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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
Posts: 3862
Location: Romania
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:23 pm 
 

This idea appeared recently in my mind: to make a thread for the purpose of discussing the progression of the various careers our favorite bands go through. The idea is to divide a band's output in several sections based on any number of factors, including but not limited to:

1) Variations in quality
2) Arrival or departure of various important band members (example: the lead singers of Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath)
3) Variations in genre, both within metal and otherwise
4) Association with various labels, or lack thereof (independent bands, ones which work with mostly metal labels, ones which go to major record labels, etc)
5) Important events in the band's history (example: Burzum before, during and after Varg's prison sentence)
6) Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)
7) Lyrical themes/concepts
8) Political orientation found within the music
9) Variations concerning the songwriter(s)

After this is done (and while doing this) we should be discussing why a band's career was/should be divided thus as well as the general quality and highlights of each portion of their career. So talk about either previously mentioned bands or do an overview of any band.

To begin with Marduk. Their career can be divided in five important phases as of today. First of all, there's the (1) pre-black metal era, which essentially consists of the band playing a special kind of death metal, aesthetically blackened but nevertheless much closer to Swedeath bands' output than to what the Norwegian Second Wave bands were doing at the time. The second Marduk era is the (2) pure black metal era, distinguished by Joakim Gothberg's trademark black metal voice and the rather melodic nature of the music, close to what their neighbors to the west were doing during those years. Then comes the (3) early Legion era Marduk, which begins the band's image as a blasting black metal band and should basically be confined to the twin albums Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are All Gathered and Nightwing, where the band was exploring new levels of intensity and harshness while retaining the general high quality they had maintained since the beginning of their career. Following this steady stream of success would be the (4) later Legion era Marduk, which may also be called stagnation-era Marduk because of the impression that the band didn't put forth much effort in their music, getting a bit "too comfortable" with their sound and innovating very little, although the last Legion album, World Funeral, is of decidedly higher quality than its two predecessors. Finally, we have (5) Mortuus era Marduk, which basically consists of the band's three newest albums. This final phase initially brought in a breath of fresh air that the band needed but now seems to stagnate a bit as well, although I might be wrong as I have yet to hear their newest album.


Last edited by MaDTransilvanian on Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mentalselfmutilation
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:39 pm
Posts: 1424
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:50 pm 
 

Nearly any band that lasts 3 or more albums will have one or more of these events occur, often times more depending on the length of their career and more commercial output. Some bands are smart to stop anywhere between 2-4 albums. However there is a rise of bands like Agathocles, Unholy Grave, Nunslaughter, and Sabbat who continuously release material over long spans of time and have existed for 15-25 years, though i guess there is to consider most recordings are of varying quality and in some cases a lot of releases are live, demo, rehearsal, or other unique recordings of the same songs, and new material is where the consistency lies.

However it's an interesting subject, and i'm often interested in reading about the progressions of a band's career, especially with bands such as black sabbath, iron maiden, and others which have seen numerous changes in their careers.
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AbbathBM
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:31 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:12 am 
 

This is an interesting topic, I would like to see someone doing this analysis on Ulver.

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Lippyass Major
Mens Mentis Minor

Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:57 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:36 am 
 

W.A.S.P.:

1) Glam metal era (1982-c.1988)

This lasted for the first three albums, with simple catchyness and lyrics about debauchery and sex.

2) Heavy metal era (c.1989-c.1996)

This lasted for the next three albums, with heavier and more progressive songwriting but also some softer and more emotional ballads. They started focusing on serious subject matter

3) Experimental era (c.1997-c.2000)

The next two albums were respectively industrial metal and AC/DC-esque hard rocking music that was unusual for W.A.S.P. Respectively, the lyrics were about hatred and partying, the former being totally unusual while the latter not dealt with since the glam era.

4) 2nd Heavy metal era (c.2001-present)

All albums since then have been following a similar formula to #2.

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Unorthodox
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:08 pm
Posts: 1217
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:08 am 
 

Behemoth (couldn't hit every single one... oh well)

Variations in quality:
I don't really think I can talk about this objectively, so this is bias unfortunately. Formation years to about 1996 Behemoth is still trying to find their style. It seems that the quality of their music is better when they approach Grom. Pandemonic Incantations illustrates the change in style, and unfortunately Behemoth's quality decreases a bit, but this style change is for the better. Every album after Pandemonic is better than the last up until Demigod. The Apostasy is when Behemoth takes a bit of a stumble as it seems they play the album safe, but Evangelion gets them back where they left off.

Arrival or departure of various important band members )
Adam "Baal Ravenlock's departure and Inferno's entrance marks the beginning of the style change of Behemoth.

Variations in genre, both within metal and otherwise
-Endless Damnation to Grom= Straight forward black metal.
-Pandemonic Incantation= Crossroad of the new and old stuff.
-Satanica to Present- Modern death metal


Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)
During 2004-07 time period, Behemoth begins getting recognition by touring with very little break in between. This gives them a bit more of a commercial spotlight than they once had, however this does nothing to impact the quality of their music as they already changed their style nearly a decade prior to this.


Lyrical themes/concepts
Paganism (early), Occultism, Thelema, Satanism, Ancient Civilizations and Mythology (later)
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Whackooyzero
Metalhead

Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 10:57 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:23 am 
 

Well Helloween can of course be given several different eras.

1. Speed Metal Era 1984-1986: Lyrics were more negative, had to do with poverty, war, drug use, and rebellion. Riffs and vocals were more aggressive.

2. Power Metal Era 1986-1990: Lyrics were more positive, a little more of a fantasy edge, more melodic and with more harmonized riffs.

3. Pop "Experimental" Era 1990-1993: Generally more emotional lyrically, slower paced, and a little more straightforward.

4. Heavy/Power Metal Era 1993-2000: Each album got heavier than the preceding in this era, with lyrics being a bit of a combination of 1 and 2. Riffs became more important, and vocals were quite a bit harsher.

5. Attempted "Return To Roots" era 2001-2006: Similar to 2 but with some sensibilities from 4.

6. Heavy/Power Metal Era 2 2006-: Basically a return to phase 4.
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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
Posts: 3862
Location: Romania
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:29 pm 
 

Unorthodox wrote:
Behemoth (couldn't hit every single one... oh well)

Variations in quality:
I don't really think I can talk about this objectively, so this is bias unfortunately. Formation years to about 1996 Behemoth is still trying to find their style. It seems that the quality of their music is better when they approach Grom. Pandemonic Incantations illustrates the change in style, and unfortunately Behemoth's quality decreases a bit, but this style change is for the better. Every album after Pandemonic is better than the last up until Demigod. The Apostasy is when Behemoth takes a bit of a stumble as it seems they play the album safe, but Evangelion gets them back where they left off.

Arrival or departure of various important band members )
Adam "Baal Ravenlock's departure and Inferno's entrance marks the beginning of the style change of Behemoth.

Variations in genre, both within metal and otherwise
-Endless Damnation to Grom= Straight forward black metal.
-Pandemonic Incantation= Crossroad of the new and old stuff.
-Satanica to Present- Modern death metal


Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)
During 2004-07 time period, Behemoth begins getting recognition by touring with very little break in between. This gives them a bit more of a commercial spotlight than they once had, however this does nothing to impact the quality of their music as they already changed their style nearly a decade prior to this.


Lyrical themes/concepts
Paganism (early), Occultism, Thelema, Satanism, Ancient Civilizations and Mythology (later)


Great, but it certainly wasn't necessary to hit every single criteria, they're just there as a guiding point. You can use any number of them, from one to all, as you wish.

On the subject of Behemoth themselves, I get the feeling that they've been stagnating quite a bit since the rather very good Demigod, the two following albums having the exact same sound and image to them.

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Lippyass Major
Mens Mentis Minor

Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:57 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:27 pm 
 

Demon:

1) NWOBHM era (c.1980-c.1982)

The band was associated with the nwobhm scene, lyrically focused on the occult and hedonism, and used shock rock performances. This lasted the first two albums.

2) Hard rock era (c.1983-c.1986)

The band switched to a hard rock sound with strong progressive elements, with serious lyrics about society and humanity. The shock factor was abandoned, and this period lasted the next three albums.

3) Melodic Metal era (c.1987-c.1992)

The band began playing a highly melodic form of heavy metal, continuing with the serious lyrics, that lasted the next four albums before going on hiatus.

4) Hiatus (c.1993-c.2000)

4) Returning era (c.2001-present)

The band begins releasing new albums with versatile sounds and lots of experimentation.

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VictimsOfDeception
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 5:00 pm
Posts: 1481
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:41 pm 
 

MaDTransilvanian wrote:
Unorthodox wrote:
Behemoth (couldn't hit every single one... oh well)

Variations in quality:
I don't really think I can talk about this objectively, so this is bias unfortunately. Formation years to about 1996 Behemoth is still trying to find their style. It seems that the quality of their music is better when they approach Grom. Pandemonic Incantations illustrates the change in style, and unfortunately Behemoth's quality decreases a bit, but this style change is for the better. Every album after Pandemonic is better than the last up until Demigod. The Apostasy is when Behemoth takes a bit of a stumble as it seems they play the album safe, but Evangelion gets them back where they left off.

Arrival or departure of various important band members )
Adam "Baal Ravenlock's departure and Inferno's entrance marks the beginning of the style change of Behemoth.

Variations in genre, both within metal and otherwise
-Endless Damnation to Grom= Straight forward black metal.
-Pandemonic Incantation= Crossroad of the new and old stuff.
-Satanica to Present- Modern death metal


Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)
During 2004-07 time period, Behemoth begins getting recognition by touring with very little break in between. This gives them a bit more of a commercial spotlight than they once had, however this does nothing to impact the quality of their music as they already changed their style nearly a decade prior to this.


Lyrical themes/concepts
Paganism (early), Occultism, Thelema, Satanism, Ancient Civilizations and Mythology (later)


Great, but it certainly wasn't necessary to hit every single criteria, they're just there as a guiding point. You can use any number of them, from one to all, as you wish.

On the subject of Behemoth themselves, I get the feeling that they've been stagnating quite a bit since the rather very good Demigod, the two following albums having the exact same sound and image to them.


I feel that Evangelion is more of a return on the right path, personally.
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CrushedRevelation
Devil's right hand

Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:47 am
Posts: 5072
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:49 pm 
 

Interesting topic I must say. I'm going to contribute with an obvious choice of band; that being Darkthrone.

Variations in quality

While this will certainly be debatable depending on one's dedication to the band, but I believe there is some deviations in quality over the years.

As most of you already know, Darkthrone started out with a Swedish (and slight American, mostly Autopsy) styled Death Metal album with Soulside Journey. While I enjoyed this record, I don't believe it to be their best, particularly considering what was to come next. After SJ came what can be referred to as the Unholy Trinity - A Blaze In The Northern Sky, Under A Funeral Moon and culminating with Transilvanian Hunger. These three I would consider to be the best Darkthrone era, not to mention their most influential. The impact these albums had on Black Metal as a whole are undeniable. Today they are heralded as underground classics, and spawned legions of bands wanting to recreate this style (still occurring today). Later albums, in my opinion seemed to lack the quality and strength of these three. Again, I repeat though that this will be hotly debated depending on one's own tastes.

Panzerfaust is the last truly amazing Darkthrone album, however, it does not tie in with the preceding records, as a shift in direction was about to take place.

Arrival or departure of various important band members

After Under A Funeral Moon, guitarist Zephryous left the band, which I though was a bit of a loss, as his style was greatly admired by me on said album. Now only Nocturno Culto and Fenriz remained.

Association with various labels

Darkthrone throughout their career have only switched between two labels, those being Peaceville to Moonfog, then back to Peaceville (apart from the Under Beskkyttelse av Mork EP). Not sure what this decision was though. Maybe Peaceville could give them better exposure. Which leads me to...

Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)

Although fairly well known within the underground, their popularity has taken a very sharp upturn (mainly with younger fans?) over the course of the last few years. I can't accurately pinpoint the exact time and place that this occurred, maybe around the time of Total Death or perhaps Hate Them? Feel free to correct me if I am mistaken. One thing is for certain The Cult Is Alive appeared to have garnered them some more fans and a wider audience. This does not automatically mean they became more commercial, just more widely recognized.

Lyrical themes/concepts

Lyrically the Cult Is Alive (even Sardonic Wrath for that matter) showed distinct departure from the usual, blatant Satanic lyrical stance;

Quote:
Nothing to prove
Just a hellish rock'n roll freak
You call your metal black
It's just plastic lame and weak


This is a very different Darkthrone than what I was used to, but I personally began to lose some interest after Ravishing Grimness. They also began playing a more metal/punk style, whilst still being themselves, and retaining their identity. The concepts now attacked the (Black) metal scene, as well as incorporating other themes, such as Fenriz's love of hiking, camping (see Hanging Out in Haiger or Hiking Metal Punks for example) and an adoration of old metal bands (Canadian Metal), but not confining themselves to it.

One could say they have evolved into something completely different, yet they are still unmistakably Darkthrone. I'm almost pre-programmed to like the newer albums, and, as a metal head I should, as they are most undeniably, unashamedly metal in every way. My belief is that it will take me some time to become a bigger fan of their later albums, as the stigma associated with the early classics is a hard one for me to break.

:metal:

EDIT: Italics.
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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
Posts: 4868
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:56 pm 
 

I should definitely be writing my 8 page English essay right now, but this topic looks interesting and I want to contribute before someone writes about my favourite band before me...

Amorphis

In a recent interview I watched with founding member and guitarist, Tomi Koivusaari, he explained that he views Amorphis' discography as a series of three trilogies.

Their 1992 debut, The Karelian Isthmus is straight up early Scandinavian death metal with some atmospheric tendencies. The guitarwork is fairly melodic and at times could even be called epic, but the music generally takes an aggressive approach. In 1994, the classic Tales From The Thousand Lakes album was rleased. This showcased a much heavier reliance on atmosphere and melody, with much more focus on keyboards and with the introduction of clean vocals. 1996's Elegy introduced new (but then part-time) clean vocalist, Pasi Koskinen, who would be a member of the band until 2004. Elegy was a massive expansion to Amorphis' sound, and one that is hard to describe, as it is one of the most unique albums I have ever heard. It would also mark the end of the first "trilogy", per se.

Three years after Elegy, Amorphis returned with Tuonela, a relaxed, yet captivating guitar-driven album with very few traces of metal anywhere. With this album, Pasi Koskinen became lead singer (beforehand, vocals were performed by guitarist, Koivusaari, who remains in the band to this day, although they shared vocal duties on Elegy at about an even rate) and despite the drastic change in style, the album contains several of Amorphis' most well known songs such as Divinity and The Way. The following two albums, AM Universum and Far From the Sun, respectively, showcase a style similar to Tuonela, likely due to the bands stable line up. On Far From the Sun (2003), however, the band begins to sound a bit tired and have since admitted to a slight lack of motivation during that era, which was proved by the departure of lead vocalist, Pasi, shortly after its release.

Instead of throwing in the towel, in 2005 the band recruited a then unheard of vocalist named Tomi Joutsen. The young, energetic vocalist injected a renewed passion in the band's music, present on the 2006 album, Eclipse. This album is appropriately titled because it melds the two previous trilogies and displays them in a brand new, modern interpretation. The music is the heaviest and most diverse since Elegy and Joutsen's inclusion marks the return of harsh vocals. The following two albums, Silent Waters and Skyforger are both of a similar sound to Eclipse, with only thematic differences.

I think trying to pin genres on Amorphis is a bit silly, because it defies the very name of the band, but I'll give it a shot for shits and giggles.

1990 - 1993 = Death metal
1994 - 1996 = Melodic death/doom
1996 - 1998 = Melodic death/psychedelic/progressive
1999 - 2005 = Proggressive-ish rock/metal
2006 - 2010 = Melodic death/progressive metal

So it seems that each vast change in the band's music is due to the joining of a new vocalist. This means that the sound of the next album is, as of right now, a complete mystery. Will Amorphis take a drastic new direction because that seems to be what they do every three albums, or will they continue doing what they've been doing with the stable line up they've had for five years? Who knows, but I for one can't wait to find out!

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LordOfTerror
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 7:33 pm
Posts: 280
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:19 pm 
 

Here's an era-by-era guide to Morbid Angel, most of you probably already know everything here, but I had fun with it (got a little carried away to be honest, I'm quite the fanboy). Note I only took into account recordings, and not live shows, since I don't have any way of seeing the band live in each era.

The early era (1984-1987): In this era, Morbid Angel mainly consisted of Trey Azagthoth, Richard Brunelle, and Mike Browning, with a variety of bassists and vocalists, including David Vincent, who joined in '86. During this era, the band developed from a thrash-y sound to the more death metal oriented sound that they would originally be known for. During this era, the band recorded a few demos, many rehearsals which are available as bootlegs, and a full-length album, Abominations that was not released until 1991.

This isn't the best era of Morbid Angel, but the Thy Kingdom Come demo and Abominations of Desolation album are must-listens for fans of the band, and the band began to make a name for themselves in the extreme metal underground.

The classic era (1988-1993): This era is the best known Morbid Angel period, and for a good reason. It began when drumming monster Pete Sandoval joined the band, thus solidifying the classic MA lineup of Azagthoth, Vincent, and Sandoval, with Brunelle providing more than competent support as a second guitarist. It was this lineup that would record the band's official debut, Altars of Madness, released in 1989, and Blessed Are the Sick, released in 1991. Altars quickly pushed the band to the forefront of the emerging death metal scene, with an unprecedented level of technicality and a thoroughly evil atmosphere unlike any heard before. This album moved the genre away from it's thrash roots and was crucial in establishing death metal's identity.

Blessed Are the Sick continued to push boundaries, with slow, sludgy riffs as a contrast to the ripping insanity of the faster parts, and the inclusion of acoustic guitar, piano, and noise music in the various interludes.

The classic period came to an end when Brunelle left the band, and the remaining three members recorded the bands last truly great album, Covenant, in 1993. Covenant was more streamlined than the previous album, was released on a major label, and a music video was even recorded for one of the songs and shown on MTV. However, Covenant was also uncompromisingly brutal, with a murky production that fit the music perfectly, and the use of a seven-string guitar that enabled Azagthoth to craft some of his heaviest riffs yet.

This is easily the best and most popular period of Morbid Angel. The three full lengths recorded during this era are all very different musically, but are united by a dedication to quality and innovation. All three are frequently listed as top death metal albums of all time, and Covenant is one of the best selling, as well as the first death metal album on a major label.

The downfall (1994-1996): After Covenant, things went downhill for Morbid Angel. 1994 saw the release of the Laibach Remixes EP, a combination of artists that should have been amazing, but wound up being underwhelming. The band's 1995 followup to Covenant, Domination, was a letdown. The music was a simplified rehash of what the band had done before, and Vincent's once furious vocal onslaught was reduced to a weak shout. The band then recorded an unexceptional live album, Entangled in Chaos. This era ended when Vincent parted ways with the band, bringing an end to this era.

This is the most disappointing era of Morbid Angel's career, marked by mediocre musical output and general disappointment. Domination has it's fans, but generally you don't hear much about anything the band did during these years.

The new era (1997-2004): Morbid Angel soon bounced back from their slump, and replaced Vincent with Steve Tucker, a worthy replacement. While their music here didn't quite match the quality of the classic era, Formulas Fatal to the Flesh got the band back on the right track. Ripping Corpse guitarist Erik Rutan joined and recorded the monolithic Gateways to Annihilation with the band, easily the best post-Covenant release. Unfortunately, the last album with Steve Tucker, Heretic, was not up to par, and is quite unexceptional.

This era saw Morbid Angel regain their status as a high-quality death metal artist, though not the leaders that they once were. With the exception of Heretic, the music has a strong identity, and progresses the band forward instead of rehashing previous classics.

The reunion (2004- present): With Steve Tucker's departure, David Vincent returned to the band, reuniting the lineup from Covenant. This lineup has been promising an album for years, with a new song in the live setlist, and time will tell whether the band will create a failure or a new masterpiece...

Give me some feedback on this, if enough people like it I'm thinking of doing Iron Maiden.

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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
Posts: 3862
Location: Romania
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:18 pm 
 

CrushedRevelation wrote:
Interesting topic I must say. I'm going to contribute with an obvious choice of band; that being Darkthrone.

Variations in quality

While this will certainly be debatable depending on one's dedication to the band, but I believe there is some deviations in quality over the years.

As most of you already know, Darkthrone started out with a Swedish (and slight American, mostly Autopsy) styled Death Metal album with Soulside Journey. While I enjoyed this record, I don't believe it to be their best, particularly considering what was to come next. After SJ came what can be referred to as the Unholy Trinity - A Blaze In The Northern Sky, Under A Funeral Moon and culminating with Transilvanian Hunger. These three I would consider to be the best Darkthrone era, not to mention their most influential. The impact these albums had on Black Metal as a whole are undeniable. Today they are heralded as underground classics, and spawned legions of bands wanting to recreate this style (still occurring today). Later albums, in my opinion seemed to lack the quality and strength of these three. Again, I repeat though that this will be hotly debated depending on one's own tastes.

Panzerfaust is the last truly amazing Darkthrone album, however, it does not tie in with the preceding records, as a shift in direction was about to take place.


While I do agree with your appraisal of all those albums, I'd probably include Total Death with Panzerfaust as a Darkthrone mid-era high-quality album. It makes a nod to their Soulside Journey beginnings and has its own distinctive sound which is, incidentally, very enjoyable and refreshing. It's after Total Death that they started stagnating quite a bit, until a gradual return to form with Hate Them and especially the cool Sardonic Wrath. On the subject of neo-Darkthone (Too Old Too Cold EP and beyond) all I actually have is aforementioned EP but if it's in any way similar to the rest (and from what I've heard, it is), I love the new style they've adopted. A cool mix of black metal, punk and thrash made all grim and cold as they did in the good old days.

Quote:
Nothing to prove
Just a hellish rock'n roll freak
You call your metal black
It's just plastic lame and weak


Bands like Ov Hell really need to take a hint at these lines. Darkthrone were prophets concerning that particular band.

CrushedRevelation wrote:
This is a very different Darkthrone than what I was used to, but I personally began to lose some interest after Ravishing Grimness. They also began playing a more metal/punk style, whilst still being themselves, and retaining their identity. The concepts now attacked the (Black) metal scene, as well as incorporating other themes, such as Fenriz's love of hiking, camping (see Hanging Out in Haiger or Hiking Metal Punks for example) and an adoration of old metal bands (Canadian Metal), but not confining themselves to it.

One could say they have evolved into something completely different, yet they are still unmistakably Darkthrone. I'm almost pre-programmed to like the newer albums, and, as a metal head I should, as they are most undeniably, unashamedly metal in every way. My belief is that it will take me some time to become a bigger fan of their later albums, as the stigma associated with the early classics is a hard one for me to break.

:metal:

EDIT: Italics.


I really, really need to make an offensive with Darkthrone's newest albums soon since they're pumping them out faster than I'm buying them. It's not really surprising that Canadian Metal is incredibly popular among (medium to extreme) Metalheads here in Canada, who by ricochet tend to like modern Darkthrone in general. For once it's a popular sentiment among metalheads around here which is worth following, unlike fandom of Blackguard, obscure pointless Québec black metal bands or other atrocities many Canadians seem to adore.

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Mateilkrist
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:12 am
Posts: 1736
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:35 pm 
 

LordOfTerror wrote:
Here's an era-by-era guide to Morbid Angel,


Damn, you beat me to it! I was thinking about doing one for MA when I had free time. Great job with it though, you'll do fine with Iron Maiden.
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CrushedRevelation
Devil's right hand

Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:47 am
Posts: 5072
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:38 pm 
 

MaDTransilvanian wrote:
CrushedRevelation wrote:
Interesting topic I must say. I'm going to contribute with an obvious choice of band; that being Darkthrone.

Variations in quality

While this will certainly be debatable depending on one's dedication to the band, but I believe there is some deviations in quality over the years.

As most of you already know, Darkthrone started out with a Swedish (and slight American, mostly Autopsy) styled Death Metal album with Soulside Journey. While I enjoyed this record, I don't believe it to be their best, particularly considering what was to come next. After SJ came what can be referred to as the Unholy Trinity - A Blaze In The Northern Sky, Under A Funeral Moon and culminating with Transilvanian Hunger. These three I would consider to be the best Darkthrone era, not to mention their most influential. The impact these albums had on Black Metal as a whole are undeniable. Today they are heralded as underground classics, and spawned legions of bands wanting to recreate this style (still occurring today). Later albums, in my opinion seemed to lack the quality and strength of these three. Again, I repeat though that this will be hotly debated depending on one's own tastes.

Panzerfaust is the last truly amazing Darkthrone album, however, it does not tie in with the preceding records, as a shift in direction was about to take place.


While I do agree with your appraisal of all those albums, I'd probably include Total Death with Panzerfaust as a Darkthrone mid-era high-quality album. It makes a nod to their Soulside Journey beginnings and has its own distinctive sound which is, incidentally, very enjoyable and refreshing. It's after Total Death that they started stagnating quite a bit, until a gradual return to form with Hate Them and especially the cool Sardonic Wrath.


I agree with you about Total Death, it's not that I dislike it, more a case of it does not stand up as well against what came before. Hate Them, Plageuwielder and Sardonic Wrath all left me a little displeased and let down, with both the direction musically and it's execution. The just didn't seem to have the same energy.


MaDTransilvanian wrote:
Quote:
Nothing to prove
Just a hellish rock'n roll freak
You call your metal black
It's just plastic lame and weak


Bands like Ov Hell really need to take a hint at these lines. Darkthrone were prophets concerning that particular band.


Indeed they are, thus retaining their credibility.


MaDTransilvanian wrote:
CrushedRevelation wrote:
One could say they have evolved into something completely different, yet they are still unmistakably Darkthrone. I'm almost pre-programmed to like the newer albums, and, as a metal head I should, as they are most undeniably, unashamedly metal in every way. My belief is that it will take me some time to become a bigger fan of their later albums, as the stigma associated with the early classics is a hard one for me to break.

:metal:

EDIT: Italics.


I really, really need to make an offensive with Darkthrone's newest albums soon since they're pumping them out faster than I'm buying them.


Yes. It's like is said, I really should make an effort to become acquainted with them. The last Darkthrone album I actually purchased was Ravishing Grimness. They seem to be more inspired and prolific than ever.
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6Xul66
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:48 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:52 am 
 

VictimsOfDeception wrote:
MaDTransilvanian wrote:
Unorthodox wrote:
Behemoth (couldn't hit every single one... oh well)

Variations in quality:
I don't really think I can talk about this objectively, so this is bias unfortunately. Formation years to about 1996 Behemoth is still trying to find their style. It seems that the quality of their music is better when they approach Grom. Pandemonic Incantations illustrates the change in style, and unfortunately Behemoth's quality decreases a bit, but this style change is for the better. Every album after Pandemonic is better than the last up until Demigod. The Apostasy is when Behemoth takes a bit of a stumble as it seems they play the album safe, but Evangelion gets them back where they left off.

Arrival or departure of various important band members )
Adam "Baal Ravenlock's departure and Inferno's entrance marks the beginning of the style change of Behemoth.

Variations in genre, both within metal and otherwise
-Endless Damnation to Grom= Straight forward black metal.
-Pandemonic Incantation= Crossroad of the new and old stuff.
-Satanica to Present- Modern death metal


Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)
During 2004-07 time period, Behemoth begins getting recognition by touring with very little break in between. This gives them a bit more of a commercial spotlight than they once had, however this does nothing to impact the quality of their music as they already changed their style nearly a decade prior to this.


Lyrical themes/concepts
Paganism (early), Occultism, Thelema, Satanism, Ancient Civilizations and Mythology (later)


Great, but it certainly wasn't necessary to hit every single criteria, they're just there as a guiding point. You can use any number of them, from one to all, as you wish.

On the subject of Behemoth themselves, I get the feeling that they've been stagnating quite a bit since the rather very good Demigod, the two following albums having the exact same sound and image to them.


I feel that Evangelion is more of a return on the right path, personally.


Wtf, The Apostasy wasn't a bad album. I can't understand why people dislike that album. It's still a strong album.

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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:50 am 
 

It's not so much that it's a BAD album it's just that they've been sounding exactly the same since Demigod and it's rather boring.

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Bezerko
Vladimir Poopin

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:50 am
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Location: Venestraya
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:52 am 
 

Nope, sorry to burst your bubble but The Apostasy is absolute shit, and Evangelion isn't much better.

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Evil_Johnny_666
Reigning king of the night

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:54 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:24 pm 
 

I'll go with Sigh.

Variations in genre / quality

As many black metal bands from the second wave, Sigh first started off as a death metal act on their Tragedies demo. They then got acquainted with black metal and released their Requiem for Fools 7" on Wild Rags which got them signed to Euronymous' DSP for their first full-length Scorn Defeat. This is pretty much their... "true" black metal period, where they released some more or less "traditional" black metal, but they still had a little oriental sound, were thrash oriented and had some unusual hooks they later developped on. Euronymous getting killed forced the band to find a new label and they ended up signing with the uprising Cacophonous.

Infidel Art marked a transitional period for Sigh, one where they passed from the more traditional black metal, to their more eclectic mix of various styles of metal and other music with leanings on black/thrash. It's principally black metal with several black/thrash passages and even a doom metal one. All this overlapped with synthesizer orchestration to make a mammoth of progressive black metal. The Ghastly Funeral Theatre ep marked their peak of their black/thrash sounds being mixed with other influences, here a lot of rock and prog-rock influences being discernible. Hail Horror Hail then followed with an even more experimental approach trying not to be a movie soundtrack, but a movie without images. With Scenario IV: Dread Dreams, Sigh dropped a little their over the top experimentation in favour of a little more eclectic sound using more 70ies prog-rock influences with keyboards and such. It was also a semi concept album about dreams, thus some rather inappropriate parts coming here and there. Followed Imaginary Sonicscape which is considered their best by many - although I find their more black metal releases better. It may very well be the metal release featuring the widest array of different music genres fused together while still being metal. Black metal vocals over trip-hop, organ solos, rock solos, vocoder etc... Gallows Gallery saw Sigh turning in an even weirder direction, trying to be heavy/power metal, dropping all hints of black and only a handful of thrash riffs as well as the vocals being sung.

Their last two albums saw the band trying to mix thrash metal and big Wagnerian orchestrations, and while I enjoy those albums, I feel they lost a little of their identity they always had even if their albums are all different. What I liked about earlier Sigh was the duality between Mirai's instrumentation (keys, orchestras) and Sinichi's riffing which was always kickass and/or refreshing with plenty of killer old fashioned solos. There were always good riffs which were never left behind. With their two newest, I feel the guitar has been backseated only offering interesting leads here and there, the rhythm riffs felling often generic to support the bombastic orchestrations. I feel, the band has lost a little of itself.

Association with various labels

Like I said Sigh were first signed to DSP, but Euronymous getting killed forced the band to find a new label and they ended up signing with the uprising Cacophonous. Unfortunately, it didn't take that long for Cacophonous to drop promotion and support to their bands, Sigh being forced to do everything themselves as well as being stuck with a contract. Scenario IV marked their last album with Cacophonous and they managed to sign a deal with Century Media for Imaginary Sonicscape. They got problems yet again when CM found Gallows Gallery not to their liking and they had to release it on another label wich was Red Stream/Baphomet. And after they've managed to sign to The End Records which they are still signed to now.

Lyrical themes/concepts

One of the reasons why I prefer earlier Sigh is because of their lyrical penchant for Japanese occultism and (slightly) mythology and myths. I felt these themes to be a lot more original than the typical death/hell lyrics and mixed with their more oriental sounding black metal, gave them a particular identity I enjoyed a lot. I always thought Infidel Art to have lyrics which - while being quite good - had a connection with the music, and same thing with Ghastly Funeral Theatre which was totally about Japanese occultism. "Doman Seman" is my favourite track of the ep, and it's the perfect example of lyrics fitting with the music which was rather linear, except the droning accoustic guitar at the beginning, no part gets repeated. They are really short verses and chorus:

Nine Stars, Nine Palaces, My Curse...

The Symbol of Death for you
(Is) the Symbol of Power for me

repeated 2 or 3 times, and after all hell breaks loose the song continues to evolve, and at one moment you have the lyrics of the verses of the beginning being all said very fast.

Nine Stars, Nine Palaces, My Curse will Kill
Nine Letters, Nine Words, Evil Verse will Kill
Five Lords: North, South, East, West and Centre
Five Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Gold and Wood

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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
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Location: Romania
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:47 pm 
 

Evil_Johnny_666 wrote:
Followed Imaginary Sonicscape which is considered their best by many - although I find their more black metal releases better. It may very well be the metal release featuring the widest array of different music genres fused together while still being metal. Black metal vocals over trip-hop, organ solos, rock solos, vocoder etc...


That entire album sounded like a bit of a blur the first time I went through it. They've crammed a lot into it.

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Evil_Johnny_666
Reigning king of the night

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:54 pm
Posts: 4003
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:14 pm 
 

MaDTransilvanian wrote:
Evil_Johnny_666 wrote:
Followed Imaginary Sonicscape which is considered their best by many - although I find their more black metal releases better. It may very well be the metal release featuring the widest array of different music genres fused together while still being metal. Black metal vocals over trip-hop, organ solos, rock solos, vocoder etc...


That entire album sounded like a bit of a blur the first time I went through it. They've crammed a lot into it.


If you listen to a song alone it's rather coherent, it's just that each song are different thus the whole album feeling maybe too much the first time. From my experience, most Sigh albums are growers. Though Imaginary didn't took me that much time, it took me more time with Scenario IV, Hail Horror Hail and Infidel Art which are less... messy if you will.

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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

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Location: Romania
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:56 pm 
 

I'll do a second band: In Flames. Theirs is a career that may be divided into four phases. First of all, we have the (1) pre-Anders phase, basically consisting of a demo from 1993 which I haven't heard, the debut album Lunar Strain (both these releases having vocals done by later Dark Tranquillity vocalist Mikael Stanne), and the Subterranean EP, the latter of which has vocals by a guy called Henke Forss, while at least one song (the original Dead Eternity) has vocals done by the man who'd sing for Marduk on their second and third albums, their blackest. This first part of In Flames' career can convincingly be argued to be their best, especially the EP, which sounds a bit more mature, organic and focused than Lunar Strain, which is probably not their best album and sounds like a rather bizarre meld of death metal and melodic elements (including violins and other classical instruments). It should also be noted (comparing to early Dark Tranquillity) that the difference between Anders Fridén and Mikael's vocal capabilities are rather minimal at this stage, unlike in later years where Mikeal's talent increases and Anders' stagnates and even falters.

After this we have what I like to call the (2) early Anders phase, which may also be called the classic In Flames era. Within it fit the first three albums with Anders on vocals (The Jester Race all the way through Colony, including the Black Ash Inheritance EP). This era is the one which produced some of Göteborg's finest melodic death metal and is, I should say, their absolute peak, along with the previous era's Subterranean. None of the three albums is in any significant way superior to the others, all three have a continuation of that organic, well-developed sound pioneered in the previous years.

After these two glorious phases comes the somewhat more questionable phase, the (3) transition era of In Flames. This is where they began to receive harsh criticism from the non-mainstream metal world, partly for the turning stone album that is Clayman but especially for the near turncoat Reroute to Remain, which saw the band take a path towards higher mainstream exposure and a slightly more commercial sound and image. Hits like Only for the Weak and Trigger were some of their most ridiculously catchy songs up until then, and even the lyrics began having a more personal, psychological (later, some would call them emo) tone to them, as opposed to the previously more sci-fi and mystical-oriented lyrics. While I can certainly recognize this new approach and sound which distinguishes new In Flames from the old, I can't help but see the extremely gradual and, in some ways unfortunately natural, progression this era accomplishes. It forms a consistent bridge between the new style In Flames and the old, there's no rupture at any point in their career.

Finally, there's the (4) modern era of In Flames. This period, starting with the Soundtrack to your Escape album, almost completely loses the sound which made In Flames so recognizable during the first two phases and witnesses the band pushing worth into a much more modern, almost metalcore sound which is still In Flames in its nature but somehow a bit warped. The lyrics here take on a much more personal and angst-filled turn, while the creation of catchy songs seems to have taken even more precedence than before. As unpleasant as this sounds, and despite the horrid band image and artwork prevalent since Come Clarity and especially A Sense of Purpose, which reeks of metalcore in terms of image, I still find myself listening to their new music. Maybe it's because I got into metal with In Flames or because I'm still hearing the core of what makes In Flames within the music, but I like the music here. It's not as good as any of the three previous eras, but makes for some fun, good summer-time rock music which is enjoyable. The recent departure of Jesper Strömblad does, however, dampen my spirit a bit, since it can only lead to a greater culling of their trademark In Flames sound.

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Mateilkrist
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:12 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:59 pm 
 

I've made wayyy too many posts relating to Fear Factory as of late, but this is a fun concept for a thread and I know the band's material rather well.

The Early Years - 1989-1994

Fear Factory forms with main members Burton C. Bell on vocals, Dino Cazares on guitar, and Raymond Herrera on drums. Three bassists pass through the band during this time. Influenced by Earache artists like Godflesh and Napalm Death, the band plays a mixture of death metal and grindcore with some elements of industrial mixed in. Two demos and a single are recorded, and in 1991 the band records Concrete, which is intended to be the debut album. The end result was scrapped due to record label issues, which lead to the band re-recording some of the songs (as well as new ones) to appear on Roadrunner debut Soul Of A New Machine. The album wins Fear Factory a following and contains some of the band's most enjoyed songs. The album is arguably the first to mix death metal vocals with clean singing. The band allows four songs from SOANM to be remixed on the Fear Is The Mindkiller EP, which mixed the songs into a more traditional industrial style. Live bassist Andrew Shives is ousted from the band shortly afterwards, and bassist Christian Olde Wolbers is recruited to fill his position.

Classic Years - 1995-2000

The band releases second album Demanufacture in 1995. Stylistically Demanufacture is very different from the debut as it features simplified songwriting, a lack of blastbeats, and more synthesized passages. Bell abandons death growling in favor of his recognizable shouting style. The album impresses most of the old fanbase as well as winning over new fans. Some of the band's best songs appear on this release, and many consider it to be Fear Factory's opus. The entire album is remixed in a similar fashion as SOANM and Fear Is The Mindkiller, resulting in Remanufacture's release in 1997. Fear Factory releases Obsolete in 1998 and is the first to feature all four members recording on an album. Obsolete refines the style played on Demanufacture and exposes the band to a larger audience. The band appears on MTV, various video game soundracks, three Ozzfest tours, and FM radio during this era, thus making it their most successful.

Decline and Break-Up/Reformation - 2001-2003

Fear Factory releases fourth album Digimortal in 2001 to a lukewarm reception. Influenced by the nu-metal explosion of the late 90s-early 00s, the album features grooving/simplified riffs and even rapped vocals. Digimortal is regarded as a lowpoint in the band's discography. Bell and Cazares develop a rift in their friendship, resulting in Bell's departure and the eventual dissolution of Fear Factory. Roadrunner Records issues the forgotten Concrete album as well as a compilation of rarities and remixes called Hatefiles. Wolbers and Herrera begin jamming new material and show it to Bell, who decides to return to the group. Fear Factory is resurrected with Bell on vocals, Wolbers on guitar, and Herrera on drums, with Cazares completely absent.

"Comeback" Years - 2004-2008

The new Fear Factory recruits Strapping Young Lad bassist Byron Stroud after the recording of Archetype, released 2004. The album is haild by many as a grand return to form. The band returns to the studio less than a year after the release of Archetype to record Transgression. The album draws polarized opinions due to its weak production, excessive cover songs, and general lack of the band's traditional sound. Nonetheless, Fear Factory tours relentlessly in support of Transgression.

Re-Reformation - 2009-Present

Cazares and Bell reconcile their friendship and decide to begin working together again. They call their new project "Fear Factory" and (for unclear reasons) completely exclude Wolbers and Herrera from the lineup. Stroud remains on bass and prolific drummer Gene Hoglan is recruited on drums. This lineup records Mechanize, released 2010. the album is hailed by many as the band's finest work since Demanufacture and a worthy comeback from the awkward Transgression. The new Fear Factory tours in support of Mechanize, while Wolbers' and Herrera's fate remains uncertain.
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Evil_Johnny_666
Reigning king of the night

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:54 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:43 pm 
 

I used to be a huge In Flames fan when I first dig into metal, now I rarely listen to them and don't find much interest anymore. Their best material is hands down Subterranean, Lunar Strain is good but the folk parts are really annoying. I find The Jester Race rather enjoyable, but beside that and a couple of songs from Whoracle I can't really stand them anymore. Their early melodies are good, but usually everything else is rather unremarkable.

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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
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Location: Romania
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:51 pm 
 

I find myself listening to them a lot less frequently as well nowadays, although when I do I still like them a lot. I guess it's just that I listen to so many other bands too. Colony's a masterpiece though, and Ordinary Story is probably one of their best in the "catchiest songs" category. Not to mention that their instrumentals are always great.

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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

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Location: Romania
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:15 pm 
 

Razakel wrote:
In a recent interview I watched with founding member and guitarist, Tomi Koivusaari, he explained that he views Amorphis' discography as a series of three trilogies.

Their 1992 debut, The Karelian Isthmus is straight up early Scandinavian death metal with some atmospheric tendencies. The guitarwork is fairly melodic and at times could even be called epic, but the music generally takes an aggressive approach. In 1994, the classic Tales From The Thousand Lakes album was rleased. This showcased a much heavier reliance on atmosphere and melody, with much more focus on keyboards and with the introduction of clean vocals. 1996's Elegy introduced new (but then part-time) clean vocalist, Pasi Koskinen, who would be a member of the band until 2004. Elegy was a massive expansion to Amorphis' sound, and one that is hard to describe, as it is one of the most unique albums I have ever heard. It would also mark the end of the first "trilogy", per se.

Three years after Elegy, Amorphis returned with Tuonela, a relaxed, yet captivating guitar-driven album with very few traces of metal anywhere. With this album, Pasi Koskinen became lead singer (beforehand, vocals were performed by guitarist, Koivusaari, who remains in the band to this day, although they shared vocal duties on Elegy at about an even rate) and despite the drastic change in style, the album contains several of Amorphis' most well known songs such as Divinity and The Way. The following two albums, AM Universum and Far From the Sun, respectively, showcase a style similar to Tuonela, likely due to the bands stable line up. On Far From the Sun (2003), however, the band begins to sound a bit tired and have since admitted to a slight lack of motivation during that era, which was proved by the departure of lead vocalist, Pasi, shortly after its release.

Instead of throwing in the towel, in 2005 the band recruited a then unheard of vocalist named Tomi Joutsen. The young, energetic vocalist injected a renewed passion in the band's music, present on the 2006 album, Eclipse. This album is appropriately titled because it melds the two previous trilogies and displays them in a brand new, modern interpretation. The music is the heaviest and most diverse since Elegy and Joutsen's inclusion marks the return of harsh vocals. The following two albums, Silent Waters and Skyforger are both of a similar sound to Eclipse, with only thematic differences.


I can definitely see why the last two series of three albums can be put together, but the first "trilogy" is a bit shaky since there's so much variation going on there. Elegy has next to nothing in common with The Karelian Isthmus, it could almost be two different bands, although it's true that Tales From The Thousand Lakes forms an excellent progression between the two others.

I too am very curious about their next album given this tendency to look at their discography in groups of three. We'll have to wait a bit to see but I'm pretty sure it'll be great to hear. Each one of their last three albums has been on par with or better than its predecessor.

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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:09 am 
 

Nice In Flames write up, I was planning on doing one myself. The amount of times I've listened to The Jester Race and Whoracle is just stupid. Definitely some of the albums I've listened to most in my life and two of my all-time favourites.

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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
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Location: Romania
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:26 pm 
 

Razakel wrote:
Nice In Flames write up, I was planning on doing one myself. The amount of times I've listened to The Jester Race and Whoracle is just stupid. Definitely some of the albums I've listened to most in my life and two of my all-time favourites.


As I said earlier, I find myself listening to their music less nowadays. It's a bit strange, I still like it a lot when I do, and now I'm listening to ASoP because there's a huge early spring/summer vibe around here and the album works very well with it.

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Subterranean_voice
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:14 am
Posts: 120
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:58 pm 
 

In Flames

1) Raw sound turned into a very polished sound
2) Early session vocalists proved to be favourites among many fans. This was due to the first "official" vocalist changing his style, straying from the roots of the Gothenburg Sound
3) In Flames were pioneers of Melodic Death Metal, however they have shifted away from Melodic Death Metal and have become more alternative sounding.
4) In Flames was on Wrong Again Records with re-releases from Regain and Candlelight. Nuclear Blast then signed them. With other labels for European and Japanese releases later on.
5) An important event within this band would be the early days of session vocalists. These vocalists set what was SOPPOSED to be the sound of In Flames for years to come.
6) In Flames basically sold-out with success. Their newer material has been very mainstreamed and commercialised.
7) Lyrical themes changed from world issues to personal struggles.
8) Early lyrical themes showed a very pro-nature, anti-industrialization ideology.
9) Discussed above.

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Subterranean_voice
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:14 am
Posts: 120
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:59 pm 
 

In Flames

1) Raw sound turned into a very polished sound
2) Early session vocalists proved to be favourites among many fans. This was due to the first "official" vocalist changing his style, straying from the roots of the Gothenburg Sound
3) In Flames were pioneers of Melodic Death Metal, however they have shifted away from Melodic Death Metal and have become more alternative sounding.
4) In Flames was on Wrong Again Records with re-releases from Regain and Candlelight. Nuclear Blast then signed them. With other labels for European and Japanese releases later on.
5) An important event within this band would be the early days of session vocalists. These vocalists set what was SOPPOSED to be the sound of In Flames for years to come.
6) In Flames basically sold-out with success. Their newer material has been very mainstreamed and commercialised.
7) Lyrical themes changed from world issues to personal struggles.
8) Early lyrical themes showed a very pro-nature, anti-industrialization ideology.
9) Discussed above.

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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 4130
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:00 am 
 

Nightwish:

Angels Fall First
WTF get this shit out of my sight, I don't wanna hear none of this sissy folksy crap.

Oceanborn
WTF where did this come from?! Hell yeah, I'll take it!

Wishmaster
Thank you, sir! May I have another, sir!

Over the Hills/Century Child
So delicious, so warm, so sexy...

Once
I like what you're doing, but there's a few...problems...we gotta talk about.

Dark Passion Play
Good. Bad. Bad. Bad. Good. Bad. Bad. Good. Bad. Bad. Bad. Good. Good.

Every Live Album That Isn't From Wishes to Eternity
GTFO.
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YonTroper
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:29 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Malaysia
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:49 am 
 

I think I'm going to do Blind Guardian.

Variations in genre
I think I can divide it up into four eras:
-Their first major era consists of Battalions of Fear, which was your basic speed/power metal, and Follow the Blind, which was pretty similar but added more of a thrash metal influence.
-Their second era begins with Tales from the Twilight World, which began their shift over from speed/thrash to power metal. This was basically a transition to Somewhere Far Beyond and Imaginations from the Other Side, which were full-on power metal but still contained some of their speed metal roots.
-The third era begins with Nightfall in Middle-Earth, which basically tosses speed metal out of the window in favour of a more progressive, symphonic sound. This direction is continued on A Night At The Opera, with even more focus on the symphonic elements.
-A Twist in the Myth seems to have begun a fourth era, with less elaborate production and simpler song structure (though still retaining the progressive power metal sound).

Variations in quality
Their first two speed metal albums were good stuff, but their signature sound didn't really get ground until their second era. The three albums they produced in that period, particularly Somewhere Far Beyond, are probably Blind Guardian's best and most classic albums. Unfortunately, they seem to have hit something of a slump with their later two periods. Nightfall in Middle-Earth has some good songs, but it's waaaaay overproduced, and A Night at the Opera is even worse in this regard. A Twist in the Myth, meanwhile, simply seems a bit directionless.

Record labels
They've had two changes: from No Remorse to Virgin/Century Media, and from there to Nuclear Blast. I don't really know why. I suppose they thought they could get more exposure from Virgin.

Lyrical themes and songwriting
The lyrics have been kind of similar throughout most of their career, mostly focusing on fantasy and mythology with a lot of references to literary works. Any shifts in songwriting format, I think, have mostly come in their shift from speed metal to power metal, then to progressive/symphonic metal, adopting more complex song structures to fit these formats.

Member changes
Aside from frequent personnel changes in their days as Lucifer's Heritage, they've only really had one change: Thomen Stauch's departure, I believe because he didn't like their more symphonic direction. I think his replacement with Friedrich Ehmke may be the reason why they simplified their sound for A Twist in the Myth.

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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 4581
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:23 am 
 

I'll do one about Paradise Lost.

First era: (1988-1990)

Paradise Lost haven't quite found their style yet, playing some undeveloped simple dark death metal with a weak production. Dark in atmosphere, raw in sound.

Second one: (1991-1995)

In 1991 the band released their creative ''Gothic''. Paradise Lost found an own style. Instead of following their death metal path, they incorporate nice melodic ideas that worked well. Combined with female vocals this completely gave paradise Lost their own sound. Later Nick Holmes dropped his growling and decided to add a rasp to the music. Their sound became more simple and less metal, compared to their previous albums. Still had a doom metal vibe going along.

Experimenting era: (1996-2004)

Could have been a real shock to Paradise Lost friends. Gone were the guitars, the gruff vocals of Nick Holmes and the metal sound. Synths were added, Nick sang clean only and the result was a poppy and catchy sound. More of a electronic pop/rock style.

Comeback era: (2005-now)

Paradise Lost brought their guitars back and Nick Holmes sounds more aggressive than during their experimenting era. More metal songs were written and the metal sound came back. Older elements returned and the band became heavier and heavier ever since 2005.

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Azordon
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:37 am
Posts: 346
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:31 pm 
 

1) Variations in quality:
L.S. quality has pretty much remained the same obscure underground Black Metal sound as it should be! :D

2) Arrival or departure of various important band members (example: the lead singers of Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath):
Stayed the same. M.S./Svartulv did session vocals on "Werwolf (Absurd Cover), that's about it I think.

On September 11th, 2005 Sarmak died of a heart condition; L.S. disbanded and Inferis went on to do drums for other underground bands/projects.

3) Variations in genre, both within metal and otherwise :
L.S. started out as an aggresive Black Metal band with lycanthropic and epic war themes. As some time went on, L.S. music matured to a more "Epic Depressive Black Metal" style as mostly represented on the final album: <i>Glorification Of The Night</i>.

4) Association with various labels, or lack thereof (independent bands, ones which work with mostly metal labels, ones which go to major record labels, etc):
Thor's Hammer Productions. I don't know about others really. I very rarely pay attention to labels or whatever.

5) Important events in the band's history (example: Burzum before, during and after Varg's prison sentence):
L.S. existed! Made my life better! :)

Nothing really, just made great music up untill Sarmak's unfortunate death. The <i>Sagatal EP</i> and <i>Forest Of Misanthropy</i> compliation were released in 2007. That's about it.

6) Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)
Remained very underground and obscure to this day! Me very happy! :D

7) Lyrical themes/concepts:
I never had a chance to read the lyrics anywhere. Judging by the song titles and overal theme of L.S. I say war, death, depression, pain, misanthropy, grief, solitude, nature, obscurity, etc.

8) Political orientation found within the music:
None to be found! Thank fucking god! :D

9) Variations concerning the songwriter(s):
Sarmak wrote all of the music and lyrics. In the notes here on Metal - Archives in the <i>Glorification Of The Night</i> album it says that M.S./Svartulv wrote the song "Chaos Unleashed" together with Sarmak. Otherwise Sarmak was the mastermind!

R.I.P.


Last edited by Azordon on Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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halokaust
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:33 am
Posts: 212
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:41 pm 
 

Somebody really oughta do Voivod. I would have done it myself, but I am not familiar with all of the eras.
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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
Posts: 3862
Location: Romania
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:43 pm 
 

Azordon wrote:
1) Variations in quality:
L.S. quality has pretty much remained the same obscure underground Black Metal sound as it should be! :D

2) Arrival or departure of various important band members (example: the lead singers of Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath):
Stayed the same. M.S./Svartulv did session vocals on "Werwolf (Absurd Cover), that's about it I think.

On September 11th, 2005 Sarmak died of a heart condition; L.S. disbanded and Inferis went on to do drums for other underground bands/projects.

3) Variations in genre, both within metal and otherwise :
L.S. started out as an aggresive Black Metal band with lycanthropic and epic war themes. As some time went on, L.S. music matured to a more "Epic Depressive Black Metal" style as mostly represented on the final album: <i>Glorification Of The Night</i>.

4) Association with various labels, or lack thereof (independent bands, ones which work with mostly metal labels, ones which go to major record labels, etc):
Thor's Hammer Productions. I don't know about others really. I very rarely pay attention to labels or whatever.

5) Important events in the band's history (example: Burzum before, during and after Varg's prison sentence):
L.S. existed! Made my life better! :)

Nothing really, just made great music up untill Sarmak's unfortunate death. The <i>Sagatal EP</i> and <i>Forest Of Misanthropy</i> compliation were released in 2007. That's about it.

6) Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)
Remained very underground and obscure to this day! Me very happy! :D

7) Lyrical themes/concepts:
I never had a chance to read the lyrics anywhere. Judging by the song titles and overal theme of L.S. I say war, death, depression, pain, misanthropy, grief, solitude, nature, obscurity, etc.

8) Political orientation found within the music:
None to be found! Thank fucking god! :D

9) Variations concerning the songwriter(s):
Sarmak wrote all of the music and lyrics. In the notes here on Metal - Archives in the <i>Glorification Of The Night</i> album it says that M.S./Svartulv wrote the song "Chaos Unleashed" together with Sarmak. Otherwise Sarmak was the mastermind!

R.I.P.


Good overview of Lycantropy's Spell, but from now on we should give the name of the band whose career we're analyzing, just as to avoid anyone not really knowing what/who we're talking about. Sure an album search fixes such problems rather quickly, but it'd be best to know from the beginning.

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Whackooyzero
Metalhead

Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 10:57 pm
Posts: 833
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:15 am 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
Nightwish:

Angels Fall First
WTF get this shit out of my sight, I don't wanna hear none of this sissy folksy crap.

Oceanborn
WTF where did this come from?! Hell yeah, I'll take it!

Wishmaster
Thank you, sir! May I have another, sir!

Over the Hills/Century Child
So delicious, so warm, so sexy...

Once
I like what you're doing, but there's a few...problems...we gotta talk about.

Dark Passion Play
Good. Bad. Bad. Bad. Good. Bad. Bad. Good. Bad. Bad. Bad. Good. Good.

Every Live Album That Isn't From Wishes to Eternity
GTFO.


Wow that was friggin' hilarious. Especially the stuff about the sissy folksy crap. Without exaggerating or anything, this really cracked me up.
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Azordon
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:37 am
Posts: 346
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:21 am 
 

MaDTransilvanian wrote:
Azordon wrote:
1) Variations in quality:
L.S. quality has pretty much remained the same obscure underground Black Metal sound as it should be! :D

2) Arrival or departure of various important band members (example: the lead singers of Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath):
Stayed the same. M.S./Svartulv did session vocals on "Werwolf (Absurd Cover), that's about it I think.

On September 11th, 2005 Sarmak died of a heart condition; L.S. disbanded and Inferis went on to do drums for other underground bands/projects.

3) Variations in genre, both within metal and otherwise :
L.S. started out as an aggresive Black Metal band with lycanthropic and epic war themes. As some time went on, L.S. music matured to a more "Epic Depressive Black Metal" style as mostly represented on the final album: <i>Glorification Of The Night</i>.

4) Association with various labels, or lack thereof (independent bands, ones which work with mostly metal labels, ones which go to major record labels, etc):
Thor's Hammer Productions. I don't know about others really. I very rarely pay attention to labels or whatever.

5) Important events in the band's history (example: Burzum before, during and after Varg's prison sentence):
L.S. existed! Made my life better! :)

Nothing really, just made great music up untill Sarmak's unfortunate death. The <i>Sagatal EP</i> and <i>Forest Of Misanthropy</i> compliation were released in 2007. That's about it.

6) Exposure (underground or more mainstream, commercialism)
Remained very underground and obscure to this day! Me very happy! :D

7) Lyrical themes/concepts:
I never had a chance to read the lyrics anywhere. Judging by the song titles and overal theme of L.S. I say war, death, depression, pain, misanthropy, grief, solitude, nature, obscurity, etc.

8) Political orientation found within the music:
None to be found! Thank fucking god! :D

9) Variations concerning the songwriter(s):
Sarmak wrote all of the music and lyrics. In the notes here on Metal - Archives in the <i>Glorification Of The Night</i> album it says that M.S./Svartulv wrote the song "Chaos Unleashed" together with Sarmak. Otherwise Sarmak was the mastermind!

R.I.P.


Good overview of Lycantropy's Spell, but from now on we should give the name of the band whose career we're analyzing, just as to avoid anyone not really knowing what/who we're talking about. Sure an album search fixes such problems rather quickly, but it'd be best to know from the beginning.


I know. I would, but I just wanted to keep them anonymous because they are very unknown and obscure and I don't want to expose them too much. I know that sounds stupid, but I just REALLY cherish this band. I don't want to be like Kanwulf who overexposed Moonblood and Azubham Haani on his Black Metal Ist Krieg album and get all those annoying kvlt kids going: "ZOMG MOONBLOOD IST SOOOOOOOOO KVLT!" Or something like that because I really think those bands took thier music and ideals seriously and never wanted to attract the wrong crowd of listeners. I don't know, I'm just paranoid I guess. It might be bad experience too, I've met a lot of very annoying kids online who listen to Beherit, Satanic Warmaster, and Nokturnal Mortum who really made my skin crawl. I rarely even listen to those bands anymore. It just seems that the people into Lycanthropy's Spell, Ildjarn, Moonblood, etc. are much more real and intelligent people and music fans than those annoying kvlt and "depressive/suicidal" black metal kids who just seem to want attention or to prove something. I don't know. :S Many of the black metalers and metal in general people just seemed to be into metal for the fun rock n' roll or the "evil" satanic vibes or something and love to shove it in your face and whore it around. Many metal chicks I met on myspace (and quickly cut ties with) really just seemed to be into the image and whored themselves around looking like satanic barbie dolls in Mayhem shirts or whatever. I don't know, people just annoy me.

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KingVold
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:05 am
Posts: 1082
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:05 pm 
 

Black sabbath

1.) Ozzy Era
2.) Post breakup Ozzy era - "Never Say die"
3.) First Dio
4.) Ian Gillan
5.) Jeff Fenholt ("Star of India" demo)
6.) Glen Highs
7.) Ray Gillan (Eternal Idol demo)
8.) Tony martin
9.) 2nd Dio
10.) Brief work with Halford
11.) 2nd Tony Martin
12.) Reunion of Ozzy-era Lineup
13.) Final Dio
14.) Name Change - Heaven and Hell
As can be seen throught his, Black Sabbath's history is pretty much summed up as "That last album sucked, let's fire the singer."
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Acidgobblin wrote:
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Motion to change "Death Metal" to "EEURRRGHHH"

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2ndComing
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:30 pm
Posts: 96
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:48 pm 
 

halokaust wrote:
Somebody really oughta do Voivod. I would have done it myself, but I am not familiar with all of the eras.


A very unique band that has gone through many different evolutions, changes and even regressions.

Punk/metal era (War and Pain-RRROOOAAARRR): A sloppy hybrid of speed metal and Discharge punk, but great fun. Song structures are fairly straight-forward compared to their late 80s work. Snake can't sing at all and resorts to screaming and grunting his way through the sci-fi inspired lyrics. Blacky's trademark "Blower Bass" sound is introduced on War and Pain and rumbles along while Piggy riffs away with with his punky riffs and Away stays in the background, fulfilling his rhythmic duties.

Progressive Thrash era (Killing Technology-Dimension Hatross): Killing Technology introduces us to a cleaner production and matured songwriting. Piggy's excellent use of the higher register chords begin here steering away from the E-string chugging of most thrash bands. Bass is still heard loud in the mix and it meshes well with the higher pitched guitar providing a nice contrast of clunky bass and a whirlwind of chords. Snake manages to not sound like a lunatic anymore, debatable if that's a plus or a negative, though his English certainly became better. Away is still pounding away in the background providing support with double bass and your standard fills and kick-snare. Lyrics are even more firmly entrenched in sci-fi with Dimension Hatross being a concept album about contact with otherworldly beings.

Progressive metal era (Nothingface): My personal favorite. While still fairly technical, it's not your typical Dream Theater progressive with chugging riffs and solos out the ass. Voivod was greatly influenced by prog rock groups like King Crimson, Rush, ELP and Van der graf Generator and this album is really were that influence comes through. Guitar work is more atmospheric, but still very riff based while the bass takes the foreground. Away is Away, staying in the back, but never becoming a bore. Snake actually sings on this album staying away from the drunken rantings of the first few Voivod albums. The production becomes crystal clear and helps imagine this world of robotic menace and alien creatures. Up to this album, Voivod where on a very linear progression, each album building on aspects from the last while introducing something new. Unable to much further with it, Piggy and co. decide to streamline their songwriting and introduce more commercial aspects.

Alternative/Progressive Rock era (Angel Rat-The Outer Limits): Angel Rat is an album one would never really expect after the mind fuck of Nothingface. Straightforward, melodic and somewhat radio friendly, Voivod take a major and often criticized turn in their career. I personally enjoy Angel Rat. Although closer to alternative/indie rock along the lines of later Die Kreuzen than the thrash they became famous for, it's still a well-written album. As noted, the thrash is gone and the rock influences come pouring in. Piggy stays away from the odd chords and sticks to more standard riffing, Away simplifies his drumming a bit and Snake starts singing in a very melodic manner with no influence of punk or metal in his voice. Blacky's bass is probably the least changed of the group. Still fairly loud, it is pushed to the back a bit. The sci-fi lyrics are dropped here for the most part.
The Outer Limits is a bit more progressive and more metal than Angel Rat. It marks the first time a departure occurring the the Voivod camp with Blacky becoming frustrated with their new sound and feels pushed out of the creative process. The sci-fi lyrics make a return after an exclusion from Angel Rat. The album's highlight is the 17+ minute Jack Luminous, Voivod's most ambitious song to date.

Thrash/Industrial era (Negatron-Phobos): Another fairly controversial period for the band. They drop the alternative rock after Snake leaves the band, an idea that was pushed by him initially, I believe. This leaves only Piggy and Away as the two remaining members. They recruit bassist/vocalist Eric Forrest who brings a harsher style to the vocals. The strange chords come back as does the thrash. Forrest's vocals are often distorted to sound more menacing and mechanical as the music also picks up an industrial influence. Many dismiss this era, but I enjoy it as I do the others. Eric certainly wasn't an excellent fit for the band though.

Alternative Rock/Metal era (Voivod-Katorz-Infini): An era a lot of people don't bother with if the 900 copies of Infini initially sold in the US are anything to go by. Snake comes back and E-Force is summarily dismissed. Jason Newsted, former bassist of Metallica, joins as well. In a move similar to the Nothingface/Angel Rat change, almost all thrash is dropped again in exchange for a more straight-forward hard rock sound. The sci-fi lyrics are greatly pared down as more personal stories are explored. Snake's singing here is again changed from the alt. rock stylings of AR/TOL to more of a (slightly annoying) drawl. This may be their last as Piggy succumbed to cancer about 5 years ago unfortunately, but they continue to play festivals and tours at the moment with Dan Mongrain and Blacky on guitar and bass respectively.

(Sorry if this seems a bit disjointed. It's mostly written via stream of consciousness.)

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