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strongbad
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:39 am 
 

Clearly most metal is 4/4 but you get the odd band who employs unusual time sigs. A personal favourite of mine would be Mütiilation's 'The Coffin of Lost Innocence' which uses a lot of 3/4 waltz time.

Can anyone else think of other metal bands that deviate from standard 4/4 timing? What's the most unusual time signature you've ever come across in metal?
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BastardHead
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:49 am 
 

As much as I fucking hate them, Meshuggah's entire reputation is pretty much based off their mind bogglingly complex polyrhythms, and I think I've read about Cynic's Uroboric Forms being in some ridiculous 23/16 or something. Seriously, add ONE MORE FUCKING NOTE and the section sounds complete, but no, we have to be super progressive just for the tits of it, not because it sounds good.
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juicebitch
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:10 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Meshuggah's entire reputation is pretty much based off their mind bogglingly complex polyrhythms


Something interesting to add...most of Meshuggah's work is written in 4/4 time (quoting from Tomas Haake), its just that they shift the rhythms around a lot as you have noted.
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Grimmenfrost
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:21 pm 
 

thejuicebitch wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
Meshuggah's entire reputation is pretty much based off their mind bogglingly complex polyrhythms


Something interesting to add...most of Meshuggah's work is written in 4/4 time (quoting from Tomas Haake), its just that they shift the rhythms around a lot as you have noted.


This is the biggest misconception about Meshuggah. Mostly all of their most technical sounding songs are syncopated in 4/4 time. Not a lot of their songs are written with unusual time signature, but their mostly written with unusual rhythm patterns.

Edit: I just remembered that Finntroll writes a lot in 2/4 which originates from their influence of Finland's own Humppa music; a type of Polka.
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Last edited by Grimmenfrost on Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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truvelocity
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:01 am
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:32 pm 
 

Probably Mastodon and Tool.
They both add odd time to songs that start out in 4/4
example;BLOOD AND THUNDER (Mastodon) and THE GRUDGE (Tool)

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praey
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:42 pm 
 

Apparently Shape of Despair's first album uses a lot of 3/4 time.

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BastardHead
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:50 pm 
 

Grimmenfrost wrote:
thejuicebitch wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
Meshuggah's entire reputation is pretty much based off their mind bogglingly complex polyrhythms


Something interesting to add...most of Meshuggah's work is written in 4/4 time (quoting from Tomas Haake), its just that they shift the rhythms around a lot as you have noted.


This is the biggest misconception about Meshuggah. Mostly all of their most technical sounding songs are syncopated in 4/4 time. Not a lot of their songs are written with unusual time signature, but their mostly written with unusual rhythm patterns.


I'm aware of that (hell, I even mentioned it in my old ass review of DEI), listening to the beat that Haake keeps with the snare and cymbals and whatnot is obvious 4/4. But the rhythms that they play are so complex it becomes difficult to follow at times, like a lot of work in whacked ass time sigs. Notice I never said time signatures, just polyrhythms, although now I see that the OP was asking for time signatures... either way, their "riffs" are awkward as if they are in 8675309/55378008.
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Sir_General_Flashman
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:51 pm 
 

Court of the Jarisleif-turisas has a weird time signature.
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NeglectedField
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:00 pm 
 

Theory In Practice seem to be the kings of this sort of thing, though to me they're really satisfying to listen to when they do 4/4. The 4/4 bits in Shapeshifter are fucking badass.
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Hircine
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:28 pm 
 

There;'s a riff in Messiah by Hellhammer that has an odd time signature.

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QuidEstVerum
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:38 pm 
 

Death's later works, particularly The Sound of Perseverance, incorporates a good deal of odd time signatures; 5/4, 3/4, 2/4. I believe the bass interlude after the solo in 'Flesh and the Power it Holds" switches between 3/8 and 5/8.

Immolation's Close to a World Below also incorporates some odd time signatures, particularly in 'Furthest From the Truth.'

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awm
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:03 pm 
 

I am surprised that no one has mentioned Atheist.

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rexxz
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:50 pm 
 

3/4 isn't really unusual.

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alliaphagist
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:01 pm 
 

Frankly, most modern death metal bands, "technical" or otherwise, use odd time signatures occasionally. They just don't really make it that obvious.

And "unusual" or not, I love 3/4 time in metal. I just think it works really well.

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ForNaught
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:03 pm 
 

I suppose people are taking all the prog bands as given? Obviously bands like Symphony X, Dream Theater and so on and so forth choose their signatures using a dartboard, with things like 11/8 and 13/8 being relatively frequent, and 5/4 being close to commonplace. A pretty extreme example would be Derek Sherinian's Planet X (wouldn't have mentioned them, but surprisingly enough they are on the archives as metal) which really takes the aesthetic too far in my opinion. Most readily identifiable messed up signature is in the song 2116 which if you count along is indeed in 21/16.
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Ribos
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:03 pm 
 

Rush's "Tom Sawyer" is pretty famous for being a radio hit in 7/8 time...
Yeah, Rush's stuff in general tends to jump time signatures a lot.

I'm also pretty sure that at times, Behold... The Arctopus doesn't even use time signatures. They certainly don't often play in 4/4, anyways.
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Mespheber
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:27 pm 
 

SUP uses a 5 times tempo (kind of bolero) on the song Apprehension, album Imago

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Mark777
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:12 pm 
 

Opeth's Windowpane is in 6/4
btw what is Hope Leaves in?
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Aeonblade
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:17 pm 
 

As far as I remember, a big chuck of Opeth is in 6/4.

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MaliciousAwesome
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:18 pm 
 

Anything that's x/4 isn't weird at all.
And don't Dream Theater use some odd time signatures too?
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Nolan_B
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:05 pm 
 

Almost every song on Dawn's Slaughtersun is played in the same odd time. I usually don't like to listen to much stuff that goes out of 4/4. (Unless it sounds raw.)

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Hail_Noobs
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:15 pm 
 

Therion also has a lot of odd and strange time signatures in their songs

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HaydenMaddox
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:53 pm 
 

Suffocation's Breeding the Spawn always threw me for a loop. Especially since it followed Effigy of the Forgotten. I never knew where the rhythms would take me. It struck me as pretty sick and progressive for its time (along with Cynic's Focus album).

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steady666
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:11 pm 
 

Most bands that use odd time signatures (eg; Meshuggah) eventually work out be 4/4 anyway. Its just maths really. Although I love odd time signatures and in my band we try to write as many riffs as possible in odd time signatures (although now that i think about it most of them work out to be 4/4 :S) 'Them Bones' by Alice in Chains is actually in 7/8 which I found a bit strange for a more 'mainstream' band. Its funny when you play this song on guitar hero and the crowd claps they clap in 4/4 so it turns in to a weird polyrhythm...

Edit:

ForNaught wrote:
A pretty extreme example would be Derek Sherinian's Planet X (wouldn't have mentioned them, but surprisingly enough they are on the archives as metal) which really takes the aesthetic too far in my opinion. Most readily identifiable messed up signature is in the song 2116 which if you count along is indeed in 21/16.


What? Planet X are awesome! :)
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ForNaught
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Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:37 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:11 pm 
 

Steady666 wrote:
ForNaught wrote:
A pretty extreme example would be Derek Sherinian's Planet X (wouldn't have mentioned them, but surprisingly enough they are on the archives as metal) which really takes the aesthetic too far in my opinion. Most readily identifiable messed up signature is in the song 2116 which if you count along is indeed in 21/16.


What? Planet X are awesome! :)


Sometimes! I enjoy a lot of their material (haven't got the new one yet though! But I will!) but some of it is just trying too hard to be terrifyingly complex and difficult to play without actually writing good songs. This mainly applies to Universe, Moonbabies is a much better album. Sherinian's Planet X album is great too, the Atlantis trilogy is an example of when they can play incredibly tough material but craft it into a great song also.

EDIT: Broken quotes.
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Last edited by ForNaught on Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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eViLbOrIs
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:10 pm 
 

Sculptured's second and third albums are chock full weird signatures.

Also try the last two Anata albums.

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Pfuntner
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:26 pm 
 

Torture Squad's newest albums is a really headache when it comes to some of the timing. They keep it really thrashy though so it never gets in the way of a good headbanging.
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Forrizzledog
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Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 11:32 am
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:48 pm 
 

MaliciousAwesome wrote:
Anything that's x/4 isn't weird at all.
And don't Dream Theater use some odd time signatures too?



Wrong. 5/4 and 7/4 both sound pretty odd to someone who is used to 4/4 or other such time signatures.

And the bottom number is always a number divisible by four. Really the bottom number only matters if you have more than one time signature in a song. For instance, to say a song is in 6/8 to me is kind of dumb when you could say 3/4. BUT, if there's another part of the song that's in 4/4, and you want another part in waltz time and also faster, you'd put it in 6/8.
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juicebitch
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:55 am 
 

Forrizzledog wrote:
Really the bottom number only matters if you have more than one time signature in a song. For instance, to say a song is in 6/8 to me is kind of dumb when you could say 3/4. BUT, if there's another part of the song that's in 4/4, and you want another part in waltz time and also faster, you'd put it in 6/8.


No.

6/8 would be 2 sets of 3 quavers (eighth note).
3/4 would be 3 sets of 2 quavers.

Different feel for each time signature. And there doesn't have to be a tempo change from 4/4/ time.
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rexxz
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:58 am 
 

Quarter notes*

And the bottom number matters quite a bit.

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Perdition666
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:01 am 
 

I'm not sure what time Esoteric's "Psychotropic Transgression" (from the Metamorphogenesis" album) is in, but it sounds pretty... fucked up.

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ForNaught
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:55 am 
 

thejuicebitch wrote:
Forrizzledog wrote:
Really the bottom number only matters if you have more than one time signature in a song. For instance, to say a song is in 6/8 to me is kind of dumb when you could say 3/4. BUT, if there's another part of the song that's in 4/4, and you want another part in waltz time and also faster, you'd put it in 6/8.


No.

6/8 would be 2 sets of 3 quavers (eighth note).
3/4 would be 3 sets of 1 crotchet (quarter note).

Different feel for each time signature. And there doesn't have to be a tempo change from 4/4/ time.


This is correct (I fixed it a tiny bit). The accents in each bar tend to be different too. You can hear the difference if somebody switches from 3/4 to 6/8. It goes from crotchet pulse with emphasis on the first beat only (this is your waltz time) to a quaver pulse with major accent on the first beat and minor accent on the fourth. If the "standard" model is applied, of course.
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WinterBliss
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:31 am 
 

HaydenMaddox wrote:
Suffocation's Breeding the Spawn always threw me for a loop. Especially since it followed Effigy of the Forgotten. I never knew where the rhythms would take me. It struck me as pretty sick and progressive for its time (along with Cynic's Focus album).


Yeah Suffocation switches times flawlessly. In Pierced from Within it switches from 12/8 to 4/4, to 2/4 back to 4/4 then to 5/4 then to 6/8, then to 9/8 then to3/4 then back to 4/4. Crazy.

The awesome guitar break in Night's Blood by Dissection goes into 6/8 i believe. For the most part i wouldn't say that signatures like 3/4, 2/4, or 6/8 are too crazy, especially when looking at Asian and Middle Eastern rhythms, which i'm sure some metal band incorporates.
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SupremeAbstract
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:23 pm 
 

No mention of Gorguts yet? The opening riff of Obscura is 2 bars of 4/4 and a bar of 7/8.
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Hail_Horus
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:19 pm 
 

opeth.

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agentsteel666
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:39 pm 
 

thejuicebitch wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
Meshuggah's entire reputation is pretty much based off their mind bogglingly complex polyrhythms


Something interesting to add...most of Meshuggah's work is written in 4/4 time (quoting from Tomas Haake), its just that they shift the rhythms around a lot as you have noted.


I haven't listened to much of Meshuggah's work, but I know for a FACT that some of their songs are in odd time signatures, not 4/4.

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rexxz
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:46 pm 
 

He did say "most".

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Expedience
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:52 pm 
 

agentsteel666 wrote:
thejuicebitch wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
Meshuggah's entire reputation is pretty much based off their mind bogglingly complex polyrhythms


Something interesting to add...most of Meshuggah's work is written in 4/4 time (quoting from Tomas Haake), its just that they shift the rhythms around a lot as you have noted.


I haven't listened to much of Meshuggah's work, but I know for a FACT that some of their songs are in odd time signatures, not 4/4.


This discussion comes up in every 'odd rhythms' thread and needs to be sorted out once and for all. The time signature depends on how the notes fit into the bar. If the riff lasts for the length of the bar, almost 100% of Meshuggah's time signatures would be weird ones. If it's the drums, it will be 4/4 and the riff will either be cut short or overrun the bar. However not all the riffs are played enough/too few times to fit the drums in enough bars to make all of them 4/4, so it makes more sense to classify the time signature by the rhythm of the riff. The apparent complexity of Meshuggah comes from the clashing of drum rhythm and guitar rhythm, which overlap in and out of phase like a sine wave. Not that hard to understand eh?

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agentsteel666
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:17 am 
 

Expedience wrote:
agentsteel666 wrote:
thejuicebitch wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
Meshuggah's entire reputation is pretty much based off their mind bogglingly complex polyrhythms


Something interesting to add...most of Meshuggah's work is written in 4/4 time (quoting from Tomas Haake), its just that they shift the rhythms around a lot as you have noted.


I haven't listened to much of Meshuggah's work, but I know for a FACT that some of their songs are in odd time signatures, not 4/4.


This discussion comes up in every 'odd rhythms' thread and needs to be sorted out once and for all. The time signature depends on how the notes fit into the bar. If the riff lasts for the length of the bar, almost 100% of Meshuggah's time signatures would be weird ones. If it's the drums, it will be 4/4 and the riff will either be cut short or overrun the bar. However not all the riffs are played enough/too few times to fit the drums in enough bars to make all of them 4/4, so it makes more sense to classify the time signature by the rhythm of the riff. The apparent complexity of Meshuggah comes from the clashing of drum rhythm and guitar rhythm, which overlap in and out of phase like a sine wave. Not that hard to understand eh?


I understand.

Say they were overlapping a 4/4 drums pattern with a 5/4 guitar pattern:

The drums would have to play 5 4/4 measures before it lines back up with the start of the 5/4 guitar riff. The guitarist would only have to play 4 5/4 measures.

So basically you have to find the lowest common denominator of the # of drum beats (in this case 4) and the number of guitar beats (5), which is 20. So it would take them 20 beats to complete a full phrase, instead of the usual 16.

If it were 4/4 drum pattern with a 7/4 guitar pattern it would take them 28 beats to complete a full phrase.

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Primemattimus
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:21 am 
 

I have two bands to add to this topic: Spastic Ink and Behold the Arctopus. Craziest shit I've ever heard. Watchtower also if you want an early one.

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