Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives

Message board

* FAQ    * Search   * Register   * Login 



This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  
Author Message Previous topic | Next topic
thomash
Metal Philosopher

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:31 pm
Posts: 1855
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:04 am 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
Noktorn wrote:
I guess I am somewhat saying that, but what 'such people' are you referring to?


Those who aren't passionate about music.

What I meant to say was that people who only want to hear the classics and who judge styles based only on the classics aren't passionate about music.

(I assume, of course, that being passionate about music is necessary to be a metalhead.)

Top
 Profile  
saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:18 am 
 

Reading through Noktorn's and others' contributions, I wonder if Noktorn's point may not really be that the albums touted as classics in a genre may not be useful for an everlasting length of time to understand what the genre contemporarily sounds like? In that case, I agree. My understanding of BM is too feeble to comment on the examples, but I can understand that recommending Altars of Madness may not make a lot of sense as far as familiarizing you with what death metal sounds like today. It would help you to check out other death metal albums from the early to mid 90s period. And...is there something wrong with that? I don't know, like Cheeses_Priced said, isn't the point really just to enjoy music? At a broader level though, you might have a lot of people going around with the belief that death metal is supposed to sound only and only the AOM way, but there's no hard and fast rule like that, in fact nothing could be worse for a genre in terms of how interesting it can be than a lot of bands trying to closely imitate a few landmark albums.

Top
 Profile  
differer
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:55 am
Posts: 137
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:18 am 
 

Noktorn's point is interesting enough, but it should be obvious that for a newcomer, getting to know the "classics" of a given genre is the most logical way. Certainly more logical than listening to a number of random obscure releases. But I wouldn't say either way is necessarily better than the other.

Having said that, it should be equally obvious that these "classics" are often not the best the genre has to offer, in fact, in many cases their significance is more historical than anything else. In my experience, a first listen of a genre-defining album is almost always a disappointment - simply because of unrealistically high expectations.

A thorough knowledge of a genre requires knowing both the classics and what spawned from them, of course. But like someone said, the point should be finding great music and for an open-minded listener this is likely to happen either way.
_________________
http://www.myspace.com/amongthemortals - melodic death metal since 1997
http://www.myspace.com/elsupernaut - instrumental rock music

Top
 Profile  
madbringer
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:08 pm
Posts: 292
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:59 am 
 

Actually, now that Noktorn elaborated a bit, i somewhat agree. Indeed, 'DMDS' is a pretty unique sounding album, but, will a person fresh to an entire genre really notice any difference? There's enough aesthetics in common between the classics and modern bands to tie up loose ends that might occur due to the passing time and evolution. Then there's always the problem of sub-genres, who mostly sound nothing like anything outside their respective pools. But when someone pleads for a starting point to black metal, you don't introduce them to Bone Awl, Silencer or Gnaw Their Tongues, do you? I think accessibility is as important as representation.

I'm speaking from experience, here, as i've tried to introduce many people to black metal, and most of them have been turned off from the entire genre because they jumped in the deep waters way too early. Meanwhile, several people that started off with classics have gradually progressed their way onto the lesser known stuff and certainly don't regard the big names as all there is to the genre. However, i can easily see how many other people would stop at the beginning and not bother looking what's further down the road, thinking they now have figured out the genre.

In the end, i'd say it requires an individual approach. You can't honestly predict how a person will approach the genre, and given the circumstances, recommending classics in favour of more representative (contextually) bands might either be a sin or a favour.

Of course, i talk about people who don't really know much about the more extreme genres of metal. I don't think someone who listens to death metal, grindcore or funeral doom would have big problems getting into black, regardless of what you'd recommend to him (as long as it's good).
_________________
;asd

Top
 Profile  
Bezerko
Vladimir Poopin

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 4805
Location: Venestraya
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:04 am 
 

Strangely enough, I'm finding myself agreeing with Noktorn once. People seem to very superficially go for "classics" and are then left with little understanding of what the genre at large is all about. Also like he said, the best way to get into a genre is through a mix of classics as well as perhaps lesser known releases. Certainly that's the way I've discovered, and still do discover, death metal and black metal (indeed, many of the "classics" I've still never heard, I'm yet to hear a full Suffocation or Ulver album for example).

Top
 Profile  
Anthelnor
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:19 am
Posts: 192
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:04 am 
 

I agree that basing one's entire knowledge of thrash metal off of "Master of Puppets" is fucking ignorant, but I still believe that the "classics" in a particular genre can help a lot with discovering that genre. I myself got into most genres by getting the essential, perhaps pioneering albums, and moving on from there. Black metal for example, I got Immortal's stuff, early Mayhem, early Satyricon, some Darkthrone and Ulver etc..., and from there I took such a liking to BM that I delved further and uncovered all sorts of great bands such as Mirrorthrone, Forest Stream, Cor Scorpii, Limbonic Art etc...

I still think a good familiarity with some of the classics is important. Can you imagine meeting a "classic 80s metal fan"

*You* - Hey, Avenger shirt! You like NWOBHM?
*Dude* - Yea, fucking love that shit. Listen to it 24/7!
*You* - Sweet as bro, Iron Maiden's one of my favourite bands.
*Dude* - Oh, are they any good? I've never bothered listening to any of that "popular" stuff.
*You* - ...yea... they're alright.... (walks away in silence, develops existential angst, shoots up a bank)

If you don't know the lyrics to Hallowed be thy Name, leave the hall.
_________________
Internet arguments are like the special olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded.

Top
 Profile  
Third_of_the_Storms
Stupid

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 4:14 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:22 am 
 

Gee, and all this time I thought it was about listening to music that you enjoyed. Apparently I should have spent my time collecting albums by shitty bedroom black metal bands with 30% average reviews on Metal Archives. :roll:
_________________
Shutdown wrote:
blashyrkh497 wrote:
I just got banned from the fuckin chatroom. Why??? I didnt do anything

<blashyrkh497> blashyrhk 497 jacks off on amoeba's face

Top
 Profile  
Noktorn
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 2880
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:36 am 
 

saintinhell wrote:
Reading through Noktorn's and others' contributions, I wonder if Noktorn's point may not really be that the albums touted as classics in a genre may not be useful for an everlasting length of time to understand what the genre contemporarily sounds like? In that case, I agree. My understanding of BM is too feeble to comment on the examples, but I can understand that recommending Altars of Madness may not make a lot of sense as far as familiarizing you with what death metal sounds like today. It would help you to check out other death metal albums from the early to mid 90s period. And...is there something wrong with that? I don't know, like Cheeses_Priced said, isn't the point really just to enjoy music? At a broader level though, you might have a lot of people going around with the belief that death metal is supposed to sound only and only the AOM way, but there's no hard and fast rule like that, in fact nothing could be worse for a genre in terms of how interesting it can be than a lot of bands trying to closely imitate a few landmark albums.


Yeah, the point is to just enjoy music, of course, but that goes into needlessly reductive 'why is anything anything' territory that always annoys me on internet forums. This isn't a necessary conversation to have, of course, but I find it interesting. More to the point, yes, I would agree that the heralded classic albums are more important as examples of exceptional works within a genre, but not as something that represents the fundamental aspects of the genre.

Third_of_the_Storms wrote:
Gee, and all this time I thought it was about listening to music that you enjoyed. Apparently I should have spent my time collecting albums by shitty bedroom black metal bands with 30% average reviews on Metal Archives. :roll:


Congratulations on completely missing the point of the thread, here's a complimentary tote bag.
_________________
Nokturnal Transmissions Records - www.nokturnaltransmissionsrecords.com
Septic Tomb - www.myspace.com/septictomb
Bonescraper - www.myspace.com/bonescraper666

Member #1 of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh Crew - Fuck off the musical black metal!

Top
 Profile  
hole_in_your_chest
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 46
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:54 am 
 

Wow, I applaud the discussion.

Anyways, doesn't this, as with basically everything music-related, come down to personal taste? I mean, If I wanted to get into death metal, I'd just ask for whatever some of my friends are listening to.

Enough classics does give a pretty good idea of what any genre sounds like, but plenty of the (best, most fun, more creative) albums come from the unmentioned artists. Having the classics just gives a kid enough info on the genre to know wether he wants to explore it and look for said unmentioned artists or not.
_________________
Taught by Facebook:
Metal Heads (We're Better then Everyone Else)
Lifer (We're Better then Metal Heads)

Top
 Profile  
Merchant
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:39 am
Posts: 50
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:11 am 
 

I agree with Mr. Noktorn. When I started to get into black metal I never listened (well very much) to the more well known bands (I always found great excitement in looking for bands nobody had heard of, mainly because I wanted to be different and stick it to some elitefags (hey I was 14/15 at the time) ). Admitadly I never really had money to buy any albums with (I mainly used to download tracks, but not albums because it went against my judgement at the time). I actually owned albums by Nachtmystium, Hate Forest, Matricide before I even owned an album by Darkthrone, Burzum, Mayhem etc. I find that although I respect them, I can't stand listening to those "Classic" bands because I find them boring and overrated (in the fact the only album I like from the "Classic" bands is Gorgoroth's Pentagram and that's mainly because it is more, metal for lack of a better word and I actually enjoy listening to it).
_________________
WELCOME!!!!
Hello there stranger I've got alot of good things for sale (sale list)

I'll trade that at a high price (wanted list)

Top
 Profile  
Noktorn
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 2880
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:20 am 
 

hole_in_your_chest wrote:
Wow, I applaud the discussion.

Anyways, doesn't this, as with basically everything music-related, come down to personal taste? I mean, If I wanted to get into death metal, I'd just ask for whatever some of my friends are listening to.

Enough classics does give a pretty good idea of what any genre sounds like, but plenty of the (best, most fun, more creative) albums come from the unmentioned artists. Having the classics just gives a kid enough info on the genre to know wether he wants to explore it and look for said unmentioned artists or not.


I guess the overall risk of the classics-centric mentality is that by giving listeners a skewed perspective on what the genre actually sounds like for the most part, it might turn away those who would be more interested in the music in its current incarnation versus what it was in these very isolated instances.
_________________
Nokturnal Transmissions Records - www.nokturnaltransmissionsrecords.com
Septic Tomb - www.myspace.com/septictomb
Bonescraper - www.myspace.com/bonescraper666

Member #1 of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh Crew - Fuck off the musical black metal!

Top
 Profile  
blackblood666
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:42 am
Posts: 152
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:32 am 
 

I don't think it really matters how someone gets into a particular genre. If they pick up all the well known albums in that genre, then go back and pick up some of the lesser known albums, they will either get a renewed appreciation of the "classics", or come to the conclusion that they are overrated. The important thing to remember is that metal appreciation takes time. There is no point in chastising those immature metal heads, because we were all an immature metalhead once ourselves. And really, who cares how someone else gets into heavy metal anyway?
_________________
MHB 2862

Top
 Profile  
madbringer
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:08 pm
Posts: 292
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:36 am 
 

But the specific person's tastes must matter as well. So what the 'classics' don't give a clearer overview of the genre, if the guy you're bringing over will prefer them to the modern/sub-genre sound solely because of his personal musical preference, and not due to a love-on-first-listen-through bias? This wouldn't mean he thinks the classics are be all, end all. It would mean he thinks they're classics for a reason.
_________________
;asd

Top
 Profile  
FasterDisaster
So Fast, You'll Crash

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
Posts: 6338
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:45 am 
 

Noktorn wrote:
hole_in_your_chest wrote:
Wow, I applaud the discussion.

Anyways, doesn't this, as with basically everything music-related, come down to personal taste? I mean, If I wanted to get into death metal, I'd just ask for whatever some of my friends are listening to.

Enough classics does give a pretty good idea of what any genre sounds like, but plenty of the (best, most fun, more creative) albums come from the unmentioned artists. Having the classics just gives a kid enough info on the genre to know wether he wants to explore it and look for said unmentioned artists or not.


I guess the overall risk of the classics-centric mentality is that by giving listeners a skewed perspective on what the genre actually sounds like for the most part, it might turn away those who would be more interested in the music in its current incarnation versus what it was in these very isolated instances.


I disagree. I think the classics will give them a better range for exploration. Bombarding them with 10 different styles within a genre just might be overwhelming. Keep it simple, eh?

Top
 Profile  
Merchant
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:39 am
Posts: 50
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:55 am 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
Noktorn wrote:
hole_in_your_chest wrote:
Wow, I applaud the discussion.

Anyways, doesn't this, as with basically everything music-related, come down to personal taste? I mean, If I wanted to get into death metal, I'd just ask for whatever some of my friends are listening to.

Enough classics does give a pretty good idea of what any genre sounds like, but plenty of the (best, most fun, more creative) albums come from the unmentioned artists. Having the classics just gives a kid enough info on the genre to know wether he wants to explore it and look for said unmentioned artists or not.


I guess the overall risk of the classics-centric mentality is that by giving listeners a skewed perspective on what the genre actually sounds like for the most part, it might turn away those who would be more interested in the music in its current incarnation versus what it was in these very isolated instances.


I disagree. I think the classics will give them a better range for exploration. Bombarding them with 10 different styles within a genre just might be overwhelming. Keep it simple, eh?


I disagree with your disagree. I think that because music is subjective that people should find out what bands they like through experience. When I got into I didn't bombard myself with different styles I just went with what sounded good to me and that system has worked fine for me so far.
_________________
WELCOME!!!!
Hello there stranger I've got alot of good things for sale (sale list)

I'll trade that at a high price (wanted list)

Top
 Profile  
saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:20 pm 
 

Noktorn wrote:

I guess the overall risk of the classics-centric mentality is that by giving listeners a skewed perspective on what the genre actually sounds like for the most part, it might turn away those who would be more interested in the music in its current incarnation versus what it was in these very isolated instances.


Yes, I thought this is what you were trying to say from the beginning and it's much clearer now. It - a classic-centric mentality - also provides a plausible explanation for the constant laments about the state of the genre. Obviously if people have been led to believe that a particular genre is meant to be done only one way - and that way being represented by an album released maybe 20 years ago - then they are less receptive to new albums, which represent the genre in its current, evolved state and unless a music genre is completely stagnant, it will change a whole lot in 20 or so years.

Top
 Profile  
Noktorn
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 2880
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:35 pm 
 

saintinhell wrote:
Yes, I thought this is what you were trying to say from the beginning and it's much clearer now. It - a classic-centric mentality - also provides a plausible explanation for the constant laments about the state of the genre. Obviously if people have been led to believe that a particular genre is meant to be done only one way - and that way being represented by an album released maybe 20 years ago - then they are less receptive to new albums, which represent the genre in its current, evolved state and unless a music genre is completely stagnant, it will change a whole lot in 20 or so years.


Expanding on that point, I think that the skewed perspectives as a result of being 'indoctrinated' by the classics is what creates much of that bemoaning the state of the genre that exists today. I don't really want to say it poisons the well, but in a way it does: by exposing people immediately to these most creative, enduring, and in many cases unusual works, it immediately gives a distorted perspective of the genre where all other material can be good but not great. I think that an understanding of the more underground sides of genres is an important part of grasping why the classics are classic at all; without hearing a lot of other thrash, what's the significance of 'Reign In Blood' or 'Darkness Descends'? Because there's no background of knowledge, they don't rightfully seem like exceptions to the conventions of the genre, but what everything is supposed to aspire for and universally fails to meet.

As a more general response, I'm certainly one that believes you don't even come close to understanding a style until you listen to a ton of music within it. I probably own around 600 black metal CDs and I think I only have the most tenuous grasp on what's actually going on in black metal from a historical or cultural perspective. Elaborating on that, I think that the cut-and-dried classics mentality does breed people with an inclination towards thinking that, since modern black metal is necessarily inferior to older black metal (due to a lack of historical perspective), there's no need to investigate further to understand the genre more fully. I guess this is all about making people more knowledgeable about the styles, and while it's certainly debatable whether that's necessary or even desirable, I think that more educated metalheads would result in more interesting discussion about the music, and, in a roundabout way, better metal from people with more perspectives on the style.
_________________
Nokturnal Transmissions Records - www.nokturnaltransmissionsrecords.com
Septic Tomb - www.myspace.com/septictomb
Bonescraper - www.myspace.com/bonescraper666

Member #1 of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh Crew - Fuck off the musical black metal!

Top
 Profile  
saintinhell
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:19 am
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:42 pm 
 

^^^

I can subscribe enthusiastically to what you have just posted. The point I am going to repeat that others have already made is I am not convinced a mish-mash of random albums will help somebody break into a genre. I think an alternative solution is to start coming up with a different set of representative albums once every few years or something. These need not be the best albums of the genre but I am more interested that they give the listener a good idea of what the genre sounds like contemporarily. There's no reason why the listener should get any more turned off by these albums than by the presumably everlasting classics, so it's worth a shot. It is likely to give him more realistic expectations of the genre and also a better picture of what it is rather than what it once was.

Top
 Profile  
Karnstein_Records
Not yet ready for a custom title

Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 am
Posts: 1201
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:51 pm 
 

I like the point that droneriot makes in his Immortal review.

droneriot wrote:
I can only begin to imagine the confusion a youngling, just starting to dive deeper into the realm of Black Metal, must feel upon encounter of this entity. The messages are conflicting: On first sight, looking at the whole of their career, it is easy to recognize why Immortal are the most ridiculed Black Metal band you will find out there... the pictures (especially the paint-and-accesories-crimes of later years), the videos (we've all seen the one), certainly the songtitles and lyrics, and of course the entirety of their music. Unfortunately, and this is where the messages get conflicting, there is this wide-spread, ever-hyperbolic conglomeration of praise to the point of worship, creating an almost mystical aura around the first three albums and "Pure Holocaust", an aura of undefinable but undeniable quality, that this is somehow an important landmark in early second wave Black Metal. Of course, when eager younglings stumble upon such conflicting messages, they tend to take the most fatal route of simply going along with what all the others say, and later, when they grow confident enough of what they hope to be a secure footing in the swampy Black Metal to give a newer generation of equally eager younglings some recommendations of their own, they continue the vicious cycle by regurgitating one of the every reappearing lists of what is supposedly accepted by the majority as "essential" cornerstones of representing early Norwegian Black Metal, and once again "Pure Holocaust" makes the list without anyone actually really knowing why, simply because the myth of its quality and historical importance has at some point been established and never really been questioned ever since. It is time to break this vicious cycle and expose this band and particularly this album for really being what the initial impression tells you about them. Look at their pictures, their videos, their songtitles and lyrics, and listen to their music. Ignore what the others say and follow your instincts!
_________________
Ultraboris wrote:
Metal isn't supposed to be a fucking lullaby


Karnstein Records
www.karnsteinrecords.com

Top
 Profile  
hole_in_your_chest
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 46
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:27 pm 
 

Noktorn wrote:
I guess the overall risk of the classics-centric mentality is that by giving listeners a skewed perspective on what the genre actually sounds like for the most part, it might turn away those who would be more interested in the music in its current incarnation versus what it was in these very isolated instances.


Well, it's easier to say that for black metal, and death metal, to a lesser extent.

But in Thrash? The Bay Area scene with The German scene gives a very good idea of what is in the genre, no? You can't really sum up prog. or doom with 'scenes' per se, but two dozen classic albums from different bands does give a decent, if brief, summation.
_________________
Taught by Facebook:
Metal Heads (We're Better then Everyone Else)
Lifer (We're Better then Metal Heads)

Top
 Profile  
FasterDisaster
So Fast, You'll Crash

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
Posts: 6338
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:24 pm 
 

Merchant wrote:
FasterDisaster wrote:
Noktorn wrote:
hole_in_your_chest wrote:
Wow, I applaud the discussion.

Anyways, doesn't this, as with basically everything music-related, come down to personal taste? I mean, If I wanted to get into death metal, I'd just ask for whatever some of my friends are listening to.

Enough classics does give a pretty good idea of what any genre sounds like, but plenty of the (best, most fun, more creative) albums come from the unmentioned artists. Having the classics just gives a kid enough info on the genre to know wether he wants to explore it and look for said unmentioned artists or not.


I guess the overall risk of the classics-centric mentality is that by giving listeners a skewed perspective on what the genre actually sounds like for the most part, it might turn away those who would be more interested in the music in its current incarnation versus what it was in these very isolated instances.


I disagree. I think the classics will give them a better range for exploration. Bombarding them with 10 different styles within a genre just might be overwhelming. Keep it simple, eh?


I disagree with your disagree. I think that because music is subjective that people should find out what bands they like through experience. When I got into I didn't bombard myself with different styles I just went with what sounded good to me and that system has worked fine for me so far.


Well, that's what I'm saying. Show them some classics and get them interested in a style of black metal and them slowly show them some more subgenre styles. Don't, at first, show them 10 bands and be like, "figure out what you like!"

I certainly didn't get into a genre that way.

Top
 Profile  
Prominence
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:36 pm
Posts: 368
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:28 pm 
 

Hey, I was one of those kids once.
I'd have to agree... Bullshit standards of worth give a really deluded vision upon what music really is, especially in black metal. The true ideals of black metal have been completely lost in favour of this "True Norwegian Black Metal" fad. I'd expand and rant more but I have no time.

Top
 Profile  
KingVold
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:05 am
Posts: 1082
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:41 pm 
 

I have to disagree witht his. I think starting witht eh essential, highly regarded abnds is the best way to get into a genre. I always start with a founding band when i get into a genre. Its the best way to imagine the whole scene. But, i do agree that it can lead to misperceptions. Despite this, I believe its the best way.
_________________
ENKC wrote:
I honestly have no idea what the subject of this thread is.


AppleQueso wrote:
Acidgobblin wrote:
I refuse to listen to a genre using an onamatapoeiac descriptor.

Motion to change "Death Metal" to "EEURRRGHHH"

Top
 Profile  
Sir_Lucario
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:20 pm
Posts: 173
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:50 pm 
 

KingVold wrote:
I have to disagree witht his. I think starting witht eh essential, highly regarded abnds is the best way to get into a genre. I always start with a founding band when i get into a genre. Its the best way to imagine the whole scene. But, i do agree that it can lead to misperceptions. Despite this, I believe its the best way.


I kinda just skimmed through this topic, but I think what Noktorn was getting at was that the "classics" are usually quite unique in comparison to the bands they have influenced, and therefore they don't offer a good view of what their genres as a whole sound like.

Top
 Profile  
Noktorn
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 2880
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:56 pm 
 

hole_in_your_chest wrote:
Well, it's easier to say that for black metal, and death metal, to a lesser extent.

But in Thrash? The Bay Area scene with The German scene gives a very good idea of what is in the genre, no? You can't really sum up prog. or doom with 'scenes' per se, but two dozen classic albums from different bands does give a decent, if brief, summation.


Thrash probably has closer ties between influencers and the influenced by virtue of the rather restrictive nature of the sound, but I would still say that, particularly in the field of riffing styles, many of the older thrash bands don't have a lot in common with thrash of today. I don't think there are a great deal of bands who sound very much like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, or Anthrax, though as you move down a tier to bands like Exodus the similarities become more readily apparent. Oddly enough, Brazilian and Teutonic thrash seems to breed bands much closer to the originals than the Bay Area scene, at least in my opinion.

I think a very good example of the divergence of influencers versus the eventual direction of the scene would be recommending a band like Venom to those interested in black metal. As many know, early Mayhem material was essentially that band trying and failing to mimic Venom properly, but would someone be able to really make a logical leap between Venom and Mayhem? I don't really think so; there's a lot of filling in of gaps that would need to be done to get exactly how this works out in the long run.
_________________
Nokturnal Transmissions Records - www.nokturnaltransmissionsrecords.com
Septic Tomb - www.myspace.com/septictomb
Bonescraper - www.myspace.com/bonescraper666

Member #1 of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh Crew - Fuck off the musical black metal!

Top
 Profile  
FasterDisaster
So Fast, You'll Crash

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
Posts: 6338
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:03 pm 
 

Is it possible to bring this topic to a different genre besides black and death metal? Seriously.

Top
 Profile  
Nyaricus
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 1240
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:25 pm 
 

Noktorn wrote:
Expanding on that point, I think that the skewed perspectives as a result of being 'indoctrinated' by the classics is what creates much of that bemoaning the state of the genre that exists today. I don't really want to say it poisons the well, but in a way it does: by exposing people immediately to these most creative, enduring, and in many cases unusual works, it immediately gives a distorted perspective of the genre where all other material can be good but not great. I think that an understanding of the more underground sides of genres is an important part of grasping why the classics are classic at all; without hearing a lot of other thrash, what's the significance of 'Reign In Blood' or 'Darkness Descends'? Because there's no background of knowledge, they don't rightfully seem like exceptions to the conventions of the genre, but what everything is supposed to aspire for and universally fails to meet.

As a more general response, I'm certainly one that believes you don't even come close to understanding a style until you listen to a ton of music within it. I probably own around 600 black metal CDs and I think I only have the most tenuous grasp on what's actually going on in black metal from a historical or cultural perspective. Elaborating on that, I think that the cut-and-dried classics mentality does breed people with an inclination towards thinking that, since modern black metal is necessarily inferior to older black metal (due to a lack of historical perspective), there's no need to investigate further to understand the genre more fully. I guess this is all about making people more knowledgeable about the styles, and while it's certainly debatable whether that's necessary or even desirable, I think that more educated metalheads would result in more interesting discussion about the music, and, in a roundabout way, better metal from people with more perspectives on the style.

As I said on the first page, the classics are classics for a variety of reasons - sometimes for their creativity, sometimes because they were simply first (but perhaps not the best), sometimes because they had a good marketing campaign, and sometimes for some other reasons.

Point is, yes a noobie coming into metal will hear about said classics and immediately think "oh my, these must be the BEST that metal has to offer", but if they are true fan of the genre they will come around and realize soon enough that there is this vast underground scene going on and that there is much to be applauded in obscure bands from all over the world. If they don't get that, then obviously they will only ever be a lay fan of the genre, and never really 'get' metal like you, or I, or most of this board understand it.

----------------
Now playing: Death - Painkiller [Judas Priest Cover]
_________________
Hoarfrost MB BM

"Doom is the blues of metal, you either feel it or you don't."
-Doomsday

Top
 Profile  
iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 7410
Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:27 pm 
 

Most of the major arguing back and forth seems to come from seasoned metalheads who are probably years removed from what it's like to be a real "newbie," so let me offer some insight as someone who loves music and is no stranger to inaccessible, underground music scenes but is (in general) fairly new to metal.

For one thing, I think a major concern of Noktorn's is misguided. Any true music fan who really loves their music and spends a lot of time listening to it isn't going to get trapped in this "classics are the be-all end-all of the genre" mentality. It's just not going to happen to anyone who would, after much more time spent exploring the genre, develop a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the diversity of the genre. Anyone who develops such a "classics mentality" was probably going to do so regardless of the method of introduction to the genre. For example, if they went out and bought three obscure black metal albums rather than one Immortal album, they'd likely find out who that band's influences were, listen to said influences, and declare them to be superior to the bands that came later. In other words, those who are prone to the "classics mentality" are simply that; whether or not this happens early or late in their introduction to metal doesn't really matter much, does it?

Now, let me talk about my experiences with another genre which I know quite a bit about: post-rock. I was introduced to this genre by listening to the "classics": Slint, Mogwai, GY!BE, etc. I feel that this was an extremely valuable experience. These "classics" are, much like those in metal, largely unrelated to one another sonically. Listening to them, however, allowed me to identify the "typical" sounds of the genre and therefore, upon listening to newer, more obscure bands, to see which ones are simply _________-worship and which ones are genuinely coming up with new ideas or at least combining influences in interesting, unique ways. Listening to these "classics" also allowed me to determine which sub-styles I enjoyed the most. For example, I never really got into the lighter, jazz-oriented sounds of Tortoise, so bands that claim to have a heavy Tortoise influence are generally not something I'd spend a lot of time listening to.

I've gone through similar avenues with metal. For example, I am completely new to death metal. In the Help Thread, I was recommended a list of the "50 best albums of the golden era of death metal" and have been working my way through this list. The music is quite diverse, and I'm already finding myself to be drawn to some bands much more than others. Since I'm not a douchebag and am not susceptible to the "classics mentality" I plan on getting more releases by the bands I like then asking about more modern bands and more obscure older bands that play in a similar style. I'm also paying close attention to disagreements people have had about the list that was offered to me, and listening to any additional bands people may suggest.

I really fail to see how such an approach is less valid than a random one. Just to give you an idea, clicking on the "Death" genre tag in the "bands by genre" section of the archives lists 23,299 bands. A scattershot, random approach would quite likely cause me to a) only get shitty releases and be disappointed, b) cause me to miss out on "minority" sounds in the genre that I might prefer over more popular styles or some combination of those.

Top
 Profile  
Karnstein_Records
Not yet ready for a custom title

Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 am
Posts: 1201
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:32 pm 
 

Question to Noktorn -

You and a hypothetical non-metal friend decide to go and see a local black metal band play live and your friend greatly enjoys the experience and is interested in listening to more black metal. Let's say the band played average Darkthrone-worship.

You both go to a used record store and your friend only has enough money to buy one of the following. Burzum's 'Det Som Engang Var' album or Zarach'Baal'Tharagh's 'Ash' album. He asks your opinion on which he should buy. What would you suggest?

Or alternatively, would you rather they bought a Burzum album or something by Tundra or Kythrone? I'm not actually going anywhere with this or have any sort of point to make, I'm just trying to better understand your position on all of this.
_________________
Ultraboris wrote:
Metal isn't supposed to be a fucking lullaby


Karnstein Records
www.karnsteinrecords.com

Top
 Profile  
Noktorn
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 2880
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:35 pm 
 

Karnstein_Records wrote:
Question to Noktorn -

You and a hypothetical non-metal friend decide to go and see a local black metal band play live and your friend greatly enjoys the experience and is interested in listening to more black metal. Let's say the band played average Darkthrone-worship.

You both go to a used record store and your friend only has enough money to buy one of the following. Burzum's 'Det Som Engang Var' album or Zarach'Baal'Tharagh's 'Ash' album. He asks your opinion on which he should buy. What would you suggest?

Or alternatively, would you rather they bought a Burzum album or something by Tundra or Kythrone? I'm not actually going anywhere with this or have any sort of point to make, I'm just trying to better understand your position on all of this.


If it's one album versus one album, there's really no difference except in quality, so I'd suggest Det Som Engang Var. If it was the more abstract question of "What should I buy to give me a better understanding of this music" (a question which no one asks, of course), it might be different.
_________________
Nokturnal Transmissions Records - www.nokturnaltransmissionsrecords.com
Septic Tomb - www.myspace.com/septictomb
Bonescraper - www.myspace.com/bonescraper666

Member #1 of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh Crew - Fuck off the musical black metal!

Top
 Profile  
hole_in_your_chest
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 46
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:41 pm 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
Is it possible to bring this topic to a different genre besides black and death metal? Seriously.


I tried.
_________________
Taught by Facebook:
Metal Heads (We're Better then Everyone Else)
Lifer (We're Better then Metal Heads)

Top
 Profile  
Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 18738
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:46 pm 
 

In regards to a cleaner genre like Heavy Metal, getting into the genre by the classic albums is probably safer than it would be in the extreme genres. The classic Heavy Metal albums like Heaven & Hell, Powerslave, Number of the Beast, Hall of the Mountain King, et cetera, are not vastly different from many of the underground representations of the genre, and you can get a good idea of what the genre is about by listening to those albums as much as listening to obscure albums like Lords of the Crimson Alliance or Battle Cry any day.

edit: Well alright, there are definitely differences between the "blue" and "white" collar Heavy Metal of the 80s that failsafeman brings up so often, I will give you that. But I still say that either one of them can educate you on what the genre is about plenty well, either way is good. They all scream HEAVY FUCKING METAL in their own individual ways, whether it be through nerdy Science Fiction and Fantasy lyrics with murky, undersea style riffing (Manilla Road), triumphant, anthemic stuff with almost militaristic tendencies in the arrangements (Jag Panzer) or evil, blasphemous lyrics and riffs that are just about as sinister (Savatage).

For the Power Metal side, it is a bit different, since there are subdivisions of this genre too, so maybe Noktorn's post would apply here, too. There are tons of underground albums that can sum up the genre better than, say, Keepers of the Seven Keys, or something.
_________________
Cinema Freaks latest reviews: Robin Williams Tribute, Ender's Game

Top
 Profile  
Noktorn
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 2880
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:19 pm 
 

'Traditional metal' in and of itself is essentially a dead genre anyway, so there's not really any modern material to skew perspectives on apart from a handful of novelty acts.
_________________
Nokturnal Transmissions Records - www.nokturnaltransmissionsrecords.com
Septic Tomb - www.myspace.com/septictomb
Bonescraper - www.myspace.com/bonescraper666

Member #1 of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh Crew - Fuck off the musical black metal!

Top
 Profile  
Anthelnor
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:19 am
Posts: 192
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:50 pm 
 

I've noticed a lot of the arguments behind the "understanding the genre" concept are based on "buying three underground black metal albums rather than 1 Immortal album" but perhaps, wouldn't buying say Pure Holocaust, De Mysteriis and maybe In the Nightside Eclipse give quite a good overview of the genre and its sonic variations, as opposed to three randomly selection "black metal" bands. Of course, you can never fully understand a genre based on one album, but perhaps a good knowledge of MOST OF the pioneering, influential albums can provide understanding.

Assume you selected one deeply obscure band, and you listen to their discography. Say they are some sort of symphonic epic black metal project. Perhaps sonically unique (as many underground bands are), listening to this bands discography will only reveal to you one hundredth of the genres capabilities, whereas listening to a more well-known, influential band will perhaps bring in various sounds of the genre, which will then go on to be refined by the more obscure bands.
_________________
Internet arguments are like the special olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded.

Top
 Profile  
Noktorn
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 2880
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:04 pm 
 

Anthelnor wrote:
I've noticed a lot of the arguments behind the "understanding the genre" concept are based on "buying three underground black metal albums rather than 1 Immortal album" but perhaps, wouldn't buying say Pure Holocaust, De Mysteriis and maybe In the Nightside Eclipse give quite a good overview of the genre and its sonic variations, as opposed to three randomly selection "black metal" bands.


No, because as I've been pointing out throughout the friend, the most highly acclaimed metal albums are most frequently without a great deal of connection to what the standards of the genre would become.
_________________
Nokturnal Transmissions Records - www.nokturnaltransmissionsrecords.com
Septic Tomb - www.myspace.com/septictomb
Bonescraper - www.myspace.com/bonescraper666

Member #1 of Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh Crew - Fuck off the musical black metal!

Top
 Profile  
Shantideva
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:54 pm
Posts: 163
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:51 pm 
 

I'm not terribly long into my metal journey (2 years give or take, with only about the past 10 months being the real expansion period), and honestly my knowledge of black metal lore would be way too weak to go toe to toe on these rec ideas, but I think just stating my path into metal step by step may help elucidate some points on both sides of this debate.

Let me begin by stating that I think getting into metal requires that some band, or album, or individual song break your "metal cherry". For the most part I don't think people are getting up in the morning saying "You know what, I've heard there's something out there called "Death Metal" and I'm going to get into it". You hear it somewhere or get hold of it somehow on a whim, and whatever band it is you hear is where you start. Personally for me it was a Manowar song my friend played one day on a mix CD. "Holy War" from 'Fighting the World'. I'd heard Metallica, and I'm sure I must have heard some Maiden or Priest somewhere although I don't remember it. I liked it, he burned the CD for me. From there I got into Manowar, exploring their discography. At that point I wasn't really expanding my music much, nowhere near on the scale I am now, and it was a slow process, but I was blown away by this...thing, the thunder and screams and bloodlust and mythology references. During that time, at work we were talking and music came up, and I said I liked this band Manowar. I was then informed I liked "power metal" by an experienced Death-metalhead and a few days later was given a handful of burned CDs from Sonata Arctica, Blind Guardian, Dragonforce, and Rhapsody. From there I explored slowly, first within those bands then widening my net to bands similar to those, primarily via the internet; largely in the later stages via Metal Archives. I found Gamma Ray through the song "Valhalla" by Blind Guardian, and they have remained my favorite power metal band by far since. Eventually I noticed people always talking about older "classic" bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. I checked the Archives and found their best reviewed albums, and went out and bought them. "Painkiller" and "Powerslave" respectively. Now I can't imagine a world without those bands in it.

I got into thrash in an even more roundabout way. I liked Alestorm, and found out from a friend they were playing in Allentown in a few months. I checked the website of the bar they were playing at, and the day before the headliner was called "Bonded by Blood". I quite simply liked the name. I knew fuck-all about thrash, and the concept of retro-thrash would have seemed hopelessly arcane to me at the time. I checked their myspace and the first song that came on was "Psychotic Pulse". I don't care what you think of Retro-Thrash, that opening riff fucking rules. From them I progressed to Exodus, then to Dark Angel and Megadeth on a recommendation from a friend, then using the Archives ended up back at the Mainstream with Metallica and Slayer and into the pit of the underground with Mekong Delta and the like, picking out influential bands and bands that are most recommended. Now my main strategy for getting into new underground bands is going to local gigs and seeing who makes noise on MA. Between the two I'm more than occupied tbh.

Top
 Profile  
NeglectedField
Onwards to Camulodunum!

Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:19 am
Posts: 1390
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:27 pm 
 

I'm gonna have to say I agree with Noktorn, despite me getting into this and that by way of certain obvious/"essential" releases when I was younger.

I love the early Norwegian scene, but it indeed doesn't give an accurate representation of the real inside of black metal but given they were the first to really "make a noise" they're considered the most important figures. That's just the way many things work: the outside impression of any movement is derived from the noisest, most attention grabbing and controversial representatives, or the most accessible and digestible. It's a shame most albums that were the first of their kind are considered essentials when they're merely the blueprint from which the subsequent "standard" sound and ethos might deviate significantly. I do however think In The Nightside Eclipse is an "essential" album in my book, if not representative of the core of black metal activity today (and I'm guessing it was considered eccentric at the time for use of keyboards). It's a record that takes me to another place and I think it deserves to be called a classic so that others might experience it.

I suspect numerous people want to know essentials so they can bypass any real insight into the genre; they want to do the absolute minimum so they can earn some 'metalhead' title with minimal effort and look like the expert in front of their lesser initiated peers. At school the odd guy would do this to cement their character as 'the metalhead', preaching how amazing Master of Puppets is. They don't usually like hanging around underground enthusiasts lest they look ill-informed and get shot down by those "elitist assholes". Some people might as well become one of those bespectacled know-it-alls who writes for Rolling Stone and waxes lyrical on VH1 documentaries about how important this or that album is.

But then again, on the other hand, if they're honestly only looking to please their ears and not take too much of a risk, 'essentials' are a safe bet. They should just not be too surprised if people find their CD collection a bit shallow and uninteresting.
_________________
The solitary one waits for grace...

Top
 Profile  
The_Wicked_One
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:26 pm
Posts: 19
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:38 pm 
 

Whatever happened to just recommending bands related to other bands?
Sooner or later your going through every genre.

Like Skeletonwitch? Check out Witchaven..like that? check out Sauron. Like that? check out this band that plays shows with them all the time. Wastelander.

This naturally spreads out the spectrum. going from both old and new.

Top
 Profile  
brightfield
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:47 pm
Posts: 541
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:43 pm 
 

Noktorn assumes that many newbies go through the classics as some sort of an academic exercise. I'm sure that's true. Most of us are probably guilty of that to some extent.

However, another motivation for wanting to go through all the classics...is that a lot of it is just so fucking good.

In no other music genre like metal, do I get such a fiendish addiction to find good music. It's like crack - gotta have it - gotta have it now!

For example, in the past year or year and a half, I have become a thrash addict. I basically bought every 80's/90's thrash album I could find, and when I ran out of those (mostly), I started looking at more recent stuff. Was this some academic exercise on my part? Hell no. It's just so fucking good. I had to have it.

Now, again, I'm not saying Noktorn is wrong. I'm sure many people fit the description/motivation he lays out. But some of us just want to hear some good metal, and when you find a path that keeps giving you new great stuff to listen to, you just want to go down the rabbit hole and get lost in it.

Top
 Profile  
Scourge441
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:38 am
Posts: 815
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:08 pm 
 

I've been into metal for a few years now, and after the initial getting-into-it period where I explored some of the classics, I've pretty much avoided checking them out. I got into metal mostly through modern bands; Reign in Blood and Master of Puppets were there, sure, but it was moreso Soilwork and Killswitch Engage that got me into it.

This carries the issue that I've not bothered with the classics as much, favoring more to check out the more modern bands and the more-underground cult classics as a result. For example, I've yet to check out Exodus, and the only reason I have Pleasure to Kill and Agent Orange is because I downloaded Kreator and Sodom's respective discographies (and I haven't even listened to Agent Orange yet); however, Morbid Saint are one of my favorites. I've yet to check out any of the second-wave Norwegian bands except for one Immortal album (At the Heart of Winter) and some of Enslaved's later material, but I listen to Windir and Vreid rather frequently.

So, the situation of the Avenger fan who doesn't know Iron Maiden that was proposed earlier in the thread is basically my case. My suggestion, then, would be to go with a mix of the modern and the classic when introducing a newbie. That way, they get a dose of what is typical for the genre and what breaks the boundaries, so that they can see how the genre started and how it evolved.

Top
 Profile  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies. Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Expedience, Nahsil, SoundsofDecay, teh_Foxx0rz and 17 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Back to the Encyclopaedia Metallum


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group