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purists

purists
October 05, 2008, 11:40:56 PM
(If this has been brought up before, i apologize.)

The main question i want to ask is this:  Is metal really stagnant or have fans of quality metal simply refused to change their own personal notions of quality in order to accomodate a completely new approach to music? 

Do you think its possible that something much better could be occurring right under our noses and we just fail to see it due to our own rigidity? 

...and if so, could you ever see it replacing your favorite genre/band/artist and completely rearranging your ideas on what good art/music really is? 

Re: purists
October 05, 2008, 11:50:31 PM
I highly doubt it. The only 'new approach' I'm aware of are either individual attempts at making metal go forward (DSO, Blut Aus Nord, Summoning, Dark Tribe) and as a broader movement, something like metalcore. The first is, regardless of whether the attempt is judged succesful or not, too fragmented and too sporadic to singlehandedly change the direction metal is going, the second group is certainly not something that we just don't like because it's not Emperor. Hell, I wasn't even listening to metal in the early nineties, so there's not even any nostalgia attached to early BM / DM for me.

Re: purists
October 06, 2008, 07:42:17 AM
The main question i want to ask is this:  Is metal really stagnant or have fans of quality metal simply refused to change their own personal notions of quality in order to accomodate a completely new approach to music? 

1)The first wave of teenagers that latched onto metal are getting old, and as such they reflect romantically on their youth and see how much better metal was in the good old days. There's some truth to this, but it is actually they who have changed more than metal. These people are the ones initiating the new fans, and since the new fans (adolescent males) are almost always romanticists by nature at that age, then you get a crowd hungry to romanticize something and an old sage telling them exactly what to romanticize.

2)I don't think anyone should give up their own sense of quality. We should be able to sense quality even within metal's shifting aesthetics.

Do you think its possible that something much better could be occurring right under our noses and we just fail to see it due to our own rigidity? 

3) Even if there is a band "right under our noses", one that even surpassed the sincerity of emotional impact of say, Burzum, it will never be acknowledged as such, because:

-There's so many bands and so many media channels to promote them on that it would be very unlikely that such a band would be found.

- If you did manage to bring such a band to the forefront of attention, the group of listeners that would be receptive to it would shrug it off, because they are looking for a messiah. Hypothetical example: "Yeah this is pretty good, and it's hard to find anything wrong with it, but it's not *THE ONE*, you know?"

...and if so, could you ever see it replacing your favorite genre/band/artist and completely rearranging your ideas on what good art/music really is? 

4)No, probably not, because I, and most people, made up their minds about things when they were under the age of 20, for spiritual as well as practical reasons.

Re: purists
October 06, 2008, 08:51:00 AM
(If this has been brought up before, i apologize.)

The main question i want to ask is this:  Is metal really stagnant or have fans of quality metal simply refused to change their own personal notions of quality in order to accomodate a completely new approach to music? 

Do you think its possible that something much better could be occurring right under our noses and we just fail to see it due to our own rigidity? 

...and if so, could you ever see it replacing your favorite genre/band/artist and completely rearranging your ideas on what good art/music really is? 
This seems like a common qualm with any who do not see modern metal as music that holds any artistic value. I, for one, am one of those who does not have any nostalgic attachment to early black and death metal. I was too young to fully immerse myself in the movement as it was occurring. Something you should consider is that not everyone who adheres to some standard of quality is only doing so by praising older works and denying all recent works outright. Averse Sefira would be a good example of a newer black metal band that is well respected around these parts.

Re: purists
October 07, 2008, 06:54:17 AM
This is a casual observation but it seems like sludge is going to take over as the major player in the direction metal will take in the future. The genre hasn't fallen into stagnation and self-parody yet like death and black metal have and is still relatively young from what I can gather. It might be different in spirit to death and black metal but that could simply reflect the changing of times.

I find it odd that ANUS' review site and articles on metal don't even (or barely) mention this genre.

Re: purists
October 07, 2008, 12:32:28 PM
When reading reviews of classic albums from the time when they are released, it's obvious that when being in the middle of the phenomenon when it's happening or close to it, it does not feel like that album is "crystallizing" anything special because it will seem that someone can top this effort this year or the next year and something interesting is happening all the time. So in a way the purist is "overcritical" because he feels such great potential that what is released can not match the perception or idea of that potential.

Darkthrone's classic albums were mostly reviewed as "another album of the Norwegian black metal trend", many people liked the albums but would not have thought that they will become universally approved classics, only maybe someone's personal classics. Same thing happened with Iron Maiden / NWOBHM and probably with many others who now seem ones who will not be matched by anyone in their own genres.

Maybe the reviewer was always waiting for the ultimate black metal or NWOBHM album to happen and it did not happen. But years later when people looked back it was simple to say who were the masters and who were best forgotten.

Re: purists
October 07, 2008, 12:35:15 PM
Anyone who seriously thinks current metal is good has been deluding himself.

The new movement, metalcore and deathcore and whiny alternative metal, are more like the hidebound rock and roll that metal rebelled against.

The new black metal has no new ideas, so it repeats the appearance of the past, but adds a unique narcissistic twist to everything it does; it resembles hipster indie rock.

Not surprisingly, we have 10,000 new favorites but none would argue any of these are really "great."

This topic has been done to death here because people want to believe in the newer metal, yet they're neurotic because they know it's not really exceptional in any way.

New black metal is like Metallica's "Death Magnetic": a sham of the past, updated so it can be easily digested by the inexperienced.

Re: purists
October 07, 2008, 12:40:58 PM
Anyone who seriously thinks current metal is good has been deluding himself.

When looking from the future in 10-20 years, much current metal will probably seem better than it does seem now, but it does not help us to enjoy it here in this day! We must move onwards...

Re: purists
October 07, 2008, 02:44:03 PM

When looking from the future in 10-20 years, much current metal will probably seem better than it does seem now, but it does not help us to enjoy it here in this day! We must move onwards...

I'm not so sure. Sometimes I find myself starting to enjoy some newer metal albums. Then I go back and listen to Nightside Eclipse and it's just so exciting in comparison, which proves to me that praising the newer stuff is a usually matter of lowering one's standards. There is a lot of good current metal being made but barely anything captivating enough to be remembered for 20 years.

Extreme metal is the worst offender because it's not even enjoyable any more, and i'm not going to keep listening to something that I consider 'good' if it's not enjoyable. There used to be a playfulness in the music, whereas now playing it appears seems to be a chore for the band. These traditional metal rehashes and core bands cropping up are awful but at least they're spontaneous, whereas death and black now sound forced. Perhaps this is the result of backing an ideology without genuine fascination about music, and not just in listening to it, but in creating interesting relationships between sounds and rhythms.

Re: purists
October 07, 2008, 03:14:21 PM
When looking from the future in 10-20 years, much current metal will probably seem better than it does seem now, but it does not help us to enjoy it here in this day!

To respectfully disagree: in 10-20 years, no one is going to care about metal made after 1996. Whether they will care about metal made in 2009 is yet to be seen.

Re: purists
October 07, 2008, 04:06:49 PM
Extreme metal is the worst offender because it's not even enjoyable any more, and i'm not going to keep listening to something that I consider 'good' if it's not enjoyable. There used to be a playfulness in the music, whereas now playing it appears seems to be a chore for the band. These traditional metal rehashes and core bands cropping up are awful but at least they're spontaneous, whereas death and black now sound forced. Perhaps this is the result of backing an ideology without genuine fascination about music, and not just in listening to it, but in creating interesting relationships between sounds and rhythms.

Thats such an excellent point you made.  I noticed this same problem among individuals in my local "scene."  These musicians around here claim to listen and love extreme metal, but wont even sit through an entire album anymore, much less create something that reflects a love for the music.  Its obviously a chore to these guys.  Epoch of the Unlight/Incineration are two examples of bands from my city that simply play metal for nostalgic/egotistical reasons.  Its not a terrible thing to admit that it doesnt work for you anymore, but i'm guessing that a lot of these people fear branching out or having to abandon something that helped them make sense out of the world during their late teens/early twenties.  It really does sound forced, if you compare the material nowadays with what was going on in the early/mid nineties.  Its interesting that you mentioned that it might be the result of backing an ideology without a genuine interest in the music, especially since you see this sort of thing in other facets of peoples' social lives( i.e. anti-fascists who purposely engage in forced interaction with minorities, conservatives who force reasons for still liking Bush after being affected by his awful presidency, dysfunctional relationships where a person will force his/herself to love their incompatible significant other, etc. ).  It seems to be same case with the shitty metal of today, when you really think about it.


Re: purists
October 08, 2008, 03:16:01 AM

I'm not so sure. Sometimes I find myself starting to enjoy some newer metal albums. Then I go back and listen to Nightside Eclipse and it's just so exciting in comparison, which proves to me that praising the newer stuff is a usually matter of lowering one's standards. There is a lot of good current metal being made but barely anything captivating enough to be remembered for 20 years.

There is certainly listenable Metal being made today - but "listenable" is nothing to get excited over and ultimately just like fast-food or some such...it's easily accessible, tasty, fills the hole, and sometimes surprisingly satisfying for a fleeting moment. But it never compares to a proper meal, it will probabaly give you a stomach ache, and isn't any good for you to boot!

As ASBO already mentioned, there are many who want desperately to see something wonderful in much of this new "extreme" Metal(see the absolute rubbish praised monthly in rags like Terrorizer) and we can hope some of that is for love of the artform, not just 100% hipster posturing, and naked attempts to latch onto the popular(see Metal Hammer and similar tripe). Personally though, I am still convinced many, nay, most never really "got" proper Metal from the start, and thus no more understand why Deathcore, or Gojira is uninspired garbage, than they understood why Anthrax and such were junk two decades ago! 

Re: purists
October 08, 2008, 07:16:22 AM
Most of the musicians are in the bands they because, truth be told, they're terribly bored, and need something to do.  Some others are in it for hipster reasons, which can range from "argg look at how METAL I am" and they seriously mean it, or the same claim while wearing a skirt and playing kazoos, because they're so damned ironic.  Don't you wish we could be more like that?  Anyways, the fact is, and this has been repeated before, these musicians have nothing to express, except the above mentioned ideas.  As such, we get music that postures itself into looking metal, music that attempts to throw everything and the kitchen sink in but fail to provide anything actually new or any ideas of worth, and music that's ultimately played by people who do it to avoid suicide through boredom, where they'd be so much more successful and ultimately happy.  A musician who has ideas to express will take music and begin to shape melodies, rhythms, textures, harmonies, and tone in such a way as to express them.  The outcome will then be HONEST, which is more worthy than any amount of technical skill, lo-fi production, or kazoos.  Also, people need to start looking at music (and life), as less of an ego thing and more as a whole.  It's this egoism that makes them think they can abuse music to further their own social ends.  These people create utterly worthless bands, and lower the quality of music as a whole.  Step one in this, as noted elsewhere on the forum: reject everything not of quality.  This doesn't mean reject everything that doesn't sound like that which is on the DLA, though I doubt anyone does that anyways.  The point is, to actually sit down, and listen to music (for if we do claim to love it, should we not be able to appreciate it on it's own?), and then make a judgment on whether it has meaning for us or not, whether the music has value.  Railing on crappy music is only good as far as it furthers the creation of better music.  Does this also then mean we should sift the internet for days on end, searching for the next Burzum?  No, good music will come eventually, because good musicians will not be smothered by this and will attempt to create something great.  One will come, because the good musicians among us will not stand silent forever.  And when they emerged, yes, we should support them full force.  However, let's not forget one other thing.  The lessons we learn from art should change our lives, and inspire us to act.  Your entire life can't consist of surrounding yourself with beautiful art and observing it constantly.  There's a component missing there, as Galvanized noted, the actual experience of living.  If we don't truly live, and instead live vicariously through the Internet, and spend the rest of our time abusing everything on the planet, and wasting what time we have to live on modern pursuits, Metal has taught us nothing, and a more worthy species should replace us.

Re: purists
October 08, 2008, 08:29:52 PM
(If this has been brought up before, i apologize.)

The main question i want to ask is this:  Is metal really stagnant or have fans of quality metal simply refused to change their own personal notions of quality in order to accomodate a completely new approach to music? 


Do you think its possible that something much better could be occurring right under our noses and we just fail to see it due to our own rigidity? 


First of all, the scope of bands one has to address has increased substantially during the last decade, extended MTV promotion since the 1990's and such has allowed the development of package metal music (Cradle and co.) to fit the general impression of the music, yet promote its superficiality and turn it exactly into what metal supposedly opposes - conformity. Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Opeth, Killswitch Engage are all part of the same magnificently condescending trend that covers up for ALL metal music. Ofcourse, there are a few bands still releasing top notch material (Eternal Darkness, Limbonic Art) but it is usually a question of their authenticity.

Personally i let no single thing run my life, so i am probably less rigid than most here. Personally i found the first 1:36 of Dimmu Borgirs "Serpentine Offering" high quality music, although the rest of the song is disastrous, and the band is generally needless, i would say they'e quite intelligent as individuals and promote their "War On Christianity". Although i despise metalcore, I could listen to some Meshuggah due to the appreciation of the bizzare time signitures which freak me out.

 Aesthetic communicates to listeners through experience, thats how MTV targets listeners. Give me something like Bleed, and although i completely recognize it is bullshit music, the resilience of the guitar riffs, awkward yet controlled drumming and one syllabul vocals create a focused, agressive atmosphere i admire.

So what is art? Most of us would like to create so much in our minds, to make ourselves feel naturally more important, whether its through philosophy or music. Do Hessians still listen to Metal when in love?

Re: purists
October 09, 2008, 02:37:15 AM
Personally i let no single thing run my life, so i am probably less rigid than most here. Personally i found the first 1:36 of Dimmu Borgirs "Serpentine Offering" high quality music, although the rest of the song is disastrous, and the band is generally needless, i would say they'e quite intelligent as individuals and promote their "War On Christianity". Although i despise metalcore, I could listen to some Meshuggah due to the appreciation of the bizzare time signitures which freak me out.

 Aesthetic communicates to listeners through experience, thats how MTV targets listeners. Give me something like Bleed, and although i completely recognize it is bullshit music, the resilience of the guitar riffs, awkward yet controlled drumming and one syllabul vocals create a focused, agressive atmosphere i admire.

So what is art? Most of us would like to create so much in our minds, to make ourselves feel naturally more important, whether its through philosophy or music. Do Hessians still listen to Metal when in love?

I havent bothered too much with all those bands.  I've heard a few, but im not interested in them.  I've been listening to a lot of the european crustcore bands like Autoritar, Festa Desperato, Krigshot, etc. since they seem to be the only ones playing something true to form.  Of course, i havent given up on older material, but i'll be damned if i buy the latest Suffocation, Deicide, or Morbid Angel album - unless of course they realize how shitty their last few offerrings have been and actually do some interesting for a change.