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Topics - RedReign

Interzone / Musical Masochism
« on: August 13, 2009, 06:17:18 AM »
I often intentionally listen to music that I don't like.

It can't be stuff that's really horrible.  There is just some torture that I can't endure. 

But I'm getting more and more into these irredeemably awful NWOBHM bands.  Tygers of Pan Tang.  Tokyo Blade.  Raven.

Someone kill me.  But does anyone else do this?

I also eat food combinations that other people grimace at.  I do it because of the blast of physical sensation.  For some reason the unpleasantness of these bands-- out of tune falsetto singing, triplet ostinato tapping, lyrics about beer and bitches-- chisels through my jaded ear canals in a way that at least wakes me up.  You have to notice this stuff.  It's not something you can leave on in the background and forget about.

Crusty?  This shit was crusty when it came out.  I remember in the 80s there were large bins in most semi-hip record stores that were devoted to this stuff.  But you had this sense that it was already dead and buried.  I didn't listen to it.  I didn't know anyone who listened to it.  But still it was out there and it had enough of a following for stores to devote fairly large amounts of floor space to it.  Probably there were legions of jean-jacketed mullet dudes in seedy parts of seedy industrial towns who blew their whole pay checks every week on that and weed.

I wonder where they are now.  I wonder what they listen to now.  My guess is they're still in the same seedy towns, still listening to their seedy old vinyls of Riot and Savage Steel.  My next door neighbor is about 45.  He has a mullet and a big house.  On summer weekends he smokes mexican mids and sits in his pool cranking Ozzy, Boston and Def Leppard.

What made the bands think that it was a going concern?  I think they must have just enjoyed doing it.

The style stayed around long after it had become self-referential, almost self-flagellating.  A lot of these bands are still at it, working the club scene in Manchester and Liverpool.

Somehow, I get the feeling they will always be there.

This second-echelon NWOBHM is one of the most awful musical styles ever that wasn't completely ersatz.  You had the feeling that the guys were honest-- they were all mullets and weed and Union Jack wifebeaters.  They at least played instruments.

But played them well?  Not so much.

I do so wish Earl Root (The Root of All Evil) was still around.  Earl understood.

Interzone / Religion?
« on: August 13, 2009, 05:29:19 AM »

One hundred billion galaxies and that's just in our Hubble volume.

You're an infinitesimal insect on an infinitesimal speck of dirt in an infinitesimal, insignificant galaxy.

You're a collection of bacteria.

Nobody cares a fuck about you.

Your woo-woo "spirituality" doesn't mean dickshit.

Interzone / The Other Side of Commercialization
« on: August 12, 2009, 12:27:16 AM »
People talk about how bad commercialism is.  It's true in many ways.

But something I don't see mentioned very often is the fact that the commercialization of metal has meant greater penetration of many metal ideas into the public sphere.

People talk all kinds of shit about CoF.  For good reason-- I can't stand most of their stuff, personally.  In fact I can't really stand any of it.  People argue about whether it's black metal or not.  They call them sellouts.

But another way to look at all that is that we have a band that's not quite black metal who have reached Hot Topic levels of popularity.  They aren't quite airplay popular, though you would certainly hear them on "Metal Shop" shows late at night on Clearchannel stations.

The point is, they're getting extremely dark subject matter, along with a largely watered-down version of antihumanist philosophy, out into the public sphere of ideas.

When you see a hipster with a fauxhawk sporting a Botulistum manpurse at the Starbucks, you just have to ask yourself who really won the culture war.

Interzone / The Fallacy of Relativism
« on: August 08, 2009, 09:00:30 PM »
All ideas are equal.
All cultures are equal.
All people are equal.
All people, ideas and cultures are entitled to kid glove treatment-- walking on eggs in fear of offending someone.

NONE of this is true.

Interzone / Using social media to spread ANUS
« on: August 05, 2009, 08:44:18 PM »
Reddit has a Metal subforum.  It would offer a chance to expose the masses to real metal and to heap ridicule and disgust on the fakers.


See also:


Metal / Necrophagist
« on: August 05, 2009, 04:35:49 AM »
I'm sure a lot of people probably look down on this band for a number of reasons.

I did too for a while.  But I hadn't really listened to them.  Now I think they're amazing.  They're head and shoulders above most of the random, disorganized "technical" death metal.  There's a lot of thought in there to go along with the BROOTAL.

Metal / Most Music Sold 0 Copies In 08
« on: August 02, 2009, 12:42:14 PM »
According to a new study, of the 13m songs available for sale on the internet last year, more than 10m failed to find a single buyer.

The research, conducted by the MCPS-PRS's Will Page and Andrew Bud, brings us that much closer to proving Sturgeon's Law that 90% of everything is crap. It also provides evidence for the famous old rock critic adage your favourite band sucks.

More importantly, these findings challenge the "long tail" theory that diverse, specialised items though individually less popular - will together outsell mainstream "hits".

Page is the chief economist at the MCPS-PRS Alliance, a not-for-profit royalty collection agency. According to his and Bud's research, 80% of all revenue came from about 52,000 tracks the "hits" that powered the music industry. Broken down by album, only 173,000 of the 1.23m available albums were ever purchased leaving 85% without a single copy sold.

"I think people believed in a fat, fertile long tail because they wanted it to be true," Mr Bud told the Times. "The statistical theories used to justify that theory were intelligent and plausible. But they turned out to be wrong."

"The relative size of the dormant 'zero sellers' tail was truly jaw-dropping," Page emphasised.

Metal / Black Metal Still Possible?
« on: July 31, 2009, 04:42:00 PM »
Is it possible to make black metal in 2009 without being too derivative and disrespectful of the originators?  Is it too saturated?

Metal / Bal Sagoth: A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria
« on: July 29, 2009, 06:44:50 PM »
Here is one of my all-time favorite bands.  Actually their first disk is the only one that's very good.  They basically play a fusion of black/death and powermetal.  The first disk was more Lovecraftian in nature and the later ones were more Conan powermetal, very technical and bombastic but not near dark enough for my tastes.


You may or may not like this.  I understand many people cannot stand them.  I think they're absolutely amazing.

Here's an all-keyboard piece. 


Metal / Metal Distortion
« on: July 25, 2009, 05:27:37 PM »
Some of the best metal sounds ever came from old Swedish death metal bands like Entombed, Dismember, Grave etc.

Their distortion sounds can be very difficult to mimic.  The answer is the Boss HM2 pedal-- either cranked to 10 through a clean tube amp channel (Marshall JCM or the like) or distortion at 0 through the amp distortion, with all other knobs on 10.

Very simple.  The distortion is bonecrushing.

I hear a lot of people who don't like this tone.  They want to run through pods and all sorts of effete bullshit.  They should stay in artfag coffeeshops listening to Dream Theatre.

Layered distortions make an excellent black metal tone with this.

Metal / Classical Guitar
« on: July 21, 2009, 12:59:22 PM »
Albeniz.  Sor.  Carulli.  Segovia, particularly Asturia Leyenda.

Loads of others.  The John Williams recordings "The Baroque Guitar" has a lot of amazing music on it. 

Usually I can tell if I like a classical guitar piece within the first three notes or so.  If it's in a major key I almost certainly won't like it.  And many minor pieces shade into major keys partway through the piece.

Metal / Acoustic Preludes in Metal Music
« on: July 21, 2009, 12:19:39 AM »
I think something a lot of the current crop of music seems to forget is acoustic or "clean" preludes and interludes.  The reason for this is probably because the bands think that to look "true" the music has to be either unremittingly raw or "brootal." 

Most of the most successful bands have done this.  Slayer's "Spill the Blood," "Dead Skin Mask," "South of Heaven."  Master of Puppets is full of these.  Death, Morbid Angel, Dissection. 

Also melodic elements, but "melodic death metal" seems to have gone into a certain stylization.  "Melodic" doesn't mean certain scales or texture.

Why is this?  I think it may have something to do with ear fatigue.  Also, in songs like Dissection's "Unhallowed" the cleaner parts are clear statements of the theme.  When the distortion comes in again, the theme is restated in some way, with distorted chords filling in large chunks of the soundscape that were previously empty.  The contrast makes the distorted, muted chords seem far heavier and more powerful.

In the best cases, the classical preludes aren't simply tacked onto the front or thrown into the middle, but are integral to the sound-- in the absence of noise, the pure form of the music is revealed momentarily.

I tend to like bands that do this.  I tend to dislike bands that don't.

Interzone / The Ineffable Horror of Screamo
« on: July 20, 2009, 11:22:24 PM »
A couple of summers ago I was rudely and repeatedly exposed to hardcore screamo.

This was in Tampa Florida, in some of the very same bars where Obituary, Death and Morbid Angel used to play.

I had heard of it, vaguely, but since I'm from up north, I hadn't really Understood the True Horror.  You see, it's everywhere down there.

Every Fucking Where.

Not only was I almost unable to stand any given song, or any given band, but I found myself absolutely dreading the next song, not wanting the current song to end because I knew they were saving their more "hardcore" numbers for last.

Several of the bands featured keytar players.

The singers hopped around while bleating like impaled sheep and waving their arms around like Tyrannosaurus Rex claws.  This seemed to be part of the aesthetic somehow, like it was supposed to show the depths of their emotion about that relationship that kind of fizzled out.

It meant absolutely nothing.  It IS absolutely nothing. 

I'm still amazed that it hasn't taken over everything, completely.  Usually when I find some trend or other odious, it's absolutely inescapable within a couple of years.  But apparently this stuff is too execrably awful even for hardcore fans.  I do think it's been rather a viral meme among Myspace bands, but could it actually be dying out?

I'm also still amazed how terrible it was.  How naive I was.  I'll put it this way, I knew it was going to be bad, but I had NO IDEA how bad it actually was.  They should use it for torture music in Abu Ghraib. 

Probably they do.

Metal / The Fall of the Virtuoso
« on: July 18, 2009, 07:47:43 AM »
It doesn't take much more than a cursory listen at current popular music to notice that none of the musicians are very good.  Furthermore, none of the currently popular genres seem to care in the least about musical ability, whether in terms of raw talent or acquired proficiency.

The most egregious example is hiphop, where they don't play instruments, they don't sing, they don't even create their own material but instead cannibalize the work of others.  Clearchannel rock is another: simplistic chord structures and arrangements, vocal styles that require little skill or talent, a disregard for guitar solos and "shred" for they require skill and skill is something that could differentiate bands.

These trends are part of a conscious, deliberately and methodically followed agenda on the part of the music industry.

They've intentionally pushed rap.  They've pushed emo.  They've pushed sanitized three-chord punk.  They've pushed "the new Country" which makes the old Country look like Segovia in comparison.  They did away with shred and replaced it with alternative, one of the least talent-intensive styles ever (where they actually play instruments at all, anyway).  Even the committee-designed pop of Prince and Michael Jackson is out, replaced with even blander, more generic tripe.  Now, not even singing in tune is required.  All that difficult stuff is now handled by vocoding electronics.


Because they wanted to limit the power of the musician.  It was possible for individual musicians to develop followings because of skill and musical talent.

Now, that's not the case anymore because the styles that the labels have made popular are simply not conducive to musical skill.  Not only that but the fans have become conditioned to actively scorn musical ability.

All bands and musicians are interchangeable.  If the label doesn't like you, or if you get uppity, they have numerous Myspace bands waiting in the wings.

Now all that matters is the marketing dollar.  Who is successful is determined in the boardroom.  It has less and less to do with musical talent and more to do with looks: they can take models who have never sung or played a note in their lives and turn them into superstars by funneling marketing dollars through the musical propaganda media.  What they did was to intentionally destroy music and replace it with drivel made by machines.  Machines bought, paid for and owned by the major label marketing departments. 

How did they prevent legitimate music from bursting to the forefront?  Well, they conditioned people-- kids-- to believe that real music was uncool, and that what was cool and edgy was the sound emitted by marketing departments.  Thus, the only styles that "matter" are nonmusical trash, and the only way to success within the trash styles is via the almighty dollar.

Repugnant ghetto filth are given multimillion-dollar record contracts.

Classical musicians who have worked 18 hour days for decades on their ability to play Bach violin concertos are now unable to get jobs.  The concert halls stand empty and silent; nobody is interested anymore.

It's even very tempting to say that it was a deliberate cultural assault.  But then you have to ask yourself why, and by whom, and that opens a whole new kettle of worms.  The answers are rather unpleasant.

Metal / Death by Complexity: The Collapse of the Metal Bubble
« on: July 17, 2009, 04:13:13 AM »
There are a number of posts here having to do with the ongoing collapse of metal.

Something I haven't seen is a comparison between that and the current collapse of the stock market and real estate bubbles.  There are a number of parallels:

* Saturation.  Increasing numbers of agents entering the market on the supply side, sucking the profit out.  Too many bands.  Too many flippers in real estate driving up the market.  The vast majority of the new agents are carpetbaggers, contributing nothing.

* Overcomplexification.  "Technical" death metal pursuing complexity rather than feel maps to complex metatrading methods, derivatives markets, naked shorting, channel stuffing etc. acting as agglomerations of parasites.

* Crash phase: now that the market has been devalued, the "weak hands" are leaving in droves.  The hipsters are the first to realize that the bubble they've created has now collapsed so on they go to the newer and trendier fern bar.  Bands who were in it for profit and "chicks" realize that all along they had been following a trend, therefore there is no money: there are 36000 other Myspace bands with names like "Mediocre Tuesday" and "Sigh at the Autumn."  They suddenly understand that since there is no money in CD sales, to live on their music would mean a life of constant touring, eating nothing but cheetos for months on end.

So they leave.  A lot of the fans leave also.

In death metal, the aesthetic has become technical playing for its own sake.  This has drawn a crowd of nerds who don't "get it."  The scene has also drawn people searching for an identity, who again don't really "get it" but want to wear the trappings in order to fit in somewhere.

Meanwhile, the real bands keep on doing what they've always been doing.  Largely, they do this because they're sick in the head.  They make death metal rather than stabbing people.  The real bands are worshipping darkness and that's something you can't fake.

Bands that try to fake eventually shy away from real darkness into silliness or more upbeat subject matter, while still trying to hold on to the trappings and cachet.

These fake bands are often more successful than real bands, because there are also fake fans, people who don't REALLY want to listen to art made by psychopaths.  Thus, the fake bands draw large fanbases.  Bands that glorify complex guitar wanking draw fans who are highly invested in their opinions of themselves as metalheads but don't really want to kiss the goat.

What's happening now is that the carpetbaggers are leaving.  Pretty soon this hardcore crossover flash in the pan is going to die out.  There are going to be a number of bands that will emerge which are not necessarily technically simple but which are heavy on feel and who are genuine, who are comfortable with the idea of playing in shitty little metal bars because it's either that or stab someone in the head, or commit suicide.  They will accumulate a fan base.   This may happen rather quickly because there are already genuine bands out there who just aren't noticed among the noise.

Then the cycle will repeat.

Interestingly, this all maps to Kondratiev seasons, the boom-bust cycles in economics.