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Messages - Dylar

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Metal / Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
« on: December 04, 2006, 07:29:53 PM »
Classical in 'spirit' is the only viable definition anyway.  There is no particular musical form that can claim the exclusive right to the term.

Metal / Re: New Thomas Pynchon!!
« on: December 04, 2006, 06:16:26 PM »
If the world is in denial, isn't the first step toward a solution bringing them to see that a problem exists?

As has been pointed out, it's not like Crichton offers any solutions either, but, unlike Pynchon, he doesn't even diagnose the actual problem (which is systemic), preferring instead to assume (like a good liberal) that the problem comes down to cases (good scientists/bad scientists).  Plus, Crichton couldn't write his way out of a paper bag.  

Metal / Re: Metal as European Romanticism
« on: December 02, 2006, 06:45:48 AM »
This site uses 'neoclassicism' to refer to art that embraces the cultural ideals of the ancient Indo-European peoples.  In a Western context, that means first Greece and Rome, the 'Classical' civilizations.  In these cultures (and in their European heirs) we find both a rational impulse ('Classicism') and  a counterbalancing mystical/transcendent impules ('Romanticism') - Nietzsche conceived this as the Apollonian/Dionysian framework.  And so, we find that the same cultures that gave us Aristotelian logic and Roman engineering also gave us the Iliad and the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.  The medieval successor societies gave us Hildegard von Bingen and the mystical architecture of the gothic cathedral, but also Aquinas and Scholasticism.  The Germany of Wagner and Nietzsche was also the Germany of Bismarck and realpolitik.  Metal is 'neoclassical' in that it embraces the millennia long arc of an idealism that is both rational in its methods and transcendent in its scope - Romantic and Reasoned.  Metal, like the 'classical' and 'romantic' music before it, unites both aspects of the Indo-European cultural heritage through a structuralist presentation of mystic and transcendent values.

Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 30, 2006, 09:11:31 AM »

Well that distinction simply is because the genre progressed as other genres of metal became over-commercialized, while blues is traditionally based.

The blues aren't 'traditionally based' - they just never change because the essence of the blues is a twelve bar formula of I IV V progressions.

Metal / Coherence vs. Parts
« on: November 28, 2006, 10:28:49 PM »
If you read a lot of album reviews, you end up seeing "coherence" and "incoherence" bandied about alot.  But what does it really mean to be "coherent"?

I was thinking about this as I listened to Lykathea Aflame a band a friend of mine has been pimping for years now.  He said, "So what do you think."  And I answered, "You know, this band has a lot of...ah...parts."  It was all superbly played, and the individual fragments of song were well thought out and brilliantly executed.  But there was no unifying concept, nothing to tie it together into a meaninful whole.  Nothing but parts.  Taken individually, each of the riffs 'stands out' - but viewed as a whole they blur together, always going some place, but never getting anywhere.

Our society demands novelty, a freshness of style - something that rolls around in the aisles and announces its uniqueness without the need for us to pay any real attention to discover it.  It puts a premium on parts and kicks coherence - the marriage of meaning and execution - to the curb.  
Ask fans of Drudkh or Sunn o((( or Opeth why their favorite bands matter, and all you'll get is a litany of parts.  Oh, they have folk interludes, dissonant feedback, clean vocals etc. etc. fill in the _________.

But where's the MUSIC?

Metal / Re: Deicide
« on: November 24, 2006, 06:48:40 PM »
Legion has always been very important to me and my favourite DM album, but for some reason I've never seen or heard anyone giving it the merit it deserves prior to visiting this site. This album is vastly underrated among the DM audience, for reasons beyond my knowledge. Too complex for an average listener ? Not enough headbang potential ? No easy-to-get "melodic" lines ?

Deicide were victims of their own self-promotion - they developed a cartoonish image that sold albums to the wrong people while discouraging the right ones from tuning in.

Metal / Re: Bands better than icons in a style
« on: November 23, 2006, 05:58:47 AM »
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, 03:34:07 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 22, 2006, 06:07:08 PM »

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 22, 2006, 05:51:48 PM »

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 22, 2006, 05:02:32 PM »

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 22, 2006, 04:45:43 PM »

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 22, 2006, 04:19:06 PM »
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 22, 2006, 04:00:39 PM »
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, 11:59:06 AM »
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.

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