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TheUnhinged
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 272
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:36 pm 
 

Diplomate wrote:
TheUnhinged wrote:

Thanks. I had a debate in the genre complaint thread, and it turned out I still don't completely understand this genre. I asked real goths what they think about gothic metal, and they said that many of those elements we perceive as gothic rock influences are in fact just stadium hard rock. I hear actual gothic rock elements in Paradise Lost, ToT's Aegis and Tristania (starting with Beyond the Veil), but those "gothic rock" elements in My Dying Bride and Draconian just sound like hard rock to me. If you have a good understanding of the genre, could you please give me some examples of their songs that have gothic rock influences?

Also, if you heard Tristania's Widows Weeds, do you hear gothic rock elements there? In my opinion, the only gothic metal song on that album is Angellore, and the others are simply symphonic doom metal. I tried to argue for Tristania being labelled as gothic/death/doom metal, but other people didn't agree with me.

As for The Gathering, I don't hear any gothic rock elements in Mandylion, they just sound like death-doom to me. The only thing that reminds me of Cocteau Twins is the vocals, but musically I don't see anything else.


I would say that MDB's Turn Loose the Swans was a bit more inspired by neoclassical darkwave (specifically Dead Can Dance), which was an off-shoot of gothic rock. I have always felt that The Angel & the Dark River and Like Gods of the Sun were very heavily goth-influenced, and would go as far as to say they are comparable to what Type O Negative were doing in their Bloody Kisses era. That being said, even without the harsh vocals, the riffs still had a good bit of that death/doom aggression in the mix too, so it wasn't purely gothic metal.

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Mandylion was definitely not a death/doom album. Always was the only album from them I would consider death/doom. I'm kind of surprised you don't see more similarities between Mandylion and Cocteau Twins, I find that they are extremely similar. While I do consider Mandylion to be a doom album (and originally called it "atmospheric doom" rather than gothic doom), I find that the goth/ethereal wave influence is pretty undeniable.

Another gothic rock/ethereal wave band that I've seen Mandylion compared to is Opium Den, which I find is a spot-on comparison. I would say the same for Dead Can Dance's first album, which was a gothic rock/ethereal wave album.

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Compare to;

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With Theatre of Tragedy, Aegis was their true "gothic metal" album, though I felt there was still some influence of gothic rock in their earlier death/doom material as well. A lot of chorus effect on the guitars, mid-tempo sounding riffage, kind of a gravelly and echoey production that I would associate with gothic rock/deathrock.

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(on this particular track, the ending riff starting at 3:37 is very gothic rock sounding to me)
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Ditto with Tristania's early work. I do agree that Angellore was the "pure" gothic metal song of that album, though I would say that they were doing the same thing as Theatre of Tragedy in terms of playing some sort of goth-tinged death/doom. The song "Cease to Exist", for instance, is very Fields of the Nephilim sounding to me. Has that same chorusy sounding guitar tone, more mid-tempo and catchy sounding riffs, same gloomy but somewhat romantic ambiance.

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(Also, note the refrain of Midwintertears that starts at 1:32, which is very much in-line with that kind of catchy mid-tempo goth style riff)
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Draconian have always been a difficult band for me. They were clearly inspired by the goth/death/doom sound of the 90's, and seemed to take pretty closely to what Theatre of Tragedy and Tristania were doing on their first albums, but they really cleaned the sound up and made it lean a bit closer to the melodic death/doom sound that was becoming popular with bands like Swallow the Sun and October Tide. That being said, I feel as though their catchier, mid-tempo moments take a nod towards gothic rock. I think a lot of the time, though, them being listed as gothic metal is because they have a female vocalist and are a little too soft to be considered death/doom alone.

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Diplomate
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:04 pm
Posts: 162
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:56 pm 
 

TheUnhinged wrote:

Thanks, I now understand what is meant by gothic influences in these bands.

I didn't mention Tristania's Cease to Exist, but it's definitely gothic influenced. Another thing I noticed is that Tristania and Sirenia are more influenced by Fields of The Nephilim than other gothic rock bands. Sirenia's debut album really reminds me of Nephilim's Elizium album, especially if you compare the songs In Sumerian Haze and Wail of Sumer. It's bad I can't find more Nephilim influenced gothic metal bands, since they are the only gothic rock band I really enjoy.

As for Mandylion, some riffs in this album reminded me of death metal, but yeah, it's mostly an atmospheric doom album. Gothic influences weren't as obvious to me.

My Dying Bride is definitely more influenced by neoclassical darkwave than real gothic rock, in my opinion. I hear some gothic rock moments in their songs, but they aren't very frequent, they are mostly doom metal to me.

Draconian's gothic label now makes sense to me. I had a doubt whether those midtempo moments were gothic rock influenced or just melodic death-doom.

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TheUnhinged
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 272
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:47 pm 
 

Diplomate wrote:
TheUnhinged wrote:

Thanks, I now understand what is meant by gothic influences in these bands.

I didn't mention Tristania's Cease to Exist, but it's definitely gothic influenced. Another thing I noticed is that Tristania and Sirenia are more influenced by Fields of The Nephilim than other gothic rock bands. Sirenia's debut album really reminds me of Nephilim's Elizium album, especially if you compare the songs In Sumerian Haze and Wail of Sumer. It's bad I can't find more Nephilim influenced gothic metal bands, since they are the only gothic rock band I really enjoy.

As for Mandylion, some riffs in this album reminded me of death metal, but yeah, it's mostly an atmospheric doom album. Gothic influences weren't as obvious to me.

My Dying Bride is definitely more influenced by neoclassical darkwave than real gothic rock, in my opinion. I hear some gothic rock moments in their songs, but they aren't very frequent, they are mostly doom metal to me.

Draconian's gothic label now makes sense to me. I had a doubt whether those midtempo moments were gothic rock influenced or just melodic death-doom.


Yes, Sirenia's earliest albums are definitely a good example of gothic metal as well, Morten definitely pulled over a lot of the Fields of the Nephilim influences that he had brought to the table in Tristania's early work.

The thing about darkwave and ethereal wave is that they are directly linked to gothic rock, and were both considered a big part of the "goth" movement. This is where My Dying Bride and The Gathering tie into gothic music, as Turn Loose the Swans was heavily influenced by darkwave, as Mandylion was very much influenced by ethereal wave. Another good example of the latter (mixing ethereal wave with doom metal) would be As Divine Grace from Finland, who released their first full-length "Lumo" around the same. While their music was rooted in doom metal, there was some clear influence from ethereal wave, which would make it apt to be described as "gothic doom metal".

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With Draconian, I think if they were to muddy up the sound just a little bit with some more chorus and reverb, the gothic rock vibes would stick out a lot more. The riffing definitely is there at times, but the super clean production brings it closer to more melodeathy sounding stuff. I think a good comparison to this would be Saturnus as their "Martyre" album definitely had some gothic influences. I would go as far as to say they are doing the same thing that Draconian are doing.

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Diplomate
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:04 pm
Posts: 162
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:13 pm 
 

Now that we have sorted out gothic metal, could someone please explain to me what pagan metal is? Is it just a synonym for viking metal?

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tomcat_ha
Minister of Boiling Water

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 4879
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:33 am 
 

pagan metal is folk/black as far as i understand it.

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HviteGuden
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:24 am
Posts: 12
Location: Russia
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:56 am 
 

Diplomate wrote:
Now that we have sorted out gothic metal, could someone please explain to me what pagan metal is? Is it just a synonym for viking metal?

tomcat_ha wrote:
pagan metal is folk/black as far as i understand it.

I'd say, pagan metal is an any type of metal with pagan ideology and thematics. Majorly it's rooted in black metal, of course. That happened historically. Folk metal is a different thing, it's metal music with folk instruments. It can be related to pagan metal, but pagan metal doesn't necessarily have folk music influences. And viking metal should be taken as a kind of a pagan metal subgenre, based on the respective thematics. Pagan metal logically includes not only Scandinavian paganism, which historically became the most popular. We shouldn't forget about other kinds of paganism: Hellenic, Slavic, Celtic, etc.

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Diplomate
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:04 pm
Posts: 162
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:03 pm 
 

What do they mean when they say that Euronymous pioneered black metal tremolo picking? Isn't tremolo picking an old technique? There's lots of tremolo picking in death metal and melodeath, I can even hear it in Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden. What sets black metal's tremolo picking apart from the variants from the other genres?

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Kalimata
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:29 am
Posts: 72
Location: France
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:48 am 
 

Diplomate wrote:
What do they mean when they say that Euronymous pioneered black metal tremolo picking? Isn't tremolo picking an old technique? There's lots of tremolo picking in death metal and melodeath, I can even hear it in Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden. What sets black metal's tremolo picking apart from the variants from the other genres?


This question has been debated so many times that there should be no debate about it anymore. You can find by yourself many articles quoting Euronymous or other black metal musicians of the early 90's Norwegian scene about the specific tremolo picking technique in black metal.

Of course, tremolo picking has been used before the emergence of death and black metal. You may have heard of heavy metal subgenres known as thrash metal and speed metal? Judas Priest among others even used it in the late 70's. And if you want to go further, surf/garage-rock bands used it in the early 60's and rockabilly bands in the 50's. I stop here but we could talk of this technique in country, traditional folk musics and classical. Yeah, so long times Iron Maiden's Fear of the dark and melodeath!

The black metal tremolo picking technique was innovative because it used harmonic or dissonant open strings with raw distortion, giving black metal its own identity by departing it from death metal.

Now listen to the classic black metal albums and compare it to death or thrash metal albums. Don't you notice a difference?

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Diplomate
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:04 pm
Posts: 162
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:48 am 
 

Kalimata wrote:

This question has been debated so many times that there should be no debate about it anymore. You can find by yourself many articles quoting Euronymous or other black metal musicians of the early 90's Norwegian scene about the specific tremolo picking technique in black metal.

Of course, tremolo picking has been used before the emergence of death and black metal. You may have heard of heavy metal subgenres known as thrash metal and speed metal? Judas Priest among others even used it in the late 70's. And if you want to go further, surf/garage-rock bands used it in the early 60's and rockabilly bands in the 50's. I stop here but we could talk of this technique in country, traditional folk musics and classical. Yeah, so long times Iron Maiden's Fear of the dark and melodeath!

The black metal tremolo picking technique was innovative because it used harmonic or dissonant open strings with raw distortion, giving black metal its own identity by departing it from death metal.

Now listen to the classic black metal albums and compare it to death or thrash metal albums. Don't you notice a difference?

It's easy to tell a black metal album apart from a death metal one, but what about genres like melodeath or the others that can use both black and death metal elements? When I hear tremolo picking in a melodeath or a gothic metal album, how can I say whether it's a black or death metal one? Is it just the guitar tone?

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Opus
Veteran

Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:06 am
Posts: 2876
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:16 pm 
 

Black metal tremolo picking isn't just the picking, it's picking full chords with distortion which you guitaristically "shouldn't" do since it sounds like ass.
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Kalimata
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:29 am
Posts: 72
Location: France
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:55 pm 
 

Diplomate wrote:
It's easy to tell a black metal album apart from a death metal one, but what about genres like melodeath or the others that can use both black and death metal elements? When I hear tremolo picking in a melodeath or a gothic metal album, how can I say whether it's a black or death metal one? Is it just the guitar tone?


Not only the tone but the way of playing the chords and picking the strings in the same time, which you can easily hear on every quintessential black metal album.
Your question about melodeath and gothic metal doesn't make sense. These bands can use any type of tremolo picking depending on how they want to sound. If it's the black metal one, then you'll recognize it because it sounds... like black metal...
If you can't tell the difference then maybe you have to listen to more music.

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Diplomate
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:04 pm
Posts: 162
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:54 pm 
 

Kalimata wrote:
Not only the tone but the way of playing the chords and picking the strings in the same time, which you can easily hear on every quintessential black metal album.
Your question about melodeath and gothic metal doesn't make sense. These bands can use any type of tremolo picking depending on how they want to sound. If it's the black metal one, then you'll recognize it because it sounds... like black metal...
If you can't tell the difference then maybe you have to listen to more music.

I have listened to a lot of black, death and adjacent metal and don't hear the difference.
Ok, here are some examples with timestamps.
Mayhem — Freezing Moon (black metal).
Amon Amarth — Deceiver of the Gods (supposedly death metal)
Tristania - Wasteland's Caress (no idea)
Insomnium — Winter's Gate (death metal, right?)
Insomnium — Winter's Gate (another part and it sounds like black metal, although it's probably still death metal)
Mgła - Exercises in Futility I (black metal, but I don't hear any difference with the death metal ones)
Moonsorrow — Haaska (it's supposed to be black metal, I guess, but I don't hear any difference with the death metal examples)
So is there no way for me to understand the difference if I don't play the guitar? I just don't hear any difference sonically. I listened to Insomnium, Amon Amarth, Moonsorrow and Mgla in a row, and the only thing that differs is the guitar tone and the exact riffs that are being played.

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Kalimata
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:29 am
Posts: 72
Location: France
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:20 am 
 

Personally I can easily hear difference between a typical speed metal tremolo picking (Judas Priest' - "Exciter"), a thrash metal one ("Angel of Death" - Slayer), a death metal one (Obituary - "Back to one") and a black metal one (Immortal - "Unsilent storm in the North abyss"), just to name a few obvious examples. I've chosen these four metal subgenre for which tremolo picking is an important feature.

Then you have to understand music genres and subgenres are not closed boxes as you seem to perceive them, but they are porous and in relation, especially when they are close neighbours. A death metal band can use a black metal tremolo picking technique for one riff, a black metal band a death metal sounding one for one song, a gothic metal band a thrash metal one, and so on... according to how they want to sound.

Plus beyond the way these subgenres use a specific way of tremolo picking (which may be the guitar tone, the use of one string, two strings, full chord, palmuted, open chords, power chords, a combination of them...), tremolo picking is still... tremolo picking, which doesn't belong to any specific genre. It only can be a genre's major feature, but not a defining one. Sure there are tremolo picking techniques that are specific to a genre and help differentiate itself from others, but maybe you're asking too much when trying to put each tremolo picking you hear in a specific niche.
However, black metal tremolo picking technique may be the most distinguishable, as Euronymous and Snorre developed a truly innovative way which have been described many times and are easily recognizable. But that doesn't mean that all tremolo picking on the De Mysteriis Dom Satanas use this technique. The example you gave with "Freezing moon" might be confusing cause tremolo picking on this song still sounds pretty death metallish as this was one of their older songs...

It may be harder if you don't play guitar or any instrument indeed. But if you can't still make the obvious differences in tremolo picking between Mayhem, Amon Amarth and Tristania's way of tremolo picking... then you have to carry on listening to more classic albums to train your ears.
It truly takes time to understand the difference between metal subgenres. But don't forget to enjoy the music!

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Kalimata
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:29 am
Posts: 72
Location: France
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:00 am 
 

Quote:
I have listened to a lot of black, death and adjacent metal and don't hear the difference.
Ok, here are some examples with timestamps.
Mayhem — Freezing Moon (black metal).
Amon Amarth — Deceiver of the Gods (supposedly death metal)
Tristania - Wasteland's Caress (no idea)
Insomnium — Winter's Gate (death metal, right?)
Insomnium — Winter's Gate (another part and it sounds like black metal, although it's probably still death metal)
Mgła - Exercises in Futility I (black metal, but I don't hear any difference with the death metal ones)
Moonsorrow — Haaska (it's supposed to be black metal, I guess, but I don't hear any difference with the death metal examples)
So is there no way for me to understand the difference if I don't play the guitar? I just don't hear any difference sonically. I listened to Insomnium, Amon Amarth, Moonsorrow and Mgla in a row, and the only thing that differs is the guitar tone and the exact riffs that are being played.


As for the examples you gave:
- Mayhem tremolo picking riff on "Freezing Moon" definitely sounds more death metal than black metal.
- Amon Amarth sounds more like speed/thrash metal and sometimes melodic black metal on this one. Generally speaking, Amon Amarth don't sound very death metal to me and I don't consider melodeath to be a full death metal subgenre: it's closer to thrash metal with a lower guitar sounds with melodic black metal influences.
- There is not much guitar tremolo picking on Tristania's song. It's more about the bass guitar following the double kick. But when tremolo picking, the riffs sound more death metal and the leads sound epic like in traditional heavy metal, power metal or melodic black metal. The song in itself sounds like doom/death metal with black metal influences.
- No doubt for Insomnium, Moonsorrow and Mgla which sound pure black metal tremolo picking as far as these songs are concerned.

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Diplomate
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:04 pm
Posts: 162
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:14 am 
 

Thank you, your posts helped me a lot. I now see that I was looking for the wrong things.

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Skullycat
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:49 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Uzbekistan
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:42 pm 
 

Is Grunge a real genre? And what do you think are its characteristics?

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Kalimata
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:29 am
Posts: 72
Location: France
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:28 pm 
 

Skullycat wrote:
Is Grunge a real genre? And what do you think are its characteristics?


Interesting question. Eventhough grunge may be regarded as an umbrella term for a bunch of different sounding bands, I think it could be described as a subgenre of alternative/noise rock mixed with added pop, garage rock, punk rock, hard rock and metal elements, sometimes played all together and sometimes separately. What seems to be common to every grunge bands is the muddy walls of guitar/bass, the alternance of casual poppy parts and dissonant chords or melodies, the alternatively depressive and shouted hoarse vocals, and the overall... teen spirit! This may work for every band which is labelled grunge, but someone will suggest something better than I did, for sure! Anyway, my opinion is that grunge is a real genre.

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