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Smalley
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:04 am 
 

I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately, about how something like Hollywood cinema has a well-defined "golden age", where, if you ask any random group of film scholars what it is exactly, chances are they'd agree on pretty specific beginning and ending dates, as well as defining features of the era, but, in my experience, heavy metal hasn't yet had such an era specifically identified and defined by the community. Not that it needs such a definition necessarily, as I'm not here to get my fellow 'heads down in the dumps by browbeating them into thinking the genre is past its prime and all recent metal is dogshit or whatever, but I've seen enough grumblings about stagnation within the genre that I can't help but be curious if other fans agree that heavy metal in general has already had its golden age, what years that age spans, and why those years qualify as the golden age of the style.

For me, the clearest golden age of metal has to be (roughly) the decade of the mid-80's through the mid-90's; speaking as a relatively casual fan who lacks what you could call an "encyclopedic" knowledge of the style, I feel that the most important sub-genres of metal are death, thrash, and black. Of course, these aren't the only important styles, but in terms of size, and amount of attention, respect, and praise I've seen them receive from the community, I feel there's a large enough margin between them and any other styles that can safely be called the "big 3" of heavy metal genres, if you will. So, using that basis, I feel that the most important period for establishing the sound of those 3 was the mid-80's through the mid-90's; yes, great and classic records of every sub-genre have been released after that point, and important records in terms of influencing the future of those sounds had already come out beforehand, but in terms of sheer number, quality, and importance of the albums in establishing and influencing what has come to be considered the modern sound of those major styles, I have to consider the mid-80's-thru-mid-90's period as being the general peak. I mean, I already posted a thread here where a lot of posters agreed that 1986, '91, and '94 were the peak years for thrash, death, and black metal respectively, but when you factor in all the overlap of other genre classics that were released elsewise during the period, what was arguably the peak of the melodeath sub-subgenre during '95 & '96, and all the other great records from outside the big 3 as a cherry on top, then the answer for me is clear when comparing that decade versus any other era of similar length.

That being said, feel free to use the criteria that's important to you personally in answering this question; you may feel another period of metal qualifies as its golden age due more to the records released during it meaning something to you as an individual, rather than having a lot of "objective classics" as defined by the general community. You may feel that metal is currently in its golden age due the ease of access people have to it with online connections or other factors, or that it's yet to enter a golden age, or that trying to answer the question in the first place is futile or impossible; what say you?
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iAm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:24 am 
 

I think it depends on what style of Metal you're asking about. For instance, I'm way into Death Metal and it's heyday was '91 through '93 although the response for Power Metal or Thrash Metal will be about five years earlier.

It could even be argued that the past few years have seen another massive insurgence of Death Metal acts rivaling the popularity of the early nineties.
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TrueDynamite
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:34 am 
 

Wasn't power metal quite big in the late 90's and early 2000's with Rhapsody, DragonForce, and others?
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Smalley
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:58 am 
 

iAm wrote:
I think it depends on what style of Metal you're asking about. For instance, I'm way into Death Metal and it's heyday was '91 through '93 although the response for Power Metal or Thrash Metal will be about five years earlier.
I feel it depends on the strength of the overlap between those peaks. For example, I've only seen a few people cite '89 as being the peak year for death metal, and almost no one choose it as being the peak of thrash, but there were still plenty of overlapping prolific releases from both styles coming out: Altars Of Madness, Beneath The Remains, Extreme Aggression, Consuming Impulse, Slowly We Rot, & The Years Of Decay were all released (among others), alongside big grind records like Horrified, Symphonies Of Sickness, & World Downfall and other outliers such as Tales Of Creation, all in the same motherfucking year. It's because of all this overlapping greatness that I simply cannot think of any other decade in metal that can come close to comparing, you know?
TrueDynamite wrote:
Wasn't power metal quite big in the late 90's and early 2000's with Rhapsody, DragonForce, and others?
Yes, but I've never felt that power is as important to the genre as death, thrash, or black are, and on a more personal level, I don't really like power metal in general, so... yeah.

:-D
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StainedClass95
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:02 am 
 

I think you could make a decent argument for that stretch as metal's overall peak. The mid-80's to mid-90's would cover thrash's glory days and plenty of death, black, doom and power metal classics not to mention early grind and some holdovers like Maiden. Most of these are still churning out quality albums, but metal seems to have had a much higher presence in pop culture back then that would give that era an added shine.

Yeah, the more I think about it, that'd probably be the right stretch. I wouldn't mind starting it a few years earlier to pick up nwobhm, but it's about right. Again, there's still great albums being put out almost every year, but that era is probably the most iconic, and it would make sense to refer to it as metal's heyday or Golden Age.

Edit: I actually referred to 89 as thrash's peak on a different forum. The highest level isn't quite there with 86, but it's a lot deeper.

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TrueDynamite
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:11 am 
 

Just to be clear, I was responding to iAm.
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Smalley
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:25 am 
 

StainedClass95 wrote:
I think you could make a decent argument for that stretch as metal's overall peak. The mid-80's to mid-90's would cover thrash's glory days and plenty of death, black, doom and power metal classics not to mention early grind and some holdovers like Maiden. Most of these are still churning out quality albums, but metal seems to have had a much higher presence in pop culture back then that would give that era an added shine.

Yeah, the more I think about it, that'd probably be the right stretch. I wouldn't mind starting it a few years earlier to pick up nwobhm, but it's about right. Again, there's still great albums being put out almost every year, but that era is probably the most iconic, and it would make sense to refer to it as metal's heyday or Golden Age.
I thought about starting my golden age sooner, but I wanted to focus on the years when the bands that had the biggest impact on the modern sound of the 3 most important sub-genres were active. No one in their right mind is gonna argue with you that early Maiden, Motorhead, Venom, etc. were all very influential bands, but if you look at any random post-1983 example of a thrash or black metal band, chances are that the band is going to sound more like Metallica or Darkthrone than any early NWoBHM act. In other words, removing any classic death, thrash, or black band that got their start from '84-onward from history would likely have a bigger impact on the evolution of metal than if you were able to remove the NWoBHM bands, but let the groups they influenced stay. It's a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg hypothetical, I know, but I think the point's still clear; both eras are important, it's just that one's been more important to the modern history of metal than the other.
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RichardDeBenthall
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:23 am 
 

I think it completely depends on how you define a 'Golden Age' . In terms of mainstream success/popularity it would probably be 1982ish to 1992ish. In that period you've got all the most popular Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne releases as well as a whole host of glam, the big Grunge albums e.g. Dirt, Nevermind, Badmotorfinger, Ten. This period also covers stylistic expansion with 'Extreme Metal' shooting off into a number of distinct styles.

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Acrobat
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:19 am 
 

1984 to 1994, approximately. Of course, there were plenty of awesome albums before that point. By 84, however, metal really started branching out stylistically and geographically with wonderful results. After that, there has also been plenty of good stuff but not of the same volume or quality (I could make a case for the classic metal album pretty much dying out after the 1990s but I won't) :P
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FatTheGates
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:05 am 
 

Personally I would say 1983 to 1993. That decade was just magical, regardless of what genre you were into. Someone asked me to compile my top 20 albums of 1991 not long ago, and even though that was not the absolute best year, it's just so crammed full of fantastic releases that it's really hard to choose, and impossible not to leave a few great records by the wayside. By late 1993, the wheels started to fall off, and from '94 until 2000 or so it was a pretty bleak landscape for anything in metal, unless you liked nu-metal -- but why would you...?

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Smalley
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:14 am 
 

FatTheGates wrote:
Personally I would say 1983 to 1993. That decade was just magical, regardless of what genre you were into. Someone asked me to compile my top 20 albums of 1991 not long ago, and even though that was not the absolute best year, it's just so crammed full of fantastic releases that it's really hard to choose, and impossible not to leave a few great records by the wayside. By late 1993, the wheels started to fall off, and from '94 until 2000 or so it was a pretty bleak landscape for anything in metal, unless you liked nu-metal -- but why would you...?
What about all the classic black and melo death being released in the mid-90's?
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TrooperEd
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:50 am 
 

FatTheGates wrote:
Personally I would say 1983 to 1993.


Was just about to say this. I would actually maybe add to 1995.

Smalley wrote:
What about all the classic black and melo death being released in the mid-90's?


Well under my umbrella a good 90% of that was released in 94-95. Yea there were some classics for a couple of years afterwards, but they were very few and far between.
Spoiler: show
Also melodeath kinda blows.
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televiper11
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:57 am 
 

Now. Metal has completed its evolution and there are now more great bands in just about every style than at any other point in metal history.

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Wyrmbane
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:20 am 
 

1964-1978 would be the Iron Age (or Pioneering Age),
1979-1993, the Golden Age (I refute the notion that we are still in the golden age - for me the golden age must be pre WWW/mobile phones :guns: ).

FatTheGates wrote:
'94 until 2000 or so it was a pretty bleak landscape for anything in metal, unless you liked nu-metal -- but why would you...?


Not at all, metal was as vibrant as ever, but just not as innovative as earlier periods.

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Stillborn Machine
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:30 am 
 

Honestly, the older I get, the less I believe in the idea of a golden age overall for metal. There have always been great releases and shitty ones - it's just that we tend to overlook the latter more often for the past than we do the present.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:54 am 
 

Stillborn Machine wrote:
Honestly, the older I get, the less I believe in the idea of a golden age overall for metal. There have always been great releases and shitty ones - it's just that we tend to overlook the latter more often for the past than we do the present.


Yeah, same for me. Plenty of great releases scattered across the decades, even some in the last 5-10 years that are amazing. Plus if people are discounting time periods because they featured genres they don't like, then that really isn't a good way to measure it at all. I don't like melodeath, so I wouldn't have said the mid-90s was a golden age because of that genre. But others might.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:59 am 
 

Stillborn Machine wrote:
Honestly, the older I get, the less I believe in the idea of a golden age overall for metal. There have always been great releases and shitty ones - it's just that we tend to overlook the latter more often for the past than we do the present.

Actually living right now in the golden age of metal archeology - driven by the likes of Dark Descent Records - we are only beginning to understand the greatness of the creative peak of extreme metal.
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Rainbow
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:25 am 
 

Usually everyone's teenage years are the 'golden age' of anything but for me high school was 1999-2003 and despite me obsessing over Dio, Priest and Maiden...that period fucking SUCKED for new music. In retrospect, it hasn't aged well either. Then the whole mid 2000s were all about Children of Bodom, Dark Tranquility, In Flames and all this other melodic extreme music. It seemed every tour that came through my city was some kind of combination of those bands.

I can't fairly say the 80s were a golden age because I wasn't there and you can't really appreciate things 'in the moment' the same way you can looking back. I'd say right now is the golden age. If you think about it RIGHT NOW you have all the metal that's ever been recorded as your finger tips. It's such a niche interest but the rise of internet communities have really given it new life, despite record sales.

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iAm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:31 pm 
 

TrueDynamite wrote:
Wasn't power metal quite big in the late 90's and early 2000's with Rhapsody, DragonForce, and others?

I was referring to Manilla Road and the like, not that type of Power Metal.
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Niklas Sanger
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:20 pm 
 

televiper11 wrote:
Now. Metal has completed its evolution and there are now more great bands in just about every style than at any other point in metal history.


I agree with this As a relatively young metal fan I can say I've been exposed to a lot. I've seen many classic bands live(and have the chance to see more), but at the same time I'm witnessing alot of these 90's era bands peak and release some of their best stuff, while at the same time I'm connected globally to newer bands and it easier to learn new techniques and styles. I have perspective on all the different ideas and ideologies of different genres without having an elitist attitude toward one or the other.
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Stillborn Machine
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:01 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
Actually living right now in the golden age of metal archeology - driven by the likes of Dark Descent Records - we are only beginning to understand the greatness of the creative peak of extreme metal.


Honeatly, coming across far more buried turds than gold on average. Once you look past the obvious names, things haven't really changed much beyond the degree we romanticize it. Sturgeon General's Law plays no favourites.


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TheDefiniteArticle
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:18 pm 
 

I was thinking about the best 10-year period for metal releases the other day, and I came up with either 1983-1992, or 1984-1993. So so so much great music from those periods, and that's just what Manilla Road released! When including all the proto-extreme metal as well, there really is no contest, and I don't think there's a sub-genre which didn't have its best album released in this period.

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TrooperEd
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:54 pm 
 

Stillborn Machine wrote:
droneriot wrote:
Actually living right now in the golden age of metal archeology - driven by the likes of Dark Descent Records - we are only beginning to understand the greatness of the creative peak of extreme metal.


Honeatly, coming across far more buried turds than hold on average.


Damn, that's a new thought.
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Post_Human_Shadows
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:31 am 
 

It is now.

I wonder what would the (next) dark ages for metal look like.
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Operation Pivo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:12 am 
 

...and realise you're living in the Golden Years! (1986)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:13 am 
 

Post_Human_Shadows wrote:
I wonder what would the (next) dark ages for metal look like.

Memetal.

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RNG
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:42 pm 
 

Stillborn Machine wrote:
Once you look past the obvious names, things haven't really changed much beyond the degree we romanticize it.


Yep. Metal culture has been, from the beginning, rooted in strongly traditionalist mindsets and aesthetics. It's no surprise that the fanbase largely consists of people who listen to music for strongly nostalgic purposes. But that nostalgic, romanticized attitude towards the roots of the genre is something that frustrates me to no end. (Of course, this isn't exclusive to metal - I want to personally slap the shit out of people who lament the death of the grunge scene.)

If nostalgia for the "golden age" means wanting bands to harness the same sort of uninhibited creative impulse that metal legends did, then that's good. But too often, people who are consumed by the idea of a "golden age" are vastly inhibiting their metal universes by enshrining a certain group of bands as unassailable. Not only does that create an echo chamber of an audience that allows bands to continue on for decades as corporate zombies, just because people are so obsessed with their aura of legend, but it actively makes the metal scene more saturated with useless derivative bands who have no statement to make, no reason to exist, besides saying, for example, "Hey, we really love old-school Swedeath bands like Entombed and Dismember". (You know the shit I'm referring to.) And these lazy jackoffs are ensured an audience, just because they sound like a classic band.

It happens everywhere, too. For example, Nuclear War Now releases music to an echo chamber of bullet-belt wearers who started out with Sepultura demos from the mid-80s and don't want anything more nuanced than Teitanblood (yes, Stargazer are signed to NWN but they're a bit of an exception), and conversely, Unique Leader disappears up its own anus because its audience now solely consists of teens who only listen to Archspire. Bands no longer need to make music that is substantial enough to be appealing to a wide audience, because they have practically guaranteed success by releasing derivative material to a smaller and more homogenous market. And that sort of thing means that new bands crop up who are inspired only by NWN-core, or Unique Leader-core.

So yeah, the idea that metal, as a single "thing", had a golden age... it's overly simplistic. There have always been bands doing creative and new things, and a massive glut of derivative trash. No matter what level of the scene you look at. In my opinion, there's still a lot of territory left unexplored, and a lot of aesthetics and styles that we haven't envisioned yet. And those can be reached, as long as people stop shackling themselves to the myth that there was once a time when Metal Was Perfect, and that Things Aren't as Good As They Used To Be.

In reality, I think metal is too balkanized for the declaration of a single "golden age" to make any sense. The golden age of funeral doom wasn't contemporaneous with the golden age of brutal death, which wasn't contemporaneous with the golden age of Dream Theater-style prog metal. And even within a single scene, some of the best bands came far after the heyday of the style. Beheaded Zombie are one of the best Atheist-style progressive death metal groups I've ever come across. They formed in 2002 - does that sound like an auspicious time for the scene?
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Stillborn Machine
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:44 pm 
 

RNG wrote:
Yep. Metal culture has been, from the beginning, rooted in strongly traditionalist mindsets and aesthetics. It's no surprise that the fanbase largely consists of people who listen to music for strongly nostalgic purposes. But that nostalgic, romanticized attitude towards the roots of the genre is something that frustrates me to no end. (Of course, this isn't exclusive to metal - I want to personally slap the shit out of people who lament the death of the grunge scene.)

If nostalgia for the "golden age" means wanting bands to harness the same sort of uninhibited creative impulse that metal legends did, then that's good. But too often, people who are consumed by the idea of a "golden age" are vastly inhibiting their metal universes by enshrining a certain group of bands as unassailable. Not only does that create an echo chamber of an audience that allows bands to continue on for decades as corporate zombies, just because people are so obsessed with their aura of legend, but it actively makes the metal scene more saturated with useless derivative bands who have no statement to make, no reason to exist, besides saying, for example, "Hey, we really love old-school Swedeath bands like Entombed and Dismember". (You know the shit I'm referring to.) And these lazy jackoffs are ensured an audience, just because they sound like a classic band.

It happens everywhere, too. For example, Nuclear War Now releases music to an echo chamber of bullet-belt wearers who started out with Sepultura demos from the mid-80s and don't want anything more nuanced than Teitanblood (yes, Stargazer are signed to NWN but they're a bit of an exception), and conversely, Unique Leader disappears up its own anus because its audience now solely consists of teens who only listen to Archspire. Bands no longer need to make music that is substantial enough to be appealing to a wide audience, because they have practically guaranteed success by releasing derivative material to a smaller and more homogenous market. And that sort of thing means that new bands crop up who are inspired only by NWN-core, or Unique Leader-core.

So yeah, the idea that metal, as a single "thing", had a golden age... it's overly simplistic. There have always been bands doing creative and new things, and a massive glut of derivative trash. No matter what level of the scene you look at. In my opinion, there's still a lot of territory left unexplored, and a lot of aesthetics and styles that we haven't envisioned yet. And those can be reached, as long as people stop shackling themselves to the myth that there was once a time when Metal Was Perfect, and that Things Aren't as Good As They Used To Be.

In reality, I think metal is too balkanized for the declaration of a single "golden age" to make any sense. The golden age of funeral doom wasn't contemporaneous with the golden age of brutal death, which wasn't contemporaneous with the golden age of Dream Theater-style prog metal. And even within a single scene, some of the best bands came far after the heyday of the style. Beheaded Zombie are one of the best Atheist-style progressive death metal groups I've ever come across. They formed in 2002 - does that sound like an auspicious time for the scene?


I don't think it's really a matter of traditionalism as much as mindsets changing with time. There's an old saying that today's trailblazers will be tomorrow's traditionalists and to me, it's more to do with an aging populace that finds comfort in sticking to its guns. This eventually happens to any style and stylistic subsect that survives long enough. While a degree of ancestor worship is always inevitable (and not just in metal), the problem is that we look only at the idols but not necessarily the causes and the basic ingredients from which they spawned. However I do think we should remember that "old school" is but an aesthetic choice and musically it hasn't stopped a lot of bands from being adventurous and I dare to say "forward thinking" - Prosanctus Inferi, Garroted, The Chasm, Obliteration, Necrovation, and Ghoulgotha among others have the majority of their influences coming from older bands but that doesn't stop their music from being something beyond what we had back then. This is more of a matter of the perspective musicians approach a genre than what they happen to be influenced by.

Regardless, we should be more critical of anyone spouting off fancy rhetoric about a Better Time When Things Were More True just as much as those claiming Back Then We Were An Artistic Third World Nation as both sides are only ever interested in boiling down complex issues into dumb, romanticized narratives. 90% of the time it's to sell you their particular brand of "Bands YOU can Support to Redeem the slovenly Metal Genre!" And honestly, I think this balkanization is a good thing - it's better to have a wide array of styles each going in their own directions and exploring their own wildernesses. Sounds cross breed and it's better for us as listeners as we have an easier time nowadays finding what we want in particular. As for 2002 (hell, the 1995 to 2007 period in general), yeah, I do think to an extent metal had some stumbles but thanks to the internet, I've found quite a bit of gold there:

Spoiler: show
Image


Actually listening to Beheaded Zombie's final album and I'm surprised this band didn't get bigger. It definitely feels "modern" but it's the kind of modern tech-death that makes me think of say, Mortal Decay in how it's a direct continuation of the originators rather than some cobbled together bastard frankenstein child of Yngwie Malmsteen and Suffocation's sloppy seconds. Somewhat tenuous in how they link a lot of their themes together but still vastly preferable to what this style is generally associated with. I recognized the terrible album art but the band name I forgot. Thanks!

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Xenophon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:32 am 
 

If the golden age of metal mirrors the golden ages of cinema, comics etc., then the golden era was when all the major breakthroughs and most iconic albums happened, while the silver age (which we are in now, I would say) is the era where all the tools have already been laid out, so to speak, and the rough edges of the genre have been smoothed out.

Also, the silver age is not necessarily "worse." For instance, a lot of the most popular comic book heroes were created in the silver age, like Spider-man and the Avengers. However, developments in the silver age are less fresh and astonishing.

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PvtNinjer
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:56 am 
 

I definitely get what RNG is saying when it comes to useless, derivative bands. I mean, I love metal, and I still listen to a lot of metal music that basically might as well not exist, just because I like the style, I like the aesthetic and whatever, but sometimes it's so trying. I try to read blogs, see what's recommended or popular here and what not, and so much that gets recommended and even sometimes universally hailed as amazing just ends up sounding like more of the same to me. I know it's probably just a case of me not being wise on the good shit, but as a guy who's not as hip on what's interesting these days, it's annoying. Maybe I'm just burnt out, but I enjoy metal like a familiar relationship a lot of the time. There might be max 5 albums that actually wow me every year. Then again, maybe I'm just too prone to nostalgics. I tend to need to remind myself to be in the moment and enjoy things for what they are.

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Stillborn Machine
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 6:45 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:03 am 
 

Xenophon wrote:
If the golden age of metal mirrors the golden ages of cinema, comics etc., then the golden era was when all the major breakthroughs and most iconic albums happened, while the silver age (which we are in now, I would say) is the era where all the tools have already been laid out, so to speak, and the rough edges of the genre have been smoothed out.

Also, the silver age is not necessarily "worse." For instance, a lot of the most popular comic book heroes were created in the silver age, like Spider-man and the Avengers. However, developments in the silver age are less fresh and astonishing.


I think it's best to see the supposed "silver age" as less of just decay and more of gradual change. For many death metal went to crap after 1993 or maybe 1994 but I notice listening to some of the better bands of that era they were still experimenting and gradually altering the approach to death metal overall. Even traditional heavy/power/speed from then was reshaping itself before the whole New Wave of Traditional Metal thing hit.

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Xenophon
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:07 am
Posts: 1018
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:10 am 
 

Stillborn Machine wrote:
Xenophon wrote:
If the golden age of metal mirrors the golden ages of cinema, comics etc., then the golden era was when all the major breakthroughs and most iconic albums happened, while the silver age (which we are in now, I would say) is the era where all the tools have already been laid out, so to speak, and the rough edges of the genre have been smoothed out.

Also, the silver age is not necessarily "worse." For instance, a lot of the most popular comic book heroes were created in the silver age, like Spider-man and the Avengers. However, developments in the silver age are less fresh and astonishing.


I think it's best to see the supposed "silver age" as less of just decay and more of gradual change. For many death metal went to crap after 1993 or maybe 1994 but I notice listening to some of the better bands of that era they were still experimenting and gradually altering the approach to death metal overall. Even traditional heavy/power/speed from then was reshaping itself before the whole New Wave of Traditional Metal thing hit.

Yeah I didn't mean to imply that the silver age was "the downfall" or something. I personally see the silver age as the time when bands are churning out the greatest quantity of great albums, since metal is more popular and so there are more bands in death/black/etc. metal, and also since the golden age saw all the kinks worked out. Regarding your other point, while there is still plenty of creativity in the silver age, all the major genres are pretty much solidified at this point.

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RNG
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:30 pm
Posts: 282
Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:43 pm 
 

Stillborn Machine wrote:
However I do think we should remember that "old school" is but an aesthetic choice and musically it hasn't stopped a lot of bands from being adventurous and I dare to say "forward thinking" - Prosanctus Inferi, Garroted, The Chasm, Obliteration, Necrovation, and Ghoulgotha among others have the majority of their influences coming from older bands but that doesn't stop their music from being something beyond what we had back then. This is more of a matter of the perspective musicians approach a genre than what they happen to be influenced by.


Oh, absolutely. But death metal has widely diverged, aesthetically. There are lots of albums which have obvious death metal lineage, in terms of their primary inspirations, structural approach, etc. but have completely different production styles, or different lyrical themes. And a fuckton of people will automatically say that such an album has failed its mission of being death metal, just because it doesn't adhere to the classic aesthetic. To give an example: Wormed are quite obviously trying to create a different atmosphere than Morpheus Descends, but that doesn't mean Wormed are shitty because they fail to sound like death metal "should". It means that listeners should recognize Wormed's artistic goal of delivering an abstract sci-fi narrative, and judge the music with regards to that.

If someone only likes the classic DM aesthetic and can't stand futuristic aesthetics, well, we all have our own preferences! It's just stupid to judge something based on how much it sounds like something that it is very blatantly trying not to sound like.

Stillborn Machine wrote:
As for 2002 (hell, the 1995 to 2007 period in general), yeah, I do think to an extent metal had some stumbles but thanks to the internet, I've found quite a bit of gold there:

Spoiler: show
Image


Nefas? Psycho Symphony? The Chasm? echolyn?? You are a person after my own heart!
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Stillborn Machine
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:18 pm 
 

RNG wrote:
Oh, absolutely. But death metal has widely diverged, aesthetically. There are lots of albums which have obvious death metal lineage, in terms of their primary inspirations, structural approach, etc. but have completely different production styles, or different lyrical themes. And a fuckton of people will automatically say that such an album has failed its mission of being death metal, just because it doesn't adhere to the classic aesthetic. To give an example: Wormed are quite obviously trying to create a different atmosphere than Morpheus Descends, but that doesn't mean Wormed are shitty because they fail to sound like death metal "should". It means that listeners should recognize Wormed's artistic goal of delivering an abstract sci-fi narrative, and judge the music with regards to that.

If someone only likes the classic DM aesthetic and can't stand futuristic aesthetics, well, we all have our own preferences! It's just stupid to judge something based on how much it sounds like something that it is very blatantly trying not to sound like.

Nefas? Psycho Symphony? The Chasm? echolyn?? You are a person after my own heart!


People in general identify along lines of aesthetic more than they'd like to admit due to the generally social nature of people in general and the fact that aesthetic is easier to encompass both artists and fans than the nuances of composition, especially in a genre as intricate as death metal. Personally I can sympathize with the people you're talking about albeit to an extent - to them the death metal we have now is at best a bastard child and a pretender to the throne. However I do think you can find quite a bit especially from the late 90's and early 2000's that shows the transition between the "golden" era and the "modern" one. To me there are some bands like Mortal Decay, The Chasm, Nefas, Defeated Sanity, Diskord, Iniquity and so on that continued classic ideas or improved on modern molds although at this point we're going into the territory of stylistic outliers, increasingly more common as they may be.

As you might guess, my love for death metal is rivalled by my love for power and to an extent, progressive rock/metal.

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RNG
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:30 pm
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Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:20 am 
 

Your point that stylistic outliers are more and more common is a very relevant one to this whole discussion. Personally, I think the amount of interesting shit happening in metal these days is just unbelievable. It's just very widely diffused, which makes it difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.

And yes, power metal and prog are huge interests of mine, too.
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MetalCrest of Darkness
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:29 am
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:02 pm 
 

January 1980 --- until --- October 1986 for Traditional Metal.

1983 to 1989 for Extreme Metal

November 1987 to June 2003 For Gothic Metal

February 1994 to June 2003 for Symphonic Black Metal.
This to me is metal's greatest generation.

Death Metal age from June 1990 to infinity. Since Death Metal has very few artist, that switch genres to hard rock.

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MetalCrest of Darkness
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:29 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:40 pm 
 

Actually as a heavy metal fan since the late 1970's.

There has never been bad year for heavy metal, every year i easily find the top 100 albums every year.

Never read a webzine that did not have a fanzine, circa 1981 until say 2001.

I found 3.fanzines nowadays, that have the correct coverage, heavy metal.

2016 is one of my favorite years in heavy metal.

Never a bad year in heavy metal since 1970 in my opinion, if you can not find the top 700 albums per decade, your not reading the top notch heavy metal publications.

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hmi
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:24 am
Posts: 363
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:32 pm 
 

iAm wrote:
I think it depends on what style of Metal you're asking about. For instance, I'm way into Death Metal and it's heyday was '91 through '93 although the response for Power Metal or Thrash Metal will be about five years earlier.

It could even be argued that the past few years have seen another massive insurgence of Death Metal acts rivaling the popularity of the early nineties.


Totally agree since early 90s death metal is my absolute favorite style of music and metal. Early to mid 80s were excellent for power metal and thrash and metal in general. I'd probably say most of the 80s was the golden age for metal as a whole. And that's when the classic bands were at their peaks. There's a helluva lot more metal today but I wouldn't call it a golden age for metal, or the 2000s, or most of the 90s.

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Smalley
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:06 am
Posts: 793
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:36 am 
 

I know I'm bumping an old thread here, but I just spun the premise of this thread into a decade-spanning project on another Metal site, starting with this entry on the defining Metal records of 1984, and I'll keep updating this thread in the Promotional Forum with new entries in the project, so you guys can continue to keep up with it; check it out!
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BarbaricAvatar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:47 pm
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Location: Cold
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:23 am 
 

Agree with other users that it depends on what kind of Metal. Power Metal definitely peaked in the early 2000's though, it was a great period to just be getting into the Euro stuff!

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