How to fail as a metal band

This amusing list has been making the rounds:

One of the real delights of listening to truly great music is the capacity it has to continuously surprise an attentive listener. Great music makes itself known, in part, by the ways in which it yields up its secrets: slowly. In a sense, great music never “gets old” because each experience of it reveals new insight, allowing us to approach it as if for the first time.

The corollary to this, of course, is that while genius manifests itself in infinitely variable ways, all bad music is pretty much bad in the same predictable ways. Error was always thus: it cannot grow, it cannot meaningfully change, it can only, like a virus, reproduce itself in hosts who have not previously been exposed (which is why, to the experienced and attentive listener, each new iteration of bad music becomes more easily identified symptomatically while the inexperienced and/or stupid listener is likely to fall for FAILS that their more competent brethren spot from a mile away).

A Taxonomy of FAIL

Carnival Music

Symptoms: Like a carny barker or a snake oil salesman, many bands try to distract listeners with novelty or wild stylistic gesticulations designed to steer attention away from the underlying emptiness of what is being offered. Often, this will take the form of superficially “innovative” gestures like adding flutes, “technicality,” exaggerated, cartoonishly executed additions from “surprising” outside influences, or maybe just really long songs.

Classic FAIL Archetypes: Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Deathspell Omega, Necrophagist, Cynic, later Therion

Sonic Wallpaper

Symptoms: Most often associated with black metal, this FAIL is typified by a failure to grasp the dramatic, narrative aspects of metal. As a result, these bands make music that is often pleasant, inoffensive and even impressive in its constituent parts, but devoid of meaning, spirit, passion or lucid organization. It may work as background music, but it cannot stand on its own merits when listeners pay close attention. Basically, when you find yourself hitting the snooze button four minutes in, you’ve stumbled on this brand of FAIL.

Classic FAIL Archetypes: Ulver, Drudkh, Negative Plane, pretty much anything involving Stephen O’Malley

Metal as Mainstream Pander

Symptoms: Most often spotted in the wild among established bands who have depleted their creative fire and genre tourists with no established connection to metal, this FAIL can be easily spotted by the way it apes mainstream music while superficially applying metal technique. Often includes elements of either Sonic Wallpaper, Carnival Music or both. Comes in both “high brow” and “low brow” versions.

Classic FAIL Archetypes: later Metallica, later Enslaved, Wolves in the Throne Room, post-Hell Bent For Leather Judas Priest

Angst for Autistics

Symptoms: FAILS of this sort reveal themselves by an emphasis on dumbed down rhythm to the near total exclusion of all other traits, usually accompanied by some sort of superficially “shocking” or simply mind-numbingly aggro lyrical content. Basically, they exist to mollify the angry impulses of speds, emotionally crippled jocks, JNCO-sporting malltwats, meathead bigots and assorted other human defectives.

Classic FAIL Archetypes: Pantera, Cannibal Corpse Origin, later Deicide, pretty much all metalcore, deathcore and NSBM

From a user named Dylar114.

17 thoughts on “How to fail as a metal band”

  1. ffff says:

    Fail isn’t a noun. Unless you jerk off to Japanese cartoons. hope that helps

  2. Adrian McCoy says:

    >Implying JNCO isnt flyer then a mug

  3. No says:

    I hate the use of FAIL as a noun, too, can we leave homosexual internet memes behind at 4chan, please?

  4. Bastard says:

    ANUS whoring out the spew of its members as usual, I see. Nice to see it isn’t Brett ‘Conservationist’ Stevens for a change.

  5. Oh no, a website supports the people who visit it! Why would they ever do that, the Soviet bastards?

  6. Ty says:

    Bastard’s website is too cool to support the people who read it, and you’re just not hip enough to understand how cool that is.

  7. slipstream-ed says:

    Insightful, the author clearly knows what he is talking about.

  8. AVFN says:

    Aye, I hate the American misuse of the word ‘FAIL’ but I hate the misuse of ‘EPIC’ even more so. And the two together…

  9. Adrian McCoy says:

    Fuck this website!!! Long live Cannibal Corpse!!!

    And fuck wigger metal!!! Kill all white rappers!!!

    The following bands should be wiped off the face of the Earth:

    American Head Charge
    Factory 81
    Papa Roach
    Coal Chamber
    Ill NiƱo
    Powerman 5000
    Stone Sour
    System Of A Down
    Demon Hunter
    Dr. Chunk
    Society 1
    Drowning Pool
    My Ruin
    Dry Kill Logic

    And for those of you who feel like saying I suck cocks:

    Here is my phone number, if you have any problem with me, you know where to find me…


    You call me I’ll either beat the shit out of you or call the police you stupid fucks!!! FUCK YOU!!!


    Why do you ask do I hate Korn so much?

    1.Their wiggers
    2.They have no talent
    3.Their lead singer is a fucking crybaby
    4.They collaborate with rappers, basically just to make themselves look like they have “street cred”.
    5.Their bassist looks like Paul Giamatti with Snoop Doggs hair…
    6.Their gay, no other band sucks as much cock as Korn does…
    7.Seven stringed guitars are retarded
    8.A whole movement was based upon these idiots, a movement that has really hurt the metal scene badly…

    I noticed that you asswipes did’nt respond to my rant? Is it really because you know I can kick all of your sorry asses?

    1. fenrir says:

      Seven string guitars are just another instrument. If used correctly and to its full potential, great things can come out of it. It depends on the person using it.

  11. Adrian is God says:

    Oh yeah, I still like Nile, Six feet Under, Cannibal Corpse and Pantera…

    Fuck this website for trashing those bands…

    But I also like Suffocation, Deicide, Malevolent Creation and Morbid Angel…Early Metallica and Nuclear Assualt is cool too…

  12. Body Count is cool... says:

    Oh yeah, Body Count is pretty cool too…

    And try telling Ice-T he sucks cocks…he’d kill you dead!!!

  13. vigay brozak says:

    eveyone call Adrian without *67 because he wants to post ur nomber on fourchin or some crap

  14. Rockefeller says:

    what is this text about? You speak bullshit. What is the Fail of these bands? You are a narrow minded bastard! Bet you didnt manage to build up a band and establish your own unique personal style. you dont have identity….
    You can copy and preach your favorite bands, but you never get how to make a band that you could appreciate. Your thinking is like that of your grandpa. you dont like new stuff coz you wanna see the world explode after the apocalyptic sermon of your favorite bands. but it is a fact that your prophecy of the END isnt real. The scum you rose from is the scum you will expirience,
    It remains, man.
    you are like a kid not believin that people change, die or dont like you sometimes. Go fuck yourself. Coz you have a problem with yourself.
    People like you are the reason why emos,hippies, etc. are spawn…
    Your hell is the prospering of rebellion against you.
    Antagonist of “fuck you all”-people.
    As your grandfather you will vanish, coz you can be satisfied…
    have your favor but respect any other…
    dont creep in the ass of people you just dont like…
    you created the term and now its stolen.
    the hegelian spitrit would be eternal but your existence is
    damned to terms….
    the reason why all traditions die is that they are fix to terms. and not to ritual behaviour…that could last coz we live it….

    I not accept that you call any band ‘fail’, which created musical anything-no matter if you like it or not-.
    the list isnt even of bands that are succesful only.

    Its of bands that YOU just dont like.
    You claim that they created ‘novelty’-if at all-
    only for attention! wtf!

    No one fucking knows D-S-Omega outside blackmetal underground.
    …and you dont get the Idea behind it. As long your mainstream brain doesnt get the clischee satanic shit all the standard provides.
    Get a gun and kill all the potential up-coming band founders.
    You dont bear the existence of different stuff around you.

    BUT why what the hell do you care.
    This world wont vanish and the reason why commercial stuff is epidemic like today you dont get. You fight the symptons. but you dont find the reason….

    look beyond your ignorance…!!

    you can bath in gore or blingbling or satanic-blood…and you will definetly not wake up!!!

    metal also belongs to the consuming genre…

    the subject defines what lives beyond and inside it….

    actually I dont get why you chose DSO.

    …what masses do you know that hear it…

  15. mooooo says:

    Holy fucking shit some of the comments here are stupid. I hope they’re trolling. Despite liking a few of the mentioned bands, this article makes a lot of sense.

    Metal is nearing its end as a creative force. Face it Rockefeller. “Innovative” bands like Deathspell Omega have been turning in circles for the past 10 years or so without actually expanding much of black metal.

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