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Frozen218
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:47 am 
 

In the "ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2023" thread, one user rightly pointed out how today there is a general acceptance that heavy metal no longer has the cultural significance it once had. In this decade, techno has experienced a huge resurgence, which can be attributed both to the younger age of the genre, its dependence on modern technology and at the same time its rave culture, where mobile phones are banned and young people are brought together to experience the present in a meaningful way that they often have not been familiar with before. Techno's hedonistic sex and drug culture also helps give the genre its countercultural edge that any youth culture needs to resonate with and engage its audience.

Many from my generation attribute the decline of heavy metal to the fact that everything within the genre has been explored and perfected. There is therefore no way forward. I am strongly against that theory as I believe that the most impactful music always derives its power from what it is trying to communicate and not from the musical performance itself. The crisis in heavy metal, as I see it, is not a musical crisis, but a message crisis. Take Dissection as an example. Jon's comeback had a massive impact on the black and death metal underground, not because REINKAΩS's melodic death metal was well written and performed, although many hated it at first, but because Jon had a message and belief so foreign to the mainstream -culture that it enchanted a large part of the band's audience. How could anyone in a culture that values nothing believe in something so absurd?

My intention with this thread is to have a positive discussion about where heavy metal could possibly go to regain its cultural relevance and momentum. Any thoughts?

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linkavitch
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:54 pm
Posts: 291
Location: Korea, South
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:57 am 
 

Just make TikTok videos young people love TikTok.

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Lane
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:54 am
Posts: 1073
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:30 pm 
 

Songs about hot topics. We got 'em, didn't do the thing. Well, next idea!

Seems to help when there are sexy members in a band... As always have.

linkavitch has a good tip: DragonForce for one have a big social media thing going on. Short videos, members having streams etc. When band people interact with YOU on live, it must feel really special. Well, if you don't get banned or something like that :lol: So yeah, I guess that helps a lot. Of course good music is still the thing. In my opinion DF have it, too (I know many disagree heavily).
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Frozen218
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:32 pm 
 

linkavitch wrote:
Just make TikTok videos young people love TikTok.


Historically, mirroring the mainstream is not the way to make an impact. You have to counteract it and in that way give people an outlet for their frustration.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 35024
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:37 pm 
 

Lane wrote:
Of course good music is still the thing. In my opinion DF have it, too (I know many disagree heavily).


Man I hope you're still right about this with their upcoming album. Singles have been pretty wretched.

Overall I don't understand why people need metal to be culturally relevant again. It's an underground genre and people who want something a little off kilter from the mainstream will find it as they always have. Many of the greatest bands and albums are still underground and there's always a lot of cool stuff to find from years ago too. I guess I may have an outlier view in a way, since I do not pay attention to any TikTok/Insta/streaming stuff at all and rarely even look at bands' social media presences. I don't really care about that stuff. I think the music speaks for itself and much of the greatest stuff is extremely niche.
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Spiner202
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:32 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:50 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Overall I don't understand why people need metal to be culturally relevant again. It's an underground genre and people who want something a little off kilter from the mainstream will find it as they always have. Many of the greatest bands and albums are still underground and there's always a lot of cool stuff to find from years ago too. I guess I may have an outlier view in a way, since I do not pay attention to any TikTok/Insta/streaming stuff at all and rarely even look at bands' social media presences. I don't really care about that stuff. I think the music speaks for itself and much of the greatest stuff is extremely niche.

I think this underscores the answer somewhat, which is that in any situation where metal becomes culturally relevant, it won't look like the metal of today, and it will likely be rejected by the metal community at large. The last few gasps of relevancy for metal (nu-metal, metalcore) were rejected by the metal community, even if we've become a bit softer on them over time.

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Lane
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:54 am
Posts: 1073
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:51 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
linkavitch wrote:
Just make TikTok videos young people love TikTok.


Historically, mirroring the mainstream is not the way to make an impact. You have to counteract it and in that way give people an outlet for their frustration.

Make VHS videos and post 'em to people the snail-mail way!? :wink:

Empyreal, you are correct, sadly. Well, everything is bound to change at some point...
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Frozen218
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 1:00 pm 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
Overall I don't understand why people need metal to be culturally relevant again. It's an underground genre and people who want something a little off kilter from the mainstream will find it as they always have. Many of the greatest bands and albums are still underground and there's always a lot of cool stuff to find from years ago too. I guess I may have an outlier view in a way, since I do not pay attention to any TikTok/Insta/streaming stuff at all and rarely even look at bands' social media presences. I don't really care about that stuff. I think the music speaks for itself and much of the greatest stuff is extremely niche.

I think this underscores the answer somewhat, which is that in any situation where metal becomes culturally relevant, it won't look like the metal of today, and it will likely be rejected by the metal community at large. The last few gasps of relevancy for metal (nu-metal, metalcore) were rejected by the metal community, even if we've become a bit softer on them over time.


Again, you focus on the music rather than the message and how it is delivered. Music, like all art, is communication. What do you want to say? Now that's a question very few heavy metal bands seem to be asking themselves these days. Take Lori Bravo from Nuclear Death. Nuclear Death was a grindcore band like many others even back then, but her voice and vision made them unique. Recently, Pseudogod managed to release a black metal album that, enriched by their band photos with real corpses, actually managed to rise above the pack in terms of their genre.

The message doesn't have to be radical, although that helps, it just needs to be delivered with real honesty in a way that reflects the artist's experience of the world now, rather than trying to emulate someone else's vision from the past. This can definitely be done within the confines of what is accepted as heavy metal.

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Hardworlder
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:42 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 1:54 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Lane wrote:
Of course good music is still the thing. In my opinion DF have it, too (I know many disagree heavily).


Man I hope you're still right about this with their upcoming album. Singles have been pretty wretched.

Overall I don't understand why people need metal to be culturally relevant again. It's an underground genre and people who want something a little off kilter from the mainstream will find it as they always have. Many of the greatest bands and albums are still underground and there's always a lot of cool stuff to find from years ago too. I guess I may have an outlier view in a way, since I do not pay attention to any TikTok/Insta/streaming stuff at all and rarely even look at bands' social media presences. I don't really care about that stuff. I think the music speaks for itself and much of the greatest stuff is extremely niche.



Exactly what I was going to say. Metal is, and has always been niche. Yes, some bands like Metallica enjoyed mainstream success and that's great, but for a small minority of us bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden only opened the door to more underground stuff.
That's okay.

I don't see this as a decline, in fact I personally think metal is in a better place than it ever has been. It's a great time to be a metal fan. I can explore new bands and instantly buy their entire discog. I can order their patches, get tickets to their shows, etc. I remember a time when I had to dig through piles of CDs/cassettes and take a risk on something based on what the album cover looked like.
I don't care to have metal be "culturally significant" tbh.

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SanPeron
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2023 6:56 pm
Posts: 913
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:12 pm 
 

Recently I made a very similar post, check it out if you want more opinions on the subject.

https://forum.metal-archives.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139833&p=3113475

At least for me, we are kind of beating a dead horse here. I think we are all fans of something that took place a long time ago, at least the 80s/90s metal scene. I was formed more in the nu metal and metalcore era in the 2000s/2010s so my experience with the genre is a little bit more open-minded than some responses here. I think cultural relevance is important to any art form, this underground militancy/affiliation is just dumb to me. Artists should live with the money they make out of music, being a musician is a job and most musicians can't pay the bills playing in dirty clubs and getting paid in beer tickets. Being important in culture makes musicians make a living from their music, I don't want our artists to have to work two jobs and play in bands as a hobby, that's not what I want metal music to become. It wasn't like that before, and I vehemently refuse to become that as a community.

To answer the question of the thread I think metal is a very conservative genre, one that keeps making dumb rules to argue what is metal or not, when people are just ignoring the genre altogether. We can see it in the best albums of the year thread, where no one put the same albums, there are no popular bands anymore, no band stood out from the others, just a bunch of underground stuff that we find online on metal YouTube channels, but there is no visible direction of where the genre is going or even if it is going anywhere.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 35024
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:15 pm 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
Overall I don't understand why people need metal to be culturally relevant again. It's an underground genre and people who want something a little off kilter from the mainstream will find it as they always have. Many of the greatest bands and albums are still underground and there's always a lot of cool stuff to find from years ago too. I guess I may have an outlier view in a way, since I do not pay attention to any TikTok/Insta/streaming stuff at all and rarely even look at bands' social media presences. I don't really care about that stuff. I think the music speaks for itself and much of the greatest stuff is extremely niche.

I think this underscores the answer somewhat, which is that in any situation where metal becomes culturally relevant, it won't look like the metal of today, and it will likely be rejected by the metal community at large. The last few gasps of relevancy for metal (nu-metal, metalcore) were rejected by the metal community, even if we've become a bit softer on them over time.


Pretty much... while I hate all that old man yells at cloud stuff, I just think things like metal or any good art will just exist on its own terms anyway; it doesn't really need to have a resurgence in popular culture. If it does, well so be it... but a lot of great stuff will never be at the forefront of the culture anyway.

Hardworlder wrote:
I don't see this as a decline, in fact I personally think metal is in a better place than it ever has been. It's a great time to be a metal fan. I can explore new bands and instantly buy their entire discog. I can order their patches, get tickets to their shows, etc. I remember a time when I had to dig through piles of CDs/cassettes and take a risk on something based on what the album cover looked like.
I don't care to have metal be "culturally significant" tbh.


For sure. Bandcamp and Youtube make it super fucking easy to try just anything and that's an easy way to really get a sense of how much amazing stuff there was through all the decades.
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Hardworlder
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:42 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:22 pm 
 

SanPeron wrote:
Recently I made a very similar post, check it out if you want more opinions on the subject.

https://forum.metal-archives.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139833&p=3113475

At least for me, we are kind of beating a dead horse here. I think we are all fans of something that took place a long time ago, at least the 80s/90s metal scene. I was formed more in the nu metal and metalcore era in the 2000s/2010s so my experience with the genre is a little bit more open-minded than some responses here. I think cultural relevance is important to any art form, this underground militancy/affiliation is just dumb to me. Artists should live with the money they make out of music, being a musician is a job and most musicians can't pay the bills playing in dirty clubs and getting paid in beer tickets. Being important in culture makes musicians make a living from their music, I don't want our artists to have to work two jobs and play in bands as a hobby, that's not what I want metal music to become. It wasn't like that before, and I vehemently refuse to become that as a community.

To answer the question of the thread I think metal is a very conservative genre, one that keeps making dumb rules to argue what is metal or not, when people are just ignoring the genre altogether. We can see it in the best albums of the year thread, where no one put the same albums, there are no popular bands anymore, no band stood out from the others, just a bunch of underground stuff that we find online on metal YouTube channels, but there is no visible direction of where the genre is going or even if it is going anywhere.



For it to be what you want it to be would change what metal is....and yeah, maybe that's what happens and that's fine too, but if that does happen there will still be the niche underground stuff that many of us would be more interested in than... mainstream metal. I don't think it's militancy, I think it's just an acceptance of the reality that the VAST majority of people will never enjoy things like black metal or death metal.

I also think you have a misconception of what it used to be like. Yeah, the big bands made a good living from their music, and the big bands still do. But the small time bands from the 80s and 90s that still today get a ton of respect never were able to make music their fulltime gig. It's not that I don't want bands I love to make it big, but the fact remains that if they made it big they'd no longer be the band they were to start with. Again, I think that's okay and I'd wager the members of these bands know it and accept it.

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Frozen218
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:24 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Spiner202 wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
Overall I don't understand why people need metal to be culturally relevant again. It's an underground genre and people who want something a little off kilter from the mainstream will find it as they always have. Many of the greatest bands and albums are still underground and there's always a lot of cool stuff to find from years ago too. I guess I may have an outlier view in a way, since I do not pay attention to any TikTok/Insta/streaming stuff at all and rarely even look at bands' social media presences. I don't really care about that stuff. I think the music speaks for itself and much of the greatest stuff is extremely niche.

I think this underscores the answer somewhat, which is that in any situation where metal becomes culturally relevant, it won't look like the metal of today, and it will likely be rejected by the metal community at large. The last few gasps of relevancy for metal (nu-metal, metalcore) were rejected by the metal community, even if we've become a bit softer on them over time.


Pretty much... while I hate all that old man yells at cloud stuff, I just think things like metal or any good art will just exist on its own terms anyway; it doesn't really need to have a resurgence in popular culture. If it does, well so be it... but a lot of great stuff will never be at the forefront of the culture anyway.

Hardworlder wrote:
I don't see this as a decline, in fact I personally think metal is in a better place than it ever has been. It's a great time to be a metal fan. I can explore new bands and instantly buy their entire discog. I can order their patches, get tickets to their shows, etc. I remember a time when I had to dig through piles of CDs/cassettes and take a risk on something based on what the album cover looked like.
I don't care to have metal be "culturally significant" tbh.


For sure. Bandcamp and Youtube make it super fucking easy to try just anything and that's an easy way to really get a sense of how much amazing stuff there was through all the decades.


I'm not really talking about a resurgence in mainstream culture on the level of 80s heavy metal, but simply something that reflects the day and age it's made within in a radically honest way rather than simply copying the aesthetics of the past. A band like Deathspell Omega had a HUGE influence on black metal and extreme metal as a whole, and even inspired a new generation of young people to take an interest in theology, but they were never mainstream as such. They just expressed themselves and their beliefs in a way that most bands simply don't today. They're not singing about this in a kitschy way like Eternal Champion is when they sing about Sword and Sorcery. They expressed THEIR theology and that made them effective.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:47 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
In the "ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2023" thread, one user rightly pointed out how today there is a general acceptance that heavy metal no longer has the cultural significance it once had.


What user? You're the one that posted in that thread, and I quote:

Frozen218 wrote:
You're probably all pretty spot on with your lists, but it amazes me that we've gotten to a place where albums from bands like Enforcer and Cruciamentum are considered albums of the year. All I can say is that it's definitely not the 1980s, 1990s or even the early noughties anymore. Good luck to the kids fighting to resurrect the corpse of heavy metal as relevant youth culture.


If you're referring to BH's response about how we've embraced things as they are, then that's really all you need. You post all this on a forum where folks are actively engaged in discussing bands new and old and doing deep dives on records and catalogs, does this reek of death and stagnation to you? Do you venture out to metal shows in your area at all? I live in a city with so many vibrant music subcultures and metal still gets its people coming out in throngs to support big names and small.

I think it would be incredibly false for artists to prioritize cashing in on trends and appealing to the kids as a means to perpetuate a scene or style they themselves think is dying. That reeks of desperation and evokes artistic voids. I also find it weird that you talk about metal as if it were one grand collective when we all know subgenres have created scenes that have splintered off in all directions and merged and fused with several other influences. Banger TV's Metal Evolution and Headbanger's Journey docs might seem tedious now but metal's growth and yes, evolution is a well documented thing. That's how it survives - newer bands, younger players tinker with the thing and add to it and make it mean something to them. You don't need the old heavy metal and death metal bands to radically change their messaging to fit the times to signal a great change.

Frozen218 wrote:
In this decade, techno has experienced a huge resurgence, which can be attributed both to the younger age of the genre, its dependence on modern technology and at the same time its rave culture, where mobile phones are banned and young people are brought together to experience the present in a meaningful way that they often have not been familiar with before. Techno's hedonistic sex and drug culture also helps give the genre its countercultural edge that any youth culture needs to resonate with and engage its audience.


Another strange assertion. Where is it that techno is getting a huge resurgence? Does it sound to you like the rave music of the 90's? Electronic music had to fuse with dancehall music, rap and pop and latterly Afro and Latin pop, to get the resurgence it is enjoying. That's just trends though and that's different motivations to suppose a metal band should be having when making an album.

Frozen218 wrote:
Many from my generation attribute the decline of heavy metal to the fact that everything within the genre has been explored and perfected. There is therefore no way forward. I am strongly against that theory as I believe that the most impactful music always derives its power from what it is trying to communicate and not from the musical performance itself. The crisis in heavy metal, as I see it, is not a musical crisis, but a message crisis. Take Dissection as an example. Jon's comeback had a massive impact on the black and death metal underground, not because REINKAΩS's melodic death metal was well written and performed, although many hated it at first, but because Jon had a message and belief so foreign to the mainstream -culture that it enchanted a large part of the band's audience. How could anyone in a culture that values nothing believe in something so absurd?


I'm not a Dissection fan but I'm aware of them enough to know that Storm of the Light's Bane and not Reinkaos will be the thing they will always be remembered for. What powerful message was Jon Nödtveidt communicating that everyone remembers? The man was a murderer who then offed himself. Pray, tell...
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Miikja
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:53 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
The message doesn't have to be radical, it just needs to be delivered with real honesty in a way that reflects the artist's experience of the world now, rather than trying to emulate someone else's vision from the past. This can definitely be done within the confines of what is accepted as heavy metal.


But how do we rhyme this with hugely successful bands who only portray and sing about the viking way of life or warfare without any first-hand experience in those matters? Or bands that go for shock value, how authentic is their 'message'? I mean, I get the escapism, but I've always felt that metal can and should tackle real life issues head on, not turn away from them.

Instead, Gojira is a band that I admire a lot. They have a theme and topics that are current, musically you can hear where they're coming from while also tweaking proven formulas. They have a solid live reputation as well as a decent back catalogue. The thing I guess that's lacking is a handful of hits that everyone, friend and foe, knows. But it would be great if there could be more bands like them. You know, the (potential) headliners of the future, when the Maidens and 'Tallica's of the world at last call it quits. The last thing we need is for bands to follow the KISS example and sell hologram tours. Ugh.
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SanPeron
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2023 6:56 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 3:08 pm 
 

Miikja wrote:
Instead, Gojira is a band that I admire a lot. They have a theme and topics that are current, musically you can hear where they're coming from while also tweaking proven formulas. They have a solid live reputation as well as a decent back catalogue. The thing I guess that's lacking is a handful of hits that everyone, friend and foe, knows. But it would be great if there could be more bands like them. You know, the (potential) headliners of the future, when the Maidens and 'Tallica's of the world at last call it quits. The last thing we need is for bands to follow the KISS example and sell hologram tours. Ugh.


Gojira is one the last bands that aspired to be bigger, I recently saw them in Buenos Aires and they were simply excellent, the show was very modern with all the things that a band should do to give a metal experience to the audience. I think that's the way to go, that's why I put them as one of the most important bands of the decade in the other thread.
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Hardworlder
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 3:09 pm 
 

Miikja wrote:
Frozen218 wrote:
The message doesn't have to be radical, it just needs to be delivered with real honesty in a way that reflects the artist's experience of the world now, rather than trying to emulate someone else's vision from the past. This can definitely be done within the confines of what is accepted as heavy metal.


But how do we rhyme this with hugely successful bands who only portray and sing about the viking way of life or warfare without any first-hand experience in those matters? Or bands that go for shock value, how authentic is their 'message'? I mean, I get the escapism, but I've always felt that metal can and should tackle real life issues head on, not turn away from them.

Instead, Gojira is a band that I admire a lot. They have a theme and topics that are current, musically you can hear where they're coming from while also tweaking proven formulas. They have a solid live reputation as well as a decent back catalogue. The thing I guess that's lacking is a handful of hits that everyone, friend and foe, knows. But it would be great if there could be more bands like them. You know, the (potential) headliners of the future, when the Maidens and 'Tallica's of the world at last call it quits. The last thing we need is for bands to follow the KISS example and sell hologram tours. Ugh.


Metal bands have written songs about fantasy and science fiction since the very very early days of the genre as I'm sure you know. I guess I don't see that in inauthentic, they're nerds singing about nerd stuff. I'm a nerd and I want to hear about nerd stuff too.
IMO not tackling real life issues doesn't make them any less authentic, in fact it could be argued they're even more authentic.

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King_of_Arnor
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 3:26 pm 
 

Hardworlder wrote:
Miikja wrote:
Frozen218 wrote:
The message doesn't have to be radical, it just needs to be delivered with real honesty in a way that reflects the artist's experience of the world now, rather than trying to emulate someone else's vision from the past. This can definitely be done within the confines of what is accepted as heavy metal.


But how do we rhyme this with hugely successful bands who only portray and sing about the viking way of life or warfare without any first-hand experience in those matters? Or bands that go for shock value, how authentic is their 'message'? I mean, I get the escapism, but I've always felt that metal can and should tackle real life issues head on, not turn away from them.

Instead, Gojira is a band that I admire a lot. They have a theme and topics that are current, musically you can hear where they're coming from while also tweaking proven formulas. They have a solid live reputation as well as a decent back catalogue. The thing I guess that's lacking is a handful of hits that everyone, friend and foe, knows. But it would be great if there could be more bands like them. You know, the (potential) headliners of the future, when the Maidens and 'Tallica's of the world at last call it quits. The last thing we need is for bands to follow the KISS example and sell hologram tours. Ugh.


Metal bands have written songs about fantasy and science fiction since the very very early days of the genre as I'm sure you know. I guess I don't see that in inauthentic, they're nerds singing about nerd stuff. I'm a nerd and I want to hear about nerd stuff too.
IMO not tackling real life issues doesn't make them any less authentic, in fact it could be argued they're even more authentic.

If a band sings about whatever they want to, that's authentic in my book, even if it means putting their own spin on lyrical clichés. Also, many metal bands have lyrics that might not explicitly address reality on the surface but can be read as allegories for it, whether intended or not. That's what sets a lot of metal lyrics apart from punk/grindcore ones which are usually more literal.
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Ace_Rimmer
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:30 am
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 4:24 pm 
 

Hardworlder wrote:
SanPeron wrote:
Recently I made a very similar post, check it out if you want more opinions on the subject.

https://forum.metal-archives.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139833&p=3113475

At least for me, we are kind of beating a dead horse here. I think we are all fans of something that took place a long time ago, at least the 80s/90s metal scene. I was formed more in the nu metal and metalcore era in the 2000s/2010s so my experience with the genre is a little bit more open-minded than some responses here. I think cultural relevance is important to any art form, this underground militancy/affiliation is just dumb to me. Artists should live with the money they make out of music, being a musician is a job and most musicians can't pay the bills playing in dirty clubs and getting paid in beer tickets. Being important in culture makes musicians make a living from their music, I don't want our artists to have to work two jobs and play in bands as a hobby, that's not what I want metal music to become. It wasn't like that before, and I vehemently refuse to become that as a community.

To answer the question of the thread I think metal is a very conservative genre, one that keeps making dumb rules to argue what is metal or not, when people are just ignoring the genre altogether. We can see it in the best albums of the year thread, where no one put the same albums, there are no popular bands anymore, no band stood out from the others, just a bunch of underground stuff that we find online on metal YouTube channels, but there is no visible direction of where the genre is going or even if it is going anywhere.



For it to be what you want it to be would change what metal is....and yeah, maybe that's what happens and that's fine too, but if that does happen there will still be the niche underground stuff that many of us would be more interested in than... mainstream metal. I don't think it's militancy, I think it's just an acceptance of the reality that the VAST majority of people will never enjoy things like black metal or death metal.

I also think you have a misconception of what it used to be like. Yeah, the big bands made a good living from their music, and the big bands still do. But the small time bands from the 80s and 90s that still today get a ton of respect never were able to make music their fulltime gig. It's not that I don't want bands I love to make it big, but the fact remains that if they made it big they'd no longer be the band they were to start with. Again, I think that's okay and I'd wager the members of these bands know it and accept it.


That is true. I remember back in the late 80's I'd read a magazine article about a band that I was sure must be living a good life off thier music, only to found out they were working construction between tours.

These days with no money to be had for the most part off album sales it may be wore but its not a new thing. Especially for a band that was never making gold and platinum album in the first place.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 4:32 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
I'm not really talking about a resurgence in mainstream culture on the level of 80s heavy metal, but simply something that reflects the day and age it's made within in a radically honest way rather than simply copying the aesthetics of the past. A band like Deathspell Omega had a HUGE influence on black metal and extreme metal as a whole, and even inspired a new generation of young people to take an interest in theology, but they were never mainstream as such. They just expressed themselves and their beliefs in a way that most bands simply don't today. They're not singing about this in a kitschy way like Eternal Champion is when they sing about Sword and Sorcery. They expressed THEIR theology and that made them effective.


Oh well that's a whole different thing...

Definitely all for bands with a cohesive image or thematic current to their music. Lyrics are wonderful when work is put into them. Some bands I'd say do really insightful lyric work in recent years... Hammers of Misfortune, Madder Mortem, Messa, Pharaoh and Panopticon. All really insightful, deftly written, with a genuine perspective. I don't know if any of this stuff will be "influential" per se, but for literary value and meaning I'd stand behind em.
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Ace_Rimmer
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 4:37 pm 
 

Hardworlder wrote:
Miikja wrote:
Frozen218 wrote:
The message doesn't have to be radical, it just needs to be delivered with real honesty in a way that reflects the artist's experience of the world now, rather than trying to emulate someone else's vision from the past. This can definitely be done within the confines of what is accepted as heavy metal.


But how do we rhyme this with hugely successful bands who only portray and sing about the viking way of life or warfare without any first-hand experience in those matters? Or bands that go for shock value, how authentic is their 'message'? I mean, I get the escapism, but I've always felt that metal can and should tackle real life issues head on, not turn away from them.

Instead, Gojira is a band that I admire a lot. They have a theme and topics that are current, musically you can hear where they're coming from while also tweaking proven formulas. They have a solid live reputation as well as a decent back catalogue. The thing I guess that's lacking is a handful of hits that everyone, friend and foe, knows. But it would be great if there could be more bands like them. You know, the (potential) headliners of the future, when the Maidens and 'Tallica's of the world at last call it quits. The last thing we need is for bands to follow the KISS example and sell hologram tours. Ugh.


Metal bands have written songs about fantasy and science fiction since the very very early days of the genre as I'm sure you know. I guess I don't see that in inauthentic, they're nerds singing about nerd stuff. I'm a nerd and I want to hear about nerd stuff too.
IMO not tackling real life issues doesn't make them any less authentic, in fact it could be argued they're even more authentic.


I'd wager that most of the bands singing about Satanic, misanthropic, or nihilistic morality are as authentic, or less so, than Hansi writing more lyrics about some Fantasy book series. Though honestly for me most lyrics about societal issues are so superficial and trite that I'd prefer songs about swords and sorcery. Plus I think I can get more personally out of Manowar lyrics than I do from Gojira. I can only speak for the States, but bands with harsh vocals are never going to reach the heights of Metallica or Iron Maiden. Selling out 15k seat arenas, or 50k stadiums in Metallica's case. And if Metallica had kept making RTL and MoP they would have still been successful, but nowhere near Black Album big.

So who is making that hummable metal that has the hooks and chops to reach that pinnacle? Ghost isn't quite there but then again they are sellouts and anti-metal...

And these days there is so much music out there that is so easy to access I don't think any scene will ever reach the heights of the olden days.

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Hardworlder
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 4:57 pm 
 

Ace_Rimmer wrote:

I'd wager that most of the bands singing about Satanic, misanthropic, or nihilistic morality are as authentic, or less so, than Hansi writing more lyrics about some Fantasy book series. Though honestly for me most lyrics about societal issues are so superficial and trite that I'd prefer songs about swords and sorcery. Plus I think I can get more personally out of Manowar lyrics than I do from Gojira. I can only speak for the States, but bands with harsh vocals are never going to reach the heights of Metallica or Iron Maiden. Selling out 15k seat arenas, or 50k stadiums in Metallica's case. And if Metallica had kept making RTL and MoP they would have still been successful, but nowhere near Black Album big.

So who is making that hummable metal that has the hooks and chops to reach that pinnacle? Ghost isn't quite there but then again they are sellouts and anti-metal...

And these days there is so much music out there that is so easy to access I don't think any scene will ever reach the heights of the olden days.


Totally agreed. I like black metal, but is putting on corpse paint and singing about satan really authentic? Maybe for some it is, but those guys mostly went to jail during the 2nd wave (I jest, I jest). IMO there's something pretty authentic about a D&D nerd singing about being a Dungeon master.
Either way, it can be great or terrible music- as I said, I love both and there's room for both, even the inauthentic stuff as long as it has riffs.

Ultimately as you said, even if there's a huge uptick in metal's popularity, a lot of the stuff we tend to like here will remain underground.

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Ghost of Christmas Last
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:18 pm 
 

You can always do it 2006 style a put together a cool AMV based on whichever show the kids are watching these days, introduce them to a bunch of cool bands and genres. Except you can't, not without the copyright crew sweeping in...

But regardless, metal carries this near unique kind of energy and provides a handy outlet which is all too relevant in our age. The need for this kind of distraction is only going to amplify really.

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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 7:19 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
In the "ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2023" thread, one user rightly pointed out how today there is a general acceptance that heavy metal no longer has the cultural significance it once had. In this decade, techno has experienced a huge resurgence, which can be attributed both to the younger age of the genre, its dependence on modern technology and at the same time its rave culture, where mobile phones are banned and young people are brought together to experience the present in a meaningful way that they often have not been familiar with before. Techno's hedonistic sex and drug culture also helps give the genre its countercultural edge that any youth culture needs to resonate with and engage its audience.


I'm going to have to echo Metal_On_The_Ascendant's initial response, I checked over that discussion and you were the only one talking about this. Nevertheless, to entertain your assertion here I have a couple questions so I can figure out just what you're getting at here. 1) What is cultural significance and why is it important to chase after it? 2) If something wants to be "counterculture", why would it need validation by anyone, young or otherwise?

Quote:
Many from my generation attribute the decline of heavy metal to the fact that everything within the genre has been explored and perfected.


Everything has been explored, there is nothing new under the sun. Have you listened to what is popular today? It's a reductive version of the same synth pop that was big in the early 80s and was then rediscovered in the early 90s. Also, no form of music is ever perfected, because the possibilities contained even within western civilization's 12-tone musical system are so vast that no one will see every one of them realized in their lifetime.

Quote:
There is therefore no way forward. I am strongly against that theory as I believe that the most impactful music always derives its power from what it is trying to communicate and not from the musical performance itself.


What do you mean by a "way forward"? Every time a new song is written, technically it is a movement forward. See my previous point about there being nothing new under the sun with regards to "communicating something new". Every edge-lord idea has been done before even the internet became a thing.

Quote:
The crisis in heavy metal, as I see it, is not a musical crisis, but a message crisis.


What crisis?

Quote:
Take Dissection as an example. Jon's comeback had a massive impact on the black and death metal underground, not because REINKAΩS's melodic death metal was well written and performed, although many hated it at first, but because Jon had a message and belief so foreign to the mainstream -culture that it enchanted a large part of the band's audience. How could anyone in a culture that values nothing believe in something so absurd?


You know who had a massive impact? Jim Jones. What Jon did is along the same lines as well, except minus the crypto-communist cult and the poisoned flavorade. If this is what you mean by getting heavy metal out of this illusive crisis you're talking about, count me out. I'll also echo the sentiment that REINKAΩS's wasn't that great of an album, Dissection will be remembered for first two albums, and would have regardless of Jon's final descent into madness.

Quote:
My intention with this thread is to have a positive discussion about where heavy metal could possibly go to regain its cultural relevance and momentum. Any thoughts?


My thoughts are this: heavy metal is a musical genre, and in my opinion the best one around. What lyrical message one chooses to dedicate to its many sonic templates is a matter of choice, and no single subject is greater than another. It will remain that so long as there are people composing songs and performing them, as well as an audience to hear them, the numbers involved or the amount of mainstream media coverage that it gets is 100% irrelevant.
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Forever Underground
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 7:36 pm 
 

It has come to a point where all these "warriors" who are so worried about the current situation of metal, who are so affected due to the fear of its extinction and the crisis of the genre and who cry out with virulence that they wish it would be a mass phenomenon again, make me laugh a lot. Do you know why?

Because all those who post these things here, have an account in The Metal Archieves, one of the greatest accomplishments of metalheads as a community, there are very few musical genres that have a fanbase so committed to do something of the proportions of this page, seriously all my friends are freaked out when I tell them how it works and its bases. And yet all these people who are so concerned about the metal scene never have a single contribution to the site, not a SINGLE one, and I don't see them ever saying they are actively involved in their local scene or whatever.

Are you concerned about the state of metal? My brother in Christ you just sit in front of your computer complaining about it, if you really care about it get your ass out of your chair and do your something.
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Gas_Snake
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:29 pm 
 

The metal "scene" does not exist. Metal at this point encompasses so many different things, most of which will never reach anywhere near the appeal of Metallica or Iron Maiden, that... screw it

Short version, who fucking cares anymore?
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AuthorOfWoh
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:43 pm 
 

Forever Underground wrote:
It has come to a point where all these "warriors" who are so worried about the current situation of metal, who are so affected due to the fear of its extinction and the crisis of the genre and who cry out with virulence that they wish it would be a mass phenomenon again, make me laugh a lot. Do you know why?

Because all those who post these things here, have an account in The Metal Archieves, one of the greatest accomplishments of metalheads as a community, there are very few musical genres that have a fanbase so committed to do something of the proportions of this page, seriously all my friends are freaked out when I tell them how it works and its bases. And yet all these people who are so concerned about the metal scene never have a single contribution to the site, not a SINGLE one, and I don't see them ever saying they are actively involved in their local scene or whatever.

Are you concerned about the state of metal? My brother in Christ you just sit in front of your computer complaining about it, if you really care about it get your ass out of your chair and do your something.


Thank you. All these weird assumptions are irritating when there's never been a time in history like now where bands are able to make and release the metal they want, tour how they want and put out their merch without labels and greedy middlemen limiting them.

And yes, there's bands that are able to tour and make that their whole lifestyle - live out of their tour bus and work as much as they want, cultivate fanbases from the ground up and not have to worry about compromising for a fucking record deal.

Why would you want the arena shit? It's shitty stupid 80's hard rock, lite-metal retreading that's happening in those spaces. It is not the dream you think it is. It's not the dream for most bands out here working in the real world. Do you work for Geffen or something SanPeron?

There's a Danish band called Hexis that tours all over the world and have their music as their main job. It's a hard thing to do because late capitalism DUH but some artists are dedicated to their calling and craft, and it shouldn't be a fault to those unable. Get out into your local scenes and discover how bands actually live and you'll realize metal is alive and thriving.

Also, fuck Jon Nödtveidt. He wasn't some great prophet who communicated some profound shit.

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SanPeron
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:57 pm 
 

AuthorOfWoh wrote:
And yes, there's bands that are able to tour and make that their whole lifestyle - live out of their tour bus and work as much as they want, cultivate fanbases from the ground up and not have to worry about compromising for a fucking record deal.

Why would you want the arena shit? It's shitty stupid 80's hard rock, lite-metal retreading that's happening in those spaces. It is not the dream you think it is. It's not the dream for most bands out here working in the real world. Do you work for Geffen or something SanPeron?

There's a Danish band called Hexis that tours all over the world and have their music as their main job. It's a hard thing to do because late capitalism DUH but some artists are dedicated to their calling and craft, and it shouldn't be a fault to those unable. Get out into your local scenes and discover how bands actually live and you'll realize metal is alive and thriving.


It's funny because I agree with most of what you said. The only thing that I disagree is with playing in stadiums, I think that has to be a pretty cool experience for any band. I wish I'd work for Geffen though, I 'am sure they would pay some fine cash. I just don't romanticize the underground scene like some guys in the forum do (I'm not saying that you did that). I think that the best thing that can happen to a musician is to live of your music and sadly they are a minority among the crowd. And in metal? Is even harder, that's all I am saying.
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AuthorOfWoh
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:12 am 
 

It's not the best thing that can happen to a band especially with the given circumstances.

You are ignoring the fact that there are gatekeepers of who gets access to what. Those were the record labels back in the day and all your heroes had to suck their cocks and compromise themselves to get far. They had teams combing through what music they made to appease some exec asshole who had no clue about what actual good metal was. You don't think Metallica agonized over being hated by the fanbases that were loyal to them in the '80's? They lost a lot of credibility but they made a lot of people rich (not just themselves) and because they did other big time labels wanted in and signed so many thrash bands in the 80's and 90's before grunge became the next trend they could market, that is.

Believe it or not, now is the best time to make music for bands because they don't have to deal with the headache of all that - arenas and stadiums be damned. Those are spaces for KISS, Metallica, Judas Priest and so on. And we all love those bands but they had to play the game so that we in newer bands don't have to. They paved the way and the internet which was once the death knell for artists turned out to be the death of record labels instead. It's still a crappy system because you have new gatekeepers in the form of streaming apps and new rules to abide by but you don't have to shill for companies if you don't want to because there's more immediate access to your fans.

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Goatizer
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:18 am 
 

Obviously lyrical content would be the big one... sure you make satan sound cool to impressionable folk sometimes, but most people stick with grandma to a degree right, grandma said God was real it doesn’t resonate. The whole thing is metal resonates with people that are aspirining musicians but not a lot of children perhaps see role models or awful ones sometimes, playing instruments, the media, they don’t see in the media a white guy who looks like them or whatever with a guitar,. So the whole thing about metal is it appealed to people that already where into music and emerged in pop culture guitar driven music. So y’know pop culture has become guitar driven, it’s not that way anymore, people don’t really see what mom says not to be on tv anymore. A lot of metal’s appeal is already knowing how to play an instrument and finding inspiration in metal to take your playing to the next level, you hear it you can’t figure out what he’s doing on the instrument and you’re inspired to be a better player, but if you weren’t a player in the first place you’d be a lot less likely to care. So unless radio station DJ’s actually create pop my mining and seeking demos to keep it fresh, without mainstream rock and so forth that is accessible and on a television or mainstream produced, there’s not that kid who picked up a guitar who heard metal and said “why won’t my guitar or drum do that” that gets drawn in. What was shocking 20 years ago isn’t shocking anymore, depravity” is common place, so where’s the shock value? Other subcultures offer more instant and regular gratification depending on where you live in terms of making self destruction hip and so forth


Last edited by Goatizer on Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AuthorOfWoh
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:29 am 
 

Goatizer wrote:
A lot of metal’s appeal is already knowing how to play an instrument and finding inspiration in metal to take your playing to the next level, you hear it you can’t figure out what he’s doing on the instrument and you’re inspired to be a better player, but if you weren’t a player in the first place you’d be a lot less likely to care.


This is your subjective take that doesn't reflect how things are. I know so many metalheads and some who have turned their kids on to metal who do not play an instrument or care to learn. They just like the music because it sounds evil, harsh, dark, cool, threatening, melancholic, soothing, motivating, energetic, gentle, mesmerizing, enticing, hypnotic, sinister, satanic, spiritual, atmospheric, cavernous, tortured, ambient, industrial, grinding, plodding, thick, galloping, violent, dour, pulsating, ballsy, sexual, electric, folky, ancient, suffocating, sick, disgusting, groovy, danceable, medieval, theatrical, emotional, nerdy, precise, clean, filthy - do you see where I'm going? I'm a musician myself but most people react to music with how it makes them feel first. How their senses are reacting to the sounds they are hearing not because a drummer is blast-beating like a madman or how many notes the guitarist is playing. Those things are fine but if you listen to music and to metal only for that you are missing out on a lot and you will get burnt out.

Even as a musician you aim to play from the heart first - to inject feeling into your music and not get caught inside your head with being a machine that can just play technically well.

As for lyrics, I've met even a greater number still of metalheads who don't care for lyrics and their meanings.

We like metal because of how it makes us feel. We remember how we felt when we first heard it and how life-changing that was. Rarely does that have to do anything with being a player of instruments.

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Goatizer
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 12:35 am 
 

Feel is cool, but to be the best* is not attainable by intuition alone, you actually have to be inspired to be the best, where would you get the inspiration to shred, if you never heard a shredder, and you won’t produce something that is the best unless you do, I like minimalistic music, however it doesn’t hold up to who can play unless they’re some kind of pioneer 9/10 out of ten, feel will only get you so far, oh you wrote a depressed riff and cut yourself too? Or you are also triumphant alone in moms basement posing with a sword it’s like “wow, you too eh, I hope all you clones don’t have to spend to much time in the same room together. Too many people bring a violin to fiddle party(yes I know it’s the same instrument) but what do you have when you have a violin without any kind of technical prowess? Well sap, and considering misanthropic fantasies” of so many metal heads how much can sap actually have an appeal, he doesn’t even like people, and your trying to win him over with sap? Good luck there. Everyone got misanthropic tendencies yet there each trying to win one another with sap? Of course it fails to generate metal’s glorious revolution? You’re going to need to make something easy sound hard better than someone else, sorry(just in a cooler way, I agree like you said there’s feel, but sap blows without chops sprinkled , unless it’s folk, what patience does evil have for sap, I liked the stripped down element to music, however I prefer dynamic music personally. Your going to have to make something easy sound hard in a way that is not easily copied, with sinister vibe or conqueror vibes, ominous is the word I’m looking for actually, well,electrifying tends to go a long way. Too many clones, if music had no clones and everyone was original, feel would count for so much more and chops wouldn’t matter as much, You know a lot of metal inpspired by mayhem is minimalistic, but listen to the shred riff from carnage , where that go in the clone? Or you know, Transylvanian hunger without John bohnam fills sparsely apllied


Last edited by Goatizer on Thu Dec 07, 2023 4:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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sjal
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 1:53 am 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
Everything has been explored, there is nothing new under the sun. Have you listened to what is popular today? It's a reductive version of the same synth pop that was big in the early 80s and was then rediscovered in the early 90s.

There are also non-metal subgenres like these -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthwave
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-punk_revival
that take the culture/aesthetics and music of the past and make albums based on that but with more "modern" sound - I'm not particularly familiar with these subgenres, but it seems they are/were relatively popular.

The sounds and atmospheres on black and doom metal albums from the 90s are absolutely special and loved, this is an undeniable fact.
But I would also like to say that I can enjoy some of those black and doom metal bands/albums that were inspired by the aesthetics and music of black and doom metal bands/albums from the 90s but with a more “modern” sound. But I know that many metal fans are not interested in such new albums and bands at all - and this is also absolutely OK and understandable.
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Ace_Rimmer
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:30 am
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:20 am 
 

Gas_Snake wrote:
The metal "scene" does not exist. Metal at this point encompasses so many different things, most of which will never reach anywhere near the appeal of Metallica or Iron Maiden, that... screw it

Short version, who fucking cares anymore?


Yeah. The metal scene stuff of the 80's and 90's where finding new bands was work and you invested yourself into that is kind of a relic of those pre streaming days. The Iron Maidens and Metallicas are not going to be making a return as anything you want is right there and we don't get pushed to the big names since that is what you have at the local Best Buy.

I spend time with my godson and his brothers and friends and have gone to shows with them. They will listen Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, Sabaton, Slipknot, etc. But also rap, pop, country, and all kinds of crazy shit. They like metal and will listen to it...but they are not "metalheads". With how readily available music is its almost like a disposable commodity to them in a way.

I'm a Gen X'er and it was kind of strange how they approach music to me, since I'm a metalhead, but shit changes.

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Ace_Rimmer
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:34 am 
 

AuthorOfWoh wrote:
It's not the best thing that can happen to a band especially with the given circumstances.

You are ignoring the fact that there are gatekeepers of who gets access to what. Those were the record labels back in the day and all your heroes had to suck their cocks and compromise themselves to get far. They had teams combing through what music they made to appease some exec asshole who had no clue about what actual good metal was. You don't think Metallica agonized over being hated by the fanbases that were loyal to them in the '80's? They lost a lot of credibility but they made a lot of people rich (not just themselves) and because they did other big time labels wanted in and signed so many thrash bands in the 80's and 90's before grunge became the next trend they could market, that is.

Believe it or not, now is the best time to make music for bands because they don't have to deal with the headache of all that - arenas and stadiums be damned. Those are spaces for KISS, Metallica, Judas Priest and so on. And we all love those bands but they had to play the game so that we in newer bands don't have to. They paved the way and the internet which was once the death knell for artists turned out to be the death of record labels instead. It's still a crappy system because you have new gatekeepers in the form of streaming apps and new rules to abide by but you don't have to shill for companies if you don't want to because there's more immediate access to your fans.


I don't think they agonized about any of that, and I don't think they made TBA due to the label. They were playing 10-15K arenas and selling gold and platinum albums before that. While I'm sure they had label people trying to push them one way or another, I'm pretty sure they made the album they wanted to make after the sprawling record that was Justice.

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King_of_Arnor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 1:57 pm 
 

Ace_Rimmer wrote:
I don't think they agonized about any of that, and I don't think they made TBA due to the label. They were playing 10-15K arenas and selling gold and platinum albums before that. While I'm sure they had label people trying to push them one way or another, I'm pretty sure they made the album they wanted to make after the sprawling record that was Justice.

They definitely wanted that. They decided to get Bob Rock on board because of his work with Motley Crue, and they decided to have shorter stripped down songs because the ones on Justice were too exhausting to play live in a 2+ hour set. Ironically the most label pressure Metallica ever got was when they had to change the original title and cover of Kill 'Em All and put Escape on Ride the Lightning, both before they got onto a major label.
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AuthorOfWoh
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2022 1:52 pm
Posts: 62
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 3:22 pm 
 

Ace_Rimmer wrote:
I don't think they agonized about any of that, and I don't think they made TBA due to the label. They were playing 10-15K arenas and selling gold and platinum albums before that. While I'm sure they had label people trying to push them one way or another, I'm pretty sure they made the album they wanted to make after the sprawling record that was Justice.


I was positing that they agonized over losing credibility and not for making the music they wanted to make. But I'm willing to be wrong about it, many have talked about Metallica always having had bigger ambitions than the underground - which is okay btw, to each their own. Lack of integrity is a real measurable thing though. This is factual too: record labels in the 1990s wanted to cash in on the grunge sound and forced a lot of heavy metal bands on their rosters to make grunge-leaning albums. I don't know if it can be claimed that Metallica were "forced" to make Load/ReLoad but the nature of those albums is a concession to the times. There's also tons of stories about metal bands receiving no label support, having their albums shelved or buried during this era because they'd failed to be "marketable".

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Ace_Rimmer
Metal freak

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:30 am
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 3:58 pm 
 

I agree that Load and Reload, which were supposed to be a double album, were influenced by stuff like AIC and Soundgarden. But I think if they were looking to just make more money they would have put out another TBA clone, which was still selling millions a year at the peak of grunge. I think it was still in the Billboard 200 for like 10 years.

I think it was more of a band that had a blank check to do whatever they wanted, and they did like a lot of the sounds of what was coming out then. You are right about many bands making a change to stay more relevant, but at that point I think Metallica was almost immune to trends and they didn't need to ape Pantera or Soundgarden like some of the other thrash bands did. Though they were influenced by some of it no doubt. Plus Hetfield was mentally kind of fucked up during that time and a more personal album fit.

But I'm an outlier in that I love Load. Reload is just okay.

I view it more of like Rush in the 80's. They could have just made more Moving Pictures but they were influenced by stuff around them like the Police, so they began to explore more of those kinds of sounds. Thankfully they did as P/G was one of their best albums.

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Frozen218
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 10:48 am 
 

There are many things involved in this discussion, so perhaps the following will give a better overview, and I will refer to some generally accepted sources rather than my own opinion, so that we can approach it from a starting point with some objectivity.

Nietzsche came up with a theory about art, which has since been widely used within art history. He says that art is the mixture between the Dionysian, i.e. the emotions, and the Apollonian, the discipline or craft. By mixing these two things, the talented artist creates the triangle, the synthesis between the two that make up the work. Here it is important to understand that feelings come first. They are the starting point for any creative process and without them the work of art is just an empty artefact. This is why we see that artists can have a huge impact despite having limited technical talent, while virtuoso musicians can make videos on YouTube but never strike the heart of their viewers, except for the initial awe of the performance.

A good example of this is Miles Davis, who is often referred to as the Picasso of 20th century music. Miles Davis was himself a visionary and extraordinarily virtuoso musician, but what really made him famous was his ability to find equal musicians who, after their time in his band, started their own influential careers. Together and individually, they pioneered almost every genre of modern rhythmic music that exists today. The key to this talent, according to Miles himself, was his ability to listen. Not to the music that was played, but why it was played and by whom it was played. He hated it when musicians just got up and soloed over complex key changes without thinking about the intention behind the music. For him, it was the greatest artistic crime a musician could commit. He demanded that his musicians play straight from the soul, and he had the ear, the artistic sensibility and the intelligence to discern whether they did or not.

Bringing it back to heavy metal, I think Nevermore is a good example to use in this regard, as they are a band that is probably a little more popular on this forum than, say, Dissection, whose expression is extremely niche. Nevermore is a band known for its virtuoso guitarist Jeff Loomis, whose skills are beyond impressive, but Loomis recently admitted in an interview that the reason Nevermore was so special in their time was the mix of personalities and especially Warrel Dane. Dane's eccentric character and unique view of the world and art in general inspired Loomis to write music that he could never have written on his own. It brought out something in him that had otherwise lain dormant. Sure, there are a lot of people out there who can sing like Dane, while there probably aren't that many who can play like Loomis, but could anyone really imagine Nevermore without Dane?

The answer is clearly no, and I think the reason is obvious. It would lack the band's Dionysian character, and without it, there is no Nevermore.

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nakzox
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2022 11:35 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 1:55 pm 
 

As others have mentioned in this thread, metal is probably in the best spot it's ever been because it's all so out there in the open via YouTube/Spotify/Bandcamp, that anyone can find it and get sucked in as much or as little as they want. I never have a shortage of new stuff to listen to, both new releases and stuff from 20+ years ago.

Sure, it would be nice if the musicians made more money off it, but that's how the industry is these days, and there are "starving artists", if you will, in all genres and is not unique to metal. I doubt anyone is starting a metal band these days is hoping to make big bucks off it. They know what they're getting into, and do it for the passion, which I would certainly prefer to the bands who were "selling out" pretty much from day one with derivative stuff of derivative stuff.

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