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[META] Best metal 1999-2009

[META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 12:22:44 AM
I think one of the aspects where these lists fail is that they don't take in account the eras of metal. Eras don't take place neatly within decades, centuries, etc. Probably better would be to speak of for instance best of black metal 1991-1993, best of black metal 1993-1998 and then 1998 til present day. It puts everything in better perspective imo. An interesting question arises from this: did the last ten years of metal even produce any event so influential that the post-1998 timeline deserves separate eras? Or was it really just a constant stream of sewage that produced some interesting turds?


Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 01:42:05 AM
I split this into two topics:

I. Topic
II. Discussion about how the Topic should be conducted

Hope that helps.

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 03:59:59 AM
I'm not sure we've had an "era" this last decade. You can't point to a nation or region which was putting out quality stuff semi-consistently. You can't really even identify a novel musical approach or style in recent memory which is worth discussing. There have been quality releases in the last 10 years but no pioneering works.

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 05:24:20 AM
I'm not sure we've had an "era" this last decade. You can't point to a nation or region which was putting out quality stuff semi-consistently. You can't really even identify a novel musical approach or style in recent memory which is worth discussing. There have been quality releases in the last 10 years but no pioneering works.

Agreed, somewhat, but there have been a few works which will herald the next great movement in Metal.  Shall we list them here, or in the other thread?  These albums have not been ground-breaking, but I can see people creating ground-breaking works based upon these albums.



Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 11:40:20 AM
Hmmm, well if this is going to be a separate thread then I suggest we discuss the trends and "special unique flavors" of the last 10 years or so. That means styles such as DSBM, orthodox bm, the influence these styles had on the rest of metal, etc. I've never been that interested in most of these hypes but it would be interesting to see an overview.

Example:

War Metal - got hyped around 2001 following several scene releases (Conqueror, Black Witchery) and the return of Blasphemy. Spawned countless of copy-cat bands due to the simple musical structure and low-threshold concepts. Is still mostly a scene of copy-cat bands and didn't really influence black metal as a whole.

Depressive Suicidal Black Metal - got hyped between 2002-2007 following the success of bands such as Xasthur, Leviathan and Shining. Its impact on black metal was notable. Several bands added influences from DSBM to their music while other bands were wrongly labeled DSBM (either by fans or themselves) Now that DSBM is over its marketing peak some bands try to shrug off the DSBM label and present themselves as normal BM while still playing the same generic black metal ballads. The success of DSBM also gave a huge boost to the ambient black metal genre leading to the popularization of the formula of 8-minutes-of-fiddling-around-on-a-guitar-or-keyboard-followed-by-10-minutes-of-boring-incoherent-riffs-followed-by-another-8-minutes-of-ambient-cheese.


Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 11:50:21 AM
Hmmm, well if this is going to be a separate thread then I suggest we discuss the trends and "special unique flavors" of the last 10 years or so. That means styles such as DSBM, orthodox bm, the influence these styles had on the rest of metal, etc. I've never been that interested in most of these hypes but it would be interesting to see an overview.

An overview has actually been written and published at Deathmetal.Org not too long ago. Hopefully it will help incite some discussion.

Identity Construction and Class Demonstration in Modern Black Metal

War metal and the suicidal thing are good examples, too. Originally, bands like Bestial Warlust and Bethlehem pioneered the concepts without knowing it. We only got the "subgenre" when marketing inside the scene turned insipid and forums such as FMP fueled it.

Shining is, in good and bad, the essence of what happened in the last decade of Swedish black metal: narcissistic drama. In Finland, Satanic Warmaster laid out the rules for orthodoxy and street credibility in black metal and all the teenagers listened. The rest of the world had Nargaroth, who tried to return to such extreme image as was projected by Burzum or Graveland, but blew it out of proportions because unlike the originals, he didn't have any ideology. Then, Velvet Cacoon or Xasthur pioneered the hipster invasion, because they made more linear versions of ambient black metal that were easy for indie and post rock fans to comprehend. Harsh Russian black metal, Paysage d'Hiver/Darkspace (Switzerland) and some of the Finnish experimentalists (Ride For Revenge) were also lumped in, while they were only interested in creating textures depicting the landscape of their homelands and the clash of ancient beliefs and modern paranoia.

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 12:57:48 PM
War metal and the suicidal thing are good examples, too. Originally, bands like Bestial Warlust and Bethlehem pioneered the concepts without knowing it. We only got the "subgenre" when marketing inside the scene turned insipid and forums such as FMP fueled it.

I think if we examine all these subgenres we'll find that a fundamental flaw they all suffer is that most bands start with a concept and then work around that. I believe one of the things metal needs is artists who work within a certain ideology and as a consequence their music adheres to a certain concept (as the originators did) It seems to me that now we have bands that come up with a concept first and then try to dress it up and make it sound interesting. But how can you invent something new if you already know what you're going to invent? Most inventions are in fact discoveries (electricity for example) and I think the same goes for music. Artists discover they can make refreshing music that communicates with feelings already present in the listener. Bad music tries to force feelings into the listener that weren't there before and thereby give them a unique experience they don't need, comparable to bubblegum flavored toothpaste or being raped in prison.

But I'm heading offtopic with this already. Instead let's hear if people can say something about the importance/influence of orthodox BM or the nu-wave of tech-death.

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 09:11:07 PM
Reposting this chart because it's relevant (originally from the "I Like Opeth" thread):


1. Keeps rhythm.
2. Catchy
3. Brings out an emotion
4. Brings out two emotions at once
5. Conveys emotional change
6. Conveys emotional change of two emotions at a time
7. Conveys a specific experience (mimesis)
8. Conveys a specific learning experience
9. Conveys a generalized learning and maturation experience
10. Conveys infinite perfection of universe

Two questions.

I. How important is 'breaking ground'? Is it enough to release quality material that doesn't get old after hundreds of listens and tops out at a ten on the above scale, even if the aesthetic/ideology is the same as past releases?

II. How many of the albums posted in the sister thread to this one stand up to the pre-1996 metal releases strictly in terms of quality? Throwing out, for now, all questions of whether or not we've had 'pioneers' in recent years.

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 09:18:35 PM
I think if we examine all these subgenres we'll find that a fundamental flaw they all suffer is that most bands start with a concept and then work around that. I believe one of the things metal needs is artists who work within a certain ideology and as a consequence their music adheres to a certain concept (as the originators did) It seems to me that now we have bands that come up with a concept first and then try to dress it up and make it sound interesting.

I think you're on the right track here but let's try to clarify (though you might disagree with my terminology). I don't think these substyles of metal are conceptual in nature. When I think of concept-based music the first thing I think of is early progressive rock and experimental (including the nascent industrial and ambient genres). It's not ideological or didactic music strictly speaking. Think of concept albums; works which have a sort of internal album structure (e.g., a track-to-track narrative) have unity whereas works that adhere to a uniform theme/aesthetic/lyrical content can often seem contrived (trying too hard) or disorganized. I think you're right, ideology can help grant conceptual clarity but it's misleading to say that artists require rigid belief systems to produce amazing records.

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 21, 2009, 10:38:18 PM

I. How important is 'breaking ground'? Is it enough to release quality material that doesn't get old after hundreds of listens and tops out at a ten on the above scale, even if the aesthetic/ideology is the same as past releases?

Examples? By "pioneering works" I mean a certifiable classic of which there hasn't been in roughly 10 years. I think "Close to a World Below" is a great album. I think even "Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan" and "Destruction Ritual" are notable releases for metal die hards. As much as I like them though I could ultimately do without them. I wouldn't recommend them to newcomers. They didn't change my life or give me new knowledge or insight. It's not that the quality isn't there but superior craftsmanship doesn't replace art. They are all searching for their own voice but in the end seem like critical exegesis on the past. That's a step in the right direction but it's irrelevant unless you're already an insider. We know there's an intangible almost indescribable something which a classic album has which I'm failing at identifying at the moment so I'll pause..

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 22, 2009, 02:20:02 AM
Xasthur pioneered the hipster invasion, because they made more linear versions of ambient black metal

"Linear" is a terrible choice of word to describe the music of Xasthur, which is far more concerned with "vertical" depth, using mirrors as a conceptual device to explore surrealism (note: the guitars often sound strangely reflected back against themselves) and a decontextualisation of the Cartesian subject before a nihilistic vision of groundlessness. The immense, contemplative force of its music necessitates the band's inclusion in any fair-minded list of genre "greats." 

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 22, 2009, 03:36:12 AM
Fine words, Nile, but Xasthur still strikes me as the same scene kiddy, indie rock derived thorazine shuffle we've heard for years now: plenty of movement, no direction.

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 22, 2009, 08:03:25 PM
Xasthur pioneered the hipster invasion, because they made more linear versions of ambient black metal
"Linear" is a terrible choice of word to describe the music of Xasthur, which is far more concerned with "vertical" depth

Maybe. I was thinking less of the actual melodies and phrase patterns, but something more simple in the matter of overall sound and presentation. Linear means that "what you see is what you get" and it goes through the motions, no part of the package/product being at odds with any other part. There is only one constant mood, which is very unnatural. But hipsters latched on to the idea that raw black metal can be approached as soundscape music, as blissful static drones and anti-structural modern art, particularly when musicians such as Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and Stephen O'Malley of SUNN O))) quoted black metal as an inspiration. We are talking about an audience that would not be very much interested in Burzum's methods of conjoining Destruction riffs with Schulze's kosmische rock, Demilich's obtuse fusion or Immortal's polyrhythmic Morbid-Angel-clashes-with-Imperial-March-theme holocaust metal, not to mention more traditional forms of metal. Indie/weird music fans are often not fans of music at all, the opposite in fact.

Xasthur built all of his work from a passage to similar, monotonous walls of hypnotizing buzz that indeed, are able to conjure reflective depth on occasion through the careful buildups of essentially simple melodies first at odds with each other but eventually resulting in some kind of a cathartic cacophony. Xasthur did perfect this technique. But it was especially perfect for the minds of the fans of noise, freakout and "obscure shit". Also, because Xasthur's concept was tame and apolitical, it was less problematic to approach it than, say, Les Legions Noires or Blazebirth Hall black metal which otherwise would prove themselves far more "blissful". Xasthur (as Leviathan and Deathspell Omega) probably had good intentions but as fate would have it, they became the poster boys of the "new school".

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 28, 2009, 02:12:22 AM

Xasthur (as Leviathan and Deathspell Omega) probably had good intentions but as fate would have it, they became the poster boys of the "new school".

As an aside, how is this even relevant?

And why does it matter that music is "apolitical"?

Re: [META] Best metal 1999-2009
November 28, 2009, 10:55:52 AM
And why does it matter than music is "apolitical"?


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