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Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal

Death

Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
January 16, 2005, 10:22:02 AM
I rather enjoy "traditional" metal that incorporates/emulates elements of classical music, aesthetic and technique, or at least what little I have heard of it. Granted, most heavy metal is uninteresting blues-rock to me but some bands such as Helstar take a much more articulate approach influenced by classical and baroque music.

While one of the focii of this site is the discussion of "Neoclassical" music, I find that this term is mostly used in reference to artists which are "neoclassical in spirit" (Burzum) but adopt a modern, almost expressionist aesthetic rather than artists working towards a genuine revival of classical music (through a different medium, in the case of metal). Suffocation's "Effigy of the Forgotten" may be deemed "neoclassical" on this site for its intensity, use of melodic phrasing and narrative song structure, but to my mind in such an instance the term "neoclassical" is misapplied. Truly neoclassical music is intended to be a revival of classical aesthetics and forms, something which is contrary to Suffocation's percussive, dissonant and discordant sound as well as the fact that this sound (and that of many other bands cited as "neoclassical") was innovative and entirely new. I've observed that many users of this board have made a habit out of substituting "neoclassical" for "good" when talking about music, and disdain this since to me it is inaccurate and misleading. Thoughts?

It may sound puerile to some, but I've developed an affinity for music which sounds basically like Segovia played on an electric guitar. Any recommendations for bands/albums, preferrably purely or mostly instrumental, similar to Cacophony's "Speed Metal Symphony" or Yngwie Malmsteen's "Rising Force"?

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
January 16, 2005, 11:39:42 AM
Windham Hell- "Reflective Depths Imbibe".

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 04, 2006, 07:11:18 AM
Didn't this just get posted as well?

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 04, 2006, 10:37:01 AM
A Swiss speed metal band called Coroner immediately springs to mind; their peak album is arguably "Punishment for Decadence."

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 04, 2006, 12:15:31 PM
Quote
I rather enjoy "traditional" metal that incorporates/emulates elements of classical music, aesthetic and technique, or at least what little I have heard of it. Granted, most heavy metal is uninteresting blues-rock to me but some bands such as Helstar take a much more articulate approach influenced by classical and baroque music.

While one of the focii of this site is the discussion of "Neoclassical" music, I find that this term is mostly used in reference to artists which are "neoclassical in spirit" (Burzum) but adopt a modern, almost expressionist aesthetic rather than artists working towards a genuine revival of classical music (through a different medium, in the case of metal). Suffocation's "Effigy of the Forgotten" may be deemed "neoclassical" on this site for its intensity, use of melodic phrasing and narrative song structure, but to my mind in such an instance the term "neoclassical" is misapplied. Truly neoclassical music is intended to be a revival of classical aesthetics and forms, something which is contrary to Suffocation's percussive, dissonant and discordant sound as well as the fact that this sound (and that of many other bands cited as "neoclassical") was innovative and entirely new. I've observed that many users of this board have made a habit out of substituting "neoclassical" for "good" when talking about music, and disdain this since to me it is inaccurate and misleading. Thoughts?

It may sound puerile to some, but I've developed an affinity for music which sounds basically like Segovia played on an electric guitar. Any recommendations for bands/albums, preferrably purely or mostly instrumental, similar to Cacophony's "Speed Metal Symphony" or Yngwie Malmsteen's "Rising Force"?


1- You talk about disonant sound. In classical music, especially in the early 20th, full of classical composer used this as a tool for expressing themselves. It is not because Mozart didn't use it that it mean nothing.

2- Andres Segovia didn't like the electric guitar, and I agree with him : it don't have the same sound, you cannot do all the subtility of the classical guitar on the electric guitar. But people like Malmsteen that shred 10000 notes a second don't understand this. Classical music is not just melody. That's why we say that some metal band are neo-classical, because they revive the aesthetic and spirit of ancient romantic and/or baroque music without focusing on melody, but rather with other techniques.

The band you gave in exemple did, as you said, rip-off. To me, they are nothing more than shredder, and I would never in my life compared them to Andres Segovia...

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 04, 2006, 03:04:54 PM
the term neo-classical music only applies to the period of classical music called classical. There are for main branches, Baroque, classical, romantic and 20th century (in that order).

And 20th century composers aren't classical composers (unless they are neo-classical composers) so when you (Agnan) said that many 20th century composers used dissonance it is not a neo-classical trait for only very small levels of dissonance are prevalent in classical.

so metal using large amounts of dissonance is anti neo-classical. It may embrace 20th century classical or romantic but i never found metal neo-classical musically

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 04, 2006, 06:40:18 PM
Usually classical composers used dissonance in a very subtle way, underneath the melody to where it almost blends into the bass notes, in an almost imperceptible way. Where dissonance is used, it is meant to be subtle, and to highlight the melody when used in classical music. There are a lot of bands in metal who use classical elements, but with the level of dissonance in most metal, the classical traits remain as ideology or intent.

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 04, 2006, 06:53:00 PM
Let's not confuse the issue with semantics. I think anyone with a slight interest in music is aware of that when one is not referring strictly to the Classical Music Era (from which you cannot derive a neo-classical "Era" anyway), the term is "classical" in arts, architecture and music is broadly used to denote anything that embraces the traditions and ideals of European Classicism. In that sense all those branches you mentioned except popular music are forms of classical music. Besides, they all have much in common, especially when contrasted with Eastern and other music.

Note that there is also the Classical period of Ancient Greece, and classical arts, architecture and theater which were all different periods in history so it's confusing. I'd personally prefer a different term was used too.

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 04, 2006, 07:29:53 PM
Classical in 'spirit' is the only viable definition anyway.  There is no particular musical form that can claim the exclusive right to the term.

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 06, 2006, 06:54:45 AM
Or, in summary, would Bach be "not classical" if played on kazoo with a beatbox in the background?

Classical means the spirit. In Europe 1500-1900 this meant a resurrection of what the ancients, Greeks and Romans and Germans, idealized.

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
December 06, 2006, 10:28:17 AM
true there are many composers who express out ideas in their genre (or we express theirs in ours) but there is at least ten times more composers particularly in the baroque period that only did what was (musically) safe and only did what the audience wanted and made happy little flowery songs and expressed only trivial ideals, they were however still classical composer. The term classical is does not mean spirit or anything else other then the stylistic features of the music. Classical used to be the most popular form of music and so had the people we hate making music in it but they were still classical

ozz

Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
January 22, 2007, 10:26:02 PM
ABIGOR "Nachthymnen" comes to mind for black metal.  Massacra for early death metal goodness.  And for sheer heavy metal classical influences, I like Paul Gilbert from Racer X.  Word to your mother.