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Commisaur
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:16 am
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:09 pm 
 

Having read other threads on this site discussing this, I know this subject has been discussed to death already. However, one of the posts containing a link explaining why this brutal band is not allowed on this site is a dead link and I was wondering if someone could give me a link that works explaining why this band is not submittable.

It's kind of hard to believe how this band and their most important album, Vincebus Eruptum, cannot be added and yet bands decidedly less extreme and raw bands from the same era (classic rock type bands like Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Rush) are allowed. Not until thrash/death metal guitarists like Mantas from Venom, Kerry King, and Rick Rozz from Massacre committed their playing to tape, was there a guitarist like Leigh Stephens (Blue Cheer guitarist on Vincebus Eruptum) who so fully brutalized their guitar's whammy bar. I think I also hear tremolo picking after the soloing on "Summertime Blues," their most popular song, which again I can't think of any other other hard rock band of their time doing until thrash. "Doctor Please" is incredibly heavy especially one of the demo versions I heard. It also has a fast midsection with a lot of chaotic and unstructured soloing, this is in stark contrast to the clean and melodic soloing that I hear from most other bands of Blue Cheer's time. The chaotic nature of Leigh Stephen's soloing is like a proto-extreme/speed metal soloing style to me, the precursor to Kerry King solos. There are also a lot of really fast and heavy songs on this album too. Not until punk was the speed surpassed so regularly and not until speed metal was the metallic qualities and speed of Vincebus Eruptum surpassed. The vocals on Vincebus Eruptum are raspy and violent too. Not until Motorhead, speed and thrash metal came along were these vocals matched and eventually surpassed. Vincebus Eruptum vocals remind me of Lemmy Kilmister and Kill Em All era James Hetfield vocals. The album's production is perfect too, very muddy and raw. Not until punk, NWOBHM, and early thrash/black/death metal was this rawness intentionally and consciously equaled.

For detractors looking to decide once and for all for themselves if Blue Cheer is metal should first listen to their debut, Vincebus Eruptum, and focus listening to the songs "Summertime Blues," "Doctor Please," "Parchment Farm," and "Second Time Around." The aforementioned songs are all fast and represent all of the qualities I have mentioned previously. The other two tracks, "Rock Me Baby" and "Out of Focus," I still like of course, but are bluesy mid-tempo less extreme affairs and would not help make Blue Cheer look more metal to the detractor.

I understand that this band only had some influence on Black Sabbath, was massively influential on hard rock acts like Led Zeppelin, but otherwise faded away into obscurity only occasionally being cited as important by stoner rock/metal, and doom metal bands. However, ignoring how influential they may have been in reality one should focus on the musical qualities of Blue Cheer in comparison to their more commercially successful contemporaries and how they are reminiscent of the extreme metal that came 10-15 years after Vincebus Eruptum's debut in 1968.

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Oxenkiller
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:21 pm 
 

Blue Cheer are a valid ancestor to what we now know as heavy metal. Sort of like how you could say "Lucys" (or whatever that species of early humanoids were called) were the evolutionary ancestor to modern humans, but anatomically and genetically, were not actual modern humans.

That is a great album with some genuinely heavy aggressive guitar work, but it's main influences were blues and contemporary late 60's acid rock, same as Jimi Hendrix. Hard rock yes, but still a step or two away from what I would call metal. That's my opinion anyway (I'm guessing the editors would agree with me.)

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MrMcThrasher II
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:01 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:24 am 
 

Oxenkiller wrote:
That is a great album with some genuinely heavy aggressive guitar work, but it's main influences were blues and contemporary late 60's acid rock, same as Jimi Hendrix.

Black Sabbath's influences were pretty much the same though. Doesn't stop them from being considered metal.

This matter is VERY complicated, and unfortunately both side's arguments are valid. I'd like to say they're metal, but not at the same time.
Either way they were pretty fucking kick-ass until the end, and having a somewhat stable lineup (lots of guitarists went through that band) and to me that's what is important.
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ENKC
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:47 am 
 

I'm going to take a punt here that Thin Lizzy are mainly on the site because of Thunder and Lightning. Much as I love Deep Purple, I can't think of a record they've had which is indisputably metal from start to finish. That said, it would be a shame not to have them on here for their immense historical impact. I'm not sure which records pushed Rush over the line, but they have had plenty of metal in their sound over the years.
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Twisted_Psychology
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:03 am 
 

ENKC wrote:
I'm going to take a punt here that Thin Lizzy are mainly on the site because of Thunder and Lightning. Much as I love Deep Purple, I can't think of a record they've had which is indisputably metal from start to finish. That said, it would be a shame not to have them on here for their immense historical impact. I'm not sure which records pushed Rush over the line, but they have had plenty of metal in their sound over the years.


I do agree with the Thin Lizzy bit but I'd say that In Rock and Machine Head are consistently metal by the time's standards. I think a band like Rush would be a better example as they're only here on the basis of their first three or four releases.

But I do need to listen to more Blue Cheer. They're fairly heavy from what I remember and there are plenty of doom bands that claim to be influenced by them as much as they are by Sabbath.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:29 pm 
 

Aside from songs like "Snow dog", Hemispheres is clearly Rush's most metal-sounding release.

Anyway yes, Blue Cheer. I enjoy them. But they don't sound as metal to me as Purple et al. Yes, they were much heavier in 1968 than Deep purple were, but Purple is included here mostly because of the stuff they did in the early 70s, and also Perfect Strangers maybe (not too familiar with that album as I didn't like it much, but the title track sure is heavy). I think more has to be considered when evaluating a band's "metalness" than the mere distortion of the guitars. I mean The Stooges are pretty heavy as well but noone's saying they ought to be here. Deepu Purple have the sort of songs that would be such a profound influence on prototypical speed metal ("Highway Star") that a band like Metal Church or Metalian can cover the song without really making significant changes to riffing, speed, etc.

Blue Cheer basically sound like a heavy blues rock band..or I suppose "acid rock" as someone said above, although I've never been too clear on exactly what that's supposed to be. The emphasis is not so much on the riff, when compared with Sabbath, for example, but on the solos and overdriven bluesy vibes. is it heavy? Yeah, for sure! Still not metal though...
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Dmorpheus
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:20 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:31 pm 
 

I think Sabbath is heavy metal where BC is not simply because of the vibe. Sabbath just sounds metal, in a way that you can't quite put your finger on (although the lyrics and imagery are significantly darker than Blue Cheer's). There's nothing on Vincebus Eruptum that can compare metalwise to that tritone riff on the opening track of self-titled
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:54 pm 
 

Blue Cheer are great and Vincebus Ereptum is a great album, one of my better finds has been a copy of that record in a bin for a dollar. Certainly one of the most percussive, noisy hard rock bands of their day, taking a different approach to the psychedelic yammering that The Jimi Hendrix Experience twisted out to change the world. Their music was certainly a lot more percussive and abrasive than the more melodic psychedelic rock of bands like The Grateful Dead, an outlier of its time, at least for bands that earned a significant amount of recognition. It was certainly very hard rock, very hard and noisy, and that was one of the traits that set them apart - the wild soloing perhaps had a similar idea but less extraordinary talent than Hendrix, and they were pretty chaotic for rock at the time, something strange considering how we now accept wandering, noisy jams as being music much more than they were in the late 60s.

Commisaur wrote:
For detractors looking to decide once and for all for themselves if Blue Cheer is metal should first listen to their debut, Vincebus Eruptum, and focus listening to the songs "Summertime Blues," "Doctor Please," "Parchment Farm," and "Second Time Around." The aforementioned songs are all fast and represent all of the qualities I have mentioned previously. The other two tracks, "Rock Me Baby" and "Out of Focus," I still like of course, but are bluesy mid-tempo less extreme affairs and would not help make Blue Cheer look more metal to the detractor.


You're missing the point - they are not included on a metal archive because they are not a metal band, they are a hard rock band. This is not a detraction at all, in fact I know quite a few staffers here own that album and love it. I own the record and I've heard it many times over many years, and it's great. There are a few selected exceptions that are very few in number and shouldn't be used as references for policy, and we have talked about Blue Cheer for inclusion, but they are quite simply not a metal band even on their hardest record and further from it in a long and distinguished career.

I would like to recommend Demontage for being an excellent psychedelic heavy/black/doom metal band - featuring this lovely fellow around here who goes by the name Abominatrix. Fucking awesome band, listen to both albums if you're into that type of stuff.

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maidenpriestmanic
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:33 pm
Posts: 404
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:33 pm 
 

What about Blue Cheers What doesn't kill you album? I always thought that album was pretty metal sounding, though that's the only album of theirs like that.

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KFD
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:19 pm
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Location: France
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:26 am 
 

Vincebus Eruptum is a blues/rock album, in the same vein as Jimi Hendrix. It was sure very advanced and experimental for its time, but not 'proto-metal'. It had as much influence on punk as on metal.
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Conservationism
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:48 pm
Posts: 431
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:17 am 
 

Commisaur wrote:
t's kind of hard to believe how this band and their most important album, Vincebus Eruptum, cannot be added and yet bands decidedly less extreme and raw bands from the same era (classic rock type bands like Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Rush) are allowed.


I don't think metal is a matter of technique, but of composition and spirit. Blue Cheer fits within the aggressive blues sound of the 1960s, and while they were ahead of the curve, that doesn't mean they made it to the metal zone. Same thing applies to Jimi Hendrix. They weren't metal players, and it's not fairly understanding them to claim they are. I would apply the same thing to Cream and The Who and other early heavy rock bands.
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godsonsafari
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:03 am
Posts: 689
Location: Sparty's Land Grant University, USA
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:43 pm 
 

Commisaur wrote:
Having read other threads on this site discussing this, I know this subject has been discussed to death already. However, one of the posts containing a link explaining why this brutal band is not allowed on this site is a dead link and I was wondering if someone could give me a link that works explaining why this band is not submittable.


The short version is that although they were considered "metal" in their day, and probably considered "metal" for a great many years afterwards, the determination of the folks running the site is that the genre has changed enough that they are no longer "metal" and thus not included. YMMV with that.
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Conservationism
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:48 pm
Posts: 431
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:17 pm 
 

MrMcThrasher II wrote:
Black Sabbath's influences were pretty much the same though.


Not really. They include a lot more prog rock and soundtrack music.
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Myrtroen
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:37 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:27 pm 
 

Blue Cheer were a definite influence on Stoner/Doom metal but as for being a metal band, I would say no. Pure heavy blues haze with raucous sound, proto-metal for sure. I always thought the singer sounded a bit like Janis Joplin, which isn't really surprising as they were part of the same scene in '60s Frisco. At the time they were the "heavy metal" of their day, though, if that counts.
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