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Messages - Dylar

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706
Metal / Re: Lack of theoretical rigor in metal
« on: January 03, 2007, 04:31:51 PM »
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Gorguts?  Luc Lemay went to conservatory between the writing and recording of "Obscura", meaning that he had formal theoretical knowledge for FWTH.


The key here is timing - the material was written (that is, created) before his stint in conservatory.

There's nothing inherently wrong with theory, but the idea that learning theory can somehow substitute for having ideas is ludicrous, metal isn't dying because it doesn't have enough theory, it's dying because it doesn't have any ideas.

707
Metal / Re: Lack of theoretical rigor in metal
« on: January 03, 2007, 03:12:14 AM »
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are you mad, what about any 20th century composers, theres an entire movement for classical called 20th century, there must be about 30 composers within that worthy of extremely great praise if not more (more composers that is), the most musical ground that was every broken in classical music was in this period


Most of whom didn't emerge from the conservatories - much like the great writers of the last century (and this one) by and large didn't come out of academic literary departments.  

Even then, the 20th century didn't produce a single composer fit to hold jocks of Wagner, Beethoven, Schumann, Bach etc.

708
Metal / Re: Lack of theoretical rigor in metal
« on: January 03, 2007, 12:33:43 AM »
If theory was so useful, why have the conservatories not turned out a composer that mattered in a hundred years?

709
Metal / Re: Lack of theoretical rigor in metal
« on: January 03, 2007, 12:06:42 AM »
Systematic music theory is a product of the 20th century, and emerged simultaneously with the death of the classical/Romantic tradition of the sovereign artist and the rise of the composer-as-technician motif of Modernism.  Modernism presupposed that meaning in an exterior sense was impossible, and thus sought novelty in form rather than authenticity in expression. Theory is the perfect servant when purity of form is the goal.

It's no accident that metal's finest artists from Sabbath to Bathory to Burzum haven't been formally trained in theory, and the ones that have (cf. Dream Theater) are invariably faggots of the first water.

710
Interzone / Re: Chuck Schuldiner: The Pity Party Never Ends
« on: December 30, 2006, 11:35:00 PM »
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In terms of composition you are completely correct espcially concerning Gorguts, but some of the most talented musicians came from Death usch as James Murphy (THE most skilled Extreme Metal guitarist) and Steve the bassist, who is also a prominent figure.



Murphy was already an established figure before he joined Death, and, as with every other band he was involved with, he was essentially a session musician (and your claim that he is THE most technically skilled guitarist in extreme metal is rather questionable, and totally unprovable in any event).

Steve DiGiorgio likewise was a well-established musician prior to his stints with Death.  Indeed, Individual Thought Patterns strongly resembles a rocked up version of Sadus (demonstrating once again Chuck's ability to scavenge from the idea scraps of others without actually being able to improve upon them).

711
Metal / Re: Why Burzum.com kicks ass
« on: December 29, 2006, 12:07:33 AM »
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There's still a lot of interest in Burzum, but very few people are actually paying attention to the music and the ideas of the creator. He has gotten sidetracked into politics, but he might not be as good at politics as he is in music, so it is weird that he is choosing that path.


It's a lot easier to write about politics and ideology from a jail cell than it is to record music from the same.

712
Metal / Re: Metal as European Romanticism
« on: December 29, 2006, 12:04:34 AM »
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What about Hyperboreans? As I read history, it seems apparent to me that every ancient civilization had some knowledge of an even greater one before it, although we have no modern knowledge of these civilization. It even more looks like that worldwide, regardless of race, civilizations that found a transcendent worldview rose above all others and exceeded in culture, the arts, technology, knowledge.

Metal surely has a lot to do with European Romanticism, even borrowing from the classical composers and writers of that period, but European Romanticism might be a rediscovery of this Hyperborean spirit. It's not unique to any one civilization, but common to all civilizations where the spirits of men soar past material to the transcendent.

I like the idea of living in that kind of civilization.


A few thoughts:

1. I suspect that if there had been a 'Hyperborean' civilization, we'd have found some evidence of its existence at this point.  

2. I think that we see a convergence of world myth around the ideas of a 'Golden Age' or an 'Age of Heroes' or 'Atlantis' or 'the Hyperboreans' or of a 'Garden of Eden' because there is a sense among civilized peoples as they enter a 'historical' state that in the process of civilization itself, something is lost.  

3. Similarities aside, there is something special about the Indo-European ideal which is simultaneously honest about the prospect of recreating the mythical golden age, yet willing to strive in this world to achieve the greatness that can be grasped.  Thus the tragic and transcendent are united in one people, which makes for a worldview is uniquely realistic, yet hopeful and proactive.  It's dynamic in the way that the death seeking fatalism of the Semitic traditions and the resigned passivity of NE Asian could never match.

713
Metal / Re: Death metal from Africa
« on: December 26, 2006, 05:28:49 PM »
And the original Hindus were a race of 'West Eurasian' (read: white) conquerors who called themselves 'Arayan'.  Your point?

714
Metal / Re: Sacramentum
« on: December 19, 2006, 03:40:59 AM »
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Celebrity and sensationalism you say?  Varg came to mind.  It's a bit ridiculous to condemn Nodtveidt for the murder and then pardon Varg for instance, whose murder's provocation is debatable, while the provocation for arson isn't.



Arson =/= Murder

I thought you knew that...

715
Metal / Sacramentum
« on: December 18, 2006, 04:11:29 AM »
Sacramentum - Far Away From the Sun



Even in the insular world of black metal, celebrity and sensationalism often serve to shape perception in ways that obscure the actual nature of reality. A classic case in point is illustrated by the relative notoriety of Dissection when compared with other Swedish black metal acts of the mid 1990s (most notably Sacramentum and Dawn). Despite being considerably inferior to and far more conventional than their peers, Dissection is seen as the leading light of Sweden's melodic black metal movement, largely due to the relentless self-promotion of band leader Jon Nodtveidt (who spent much of the 90s making empty threats against Burzum's Varg Vikernes), as well as Nodtveidt's much publicized arrest and conviction for the brutal (and unprovoked) murder of a homosexual. The hype propelled Dissection to a deal with metal major Nuclear Blast at a time when its contemporaries were languishing on small European labels with limited (or no) access to British and North American distribution channels.

As a result, brilliant albums like Sacramentum's Far Away From the Sun remain quite obscure (or worse, simply dismissed as 'Dissection clones') while a mediocrity like Storm of the Light's Bane is widely hailed as a genre-defining classic.  This, of course, could not be farther from the truth.  Far Away From the Sun is no Dissection rip-off, and, indeed, not only far exceeds anything Dissection released, but must be counted among the very best metal albums ever recorded.

That isn't to say that there aren't some superficial similarities between the bands. Like Dissection, Sacramentum developed an approach that focused on the melodic possibilities of black metal, as well as bringing a level of technical precision hitherto uncommon in the genre. However, where Dissection offered a summary of several generations of metal technique through allusions to death metal (percussion), black metal (vocals and riff texture) and heavy metal (tonal consonance and Maidenesque guitar harmonies), Far Away From the Sun finds Sacramentum firmly rooted in black metal while looking back and forward to a more classically constructed expressive form.

Technically, this album is masterful. While the playing isn't showy or athletic, it is highly complex and pulled off with absolute precision by the band. Music like this doesn't just happen, it requires great skill to play and great intelligence and passion to create. Far Away From the Sun is like a Gothic cathedral, a towering monument to darkness and light that yields its secrets reluctantly, but rewards the patient listener with a work of ecstatic beauty (the mix is excellent, making use of a subtle layering of instruments that is both echoing and dense at the same time, while still leaving each distinctly audible). Flowing, labyrinthine melodies with a distinctly classical turn are the order of the day, and this sense is heightened by Sacramentum's frequent use of polyphony and counterpoint (both between guitar lines and between guitar and bass), giving Far Away From the Sun a decidedly ancient aesthetic weight.

Where Far Away From the Sun truly excels is in its ability to create and sustain a sense of unfolding unfolding drama, both internally within individual songs, and holistically, when taken as an album. A overriding tension between creation and dissolution dominates the album, played out through the clever manipulation of contrast: consonance wars with dissonance and ambiguous resolutions, long legato melodic phrases are deconstructed by frenetic bursts of blasting percussion, and the essential beauty of the music is set against the throat shredding vocal performance of singer/bassist Nisse Karlén. While none of the songs are particularly long by metal standards, Sacramentum's mastery of dynamic tension (which emerges not so much in overt variation of volume, but in the more subtle manipulation of riff textures, chord shapes and rhythmic patterns to create contrasts in intensity) renders each song a truly epic mini-opus driving toward a conclusion that is simultaneously hopeful yet ultimately tragic.


716
Metal / Re: Context
« on: December 14, 2006, 03:42:07 PM »
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All very true, but I see the house of cards crashing down in a dramatic fashion very soon, within our life time for sure.  Although our interests come this point will shift away from music, I still wonder what that will bring for Metal.


I think we'll see the world move toward a tipping point in the next 25-40 years, but I don't think we'll reach a breaking point until agriculture starts to fail globally.

717
Metal / Re: Context
« on: December 13, 2006, 05:07:25 PM »
While I tend to agree with the idea that art that outlives its context ceases to be relevant, I don't see this as a particular problem for metal.  The social milieu of Western society hasn't changed substantially since the late 1960s, and I don't see it changing radically any time soon.  In that environment, metal remains just as relevant as the day the opening chord of "Black Sabbath" first wafted through a Birmingham dive.

718
Interzone / Chuck Schuldiner: The Pity Party Never Ends
« on: December 13, 2006, 01:49:48 AM »
Tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary of the Death frontman's AIDS related passing.

Don't forget to remind the simpering sheep of the metal community that Chuck was a traitor at every opportunity (and, it's a great way to promote the site in the process!).

719
Metal / Re: Peter Jackson dropped from "The Hobbit&am
« on: December 11, 2006, 08:45:31 PM »
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While the problems the movies had were not lost on anyone, this is horrible news as the studio will no doubt put in some jackass just to make big battle scenes, who cares little about the message of the story, where Jackson did.


The replacement is Sam Raimi.

720
Metal / Re: New Thomas Pynchon!!
« on: December 05, 2006, 05:01:58 AM »
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Why not both?


A systemic diagnosis serves both functions - when you actually know the problem, the solutions are obvious.

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