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GuardAwakening
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 248
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:43 pm 
 

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to raise this, but I'm kind of confused why RAC is listed as a genre on the site when as far as I've noticed it's entirely a lyrical topic and not a sound; "a catch-all term for music with racist lyrics." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Against_Communism

This notion brings extra weight when taken into consideration that "National Socialist Black Metal" isn't a genre here, nor Christian metalcore. Currently there is 125 with the genre "RAC".
https://www.metal-archives.com/search?s ... band_genre

I figured this is worth bringing forth attention to since it seems inconsistent with the standards for what is and isn't valid genres. I thought lyrics are only reserved for the lyrical field.

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Derigin
The Mountain Man

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:25 am
Posts: 5689
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:52 pm 
 

RAC isn't strictly *just* a lyrical theme, it is a distinct multinational movement that has a specific style of rock/punk to it (not unlike Oi!, for instance). One of the many reasons we don't rely on Wikipedia for things is because they do a poor job of it sometimes, and that article is no different, and thus we're not going to rely on it as being authoritative for our purposes.

The difference between RAC and things like "National Socialist Black Metal" and "Christian Metal" is that RAC is a distinct musical style, while the latter two are not. There is no unified genre that applies to all black metal bands, or even metal bands in general, who sing about National Socialism (or really any other problematic content). You can have any form of black metal - from first wave, to second wave, to melodic, to symphonic, to even atmospheric and noise variants, and so on - that have National Socialist lyrical themes and yet sound completely different. There are also bands within other genres of metal who would be easy to lump in with all the other NSBM bands, but who may not even play black metal at all. The same is true for Christian metal (or 'black' metal or white metal as some have called it). Just because they sing about Christianity doesn't mean they sound at all the same, and honestly, with Christian bands that's even more varied since you typically have everything from power metal to black metal covered in spades here. The genre tag really should be aimed at describing the overall general musical sound of the band, while the lyrical themes should describe what they sing about and the themes of their music. A user should be able to tell what a band actually sounds like from the genre tag, and what a band's themes are from the lyrical themes; if the tags don't do that, they are not doing their job.

By no means does this mean that those terms aren't valuable and useful. If you're casually talking about bands that share a similar theme, or bands who may associate with one another, the use of terms like that serves that purpose. They're just not particularly good terms for describing the sound of the music; they're good indicators of stuff to avoid, but that role is already covered sufficiently by the lyrical themes anyway.

NWOBHM is a bit of an exception, since it is highlighting that scene, but it's a very specific scene where all bands are unified around a similar heavy metal sound (and in this case, a specific time frame, too). RAC is pretty similar to that, where the scene itself is more spread out and multinational, but the specific sound is shared.

I hope that provides some clarity on this.
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GuardAwakening
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 248
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:05 am 
 

Thanks for your long detailed response, tbh I was more or less expecting this kind of objection to an extent, but at the same time devaluing the say of Wikipedia just because it's Wikipeda is older than the Internet. I should say that I've personally went through other mediums to investigate what determines RAC, and one of the other topics I found was a forum post on discogs in 2005 where a user raised the suggestion of incorperating RAC as a valid genre on the site, but it was met with almost universally responses mocking him
https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/57746
(my personal favorites from the replies: "Electro Against Gays, Japanese Pop Against Jews, Glitch Against Free Market Capitalism")
Needless to say I guess times have changed since 15 years ago.

In my view everything that you're saying here mostly makes sense, and while creating this thread NWOBHM did definitely cross my mind. "Why is that even a genre on here" is something I wondered for a long time, since it's not a genre, and the it more or less reminded me about the long forgotten debate about "djent" (but that argument is deader than dead and nobody cares about it anymore). But my time working on the site has showed me the genre tag doesn't nessesarily need to be a "genre" more it's just whatever the tag can succeed in giving the viewer the best idea for the sound of the band. That's kind of why I asked why RAC is a genre on here due to my belief that it was mostly just a lyrical theme.

I'm satisfied with the answer I got, but my only response at this point is I just hope all 125 of those bands have something in common soundwise.

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NintenTheMetalhead
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:12 pm
Posts: 62
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:28 pm 
 

Even though this isn't really lyrics based, it can be kinda compared to the "melodic groove metal" tag. The term is seemingly more or less used to get the point across that it sounds like that. I'm guessing RAC is similar.

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laxskinn
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:31 am 
 

I see a lot of bands with the tag Black metal/RAC, and I get the feeling it's sometimes used simply as a replacement for NSBM. An actual mix of the two genres seem like it wouldn't be that common.

Also, by defining RAC as a musical genre, wouldn't this in theory mean that a band could play RAC with lyrics about tolerance? Or pro communist RAC?

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Kennermahn
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:36 am
Posts: 102
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:30 am 
 

laxskinn wrote:
Also, by defining RAC as a musical genre, wouldn't this in theory mean that a band could play RAC with lyrics about tolerance? Or pro communist RAC?


I'm not a mod but as someone who has added a few of these bands I guess I can provide some input here. The RAC tag is used I believe for those bands with Oi! influences but with a generally more "hostile" tone AND the far-right lyrics; you definitely can't be considered RAC without the latter. It's like the difference between sludge metal and stoner metal sometimes I think, the sound is similar but sludge metal is "darker" in every aspect.

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PaganiusI
Zee Bombelecher

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:49 pm
Posts: 1587
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:12 pm 
 

laxskinn wrote:
I see a lot of bands with the tag Black metal/RAC, and I get the feeling it's sometimes used simply as a replacement for NSBM. An actual mix of the two genres seem like it wouldn't be that common.

Also, by defining RAC as a musical genre, wouldn't this in theory mean that a band could play RAC with lyrics about tolerance? Or pro communist RAC?

RAC implies a politically motivated stance of the band, yet the sound itself doesn't have to be right-winged per se. It just happens to almost always be the case.
Incidentally there's a huge scene in Germany that's built around the band Böhse Onkelz (most of them even started as cover bands), that are playing some sort of blend of Oi!/RAC, dirty Rock'n'Roll and Punk. The scene claims to be apolitical and many bands in that scene are promoting themselves as opposing right-winged ideas, but one can't deny the fact that there's a huge overlap between their fanbase and RAC.
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GuardAwakening
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 248
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:40 pm 
 

NintenTheMetalhead wrote:
Even though this isn't really lyrics based, it can be kinda compared to the "melodic groove metal" tag.


This is correct, coming from someone whose worked on here for a while now (especially when it comes to genres) I can indeed confirm that the "genre" on metal archives ins't always literally genres. The term "melodic" or "technical" can virtually be added, as a prefix, to almost any genre on the site. As long as it gives the reader an idea of what the band sounds like, that's done it's job. You're not gonna be seeing a Subreddit fandom exclusively fixated on "Melodic brutal death metal" or "Technical power/industrial metal" bands anytime soon.

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Derigin
The Mountain Man

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:25 am
Posts: 5689
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:15 pm 
 

Sorta? There's a difference between a genre and a genre descriptor/qualifier. In the genre field, there should always be a baseline genre (which is usually a term that ends in "metal" when we're dealing with heavy metal music). For instance, "Heavy Metal", "Black Metal", "Doom Metal", are all terms we consider well-established baseline genres. A genre descriptor or qualifier is something you add onto that to flesh it out a bit more, much like an adjective is to a noun. There's classic examples like "melodic", "progressive", "technical", "atmospheric", "raw" and so on; you can usually find these across numerous baseline genres. On occasion there's baseline genres that are themselves turned into adjectives, for example, "blackened" is one of them. And then there's the descriptor "with X influences", not as common as it used to be, which provides context for a genre that has a hint or a taste of another genre. It all sounds sorta convoluted and complicated, but in reality it's not. And some of these descriptor + genre combos do become widely recognized styles and scenes in their own right; "brutal death metal", "atmospheric black metal" and "raw black metal" for instance.

There is a limit to this, however, particularly when it's just a redundancy at that point. You'll never have "progressive progressive metal", that's just silly.
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