about. Opeth seems to have all three. Mastodon has all three. Metallica has all three, megadeath has all three. Doom Metal all seems to have all three. Cannibal Corpse? None of the above.

I think most of all I have to have a little groove. I have too much blues rock in my background to be able to truck with stuff that abandons swing entirely unless you are going full on orchestral or you have lyrics that carry the day.

I also don't care for flashy for the sake of flash. I went and listened to some hair metal and that's what it feels like. All surface no depth. I didn't even write a post because I couldn't figure out what to say that wasn't super trite. It's... Meh. I have similar issues with Van Halen and some of this comes from me being super snobby about guitar and how it should be used. I think guitar, especially lead, need to be treated like a vocal instrument almost. A song with a lot of lead guitar is like a duet and a solo is another verse or chorus of the song. So solos that don't match what the singer is doing or contrast in a logical way or otherwise compliment it dont work for me. Crazy speed for the sake of crazy speed also doesn't work. I can play fast. Anyone can with enough practice. Play fast and say something. Play notes with intention. Be Charlie Parker not Kenny G.

Fortunately, it seems like a lot of stuff has groove and most non metal post 85 or so seems to not abuse the guitar in that way. Power metal might. I haven't really gone down that rabbit hole.

So, have I gained an appreciation for metal? I have gained an appreciation for how silly that question is. Metal is vast. Way more vast than I imagined. More vast than Jazz which I didn't think was possible. I have found bands and albums that I really like a lot. Maybe even some new favorites? Time will tell on that front.

I'm glad I did this. And I'm not bored yet so I'm going to keep digging. I will grok black metal before I die! But for now I'm going to keep pulling on this death metal string. I know melodic death metal is a sub genre unto itself. As are progressive and technical death metal. Suggestions are appreciated. I'll give feedback but probably less often. I feel less if a need to go forward at break neck speeds than I did before.
  #168  
Old 08-25-2018, 12:42 PM
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I'm unlikely to ever be a full-on metal fan. However a couple of years ago I was turned onto some sub-genres that I found cool. Drone metal, doom metal, etc. Boris, Earth, that sort of thing. Also even if it's not really your taste, everyone should be aware of BabyMetal.

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  #169  
Old 08-26-2018, 11:08 AM
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Since you mentioned melodic death metal, I have to mention black death metal (or death black metal, blackened death metal etc.). This is in itself a pretty varied genre, often characterized by slower, heavier beats, variation in guitar work from black metal-style dissonant chords to more death metal-style technicality, and influences from other genres like industrial metal.

Zyklon - Core Solution

I'll throw in something else: Killl!

I think you can call Killl glitch avant-metal or somesuch, only performing and recording live and never in a studio. They work with a lot of electronics, to the point of running the drummer (and maybe a guitar?) through the keyboards doing live-glitching. I've posted this video before in other metal threads, but I think they deserve another mention. I highly recommend "Live at Henie Onstad", truly crazy album.
  #170  
Old 08-26-2018, 11:55 AM
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And it's probably about time you listen to some symphonic black metal: Dimmu Borgir - Blessings Upon The Throne of Tyranny

It is what it is, really. Totally over the top, theatrical and in this case awesome IMO. This album marked the point of no return for Dimmu. They were now becoming a black metal parody band and no hardcore black metal fan would them seriously ever again.

After this we'll get to loner black metal. Incredibly depressive stuff.
  #171  
Old 08-26-2018, 12:41 PM
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Interesting question.

I definitely have a new appreciation for Thrash Metal. Slayer in particular is a band that a month ago I would have written off as just noise and I have been listening to Rein In Blood every couple of days now just because I want to. I am sort of disappointed by the Thrash bands outside the Big Four. I don't hate what I have heard but I haven't fallen in love with any of it. I do like Celtic Frosts first three albums quite a bit. They feel like they strike a nice balance between Thrash and some of the more theatrical NWOBHM. I think from this point in my life I want stuff that has that level of depth behind the pure aggression. The big four seem to have it, the other stuff mostly seems to not. I may, genuinely, be to old to listen to some of it for the first time. The crossover bands trip my punk rock trigger so that's a whole other thing.
Aye; there's a good reason that the Big 4 are called the Big 4.

You should prolly go ahead and start exploring bands from the 2nd Wave of Thrash and onward at this point.

Slayer brought Dave Lombardo back into the fold for the 2001's God Hates Us All and it truly is a return to form for the band. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the unabashed fans of Diabolus In Musica, but its stripped down sound was a far cry from RiB or SitA. Kreator re-emerged with a new ferocity and focus; Mille seemed to have figured things out. Exodus re-emerged with a fucking vengeance, followed in short order by Testament. Dark Angel came back to us again (and again), although Gene Hoglan never left (thank Og). Etc., etc.

And a bunch of new bands popped up, carrying the torch for thrash metal but possessed of even better skills than bands had back in the '80s: they were actually able to play the kind of music they were trying to make. At the forefront, was Municipal Waste, from Richmond, Virginia. They showed up fully formed, totally grokking thrash music and with a gameplan of their own and they fucking nailed it, IMO. They brought fun and excitement and irreverence lyrically, but were so perfect in their execution that it didn't seem corny, it was just fun (they still are, btw).

Anyway, they helped get some interest flowing and some momentum building that helped open the way for other bands like:

Gama Bomb is an Irish band. Kinda screechy vocals, but they work and the music is kick-ass.

Evile - UK band; this is their first album, before they went full Metallica.

Blood Tsunami - Norwegian band

Cripper - German band

Don't forget Arch Enemy: Angela Gossow's presence was huge, and really helped blaze a trial for women in extreme metal. A handful of their songs are good, IMO, but they are a good example of trying to meld the bombast of 80's European metal (all the classical influences, the guitar wanking, etc.) with the intensity of thrash and the insanity of black metal and death metal. Alicia Gluz-White sings for them now, hand-picked by Miss Gossow herself.

I highly recommend the first few albums by The Haunted; they clearly worship at the altar of Slayer.

Revocation was amazing their first couple of albums, before they became a 4 piece and changed drummers (they're still good, just different).

Skeletonwitch is from Ohio; they totally fucking rock.

Toxic Holocaust is from Portland, Oregon and they're still going strong.

-------

That's not a complete list, by any means, but it is a fairly good set of known and respected bands that have emerged in the last 15 or so years.

Exodus's Atrocity Exhibition albums are fucking amazing; don't miss them.

-------

Explore @ bandcamp.com, too. Come back and recommend something to us, eh.
  #172  
Old 08-26-2018, 03:04 PM
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I have recently come to realize that I know next to nothing about Metal. This strikes me as a pretty large hole in my understanding of modern popular music and I would like to fix it. I'm really bored with the music I have been listening to as of late so I figure now is a good time to explore the world of Heavy Metal and all its various subgenres (there are like 85 right?)

Now, I do know some stuff. The early Heavy Metal that is essentially classic rock I know. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, etc. I am also passingly familiar with Metallica because I'm alive in the world. I also know a little NuMetal because I was in high school in the late 90s. Mahaloth recommended in another thread that I listened to Roots by Sepultura and it has really grown on me.

But that's pretty much it.

Give me suggestions and possibly an order I should listen to them in (if necessary) and I will listen to whatever I am able to stream on Spotify or YouTube and report back. I'm down to try anything.

Sounds fun?
The best heavy metal bands are all German, IMO - Rammstein, Kraftwerk, and Eisbrecher. and Blutengel. A good starter song for your German playlist would be "Links 2 3 4" by Rammstein.
  #173  
Old 08-26-2018, 05:51 PM
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nm that sounded horrible, I had something playing in another tab that made it sound kind of good.

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  #174  
Old 08-26-2018, 05:55 PM
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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

I don't know if post-metal is metal, but enjoy that.
  #175  
Old 08-27-2018, 05:01 PM
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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

I don't know if post-metal is metal, but enjoy that.
I do like Godspeed. I never considered them metal. They live in the same quasi math rock quasi ambient art rock category that Slint, Sigur Ros, and A Silver Mt. Zion live in.

I've always been partial to F#A#infinity personally, though it seems that Lift Your Skinny Fists stood the test of time better.

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  #176  
Old 08-27-2018, 07:35 PM
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For thrash outside the big 4 I would recommend Overkill.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6Jvf2Pps2E
  #177  
Old 08-27-2018, 08:23 PM
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Ok. I have been listening to the Liquid Metal station on satellite radio today.

I just heard Voice of Trespass by Between the Burred and Me.

It's insane and wonderful.
  #178  
Old 08-27-2018, 08:23 PM
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Woot!
  #179  
Old 08-27-2018, 11:01 PM
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I do like Godspeed. I never considered them metal. They live in the same quasi math rock quasi ambient art rock category that Slint, Sigur Ros, and A Silver Mt. Zion live in.

I've always been partial to F#A#infinity personally, though it seems that Lift Your Skinny Fists stood the test of time better.
Dead Flag Blues is a fucking masterpiece.
  #180  
Old 09-01-2018, 09:07 AM
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Back with an update.

Still listening to Bolt Thrower. The only problem I have with them is that all their songs tend to rush together for me. If pressed I don't think I could pick a favorite song, but I have decided that Mercenary and Honor Valor Pride are my favorite albums. Of the death metal bands I have listened to they are the ones that work the best for me and I have been thinking about why, and here is what I have come up with. They write songs that I recognize as songs and have a lot of rhythmic and dynamic variety that keeps things interesting. Also it does not hurt that I can kinda sorta understand the singer. Also there is a bit of an x factor. This is a band I genuinely like and there is always something a little intangible about that.

Other stuff I have been listening to. Listened to Entombed The Left Hand Path and enjoyed that a good bit too. I think the breaks into d beat style punkish rhythms (not exactly blast beats I don't think, at least not from what I have read) see a little out of left field. I would like them to be a touch more logical in their song structure, but I dig the lead signers voice a lot and the general sound and vibe of the band works for me. I lined up Wolverine Blues to listen to in my next round of new (to me) stuff.

I gave At The Gates a listen and found it to be a little boring? I maybe had too high expectations because of the raves that it got and people writing about how it was a new style of Death Metal. I'm not sure I get that. Maybe you had to be there. It's ok but nothing really grabbed me.

I listened to Nile - Those who the God's Detest. OK. So. I think this is something that I will like if I come back to it. I couldn't make it through the whole album in one sitting. It got to be a little much, but taken in smaller chunks I can dig this. I really appreciate that it has a very different musical approach while still being clearly Death Metal. It was intense, but the use of some of those more middle eastern sounding modes in the guitar was really neat. I think I appreciated it more intellectually than emotionally though which is why I needed to break up the listen. There is a level still where the super extreme stuff doesn't make a ton of sense to me but this album gave me some hope that it might someday click. I know this isn't the most extreme either because I also listened to...

Cryptopsy - None So Vile. One song. Not even the whole song. Only 2 and a half minutes of the first track. So, this is Technical Death Metal?
I... It was unpleasant. Maybe I'll circle back. It gets a crap ton of praise. I do not understand it. Even a little. Back to broken brain territory.

I've also been listening to a TON of Sleep and Mastodon. I think I agree that I like the early Mastodon better than the newer stuff. They sort of wander off into a softer prog rock sound in later albums which is ok but I miss the intensity of The Leviathan or Blood Mountain. Honestly, finding The Leviathan had made this whole project worth it for me all on its own. I love that album. I plan to actually give Electric Wizard a listen this weekend. This whole genre feels very comfy to me.

Oh and I gave Amon Amarth another listen. I still think the Twighlight of the Thunder God album sounds just a little like it's full of TV show theme music (not in a bad way) , but the next album Sutur Rising I really liked. The intensity is turned up a click on that one and the whole thing works a lot more for me. I feel less like a goof listening to it. So, in general Amon Amarth gets a thumbs up. They are what, melodic death metal? Who else is doing stuff like that. I am really starting to dig the harsh vocals on top of some of the more majestic instrumentation where do I find more stuff like that? (I already know I'm not a huge fan of the symphonic stuff though, that's a little too over the top for me.)

Ok, now I guess I need to talk about Opeth. I want to like Opeth so much. I really really do. And when they are doing their heavy stuff I REALLY like them. But then they transition into the softer stuff and they sound like Creed and I kind of can't handle it. I have sat down to listen to Blackwater Park 5 times and each time I keep turning it off about halfway through to put on Mastodon or Bolt Thrower or Slayer instead. I like the proggy arty idea, I would very much like to hear more bands that do very heavy death metal sounding things that are very progressive like that (I kinda liked Gojira and the little I have heard of Between the Burried and Me I have enjoyed, they are also going to get a full listen this weekend) but... Maybe I just need a different Opeth album? Do they do harder than Blackwater Park? Because that one isn't working for me at all.

Ok, so that's it for this week I think.
  #181  
Old 09-01-2018, 09:29 AM
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Oh, I also listened to High on Fire again for the first time since I started this whole thing and Plumpudding recommended I listen to Devilution. It's funny how different my perspective on them is from this side of things. I still really enjoy them but they sound a lot less crazy to me now. This is what Sleep turned into? I dig it.
  #182  
Old 09-01-2018, 11:19 AM
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It's more of a side project. You should go through all of Blessed Black Wings. Their earlier albums are good too. The Art of Self Defense is slower, with more slop, less direction and with a somewhat less full sound, but still worth a listen. Surrounded By Thieves is a great album, and you can hear they're really getting into gear, but suffers from bad audio. I can't comment on the rest of their output, as I drifted away from metal for a while around 2008. I've only recently gotten back into it again myself, and I haven't gotten around to their later releases yet.
  #183  
Old 09-01-2018, 11:46 AM
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Back with an update.

Still listening to Bolt Thrower. The only problem I have with them is that all their songs tend to rush together for me. If pressed I don't think I could pick a favorite song, but I have decided that Mercenary and Honor Valor Pride are my favorite albums. Of the death metal bands I have listened to they are the ones that work the best for me and I have been thinking about why, and here is what I have come up with. They write songs that I recognize as songs and have a lot of rhythmic and dynamic variety that keeps things interesting. Also it does not hurt that I can kinda sorta understand the singer. Also there is a bit of an x factor. This is a band I genuinely like and there is always something a little intangible about that.
Aye; there's just something special about Bolt Thrower. Really, really glad that you like them.
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Other stuff I have been listening to. Listened to Entombed The Left Hand Path and enjoyed that a good bit too. I think the breaks into d beat style punkish rhythms (not exactly blast beats I don't think, at least not from what I have read) see a little out of left field. I would like them to be a touch more logical in their song structure, but I dig the lead signers voice a lot and the general sound and vibe of the band works for me. I lined up Wolverine Blues to listen to in my next round of new (to me) stuff.
Entombed aren't my thing but Wolverine Blues is what gets talked up, aye.
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I gave At The Gates a listen and found it to be a little boring? I maybe had too high expectations because of the raves that it got and people writing about how it was a new style of Death Metal. I'm not sure I get that. Maybe you had to be there. It's ok but nothing really grabbed me.
This is an example of Gothenburg-ian metal. I'm not a big fan of of melodeath (melodic death metal) in the first place because I'm not a big fan of melody, but it does appeal to quite a few people.
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I listened to Nile - Those who the God's Detest. OK. So. I think this is something that I will like if I come back to it. I couldn't make it through the whole album in one sitting. It got to be a little much, but taken in smaller chunks I can dig this. I really appreciate that it has a very different musical approach while still being clearly Death Metal. It was intense, but the use of some of those more middle eastern sounding modes in the guitar was really neat. I think I appreciated it more intellectually than emotionally though which is why I needed to break up the listen. There is a level still where the super extreme stuff doesn't make a ton of sense to me but this album gave me some hope that it might someday click. I know this isn't the most extreme either because I also listened to...

Cryptopsy - None So Vile. One song. Not even the whole song. Only 2 and a half minutes of the first track. So, this is Technical Death Metal?
I... It was unpleasant. Maybe I'll circle back. It gets a crap ton of praise. I do not understand it. Even a little. Back to broken brain territory.
Both of these bands are TDM bands, although Nile sometimes strays into straight up brutal death metal territory.

Tech death can be amazing but usually isn't. I'll post separately about tech death later.
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I've also been listening to a TON of Sleep and Mastodon. I think I agree that I like the early Mastodon better than the newer stuff. They sort of wander off into a softer prog rock sound in later albums which is ok but I miss the intensity of The Leviathan or Blood Mountain. Honestly, finding The Leviathan had made this whole project worth it for me all on its own. I love that album. I plan to actually give Electric Wizard a listen this weekend. This whole genre feels very comfy to me.
I think you're going to like the two Electric Wizard albums I linked in an earlier post, eh.

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Oh and I gave Amon Amarth another listen. I still think the Twighlight of the Thunder God album sounds just a little like it's full of TV show theme music (not in a bad way) , but the next album Sutur Rising I really liked. The intensity is turned up a click on that one and the whole thing works a lot more for me. I feel less like a goof listening to it. So, in general Amon Amarth gets a thumbs up. They are what, melodic death metal? Who else is doing stuff like that. I am really starting to dig the harsh vocals on top of some of the more majestic instrumentation where do I find more stuff like that? (I already know I'm not a huge fan of the symphonic stuff though, that's a little too over the top for me.)
Sutur Rising is a fantastic album. Their next two are more of the same only more so; as I said, they seem to be doing the same thing Bolt Thrower did: honing their sound with every album.
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Ok, now I guess I need to talk about Opeth. I want to like Opeth so much. I really really do. And when they are doing their heavy stuff I REALLY like them. But then they transition into the softer stuff and they sound like Creed and I kind of can't handle it. I have sat down to listen to Blackwater Park 5 times and each time I keep turning it off about halfway through to put on Mastodon or Bolt Thrower or Slayer instead. I like the proggy arty idea, I would very much like to hear more bands that do very heavy death metal sounding things that are very progressive like that (I kinda liked Gojira and the little I have heard of Between the Burried and Me I have enjoyed, they are also going to get a full listen this weekend) but... Maybe I just need a different Opeth album? Do they do harder than Blackwater Park? Because that one isn't working for me at all.
Not really. Certain songs are harder, but not a whole album. I love the band and respect the hell out of them, but with every song being it's own 12-minute mini-epic amalgam of styles, I'm okay with them popping up on shuffle rather than listening to a whole album.

Don't get me wrong: every album I buy gets listened to from start to finish at least once; that's what I've done since I was a kid. But not every album is 10 or 12 or 16 fantastic songs in a row, ya know what I'm sayin'?
  #184  
Old 09-01-2018, 12:16 PM
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Oh, I also listened to High on Fire again for the first time since I started this whole thing and Plumpudding recommended I listen to Devilution. It's funny how different my perspective on them is from this side of things. I still really enjoy them but they sound a lot less crazy to me now. This is what Sleep turned into? I dig it.
Sleep didn't turn into HOF; it's more nuanced than that.

Sleep is Shirtless Matt Pike (guitar), Crazy Al Cisneros and (now) Jason Roeder (drums).

Matt Pike formed High On Fire after Sleep broke up in the '90s over the non-release of their 2nd full length, submitted to the record company as a single 63 minute track called Dopesmoker. HOF are a low-end chuggy kind of sludge/stoner/biker/doom metal band. High On Fire - Rumors Of War.

Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius (Sleep's original drummer) formed Om, a drone metal band. Like, serious drone. Om - Pilgrimage (full album)

Very different styles of music.

Jason Roeder is one of the founding members of Neurosis (if you haven't heard of them, I suggest you look them up; very good, very important band). He started playing with Al when Chris retired from music back in 2009.

Here's a fun fact: Al Cisneros has also recorded with Scott Kelly, the bass player from Neurosis. In 2009, without warning, an eponymous album from Shrinebuilder hit the shelves. I had no idea what to expect; the CD ended up in my truck for more than 8 months. Recorded in just 3 days by Al Cisneros (bass), Scott Kelly (guitar), Scott "Wino" Weinrich (guitar & vocals) and Dale Crover (drums, from Melvins, Nirvana, Eyehategod, Fantômas, etc.)

After a number of years went by with no word of a new album or a touring or anything, people started asking questions, which led to this infamous interview quote:
Quote:
So I have just one more question for you. Aside from Vitus, you’ve had a lot of other musical endeavors as well. What’s the update on your other projects right now?

Well, I’m really into playing acoustic again. My German friend and singer/songwriter Conny Ochs did the ‘Heavy Kingdom’ record and we’re going to do another acoustic record. Right now that’s it, man. Everybody tells me to pick a band and that I get into so many bands, but hey, Cisneros is insane so Shrinebuilder is not going to happen,
  #185  
Old 09-01-2018, 12:20 PM
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It's more of a side project. You should go through all of Blessed Black Wings. Their earlier albums are good too. The Art of Self Defense is slower, with more slop, less direction and with a somewhat less full sound, but still worth a listen. Surrounded By Thieves is a great album, and you can hear they're really getting into gear, but suffers from bad audio. I can't comment on the rest of their output, as I drifted away from metal for a while around 2008. I've only recently gotten back into it again myself, and I haven't gotten around to their later releases yet.
They get better, for the most part. You're absolutely right that poor production hurts their earlier releases, but their songs get tighter, leaner and meaner with each album too, IMO. Oh sure, they've tried their hands at long, proggy stuff a few times over the years; what doom-ish band doesn't?
  #186  
Old 09-02-2018, 10:01 AM
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I think I might've heard a later release, as a friend of mine is heavily into doom and sludge, but that must have been at a party. My memory is bad enough when I'm sober, so I can't say for sure. I bought BBW at Supersonic in Birmingham, just after they'd gone off "stage" (the audience was standing in an empty swimming pool). Then Modified Toy Orchestra entered and I was blown away again. Straight back to the merch booth!

I like this thread, as I'm also getting back into metal. Lots of great stuff in here. I'm also getting back into the metal scene in Oslo and I'm a bit nervous. Last time left me an off taste for over a decade... "Kerry King is a shit guitarist! He's not playing Dream Theater!" Ugghh...
  #187  
Old 09-03-2018, 09:26 PM
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Spent the morning commute catching up on this thread. interesting thoughts, and I like the (sort of) chronological way you're working through them. Good work to the various posters helping out with suggestions and explaining the history of different scenes and sub genres.

Looks like we're approaching modern day, so I offer one suggestion (mainly because I don't think they've been mentioned yet): Deafheaven.

Modern black metal band with a lot of post rock and shoe gaze influence. Other bands have done similar things, but never as well in my opinion. Who would've thought that black metal could be so colourful.

A lot of black metal purists (and regular metal purists) hate them, but I think their album Sunbather is one of the most important metal albums of the decade.
  #188  
Old 09-04-2018, 01:05 AM
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Tech death can be amazing but usually isn't. I'll post separately about tech death later.
Okay, so that's what I aim to do here: post about Technical Death Metal.

I linked an Atheist album earlier, and I know NAF has heard some Death, so that's a good starting point.

Atheist really opened people's eyes (and ears) by showing what highly competent, technically proficient musicians could do within the metal oeuvre. They stretched the hell out of the boundaries of metal, but it was still recognizably metal. I know I've harped on it before, but this is where the music became part of the abilities of the performers. The skill level then was stellar, today it is somewhere at the edge of the cosmos, pushing back against the void. And technical death metal exists to showcase those abilities first and offer cool songs second. That can be important to remember when listening.

Now, some bands have both playing ability and songwriting skills. Those are the artists that I'll focus on, because frankly, they're the ones I like and care about.

So what you're gonna get with tech death is lots of crazy time-changes, lots of crazy time signatures, and lots of intricately arranged and performed music. Inhuman beats per minute, machine-like sweep picking, etc. Some variation in the vocals but expect good solid CMVs. Remember that basically everyone involved is here to show off. Oh, and lots of proggy songs, too, because of course there will be.

Some bands show off a lot but suck to listen to. One of my favorites of this ilk is Behold... The Arctopus. Check out the first song on their debut album: Behold... The Arctopus - Exospacial Psionic Aura. That's 2 guys: a drummer and a guy playing a 12-string Warr guitar. They are jaw-droppingly talented players and their music is complicated as hell. It's also painfully boring to listen to, IMO.

So that's the problem with tech death: the priorities of the artist and/or music may not be much fun to listen to, despite how much fun it was to play.

This was especially a problem back in the early days (throughout the '90s, I'd say), but again, as the genre developed and as young artists explored their own talents, the ones with songwriting skills had more staying power, overall, and more influence on later practitioners, so now there's a sizable body of really good tech death. Like all metal genres, there's quite a bit of crossover into other related genres (like slam, brutal death, grindcore, and plain old death metal, for instance).

Another early band besides Atheist and Death that is important is Cynic (although for the life of me I don't know why), known for their painstaking songwriting process, intricate arrangements and their pursuit of "perfection".

I'm reasonably certain that anyone who explores tech death is gonna find lots of stuff they don't care for; that part is easy. That's why I'm gonna try and help with the hard part and offer some shortcuts to the good stuff (I've already suffered so y'all don't have to, eh):

In 2003 Necrophagist's debut Onset of Putrefaction dropped on us. Highly complex arrangements and parts, all played with incredible speed & precision. Excellent CMVs. And, it turned out, all the product of one man, Muhammed Suiçmez. Thanks to the album's enthusiastic reception by the metal community, he soon found other high caliber musicians and the next album, 2004's Epitaph was even more polished and accessible, IMO.

Necrophagist - Stabwound
Necrophagist - Only Ash Remains

That set a pretty high bar, eh, and bands woke the fuck up and got to work.

Obscura - Akroasis
Obscura - Diluvium

Beyond Creation - Omnipresent Perception
Beyond Creation - Earthbound Evolution

Dying Fetus - From Womb To Waste
Dying Fetus - Wrong One To Fuck With

The Faceless - Sons Of Belial
The Faceless - Hymn Of Sanity

Between The Buried And Me is a tech death band, by the way. That track you listened to is on their latest album, Automata II. They do a lot of thematic albums that sometimes carry over for more than one release.

There's a ton of bands that have tried their hands at this kind of music, and most, like Behold... The Arctopus just never quite make the music as fun and interesting to listen to as it must be to play but a few have managed to achieve listenability and helped refine the template further. And of course, the general skill level of plain old death metal continues to climb, with every successive generation notching it up a bit from their predecessors so that the sub-genre lines get blurred a lot with certain bands. For instance, Dying Fetus is also referred to as a brutal death metal band and a death metal band. None of that is wrong, just incomplete (they're all of the above).

So that's an overview of the genre and some examples to listen to. Any questions?
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:13 AM
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That should be Earthborn Evolution. DYAC!

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Old 09-04-2018, 07:54 AM
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So that's an overview of the genre and some examples to listen to. Any questions?
Thanks for the breakdown. I will add Atheist to my listening list. You also mentioned Death as a tech death band? I have listened to Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy, a good start?

How do those connect to this which seems to be super critically acclimated and which... Like how do you even listen to that? Everyone is playing in a different time signature. It's like a less listenable Trout Mask Replica.
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Old 09-04-2018, 12:15 PM
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Thanks for the breakdown. I will add Atheist to my listening list. You also mentioned Death as a tech death band? I have listened to Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy, a good start?
Aye; Death would be an example of an early tech death metal band. The music is sufficiently complex and the playing is very accomplished and precise.
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How do those connect to this which seems to be super critically acclimated and which... Like how do you even listen to that? Everyone is playing in a different time signature. It's like a less listenable Trout Mask Replica.
Hmmmm.

Not sure how to answer that except to say that it all works for me. I mean, Cryptopsy aren't my favorite band, but I can hear what they're going for.

Tech death is a difficult genre because, as I said, the focus of the music is squarely on the playing and composing abilities of the performers. The genre lives and dies on those abilities and talents, so the trick is to play stuff that is difficult that's still compelling to listen to.

Think of tech death as a spectrum. On one end is all scales and insane blastbeats and atonal riffing at lightspeed. At the other end is pure chugga chug mosh pit-y-ness. Every tech death band has to find their own space on that spectrum. Dying Fetus is arguably more groove-oriented than Behold... The Arctopus. Gigan is more focused on the difficulty than on the groove. Necrophagist did a great job of balancing the two, IMO, as does Opeth. There's just a lot of variation in tech death as far as difficult to play/listen to and frankly, I think that sometimes their ears are just more educated than mine so that it's entirely possible that I'm not getting it so that helps me keep an open mind too.

An interesting thing about tech death that I forgot to mention is that the lyrical subject matter is typically a lot more science fiction oriented than sword & sorcery oriented. Kinda goes with the music, IMO, but it is notable, I think.

I was kind of saving this band, but I'll offer them here because I love them and because they're a great example of how amazing tech death can be.

This band catches some flak because they aren't a real, proper live act; they exist only in the studio. There's also occasionally some crap about the drums being triggered but I don't give a fuck.

What I like is that they're brutal as all fucking hell. People in other brutal death metal bands describe them as "the most brutal thing I've ever heard" (seriously: there are reaction videos all over YouTube). IMO their music contains some of the finest death metal vocal work ever done, some of the best songwriting in the genre and without a doubt some of the most brutal, most vicious, most skull-crushing music around today. Their lyrics focus on the abuse of children by priests, usually told from the priests point of view, so they have that going for them/working against them too, depending on your perspective. Oh, and their videos often contain imagery that homophobes may have problems with. They are not for everyone!

Infant Annihilator - Soil The Stillborn - start slow with a lyric video
Infant Annihilator - Motherless Miscarriage - IME one of the most gleefully uncomfortable videos for people to watch, ever

IMO this band is the apex of tech death. Their music is complex, requires an amazing degree of technical proficiency to play AND is brutal as hell. Their songwriting is accessible to a much higher degree than many other acts too, IMO. Oh, and for extra oomph: did I mention that there's only 3 guys? The guitarist also plays bass for their recordings; he's crazy talented.

For the record: my review of Elysian Grandeval Galèriarch on AllMusic.com.
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Old 09-04-2018, 02:22 PM
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Infant Annihilator - Soil The Stillborn - start slow with a lyric video
[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SxT8GaiYDc].
Well that was an interesting change of pace from Atheist. Are they sampling Mario Brothers in this? It's a royally fucked up song. But recognizable as a song at least.
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Old 09-04-2018, 03:20 PM
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All right, all right, all right. You guys have worked the thrash and the death and the doom in, and some indus (Rammstein is *really* fucking good, even if they shine even more crazily on stage), and you've more or less covered the American scene. But how about some more noodly, symphonic stuff from good old Yurop ?


Sonata Arctica is Nordic speed metal. They used to only be able to play in a studio, but these days they can even shred for real on stage. I'd recommend their first two (Ecliptica and Silence) but the rest is also very listenable.
Nightwish is also from up there. They (along with Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation) were where the "hey, how about we front our symphonic metal band with a hot chick who can sing opera ?" trend started. They had trouble with their singer(s) and sort of mellowed out as time went by, but Wishmaster is a great fucking album. That being said, metal with chick singers tends to really work for me - check out White Skull for a more thrashy, speedy sound - particularly Public Glory, Secret Agony.



Then you've got the more epic stuff. Rhapsody of Fire and Blind Guardian are two bands that probably would have creamed their leather pants if they'd been offered the chance to score the battle scenes of the LOTR movies. Very technical stuff, Luca Turilli's solos will deffo make you go "bwuh ? How many fingers does this asshole even have ?". Legendary Tales through Rain of a Thousand Flames was peak Rhapsody : they knew they were getting more and more ridiculous, and pushed it beyond 11. Around that time they started describing themselves as "Bombastic Epic Hollywood Metal". Yeah. Blind Guardian is more on the power metal side of things, Nightfall in Middle Earthis fucking awesome, as is Somewhere Far Beyond.

But now I've started drifting into old school German power metal bands and I can't move on without mentioning Grave Digger. They started as generic power metal band (including a really good Children of the Grave cover) then found their niche in historical concept albums. Tunes of War, Knights of the Cross, Excalibur, Rheingold... I just love those albums. The frontman's voice is out of this world - which is hilarious live because he's the most adorable, baby-faced, innocent-smiled guy you'll ever see. And then he starts growling his ass out and you're like wut ?


I'll end this by moving back into the darker side of things (and moving back north) by name-dropping Avatar - I'm not sure exactly how I'd categorize them. They have death metal sounds, peppered with more rocky (almost rockabilly) riffs and sometimes more melodic stuff. All I know is they always energize me and make me happy. Let It Burn is my go-to morning song when I feel like a day's going to be shitty (along with Annihilator's King of the Kill). Then I proceed to have a great fucking day.
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  #194  
Old 09-04-2018, 03:28 PM
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Well that was an interesting change of pace from Atheist. Are they sampling Mario Brothers in this? It's a royally fucked up song. But recognizable as a song at least.
No sampling; that's sweep picking.
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:18 PM
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Some more examples of impressive sweep picking and string tapping:

Chimp Spanner - Mobius Pt I
Chimp Spanner - Cloud City

Animals As Leaders - CAFO
Animals As Leaders - The Brain Dance (live in studio)

Note that AAL are much revered in the metal community even tho they aren't really a metal band. AAL is it's own thing, a jazz group that often incorporates elements of metal (and punk and funk) into their sound. They do it so well and with such skill, tho, that they have the respect and enthusiasm of people across many genres.

Sarah Longfield is an insanely talented young guitarist. She's got a great sense of humor, too. I first noticed her when a video popped up in my sidebar that I couldn't resist clicking on; other headbangers felt the same and word got around about the Uke Group videos.

Her band is or was called The Fine Constant. Another example, I think, of headbangers being able to appreciate her skill level and thus also able to appreciate her music more than the average pop music fan or even jazz aficionado: we have the musical vocabulary necessary.

The Fine Constant - Quiescent

Sarah Longfield - Stay Here - uploaded just a few months ago, eh.

The technique has been widely adopted by metal. In general, anyone who can sweep pick, will sweep pick. It offers a weirdly inhuman sound at times, akin to a sequencer except we know it's a human being making those sounds, which adds to how weird/cool it is. And now we're seeing other genres adopt the technique, as more and more players are able to execute it; I think that totally fucking rocks. Metal really is gonna spread out and cover the planet, eh.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 09-04-2018 at 04:23 PM.
  #196  
Old 09-04-2018, 04:20 PM
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Damn, I realize I was trying to talk about Yuropian symphonic metal and clean forgot about the most Yuropian symphonic metal band of them all : Therion. We're still oop norf (Sweden this time). I'm most familiar with Vovin to Secret of the Runes ; which is when they really went hogwild with the "symphonic" part, including gothic choirs or full blown orchestras to their performances (much earlier than Metallica's S&M - it's a combination that just works, which is probably also why so many metal shredders come from classical music backgrounds). Their work previous to that is more straight up death metal and their later stuff is... odd (Les Fleurs du Mal always makes me laugh - I'm sure it sounds exotic and new to people from Sweden, but to this French guy it's just metal covers of 80s French pop that I know all too well well because it's super corny and mostly featured in baby boomers' 14th of July balls and the like (so very, VERY not cool) and it comes out just as silly (but kind of in a good way ?) as when Boney Nem did it).
But I mean, you really can't hate a metal band that covers O Fortuna, can you ?
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:46 PM
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I'm glad someone came along who's into symphonic metal, Kobal2. It's not usually my thing but I know it's freaking huge in its own right.

I am fond of Rage's Speak of the Dead, tho. When symphonic elements are done right, they can be a powerful and beautiful addition to the music (like anything, natch).
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:56 PM
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Something you might like which is a little tongue-in-cheek, yet with some serious musicianship: Dream Evil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HXl...=RD8HXlvA9a_TA
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:24 PM
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My list of things to listen to is growing very long. This isn't a bad thing, but forgive me if I don't update on every single album.

Quick thoughts. Electric Wizard kick butt. Seriously. My only complaint is the lack of variety in their sound, but honestly when your sound is as good as theirs is you don't always need it. Dopethrone was awesome. I see myself listening to that a lot.

Entombed Wolverine Blues. I liked it! It's the most accessible of the death metal I have listened to, but that's not so bad. Definitely more cohesive than Left Hand Path. It is interesting, though logical, that listening to the more extreme stuff, even if just a little bit, makes the regular death metal sound pretty much like straight ahead rock and roll. I'll get back to that idea.

Atheist unquestionable presence. Decidedly fun. I'm not sure if it's really for me, but I'm glad I listened to it and might go back to it. I liked the jazz, I can only imagine how mind blowing this must have been at the time. Obviously good, but a little noodly for my taste. The whole playing for the sake of playing thing isn't so much my bag unless there is a really strong songwriting structure underneath also.

High On Fire Blessed Black Wings and Surrounded by Thieves. It's too early to say really but High on Fire may have taken over as my favorite band I have listened to in this whole experiment. Seriously the last two times I have opened up Spotify to listen to the next thing on my Playlist High On Fire was already cued up from last time and I ended up listening to them for a half hour instead. For me they balance all the various metal elements that I like perfectly. It's aggressive and musical and heavy but balanced. They, like Bolt Thrower also have kind of an x factor that I can't quite identify but that makes them click for me as just... Right.

Which brings me to Between the Buried and Me Colors. I picked an album at random because I got a lot of conflicting opinions about where to start. Dang. I really seriously liked this. If I hadn't spent so much time with Bolt Thrower and trying to listen to Opeth and Nile and At The Gates, even Atheist and Mastodon I don't think I would have gotten far with this, but I think I may have come around on cookie monster vocals. It's not the furthest edge of extremity. It's decidedly not Infant Annihilator or Cryptopsy or even Nile, but it gets fairly hard at times. It also has a lot of the progressive elements and killer guitar work and songwriting and just a touch of that insanity that I liked so much on Voice of Trespass. I'm glad not everything is quite that insane, but I like a touch of madness sometimes. I'm going to listen to more of them.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:45 AM
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I'm glad someone came along who's into symphonic metal, Kobal2. It's not usually my thing but I know it's freaking huge in its own right.

I am fond of Rage's Speak of the Dead, tho. When symphonic elements are done right, they can be a powerful and beautiful addition to the music (like anything, natch).

Hey, thanks !
I must admit however that I'm a poor advocate for the genre. I'm no musician at all - I just sing what they tell me to sing how they tell me to sing it - and I couldn't tell a pentatonic scale from a kitchen one. So I won't be able to engage in that kind of talk on your (and NAF's) level, not by a long shot. I can only tell y'all what I like, not really *why* I do, what they do right, what they try to explore etc...
Which seems pretty weird when I'm the one talking about the guys who stumbled into shredding by essentially going "what if Wagner, but less pansy about it ?"



This is also probably why I just can't grok the more progressive sympho metal out there (or hardcore death metal for that matter). Stuff like Dream Theater for example. Like, I can tell they're ridiculously talented technicians. I can tell they pour a *lot* of thought into what they do, I know their songs are stupid intricate and make music theorists go "wow, that was a bloody clever bit, that was". I just have no idea what I'm listening to, the rhythm seems to change every other measure, it's jazz all over again and it makes my head hurt. Even some of Rhapsody's aeon long songs from their earliest albums get on my nerves sometimes. Gimme something I can either contentedly headbang to or scream in unison with, with a rhythm signature I can hopefully identify .
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