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Its High Time To Act

Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 10:31:34 AM
Metal is in a sorry state of rehash to be sure, but based on some observations on the nature of the present culture, I have reason to be positive. The recent influx of indie/emo kids doing their own post-modernized take on metal may cause some to decry this "hipsterization", but I see potential to revive the metal culture, and bring it to a new height of expression if those of us involved in metal choose to seize the chance. You can write off these anorexic irony-lovin' kiddies as flaming liberals. Debate all you want about how well they actually succeeded in their contributions to the scene, however that is not the issue here.

The point is, they are fresh blood looking for something challenging and are open more than most metalheads at this point to atleast attempt advancement of the genre. Look at  Mastadon  for example. I don't think they suceeded as art, but I see their esteem by inexperienced kids as indicative of a larger intellectualization creating the basis for future support of metal's artistic growth. The few smart metal musicians who believe in their own talent and write from inspiration as opposed to commercial motives need to step up and show these kids something better than what is out now. Not all may be receptive, but the smarter indie kids will follow through on their conceits of "open mindedness" and perhaps be affected in a way no other music has done. I am motivated to write this because good art is a powerful medium for cultural change. It is the first major assault on the surrounding order it opposes, affecting those who listen and bypassing the rational mechanism to hit straight at the spirit.

For the past few years at the Dark Legions, I've seen a few  individual attempts at a neoclassical vision of metal, trying to make the final secession from all of rock's expectations, but have yet to see a succesful endevor. Musicians are either too inexperienced in their youth to articulate their ideas or take too academic an approach to composition. In the latter, too much effort is forced into making technically impressive works that get discussed on a message board as if they were music theory workshops rather than individuals talking about how inspiring, or in the case for past metalheads, "kickass dude" their works are. I've been guilty of the latter myself and that shortcoming was part of the reason Ascend got pushed to the wayside for more immediate (and hedonistic) concerns.

Speaking for myself, I want to ressurect my 'band'  because some of the best things I hear are in my own head- symphonic, abrasive, and dynamic guitar epics take form in my mind and disappaer just as fast into the black hole of my mind, never lingering long enough to make it to paper. I feel so much more maturity as a musician in the past year and the drive I have at all hours of the day to not only compose, but express through music the ideals I could never communicate as well through other mediums, is very strong.

If I have advice to give fellow musicians, it would be not to write music for the sake of merely impressing others. Not for the opposite sex, not for commercial appeal, not for your peers, not even for someone like SRP who you think will be blown away by how structurally advanced your tunes are. Impressing someone usually involves playing to  their own superficial expectations, and you don't want flash over substance. It has to be from the spirit and a reflection of your thought process. Think of other people's music that caused a deep change in you and write with that same goal in mind.

If you are not a musician, take a hipster-turned-fledgling metalhead under your arm and show them the cream of the crop of the metal, classical, synthpop and select post-punk works such as Cocteau Twins.  It may be what they have been looking for. Even if they do not appear to immediatly like it, give them a chance, because young people have to learn to appreciate good music for what it is and gradually get bored with their Black Dahlia Murder CDs. Thats was my case when younger.

Anyways, to sum up the moral of the story, if you can stir something deep within listeners, then some will want to take after you. Likewise, they will do the same to their own audiences and so goes the chain reaction.

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 12:05:28 PM
metal promotes nihilism and heroism and to allow those who do not follow such thought will only make aesthetic advancements while keeping the actual ideals of the music dead and lifeless, it would be better for it to die now then to lose its integrity

most people cannot understand or willingly support the ideals of metal, otherwise we would be living in a different society then that in which we have, the aesthetics may become popular but the ideology never will

i say boycott the new flow of ideologically dead metal music (and metal imitators)

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 01:41:20 PM
Please read through my post more carefully because I don't think you quite understood what I was trying to say. Thanks.

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 04:26:44 PM
so was your point we need to help improve metal by helping the newer recruits because they are the ones who have the most potential to push the genre in new directions?  

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 05:06:32 PM
Yeah, pretty much. Help them by demonstrating something better  and hopefully encouraging proliferation of ideas, both musical and otherwise.

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 05:36:35 PM
What metal doesn't need:

5 paragraph exhortations to, like, do your own thing, man.

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 05:49:15 PM
and how exactly do you do this to actually have a noticeable effect. its impossible.. as Mayhem to carnage explains earlier... the society and culture we live in now just doesnt allow this. Entropy must occur before regrowth can happen.

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 06:56:01 PM
Thanks to Mahmoud for your profound contribution to this post.

To hakea I return the question: how do you know this will not have a noticable effect?   You dismiss it as impossible with some pithy line of reasoning that society is too far gone to allow this. If you are going to apply that logic in a consistent manner, then nothing is worth trying to change.

C'mon people, all I tried to do was give a new angle on a situation and boost the morale of those discouraged by what looks at first discouraging. If all you can do is shoot others down without constructive response, then what value is your opinion?


Re: Its High Time To Act
January 30, 2007, 07:10:04 PM
Quote
To hakea I return the question: how do you know this will not have a noticable effect?


very few people as i said before have the ability to comprehend the ideas in metal, also one would have to replace there ideology with that expressed within metal, there are few who want to over hall there life in such a way

but the only reason i oppose your idea is because you want the indie/emo kids to help rebuild our empire, the only way for them to create new works important to metal would be for them to adopt a completely new set of ideals and a completely new aesthetic to match and in such they are no longer emo or belong to the indie scene, all your suggesting is we help "enlighten" those who are lost to help our cause and further metal. It would be much better to simply help those who seek it then try and change a person completely.

This is because the person who seeks help will accept what he (or she) is taught (but hopefully question it) and will have a will to become knowledgeable of metal, if we try and help one who does not want it you will break no ground, i have no problem helping the emo's but only if they want it

with the very small number who will want that help i sincerely doubt any noticeable effect will come of it

also an academic approach to composition would in no way have anything to do with the technicality of the piece and would only allow a piece to grow better and stronger  

and if you can only help those who want it you cant choose which people to help, so you cant reach a lot of the group you wish to

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 31, 2007, 04:18:51 AM
If we convert the Indians we make Christianity better.

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 31, 2007, 11:16:11 AM
I think the first post is assuming that by being conditioned by certain ideas, one can become a good musician and create music which somehow emobodies those ideas (or inspire another person to do the same).

Someone is already either a good musician, or it's just not in them no matter how much reading and selective listening they do. You really can't "condition" most people or even yourself to greatness in that respect. It's absurd to think that someone who has been listening to Mastodon and Black Dahlia Murder can sit around reading the reviews on a site like this for a few months, then pick up a guitar and create the next Pure Holocaust (most people who listen to stuff like that are probably into metal for the wrong reasons anyway).

This isn't an excuse for inaction, but a realization that the kind of people who will create great music are likely already attempting to do so and not posting on internet message boards.  

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 31, 2007, 03:18:20 PM
"but the only reason i oppose your idea is because you want the indie/emo kids to help rebuild our empire, the only way for them to create new works important to metal would be for them to adopt a completely new set of ideals and a completely new aesthetic to match and in such they are no longer emo or belong to the indie scene, all your suggesting is we help "enlighten" those who are lost to help our cause and further metal. It would be much better to simply help those who seek it then try and change a person completely."

"Someone is already either a good musician, or it's just not in them no matter how much reading and selective listening they do. You really can't "condition" most people or even yourself to greatness in that respect. It's absurd to think that someone who has been listening to Mastodon and Black Dahlia Murder can sit around reading the reviews on a site like this for a few months, then pick up a guitar and create the next Pure Holocaust (most people who listen to stuff like that are probably into metal for the wrong reasons anyway). "

As organic systems, cultures and even sub-cultures for that matter do not grow and differentiate from the rest of society overnight. Art, including metal, does not exist to indoctrinate naive youth into an army of neoclassical Ubermensch ANUS warriors when just three days ago they were enjoying their Sonic Youth CDs. Black Sabbath were devoutly Catholic, blues-loving, overall mainstream dudes who felt a need to express the darker aspects of life. Somehow, through the convulted evolution of metal and its encounters with punk and progressive musics, the next decades saw new visions much more alienated than the original. And still, most of us would say Sabbath was the one mainly responsible for this whole mess.

One simple concept can grow as it is elaborated with new ideas presented in whatever existing forums of cultural discourse. Overtime, these can be reinterpreted meeting the needs of the present, and some may eventually even come to be held as part of an unspoken general consensus, reflecting the common psyche of the community. This seems to me, a way of explaining how each new generation seems to follow a trend of gradual secession from the mainstream.

Now if you got this far, congrats to you. To bring it all back to what we were discussing before, I want to say that it is not realistic to expect people to change every aspect of their life overnight. It took atleast a good decade for hippies in the 60's to go from claiming peace, love, and community to realizing in the 80's that money, power, and Ferrari's were more to their forte. For better or worse, you will be surprised how much people can change from 16 to 35. Even making the jump from high school to college may show a dramatic difference. Based on personal experiences and social observations made in these early years of 20 something life, I know that even the bright kids are naive and don't know themselves very well. Some take a while to find out what they really want, because  overwhelming societal pressures and too little spiritual guidence leads to a confusing and scary time.

You're right, the majority of those kids may not be receptive, but if art can get even a few to connect in someway with it that helps them make sense of that otherwise indescribeble confusion, then I think it has done its job. The extent of the effect will not be equal. Some kids may be fairweather fans, some may delve deeper into but be perpetually limited in personal growth. There will then be a few exceptional ones at the top of the heirarchy, always questioning what society has told them and willing to explore new intellectual territory. Nobody should have to agree on every little detail, because forcng people into lockstep conformity is counter-productive.

The most important function of this new culture is that of a pragmatic, post-moral society to enact wider change on the outside world. Its where across petty political differences and varying social preferences, all can still call themselves metal, not just by music taste, but also by those inextricably-linked identifying core set of principles transcending these boundries.

*Apologies to those expecting a one paragraph response, but this is something I have strong feelings about. The most valuable skill I learned in college was how to write in depth on something as if was writing was going out of style.  ;)

Cheers

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 31, 2007, 03:22:16 PM
"This isn't an excuse for inaction, but a realization that the kind of people who will create great music are likely already attempting to do so and not posting on internet message boards. "

If this is supposed to be a personal attack, then my complements to you for such subtlety.

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 31, 2007, 03:26:25 PM
Regarding the thread title: I hear ya buddy...

Re: Its High Time To Act
January 31, 2007, 04:15:14 PM
people may change through there lives as you said but few change there beliefs in a 180 and head the other way, most people keep a similar sense of morality for most of their lives with only a few small deviations, but what sets then in that particular direction is there teenage years, these are the years they develop there sense of morality and is the easiest time in there life to over hall there ideals

so after the teenage years your beliefs and morality stay for the most part the same with the only variations still supporting there current mind set (although extreme events such as learning of your imminent death or a war or something very large to that person can change the way they think)

So in that sense they stay the same for most of there lives although they as people change, this is why so few except metal, those who are introduced after there teenage years have difficult understanding it and have there Christian morality telling them that this is wrong or unappealing (unless of course the ideals they  built as a teenager resembled anarchy or nihilism, so people may change but there ideology usually does not, making it hard to change everything and accept metal unless you are a teenager

" You're right, the majority of those kids may not be receptive, but if art can get even a few to connect in someway with it that helps them make sense of that otherwise indescribeble confusion, then I think it has done its job"

i agree with this completely but you said " how do you know this will not have a noticable effect?" and i was replying to that, so few would accept metal that it would not impact the group or scene