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purists

Re: purists
October 09, 2008, 09:43:42 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.

I agree that sludge / southern sludge is a great genre although I don't see it as leading metal into the future, etc. They definitely have not been imitated to a large extent and its still a very tight scene so we'll see how they carry themselves into the future.

Re: purists
October 09, 2008, 10:57:12 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.

Well, in all seriousness and no offense meant, sludge metal is punks playing Black Sabbath.  Is that a negative comment?  Not really, I like Eyehategod.  Sludge to me really seems most useful if punk bands could use some of the musical ideas in it to expand their form, if punks got back to realizing what punk originally was (partially nihilistic, willing to deconstruct any and all illusions, implicit celebration of youth) and dropped the leftist whining (and also if 99% of that scene was put to the sword, way too many bands producing mediocrity).  However, in all honesty, not much good has come from  most bands in this genre, mostly just a beer and bongs attitude, mixed in with a healthy measure of hangover induced hatred.  A few bands like this are alright, but do we want to build a lifestyle around sludge?  Certainly this genre doesn't give us what the best of death metal and black metal did.

Re: purists
October 09, 2008, 12:25:43 PM
Their tehniques are inferior to those of black and death, but I can certainly see potential in newer sludge bands to create musical landscapes. The problem is their lack of direction (or because of indie/Seattle parts going in wrong direction), they are still unfocused ("let's fuckin' JAM, and we'll see") and with populist ideology. Because of that they're still not "heavy" enough.

Re: purists
October 09, 2008, 07:51:47 PM
Their tehniques are inferior to those of black and death, but I can certainly see potential in newer sludge bands to create musical landscapes. The problem is their lack of direction (or because of indie/Seattle parts going in wrong direction), they are still unfocused ("let's fuckin' JAM, and we'll see") and with populist ideology. Because of that they're still not "heavy" enough.

I don't know if i'd consider this "let's fuckin jam" mentality as such a band thing.  Metal bands seem to usually fail when they spend so much time sitting down and writing instead of feeling it out.  I guess there has to be a balance of the two methods, but i guess i see what you mean about the sludge bands since their material isnt really structured, except to maybe let everyone know how drunk or high they were when they wrote the song.

I tend to think that a lot of the good earlier bands in extreme metal did the whole "jam" thing quite often. 

Re: purists
October 09, 2008, 08:16:06 PM
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.

Well, in all seriousness and no offense meant, sludge metal is punks playing Black Sabbath.  Is that a negative comment?  Not really, I like Eyehategod.  Sludge to me really seems most useful if punk bands could use some of the musical ideas in it to expand their form, if punks got back to realizing what punk originally was (partially nihilistic, willing to deconstruct any and all illusions, implicit celebration of youth) and dropped the leftist whining (and also if 99% of that scene was put to the sword, way too many bands producing mediocrity).  However, in all honesty, not much good has come from  most bands in this genre, mostly just a beer and bongs attitude, mixed in with a healthy measure of hangover induced hatred.  A few bands like this are alright, but do we want to build a lifestyle around sludge?  Certainly this genre doesn't give us what the best of death metal and black metal did.
Sludge has certainly expanded and progressed over the years. Alot of modern sludge has been taken over by indie hipsters, but bands like Neurosis and High On Fire have certainly produced highly original and worthwhile material that is quite a bit different from sludge's founders and seems to have much more artistic focus.

The 'post-metal' (I hate this term; it basically just means atmospheric post-rock influenced sludge) genre has also delved into previously unexplored regions of metaldom and is not only oozing with potential but already has lots of high quality acts. This phenomena is also ignored by much of the metal community, from my perspective because it differs far too much in spirit to what we're used to.

Re: purists
October 09, 2008, 09:52:50 PM
Sludge has certainly expanded and progressed over the years. Alot of modern sludge has been taken over by indie hipsters, but bands like Neurosis and High On Fire have certainly produced highly original and worthwhile material that is quite a bit different from sludge's founders and seems to have much more artistic focus.

The 'post-metal' (I hate this term; it basically just means atmospheric post-rock influenced sludge) genre has also delved into previously unexplored regions of metaldom and is not only oozing with potential but already has lots of high quality acts. This phenomena is also ignored by much of the metal community, from my perspective because it differs far too much in spirit to what we're used to.

Well the spirit is a very important piece of it, wouldn't you say?  Neurosis is rather good, though I still feel their best work was on Pain of Mind, likely one of the best punk albums I've ever heard.  High On Fire?  From what I've heard, bad Black Sabbath worship with the occasional Motorhead reference, though I've not heard much.  I guess in the "post-metal" vein you speak of, a band like Jesu has my admiration, at least on the Heart Ache EP and self-titled work where the more metal aesthetic is evident.  The other works aren't as well written either.

Re: purists
October 09, 2008, 10:21:19 PM
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.

It's a sure sign of systemic decay when the classic bands and the newer bands both are making pink frothy inconsequential method music.

Re: purists
October 10, 2008, 06:51:55 PM
Metal bands seem to usually fail when they spend so much time sitting down and writing instead of feeling it out.

"Feeling it out" does not mean it has to become a musical jam. Bach was well known in his lifetime as an improviser and virtuoso of the organ but his works that are improvised and those that are created without touching and instrument share the exact same level of mastery, skill and insight. "Feeling it out" can be likened to inspiration where "writing" can be likened to craftsmanship, you should posses both at once.

“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind”. Johannes Brahms

Re: purists
October 10, 2008, 09:04:29 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? 

I think there are some people who do exactly what you are suggesting. Some metal fans live in the past and become offended by the first person who states that a new band could compete with the bands from the, "glory days". Yet, it's hard to figure out exactly who falls in this category, and who actually feels that the recent bands aren't doing anything that matches the past.

I would hope that all people give these new bands a fair listen and give their opinion with honesty. As for me, I've found it hard to find anything that matches the earlier classics. I think there have been some good releases in the past few years, and they should be given the credit they're due.

Re: purists
October 12, 2008, 08:58:43 PM
Well the spirit is a very important piece of it, wouldn't you say?  Neurosis is rather good, though I still feel their best work was on Pain of Mind, likely one of the best punk albums I've ever heard.  High On Fire?  From what I've heard, bad Black Sabbath worship with the occasional Motorhead reference, though I've not heard much.  I guess in the "post-metal" vein you speak of, a band like Jesu has my admiration, at least on the Heart Ache EP and self-titled work where the more metal aesthetic is evident.  The other works aren't as well written either.
Yes, I would agree that spirit is a very important aspect of the music. I do think, however, that the spirit of metal will not stay the same forever and is bound to evolve with the changing of times. This is where purism comes into play; people have a hard time accepting the fact that the music they grew up with or whatever has long drifted into irrelevance and a new generation has emerged with different things in mind.

I too had a hard time appreciating High On Fire at first; I actually thought of them pretty much the same way you seem to haha.

Re: purists
October 12, 2008, 09:14:51 PM
Yes, I would agree that spirit is a very important aspect of the music. I do think, however, that the spirit of metal will not stay the same forever and is bound to evolve with the changing of times.

No one hear disagrees with this but they do disagree with the new spirit that metal is exhibiting. By the very nature of people praising Burzum over Iron Maiden shows that there are people who realize and accept the fact metal changes. This does not mean I am going to praise whatever it happens to grow into.

Re: purists
October 13, 2008, 01:07:32 AM
By the very nature of people praising Burzum over Iron Maiden shows that there are people who realize and accept the fact metal changes.

This is an interesting point, particularly because I must make a bit of an argument. There are lots of young metal fans who went directly to the stuff that seemed the most extreme and evil to them, Burzum or Absurd for example, but they never had any experience or background with older metal. Thus they also do not have any consciousness of change in metal as a personal experience. It's easy to accept that metal changes if you happen to have grown up with the latest trend and do not give a shit about what it used to be. It's perfectly good and natural to be interested in what is extreme, innovative and feels like life as it is NOW, but in the spirit of total nihilism, it's still not grounds to believe that you are better off than the "Heavy metal parking lot" people from the 80's; wisdom and foolishness simply take on new guises over time.

I don't buy into the idea that metal is a linear progression like: Judas Priest -> Slayer -> Morbid Angel -> Burzum
I see it as a fractal or like a tree with branches, where some branches flourish and others die. Sometimes the whole tree may die, but its seeds live on.

Re: purists
October 13, 2008, 06:20:28 AM
Yes, I would agree that spirit is a very important aspect of the music. I do think, however, that the spirit of metal will not stay the same forever and is bound to evolve with the changing of times.

No one hear disagrees with this but they do disagree with the new spirit that metal is exhibiting. By the very nature of people praising Burzum over Iron Maiden shows that there are people who realize and accept the fact metal changes. This does not mean I am going to praise whatever it happens to grow into.
And so history repeats itself.

Re: purists
October 16, 2008, 12:30:23 AM
The important thing to keep in mind is that the lineage did not begin with Black Sabbath, although Black Sabbath were the first to take the lineage in that direction. Tracing the history of Metal before Sabbath is quite a task. The prog and classical influences are obvious, but there's a whole lot of other junk DNA in there, too. More recent metal history (1980-1995 or so) seems to run along philosophical lines, with revisions of old ways of thinking asserting a strong influence on the development of the genre. The transitions from thrash/speed to death metal and later, death metal to black metal were quite intense in their philosophical revisions. This sequence of thrash-death-black could also be thought of as potential stages of nihilism.

Re: purists
October 16, 2008, 09:42:15 PM
The transitions from thrash/speed to death metal and later, death metal to black metal were quite intense in their philosophical revisions. This sequence of thrash-death-black could also be thought of as potential stages of nihilism.

I actually wrote an ethnography on Hessian/Heavy Metal culture before that had a similar idea incorporated into it.