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yungstirjoey666
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:47 am
Posts: 160
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:18 am 
 

Basically, the big four of metal scenes. There are probably more scenes out there, but for now, I'm only gonna focus on those. Also, these traits are not exclusive in their scenes; just more common as I observed. I'll just gonna provide knowledge that I know so far.


North America: huge emphasis on "heaviness" and "angst" stuff, kind of like why most extreme subgenres were formed there. USPM is noticeably heavier than EUPM, but they are not restricted to such areas.

Europe: there is a bigger focus on melody, hence why death metal in Sweden is generally not as abrasive as it is in America. The themes are also more light-hearted, hence why you find a lot of cringy metal bands there (eg. black metal paint, cheesy humor, etc.). I suspect that metal music from England is different compared to the rest of Europe and in some ways similar to that from America.

Latin America: tbh I barely know much about this scene, but I think it's like a crossbreed between European and North American influences.

Japan: I find Japanese metal to be overall unique. There is a bigger variety of fashion, such as visual kei and lolita. I think rock music in Japan does not have as much of an emphasis on masculinity as in the west, hence why there are more women in the scene. I haven't heard much outside of anime soundtracks, but there is also more influence from other Japanese-based scenes, such as Eurobeat.



So what are your thoughts? What are some other common traits you can think of that are more prevalent in such scene?

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Frank Booth
Can Bench 450

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:29 pm
Posts: 1056
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:54 am 
 

Latin America really depends on where you're at. Much of Central America loves death and black metal, then the further down the continent you go, the more they like power metal, especially Chile, Brazil, and Argentina (though Brazil obviously loves black metal still), and the style of power metal they play is very Europower-esque, usually with pronounced neoclassical elements and sometimes some regional flavors (usually Brazilian bands, they tend to like mixing in samba and choro elements). Mexico is also big on thrash.

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Kalaratri
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:22 pm
Posts: 1021
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:10 pm 
 

Frank Booth wrote:
Latin America really depends on where you're at. Much of Central America loves death and black metal, then the further down the continent you go, the more they like power metal, especially Chile, Brazil, and Argentina (though Brazil obviously loves black metal still), and the style of power metal they play is very Europower-esque, usually with pronounced neoclassical elements and sometimes some regional flavors (usually Brazilian bands, they tend to like mixing in samba and choro elements). Mexico is also big on thrash.


Chile actually has pretty significant black and thrash metal scenes (and a lot of bands combining the two). Bands like Ripper, Parkcrest, Critical Defiance, Hellish, Invincible Force etc. provide ample evidence of that. There are also quite a few death/doom and funeral doom bands like Mar de Grises, Poema Arcanvs and Mourning Sun.

I actually read a pretty good write up about the scene yesterday:

https://yourlastrites.com/2021/06/18/la-fragua-del-fin-del-mundo-thirteen-spells-of-chilean-witching-metal/

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Death By Wall of Text
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:18 pm
Posts: 217
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:38 pm 
 

Europe is also quite diverse actually and depends a lot on the region. Eastern/central Europe definitely has more of an emphasis on tough guy aesthetics and strong extreme metal scenes in particular (lots of black and death metal, some thrash, but I seriously cannot name a single Eastern European power metal band), but also some folky styles. Scandinavia is known for extreme metal but also lots of symphonic and folky stuff. Germany seems to have basically everything metal-wise, but definitely thrash and industrial scenes seem to stand out. Southern Europe seems to lean towards gothic styles quite a bit (might be just me, but every southern European band I know could more or less fall under gothic metal, or at least black metal with some symphonic and gothic leanings). It's not a complete overview, but it's fairly complex picture.

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Samoroth
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:59 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:44 am 
 

I disagree with calling Japanese metal less masculine ( not that it matters). I could find more and less masculine metal anywhere. But it's okay as you said you haven't heard any Japanese metal. When I think of Japanese metal I think of bands like Sabbat, Abigail and Barbatos.

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Frank Booth
Can Bench 450

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:29 pm
Posts: 1056
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:57 am 
 

Samoroth wrote:
I disagree with calling Japanese metal less masculine ( not that it matters). I could find more and less masculine metal anywhere. But it's okay as you said you haven't heard any Japanese metal. When I think of Japanese metal I think of bands like Sabbat, Abigail and Barbatos.


A lot of people think JPPM when they think of Japan's metal scene, and a lot of their other scenes (namely their black metal, thrash, and stoner/sludge scenes) are decidedly underground save for a few outliers (most people know who Church of Misery are at this point).

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Samoroth
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:59 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:46 am 
 

Frank Booth wrote:
Samoroth wrote:
I disagree with calling Japanese metal less masculine ( not that it matters). I could find more and less masculine metal anywhere. But it's okay as you said you haven't heard any Japanese metal. When I think of Japanese metal I think of bands like Sabbat, Abigail and Barbatos.


A lot of people think JPPM when they think of Japan's metal scene, and a lot of their other scenes (namely their black metal, thrash, and stoner/sludge scenes) are decidedly underground save for a few outliers (most people know who Church of Misery are at this point).


Fair enough! Though I would argue when talking of 'scenes' that there is a stronger feeling of connection and being part of 'a scene' in underground circles. Like, what constitutes the scene of a country? The mainstream one or the underground scene? For me it was the underground scene where I live, as I was part of it, so when we would speak about 'the Dutch metal scene' it would be natural to think of the underground scene I was involved in.

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Twisted_Psychology
Metal freak

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 5515
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:37 pm 
 

I'm totally generalizing but what I find fascinating about the Japanese metal scene at large is how it still feels very much like its own bubble even in the internet age. Bands in that part of the world are far more prolific on average and the notions of what is or isn't acceptable for metal seem far more lax. In addition to the visual kei aesthetic and more balanced gender ratio that others brought up, bands seem to mix unorthodox styles more often but you never get the sense that anything is ever done "ironically" over there like you do with a lot of avant-garde bands. I could stand to do more research but it feels very insular.
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yungstirjoey666
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:47 am
Posts: 160
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:04 pm 
 

Twisted_Psychology wrote:
I'm totally generalizing but what I find fascinating about the Japanese metal scene at large is how it still feels very much like its own bubble even in the internet age. Bands in that part of the world are far more prolific on average and the notions of what is or isn't acceptable for metal seem far more lax. In addition to the visual kei aesthetic and more balanced gender ratio that others brought up, bands seem to mix unorthodox styles more often but you never get the sense that anything is ever done "ironically" over there like you do with a lot of avant-garde bands. I could stand to do more research but it feels very insular.

I think the issue with American/European metal scenes is that there is a huge amount of gatekeeping. Since there is a high expectation on what is considered "metal," the opportunities that a band can utilize are limited. This ironically leads to an overall low expectation of metal music, which is why bands can easily become fast for the sake of being fast, progressive for the sake of being complex, heavy for the sake of being heavy, and cheesy for the sake of it. The metal community here has remained pretty conservative since the 80s, especially with the "true metal" attitude. I don't know much about the case with Japan, but while the music remains metal, the community's mindset seems to be more akin to that with pop-punk or something like that. I suspect that they don't stress out on whether Babymetal should be metal as much as we debate with Metallica. They don't "try" to be metal as much as western bands do.

It also helps that Japanese bands are more likely to sing in their native language, hence why they maintain their unique Japanese touch. Meanwhile, bands from continental Europe mostly sing in English, probably to cater to the majority audience.

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LilTito
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 13, 2021 3:10 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:37 pm 
 

My thoughts on this are that you have no clue what you're talking about.

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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 7027
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:11 pm 
 

The only thing I know about South American metal is that, for whatever reason, my brain despises that scene. The only South American band I have ever enjoyed even a little bit is Angra. I've tried almost a hundred bands from that continent, and I couldn't stand almost all of them. It's so strange--you'd think random chance would dictate that I like a good number of them. But I don't.
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traxan
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:52 pm
Posts: 1239
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:17 am 
 

Two things stick out to me about Japan:

1) Chord progressions are much more complex, and they are far less reliant on minor keys, especially the non-metal rock bands. People often say Japanese and Korean music sounds "weird," but that's because they are conditioned to the western tradition of minor keys and down tuning.

2) Much wider range of styles. Marty Friedman talked about this in the "Global Metal" documentary Sam Dunn did. He talked about how a band like X Japan could go from thrash one minute and "Sappy Barry Manilow ballads" the next. One of my favorite bands is Mary's Blood and they do that shit all the time.

If I have a complaint with Japanese music is it's a little too perfect. I don't mind a little messiness in a live show if it's the result of the musicians getting into the moment. On Japanese live videos, if it's not note perfect they fix it in post production. Sometimes, it's just too antiseptic for me.

That said, having heard the studio and live versions of many Lovebites and Mary's Blood songs, they should record everything live and never record in the studio again. The contrast is incredible.

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tomcat_ha
Minister of Boiling Water

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 5257
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:24 pm 
 

Japanese heavy guitar bands post the 80s more often tend to be sort of over the top in one way or another. Some are super cheesy over the top power metal, super noisy chaotic hardcore, very wacky gimmicky avant garde metal/rock and ofc over the top degenerate black/thrash.

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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 7027
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:43 pm 
 

I mean, Japan is a country where they just casually insert guitar solos into their pop music fairly often, so their actual guitar-centric bands kinda have to step up their game in order to stand out. :V
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~Guest 1129985
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:52 pm
Posts: 264
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:04 pm 
 

Hell, I've heard bass solos in their pop (or close enough) music. I find the bass guitar is still quite prominent in Japan (most genres). It seems like nearly every J-Metal/J-Rock band I've heard has a really good bassist.

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traxan
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:52 pm
Posts: 1239
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:46 pm 
 

Indeed, in Japan the know how to use the bass, as opposed to western metal where it's just quarter or eighth notes following the guitar riff. Koga of Gacharic Spin (def not metal) is the best of the bunch.

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Hexenmacht46290
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:30 pm
Posts: 277
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:12 pm 
 

I’m scratching my head here, because the discussion of other parts of the world includes more than just mainstream metal, but for Japan, that’s all that’s being discussed. It’s true that Japanese pop is way more about instrumentals, than American pop(walk into a store, or turn on a radio, and you’ll be lucky to hear a real instrument). And musicians there, pop and otherwise, tend not to think, like a lot of lesser western pop songwriters, that there are only 1-3 possible modes to make melodies out of.

However, all of these discussions are flawed, because they are of entire countries, or regions, rather than those regions’ actual scenes. There are plenty of metal and punk elitist bands from Japan, and plenty of bands with hypermasculine values and imagery. Look at Abigail, their lyrics range from “dick is fucking big, pussy is fucking tight, fuck off shaving pussy,” to “throwing the beer bottle to the poser face, beat! Fuck you!” To “fucking beer 666,” and that’s just two songs.

That’s like looking at the glam scene, and saying that America never produced any good thrash in the 80s. The picture is incomplete.
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