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Messages - wEEman33

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451
Metal / Why hardcore vocals fail:
« on: December 31, 2006, 08:39:00 PM »
What makes the black and death metal harsh vocal styles so effective is the fact that the techniques themselves are merely a mask, or more specifically, a verbal coating that imbues in its host specific tonal attributes which are designed to match the emotional and artistic aims of the surrounding music. Importantly, these two types of vocal distortion do not limit the (skilled) vocalist’s range of expression to the degree that the hardcore style does; instead, the black/death metal vocalist—much like the traditional opera vocalist—injects an extra degree of emotion and immediacy into his/her tone by pushing his/her voice to a physiological extreme while still maintaining a level of tonal control that allows the singer to match the dynamics of the music. This is especially important in most metal music, which is wild, stormy, and Byronic by nature, and it is precisely why the hardcore vocal style is inherently incompatible with the major forms of metal.

To explain further: aside from its typically questionable tonal (dis)agreement to the rest of the music, the physiological process of producing hardcore vocals simply limits the singer’s ability to match the dynamics of the music, as the process itself is not a type of coating, but rather, an almost singular distortion effect whose only true sense of variation comes as a result of specific individuals’ physical characteristics. In practice, this vocal style gradually grates and dulls the listener’s senses with its repetitive one-dimensional attack instead of exciting and inspiring emotions alongside the ebb and flow of the surrounding music.

Though the hardcore vocal approach is admittedly acceptable in the less-dynamic types of music from which is spawned (originally, hardcore punk, and later, grindcore alongside industrial), it is completely out of place in the more dynamic methods of metal (read: the majority of the genre’s respectable forms). Unfortunately, frivolous genre-mixing is one of the outstanding crimes in modern metal, and the maddening results are vocalists that have a tendency to mar what might potentially become outstanding art (see: Neurosis and their many clones, Ephel Duath, Gnostic, etc.) with their tiny vocal range (often bordering on a dull, mind-numbing monotone) and simplistic, ridiculously rigid phrasing.

What can we do? For one, we can help stop the madness: do not support that which does not support the values of metal (i.e., the wild, spontaneous spirit that flows through nature and is channeled into many of metal's greatest works), for the moment that music becomes monotonous and predictable--as it tends to when prominently mixed hardcore vocals smother mismatched music with their lifeless, stony weight--it has abandoned the realm of true metal.

452
Metal / Re: a constant issue
« on: December 30, 2006, 12:32:45 AM »
The argument against (non-shameful) self-promotion seems to contradict the very goal of creating art: specifically, to capture and express the eternal truths of life, man, his world, and his society, as viewed through the eyes of the artist; if the artist is passionate about his chosen topic(s) of expression—and if his art is worthy, he naturally should be—then why should he not want to share the fruits of his vision with as many eyes and ears as are possible?

Furthermore, the Internet is by far the most efficient and easily available tool to date when it comes to sharing an artistic statement with as wide an audience as possible, so if the art does have a message behind it—as it should—it seems silly to condemn those artists who choose to promote their art through such a capable medium.

453
Metal / Re: Crimson Massacre FL shows
« on: December 24, 2006, 03:38:23 PM »
It is a shame that Florida is such a big state. I'm spending my holiday break in the state's western tip with a few family members, and the nearest Crimson Massacre show is about 7 hours away by car. If anyone happens to catch these guys though, do give us a written report of the evening.

454
Interzone / Re: Chuck Schuldiner: The Pity Party Never Ends
« on: December 21, 2006, 05:39:08 PM »
Quote
Maybe it's because I avoid the "metal scene" mostly


Your assumption is correct. Shuldiner worship is present in just about every apsect of the "metal scene" these days (i.e., the bands, the fans, the labels, the press, etc.).

455
Metal / Re: Neoclassical (Heavy) Metal
« on: December 04, 2006, 06:37:01 PM »
A Swiss speed metal band called Coroner immediately springs to mind; their peak album is arguably "Punishment for Decadence."

456
Metal / Re: Gorguts re-issues due out 11/27/06
« on: December 02, 2006, 10:21:01 PM »
So apparently, Metal Mind is also releasing the first three Sadus records, in addition to a bunch of other old bands from Roadrunner's rotting back-catalogue:

Quote
Poland's Metal Mind Productions has signed a multi-record licensing deal with Roadrunner Records for the RR back-catalogue.

MMP will re-issue over 25 albums from the late '80s/early '90s, taken from the wide Roadrunner Records archives. The selection of bands includes SOLITUDE AETURNUS, CRIMSON GLORY, ATROPHY, HEATHEN, REALM, XENTRIX, DISINCARNATE, PESTILENCE, LAST CRACK, ZNOWHITE, SADUS, TOXIK, BULLDOZER and GORGUTS. This is a must-have for fans of good music — reissues of classic material in new digipack editions, each title limited to 2,000 copies, digitally remastered using 24-Bit process with bonus features like audio or video material, biography, liner notes from artists and more.

Tomasz Dziubinski, President of Metal Mind Productions commented: "It took us over two years to finalize this fantastic deal. When we first started to work with Roadrunner Records back in 1990 we were selling vinyl copies of those titles. Albums unavailable for over 15 years were sold in places like eBay for hundreds of dollars! This is a wonderful occasion to refresh those classic albums and present them to fans of good metal music in a new, improved version. We worked very hard with Roadrunner Records and the artists on achieving the best possible results.”

Albums up for re-release:

Pestilence - Mind Reflections + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0982)
Realm - Endless War + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0979)
Realm - Suiciety + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0980)
Solitude Aeternus - Beyond the Crimson Horizon + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0970)
Solitude Aeternus - Into the Depths of Sorrow + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0971)
Xentrix - Shattered Existence + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0976)
Xentrix - For Whose Advantage + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0977)
Xentrix - Kin + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0978)
Znowhite - Act of God CD DG (MASS CD 0981)
Crimson Glory - Strange and Beautiful + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0983)
Crimson Glory - Astronomica ltd. Version 2 CD DG (MASS CD 0998)
Disincarnate - Dreams of the Carrion Kind + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0987)
Heathen - Victims of Deception + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0984)
Last Crack - Burning Time + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0972)
Last Crack - Sinister Funkhouse + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0973)
Bulldozer - Regenerated in the Grave 5CD BOX (MMP 5CD BOX003)
Sadus - Chemical Exposure + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0990)
Sadus - Swallowed in Black + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0991)
Sadus - Vision Misery + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0992)
Toxik - Think This + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0993)
Toxik - World Circus + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0994)
Atrophy - Socialized Hate + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0985)
Atrophy - Violent By Nature + bonus tracks CD DG (MASS CD 0986)


Suck it down, eBay profiteers.

Edit: Could an admin change the topic title to "Roadrunner's long-neglected speed/death metal vaults to be emptied soon."

457
Metal / Re: Asking for some honest, non-bullshit replies h
« on: November 30, 2006, 12:55:57 PM »
I apologize for bumping such a long-neglected thread (perhaps I would’ve spotted it earlier had it not been christened with such a cryptic title), but having received much benefit from countless listening sessions with “The Luster of Pandemonium,” I feel compelled to defend its merits.

To those that are complaining about the album's apparent lack of intellectual insight: have you perused the lyrics, examined the artwork, or simply given some thought to the album title itself? If not, I think you'll find that, in every aspect of design, the work itself has much of significance to say, and contrary to one's initial reactions, is actually very tightly wound in sound, aesthetic, and meaning.

The narrative in a nutshell:

Tracks 1-4: Satan convinces his army of hell-spawns to take up the cause of usurping control over the forbidden realm of man, and then leads his army on a warpath to the dominion of Earth where purity--in all its forms--is slaughtered. An army of angels descends to do battle with the demons, but they too are defeated by the undaunted acolytes.

Track 5: The battered warriors take a brief respite of reflection upon their triumph over both God and Gaia’s maggots in this formerly forbidden and now tainted paradise before being dragged back into the chaos of their current situation.

Tracks 6-9: Satan gathers every surviving being (both good and bad) and demands either their allegiance or their execution. As followers of Christ are prone to favor acts of martyrdom over disloyalty, humans and angels alike overwhelmingly choose death, though some alleged followers do emerge. For fear of mortality and an absence of an individual will, most devils choose life.

Over time, the luster of pandemonium dissolves, and, bewitched by a covert militia of renegade angels, a select few in Satan’s ranks reach the realization that it is fruitless to hold power in a world of nothingness. Accordingly, Satan’s right- and left-hand hell-spawns attempt to persuade the remaining hellions to quit their servitude to Satan.

Though momentarily at peace in the void of pandemonium, Satan, in the meanwhile, aspires to create a Utopia (at least, a Utopia to him) by populating this new dominion with disciples that will worship him and assuage the pangs of his unquenchable ego.

Ultimately though, Satan becomes the very type of tyrant against whom he originally rebelled, and as the course of many empires throughout history have shown, though he can often be tricked into doing so, the mind of man cannot exist unperturbed in a perpetual state of servitude.

Lesson learned: Those people who hold power, regardless of their strength or ideals, are destined to be destroyed by its corrupting tendencies. Therefore, instead of seeking positions of societal power and influence, man should seek to become a master of the void; for only there will he find true peace (and meaning) in life.

So as you can surely see, it makes perfect sense that the melodies themselves are unsettling in tone and twisted in their architecture; for they are imbued with the same sense of urgency, ephemeral focus, super-human ability, and grotesque spirit that one might find in the expressions and actions of a hell-spawned usurper, obsessed with a lust for conquest and chaos, or enraged by the duplicity and false promises of a leader-turned-tyrant.

To those that have criticized Crimson Massacre’s apparent disregard for dynamics:

If you’re looking for distinct drum patterns or secondary guitar melodies to provide a sense of dynamics, then you’re misguided search will inevitably get you nowhere, as the album’s sense of dynamics lies in the frantic shifts in playing style, method, and tempo that are rapidly occurring on the guitarists’ fretboards. Instead of forging its own rhythmic identity, the drumming almost exclusively imitates the vicious, rhythmic attack of the guitars, and as such, is appropriately frenzied in its pace. Therefore, it is essential to understand that the drummer, in all of his hyperactivity, is simply there to add another complimentary layer of aggression and violence, filling in the tonal space that the guitars—by their very nature—cannot, and strengthening the visceral, emotional impact of the melodies themselves.

It is all for the best in my view, as the generally harmonized melodies present in Crimson Massacre’s vision are already so complex and fascinating on their own that inserting a supplementary melody/rhythm would probably end up being overkill on most listeners’ brains. Hell, I’ve probably listened to this album at least a hundred times by now, and I have no problem admitting that I didn’t gain a musical understanding of what I was hearing until a good seven or eight lessons, much less a complete understanding of the album, which did not come to me until a good twenty-thirty listens. Yet, as is the case with most works of art, the most challenging pieces are also the most rewarding; "The Luster of Pandemonium" is no exception.

458
Metal / Gorguts re-issues due out 11/27/06
« on: November 28, 2006, 03:34:04 PM »
Quote
GORGUTS: Album reissues

Metal Mind Productions has set a November 27 release date for reissues of the classic GORGUTS albums "Considered Dead" and "Erosion of Sanity". Both CDs will come in a new digipack edition on golden discs, digitally remastered using 24-bit technology, and will be limited to a hand-numbered 2,000 copies. Each title includes two demo tracks as a bonus. The details are as follows:

"Considered Dead" track listing:

01. ...And Then Comes Lividity
02. Stiff and Cold
03. Disincarnated
04. Considered Dead
05. Rottenatomy
06. Bodily Corrupted
07. Waste of Mortality
08. Drifting Remains
09. Hematological Allergy
10. Innoculated Life
Bonus tracks:
11. Considered Dead (demo)
12. Rottenatomy (demo)

"Erosion of Sanity" track listing:

01. With Their Flesh, He'll Create
02. Condemned To Obscurity
03. The Erosion Of Sanity
04. Orphans Of Sickness
05. Hideous Infirmity
06. A Path Beyond Premonition
07. Odors Of Existence
08. Dormant Misery
Bonus tracks:
09. A Path Beyond Premonition (demo)
10. Disecting the Adopted (demo)


It's pleasing to see that someone's willing to atone for Roadrunner's laziness by finally giving these two albums a proper re-release.

459
Metal / Re: Metal as European Romanticism
« on: November 28, 2006, 01:44:37 PM »
Quote
what about Keats? I think he was the ultimate Romantic. His poems have powerful themes of nature and pagan characters.


Unfortunately, we did not have time to cover Keats in class, so I cannot offer my own opinion on him just yet; it does seem that his works are important enough to investigate on my own time.

460
Metal / Re: Metal as European Romanticism
« on: November 27, 2006, 07:45:53 PM »
I am about to finish my semester of studies for a literature-based “European Romanticism” course, and I have to say that the spiritual similarities between many of the time period’s leading poets (primarily: Percy Shelley, William Blake, and Lord Byron) and the ideological message that spurs many of metal’s classic creators (specifically: the early explorers of the death/black metal aesthetic) are readily apparent.

The most common threads of thought seem to be:

- A general revulsion towards Christianity as a result of its valuing and promotion of martyrdom along with its unnatural, rigid, and divinely-ordained sense of morality.

- A sense of elitism obtained through the appointment of oneself as the sole source of spiritual/moral mediation. Accordingly, the enlightened individual feels largely removed from the rest of mankind and the silly social creations within his “civilized” culture; instead, the enlightened individual seeks his spiritual connection in nature, where spiritual energy is wild and free-flowing, unaltered by the corrupting tendencies of the common man.

- Through the eminence and power of nature, man is also reminded of his relative weakness and insignificance in the grand scope of life. Where much of the natural world is eternal (at least, when unsullied by the tools of man), man is but a single grain in the immense and ideally ever-flowing sands of time. The grand paradox then lies in the fact that, even though man’s physical strength cannot compare to the tremendous power imbued in many of the Earth’s natural creations, man’s superior mental capacity gives him the ability to influence the thoughts and actions of others in a way that inanimate objects cannot; it should therefore be a chief goal of man to use these gifts of expression and persuasion as a means of achieving a state of eternity in the minds of mankind’s future generations.

Some reading recommendations for anyone that is interested in examining some more elegantly phrased expressions of said ideals:

Percy Shelley - “Mont Blanc,” “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty,” “Prometheus Unbound”

William Blake - “Songs of Innocence,” “Songs of Experience”

Lord Byron - “Manfred,”  “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”

461
Metal / Re: Revisionist History
« on: November 19, 2006, 02:12:43 PM »
Quote
That's a shot of Varg wearing a Venom shirt despite supposedly never hearing the band (while having knowledge of uber underground shit like Von). Yea ok. I find it easier to believe he is a liar now than a poser then.


There's an interview where someone asks Varg why he wore the Venom shirt to his trial and Varg's response was that he just wore the shirt because it said "Black Metal" on it (in other words, he again claimed ignorance of the actual band). Feel free to read whatever you want into that (and other) statements, but the man seems to be consistent in his claims of ignorance.

462
Metal / Re: Scales (and the lack thereof) in metal.
« on: November 19, 2006, 02:53:15 AM »
To me it seems that most metal musicians from the genre’s "classic" time-period were composing music with very little direct theoretical knowledge, and more often than not, the exceptions to this rule ended up being those “heavy metal” musicians that are described in this topic’s first post.

That said, it is pretty common to see musicians without direct knowledge of classical theory creating melodies, rhythms, chord progressions, etc. that follow established musical patterns. Reason being, most professional musicians have enough familiarity with their instruments to figure out how to achieve a desired musical effect by just using their ears and experimenting with their hands.

463
Metal / Re: Revisionist History.
« on: November 14, 2006, 10:16:21 PM »
Quote
I have a hard time accepting Venom as unimportant in Norway's development when a Venom cover appears on Deathcrush, which was the catalyst for the entire Norse movement in the first place.


Well, for whatever it's worth, here's the exact quote that I had in mind when making my assertion:

"I mentioned Venom and the fact that I never listened to their music. In fact the only person in the whole Black Metal scene in Norway who had listened to Venom was Aarseth [a.k.a. Euronymous] (although he still claimed he liked them a lot I - luckily - never heard him play any of their records)"

Source: Varg Vikernes in his "Lords of Chaos" book review.

464
Metal / Re: Revisionist History.
« on: November 14, 2006, 06:42:41 PM »
Quote
Never mind the fact that the entire core of 80s bands that built the foundation of all Black and Death metal
(Slayer, Possessed, Sodom, Bathory[it is pretty obvious they were lying when they denied Venom influence], Mayhem, Repulsion, and Celtic Frost to name a few) all held Venom as one of their primary influences.


It’s true that there is an undeniable Venom influence in many of the important proto-black metal bands (though the inclusion of Bathory in that list is debatable), but my point is simply that all of the key foundational bands that would go on the realize and define the sound of black metal (i.e., the abovementioned "second-wave" leaders) all claim to have had zero direct influence from Venom.

465
Metal / Re: Revisionist History.
« on: November 14, 2006, 05:32:22 PM »
Quote
No doubt Venom deserves mention in this context.  


People in the media always mention this band when talking about the formation of black metal, yet foundational bands like Bathory, Burzum, Emperor, Mayhem (aside from Euronymous), Immortal, Gorgoroth, and Enslaved all assert their ignorance in regards to the music of Venom.

Going on that evidence, it seems to me that most people are fooled into crediting Venom as an influential entity in the black metal movement simply because they happened to have an album title that carries the genre’s name.

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