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Somar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:01 pm
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 4:07 am 
 

*Like it says in the tittle, this is not a complain about what bands get accepted or not. For the record i think this site does an exceptional job at keeping updated info about metal in general, and while i could disagree about certain bands being a part or not, i understand the inherent ambiguity and how difficult it is to correctly label certain bands and sounds, and as such the necessity to draw a line somewhere.*

Now to the issue at hand: what I'm looking is for a clear explanation (or as close as possible) on why some sub-genres get included and others don't

I know the definition of metal, but there is a large number of outside influences and i do not understand why Folk Metal is a thing and Nu-Metal is not (just one example, there are more).

My point is, you pick a classic Metal riff, you include some folk music influences and there you go, Folk Metal, people are like, "it's amazing", "how original" and so on.

You pick the exact same riff and put some rap singing in the middle and then it's Nu-Metal and suddenly it's forbidden.

Makes 0 sense, Folk is as much metal as Rap, yet one "works" and the other doesn't. Why?

I'm not trying to defend Nu-metal and criticize Folk metal, just trying to understand.

My perception is that this is nothing more than a timing issue. Basically bands starting using stuff like folk and symphonic elements at the very beginning when things weren't still very clear and so these outside influences just became naturally a part of things, since the other stuff like Numetal, metalcore, djent and so on, only came into the scene later when there was already a saturation of genres, someone suddenly decided to draw a line without much rationalization to support it.

Anyway, thx in advance, if this was discussed then please give me links because my searches while returning a bunch of complains about the inclusion of bands showed me nothing addressing this specific issue.
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Terri23
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:25 am 
 

Because the site owners decided that it be. That's it.
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idunnosomename
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:42 am 
 

I've thought you can justify it because nu-metal bands did not come in a direct lineage from '80s metal culture. They were more inspired by hard rock, grunge and pop. It's kind of the point that there's no adjective in the genre except "nu" as if it kind of re-invented itself. They might pay lip-service to Maiden but it's such a small part of their sound in reality.

And I think you could argue similar for Rage Against the Machine - the riffs have more to do with Zeppelin than they do to the 80s (some of Morello's early licks aside, which did come from his stint in hair-metal band Lock Up)

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tomcat_ha
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:52 am 
 

nu metal bands just on average dont have enough have actual heavy metal riffs. Even when they get at their most metal(some slipknot albums are quite metallic) they often end up being like 30-40% at most and MA essentially accepts releases that are 51%+ metal. Save for some Alestorm songs ive rarely heard folk metal bands with non metal riffs. Sometimes they do have very basic and stripped down riffs thats true enough.

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Somar
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:05 am 
 

idunnosomename wrote:
I've thought you can justify it because nu-metal bands did not come in a direct lineage from '80s metal culture. They were more inspired by hard rock, grunge and pop. It's kind of the point that there's no adjective in the genre except "nu" as if it kind of re-invented itself. They might pay lip-service to Maiden but it's such a small part of their sound in reality.

And I think you could argue similar for Rage Against the Machine - the riffs have more to do with Zeppelin than they do to the 80s (some of Morello's early licks aside, which did come from his stint in hair-metal band Lock Up)


It's certainly a fair point but when you look at bands like Slipknot, there's a lot of trash elements to their sound that is a direct link to the 80's, yet they're not included, so again, it looks like a mixed bag where there is no clear line of thought to justify the decisions being made
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joppek
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:24 am 
 

Somar wrote:
when you look at bands like Slipknot, there's a lot of trash elements to their sound


that's absolutely true - there's also a very tiny amount of thrash elements
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idunnosomename
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:26 am 
 

Well Slipknot are an endless controversy. I can't say I've listened to enough to say much. But although many of the members do have a background in extreme metal (death particularly) and Mick Thomson can actually shred, it makes up less than a majority of their sound as said above. The music they create is firmly nu-metal, consolidating the trend at the time for dark, inward looking, angsty stuff (Korn, Nine Inch Nails) without much in the way of riffs. I suspect they suppressed a lot of their metal influences for mainstream popularity. It certainly worked.

I do find this question interesting. Like, is it WRONG when I go to the record shop to see nu-metal bands under metal? Or is it just all opinion? It is of course necessary for this site, because otherwise it would be overrun with insiginifcant forgotten crap that's of no interest to its audience.

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tomcat_ha
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:56 am 
 

in essence slipknot were the slayer of nu metal anyway. I don't think any other nu metal band was as brutal as they are/were. Classic example of brutal =/= metal ofc.

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TrooperEd
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:09 am 
 

Somar wrote:

My point is, you pick a classic Metal riff, you include some folk music influences and there you go, Folk Metal, people are like, "it's amazing", "how original" and so on.

You pick the exact same riff and put some rap singing in the middle and then it's Nu-Metal and suddenly it's forbidden.


May I have an example of this "classic metal riff with rap singing in the middle?"
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Deathdoom1992
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:14 am 
 

I like Slipknot, for what it's worth, and while their music is at times very heavy (the s/t and Iowa mostly) it's more or less the occasional metal song among a non-metal discography.

Bottom line is, most nu metal bands lack enough metal riffs, as tomcat (I think) said.

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Somar
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:53 am 
 

this is not regarding MA policy on bands being accepted/rejected and also not exclusive to nu-metal

it says in the OP I'm fine with that

What I mean is: What is the universal guideline to classify something as metal or non-metal? How do you measure if something is 51% or 49% metal? Does someone count the actual minutes where a song is metal and isn't?

I know I'm not counting, but i also doubt very much the new Thy Catafalque - Geometria has 51% of metal riffs in it since it sounds to me like the eletronic components are fairly dominant, so if we follow the rules is that an electronic album with metal influences or the other way arround?
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Last edited by Somar on Mon May 28, 2018 9:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:55 am 
 

It's always a bit strange when these debates pop up. Metal music has a base of riffs that are in some way derivative of the classic bands of the 70s and 80s - Sabbath, Maiden, Priest and others that followed. If you listen to enough metal you'll know what a metal riff sounds like. If you think the rules on this site are too strict, fine, but they're pretty good guidelines overall.
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true_death
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:01 am 
 

TrooperEd wrote:
Somar wrote:

My point is, you pick a classic Metal riff, you include some folk music influences and there you go, Folk Metal, people are like, "it's amazing", "how original" and so on.

You pick the exact same riff and put some rap singing in the middle and then it's Nu-Metal and suddenly it's forbidden.


May I have an example of this "classic metal riff with rap singing in the middle?"


Faith No More's "The Real Thing" would be one example, though FNM have always been pretty well-respected among metalheads and are generally seen as a metal band (they're on the site too).
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spellstorm
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:19 am 
 

I never embraced this meme of 'true metal'. If it has metallic enough riffs, I will call it metal, and if you do not like it, you can lick me.

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Opus
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:35 am 
 

Two things:
1. What is your definition of a "metal riff"? If it is a distorted guitar going 0-0-0-000-0-000-0 on the 9th string, then you are wrong. Again, heavy =/= metal.
2. It doesn't matter if the new Thy Catafalque album has 0% metal riffs, they won't be thrown off MA. They made metal albums before, thus they belong on the archives.
Don't compare non-MA bands with non-metal albums in the archives!

Somar wrote:
i also doubt very much the new Thy Catafalque - Geometria has 51% of metal riffs in it since it sounds to me like the eletronic components are fairly dominant, so if we follow the rules is that an electronic album with metal influences or the other way around?
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Somar
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:50 am 
 

Opus wrote:
Two things:
1. What is your definition of a "metal riff"? If it is a distorted guitar going 0-0-0-000-0-000-0 on the 9th string, then you are wrong. Again, heavy =/= metal.
2. It doesn't matter if the new Thy Catafalque album has 0% metal riffs, they won't be thrown off MA. They made metal albums before, thus they belong on the archives.
Don't compare non-MA bands with non-metal albums in the archives!

Somar wrote:
i also doubt very much the new Thy Catafalque - Geometria has 51% of metal riffs in it since it sounds to me like the eletronic components are fairly dominant, so if we follow the rules is that an electronic album with metal influences or the other way around?

unbelievable, you managed to read the thy catafalque example and yet missed the part of the same post were i said this has nothing with MA policy,

i was asking how would you classify that album in terms of being metal or not? it's not about if the band itself belongs or doesn't

regarding the riffs, i have 0 idea what all those 0's mean, not a musician, i'm also not that fixed on music being metal or not, i listen to what i like regardless of the label you want to give it and it doesn't have to be heavy or aggressive either

but i do like to educate myself and that's why i'm looking to find out what exactly is defined as being metal or not
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Opus
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 10:58 am 
 

OK, so why did you even bring up that album? Have you even heard it? It's not a metal album! At all! One guitar riff might be classified as a metal riff, but in context that doesn't mean anything at all. If there's no metal songs on an album, it's not a metal album. Simple as that.
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TrooperEd
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 11:03 am 
 

true_death wrote:
TrooperEd wrote:
May I have an example of this "classic metal riff with rap singing in the middle?"


Faith No More's "The Real Thing" would be one example, though FNM have always been pretty well-respected among metalheads and are generally seen as a metal band (they're on the site too).


Yea that's the thing. Faith No More are on the archives, and if they are the only example, I don't see what the problem is.
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Somar
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 11:32 am 
 

Opus wrote:
OK, so why did you even bring up that album? Have you even heard it? It's not a metal album! At all! One guitar riff might be classified as a metal riff, but in context that doesn't mean anything at all. If there's no metal songs on an album, it's not a metal album. Simple as that.
i don't get all the hostility, a guy can't ask a thing around here in the hopes of learning something new? I'm merely seeking info about what makes something metal or not

i brought that album because i was asking if it was a metal album or not, a simple it isn't because [insert reason here] would've sufficed, if i go to a record store or a read about that album in a magazine it appears under the metal section, yet, here we are

if instead of posting a bunch of 0's and saying it's not a metal riff you would actually explained to me the difference between a metal riff and a non-metal one it would be helpful, but instead everyone here seem to go on and on about why band X is in MA and band Y isn't instead of actually explaining what is asked

For the last time:

THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE METAL ARCHIVES POLICY
I DON'T WANT TO DISCUSS BANDS AND GENRES, ONLY THE THEORY BEHIND MUSIC CLASSIFICATION

it's ok though, it seems no one can provide an actual answer or post a link that will help me, i'll just look elsewhere,

for some reason everyone seems to get hostile and focus on the examples only instead of actually reading
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Opus
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 11:54 am 
 

A metal riff - you know it when you hear it. That's the only answer possible. There isn't a chart or a manual or something that tells you what constitutes a metal riff. That's why I asked for *your* definition of a metal riff.
Listen to lots and lots of metal and you will be able to tell a metal riff from a non metal riff.
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Somar
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:11 pm 
 

Opus wrote:
A metal riff - you know it when you hear it. That's the only answer possible. There isn't a chart or a manual or something that tells you what constitutes a metal riff. That's why I asked for *your* definition of a metal riff.
Listen to lots and lots of metal and you will be able to tell a metal riff from a non metal riff.

apparently it's quite the opposite

if there isn't a clear definition, then it doesn't matter how much music one listens, because it will always be subjective to the individual, meaning what sounds "metal" to me will be different to what sounds "metal" to you and to everyone else

there has to be some inherent characteristic that distinguishes what is a metal riff from say a blues riff, there will always be some overlapping and ambiguity, but there has to be a principle that can be applied in some way, either in the form of tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony or whatever
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Opus
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:25 pm 
 

Could you explain how?
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Zodijackyl
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:37 pm 
 

There is no way to make a hard definition, if that's what you're asking.

It's a riff if you can do this to it.

Youtube: show

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idunnosomename
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:43 pm 
 

Well it's hard because it's intersectional. That is there are certain qualities that make a riff metal, and they can be present to different degrees.

Distorted guitar tone.
Simple harmonies (either root-fifth or dyads).
Use of minor scale.

Of course you could change some of these (a complex chord, major third, a clean tone) but if you're not doing most of them most of a time, it's probably not metal. Of course tempo, note length, aggression all vary tremendously between sub genres - they can't be generalised.

Those aspects are highly debateable. I think easier to get your head round is in metal it's the idea that the riff comes first. Songs are built around them. You can play them outside of the context of the song and go "hey nice riff". Nu-metal was strophic pop songs often with no discernable memorable guitar figure. That's the big difference.

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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:19 pm 
 

This is all a subjective venture. If a test to determine something's metalness existed the website wouldn't have a large volunteer staff each trying to make their own call. There wouldn't be moderator discussions and arguments about whether X band's latest EP qualifies them as metal. There wouldn't be a "why was X band accepted" thread.

You seek hard, objective criteria in an area where the Potter Stewart test remains the only viable method of assessment.
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tomcat_ha
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:25 pm 
 

has anybody actually properly investigated what metal riffs are in terms of musical theory? Like i can write a punk riff and i can write a metal riff with no trouble at all there must surely be some theory that explains it. All i can see personally is that i include more notes and different actions or something in my playing? like in curse of the pharaohs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld3PWrd8sbE

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Somar
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:45 pm 
 

ok, now we're getting somewhere

but the problem remains, if there isn't any theory to start with, then all music categorization is nothing but ambiguous, biased personal opinion and nothing more

it certainly doen't feel like that to me, because while not all bands have the most accurate labels, i'd say that here at MA, i'd easily agree with 99.9% with the decisions being made, that alone tells me it can not be as random as that, or there would be far more controversy (not that there's little)

take this slipknot example (1st song only)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mvDgkXptFQ

to me this doesn't sound that much different from a trash or death metal riff in principle, what noticeable differences are there that qualify this as not being metal?
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idunnosomename
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 4:29 pm 
 

Those Slipknot riffs are metal riffs. You can't deny that. I'm impressed. They could pass as Suffocation verse riffs easily. But how they function in the songs is a different question. I guess I need to bite the bullet and listen to Slipknot?

But look at a recent thread on "metal riffs outside of metal". Something like ZZ Top's Just Got Paid (1972) I'd argue is a pedal riff that wouldn't be out of place on Painkiller. But obviously I'm not going to argue that the band, or the song is metal.

Slipknot are excluded from the archives because they are associated with this alternative movement that was opposed to so much of what fans of earlier heavy metal held dear. They became popular just at the time the moniker was becoming popular, and because of their stripped-down sound, they got lumped in with it. A lot of defining genre is based on cultural aspects, and the associations bands cultivate in their sound. Slipknot set themselves apart from a crowd, but ended up falling into a new one.

There's no musical analysis you can apply to a musical figure to tell if it is metal or not. It's to do with the way it's presented. I mean I could play a Beethoven piece in a metal way. It doesn't make Beethoven metal.

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Deathdoom1992
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 4:56 pm 
 

idunnosomename wrote:
There's no musical analysis you can apply to a musical figure to tell if it is metal or not. It's to do with the way it's presented. I mean I could play a Beethoven piece in a metal way. It doesn't make Beethoven metal.


Continuing this, Type O Negative did a lot of non-metal cover songs (like this one and this one) in a metal style. The original riffs weren't metal, but Type O made them metal by playing them very slowly and distorted.

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Big_Grand
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:05 pm 
 

I think the emphasis on the way the riffs and chords are played is a large factor. Slipknot has had some pretty chuggy songs that are more metal but they've also had some more alternative sounding ones as well that I think more people are drawn to from the alternative/nu-metal crowd. Folk metal bands usually play their riffs similarly to black metal and melodic death metal with the heavy neo-folk or just folk influence. In addition, the fans at shows usually fall within the black/melodic death/death/thrash/doom metal crowds.

To step aside from Slipknot, I think you can see similarities between Ackercocke and Rammstein, the difference however is that Ackercocke has more blackened death playing while Rammstein has done similar sounding songs but focus less on riffing or chugging and more on keyboards and clean operatic vocals for the nu-metal sound with metal and techno influences.
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HeavenDuff
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:49 pm 
 

Somar wrote:
My point is, you pick a classic Metal riff, you include some folk music influences and there you go, Folk Metal, people are like, "it's amazing", "how original" and so on.

You pick the exact same riff and put some rap singing in the middle and then it's Nu-Metal and suddenly it's forbidden.

Makes 0 sense, Folk is as much metal as Rap, yet one "works" and the other doesn't.


Except this is exactly NOT the way the two genres are written. Folk metal and nu-metal do not have the same riffs. If the issue was just in the rap elements being thrown-in, then yeah, I'd understand your point, but nu-metal riffs are basically not metal riffs. They are mostly hardcore and hard rock riffs with down-tuned guitars and distortion. If you listen to songs like Grind Wit by Benighted, you'll find rap sections, but in a death metal/deathgrind track. THis is still metal.

Youtube: show


There's an issue with your premise in the way you argue that both genres have the same kinds of riffs, which they don't.

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Zelkiiro
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:20 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
It's always a bit strange when these debates pop up. Metal music has a base of riffs that are in some way derivative of the classic bands of the 70s and 80s - Sabbath, Maiden, Priest and others that followed. If you listen to enough metal you'll know what a metal riff sounds like. If you think the rules on this site are too strict, fine, but they're pretty good guidelines overall.

I dunno if I'd put that specific classifier on it, but you're definitely right in that you need to listen to a lot of metal before you gain the ability to distinguish between edge cases. It's that indelible zone where you just know the difference without being able to explain it with words.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:01 pm 
 

I don't buy that it's not easily definable. Like any genre, it'll vary, but for the most part, by and large, metal is based on riffs that sound like the general kind penned by the bands that started the genre. That's just the simplest way to put it. Of course there will be other derivations and mutations, but that happens with everything.
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HeavenDuff
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
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Location: Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:29 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
I don't buy that it's not easily definable. Like any genre, it'll vary, but for the most part, by and large, metal is based on riffs that sound like the general kind penned by the bands that started the genre.


Yeah, but a black metal riff sounds nothing like a doom metal riff or a power metal riff. Genres evolve from each other and eventually blend elements from other genres and will eventually incorporate elements of non-metal genres.

I'm kind of with Zelkiiro on this one. When we get to the edges, what is it that really makes a genre metal and another not? Like why are people accepting deathgrind as more metal than deathcore. I personnaly feel that, even with the grindcore influences, deathgrind has enough of the keep elements of death metal to remain in the death metal area, while deathcore heavily focuses on breakdowns, chugging riffs and down-tuned heavy hardcore riffs that barely keep anything from death metal and doesn't qualify as metal anymore.

But when we start getting specific, as in... when we start talking specific bands, you'll notice that a lot of people disagree on if Between the Buried and Me, Despised Icon and others.

With nu-metal it's typically easier to say yes or no because of how stereotypical nu-metal usually is. The genre in itself didn't evolve much since the early 2000's and for the bands that did "evolve" they pretty much all moved further towards hard rock like Disturbed, Slipknot, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit did. Nu-metal hardly ever had anything metal to start with, so it's way more clear cut when it comes to genre classification.

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acid_bukkake
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:45 am
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 10:35 am 
 

idunnosomename wrote:
I think easier to get your head round is in metal it's the idea that the riff comes first. Songs are built around them. You can play them outside of the context of the song and go "hey nice riff". Nu-metal was strophic pop songs often with no discernable memorable guitar figure. That's the big difference.

THIS. There's a book I read in my formative metal years, Heavy Metal: The Music and its Culture, written by sociology professor Deena Weinstein. In it, she not only goes over the history of metal, but also explains why nu-metal is not an accepted subgenre, with her argument hinging on bricolage.

Metal is derived from blues rock and classical music, distorted and down tuned by necessity (via Sabbath), and uses these two influences at the core of its songwriting. Each subgenre uses these influences in different portions, a doom band will lean heavier on the blues influence than a black metal band, and the genre at large continues to survive and evolve by adding elements to this skeletal core.

Nu-metal, however, is the marriage of hip hop, alternative rock, and hardcore. It is rhythmically based on the break beat and values simplistic hooks over all. There's a relation to metal, sure, but it's metal's 4th cousin.
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DrummingEdge133
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:48 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 1:31 pm 
 

I think as an earlier poster alluded to, to make a song metal it has to have a discernible guitar riffing "shape" or "figure" that the song is built off of. The core base of the song has to have this basic guitar riffing "shape" or "structure" or "figure", with the guitar riffing possessing some level of distortion. And the bulk of the song has to possess this to be considered a metal song, at least 51%.

I also think the idea of tendencies plays a role. A band that tends to play a lot of distorted tremolo guitar riffs is more likely to be a second wave Norwegian black metal band, and therefore metal in general, then say a band that uses flutes most of the time.
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Goatfangs
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:02 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 2:33 pm 
 

Even after being on this site in some form for the past 12 years I don't always "get it" when it comes to what riffs are metal or not. Metal Archives doesn't even agree with itself, thus what is acceptable is constantly evolving. Over those 12 years a lot of changes have occurred to what is considered metal and what isn't. I may not always agree with them but it is what it is. What will probably never change is the restriction on borderline genres, hardcore-based metalcore and nu-metal.

Hardcore is a good example of a genre where the riffs may crossover even among "pure hardcore" bands. Wisdom In Chains is one of my favorites, I've heard metal riffs from them, but they were used in a hardcore context and are pretty sparse to begin with.

Djent and Nu-metal riffs can be a little trickier, because both of those genres have groove and thrash metal in their DNA. Nu-metal riffs were almost entirely groove early on with a lot of syncopated palm-muted riffs that sounded more like a hip hop beat on a distorted heavy electric guitar. Some nu-metal bands sit on the boundary between nu-metal and groove/thrash. Melodic death metal (or "melodic groove metal" / Gothenburg) is another one some recent bands seem to flirt with.
Djent has a different lineage. I still consider recent Meshuggah to be metal. A lot of djent bands mix that sound with so much else though. Some copycat bands use odd time signatured djent riffs that really are just 0s in tablature, those aren't metal either.

The definition of metal is different for everyone. A friend of mine asked what the difference is between hard rock and heavy metal and it took me a while to think of some explanation because I never really thought of it. What I told him is that hard rock employs more power chords while heavy metal is more dynamic. But classic metal bands also use power chords, and there are many hard rock songs that have riffy riffs. Led Zeppelin was brought up and I said that some consider them metal and others don't, but there is no denying that they had a massive influence on all future heavy metal bands.

And it is a contentious issue because heavy metal started out by drawing from a bunch of older genres, and every subgenre of metal is the result of more outside influence or inside innovation being incorporated.

If only heavy metal were like bugs. Bugs are easy to identify. There are no bugs that crossover with mammals (although mantises act like cats sometimes) and the website Bugguide considers any arthropod a bug.
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Lythronax
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:54 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:01 pm 
 

I'm another fan with music theory background who has no idea what the difference between a "metal riff" and a "non-metal riff" is. Hopefully someone eventually mades a Youtube tutorial or something on that exact topic.

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Somar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:01 pm
Posts: 146
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:23 pm 
 

acid_bukkake wrote:
idunnosomename wrote:
I think easier to get your head round is in metal it's the idea that the riff comes first. Songs are built around them. You can play them outside of the context of the song and go "hey nice riff". Nu-metal was strophic pop songs often with no discernable memorable guitar figure. That's the big difference.

THIS. There's a book I read in my formative metal years, Heavy Metal: The Music and its Culture, written by sociology professor Deena Weinstein. In it, she not only goes over the history of metal, but also explains why nu-metal is not an accepted subgenre, with her argument hinging on bricolage.

Metal is derived from blues rock and classical music, distorted and down tuned by necessity (via Sabbath), and uses these two influences at the core of its songwriting. Each subgenre uses these influences in different portions, a doom band will lean heavier on the blues influence than a black metal band, and the genre at large continues to survive and evolve by adding elements to this skeletal core.

Nu-metal, however, is the marriage of hip hop, alternative rock, and hardcore. It is rhythmically based on the break beat and values simplistic hooks over all. There's a relation to metal, sure, but it's metal's 4th cousin.

thank you very very much for this, i have to get my hands on that book, it looks like many of the answers I'm looking for might be in there, i knew there had to be someone with an academic approach to metal with something published

Thx also to the post above, it kinda complements this one

I still would like to get to the bottom of where it stops being one thing and transitions to the other side

I've seen the Metallica album St. Anger being associated with nu metal quite a few times (don't know if that's still the case today), but while some songs clearly sound a bit off (the tittle track comes to mind), most of them sound very close to what Metallica did on Load and Reload, yet I've never seen these 2 albums being mentioned anywhere near nu-metal

the same can be said about In Flames, they also went to a transition from Melodeath into Metalcore, I would like to know at what specific point did they stopped sounding like Dark Tranquility and started sounding like Trivium. I mean, I can tell by listening, but my brain does that automatically, i cannot understand the theory behind it fully, it was also a gradual transition, if I remember correctly, the album Come Clarity already had Metalcore elements but was still considered metal in it's essence (correct me if I'm wrong)
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idunnosomename
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:47 pm
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Location: England
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 4:25 pm 
 

There are some great riffs on St Anger. Shame the songs are dogshit. You could easily rearrange the musical material there into something paletable - and people have. It's just bizarre they basically launched into the songs with no revisions, no discernment for the arrangement, structure or anything.

I think nearly all of the riffs are metal and the album could have been okay, like Reload (I know some people hate it but I think it's mostly competent, all fun, and sometimes clever) if they had - as they always had before - demo'd the songs, revised them, cut bits, add solos, thought about them again, spent some time recording them... as it is the album is fucking awful, but not typical of nu-metal at all.

It actually goes to show being able to write good riffs isn't enough. You need to make the effort to make good songs around them.

Edit: and are Load and Reload metal? I don't know! I like Load because it reminds me of Physical Graffiti and ZZ Top. Riifs are central to every song: maybe that is enough. It never ends up as pure I-IV-V blues. But it's such a big break from tradition, I think it almost is hard rock. I don't know!


Last edited by idunnosomename on Tue May 29, 2018 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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