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Metal band bell curves

Metal band bell curves
May 29, 2012, 08:34:54 PM
When checking out a band with a large discography, I always start within their first few releases. The reason is that bands with many albums tend to be at their best during the early or middle era.

Other people have brought this up. In particular, we were ranking worthwhile Slayer albums from greater to lesser in another thread. Worthwhile albums for a given band number maybe 3 to 6, always in the earlier career stage. Burzum, Darkthrone and Immortal are others.

Why a bell curve instead of a declining line from the first release? The first albums tend to fit onto our chart as worthwhile, but they are almost never the best output in a band's career. Aske or Show No Mercy are greats but not bests as those would come later but before decline in middle career where by then we can no longer continue a quality curve because it has fallen off our charting page.

Re: Metal band bell curves
May 29, 2012, 10:06:23 PM
I am not knowledgeable enough to definitively answer this, but here are some ideas that others might wish to expand upon or dispute.

The creative fire that fuels a work of art seems to burn out once an artist has created the best work he is inherently capable of. Perhaps this pinnacle occurs when his skill and knowledge have finally reached the point at which his vision can be realized exactly as intended. The albums leading up to this masterpiece are also good because the passion and vision are there. Although they might have mistakes or fail to reach their potential due to inexperience.

Once the fire is gone, having been sated by the creation of a masterpiece, the artist might attempt to rekindle the flame. However, no amount of technical skill or experimentation will make up for the sense that the music, like creator, is a shell of what it had been.

In the case of some bands, they may wittingly sacrifice artistic integrity in effort to have commercial success, but I doubt many will do so while true creative passion remains, so the next album was going to suck anyway.

This pattern that I described may vary from band to band, with some putting out more than one superb work. But I think the essence is this: when artistic vision and actual skill converge, great things happen.

Another factor may be the loss of youth itself, the point at which many people seem to burn out under the drudgery of life.

Those who are learned in the philosophies concerning art might be of particular use here.

Re: Metal band bell curves
May 30, 2012, 02:49:37 PM
it just seems that bands run out of ideas.

bands throw all their great ideas into the first few albums, then have nothing else to offer for future albums.

at that point...it makes more sense to end the project. use other ideas you may have, on a completely different genre/band, instead of trying to change the band's original direction...which happens all too often.

Re: Metal band bell curves
May 30, 2012, 08:39:51 PM
like everything , when you're with your girlfriend fucks all time, but the more time passes unless do you.
bands change in the time (see the end of the movie trainspoting) the world changes and we with him, early Metallica traveled by bus from state to state, now  traveled by plane, you understand me. this affects the albums.
Slayer has a family now, before only fun, lots of friends, much distortion, and now only TV news, news paper, etc etc...and it affects an album.
so all the bands, you understand the point.

if you crazy lived to make music based on experiences.
and now live in the comfort of your home, what you expect?

trollish translate.

Re: Metal band bell curves
May 30, 2012, 09:06:32 PM
Terrible translation but good point nonetheless. The excessive outside commitments that come with success have a corrupting effect. Determination and struggle have run their course. Elation burns up whatever once fueled that creative fire.