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Veracs
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 1893
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:11 am 
 

I have often heard the charge that the very nature of metal lyrics running the gamut from Cannibal Corpse to Manowar are overdone and cheesy. By the very charge, this accusation seems to take out of the equation bands such as Ancient Rites, God Dethroned, and Graveland that write from a historical perspective, as well as other bands who do not engage in the vices of writing extreme lyrics for the sake of extremity. What is your response to this charge of metal lyrics pomposity and overcooked nature? Do you see the lyrics as irrevocably linked to the power and passion of the music, or are you of the camp that the lyrics are best ignored especially in the more extreme subgenres?
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Thing is, Suicide Silence actually are more sonically massive than a good 95% of all the death metal bands in the Archives! Not metal, sure, but definitely a lot more brutal.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10181
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:20 pm 
 

Everybody knows that the best metal lyrics, like the best steaks, are done rare...
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:25 pm 
 

Lyrics matter very little to me.

Asking if lyrics are overdone in metal is like asking if blastbeats or tremlo picking is overdone in metal.
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dystopia4
Veteran

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 3509
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:38 pm 
 

Yeah certain types of lyrics are way overdone in metal. The gore and satan stuff bores me to death. But there are still really good metal bands who have very original lyrics so its all good.

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KazolOrajia
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:36 pm
Posts: 118
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:42 pm 
 

Yes

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MalignantThrone
Vanished in the Cosmic Futility

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 1:24 am
Posts: 2785
Location: A step closer to home
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:03 pm 
 

ShaolinLambKiller wrote:
Lyrics matter very little to me.

Asking if lyrics are overdone in metal is like asking if blastbeats or tremlo picking is overdone in metal.

So tremolo picking and blasts matter very little to you?
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syx
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 6:18 pm
Posts: 382
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:09 pm 
 

I think it depends on the band and what you're into. Some bands I can tolerate others I have to ignore the lyrics. For example can tolerate dark funeral's lyrics (I acknowledge they are cheesy) but cannot stand most of Deicide's lyrics. By the same token not too keen on most sexual gore lyrics but love Belphegor's (I find them very Marquis De Sade, which I really dig, love his works).

I think it also depends how much you like the band, if you really like a band I find you can ignore things that may not appeal to you, however if you already dislike a band anything annoying you use to entertain your dislike of them. Does anyone else find this?

Just my thoughts on the matter.

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Jonpo
Hypercolombowler

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:05 am
Posts: 4471
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:11 pm 
 

There are always new ways to flip old mainstays and make them interesting again. People talk about how trite lyrics about Satan are, but a band like Inquisition is able to evoke some serious emotional quality from their lyrics which espouse extreme devotion to our horned lord, as well as using a certain cosmic bent (not in a boring way, no gnosticism) through which to channel the appreciation.

I'm also a really big fan of people taking the classicly weird literature that has influenced them and simply retooling it into song form. I don't mean lyrics that sound like a book report on Robert Howard, but songs like Riddle of Steel by Manilla Road or Finder of the Black Stone by Cauldron Born. These songs don't simply present a weird tale, they carry an oppressive atmosphere that ties into the story.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10181
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:24 pm 
 

Jonpo wrote:
There are always new ways to flip old mainstays and make them interesting again. People talk about how trite lyrics about Satan are, but a band like Inquisition is able to evoke some serious emotional quality from their lyrics which espouse extreme devotion to our horned lord, as well as using a certain cosmic bent (not in a boring way, no gnosticism) through which to channel the appreciation.

I'm also a really big fan of people taking the classicly weird literature that has influenced them and simply retooling it into song form. I don't mean lyrics that sound like a book report on Robert Howard, but songs like Riddle of Steel by Manilla Road or Finder of the Black Stone by Cauldron Born. These songs don't simply present a weird tale, they carry an oppressive atmosphere that ties into the story.



Right.

Also if you really do like a band, why would you ignore anything that they do? lyrics are a part of their presentation too you know?

I love plenty of lyrics in metal. if the presentation is fitting I can be pleased as hell. I love the lyrics on VUlcano's BLoody Vengeance even if they are crazy and bizarre english because they simply fit the out-of-control, madmen exploding with speed and alcohol nature of the record. If they were singing about christ or bubblegum I guarantee I wouldn't like the album as much.
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elf48687789
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:03 pm
Posts: 1626
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:02 pm 
 

yeah, it's often cheesy and stereotypical: metal=gore, gothic=vampires and so on, but sometimes it's also in the details and interesting songs can still be made using metaphors, even if some of the subject matter on the surface seems common for metal. But a lot of people can't pull it off so it often ends up like crap.

I especially dislike ones about "metal", the only good ones are really about something else, like battles, motorcycles, spaceships or whatever, but seem to be about "metal" from the title or refrain.

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Metalmeistermms
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:05 pm
Posts: 114
Location: The Netherlands
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:11 pm 
 

I don't think lyrics are overdone because to me it is the baseline for vocals and vocals can't be excluded from metal (or most other music genres for that matter). If you purely look at content I mostly don't care too much about lyrics and yes cheesiness is all around. There are some examples where lyrical content does make a band or song better to me (Primordial, Anathema, are a few examples I can think of), but it doesn't happen a lot. I usually am too lazy to read all the lyrics in the booklet and try to comprehend what it's all about.

For the musical experience however that doesn't pose a problem to me; in fact I think it can be very helpfull. Every once in a while its cool to sing along to Manowar, being fully aware of the cheesiness. Also it's totally fine if some black metal band has the same old lyrics about satan or other obscure shit. Most of the time I can't understand what the lyrics are about anyway, because there in finnish, swedish, old norse, sumerian or whatever. I mostly don't care for the exact message thy're trying to convey (cheesy or original), as long as it feels passionate, powerfull and evokes an emotion (power, might, agression, sadness, evilness, desolation, whatever). Vocals and thus some lyrics / vocal lines are essential in that respect. Perhaps there isn't even content necesarry at all; Great screams or Tom G Warrior oeh's and ah's do it for me as well.
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Harlequin_Fetus
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:48 pm
Posts: 431
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:58 pm 
 

Yeah I generally prefer more instrumentation. Its pretty sad that some great songs can be hampered by some terrible cheesy lyrics sometimes.

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tronics
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:58 am
Posts: 241
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:41 pm 
 

I still don't know the lyrics to most of my favourite metal tunes, so I don't see how they could be pissing anyone else off.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10181
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:00 pm 
 

What the devil, don't y'all like cheese? it makes most foods better, I find.
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chrisahc
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:14 pm 
 

Yes. I'm a huge fan of the more extreme side of metal and all of the lyrics look like they've been written by a cave troll smashing his head on a keyboard, or the worst try-hard offensive shit I've ever seen.

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SweetSilence
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:52 pm
Posts: 431
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:15 am 
 

We just take more pride in writing our lyrics and actually care what they say, not what they rhyme with or how they flow.

Edit- this does not go for every band, IE not brutal rape you with an iron and then eat you lyrics.

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Nolan_B
In League With Nolan

Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:05 pm
Posts: 4365
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:37 am 
 

The repetitive imagery and subject matter is a staple of metal. Why change it?

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Corpsey the Clown
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:38 pm
Posts: 214
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:02 pm 
 

Some of them, maybe. But I like that a lot of metal bands don't take themselves too seriously. Where would we be without Manowar's goofy chest-beating?

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PvtNinjer
Veteran

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:45 am
Posts: 2557
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:19 pm 
 

gonna have to agree with Nolan.

Each subgenre has it's staples when it comes to lyrical themes, some bands do them better than others. Someone mentioned Inquisition, and I wholeheartedly agree. It's not the subject matter, it's the writer that really makes lyrics either shine, or not.

I think, lyrically, cheese is inherent in metal, especially when you take an outsiders prospective (I mean, really, do you think your parents think all those black metal albums about trees and shit are actually cool and artsy?) because metal is just an over the top genre, it's theatrical and unapologetic, which is the complete anti-thesis to what a lot of people consider "cool" (blase, detached, etc). Which is what makes metal great to me. People complaining about cheese just make me think they are embarrassed when their friends catch them listening to metal or something.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 11881
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:37 pm 
 

MalignantThrone wrote:
ShaolinLambKiller wrote:
Lyrics matter very little to me.

Asking if lyrics are overdone in metal is like asking if blastbeats or tremlo picking is overdone in metal.

So tremolo picking and blasts matter very little to you?



that's not what I'm saying. those are two separate thoughts but in a since you read it as such... yea I'm not bothered by the inclusion of either in a band...just the same as lyrics. I don't get pissed off when certain types of blasts or tremlo is used in a song such as lyrics. I don't think one way or another if tremlo or blasts are included or not included in a song.. such as lyrics.
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LunarisCZE
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:46 am
Posts: 77
Location: Czech Republic
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:28 pm 
 

dystopia4 wrote:
Yeah certain types of lyrics are way overdone in metal. The gore and satan stuff bores me to death. But there are still really good metal bands who have very original lyrics so its all good.
But gore, Satan stuff etc is metal, it is what metal is about. Like metal is about guitar and drums.
It makes me think that someone like... I don't know... someone who doesn't use guitars in their music must be a cool metalhead. I mean no guitar in metal, how original. Let's all praise that.

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Metal_Detector
Reticular Modular Unit

Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:15 pm
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Location: Forgotten In Space
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:31 pm 
 

Hell no.

Well, sometimes, especially with true power metal, ridiculously kvlt black metal, and "white" metal. I prefer subtler lyrics though.

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WolfieboyMachi
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 863
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:42 pm 
 

It depends, really.
Like with Power Metal. Power Metal in general is very overdone and cheesy, so I see no reason for the lyrics not to be the same. It's a part of the charm...
With bands like Cannibal Corpse, who write extreme stuff just to be extreme... sure, that is overdone, and unnecessary in my opinion.
Same with lyrics that are preachy.
But honestly, you don't see that type of stuff too often anymore. At least I don't.

If you mean overdone as in "they have too much thought put into them", then no.
Well written lyrics are always welcome in my book.

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WaywardSon
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:48 am
Posts: 903
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:50 pm 
 

Overdone? Yeah, but I wouldn't have it anyway. Who can't love lyrics like:

Quote:
I'm going to smash your head with a rock
Listen to the great big crunch
Rip of your head from your neck
Tear off your ears to much
Psychotic cremation
I'm gonna swing your head by your hair
Mash it in a mailbox
Stick firecrackers up your nose
Dodge flying snot
I'm gonna tie your body to my truck
Leave it in a trail of blood and guts
Bones will start to rip out your skin
Roadkill will never be the same!
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WolfieboyMachi
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 863
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:07 pm 
 

^ Those kinds of lyrics are the kind I would expect from Deathcore bands.
They're a bit too childish for Metal, in my opinion.

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DeathRiderDoom
Pro Sports Warder

Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:17 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:04 pm 
 

Some of the same genre moteifs may still be commonplace, but let's not forget that at the same time there's always another trillion bands exploring less cliche, alternative and unique themes. For instance in US power metal there are all kinds of literary references (not just sci-fi and fantasy either) and all manner of subject matters. Sure, trad metal may have its battleaxes, black metal its misanthropy and death metal its campy gore, but there are songs/bands/albums and subgenres that broaden the lyrical playing field. It may seem cliche, but its just as part of the genre as the riffs, band names, or song titles to write material concerning a genre's mainstays.
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CrustAsFuckExistence
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:44 pm
Posts: 979
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:45 pm 
 

dystopia4 wrote:
Yeah certain types of lyrics are way overdone in metal. The gore and satan stuff bores me to death. But there are still really good metal bands who have very original lyrics so its all good.


Agreed. Though, more "Luciferian", philosophical, individualist satanic lyrics I don't mind.
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BloodSacrificeShaman
Leopold Herman Stotch

Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 3:20 am
Posts: 1767
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:56 pm 
 

Well no lyrics really affect me in a negative sense. There is this death metal band called Desolation that I enjoy, and they have a song about raping a 12 year old girl. But it doesn't really bother me as I, unlike some others, can separate my entertainment from reality. There are loads of lyrics I don't find interesting, however, including gore, life issues (nothing more generic and boring than life issue topics), teen angst, Satanism and Christianity (I just find these two religions incredibly boring, to be honest, I enjoy lyrics concerning ancient religions and even Islam), anti-war lyrics, highly political lyrics (Grindcore is a strong abuser of this) and some others. They don't bother me, I just simply don't find them interesting.

For example, if I buy a Grindcore album, I won't be too eagre to read the lyrical booklet because I know 99% of Grindcore lyrics don't interest me, but if I buy, say, a Graveland or Nile album, the lyrics will be the first thing I dive into. Because I enjoy those topics. So in short, no I don't think any kind of lyric is overdone, but not all lyrics I find interesting.... merely tolerable.
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Metal_Detector
Reticular Modular Unit

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:09 pm 
 

BloodSacrificeShaman wrote:
Well no lyrics really affect me in a negative sense. There is this death metal band called Desolation that I enjoy, and they have a song about raping a 12 year old girl. But it doesn't really bother me as I, unlike some others, can separate my entertainment from reality. There are loads of lyrics I don't find interesting, however, including gore, life issues (nothing more generic and boring than life issue topics), teen angst, Satanism and Christianity (I just find these two religions incredibly boring, to be honest, I enjoy lyrics concerning ancient religions and even Islam), anti-war lyrics, highly political lyrics (Grindcore is a strong abuser of this) and some others. They don't bother me, I just simply don't find them interesting.

For example, if I buy a Grindcore album, I won't be too eagre to read the lyrical booklet because I know 99% of Grindcore lyrics don't interest me, but if I buy, say, a Graveland or Nile album, the lyrics will be the first thing I dive into. Because I enjoy those topics. So in short, no I don't think any kind of lyric is overdone, but not all lyrics I find interesting.... merely tolerable.


Could it be this one, perhaps? (correct me if I'm wrong):

Quote:
Take my time, eye my bride
Find my rope, tie her right
Searching through the darkness, looking for a whore
Searching for that victim to send to the morgue
Lick her tits, feel her twat
Stick my dick in her butt
Fornication with a 12 year old, no pubic hair on her tight little hole
Cuff a screaming slut to a rotting carcass
Fist fuck them both as I cum in my pants
Piss on her face and then in her ass

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BloodSacrificeShaman
Leopold Herman Stotch

Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 3:20 am
Posts: 1767
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:13 pm 
 

Yes... haha, that is the one.
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WolfieboyMachi
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 863
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:24 am 
 

That's pretty disgusting. :S

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REG
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:36 am
Posts: 17
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:35 am 
 

WaywardSon wrote:
Overdone? Yeah, but I wouldn't have it anyway. Who can't love lyrics like:

Quote:
I'm going to smash your head with a rock
Listen to the great big crunch
Rip of your head from your neck
Tear off your ears to much
Psychotic cremation
I'm gonna swing your head by your hair
Mash it in a mailbox
Stick firecrackers up your nose
Dodge flying snot
I'm gonna tie your body to my truck
Leave it in a trail of blood and guts
Bones will start to rip out your skin
Roadkill will never be the same!


WolfieboyMachi wrote:
^ Those kinds of lyrics are the kind I would expect from Deathcore bands.
They're a bit too childish for Metal, in my opinion.


i find lyrics like this a bit too simplistic but at the same time they're kind of funny lol!
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Nhor
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:59 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Dogshit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:16 am 
 

This is kind of like asking is religious practice over done because there is never any shortage of morons in that department either.
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Zero_Nowhere
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:11 pm
Posts: 513
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:09 am 
 

REG wrote:
WolfieboyMachi wrote:
^ Those kinds of lyrics are the kind I would expect from Deathcore bands.
They're a bit too childish for Metal, in my opinion.


i find lyrics like this a bit too simplistic but at the same time they're kind of funny lol!


Thats a Jungle Rot song.

Simplistic and kind of funny is a pretty accurate description of their style of DM.

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garthmargengi
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:16 am
Posts: 482
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:50 am 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
Everybody knows that the best metal lyrics, like the best steaks, are done rare...


This. Though it's not the lyrics alone I'd say, it's everything. At least in my case, I don't think that -had I the time to listen to every one of them- from the nearly ninety thousand bands that there are on the archives, I'd be able to point down more than five hundred as truly unique and good.
So yeah, there's a plethora of stupid, exaggerated and poorly done lyrics... but just as many as there are metal bands.

Personally, I care a lot for the lyrics, and most of the time they become a deal breaker to me (which is part of the reason why my metal library is ever shrinking if anything). I might be able to look over them if I really love the music and they're not particularly injurious in their stupidity, but you can't ask me just to ignore them.
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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 6409
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:15 am 
 

It depends on the genre. In black and death metal the lyrics generally play a smaller role, whereas in power metal the singer is mostly the main focus, thus also increasing the importance of lyrics.

There are some cases when poor lyrics become grating in black metal, but it's generally due to excessive iteration of silly phrases like:
"I want to commit murder!" - Craft
"I hate you, I wanna kill you" or something to that effect, -Iugulatus
Both are repeated like sixteen times each time. It gets grating with such ridiculously unsubtle delivery.
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matras
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:01 am
Posts: 870
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:17 am 
 

An unsubtle way that makes it work so well in Craft's case.
Mind you, you're not alone in thinking that about song (it seems like, judging by what people have said), but I think it does.

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Desperta_Ferro
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:45 am
Posts: 602
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:47 am 
 

In heavy metal we believe, if you don't like it, time to leave.

I love this kind of lyrics. It's cheesy... so what? Metal is cheese. Can't have uncheesy metal.

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ENKC
Veteran

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:28 pm
Posts: 2708
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:51 am 
 

Of course most lyrical subjects are overdone. So your choice is either to try to do unoriginal lyrical themes really well, or to try something out of left field that may not work.
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csehszlovakze
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:40 am
Posts: 233
Location: Hungary
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:06 am 
 

I don't really care about lyrics unless the song becomes a favourite and 50% of that time they're not available and I can't decipher them either. Overdone and cheesy? More certainly, just start to read some BM lyrics and you'll see it's true (at least for BM).
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