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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:36 pm 
 

Tags are useful in general terms to give a loose description of their sound. Sometimes, a bit of more info is welcome, like symphonic/atmospheric black metal, melodic death metal, funeral doom, etc. Now, many bands state their own genres but most of them are pure bullshit, related to the concept of the band instead how they truly sounds.

The folk/black stuff is very diverse. First, you have the folk bands that basically play folk songs with distorted guitars over it like Korpiklaani, Mago de Oz and Finntroll.

There's the 'viking' stuff, which has a portion of folklore, black and some power/heavy metal traits. The aim usually is the epicness and it's not weird to hear keys on these bands, where usually the clean vocals are predominant. Bathory's Hammerheart is THE example, as well as stuff like Isengard, Storm, Falkenbach, Moonsorrow and such.

Then you have the (now called) pagan metal, which is mostly less aggressive black metal, with lyrics about myths and/or nature. It's not uncommon to see the use of clean vocals, where there are black metal riffs but the pace usually is less frantic - a lot of midpaced stuff going on, but usually the black metal vocals are predominant. Kampfar and Nokturnal Mortum are probably good examples.

Then we have the black metal bands with folk influences, which are at the end of the day the 'real' Black/folk group. Ulver's Bergtatt is first and foremost a black metal album, which features some folklore passages. Windir is another band who encapsulates pretty well this, as well as Borknagar's first 2 albums. Some other bands like Taake and early Satyricon are 'plain' black metal but you can hear the folklore influence in the riffing.
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talvikki77
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:20 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:55 pm 
 

Thank you Kveldulfr for clarifying! That's the first time I've heard an explanation of the distinction between folk metal and pagan metal. They're so often conflated, like the naming of Paganfest, which is really a folk metal fest according to your definition.

Which brings up another topic, related also to what you said about bands stating their own genres being bs - how useful are genre labels actually, if people frequently confuse and misuse them?

(I am not stalking this thread, really. It's just that whenever I go back to the metal discussion page, this thread is still near the top and I can't resist reading the new replies.. I should go take a break :P)
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:41 pm 
 

Usually I'd take the fans' word over the bands. Like Kveldulfr was saying, a lot of bands will make up silly/nonsensical genre descriptions for their own music. They probably just want to seem unique because a lot of people (for whatever reason) think it's some slight against their creativity to say that they play in established genre "X". That or they want to avoid being compared unfavorably to other bands in the style that they may worry about people accusing them of being inferior to, or too similar to, or whatever.
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CF_Mono
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:21 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:39 pm 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
You are actually using genre tags for that, your first post implied you defined music using absolutely nothing but descriptors and techniques, which is what I was calling idiotic.
I didn't say tags were useless, I said in the end they mean a lot less if they don't describe the quality of the music. Even if someone does tell me something is black metal, and I have an idea in my head of what it's like... so what?
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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:40 pm 
 

That's the whole fucking point of genres is what. Jesus.
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Amrator
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:41 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:37 pm 
 

I tend to call bands like Demolition Hammer, Dark Angel, and Sadus "brutal thrash metal". It would be ridiculous to call Anthrax "thrash metal" and then Demolition Hammer "thrash metal". They sound nothing alike. Therefore, I use the term "brutal thrash metal".

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John_Sunlight
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:06 pm 
 

Why is this such a frequently recurring topic?
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Megadeth
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 474
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:25 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Why is this such a frequently recurring topic?

Probably because whining about complicated genres is such a frequently recurring trend, and none of them have a single good argument. Their argument is ultimately "I'm so ignorant, stop confusing me".

Now why are you posting such meaningless, sarcastic comments? You're not contributing or adding to the discussion.

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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
Posts: 75
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:07 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Why is this such a frequently recurring topic?

Because genre descriptions on this site are extremely pretentious and utterly ridiculous.

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Megadeth
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 474
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:10 am 
 

Megadeth wrote:
Probably because whining about complicated genres is such a frequently recurring trend, and none of them have a single good argument. Their argument is ultimately "I'm so ignorant, stop confusing me".

Yet another proof of this:

Filosofuck wrote:
John_Sunlight wrote:
Why is this such a frequently recurring topic?

Because genre descriptions on this site are extremely pretentious and utterly ridiculous.

Why don't you elaborate instead of just calling it ridiculous. Or are you 11 years old? I don't see a single argument; just a bunch of sarcastic whining.

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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:46 am 
 

Ouch. Did I hit a nerve?

Anyway, you aren't exactly sporting many compelling arguments yourself, but nevermind that for now. The problem is that people take genre barriers far too seriously, when it's really only a faint hint of what the music is like. Let's look at death metal versus black metal, for instance. Granted, they're fairly distinct today, generally at least, but the terms could have been completely switched during the 80s and nobody would ever know the difference. And can anyone possibly explain to me where the line is that divides really slow, repetitive doom metal from drone, or speed from thrash, etc.? The worst is when people talk about genre mixing, as though making a song were like following a fucking recipe in a cookbook. Many pieces of music are going to have a varied range of influences present, because these genre barriers are far from concrete. In reality, the borders between musical styles are extremely fluid, and genre descriptions delude people from this truth. Actually, they can even be fairly misleading, as factors unrelated to the sound are inevitably considered when assigning them, such as the aesthetic, geographical location, time period, and so forth. For example, I'd say Immortal has a hell of a lot more in common with Deicide than they do with Dimmu Borgir, even though they're supposed to belong to different genres.

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:55 am 
 

Yep "I'm so ignorant, stop confusing me" seems to be pretty fair call there. Jesus man, even wikipedia in their dodgy sloppiness could solve those questions for you.
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ahmedssmb
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Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:55 am
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Location: Egypt
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:41 am 
 

You're all no good listeners with weird ears, because it's fucking obvious, Raw Black Metal is of course different than Black Metal, i for example sometimes get my hands on a specific kind of bands (when expanding my collection), often ill be looking for a limited style of Black Metal, and as a result i would ignore a whole band just because they have included "nature" in their lyrical themes, and not the genre even that they are similar with the other bands i like, Raw, Satanic, usage of Corpse Paint, but YES i ignore those bands on purpose, since it surely affects the music as-well, it's softer, having hymns/melodies or w/e to describe being lonely in "forests", it's notice-able. So yeah, all those who still miss the differences between such a styles are just still entry level to the music.
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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
Posts: 75
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:03 pm 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
Yep "I'm so ignorant, stop confusing me" seems to be pretty fair call there. Jesus man, even wikipedia in their dodgy sloppiness could solve those questions for you.

Take your pretentious, elitist, masturbation elsewhere. As often as not, in-depth genre descriptions are basically meaningless buzzwords.

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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 242333 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: Québec
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:11 pm 
 

Take your awful posts elsewhere before it's too late. Acting like a douchebag on your first day here is not quite recommended.
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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
Posts: 75
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:13 pm 
 

Metantoine wrote:
Take your awful posts elsewhere before it's too late. Acting like a douchebag on your first day here is not quite recommended.

My post was just as substantial as the person I was responding to. If it's too "mean" for you, I'm sorry.

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:40 pm 
 

To flesh it out, no shit genres have muddy areas where a band has traits of each, that is the reason combination genres exist. This happens because the outer edges of a genre are less clearly defined, the line where a band becomes one genre and not another is when they have so many more traits of one that the second genre is not worth mentioning, if both are very prevalent you get a 1/2 tag, it works easily and is as easy to comprehend as tying shoelaces. Claiming that genres are useless because sometimes bands don't sit exactly into he expected norm and need another word or two to flesh it out is just idiotic. Add in a "genres had random meanings when they were just meaningless terms and hadn't been defined" argument and you're looking pretty damn stupid
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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
Posts: 75
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:43 pm 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
Claiming that genres are useless because sometimes bands don't sit exactly into he expected norm and need another word or two to flesh it out is just idiotic.

Maybe it would be, if I had actually said it. Why don't you fix your reading comprehension and then respond?

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5280
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:50 pm 
 

You said genre mixing is the worst thing ever, and you couldn't comprehend how speed and thrash are seperated, also claimed genre lines are fluid and that somehow makes genres meaningless... looms pretty similar to me.
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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
Posts: 75
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:55 pm 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
You said genre mixing is the worst thing ever, and you couldn't comprehend how speed and thrash are seperated, also claimed genre lines are fluid and that somehow makes genres meaningless... looms pretty similar to me.

The point is that they are incredibly similar in many cases. Again, people take these things way too seriously.

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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:32 pm 
 

It's a useful method of communication.

"I don't understand why all of you pretentious jerks are obsessed with your elitist notions of 'colors.' The line between blue and green is so blurry you may as well not even try to tell them apart because no one can. You people take colors way too seriously."

Please.
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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 242333 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:40 pm 
 

From now on, we'll remove all the genres on MA, if you want to express how a band sounds, I'll ask you to write a 2000 words essay.

"Hey Jim, I discovered a cool band yesterday!"
"Oh yeah, Tony? What kind of music they play?"
"Wait up, read my essay"
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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5280
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:42 pm 
 

Well you've got next years April fools set up now, just put in word filters which turn the genre titles into thousand word discussions, filling up the whole page.
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Filosofuck
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:19 am
Posts: 75
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:29 am 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
Well you've got next years April fools set up now, just put in word filters which turn the genre titles into thousand word discussions, filling up the whole page.

That wouldn't be such a bad idea, really.

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talvikki77
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:20 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:04 am 
 

Thought more about this over the weekend..

Kveldulfr wrote:
The folk/black stuff is very diverse. First, you have the folk bands that basically play folk songs with distorted guitars over it like Korpiklaani, Mago de Oz and Finntroll.

Yes to Korpiklaani and Finntroll; I don't see how Mago de Oz fits in there, though - I consider them power metal. Also, neither Korpiklaani nor Finntroll really "basically play folk songs" anymore; the metal elements are pretty prominent in their music now and the folk music seems to have been relegated to inspiration for melodies mainly, rather than dominating their sound. Also, I don't think there is a clear line between this group and the next - perhaps it's more of a continuum, with bands like Korpiklaani that are heavy on folk melodies at one end, and bands like Bathory where the folk thing is more of a lyrical inspiration at the other.

Quote:
There's the 'viking' stuff, which has a portion of folklore, black and some power/heavy metal traits. The aim usually is the epicness and it's not weird to hear keys on these bands, where usually the clean vocals are predominant. Bathory's Hammerheart is THE example, as well as stuff like Isengard, Storm, Falkenbach, Moonsorrow and such.

I think this is where it gets really murky. Never mind the debate about whether there is or isn't such a thing as "Viking metal." This area of folk metal, or mix of folk, black and power metal as you put it, covers a huge range. Epicness, yes. I think that goes with the folk/Viking territory. Keys, yes, I think they're pretty universal in European bands anyway, at least those that are not thrash or brutal death metal or something. Clean vocals, not so much - they definitely make an appearance, but many bands use black or death metal styled harsh vocals (Moonsorrow, Bathory, Ensiferum, Eluveitie). The guitar work also spans a variety of metal genres - black metal and power metal like you said, as well as death metal. So, we still end up with a really mixed bag that doesn't have any defined subgenres. I'm not saying that's a bad thing! I mean, it means I get to see Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow at the same show because theoretically they belong to the same genre. But I think it's interesting that where other genres have split into ever nitpickier subgenres, folk metal remains this armorphous bunch of sometimes very dissimilar bands.

I agree totally with what you said about pagan metal and "true" folk/black bands, so I'll leave that part be.
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Zakillah
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:35 pm
Posts: 388
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:07 am 
 

Filosofuck wrote:
John_Sunlight wrote:
Why is this such a frequently recurring topic?

Because genre descriptions on this site are extremely pretentious and utterly ridiculous.

When does a genre description become ridiculous in your opinion?
Death Metal?
Brutal DM?
Technical Brutal DM?
Technical Brutal DeathGrind?

I dont get whats "pretentious" about it, really.
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Gorblethorp
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:19 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:39 am 
 

Filosofuck brings up very solid points. Yes, I believe there is a necessity for genre tags that help to separate vastly disparate styles of music. For instance, not knowing any better, I would like to be told that Atreyu plays uninspired metalcore rather than Post-Rock inspired Black Metal so I wouldn't waste my time listening to them in the interest of discovering new music. However, when I hear a couple dweebs arguing over stuff like whether Kampfar is more Pagan/Folk/Black Metal than Viking/Nationalist/Black Metal, I question the point of such arbitrary, nonstandard characterizations.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:19 am 
 

Nationalist isn't a genre tag anyway. I've never come across people seriously arguing about genres to that extent, anyway. The differences between pagan and viking metal are a litte shady to me, but if it was up to me, I'd describe any viking-era Bathory sounding stuff as viking metal regardless of lyrical themes.
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Megadeth
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 474
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:30 am 
 

Gorblethorp wrote:
Filosofuck brings up very solid points.

No, he doesn't... Neither of what he has written has been good arguments for not trying to categorize bands properly. What he's talking about is ultimately what everyone else has talked about.

There are bands playing music in the borderlines between different genres. There might also be that there are different influences not included in the genre description. A folk metal band like Windir, that are using accordion, can sound very different from a band like Tengger Cavalry, that are using a horse-head fiddle. There could be clean vocals or harsh vocals; female vocals or male vocals; multiple vocalists or just one. This is obvious, and in itself not an argument for anything.

For some reason, Filosofuck then argues that "the worst is when people talk about genre mixing, as though making a song were like following a fucking recipe in a cookbook". So he doesn't seem to be for displaying more details either. To me, this sounds a little contradictory. Hard to put them in one genre, but doesn't want to put them in more. We end up with one single genre: Heavy metal. Considering that he has stated that he is basing this on how Metal-Archives displays genres, he is probably referring to genres like "black/death metal". He never really explains why, or how it could be better in practice. Complicated genres don't send the wrong message, it's rather you who can't interpret it. To me, the system on Metal-Archives is very good and it has always aimed at being precise.

Ultimately he is just whining about him not being able to semantically decode the meaning of the genres listed on Metal-Archives (e.g. ignorant and confused), and he complains despite not having a suggestion as to how it could be done better. Omitting genres is not making genres more precise, and it is not helpful in any way. A genre is not a complete description of the band's sound. It's simply differentiators that is designed to group music in smaller and smaller categories to more precisely find the music which closely resemble each other. That Immortal and Deicide has more in common than Dimmu Borgir and Immortal simply isn't true, and it certainly isn't true about the variables that matter when classifying a band.

A genre is simply the aisle that you would walk over to and start browsing if you entered a store. Look at it as you look at movie genres. You can find a ton of humor in a drama, but that doesn't mean that it's a comedy. If all music was grouped in one you wouldn't be able to locate anything. If someone think it's better to define music genres by mood, concept or lyrics, then they are very wrong.

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TheLiberation
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm
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Location: Poland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:19 am 
 

Gorblethorp wrote:
Filosofuck brings up very solid points. Yes, I believe there is a necessity for genre tags that help to separate vastly disparate styles of music. For instance, not knowing any better, I would like to be told that Atreyu plays uninspired metalcore rather than Post-Rock inspired Black Metal so I wouldn't waste my time listening to them in the interest of discovering new music. However, when I hear a couple dweebs arguing over stuff like whether Kampfar is more Pagan/Folk/Black Metal than Viking/Nationalist/Black Metal, I question the point of such arbitrary, nonstandard characterizations.

This is pretty much my idea of genres as well. Megadeth, I think (I might be wrong, I'm not a mindreader but still) the point here isn't about the genre categorisations on the Archives themselves, because it's basically an encyclopedia, so its whole point is to categorise things in order to avoid a general clusterfuck. And most importantly, I think actually the way genres are handled on Metal Archives themselves is far closer to this "categorise if possible, otherwise keep it simple" idea, rather than "categorise everything and argue over it to death". E.g. Meshuggah is a good example, the current genre description is simple enough, while trying to find an ultra-precise way would be nightmare.

It's more a matter of discussions, where some people are going to fight almost literally to death in some cases whether a band is brutal technical death metal with grindcore influences or rather progressive grindcore with death/thrash riffing. It's honestly pointless and leads absolutely nowhere. If a band is impossible to put under one, two, or at most three generally recognised genres, why the hell fight forever about how to categorise them? Choose something more general and leave them be. Otherwise it will be only confusing, and in fact very counterproductive to the very idea of genres - which is to give an idea what the band sounds like.
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Megadeth
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:26 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:26 am 
 

TheLiberation wrote:
Megadeth, I think (I might be wrong, I'm not a mindreader but still) the point here isn't about the genre categorisations on the Archives themselves, because it's basically an encyclopedia, so its whole point is to categorise things in order to avoid a general clusterfuck.

He has mentioned Metal Archives specifically:

Filosofuck wrote:
John_Sunlight wrote:
Why is this such a frequently recurring topic?

Because genre descriptions on this site are extremely pretentious and utterly ridiculous.


TheLiberation wrote:
And most importantly, I think actually the way genres are handled on Metal Archives themselves is far closer to this "categorise if possible, otherwise keep it simple" idea, rather than "categorise everything and argue over it to death". E.g. Meshuggah is a good example, the current genre description is simple enough, while trying to find an ultra-precise way would be nightmare.

I am not for making things as complex as possible. I'm a supporter of the method that I summarized with Einstein's quote earlier.

Megadeth wrote:
slayer85 wrote:
To call a band Swedish technical brutal death grind would be ridiculous!

I think you need to elaborate. And please try to avoid arguing in the same way that most others do, by just continuing to call it stupid, ridiculous, obnoxious, etc. I have still not seen any good reasons for why descriptions of bands' playing style should always be extremely short.

If they are Swedish and play a combination of brutal death and technical deathgrind, what is ridiculous about it? Should you just try to pretend like they aren't technical just to make it simpler? Then you are discarding important details.

Albert Einstein wrote:
Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.


When I have argued for longer descriptions, as with Wintersun, they have simply been that: descriptions. I could describe the sound of a thrash metal band as having harsh vocals, and a very crude and aggressive playing style with less polished production. That doesn't mean that I think all of this is their genre. The genre is still thrash metal.

TheLiberation wrote:
It's more a matter of discussions, where some people are going to fight almost literally to death in some cases whether a band is brutal technical death metal with grindcore influences or rather progressive grindcore with death/thrash riffing.

That is generally the nuances of the more enlightened discussion, like the border between viking and pagan metal. Discussions I see are often more basic, as this thread at times have shown (as with Filosofuck), and it's a general negative attitude towards labels (because they don't agree or understand the usage, due to lack of knowledge or experience). There will always be disagreements and borderline issues with categorization, but that is in no way an argument to stop categorizing bands, categorize them using a maximum number of terms (like two), or only categorize some bands.

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Gorblethorp
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:34 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
Nationalist isn't a genre tag anyway. I've never come across people seriously arguing about genres to that extent, anyway.


Just my point though. There's no standard by which these arbitrary categorizations must adhere. I can make up the Nationalist subgenre (which has certainly been used before as you'd observe if you use the search function, but I'll pretend it hasn't as the point remains) because that's how all absurdly specific subgenres arise. Hence, the silliness of this practice.

And as for not having encountered pretentious genre disputes despite having nearly 5000 posts here, I take it you must not frequent the recommendations board often.

Edit: For clarity, I think it's worth mentioning that the description of qualities of music that takes influence from other styles isn't extraneous. Such descriptions (e.g. "This band does play black metal but with obvious shoegaze influence and classical-inspired leads a la Gorgoroth") which provide an actual indicator of how the music sounds are infinitely helpful. However, use of subgenres like Pagan/Raw/Bestial/War/Post-Black Metal (or something less hyperbolic) suggests both an absurd nonexistent absoluteness (of the supposed style and and the nonstandard criteria it supposedly fulfills) and a failure on the part of the writer to appropriately convey -- that is, without substantial confusion -- what the music sounds like, which can be clearly seen from the frequent return of this topic and the fact that this particular thread is one of the most popular discussions on the front page.

It also appears that a popular argument in favor of very specific strings of genre tags is that those opposed to them aren't smart enough to discern what's being described, which I and any logical reader should rightly dismiss as extraordinary pretension. If the argument for genre tags is that they are helpful descriptors of sound, but only to those who are well enough "in the know," then it might be fair to conclude that they aren't as helpful as more thorough descriptions, which might include actual reference to easily recognized elements from fairly commonly known bands. The absence of any standard and the innate whimsicality of very specific genres precludes their helpfulness.


Last edited by Gorblethorp on Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Megadeth
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:42 pm 
 

Gorblethorp wrote:
There's no standard by which these arbitrary categorizations must adhere.

There is no standard for how genres are made, but there are for what each genre includes. So just because there's no International Organization for Music Genre Standardization, talking about genres is meaningless?

Gorblethorp wrote:
I can make up the Nationalist subgenre (which has certainly been used before as you'd observe if you use the search function, but I'll pretend it hasn't as the point remains) because that's how all absurdly specific subgenres arise. Hence, the silliness of this practice.

I just did a search, and not a single band genre on Metal Archives contains the word "nationalist". You can't just make up a subgenre and expect it to be valid. There will always be someone theorizing or "making up" the genres, but that's after the style has had somewhat of an outreach and people have started seeing them as different. It's not until the term gets a wide use that it could actually be described as a genre. So no, you can't just make up something on the spot and believe that it becomes a genre.

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Gorblethorp
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:19 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:10 pm 
 

Megadeth wrote:
You can't just make up a subgenre and expect it to be valid. There will always be someone theorizing or "making up" the genres, but that's after the style has had somewhat of an outreach and people have started seeing them as different. It's not until the term gets a wide use that it could actually be described as a genre. So no, you can't just make up something on the spot and believe that it becomes a genre.


I can, though. Your straw man falls flat when you consider that one can reasonably infer what "nationalist" might mean in regard to a stylistic/lyrical theme. But to reiterate, this is rather unhelpful is describing what the music sounds like, just as frequently seen tags like "war" or "pagan" or "bestial" are unhelpful, because there will always be that ambiguity. Hence, why in my edited post, I suggest actual description of the music to be more helpful than lazy, confusing tags. By the way, Peste Noire has described his music as Nationalist Black Metal in numerous interviews, which have certainly been posted here, leading me to doubt you performed your search as thoroughly as your argument might suggest.

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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:41 pm 
 

talvikki77 wrote:
Thought more about this over the weekend..

Kveldulfr wrote:
The folk/black stuff is very diverse. First, you have the folk bands that basically play folk songs with distorted guitars over it like Korpiklaani, Mago de Oz and Finntroll.

Yes to Korpiklaani and Finntroll; I don't see how Mago de Oz fits in there, though - I consider them power metal. Also, neither Korpiklaani nor Finntroll really "basically play folk songs" anymore; the metal elements are pretty prominent in their music now and the folk music seems to have been relegated to inspiration for melodies mainly, rather than dominating their sound. Also, I don't think there is a clear line between this group and the next - perhaps it's more of a continuum, with bands like Korpiklaani that are heavy on folk melodies at one end, and bands like Bathory where the folk thing is more of a lyrical inspiration at the other.


Mago de Oz started as something more akin to bluesy folk than proper metal. If anything, they have their share of heavy metal with the obvious celtic folklore influence, but the most predominant thing about them is the folklorish songwriting, so they pretty much fall into my description.

Now, Korpiklaani has riffs? man, I don't hate the band or something, but the music is driven not by the riffs, but the accordion/violin, as well as Finntroll's most prominent instrument have been the accordion/keys. That syncopated beat that plagues Finntroll's catalogue is done by those instruments.

Bathory, on the contrary, was always riff driven and the music was clearly at first black metal and then Quorthon embraced more heavy/power metal elements - see Manowar for references, not euro power stuff - which combined with his already black metal songwriting to lead into the 'viking' stuff started with Hammerheart.

talvikki77 wrote:
Kveldulfr wrote:
There's the 'viking' stuff, which has a portion of folklore, black and some power/heavy metal traits. The aim usually is the epicness and it's not weird to hear keys on these bands, where usually the clean vocals are predominant. Bathory's Hammerheart is THE example, as well as stuff like Isengard, Storm, Falkenbach, Moonsorrow and such.

I think this is where it gets really murky. Never mind the debate about whether there is or isn't such a thing as "Viking metal." This area of folk metal, or mix of folk, black and power metal as you put it, covers a huge range. Epicness, yes. I think that goes with the folk/Viking territory. Keys, yes, I think they're pretty universal in European bands anyway, at least those that are not thrash or brutal death metal or something. Clean vocals, not so much - they definitely make an appearance, but many bands use black or death metal styled harsh vocals (Moonsorrow, Bathory, Ensiferum, Eluveitie). The guitar work also spans a variety of metal genres - black metal and power metal like you said, as well as death metal. So, we still end up with a really mixed bag that doesn't have any defined subgenres. I'm not saying that's a bad thing! I mean, it means I get to see Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow at the same show because theoretically they belong to the same genre. But I think it's interesting that where other genres have split into ever nitpickier subgenres, folk metal remains this armorphous bunch of sometimes very dissimilar bands.

I agree totally with what you said about pagan metal and "true" folk/black bands, so I'll leave that part be.


I agree that the viking tag is pretty diverse and I usually prefer to dismiss the viking tag in favor of folk metal, pagan metal or black/folk, but I can't deny that there are a good share of bands that are easier recognized as viking cause their share some traits.

It's hard to get a full concept that embodies all and every single viking metal band and also that excludes the rest. Ensiferum (at first) falls into this category, the mix of folklore, power metal and some black metal elements is enough to tag them 'viking', in terms of sound. Korpi will never be 'viking', cause it lacks the black/power metal riffage that drives the music, which is the main component. Ask yourself this: can Korpi dismiss the accordion, violin and other stuff and still play folk metal? I don't think so. In the other hand, Storm has nothing on other instruments than the usual guitars, bass, drums and vocals and sounds 'viking' or folk with no problems. See, Asmegin even with death growls sounds folkish when the violin is not playing. It's a matter of songwriting.

Here in Chile there's a bunch of bad Korpi and Finntroll imitators and they always play together, but not with the black metal bands that have some folklore elements into their music.

Even if it's not something musical, the fans of those genres are mostly different. The only people I know into the humpa folk is barely in their eighteens, not older. Maybe is the upbeat nature of the music, the simplicity, I dunno. I knew about Otyg in 96 and I liked it but I already was into black metal and the rest of the happy folk metal bands did nothing for me.
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Megadeth
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:26 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:15 pm 
 

Gorblethorp wrote:
I can, though.

You can pretend whatever you like, but it won't become an established term that anyone will care about. It won't "become" a genre just because you start using it. It will simply be some stupid label you made up and only you use.

Gorblethorp wrote:
Your straw man falls flat when you consider that one can reasonably infer what "nationalist" might mean in regard to a stylistic/lyrical theme.

I haven't used any straw arguments, but by claiming that I have, you are.

Music genres aren't defined by their lyrics or imagery. There are some traits that are more common within one genre than the other, and often seen as a crucial part, but they are not essential for classification. Black metal bands play black metal no matter what their lyrics are about and whether or not they use corpse paint and black clothes.

Gorblethorp wrote:
But to reiterate, this is rather unhelpful is describing what the music sounds like, just as frequently seen tags like "war" or "pagan" or "bestial" are unhelpful, because there will always be that ambiguity.

Almost everything in the world has ambiguity, so for the sake of the argument, let's try to keep it within a reasonable frame. Of these, only "pagan metal" can be considered fairly acknowledged. Other than that, I'm not going to comment on every kind of specific labels, because that's not the heart of the issue, and an obvious diversion. Don't think that every single term you hear is a separate subgenre. People might claim whatever they want, but in the end it's all about recognition.

I don't really see how these terms are technically any different from acknowledged genres like hard rock, thrash metal or death metal, other than recognition.

Gorblethorp wrote:
Hence, why in my edited post, I suggest actual description of the music to be more helpful than lazy, confusing tags. By the way, Peste Noire has described his music as Nationalist Black Metal in numerous interviews, which have certainly been posted here, leading me to doubt you performed your search as thoroughly as your argument might suggest.

As I've said earlier, labels are not confusing when you know what they refer to. Some labels are unnecessary, and that is often the reason why they never gets a broad usage, while other labels are so distinct that they are helpful and ends up as acknowledged genres.

What does it matter what some random guy has described his music as? We are talking about genres, not descriptions.

Gorblethorp wrote:
However, use of subgenres like Pagan/Raw/Bestial/War/Post-Black Metal (or something less hyperbolic) suggests both an absurd nonexistent absoluteness (of the supposed style and and the nonstandard criteria it supposedly fulfills) and a failure on the part of the writer to appropriately convey -- that is, without substantial confusion -- what the music sounds like, which can be clearly seen from the frequent return of this topic and the fact that this particular thread is one of the most popular discussions on the front page.

It's funny that you chose to mention the term raw, because there really isn't a label that says so much about how music sounds as that term. It's really an all-encompassing and pretty literal description, and not some ambiguous term like jazz or heavy metal.

What makes you think these terms doesn't have any absoluteness whatsoever? They could for example never be used to describe Mayhem, Judas Priest, Children of Bodom or Metallica. Without going into details, they clearly have some absoluteness (this isn't a topic to discuss what defines every single label). Take post-black metal for example. It will give some indication of how the music sounds and from what musical background it comes from, and it's telling a great deal of how the music turned out like it did. By actually interpreting that, and putting it in the context of other bands labeled post-black metal you can get some ideas of what that would involve. However, terms starting with the prefix "post" could also be seen as somewhat loose, and just branching out from mainly one specific genre, and not belonging in a "final" subgenre. The good thing about labels is that if they don't have a real usage, they will most likely fade away.

Gorblethorp wrote:
It also appears that a popular argument in favor of very specific strings of genre tags is that those opposed to them aren't smart enough to discern what's being described, which I and any logical reader should rightly dismiss as extraordinary pretension.

Had you actually bothered to read this thread, and the details of other people's complaints, you would have known that quite often ignorance and inexperience in listening to a variety within a genre is exactly the reason why some don't like it. No one has argued about intelligence, though. No one has stated others are incapable of understanding, but inexperienced. Many new to Dimmu Borgir might not understand why they aren't accepted as a black metal band and find the boundaries stupid.

Gorblethorp wrote:
Hence, why in my edited post, I suggest actual description of the music to be more helpful than lazy, confusing tags.

Gorblethorp wrote:
If the argument for genre tags is that they are helpful descriptors of sound, but only to those who are well enough "in the know," then it might be fair to conclude that they aren't as helpful as more thorough descriptions, which might include actual reference to easily recognized elements from fairly commonly known bands. The absence of any standard and the innate whimsicality of very specific genres precludes their helpfulness.

Heavy metal does not sound like heavy metals; rock does not sound like stones. You will of course need prior experience and knowledge to interpret even the most common genre.

Popular bands are already being used as references, either in the literal name (black metal) or by having some clear pioneers. Considering you obviously want more than this, it sounds as something that is never going to actually work. Give some good examples of how you think this would work then. It's a project that does not sound very thought through, but if it is, then tell me how you would categorize these bands: Judas Priest, Lamb of God, Enslaved, Myrkgrav and Sigh.

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Gorblethorp
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:19 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:54 pm 
 

Spoiler: show
Megadeth wrote:
Gorblethorp wrote:
I can, though.

You can pretend whatever you like, but it won't become an established term that anyone will care about. It won't "become" a genre just because you start using it. It will simply be some stupid label you made up and only you use.

Gorblethorp wrote:
Your straw man falls flat when you consider that one can reasonably infer what "nationalist" might mean in regard to a stylistic/lyrical theme.

I haven't used any straw arguments, but by claiming that I have, you are.

Music genres aren't defined by their lyrics or imagery. There are some traits that are more common within one genre than the other, and often seen as a crucial part, but they are not essential for classification. Black metal bands play black metal no matter what their lyrics are about and whether or not they use corpse paint and black clothes.

Gorblethorp wrote:
But to reiterate, this is rather unhelpful is describing what the music sounds like, just as frequently seen tags like "war" or "pagan" or "bestial" are unhelpful, because there will always be that ambiguity.

Almost everything in the world has ambiguity, so for the sake of the argument, let's try to keep it within a reasonable frame. Of these, only "pagan metal" can be considered fairly acknowledged. Other than that, I'm not going to comment on every kind of specific labels, because that's not the heart of the issue, and an obvious diversion. Don't think that every single term you hear is a separate subgenre. People might claim whatever they want, but in the end it's all about recognition.

I don't really see how these terms are technically any different from acknowledged genres like hard rock, thrash metal or death metal, other than recognition.

Gorblethorp wrote:
Hence, why in my edited post, I suggest actual description of the music to be more helpful than lazy, confusing tags. By the way, Peste Noire has described his music as Nationalist Black Metal in numerous interviews, which have certainly been posted here, leading me to doubt you performed your search as thoroughly as your argument might suggest.

As I've said earlier, labels are not confusing when you know what they refer to. Some labels are unnecessary, and that is often the reason why they never gets a broad usage, while other labels are so distinct that they are helpful and ends up as acknowledged genres.

What does it matter what some random guy has described his music as? We are talking about genres, not descriptions.

Gorblethorp wrote:
However, use of subgenres like Pagan/Raw/Bestial/War/Post-Black Metal (or something less hyperbolic) suggests both an absurd nonexistent absoluteness (of the supposed style and and the nonstandard criteria it supposedly fulfills) and a failure on the part of the writer to appropriately convey -- that is, without substantial confusion -- what the music sounds like, which can be clearly seen from the frequent return of this topic and the fact that this particular thread is one of the most popular discussions on the front page.

It's funny that you chose to mention the term raw, because there really isn't a label that says so much about how music sounds as that term. It's really an all-encompassing and pretty literal description, and not some ambiguous term like jazz or heavy metal.

What makes you think these terms doesn't have any absoluteness whatsoever? They could for example never be used to describe Mayhem, Judas Priest, Children of Bodom or Metallica. Without going into details, they clearly have some absoluteness (this isn't a topic to discuss what defines every single label). Take post-black metal for example. It will give some indication of how the music sounds and from what musical background it comes from, and it's telling a great deal of how the music turned out like it did. By actually interpreting that, and putting it in the context of other bands labeled post-black metal you can get some ideas of what that would involve. However, terms starting with the prefix "post" could also be seen as somewhat loose, and just branching out from mainly one specific genre, and not belonging in a "final" subgenre. The good thing about labels is that if they don't have a real usage, they will most likely fade away.

Gorblethorp wrote:
It also appears that a popular argument in favor of very specific strings of genre tags is that those opposed to them aren't smart enough to discern what's being described, which I and any logical reader should rightly dismiss as extraordinary pretension.

Had you actually bothered to read this thread, and the details of other people's complaints, you would have known that quite often ignorance and inexperience in listening to a variety within a genre is exactly the reason why some don't like it. No one has argued about intelligence, though. No one has stated others are incapable of understanding, but inexperienced. Many new to Dimmu Borgir might not understand why they aren't accepted as a black metal band and find the boundaries stupid.

Gorblethorp wrote:
Hence, why in my edited post, I suggest actual description of the music to be more helpful than lazy, confusing tags.

Gorblethorp wrote:
If the argument for genre tags is that they are helpful descriptors of sound, but only to those who are well enough "in the know," then it might be fair to conclude that they aren't as helpful as more thorough descriptions, which might include actual reference to easily recognized elements from fairly commonly known bands. The absence of any standard and the innate whimsicality of very specific genres precludes their helpfulness.

Heavy metal does not sound like heavy metals; rock does not sound like stones. You will of course need prior experience and knowledge to interpret even the most common genre.

Popular bands are already being used as references, either in the literal name (black metal) or by having some clear pioneers. Considering you obviously want more than this, it sounds as something that is never going to actually work. Give some good examples of how you think this would work then. It's a project that does not sound very thought through, but if it is, then tell me how you would categorize these bands: Judas Priest, Lamb of God, Enslaved, Myrkgrav and Sigh.


Rather a lot of text to come to no point at all. You've feebly argued (though backed by such little thought, I grapple with calling your post that at all) against sections of my posts but offer nothing novel. I argued against unhelpful tags - which whether you choose to admit it or not, they do exist (e.g. the arbitrary distinction between pagan and viking metal) - and proposed thorough descriptions with reference to commonly understood sonic patterns from known distinctive artists as an alternative to lazy vagueries. As contemporary music continues to blend preexisting styles and metamorphose even beyond those, the concrete labels you ardently defend become irrelevant.


Last edited by Metantoine on Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Uh, use the spoilers!

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Megadeth
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 474
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:12 pm 
 

Gorblethorp wrote:
Rather a lot of text to come to no point at all. You've feebly argued (though backed by such little thought, I grapple with calling your post that at all) against sections of my posts but offer nothing novel. I argued against unhelpful tags - which whether you choose to admit it or not, they do exist (e.g. the arbitrary distinction between pagan and viking metal) - and proposed thorough descriptions with reference to commonly understood sonic patterns from known distinctive artists as an alternative to lazy vagueries. As contemporary music continues to blend preexisting styles and metamorphose even beyond those, the concrete labels you ardently defend become irrelevant.

That was my thought when I read your arrogant ramblings, except I at least pointed out a couple of your lies and how you seemingly misunderstand and mix acknowledged genres with all kinds of labels. Your only addition were some fancy words. You have just tried to be the champion of some super obvious barriers of humanities, as if you think that you have discovered something of true value. You have argued with blatant fallacies, and you say you have some superior method to categorize music that solves everything, but can't even mention how works. Talking about how you would categorize bands by which popular bands they resembles sounds infinately naive. You haven't argued against unhelpful tags, as you have claimed, as they are simply what you personally consider unhelpful, and technically no different from any other genre or music label. Your arguments are wind.

I haven't really defended that many concrete labels; I have defended the principle. I have said there technically isn't anything different between many of them, and that rock and heavy metal in theory is just as arbitrary. You're just more used to it and it has become more recognised.

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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:29 pm 
 

Don't use genre tags if you don't want to. Just get used to describing lifeforms that give birth, breastfeed and have warm blood as precisely that. I'm comfortable calling them mammals.
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Gorblethorp
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:19 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:23 pm 
 

Megadeth wrote:
Gorblethorp wrote:
Rather a lot of text to come to no point at all. You've feebly argued (though backed by such little thought, I grapple with calling your post that at all) against sections of my posts but offer nothing novel. I argued against unhelpful tags - which whether you choose to admit it or not, they do exist (e.g. the arbitrary distinction between pagan and viking metal) - and proposed thorough descriptions with reference to commonly understood sonic patterns from known distinctive artists as an alternative to lazy vagueries. As contemporary music continues to blend preexisting styles and metamorphose even beyond those, the concrete labels you ardently defend become irrelevant.

That was my thought when I read your arrogant ramblings, except I at least pointed out a couple of your lies and how you seemingly misunderstand and mix acknowledged genres with all kinds of labels. Your only addition were some fancy words. You have just tried to be the champion of some super obvious barriers of humanities, as if you think that you have discovered something of true value. You have argued with blatant fallacies, and you say you have some superior method to categorize music that solves everything, but can't even mention how works. Talking about how you would categorize bands by which popular bands they resembles sounds infinately naive. You haven't argued against unhelpful tags, as you have claimed, as they are simply what you personally consider unhelpful, and technically no different from any other genre or music label. Your arguments are wind.

I haven't really defended that many concrete labels; I have defended the principle. I have said there technically isn't anything different between many of them, and that rock and heavy metal in theory is just as arbitrary. You're just more used to it and it has become more recognised.


All I infer from this is that you've sadly misread an easily understood point. I never championed any supposedly indescribable "superior method," but rather suggested that proper description is more helpful than vague genre tags. If you were unable to discern my meaning when I exemplified what a description is,
Gorblethorp wrote:
(e.g. "This band does play black metal but with obvious shoegaze influence and classical-inspired leads a la Gorgoroth")

I'm afraid I can't really simplify it much further, as it's already a pretty basic proposition to start.

You, on the other hand, have no argument at all, and rely on personal attacks to further a point I don't think even you understand.

Nochielo wrote:
Don't use genre tags if you don't want to. Just get used to describing lifeforms that give birth, breastfeed and have warm blood as precisely that. I'm comfortable calling them mammals.


Funny as your sentiment is, I do hope you aren't seriously equivocating these vastly distinct ideas. I don't argue against the convenience of words (as you might fallaciously suggest), I argue for clarity.

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