Here is a list of common terms, as used in trendy metal reviews on
indie-rockpost-2000 “metal” sites, and their actual meanings as the album reviewer will cynically tell his friends but not you the reader, because your job is to buy the product. You can use this to decode mainstream and “true underground” reviews alike, since the “true underground” got captured by indie rockers and so is about as underground as Stephanie Meyer at this point. Note that if confronted, music reviewers will deny use of these terms, but if you go through your average metal magazine and highlight how many times these appear, you will see how scattering these terms through music reviews allows your average underpaid reviewer to write enough about the latest crap from the labels to make it seem important.
Innovative = new arrangement of cliches
Melodic = plays on the higher strings
Brutal = incoherent
Gauzy = low-fi style distortion
Self-indulgent = self-pitying
Unique = crap but the label likes it
Sublime = really obvious
Emotional = target audience is losers
Straightforward = repetitive
Evocative = catchy
Dynamic = random changes
Soulful = repetitive and catchy
Heart-wrenching = emo
Sui Generis = new arrangement of other genres
Je ne sais quoi = so bad I have nothing left to write
Faithful = derivative
Chops = masturbatory
Epic = either (a) dramatic or (b) Manowar
Bombastic = obvious
Progressive = knows open chords
Enormous = big dumb riff
Dazzle = deceive
Atmospheric = slow drums
Authenticity = popularity
9 thoughts on “Decoding metal reviews”
Ancient mysticism = irrelevant escapism; RPG nerd lyrics
Feral = has growls
Thematic = I listened to a symphony once
Tremelo = where’s spellcheck???
Like My Bloody Valentine or Killing Joke = not at all like My Bloody Valentine or Killing Joke
Self-recursive = badly written
Virulent strands = holy shit I’m literally just making shit up ahaha
those damn leftists!
Dark = gay
Technical = elevator music
Drone = boring
Extreme = reviewer is clueless
Special = reviewer lost his anal virginity to this album
Horns up! = accept me bro, I’m just like you
Wow and this reviewer is one bitter, son-of-a-bitch. Stop writing about other reviewers and write your own, goddamnit.
“Epic = either (a) dramatic or (b) Manowar”
Wow, these commentators are some bitter sons of bitches. Stop posting and kill yourselves, goddamnit.
Also Manowar fucking rules
/mu/ is so adorable, most of them just got into Animal Collective and they think that makes them elitists. They haven’t even heard of Varese or Nurse With Wound. Babby’s first music snobbery.
I used to spend my time listening to metal, but I grew bored with it. I discovered new ways to express myself, such as giving rim jobs to the homeless.
Hilarious post, hilarious comments! This is why I love the ANUS. Merry Christmas, faggots!
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