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Metal in thirty years time

Metal in thirty years time
November 17, 2010, 11:40:38 AM
I'm not decided on whether metal is totally dead or just currently stagnating. Punk for example - I can say it's dead in that whilst there are still plenty of bands, the genre itself has no purpose in the current world. Where the best of metal differs fundamentally is that it aims to create art that is eternal. So I'm interested not only in will it pick up again but in what way, assuming metal has been around roughly thirty years now with one genre evolving into the next and black metal/death metal peaking in the early 90s, what will it look like in another thirty years?

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 17, 2010, 12:08:50 PM
I think we should regard Metal less as an isolated occurrence and more as the contemporary resurgence of an eternal aspect of the human spirit, which, going through cycles, is bound to arise again at some point in the future.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 17, 2010, 03:01:29 PM
I think it's impossible to say what it will look like in thirty years for certain. I think at the moment metal is neither stagnating or dead, in fact, it seems to be gaining strength.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 03:41:53 AM
What conditions allow for quality metal/anything to be produced?

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 04:13:52 AM
What conditions allow for quality metal/anything to be produced?

A stronger awareness and attitude that has been developing in underground that marks a return to values centered around quality as opposed to "anything goes", adherence to tradition while avoiding stagnation, desire for genuine expression, reexamination of our roots, present, and future, and so on.

This attitude can be found in many bands, some new and others not so new, some with a simpler approach, and others treading more obscure pathways, but all, to my mind, true to the values of metal with the guns to back it up. I'm thinking of projects like (if anything on this list offends you, feel free to engage in healthy debate about it, or go whine in the corner while the rest of us engage with the real world): Averse Sefira, Beherit, Asphyx, Graveland, Midnight Odyssey, Autopsy, Diocletian, Birth A.D., Weapon, Winterwolf, Grave Miasma, Immolation, Demilich (who are going to be continuing on under a new moniker), Profanatica, Master, Triptykon, Watain, Goreaphobia, Disma, Vader, Dead Congregation, War Master, Blaspherian, Necros Christos, Black Funeral, and, without any doubt, others that do not spring to mind immediately and even more that I am not yet familiar with.

Before the fingers start pointing, I am not arguing that all of these bands are creating truly great work, although I certainly would argue that some are. Few bands ever have or will put out a Pure Holocaust, and the for the one's that do it's a rare event, but what these bands have done is contributed works of notable quality, that are important by their own merits and/or by the fertile ground that they have created for future bands to grow from.

Now: What conditions dissalow for quality metal / "anything" to be produced?

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 04:15:37 AM
http://insomnia.ac/commentary/on_the_genealogy_of_art_games/

Quote
What finally kills off an artform is the invention of a higher one, thus what killed classical music was the electronic kind, what killed painting was photography, what killed the theater was the cinema — and videogames will eventually kill them all (something which in fact they've pretty much already done, notwithstanding recent efforts by the cinema, the previously highest art, to acquire a third dimension — sorry Hollywood, but id Software got there first). Let me qualify here what I mean by "killed" — I do not mean that the moment a higher art is invented, the lower one is immediately wiped off the face of the planet, or that new artworks belonging to lower artforms do not keep getting made. What I mean by "killed" is that, by and large, the most talented and ambitious individuals of every future generation are drawn to and devote themselves to the higher art because they can instinctively feel it has more of a future. Because they find it more exciting and more interesting; because they can sense it has a wider realm of possibilities before it — because, yes, because it is potentially more complex.
Quality metal will ceased to be produced for the same reason that no one gives a fuck about classic rock throwback bands or modern day baroque music. (Is there even such a thing?) People who, earlier, would have been attracted to metal for the new and exciting possibilities for musical expression that it offered will be doing whatever it is that's cutting-edge in 2040. Metal bands will be made up of the same kind of people who do Bruce Springsteen covers now or hipsters.

That said it is obvious that, without a significant expansion of technique in the future, metal already peaked as an artform and is dead.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 04:28:32 AM
http://insomnia.ac/commentary/on_the_genealogy_of_art_games/

Quote
What finally kills off an artform is the invention of a higher one, thus what killed classical music was the electronic kind, what killed painting was photography, what killed the theater was the cinema — and videogames will eventually kill them all (something which in fact they've pretty much already done, notwithstanding recent efforts by the cinema, the previously highest art, to acquire a third dimension — sorry Hollywood, but id Software got there first). Let me qualify here what I mean by "killed" — I do not mean that the moment a higher art is invented, the lower one is immediately wiped off the face of the planet, or that new artworks belonging to lower artforms do not keep getting made. What I mean by "killed" is that, by and large, the most talented and ambitious individuals of every future generation are drawn to and devote themselves to the higher art because they can instinctively feel it has more of a future. Because they find it more exciting and more interesting; because they can sense it has a wider realm of possibilities before it — because, yes, because it is potentially more complex.
Quality metal will ceased to be produced for the same reason that no one gives a fuck about classic rock throwback bands or modern day baroque music. (Is there even such a thing?) People who, earlier, would have been attracted to metal for the new and exciting possibilities for musical expression that it offered will be doing whatever it is that's cutting-edge in 2040. Metal bands will be made up of the same kind of people who do Bruce Springsteen covers now or hipsters.

That said it is obvious that, without a significant expansion of technique in the future, metal already peaked as an artform and is dead.

1) What makes one art form higher than another, either in your opinion or to certain fixed standard?

2) Do you think that metal is going to be entirely replaced by a totally foreign and new genre of music? Or do you think it will steadily adapt to changing conditions, surface tastes, and technologies, and if so, at what point does it cease being metal?

3) Do you think that, because they were written in the past, and their styles are now apparently obsolete, that Beethoven's 9th Symphony or Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell would be less powerful if they had never been written, all other factors in history remaining somehow the same, and were now released in 2010?

4) Would you consider it fair to say that both classic rock and classical music never truly "died", but manifested itself into other developments and musical explorations, including what we would understand to be metal? Would this also be true of theater into cinema? (I'm not even going to get near "photography killed painting")

Edit: These questions aren't rhetorical or sarcastic by the way, and I'm not saying your flat out wrong, but I find this belief dubious at best and want to fully understand what you mean, so that we can both come closer to the truth.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 04:41:31 AM
Punk for example - I can say it's dead in that whilst there are still plenty of bands, the genre itself has no purpose in the current world.

Irrelevance is an astute diagnosis. Metal however wins by sticking with eternal truths or constants that cannot fall out of scope even if the trends of a given era do so. Same thing happened to speed metal when the visible threat of antagonistic nuclear superpowers diminished.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 08:44:58 AM
post, mostly the quoted source

I can't help but read this as "we (modern humans) don't have the attention span to stick to anything any more, so we overlook tried and tested (and proven viable) artforms in favour of those which are more instantly appealing, even if they may not serve as Art better than preceding forms".  I prefer paintings to photographs.  I think they reveal more of the reality of the subject than a mere photograph.

I know I'll still be writing Metal by the time I die.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 09:22:14 AM
Punk for example - I can say it's dead in that whilst there are still plenty of bands, the genre itself has no purpose in the current world.

Irrelevance is an astute diagnosis. Metal however wins by sticking with eternal truths or constants that cannot fall out of scope even if the trends of a given era do so. Same thing happened to speed metal when the visible threat of antagonistic nuclear superpowers diminished.

A good point, and it's for that reason that I don't think it would suffer the same fate as punk or speed metal. A few people have hinted that it's a contemporary style and instrumentation acting as a conduit for eternal truths, which is agreeable. I can certainly feel the spirit of black metal in nature, even in other forms of art but nothing really captures it to the same extent.

At one stage it seemed natural that the ideas present in quality metal would become more and more enamored in ambient structure, but now I find it lacks the same dynamic fire and spontaneity which created the best works in metal. Plus you have sun O, xasthur etc etc cloud the situation by producing a wealth of easily forgettable works in that genre.

I guess to be more direct we could discuss what albums are particularly notable for their potential to be expanded upon: Filosofem, Streetcleaner and the electronic works of Beherit come to mind as brilliant yet somewhat incomplete ideas.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 03:50:39 PM
I think we should regard Metal less as an isolated occurrence and more as the contemporary resurgence of an eternal aspect of the human spirit, which, going through cycles, is bound to arise again at some point in the future.

And also, metal is two things:

  • Toe tapping music. It's great but not profound. AC/DC, Venom, Pantera.
  • Epic music of this spirit. Sounds similar, really different. Morbid Angel, Deicide, Asphyx.

That's the real problem with metal: it means two radically different things at once.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 09:09:22 PM
It would be interesting to consider ways in which we might better distinguish the legitimate from the irrelevant, when it comes to Metal.    Certainly, the substance is very different, but might there not be other forms which could be taken by the same substance?  Then again, Black Metal in the style of Darkthrone or Ildjarn might be the most accurate representation of the very essence of "Metal" being encoded into a sound which is the categorical opposite of something like Manowar, at least using the instrumentation "required" of Metal.  Perhaps this is why there's a lot of validity in the concept of making Extreme Metal "raw", "necro", etc. - the more unlistenable it is for non-Hessians, the clearer the denominations of "good Metal" and "bad Metal".  Then again again, too many poseurs adopt the "kvlt as fvck" stereotype sound without having anything of merit in the music itself.  Then again again again, these bands never manage to pull off the sound in the same way that the originators of that sound did - there's a stark contrast between the modern "raw black metal" and the early works of Bathory, Darkthrone, or even the output of Les Légions Noires (which, while not as compositionally competent, is certainly much better than the run-of-the-mill crap produced today).

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 18, 2010, 09:20:03 PM
In thirty years, will we still have pop music on the same scale, and will it fill the same roles?

I agree that the best metal upholds eternal ideals that are expressed in the best work from almost any historical movement or genre, but its taking the form of pop music is unique.

@ Cargest: I've given this some consideration, and discussed it with friends.  Metal does not get much heavier than early Slayer, but the aesthetics become increasingly inaccessible, to the point that it simply appears in bad taste to the average listener.  Thus, nothing is communicated to the majority except the 'kvult as fvck' sterotype because that is what the aesthetics seem to say.  Metal is an acquired taste, and not everyone gets beyond the way it sounds.

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 19, 2010, 07:55:22 AM
Has any popular music genre since the 60s had greater longevity than metal? I'm not sure. I can't think of any other type of popular music that has remained the same in sound, while metal has remained relatively the same in sound and spirit since 1970. It seems that rock music (as in rock 'n roll) changed dramatically with each decade. Dylan -> Rush -> The Cure -> Nirvana

Re: Metal in thirty years time
November 19, 2010, 02:14:09 PM
Has any popular music genre since the 60s had greater longevity than metal? I'm not sure. I can't think of any other type of popular music that has remained the same in sound, while metal has remained relatively the same in sound and spirit since 1970. It seems that rock music (as in rock 'n roll) changed dramatically with each decade. Dylan -> Rush -> The Cure -> Nirvana

I don't think this is a fair assumption. I could just as easily say that metal has changed dramatically because Black Sabbath -> Metallica -> Darkthrone -> Demilich. They share a similar spirit stylistically they are very different. I could similarly say that it hasn't changed because Black Sabbath -> Witchfinder General ->Saint Vitus -> Cathedral. Similarly you could find much closer connections to Bob Dylan from him to the present, or Rush (who are associated with a totally different type of rock music), or The Cure (Who could be better described as post-punk/pop), or Nirvana (Who have just as much to do with garage rock or punk music as they do with pure rock music).