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Veracs
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:56 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:08 am 
 

This thread is not about the early nineties incursion of thrash bands going into the realm of groove metal, rather its about the tendency for power/thrash bands from the eighties to water their songs down with groove riffing. For those who have a vague inkling what I mean, why do you think it is a common occurrence for bands that played a faster tempo to devolve into chugging chords later in their career? I don't want to turn this into a plague of posting Youtube links, but for instance the issue happens from bands from across the spectrum from Agent Steel to Testament to Vicious Rumors. Why is it that these bands lose their ability to create the powerful faster riffs of their youth, is it just age setting in or the fact that the band is already well entrenched in the slower songwriting?
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:25 am 
 

Agent Steel and Vicious Rumors have both put out awesome stuff in their latter days. I don't see "groove" riffs like this as a plague, not to the degree some people do. It's about context, and there are ways to do this kind of sound well. It's about arranging a song the right way so it hits hard and achieves a desired effect. It's really not watered down at all, just not the exact same as before.

As to why, well my guess is they just want to sound as heavy as fuck. I think these bands would have loved to sound like this in the 80s, with this kind of battering, tremendous guitar tone, and now they're just trying to get the most out of it, if that makes sense. Back in the heyday they couldn't achieve such a sound simply because of production limitations, but now that they can, why not go for the sound they had always envisioned for themselves? Just speculation, really, but I always figured this was a part of it. I don't think it's an issue of groove riffing, just about production and guitar tone. The actual guitar work, while it might not be as fast, is still pretty classic metal influenced and doesn't sound like Pantera or anything (well, Agent Steel kind of did) - it's just the guitar tone that sounds super slick and heavy, and I think that's attractive to these bands.
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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:41 am 
 

I think Emp's got a pretty good theory to it there, production ability. Effectively that sound was impossible back then, suddenly it was, so bands did it as a new sound. As for exactly why so many bands actually like to do it I'm completely lost, it's a style of riff that kills almost any genre it touches (You should add prog metal to the thrash and power), but that's just me. My best guess is that it's the easiest way to make a quick and nimble song sound "mean" and "heavy", even if it does it in a shitty way, I guess there are a lot of really lazy bands. Also in the power school, many songs are written for vocal hooks, so plausibly it's just a case of the guiutarist chucking together something sonically large enough to fill the void under a predetermined vocal hook, although both of those excuses make me feel a bit harsh on judging all these bands and lazy hacks who don't give a shit...

I've got SOME tolerance for it in power metal, namely because it's no worse than the genre's other firm favourite, the 16th note chord progression. It's got absolutely no place in thrash though, thrash should riff the fuck out 100% of the time with reckless abandon, chugs fail this.
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Morton Salt
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:25 pm
Posts: 155
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:10 am 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
I've got SOME tolerance for it in power metal, namely because it's no worse than the genre's other firm favourite, the 16th note chord progression. It's got absolutely no place in thrash though, thrash should riff the fuck out 100% of the time with reckless abandon, chugs fail this.


I don't know, I think a well-placed chug riff during a thrash break can sound totally killer. I love when thrash bands toss crushing mosh parts into their songs. I do agree that I like my metal to be high speed riff fests, but a chuggy slow part here and there doesn't hurt at all.

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iAmDisturbed
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 10:31 am
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:07 pm 
 

Vicious Rumors suffered said plague on "Something Burning" but overall it is an honest work and not as lame as say, Halford's albums with Fight where any attempt to be meaningful would always come across as derivative of Pantera et al. With Vicious Rumors, some Overkill and Agent Steel, it was well ordered and had impact and made sense within the context of the songs.

Can't say the same about Anthrax...
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TheDefiniteArticle
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:50 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:14 pm 
 

Groove's a lot more popular. I'm not saying this in a 'LOL SELLOUT' manner, but it's quite possible the bands heard early groove metal albums, really liked them and incorporated those sounds, which they wouldn't have been able to do in the 80s.

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Toyman
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:33 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:11 pm 
 

Well testament certainly didn't do much groove riffing on dark roots of earth, so I don't know where your recent material is coming from for testament at all.

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ModusOperandi
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 12:52 am
Posts: 1331
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:27 pm 
 

I'd say Something Burning is alright for what it set out to do and certainly did with more conviction than Cyberchrist, which only had better vocals going for it. Even then, I'd still take both over Sadistic Symphony. Besides the garbage production, the songs are devoid of any power in spite of comparatively less groove influence than the previous two. While Overkill's mid-era albums are least representative of them and what they're best at, they succeeded in all the ways Anthrax flailed and failed. Somewhere BastardHead is yelling "It's still shit!" but I won't take anything away from him and his arguments about them.

As a whole, the results were much more palpable and genuine than some of the really left-field experimentation in thrash on, say, Endorama, Risk, etc.
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Oxenkiller
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:34 pm 
 

if it's done right, it sounds fine- but it is way too overused. I dunno why bands do it- maybe to sound "contemporary?" Or it is a lazy way of creating riffs and/or lengthening songs. Or adding tempo variations within a song- I can see the logic behind that. I have nothing particularly against it because if done well, with a heavy and catchy riff it can sound really good (as opposed to simply repeatedly chugging on an open E chord like a lot of bands do.)

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slayrrr666
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:47 pm
Posts: 194
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:40 am 
 

Toyman wrote:
Well testament certainly didn't do much groove riffing on dark roots of earth, so I don't know where your recent material is coming from for testament at all.


Seconded. That's traditional through-and-through thrash riffing throughout that album. Tons of riffing dynamics and variation, quite the opposite of groove's one-riff-only chug.
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vengefulgoat
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:15 am
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Location: Poland
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:45 am 
 

New Testament was way beyond what I expected to hear from a 30 years old thrash band. Very good album.

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