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Frozen218
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 2:21 pm 
 

nakzox wrote:
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.


This is not a thread about accessibility, but about creativity. How easy or difficult something is to get hold of is not really relevant.

Frozen218 wrote:
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.


I am only quoting myself to keep the discussion on track.

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Hardworlder
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:42 pm
Posts: 205
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 2:26 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
nakzox wrote:
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.


This is not a thread about accessibility, but about creativity. How easy or difficult something is to get hold of is not really relevant.



I disagree. Accessibility matters a lot, it's all related. It allows bands to do whatever weird and creative shit they want and still get their music out there to their audience. The easier it is for bands to get in front of their (often small audiences) the more freedom they have to do whatever they want. It allows what would essentially have been a garage band of the 80s or 90s actually sell some stuff and make fans.

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Frozen218
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 2:37 pm 
 

Hardworlder wrote:
Frozen218 wrote:
nakzox wrote:
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.


This is not a thread about accessibility, but about creativity. How easy or difficult something is to get hold of is not really relevant.



I disagree. Accessibility matters a lot, it's all related. It allows bands to do whatever weird and creative shit they want and still get their music out there to their audience. The easier it is for bands to get in front of their (often small audiences) the more freedom they have to do whatever they want. It allows what would essentially have been a garage band of the 80s or 90s actually sell some stuff and make fans.


If you ask many sociologists, they will actually argue the exact opposite. They argue that online culture makes people less free because they are constantly aware of how everything they do will be received and therefore people will stick to what is socially accepted in their group. This means that heavy metal fans will make heavy metal that heavy metal fans find acceptable, and will refrain from adapting influences that are not already widely agreed upon. A clear sign of this is genre ghettoisation and superficial fusions of already accepted styles like black doom etc.

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Hardworlder
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:42 pm
Posts: 205
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 2:45 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
This is not a thread about accessibility, but about creativity. How easy or difficult something is to get hold of is not really relevant.





If you ask many sociologists, they will actually argue the exact opposite. They argue that online culture makes people less free because they are constantly aware of how everything they do will be received and therefore people will stick to what is socially accepted in their group. This means that heavy metal fans will make heavy metal that heavy metal fans find acceptable, and will refrain from adapting influences that are not already widely agreed upon. A clear sign of this is genre ghettoisation and superficial fusions of already accepted styles like black doom etc.



Agree to disagree I guess, all I know is that there are way more bands now doing really odd and creative stuff today than in 1995, and again, it's because they can record an entire album with acceptable quality at home and self publish.

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hells_unicorn
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 5:34 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
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.


I'll start my response by extending a small olive branch, this post better flushes out what you seem to be getting at, and while I don't think we're anywhere near being on the same page, this does give us a better point of reference. Now, as to your point:

I'm kind of the odd person out on this forum in that I have zero interest whatsoever in Nietzsche's philosophy, I studied his work for a bit as an undergraduate back in the early 2000s and found his points generally distasteful and, at times, nonsensical. I have more of a classically Greek view of philosophy that floats somewhere between being Aristotelean and Neo-Platonist. As such, I don't really have as Dionysian of a view of art as you and others on here likely do, my tastes lean heavily into what you would refer to as the Apollonian side of the coin. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that any Dionysian relationship I have with music arises from the Apollonian nature of it, my emotions are directly affected by things like harmonic relations, cadence choices, virtuosic passages and other technical aspects of the musical language. Superimposed upon lyrical content, dramatic content rarely appeals to my emotional state save maybe as an utter turn-off, I like content that is cleverly realized, symmetrically delivered, and usually tied in with some storyline or narrative (I'm a sucker for concept albums, particularly about historical events, sci-fi/fantasy narratives, etc.) As such, I'm one of this site's more vocal Nevermore detractors, largely due to Warrel Dane's input, his melodramatic vocal deliveries come off as technically sloppy and self-obsessed, and I generally struggle to relate to his lyrics.

I think the best way for me to sum up where we diverge here is simple, the things that you are looking for in qualifying something as "art" (taken in the high/impactful sense) are things I'm just not interested in. To me, when someone in a discussion about music starts jabbering on about how something lacks soul because of its technical characteristics (don't get me wrong, I enjoy Dave Gilmour's guitar playing, but I swear if I see one more jackass on a YouTube comment section for a song/video featuring Yngwie Malmsteen or a similar player dropping Gilmour's name as being superior because he "played with soul"...), they may as well be speaking in a language I don't understand. To me, "playing with soul" is a cop-out used by people who simply prefer simplicity over complexity. I'm not saying that one is necessarily better than the other, and there is something to be said for accessibility and not being solely self-indulgent (there are examples of musical pieces where Yngwie tones it down considerably and winds up with something that could pass for radio), but I deal in concrete concepts, and I see nothing about a guitarist whaling away with a few streams of impressive licks as being any less soulful than whatever Miles Davis would consider it. To use another classic example, when one says "Too many notes Mozart", Mozart is well within his right to respond "No, it has exactly the right number of notes".

Frozen218 wrote:
If you ask many sociologists, they will actually argue the exact opposite. They argue that online culture makes people less free because they are constantly aware of how everything they do will be received and therefore people will stick to what is socially accepted in their group. This means that heavy metal fans will make heavy metal that heavy metal fans find acceptable, and will refrain from adapting influences that are not already widely agreed upon. A clear sign of this is genre ghettoisation and superficial fusions of already accepted styles like black doom etc.


Putting aside the fact that, like the field of psychology, I'm generally skeptical of sociology as a viable way of explaining the human experience, this assessment of online culture does not reflect my own experience. At most, online culture is a magnified version of the original concept of the public square, it simply augments and speeds up the process of feedback reaching the creator. I feel no constraints in how I choose to create music, and I've had plenty of trolls rip on my band for writing music that is generally melodic and steeped in high fantasy lyrics. People can call me a nerd until the end of days, I enjoy what I choose to enjoy and create accordingly, and I feel zero pressure to conform to what anyone else wants. In fact, I feel far less pressure to go with the crowd now than I did in school during the early to mid 90s when the internet had little influence over things.
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Frozen218
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 6:10 pm 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
Frozen218 wrote:
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.


I'll start my response by extending a small olive branch, this post better flushes out what you seem to be getting at, and while I don't think we're anywhere near being on the same page, this does give us a better point of reference. Now, as to your point:

I'm kind of the odd person out on this forum in that I have zero interest whatsoever in Nietzsche's philosophy, I studied his work for a bit as an undergraduate back in the early 2000s and found his points generally distasteful and, at times, nonsensical. I have more of a classically Greek view of philosophy that floats somewhere between being Aristotelean and Neo-Platonist. As such, I don't really have as Dionysian of a view of art as you and others on here likely do, my tastes lean heavily into what you would refer to as the Apollonian side of the coin. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that any Dionysian relationship I have with music arises from the Apollonian nature of it, my emotions are directly affected by things like harmonic relations, cadence choices, virtuosic passages and other technical aspects of the musical language. Superimposed upon lyrical content, dramatic content rarely appeals to my emotional state save maybe as an utter turn-off, I like content that is cleverly realized, symmetrically delivered, and usually tied in with some storyline or narrative (I'm a sucker for concept albums, particularly about historical events, sci-fi/fantasy narratives, etc.) As such, I'm one of this site's more vocal Nevermore detractors, largely due to Warrel Dane's input, his melodramatic vocal deliveries come off as technically sloppy and self-obsessed, and I generally struggle to relate to his lyrics.

I think the best way for me to sum up where we diverge here is simple, the things that you are looking for in qualifying something as "art" (taken in the high/impactful sense) are things I'm just not interested in. To me, when someone in a discussion about music starts jabbering on about how something lacks soul because of its technical characteristics (don't get me wrong, I enjoy Dave Gilmour's guitar playing, but I swear if I see one more jackass on a YouTube comment section for a song/video featuring Yngwie Malmsteen or a similar player dropping Gilmour's name as being superior because he "played with soul"...), they may as well be speaking in a language I don't understand. To me, "playing with soul" is a cop-out used by people who simply prefer simplicity over complexity. I'm not saying that one is necessarily better than the other, and there is something to be said for accessibility and not being solely self-indulgent (there are examples of musical pieces where Yngwie tones it down considerably and winds up with something that could pass for radio), but I deal in concrete concepts, and I see nothing about a guitarist whaling away with a few streams of impressive licks as being any less soulful than whatever Miles Davis would consider it. To use another classic example, when one says "Too many notes Mozart", Mozart is well within his right to respond "No, it has exactly the right number of notes".

Frozen218 wrote:
If you ask many sociologists, they will actually argue the exact opposite. They argue that online culture makes people less free because they are constantly aware of how everything they do will be received and therefore people will stick to what is socially accepted in their group. This means that heavy metal fans will make heavy metal that heavy metal fans find acceptable, and will refrain from adapting influences that are not already widely agreed upon. A clear sign of this is genre ghettoisation and superficial fusions of already accepted styles like black doom etc.


Putting aside the fact that, like the field of psychology, I'm generally skeptical of sociology as a viable way of explaining the human experience, this assessment of online culture does not reflect my own experience. At most, online culture is a magnified version of the original concept of the public square, it simply augments and speeds up the process of feedback reaching the creator. I feel no constraints in how I choose to create music, and I've had plenty of trolls rip on my band for writing music that is generally melodic and steeped in high fantasy lyrics. People can call me a nerd until the end of days, I enjoy what I choose to enjoy and create accordingly, and I feel zero pressure to conform to what anyone else wants. In fact, I feel far less pressure to go with the crowd now than I did in school during the early to mid 90s when the internet had little influence over things.


Since you claim you don't care what others think of you, I hope you don't take this as an insult, but what you are describing, as far as it is possible to describe yourself in such short terms, is a left-brain psychology obsessed with systems that I personally do not consider an artistic temperament. This is perhaps why you cannot relate to people who are highly emotional and less rationally thinking, such as, for example, a Warrel Dane. To you, being emotional like that seems self-absorbed and out of bounds, but art is really about the emotions, and few appreciate it strictly from a technical perspective of sound and arrangement. It is mainly limited to some people on the autistic spectrum who are by design blind to the world of emotions, or at least the emotions that a normal person would feel.

There's nothing wrong with that, but it's a form of blindness that rarely translates into art that's very interesting. But if you can combine a charismatic personality with a deep understanding of a craft, there's a chance you can produce something truly special. To be truly artistic is to be a prophet, to be able to see what is not there, not simply to replicate pre-existing patterns.

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Spiner202
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 2728
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 7:31 pm 
 

Not really relevant to the thread, but I wanted to comment on this outstanding point:

hells_unicorn wrote:
but I swear if I see one more jackass on a YouTube comment section for a song/video featuring Yngwie Malmsteen or a similar player dropping Gilmour's name as being superior because he "played with soul"...), they may as well be speaking in a language I don't understand. To me, "playing with soul" is a cop-out used by people who simply prefer simplicity over complexity.

Preach! Seriously, we're at the point where people say it's an unpopular opinion to prefer simple stuff over complex stuff because of "soul", when in reality, if you like shreddy stuff, you're in the minority at this point.

Give me the fast stuff all day.

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King_of_Arnor
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:35 pm
Posts: 749
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 7:57 pm 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
Not really relevant to the thread, but I wanted to comment on this outstanding point:

hells_unicorn wrote:
but I swear if I see one more jackass on a YouTube comment section for a song/video featuring Yngwie Malmsteen or a similar player dropping Gilmour's name as being superior because he "played with soul"...), they may as well be speaking in a language I don't understand. To me, "playing with soul" is a cop-out used by people who simply prefer simplicity over complexity.

Preach! Seriously, we're at the point where people say it's an unpopular opinion to prefer simple stuff over complex stuff because of "soul", when in reality, if you like shreddy stuff, you're in the minority at this point.

Give me the fast stuff all day.

For me it all depends on what the songs need. Gilmour was perfect for Floyd but his style wouldn't fit in most metal genres (except maybe doom?)
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MetlaNZ
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:45 pm
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Location: Lost in Necropolis
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 7:57 pm 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
Not really relevant to the thread, but I wanted to comment on this outstanding point:

hells_unicorn wrote:
but I swear if I see one more jackass on a YouTube comment section for a song/video featuring Yngwie Malmsteen or a similar player dropping Gilmour's name as being superior because he "played with soul"...), they may as well be speaking in a language I don't understand. To me, "playing with soul" is a cop-out used by people who simply prefer simplicity over complexity.

Preach! Seriously, we're at the point where people say it's an unpopular opinion to prefer simple stuff over complex stuff because of "soul", when in reality, if you like shreddy stuff, you're in the minority at this point.

Give me the fast stuff all day.

Give me fast, slow, complex, simple and everything in between. It's whatever the song requires to make it a great song or work of art that matters the most.

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Frozen218
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Posts: 211
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 8:11 pm 
 

MetlaNZ wrote:
Spiner202 wrote:
Not really relevant to the thread, but I wanted to comment on this outstanding point:

hells_unicorn wrote:
but I swear if I see one more jackass on a YouTube comment section for a song/video featuring Yngwie Malmsteen or a similar player dropping Gilmour's name as being superior because he "played with soul"...), they may as well be speaking in a language I don't understand. To me, "playing with soul" is a cop-out used by people who simply prefer simplicity over complexity.

Preach! Seriously, we're at the point where people say it's an unpopular opinion to prefer simple stuff over complex stuff because of "soul", when in reality, if you like shreddy stuff, you're in the minority at this point.

Give me the fast stuff all day.

Give me fast, slow, complex, simple and everything in between. It's whatever the song requires to make it a great song or work of art that matters the most.


Exactly. Whatever it takes to express what you need to express is the right way to go. Sometimes it is an outward intensity as in a heavy and fast song and other times an inward intensity as in a ballad. Neither of these approaches is more correct than the other, as they both reflect different aspects of human psychology.

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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 9:32 pm 
 

Frozen218 wrote:
Since you claim you don't care what others think of you, I hope you don't take this as an insult, but what you are describing, as far as it is possible to describe yourself in such short terms, is a left-brain psychology obsessed with systems that I personally do not consider an artistic temperament.


I don't take it as an insult, and you're definitely not the first person to tell me this in a conversation about music or any other artform. It's actually an all-encompassing thing with me as well, I enjoy working within deliberately metered and rhyme-schemed forms of poetry that most modern students of the craft would consider classicist and overtly conservative.

Quote:
This is perhaps why you cannot relate to people who are highly emotional and less rationally thinking, such as, for example, a Warrel Dane. To you, being emotional like that seems self-absorbed and out of bounds, but art is really about the emotions, and few appreciate it strictly from a technical perspective of sound and arrangement. It is mainly limited to some people on the autistic spectrum who are by design blind to the world of emotions, or at least the emotions that a normal person would feel.


I actually have a high functioning form of autism, I wasn't diagnosed until after I graduated high school, and don't worry, I don't really get offended by this stuff anymore. I actually like Dane's pre-Nevermore work and the later Nevermore albums "This Godless Endeavor" and "The Obsidian Conspiracy" after he toned down some of the more obnoxious aspects of his vocal delivery do agree with my ears a bit more than the middle-period stuff.

Quote:
There's nothing wrong with that, but it's a form of blindness that rarely translates into art that's very interesting. But if you can combine a charismatic personality with a deep understanding of a craft, there's a chance you can produce something truly special. To be truly artistic is to be a prophet, to be able to see what is not there, not simply to replicate pre-existing patterns.


My previous band Frost Giant had this sort of dynamic, I've had people tell me that they found our LP The Harlot Star to be a more intuitive experience than my subsequent material with Ominous Glory (this is based on a small sampling of roughly 200 people between both bands' social media pages). In my experience, the flaw in trying to combine these two opposite personality types in the process of creating art is that it tends to have chaotic interpersonal results, the kind that ends friendships. You'll note that for whatever artistic merit one can ascribe to Nevermore's body of work, Loomis and Dane didn't part of particularly good terms and even if Dane had lived longer I doubt they would have ever worked together again. We may never fully know why this came to pass, but if my own experience is any indicator, I'd say it was a power struggle between the two of them or Loomis feeling like he was being micromanaged to the point where he couldn't take it anymore.

Though I've never been in a band that had a level of success anywhere near what Nevermore achieved, every band I've been with where there was an intuitive/emotional/artsy captain steering the ship and I was the designated technician tasked with creating riffs, melodies and ornamentation but was a secondary person when it came to finalizing songs and production, I came away feeling like I'd been putting in time as an indentured servant for an ungrateful patron. My experience recording The Harlot Star largely consisted of me doing what I was told by our singer (whom was involved in writing and arranging, but relied on me for most of the substantial stuff), and having little freedom to vary what I was doing once I had come up with something that was deemed satisfactory. After several weeks of this and the project supposedly being in the can I decided I'd had enough and quit, and within the span of a couple days, 90% of my solos were rerecorded by my replacement, ergo our singer brought someone in to rerecord parts of a completed album out of spite. I'm not saying that Dane was the same kind of control freak douche bag that I was dealing with, but I have to wonder sometimes given the circumstances surrounding Loomis' departure. Chaotic personalities, which create the sort of art that you prefer, relate to others in a chaotic fashion, and if what I suspect happened was actually the case, I can't say I blame Loomis for taking a gig as a de facto shredder with no songwriting input in Arch Enemy, at least he would now know where he stands.

Anyhow, I ran off on a bit of a tangent there, I hope this doesn't derail the thread. One final thing I'll say, playing within a pre-existing style does not preclude one from creating something new, and I think it's unrealistic to presuppose that stylistic revolutions tantamount to the pioneering works of thrash and death metal in the 80s are something that simply happens on a regular basis, but from your line of argumentation, the sort of visceral sonic revolution you are seeking after has less to do with stylistic innovation and more to do with some abstract form of self-discovery that might only have an incidental relationship to the game of notes around it.
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Last edited by hells_unicorn on Fri Dec 08, 2023 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wrldeatr
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 10:17 pm 
 

You're talking about two different things. Popularity/cultural relevance on the one hand, and meaning/significance on the other. You're assuming they're related but they're not.

EDM/hophip/reggeton/rap kids aren't looking for meaning, they are looking for a quick fix. Basically you answered you're own question. EDM is popular because of drugs and sex, so metal would have to go back to drugs and sex. The old metal guys can't keep that lifestyle up anymore and the younger metal musicians have rebelled against that and are going for a healthier lifestyle. Not to mention that metal doesn't appeal to girls anymore so that's the end of that.

Another thing you aptly demonstrate about metal. It's a much more intellectual affair than just genital, psychotropic, and emotional (with the exception of black metal kids who find in black metal, of all things, some type of emotional answer to their perennial existential crisis).

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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 11:26 pm 
 

Wrldeatr wrote:
You're talking about two different things. Popularity/cultural relevance on the one hand, and meaning/significance on the other. You're assuming they're related but they're not.

EDM/hophip/reggeton/rap kids aren't looking for meaning, they are looking for a quick fix. Basically you answered you're own question. EDM is popular because of drugs and sex, so metal would have to go back to drugs and sex. The old metal guys can't keep that lifestyle up anymore and the younger metal musicians have rebelled against that and are going for a healthier lifestyle. Not to mention that metal doesn't appeal to girls anymore so that's the end of that.

Another thing you aptly demonstrate about metal. It's a much more intellectual affair than just genital, psychotropic, and emotional (with the exception of black metal kids who find in black metal, of all things, some type of emotional answer to their perennial existential crisis).


By culturally relevant, I primarily mean something that is relevant to heavy metal culture. Music that drives the genre forward instead of spinning the wheels. The popularity of classic heavy metal declined sharply during the 90s, but the genre still managed to come back with new expressions that reflected the zeitgeist of the decade. If you can do that, sometimes you manage to hit something so hard that it ripples into mainstream culture, like extreme metal actually did. This is important not only because popularity is good in itself, but because you want your culture to be as vital and powerful as possible. The alternative is that your culture is weak and impotent.

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Goatizer
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2023 11:34 pm 
 

Another big part of it is it’s not shock value anymore, by and large it already was revolutionary in lack morale and morals as offspin. It already was successful as far as being revolutionary, for example even people not into anti Christian music adapted to atheism and secularism widely, pretty much all your doing is being degeneracy’s doll or a vote for a communist overthrow really overwhelmingly on your sleeve. It’s just not shocking because secularism crept in over night. Even the pope is secular. So you know as far as shock or whatever, and being necro? That’s actually hip, it wasn’t hip when metal wasn’t fashionable and secularism isn’t fashionable though, so it’s just not that edgy or doesn’t come across as quite as edges or macabre, as a lot of people increasingly secular actually appreciate you. It’s not you against the world. It’s you against regular joes on behalf of communism, and really until it lyrically addresses that it’s just not really marketable to who would’ve been into it when it was “dangerous”. However the thing is atheism is lying to yourself, it’s hard not to be at least agnostic because of what life is which ultimately leads back to god, so when people are not secular or secularism is less popular, and people are more religious that’s when metal becomes a form of sadomasochism like it used to be, which when you combine that expressed in actual playing ability versus mediocre musicianship is a winning formula for loose cannons that can push the envelope, let’s face it if you where into extreme metal in a Christian non secular world you were a sadomasochist... but when secularism is hip, your just a darling, and what good is that to a sadomasochist? and to think the 90’s almost had the 70’s killed. All I’m saying out is if you think metal was not revolutionary, and you wanted it to win, you’re cheating yourself if you don’t savour the moment because all secularism does is make people aware of contrast


Last edited by Goatizer on Sun Dec 10, 2023 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 12:21 am 
 

I'm not necessarily responding to any one person's posts on this point, but I don't really see the point in being a "edgelord" as a form of artistic expression, it always struck me more as being an attention-getting device rather than a deep form of communicating one's values or viewpoints. Being edgy is largely relative to whatever culture is predominant, so if we take Goatizer's point about secularism being the cultural hegemon in western society, we do have a pretty blatant example of a counterculture expression via a band like Frost Like Ashes [a mid-western Christian (un)black metal band] writing a song about an abortion doctor being murdered in a lyrical diatribe about a form of cosmic justice that would definitely offend the philosophical sensibilities of 98% of the metal community, secular and semi-secular alike, to speak nothing for the genteel values of the general public at present.

To be fair, I wouldn't go so far as to say that writing political or ideologically charged philosophical songs would itself qualify as edgelord content, if it comes from a genuine motivation other than trolling the other side it would be quite the opposite even if it isn't universally accessible due to it's lyrical message. This whole discussion seems to be dancing around a mixture of arguments for greater mass appeal in metal and towing a certain ideological line that is specific to a time and context that I would argue is long past. On the mass appeal side of things, I think the internet has largely democratized access to whatever music is out there, and the result is a lesser degree of mass movement towards a singular style due to monopolistic market influences via the recording industry being greatly weakened, which I would argue is a very positive thing for the metal community on both a production and consumption level. On the ideological end, I don't have enough interest to really speak on it in great depth, but if being a metal head is predicated on towing a certain ideological line, it can't really achieve any sort of lasting mass appeal as the majority of people are either oblivious, apathetic, or otherwise ambivalent to most fringe political or philosophical movements.
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Goatizer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 12:25 am 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
I'm not necessarily responding to any one person's posts on this point, but I don't really see the point in being a "edgelord" as a form of artistic expression, it always struck me more as being an attention-getting device rather than a deep form of communicating one's values or viewpoints. Being edgy is largely relative to whatever culture is predominant, so if we take Goatizer's point about secularism being the cultural hegemon in western society, we do have a pretty blatant example of a counterculture expression via a band like Frost Like Ashes [a mid-western Christian (un)black metal band] writing a song about an abortion doctor being murdered in a lyrical diatribe about a form of cosmic justice that would definitely offend the philosophical sensibilities of 98% of the metal community, secular and semi-secular alike, to speak nothing for the genteel values of the general public at present.

To be fair, I wouldn't go so far as to say that writing political or ideologically charged philosophical songs would itself qualify as edgelord content, if it comes from a genuine motivation other than trolling the other side it would be quite the opposite even if it isn't universally accessible due to it's lyrical message. This whole discussion seems to be dancing around a mixture of arguments for greater mass appeal in metal and towing a certain ideological line that is specific to a time and context that I would argue is long past. On the mass appeal side of things, I think the internet has largely democratized access to whatever music is out there, and the result is a lesser degree of mass movement towards a singular style due to monopolistic market influences via the recording industry being greatly weakened, which I would argue is a very positive thing for the metal community on both a production and consumption level. On the ideological end, I don't have enough interest to really speak on it in great depth, but if being a metal head is predicated on towing a certain ideological line, it can't really achieve any sort of lasting mass appeal as the majority of people are either oblivious, apathetic, or otherwise ambivalent to most fringe political or philosophical movements.


No but madness pushes envelopes at least if you can toe the line, you have to remember when slayer and exodus started playing in the states, y’know you actually had to be a lot more of a freak with such an increased amount religiousness around, as oppossed to today, where secularism is regular joe, the secular we’rent regular joes when exodus started playing I guess John Lennon made it a lot easier with “imagine” combine that with helter smelter and what have you got? I guess it was really only ever so edgy, however, when everyone is religious, you attract sadomasochist which if that can actually be expressed on an instrument through proficient skill level? That’s the winning formula, no chops it falls flat though

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Goatizer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 12:57 am 
 

Another thing to is to an untrained ear it really is a confusing wall of noise, does that melody symbolize evil without genre defining generic art and applications, is that really macabre or numinous in general, like how much 80’s horror movie scores inspired melody. But if you’re trying to be macabre, is that actually a macabre riff if there is no art to define generic melodies and genre staples to accompany what your a clone of, is that actually macabre or evil, or just numinous in general?

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Goatizer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 1:32 am 
 

When it goes from I’m going to kick your ass to poor me, it enivitably always loses, that’s why rock died, masochism without sadism is a losing battle at least if you want to achieve something in metal, you have to try to bring out a blood lust really

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Goatizer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 3:25 am 
 

Another thing two, is metal heads got a free pass on hippies the first time around, and after hippies had short hair for two decades, metal heads always being about death stopped getting a free ride on hippies and actually started getting recognized as “satanic nazis” like if you couldn’t live a sheltered life, you actually had to be prepared to throw down sometimes because people were getting testier, but oh what happend? Hippies reclaimed their heritage, long hair is again considered hippy fasion, and metal socially gets a free pass again

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Frozen218
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 1:57 pm 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
Frozen218 wrote:
Since you claim you don't care what others think of you, I hope you don't take this as an insult, but what you are describing, as far as it is possible to describe yourself in such short terms, is a left-brain psychology obsessed with systems that I personally do not consider an artistic temperament.


I don't take it as an insult, and you're definitely not the first person to tell me this in a conversation about music or any other artform. It's actually an all-encompassing thing with me as well, I enjoy working within deliberately metered and rhyme-schemed forms of poetry that most modern students of the craft would consider classicist and overtly conservative.

Quote:
This is perhaps why you cannot relate to people who are highly emotional and less rationally thinking, such as, for example, a Warrel Dane. To you, being emotional like that seems self-absorbed and out of bounds, but art is really about the emotions, and few appreciate it strictly from a technical perspective of sound and arrangement. It is mainly limited to some people on the autistic spectrum who are by design blind to the world of emotions, or at least the emotions that a normal person would feel.


I actually have a high functioning form of autism, I wasn't diagnosed until after I graduated high school, and don't worry, I don't really get offended by this stuff anymore. I actually like Dane's pre-Nevermore work and the later Nevermore albums "This Godless Endeavor" and "The Obsidian Conspiracy" after he toned down some of the more obnoxious aspects of his vocal delivery do agree with my ears a bit more than the middle-period stuff.

Quote:
There's nothing wrong with that, but it's a form of blindness that rarely translates into art that's very interesting. But if you can combine a charismatic personality with a deep understanding of a craft, there's a chance you can produce something truly special. To be truly artistic is to be a prophet, to be able to see what is not there, not simply to replicate pre-existing patterns.


My previous band Frost Giant had this sort of dynamic, I've had people tell me that they found our LP The Harlot Star to be a more intuitive experience than my subsequent material with Ominous Glory (this is based on a small sampling of roughly 200 people between both bands' social media pages). In my experience, the flaw in trying to combine these two opposite personality types in the process of creating art is that it tends to have chaotic interpersonal results, the kind that ends friendships. You'll note that for whatever artistic merit one can ascribe to Nevermore's body of work, Loomis and Dane didn't part of particularly good terms and even if Dane had lived longer I doubt they would have ever worked together again. We may never fully know why this came to pass, but if my own experience is any indicator, I'd say it was a power struggle between the two of them or Loomis feeling like he was being micromanaged to the point where he couldn't take it anymore.

Though I've never been in a band that had a level of success anywhere near what Nevermore achieved, every band I've been with where there was an intuitive/emotional/artsy captain steering the ship and I was the designated technician tasked with creating riffs, melodies and ornamentation but was a secondary person when it came to finalizing songs and production, I came away feeling like I'd been putting in time as an indentured servant for an ungrateful patron. My experience recording The Harlot Star largely consisted of me doing what I was told by our singer (whom was involved in writing and arranging, but relied on me for most of the substantial stuff), and having little freedom to vary what I was doing once I had come up with something that was deemed satisfactory. After several weeks of this and the project supposedly being in the can I decided I'd had enough and quit, and within the span of a couple days, 90% of my solos were rerecorded by my replacement, ergo our singer brought someone in to rerecord parts of a completed album out of spite. I'm not saying that Dane was the same kind of control freak douche bag that I was dealing with, but I have to wonder sometimes given the circumstances surrounding Loomis' departure. Chaotic personalities, which create the sort of art that you prefer, relate to others in a chaotic fashion, and if what I suspect happened was actually the case, I can't say I blame Loomis for taking a gig as a de facto shredder with no songwriting input in Arch Enemy, at least he would now know where he stands.

Anyhow, I ran off on a bit of a tangent there, I hope this doesn't derail the thread. One final thing I'll say, playing within a pre-existing style does not preclude one from creating something new, and I think it's unrealistic to presuppose that stylistic revolutions tantamount to the pioneering works of thrash and death metal in the 80s are something that simply happens on a regular basis, but from your line of argumentation, the sort of visceral sonic revolution you are seeking after has less to do with stylistic innovation and more to do with some abstract form of self-discovery that might only have an incidental relationship to the game of notes around it.


I appreciate your openness and it explains your perspective on music and what you value in life in general. We humans tend to feel that what we are best at is most important and this also applies to people with autism. For those who don't know, autism is a spectrum of sensory disorders that can manifest in many ways, but some of the more dominant symptoms are emotional immaturity and a fixation on things rather than people. The reason fantasy fiction, with its simple stories of good and evil and caricatured characters, is so popular with autistic people is because they can be understood without the ability to pick up on the complex subtleties of human interaction.

It makes sense that you dislike Nietzsche, since Nietzsche's most valuable contribution to philosophy is the paradoxical nature of his arguments. He will never reach a final conclusion, but constantly shifts to a new perspective to reveal further complexities. One moment he will spew violent anti-Semitic rhetoric, the next he will praise the Jews as a masterful adversary who deceived the naive Aryans with their ancient texts. It also makes sense that you want to reduce the music to its core elements, as that is the logical aspect of music. Music theory, as complex as it may be, is still much easier to understand than the mercurial nature of highly creative people with the ability to mesmerise the masses with their passion and charismatic complexity. So why not just ignore all that and claim that it has no value at all and that the only thing these people bring to the table besides being obnoxious is the actual recorded notes.

The problem with this is that it's like analysing a painting while being colorblind. There's a whole dimension, and an important one, that goes completely unseen, and what you're left with is bad analysis.

All this said, I have a great love for autistic people and I respect their talent for craft. I have an autistic friend who knows every knitting and sewing technique from prehistoric times to the present, and she is impressively good at replicating clothing from almost any era. I just don't find it artistic, and my problem with a lot of the current trends in heavy metal is this conservative aspect where people are just replicating the past within set boundaries.

To bring the conversation back to what I believe to be true creativity, I would like to share the following article about Kay Redfield Jamison's famous book Touched with Fire about the connection between creativity and bipolar disorder, that is, between creativity and very strong emotions, rather than a Apollonian focus on craftsmanship:

https://neuwritesd.org/2014/08/28/creat ... -disorder/

“Creativity is the ability to produce something that is novel and also useful or beautiful in a very general sense.”

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Goatizer
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2023 3:47 pm 
 

To the guy saying it’s all about feel, I’d argue, not being a proficient musician, is like expressing with a crayon instead of a paint brush, sure technicality just to be difficult is banal, but in no way is actually Being a good musician suggestive that feel is actually compromised if you listen to everything out there, in fact feel often only becomes increasingly dynamic. That said, I enjoy less is more approach, however I’m not the person that needs to start listening to metal again to go back to its glory days. Sometimes it hard for something to stand out without a little flare

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MidnightDistortions
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:40 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2023 10:03 pm 
 

From what I've seen is that the more popular 'metal' bands stray from metal almost entirely and focus on the pop side which to some people they seem to think 'this is how we save metal'.

But then it's basically no longer metal. Symphonic and power metal may have gained a little bit of popularity such as Nightwish. Metalheads involved in bands are either too traditional to want to experiment or too afraid to because they don't want the hate. Extreme metal can only get so far because many people don't like screaming/harsh vocals or chaotic noise.

But is there a way to experiment to gain popularity yet still sound traditional?
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