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Canonical Metal Collection

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 03:49:27 AM
Broadly, I like what Cynical has come up with, though I would quibble with certain inclusions/exclusions (I definitely see no reason to bother with any Metallica releases - they introduced no concepts that weren't done with more thought and less faggotry by Slayer and Kreator).

However, as a canon it think it fails in the sense of simply having too many releases (however excellent).  Personally, I think we'd do better to narrow it down to 25-30 albums or so (put up 50+ album list, undifferentiated by type and people will start to tune out), albums that show a definitive range of the best of metal in all its variety.

Personally, I'd draw it up something like this

Proto-Metal:

Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Judas Priest - Stained Class

NWOBHM:

Angel Witch - Angel Witch
Witchfinder General - Death Penalty
Holocaust - The Nightcomers

Speed Metal:

Slayer - Hell Awaits
Slayer - Reign in Blood
Kreator - Pleasure to Kill

Progressive Metal:

Fates Warning - Awaken the Guardian
VoiVod - Killing Technology
Atheist - Unquestionable Presence

Proto-Death/Black:

Hellhammer - Apocalyptic Raids
Bathory - The Return
Death Strike - Fuckin' Death
Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion

Death Metal:

Morbid Angel - Blessed Are the Sick
Incantation - Onward to Golgotha
Fleshcrawl - Descend Into the Absurd
Amorphis - The Karelian Isthmus
At the Gates - The Red in the Sky is Ours
Demilich - Nespithe

Black Metal:

Bathory - Hammerheart
DarkThrone - Transilvanian Hunger
Immortal - Pure Holocaust
Burzum - Hvis lyset tar oss
Graveland - Thousand Swords
Ildjarn - Det Frysende Nordariket
Summoning - Dol Guldur

"Doom":

Cathedral - The Forest of Equilibrium
Ceremonium - Into the Autumn Shade

By way of explanation, I arrived at this list by trying to narrow it down to works that are:

1.) of the highest quality
2.) highly original in their creative voice
3.) representative of larger ideas within the wider movement

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 05:02:59 AM
Quote
I definitely see no reason to bother with any Metallica releases - they introduced no concepts that weren't done with more thought and less faggotry by Slayer and Kreator).



Orion?

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 05:58:19 AM
However good 'Orion' is doesn't change that fact that the album it appears on is mediocre at best.

Thanks for avoiding my question Cynical, it feels good to be loved.

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 06:29:01 AM
Quote
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Judas Priest - Stained Class

NWOBHM:

Angel Witch - Angel Witch
Witchfinder General - Death Penalty
Holocaust - The Nightcomers

Speed Metal:

Slayer - Hell Awaits
Slayer - Reign in Blood
Kreator - Pleasure to Kill

Progressive Metal:

Fates Warning - Awaken the Guardian
VoiVod - Killing Technology
Atheist - Unquestionable Presence

Proto-Death/Black:

Hellhammer - Apocalyptic Raids
Bathory - The Return
Death Strike - Fuckin' Death
Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion

Death Metal:

Morbid Angel - Blessed Are the Sick
Incantation - Onward to Golgotha
Fleshcrawl - Descend Into the Absurd
Amorphis - The Karelian Isthmus
At the Gates - The Red in the Sky is Ours
Demilich - Nespithe

Black Metal:

Bathory - Hammerheart
DarkThrone - Transilvanian Hunger
Immortal - Pure Holocaust
Burzum - Hvis lyset tar oss
Graveland - Thousand Swords
Ildjarn - Det Frysende Nordariket
Summoning - Dol Guldur

"Doom":

Cathedral - The Forest of Equilibrium
Ceremonium - Into the Autumn Shade


Not bad, not bad at all, though I'm not sure why you chose to include Hammerheart under Black Metal. Blood Fire Death might be a better choice there.

Quote
2) the inclusion of the Dismember album.  i do like them, don't get me wrong, but that album seems pretty derrivative of the other albums of the time.  i'd also apply this comment to Gorguts and Necrophobic.


I think you ought to get your ears checked.

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 12:02:12 PM
Quote

Not bad, not bad at all, though I'm not sure why you chose to include Hammerheart under Black Metal. Blood Fire Death might be a better choice there.


It's sort of six of one, half a dozen of a another situation.  That said, I think Hammerheart is both the better release and the one that left a larger mark on subsequent metal.

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 12:49:55 PM
Quote
Broadly, I like what Cynical has come up with, though I would quibble with certain inclusions/exclusions


I'm inclined to agree with your list, Cynical's list was good but I'd say it was closer to a 'best of' list.  I can see the sense of leaving out Emperor and Gorgoroth. Likewise I'd only mention one of Burzum and one of Graveland - both picks are representive of their work.

Creating such a list often encourages one to list ones favourite albums, the other problem is distinguishing between a 'best of' list and a canonical list. That said, I think I would have made the err of creating a 'Best Of' list.

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 01:05:39 PM
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I've never liked Mercyful Fate, and Running Wild fucking sucks.


Concur. Mercyful Fate impresses the mediocre listener with shocking image rather than offering a discretionary listener sweeping visionary work beyond modernity's memes. King Diamond's Fatal Portrait or Abigail would be a superior pick to anything from MF, meaning nothing from these particular entertainers should get included.

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 01:07:18 PM
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I'm inclined to agree with your list, Cynical's list was good but I'd say it was closer to a 'best of' list.  I can see the sense of leaving out Emperor and Gorgoroth. Likewise I'd only mention one of Burzum and one of Graveland - both picks are representive of their work.

Creating such a list often encourages one to list ones favourite albums, the other problem is distinguishing between a 'best of' list and a canonical list. That said, I think I would have made the err of creating a 'Best Of' list.


I think you've hit on the distinction I was trying to draw.  When you talk about a 'canon,' you're not talking abouta comprehensive list of every top tier work available, but a representative sample of the best there is.

TC

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 01:18:39 PM
that list and the following comments clears things up a bit as far as what we're looking for to populate the list, thanks.

i disagree whole-heartedly with the comments about MF.  those first two albums, when they came out - there was nothing remotely like them.  so many people were influenced by them, and to me those albums have stood the test of time very well.  i still listen to 'Don't Break the Oath' quite a bit.  i'd say any complaints about them could be remedied by travelling back in time to hear them when they first came out, in the context of what else was going on then.  it was very courageous, competent, and the content was delivered well.

but, as has been pointed out, perhaps i'm suffering from the inability to differentiate between my personal favorites and those that have a place on this list.  i don't know, but i wanted to make the opinion known.

also, re: necrophobic - i was just listening to them over the weekend, since a couple people say i have hearing problems.  again i will say that i really enjoy them, they are good, but i don't find them to be terribly original.  i stand by my original comment.

edit:  also wanted to add that i think My Dying Bride perhaps has a place on this list.

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 17, 2006, 04:02:21 PM
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i disagree whole-heartedly with the comments about MF.  those first two albums, when they came out - there was nothing remotely like them.


I understand what you are saying. However, is art correctly defined as "nothing like this existed before"? Additionally, Anton LaVey's satanism existed before the band MF was formed and Allister Crowley existed prior to Anton LaVey.

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 18, 2006, 02:18:45 AM
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When you talk about a 'canon,' you're not talking abouta comprehensive list of every top tier work available, but a representative sample of the best there is.


We're talking about a list you can hand to any person on earth and say, "This is quality metal - you cannot go wrong here - you will see the best side of the genre and if you understand music, see why it is worthy."

That's why one avoids obvious shit like Grand Belial's Key as well as also-rans.

And why one might not include stuff of historical note, like Master, even if it is in regular rotation. I do the same thing with hardcore: some things we personally like are not necessarily objectively important (like a recent snack here: carrots dipped in mustard!).

TC, I don't think Necrophobic is all that original, but that's mainly because they're second-wave Swedish death metal. They're good and that's what counts. Fucking Grand Belial's Key is original, Ulver is original, etc. but they're garbage.


Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 18, 2006, 02:35:35 AM
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We're talking about a list you can hand to any person on earth and say, "This is quality metal - you cannot go wrong here - you will see the best side of the genre and if you understand music, see why it is worthy."

That's why one avoids obvious shit like Grand Belial's Key as well as also-rans.

And why one might not include stuff of historical note, like Master, even if it is in regular rotation. I do the same thing with hardcore: some things we personally like are not necessarily objectively important (like a recent snack here: carrots dipped in mustard!).



The utility of a 'canon' is not just that it preserves a record of excellence, but that it preserves a record of excellence that provides a concrete frame of reference for understanding that which it canonizes: conceptually, spiritually, aesthetically and historically.  

To frame it in terms of an analogy: Schopenhauer's work is flawed and incomplete.  Nietzsche's thought both corrects these flaws and completes much of what Schopenhauer left unfinished.  Yet both are in the 'canon' of great philosphers, and with good reason.

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 18, 2006, 07:46:07 AM
Quote

We're talking about a list you can hand to any person on earth and say, "This is quality metal - you cannot go wrong here - you will see the best side of the genre and if you understand music, see why it is worthy."

That's why one avoids obvious shit like Grand Belial's Key as well as also-rans.

And why one might not include stuff of historical note, like Master, even if it is in regular rotation. I do the same thing with hardcore: some things we personally like are not necessarily objectively important (like a recent snack here: carrots dipped in mustard!).

Perhaps, but to understand the 'greats' you have to understand where they were coming from, the conditions they worked in and what inspired them to soar to the heights that they did. A well-rounded knowledge of the genre is required for this, it seems.

Also, sifting through crap, not that I would necessarily recommend it, can remind us of what made the greats as brilliant as they were.

I do not like the idea of a 'hand-me-over list' for this reason, it is the equivalent of taking shortcuts there isn't anything esoteric about the process at all. Anyone can access it and think that that actually 'get it.' Is this healthy? There is something infinitely more fulfilling about doing the hard yards as opposed to being handed the way on a platter.

Bits and pieces of lesser bands are often the building blocks to a deeper understanding as much as the cream of the crop.

I must say I am also not about completely closing yourself off from the rest of the genre as may be promoted by such a list.

TC

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 18, 2006, 08:06:07 AM
ah, i see - this will be a "greatest hits of metal" comp.  cool!  i can see the informercial now:  "KTEL Presents: The Essence Of Metal.  25 of the greatest achievements in metal can now be yours for only $19.95!"  sweet!  but why stop there?  this could be a series.  we could shove the sabbath, maiden, fate, etc. onto "KTEL Presents:  The Protoplasm Of Metal".  then, we could put the early bathory, the whiplash, COC, DRI, crumbsuckers, etc., onto "KTEL Presents:  The Beginning Of Metal."  man, i hope this comes on 8-track too....


seriously, i do see the intent of this.  it's something psychologists could listen to and/or study before appearing on TV to discuss another wayward fan's behavior, or perhaps one could give this to the parental units and they might garner some appreciation of the genre that has been a mystery for so long.  but if one finds oneself in a discussion with someone who is wearing a slipknot or dimmu borgir shirt about what is death or black metal, is this disc really going to be a shortcut to help that person?  and if so, do we want that?

granted, when i was getting into metal it would have saved countless fortunes just buying stuff at random through the mail order based on Metal Disc's one-sentence quip about them, but then again i got to watch the genre unfold around me at that time.  the only real use i can think of for such a thing would be for someone that is young and curious about metal; perhaps this would help save them from going down the wrong path.  however, there are some massive peer presures around to listen to popular things, so....

anyway, wtf do i know.  it's too early for this.  :)

TC

Re: Canonical Metal Collection
July 18, 2006, 10:19:50 AM
revised statement:  such a collection might be useful for lads like this.  "Here, study this, then speak."