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Metal BANDS are obsolete

Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 12:50:11 PM
 Metal bands are obsolete. At least that particular artistic format is obsolete. If metal truly is neo-classical and tries to emulate the greats of the past, than isn't the whole concept of a band a set-back? If metal is to further separate itself from the pop category than it would be a better idea to embrace a more composer/solo artist approach. Wagner and Beethoven weren't in bands, they composed their music entirely on their own. To truly produce high art masterpieces, metal should embrace this approach. Of course though, it's still a good idea to find other metal musicians in your area and collaborate with them. I was thinking instead of a band, where all the members have written songs on a particular album, you could have one band member compose an album(symphony, ect.), put his/her name on it, and credit the other members with playing the music he/she composed. The other band members could do the same, thereby creating more of a collaboration of composer/artists and less of a contemporary band. I think this would promote more innovation in metal. I'm sure everyone on this sight has already thought that the individual composer approach is superior, but i was curious to know if anyone has thought to form groups of composer/musicians to collaborate with each other. Classical composers have orchestras to play their music, so metal should use bands to the same effect. The band should support the composer, not write the music.
 Does anybody have any criticisms or comments to add?

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 01:46:00 PM
Not much except that the idea of bands are a part of the identity of metal. If it does evolve out of it, this should occur because that is simply the best course and not because of adherence to some "higher" ideal. The idea of a metal band like a rock band already doesn't apply to say, Burzum or Graveland or even Darkthrone. Other than that, the point is good. The idea of bands (like "being in a band") perhaps does detract from the actual art.

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 02:46:18 PM
 Personally, I think it would be both the best course of action and a "higher ideal" to aim for. I'm glad you brought those bands up because they are the best examples. I don't think it's a coincidence that these bands produced superior quality metal and are one-man-driven (not counting Darkthrone). Bands to me are very democratic, so the music ends up being a compromised version of what it could have been. Solo artists on the other hand are more perfection driven, I believe. Metal shouldn't use this approach simply because it is a classical approach, it should be used because it is an artistically superior approach. Without other band members to get in the way, your creativity can become more refined and unadulterated. While it's true that bands in the "rock" format are a part of metal identity, to some extent, I think it's something that should be left behind. Take guitar solo wankery for instance, isn't that also considered a part of the metal DNA? With the advent of black metal, and to a lesser degree, death metal, we see this way of thinking left behind. We can do the same with the whole "band" idea and move on to more intelligent means of creating high art.

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 03:27:05 PM
I just mentioned in another thread that I saw a line drawn that went from Bathory to Burzum to Graveland, representing the greatest in one man groups working toward one vision.  I think the best of that idea to date can be found in those bands. 

I hope this isn't evolving in to a "why not ditch the guitars and write music for an orchestra and just make classical music", because while that might bring something new to the genre, it is not what is lacking.  I like the idea of shooting higher though.

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 03:40:22 PM
I thought about exactly what I wanted to say earlier, and what I think I really care about is preserving band names. The problems of contributors should vanish with a strict artistic hierarchy. That way individual insight can contribute to the whole without there being a false "democritization" of ideas; which most of us will agree is a dumbing down. I'm playing devil's advocate here mostly, as what you say is sound druid. Nevertheless, we have Blessed are the Sick, an album that might not have been possible without the confluence of the specific contributors.

Speaking of band names. They hold much significance and value for me and can often add to the enjoyment of the music as a complete work of art. It is part of the theatrical nature of extreme metal, a discussion of which is underway. Sammaellofi you make a good point there; I fear "western classical-ization", where we end up listening to Vikernes' Blasphemy No. 17 in A Minor. It's a cerebral genre, but it has its own identity. No superfluous attempts at legitimization are required.

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 03:47:18 PM
I always thought the Black Metal bands had the best names and that these names gave true insight into what into what the band was attempting to do:

Darkthrone - Literally the kings of darker metal, for the sake of darkness
Burzum - Tolkien reference meaning dark.  Dark tolkien influenced metal
Emperor - Sought to make majestic and elegant music that was also very crushing
Mayhem - Chaos, as in a band destoryed by its own inner chaos

The only exception:

Enslaved - Great band when they were younger, but what a dumb name for a metal band.  They are now "enslaved" by globalism and the market.

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 04:00:20 PM
Bands in which two songwriters styles compliments each other like Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King of Slayer are a very small minority, most of the time you either see two or more songwriters with conflicting ideas or one mind dominates the songwriting.

Then again, we have to realize that people in these times are looking for identities. Dumbfucks may fret over "personal identity" but smarter heads are seeking group identity, probably because personal identity is easy but group identity is complicated, crucial, and absent on a meaningful level. Being in a band helps curb the anguish of lost tribal identity, like joining a gang.

Also need I mention how difficult it is for smart kids to network to others like them these days? In the last twenty years the cell phone, the internet, and video games have guaranteed the kids will mostly be staying in doors. Being in a band is good for meeting like minded people, as long as you keep it real.

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 05:08:35 PM
 I agree that band names are an important artistic contribution. I also agree that Vikernes' Blasphemy No. 17 in A Minor somehow is missing the point of metal.

 My solution is pseudonyms. Pseudonyms are great because they lesson the role of personal identity and can be an artistic expression.

for example:
Richard Wagner - Die Walküre - Ride of the Valkyrie

 A metal equivalent of this format would be:
Count Grishnackh - Hvis Lyset Tar oss - Det Som Engang Varr

This is probably a poor example but you get the point; pseudonyms can be just as effective as band names.

As for bands helping join like-minded people together, I already stated that the "band" would be structured to empower the composer.

Let's say I get a quartet together and our bassist composed an album, we would all get the credit for playing the music but the album would be under HIS name. In return, the guitarist would do the same et cetera, et cetera.

 I think structuring a band this way is superior. I guess you could name the band but it's not a necessity.

I wouldn't like to see metal legitimized, but I think having more individual composers would enhance the music and give more of a sense of professionalism to metal without lessening its dissident outlook.


Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 21, 2012, 08:35:37 PM
And who would you have legitimize metal?

Academia, they who think war pain and death ought to be outlawed?

The common prole, who bides his time listening to the urban poetry of the common negro and his various musical stylings from hip hop to rasta-mon rude boy JAH we Jahmmin?

The middle prole who dwells in suburban areas biding his time raiding the medicine cabinet till his next fix of E to dance wild in the night?

Perhaps the aging prole, he who relives the glory days of a bygone era through "classic" rock n roll?

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 22, 2012, 02:58:57 PM
I personally believe that for the majority of cases, metal "bands" where every member contributes in a more or less equal way run the risk of falling into genre pitfalls.
It seems that most people getting together to start jamming start with a specific genre idea usually relating to 3 or 4 of their favourite black metal bands, or whichever genre they want to create together to find that musical common ground together. In so many cases this just creates this completely redundant musical project where you have a guitarist trying to emulate old mayhem riffs, another guitarist who worships wolves in the throne room, some drummer who just listens to suffocation all day, and a bassist just pedaling 8th notes. I don't think it's necessarily the fact that the "band" idea itself is obsolete, more so very difficult to find musicians in the metal  or any "band" genre I suppose, that aren't just people making a point of emulating some kind of genre that they personally enjoy. Of course it is impossible to create music without it being lumped into some kind of style, however, I don't believe one should be making music with the goal of emulating a genre in mind, I believe the best music, that I've heard, and that I have created myself has been inspired by actual human emotion (be it anger, rage, passion, belief, personal darkness, spiritual goals, misery, etc,), as opposed to "generic technical death metal band #79"'s third album which all four members of the band agreed was an awesome album.
My personal opinion (which may be unpopular), is that it is split more or less into three categories to me. I believe there are fans, musicians, and artists.
Fans being an obvious definition, but often times fans will pick up instruments, like how we all started, and one either progresses from a fan into something more, or as in many cases they more or less stay the same. These fans which are now playing instruments basically have no creativity and never will, but may be good at playing moderately challenging riffs, etc, and enjoy jamming with people once in a while because they think it sounds cool and it's fun. Usually, from my experience, these are the people playing instruments who only identify playing music with whatever band(s) or musicians they're trying to emulate and maybe the next Cannibal Corpse song they learned to show to their other long-haired band shirt friends.
Then musicians, which are less common in the metal world, but still around. Musicians I find are the guys who CAN be the biggest pricks to create music with, as they're usually the guys who don't fully relate to the passion of music or the power of it, or any kind of deeper meaning for that matter. They just take music as a competition of musical and theoretical knowledge. They know all their chords, have many scales memorized and compulsively make youtube videos of them "shredding" in the hopes that someone will come along and stroke their ego once more. Albeit that often times, these guys can be very talented at PLAYING music, and having the ability to learn things quickly and playing in key, they almost always lack any kind of interesting creativity and generally have nothing to contribute artistically unless it shines the spotlight on them, and even then, no one cares.
Then finally, an artist. Now THESE are the people who make amazing bands, and THESE are the people that have an unified image of music beyond just sound, egos, and genres. These are the people that view music for what it really is, which is art. Take a piece of music that someone has written who is a person who just been to at the bottom of the barrel in life, and is in NO WAY thinking about his favourite band at this current time, but does however decide to write a piece of music to reflect on this absolute shit he's feeling, murderous rage, or spiritual progression, whatever emotion given it's genuine. Those are the pieces of music that actually mean something, and almost always have to be personal experiences that could only be written by one person. However, I do believe once someone has written a vast majority of a piece of music like this, it has the ability to be expanded upon by other like minded artists or even musicians to bring out other sides to something you may have never thought of.

So I would agree that metal "bands" are somewhat obsolete, mostly because the majority of metal fans and musicians don't necessarily have any artistic vision, except being "black, death, thrash, progressive, or technical"

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 22, 2012, 03:01:30 PM
I've also been in a few bands....which were actually somewhat good sounding, but I never felt any passion for the music as it didn't have a unified meaning that was strong enough for me.
My solo projects have been the only musical explorations I've fully believed in because they have the ability to be such a deep and personal exploration.

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 23, 2012, 04:17:43 PM
Keep in mind the large amount of musical training classical composers would have compared to a metal musician. Under the circumstances, bands probably work best for most. However, once the band runs dry, the individual members should take their wisdom gained through the process and develop their own styles through solo works.


Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 24, 2012, 07:30:00 PM
- Stop theorising, start acting. Stop over-thinking and just create. This forum's users are too fond of polemics on how things should be/the future of metal/etc (me included; I'm not going to pass on my share of the blame).

This'll get a bit tangential but it all serves the main point, which is an argument FOR bands:

- Start working on stuff and you'll learn that its handy to work in a known format/niche because it means people can understand the language you're speaking, you'll find an audience and the thrust of your presentation will be intelligible. Bands are the norm in metal, much of the cultural machinery of the genre ties into the band format. eg: One man shows don't get gigs (thats for djs and acoustic singer-songwriters - not metal musicians) -  making them less desirable to the labels/people who have money and take their music to a proper audience; they aren't impossible to make a success, but theres a reason why most of them are never more than bedroom-bm bands no ones really hears of (or glorified bedroom-bm like Xasthur and Leviathan).

- All functioning bands, even shitty rock bands, have a single, dominant creative/dictatorial force behind them, the ones that don't fall apart because everyone pulls in their own direction. Group-think bands last about five minutes, they survive beyond that when one person elects themselves king-dick and takes over deciding most of what needs to be done. Democracy is a pleasant falsehood.

- Division of labour: even if you are the main song-writer its unlikely you'll be any good at doing everything. So unless you've a simple vision in mind expect the execution to be either permanently unsatisfactory or extremely arduous. eg: Its helpful to have a drummer who knows his shit, roughly knows what you're looking for and doesn't have to be shown every single pattern/fill.

Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 24, 2012, 09:50:41 PM
Oh for fuck's sake, none of that means you can't actually have a discussion. Theorize, think. Thinking isn't apathy.


Re: Metal BANDS are obsolete
January 25, 2012, 05:51:36 AM
none of that means you can't actually have a discussion.
True, but the lack of notable output to back up all the talk has been a problem at this forum for years. Lots of grand talk, comparatively little sign of any people going away and working on anything.

All but my first point was engaging with the discussion anyway.