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Messages - Dylar

1 ... 47 [48] 49 ... 55
Metal / Re: Bands better than icons in a style
« on: November 23, 2006, 01:58:47 PM »
Both Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh have excellent material. The first 45 seconds of the P.F.W. version of Breeding The Spawn is better than the entire output of most Death Metal bands in itself.

I dunno - by the time Suffocation got around to recording Pierced From Within, they'd already developed a nice, replicable formula that they applied to every songwriting problem - rinse, wash, repeat.  This is why I'd much rather listen to Morpheus (Descends) or the better Deeds of Flesh recordings - they have the sense of danger and unpredictability that Suffocation wrote out of their music after Effigy of the Forgotten.

Metal / Re: Terrorizer magazine
« on: November 23, 2006, 11:34:07 AM »
I will say this for MetalForMorons:

Unlike most wiki/user generated content sites, it is essentially transparent in terms of authorship - you know who is responsible for the content.  This is extremely helpful, as there are definitely some gem users among the turds, people whos opinions are thoughtful, well expressed, and typically spot on.

It's just that they're surrounded by idiots giving track by track reviews of releases of no significance whatsoever.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 23, 2006, 02:07:08 AM »

But just because the record companies were in for money, does not mean the artists were in it for money.  Do you think metal record companies are in it for the art?

Most of the really important metal releases originally came out on labels started by people who were at the very least already fans of the genre (and very often in key bands).  This wasn't even remotely true of the labels putting out the early blues recordings,  nor of their broadcasting outlets.

And you're still missing the big distinction here: the history of metal as a genre has always emerged internally, while the blues had their history dictated by external sources.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 23, 2006, 01:51:48 AM »

But that is not true.  The first established blues artists (Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Blind Willie McTell, Charlie Patton etc etc) all wrote their own songs or played traditional songs.  A lot of it was also based on work songs on plantations and migrant farms.

These Depression-era stars were the second or third generation of blues performers, and reflect the search for greater 'authenticity' in performance typical of the times.  Everywhere, in almost every genre, the trend was to move away from professional songwriters/arrangers providing material for vocal interpreters and toward performer/writers who wrote, arranged and played their own material.  The same period saw the rise of Woodie Guthrie in folk and Bill Monroe, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers in country/bluegrass. People like Robert Johnson were very much a product of this cultural milieu.   This served much the same cultural function as the Greenwich Village folk scene did in the late 50s and early 60s (or, for that matter, the grunge movement of the early 90s) - allowing record companies to sell the same old skin deep entertainment with the narcotic whiff of feigned artistry.

The first generation of blues performers appeared in the years bracketing the Great War, and these were, for the most part, vocalists like Ma Rainey, rather than singer/songwriters who played their own instruments - they appealed to the fledgling record companies  because they could deliver something akin to the jazz then prevalent in night clubs but in a stripped down format that could be made listenable on the primitive recording technology of the era.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 23, 2006, 01:02:32 AM »

But it's also true that nobody instantly heard the first Black Sabbath album and called it Heavy Metal and then called every album that followed it that sounded similar Heavy Metal.

But the process of genrefication occurred in was mediated through a community independent of commercial interests.  Metal defined itself through its bands and audience.

The blues emerged as a wholly commercial entity: its earliest 'artists' performed songs written (arranged, actually) by hired guns working for record companies and their broadcasting outlets, and its characteristic aesthetic forms and conceptual concerns were dicated to it by people with no connection to any artistic community beyond monetary investment and the desire to turn a profit.

There's no relativity here: metal mattered artistically, the blues never did.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 23, 2006, 12:45:43 AM »

The difference I see is that it took the Blues at least 30-50 years to become commercial after it's creation, while it took Metal less than 10 years to become commercial.  And each individual metal genre becomes commercial after about 2-3 years after it gains it's voice.

Have you not been paying attention?  "The blues" as a genre was at its inception a commercial rather than artistic entity - it came into being to serve the needs of the nascent recording and broadcast industries.  Prior to the commercially motivated creation of 'the blues' the genre, the blues represented a compositional form or technique utilized in many different genres, akin to the 'ballad', not a stand-alone genre.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 23, 2006, 12:19:06 AM »
There's an obvious qualitative difference between a genre that emerged as a commercial compromise and one that was appropriated by commerce at a date well after its emergence.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 23, 2006, 12:00:39 AM »
The point I'm making here is that the admin is right to speak of the blues as an essentially commercial form: he's talking about the blues as a specific genre, rather than an older idea of the blues as an approach that could be applied to multiple genres.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 22, 2006, 07:59:06 PM »
There were 'blues' traditions running through several different American folk genres - country, bluegrass, what we call 'moutain music', as well as dixieland and jazz - all of it mixing to some degree elements of folk music indigenous to the British Isles (melodic construction and call-response structures - and very often the lyrical content and actual tunes) with rhythmic and harmonic elements drawn from West Africa.

However, when people in the 21st century talk about 'the blues', they're not talking about a folk music genre at all, but rather the first truly 'commercial' or 'pop' music form.  'The blues' as we think of it was an artificial creation of the early recording and broadcast industry, who needed music that would appeal to fans of several genres that was also simple enough in its instrumentation to record and broadcast with some clarity given the technical limitations of the day.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 21, 2006, 05:13:35 PM »
Now what? ;)

The project of metal has hitherto been the recovery of an ideal following the fragmentation of values in the modern age.  The next step is to take the recovered ideal and reintegrate it into a higher order - to give it a structure and a permanence beyond that of an infinite moment snatched from the void.  

That means a move away from albums loosely held together by a vaguely unifying concept with the song as their principle unit of construction and toward a more 'movement' oriented structural principle with aesthetic and conceptual idea-kernels as the elemental substance of a work.  This, I believe, is the direction Varg Vikernes was beginning to take the Burzum project, particularly with Hvis lyset tar oss and Hliðskjálf, and I think metal needs to move further down that road if it is to retain its relevance.

Metal / Re: Ego death, death metal and black metal
« on: November 20, 2006, 03:10:23 AM »
Puts me in mind of one of my favorite literary passages:

Tibetans try to see death for what it is.  It is the end of attachment to things.  This simple truth is hard to fathom.  But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die and then go on to experience uterine rebirth or Judeo-Christian afterlife or out-of-body-experience or a trip on a UFO or whatever we wish to call it.  We can do so with a clear vision, without awe or terror.  We don't have to cling to life artificially, or death for that matter.  Waves and radiation.  Look how well-lighted everything is.  The place is sealed off, self-contained.  It is timeless.  Another reason why I think of Tibet.  Dying is an art in Tibet.  A priset walks in, sits down, tell the weeping relatives to get out and has the room sealed.  Doors, windows sealed.  He has serious business to see to.  Chants, numerology, horoscopes, recitations.  Here we don't die, we shop.  But the difference is less marked than you think.

--Don DeLillo White Noise

I've always loved this passage because, despite its deliberate absurdity, it describes the way our society really works.  We have built a culture defined by its veneration of the supreme worth of the individual human being: its institutions, its corpus of myth, its art - all exist to exalt the Sovereign "I."  Death then becomes the great enemy, because Death makes "I" meaningless.  A more realistic culture would re-evaluate its position in the face of this truth (most ancient cultures evolved an epic tradition for this reason - to reconcile man to the reality of death), but our society has far too much invested (often quite literally) in the sacred individual.  So, instead, we engage in the Dance of Death Denied hoping that if we buy the right plastic shit, worship the properly complected Jesus and vote for the right politicians, somehow, the reality of Death will be dissipated.

The problem is that not everyone is dumb enough or deluded enough to buy into this crap.  Inevitably, there are people that see the truth for what it is.  Some are broken by it - they take themselves out with pills or heroin or just put a bullet in their brains.    Some become enraged and shoot up their high schools or hijack airliners and fly them into icons of world commerce or mail package bombs to biotech profiteers.  These people are dangerous to society, but only in a very limited sense.  They are easily marginalized - they're 'fascists' who 'hate freedom.'

Some, however, choose a different course.  Rather than burning out or blowing up, they speak up.  Artists.  Philosophers.  Leaders.  These are infinitely more dangerous to the social order, because they tell the truth when others regurgitate the lie, and truth, given substance by the weight of reality, becomes rather hard to ignore once the taboo against speaking it is broken.  Like the beached whale at the seaside resort (reality intrudes upon purchased fantasy), the longer it is ignored, the harder it becomes to ignore it.  Eventually, you're going to have to admit that something smells.

As a result, our society has a built in incentive to marginalize the truth tellers.  From the perspective of the Death Deniers, it is imperative that Slayer be meaningless - if they aren't, then Death is indeed real, and, oh by the way, this society is totally fucked.  So, first they turn to mockery:

"Ha ha!  It's just dorks singing about Satan!"  

"Ha ha!  Deathklok!"

When mockery proves insufficient, appropriation must suffice.  If Burzum or Mordid Angel or Nietzsche or Wagner or Dawn of the Dead cannot be mocked into silence, then the market must puke out something that apes the form but removes the truth-telling inner spirit, replacing it with something meaningless that can be mocked.  Thus, we end up with Cradle of Filth, Cannibal Corpse, Jaques Derrida, shitty film scores and Dawn of the Dead.  

It's all rather disheartening on the surface, but if you give it a deeper look, hope blossoms in the darkness: the Death Deniers are impotent.  They cannot silence truth, nor can they make reality go away.  All they can do is mock and copy, and, in the end, they are doomed to that they fear most.

Metal / Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
« on: November 19, 2006, 09:47:43 PM »
So, basically, leads and solos are great when they are rooted in the concept of a piece, but suck when they're there for vanity or 'just cuz, man'?

Do any of the rest of you feel the need to add any other blindingly obvious gibberish to this thread?

Metal / Re: Scales (and the lack thereof) in metal.
« on: November 19, 2006, 09:33:36 PM »
The major point of convergence between the better metal and 'classical' music is that of concept or spirit.  They share a way of looking at the world.  Both forms are expressions of structuralist (to show the world as it is) and idealist (to show the world as it could be) impulses, and both at their cores celebrate a sort of heroic order.

The structuralist aspect creates divergence, however, and outer form is in a sense a product of its era.  Metal reflects in its sound the disintegration of the old heroic order celebrated by the classical tradition prior to Beethoven.   That death was foretold by Nietzsche, Wagner and the other Romantics (listen to the last act of Götterdämmerung and you'll hear a lot of the same tonal and melodic tendencies one finds in the best death and black metal), and is now in the process of consumation.  In metal, the use of chromaticism, serialism, and ambiguous resolutions express the death of order from which a new (old) order must rise.

The irony is that modern popular music (and inauthentic metal) has retained the outer form of traditional melody, but having long since jettisoned the inner content and ideal, is unable to make any sort of meaningful expression from these bones.  The end result in entertainment in the place of art and nostalgia where remembrance should be.

Metal / Re: Bands better than icons in a style
« on: November 19, 2006, 03:14:55 AM »
In my opinion Deeds of Flesh is better than Suffocation

Morpheus (Descends) likewise...

Another great example is first album Seance - who pull off the Entombed/Grave end of the Swedish style with a lot more aplomb than either of those bands.

Gutted and Mortuary easily surpass Obituary or Massacre.

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