Does anyone else listen to metal music on this forum? Just curious.
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A couple of times a year when my wife has a girl's weekend with our daughter at her mother's house and I don't go out with friends, I'll grill up a bigger steak than I could get away with when eating with the family, tip back an extra beer or two, and watch some Youtube music videos (or just songs) from my younger days that I might not ever have bothered re-acquring on CD, on the home theater, cranked loudly. Stuff like Genocide or Green Maniilishi by Judas Priest from Unleashed in the East, Black Tiger by Y&T, Lovin' You Sunday Morning or Coast to Coast by the Scorpions, Swords and Tequila or Outlaw by Riot, Kickstart My Heart or Dr. Feelgood by Motley Crue, or a few really gritty blues numbers like Brown Sugar by ZZ Top (not the Stone's song - it might be the nastiest blues number ever) or Color and Shape by Joe Bonamassa.
Aside from just maturing a bit and expanding my horizons, the thing that turned me off heavy metal was something that's practically a sacrilege to say to most metal fans, particularly younger ones - the rise of Metallica and the proliferation of their subsequent clones. They have to be one of the three most overrated groups in history. I find their tunes dull and boring, they display little musicianship, and I cannot stand James Hetfield's phony, ultra-tough-guy-wannabe growly vocals that have given rise to numerous scary-monster-voice copycats (worshipped by D&D-playing "winners" who live in their parents' basements a decade or two past highschool). I recently used a beer analogy to a friend to explain why I don't like Metallica: "It's like a really poorly made stout brewed by a really pretentious brewer: dark, heavy, bitter, unpleasant, displaying little craftmaship or skill in the making, hard to consume in any quantity, and saying anything negative about it immediately gets you labeled an ignorant dick." My friend said "You know, I've never really like Metallica much and your analogy pretty much hits it on the head why."
I can understand your feelings on Metallica somewhat... especially if you apply it to everything after "...And Justice For All". Up until then, though... they were a fantastic band that pushed thrash metal into an entirely new direction. Everyone wanted to be them because they were so much better and heavier than everyone else, Metallica along with Anthrax and Slayer really set the tone for metal for a number of years. James Hetfield and Scott Ian are still to this day two of my favorite rhythm guitarists.
But once The Black Album came out... ugh. Forget it. No thank you. Nowadays they're just flat out terrible. I tried watching some of their live unedited/uncleaned stuff on YouTube, and it's just bad.
As much as I love heavy music, I'm definitely not a fan of non-stop growling/screaming. I need some vocal melody in my music, which is why I like bands like TesseracT, Vanisher, Protest the Hero, etc. I can deal with part growling/part singing, especially if it's done really well like older Scar Symmetry, but bands who do nothing but growl or scream I don't really bother with.
Hammer, I heard a comedy song/routine on one of the Sirius/XM comedy channels by Axis of Awesome that consisted of the chorus portions of dozens and dozens of well-known songs, mostly recent but including a few 70's, 80's and 90's numbers, all sung to the same 4 chords. That musical comedy bit helped reinforce what I've been noticing for quite a while now, namely that modern music is really lacking in any musicality. Virtually all modern pop music features some slick choruses slopped together by professional songwriters who may not really even be much of musicians, held together entirely by vocals, with practically nothing in the way of any sort of interesting instrumental passages - anything other than the chorus is essentially a pre-chorus or a post-chorus, with nothing interesting happening in the rest of the song, it's just the same few chords worth of filler.
With the rise of American Idol and similar reality singing competitions, all focusing on singers instead of bands, no one is coming out with cohesive songs - it's all just vocal melodies and choruses. Back in those teenage days when I was less secure about myself and catered to some of the tough-guy image associated with heavy metal, I used to scorn and sneer at those rather effeminate, gaspy-voiced New Wave British pop artists and practically all other pop performers from that decade. Having spent a number of day-long car rides over the past several years listening to my wife's Sirius channels of preference, playing 80's pop songs, I am now amazed that so many of those pop bands for whom I had contempt actually produced songs that reflected musical instruments, interesting instrumental passages between segments of the songs, and some outright talented musical skills. I was astonished to hear guitar solos and pretty good ones at that, in Duran Duran songs and most other bands of the day - even Culture Club - had something similarly musical going on during bridge moments in their songs. Nowadays, pop songs lack any pretext of musicality. Anyone playing an instrument on an album is studio musician being paid an hourly rate, not a member of the band who is a creative partner and co-songwriter.
Rock is effectively dead. Other than dinosaurs from the 60's to early 80's, there's basically no one out there producing rock music with an edge that anyone has ever heard of except maybe Foo Fighters (the lack of any sort of real competition in the rock genre is evidenced by how that good-but-not-great band continues to rack up Grammy wins year after year - they have more of them than practically any group you could name, including the Beatles - there's simply no one else out there). The big name "rock" bands aren't rock at all - Maroon 5 is a couple-hit-wonder pop band fronted by a highly charismatic guy with a lame falsetto voice inferior to those of all of his team members on every season of The Voice. Coldplay is a too-serious-about-themselves Britpop band with a good song or two but far more pretentiousness than talent. Even the Black Keys, who ostensibly claim a blues-rock background, produced a big stinking pile of two-to-four-chord pop songs with a bit of fuzzy sounding guitars and absolutely no musicianship, El Camino, that was called by many the rock album of the year for 2011 - honestly, listen to their music and I defy anyone to find a passage of music that a typical college frat band or bar band couldn't play as well or better.
I used to say that the rise of country, with its focus on vocals rather than instrumentals, helped hasten in the death of the electric guitar but judging by what's on TV, the guitar is now seen as a cool accessory for country musicians and although I don't like the genre, I have to admit that I've been seeing more focus on the electric guitar in country songs than ever before. I've often said that the entire country genre has produced not a single guitarist with star-quality talent and for years that was true - I literally could not name a single guitarist in the entire genre who was noted for his musical, as opposed to vocal, talent. A friend who plays guitar in a bluegrass band and who has more varied musical tastes than I do tells me I'm ignorant (he phrased it a bit more politely) and pointed out Keith Urban as an example of a talented country guitarist. However, he couldn't, off the top of his head, name another one, though.
Music industry executives are quick to scream and whine about musical piracy and illegal downloads as the death of music nowadays. Talking to some younger co-workers, who have confirmed that illegal downloads are extremely prevalent among teens and 20-somethings, I guess I have to give those claims more credence than I used to. However, in addition to the creation of a huge new market for used CDs on eBay and Amazon which detracts from new CD sales, I really think that a major factor in the decline of music is the simple fact that with rock essentially dead as a genre, there'sno music worth buying. For the tens of millions of us who went out every Saturday and spent our $3-8 on a rock LP or cassette all through the 60's, 70's and 80's, no one is buying much of anything anymore - at least none of my friends are and it's not just because they are focusing all of their time and money on their families instead of themselves. Twenty years ago, I used to buy 100+ new albums a year. Nowadays, the only "new" rock CD I've bought in almost two years has been the ZZ Top box set, to obtain the digitally re-remastered songs back in their original versions from the 70's without the drum machines dubbed in to make them more "Eliminator-like." I buy some new blues albums, but there's nothing new in the rock genre I've heard that interests me. Even the formerly alt-rock station in town has now become more of a slightly-more-eclectic classic rock station.
I hope eventually enough backlash against lame pop music erupts to reverse the musical momentum and what we are now experiencing is simply the bottom of a down cycle and things will soon get better.
Wiseguy, I agree with you for the most part, but re: 3 and 4 cord songs, those were imho due lack of musicianship in some cases and that I'm sure the song writers and bands wanted to KISS. When bands were touring back then and playing live, I'm sure they wanted cords they could 1...remember, and 2..that were easy to play. Most of the lead guitar in rock, blues and country type songs are fairly simple, few are the exception. Have a listen to Tommy Emanuell (sp) especially guitar boggie live, this is a great example of master musicianship.
With re: to the way music is nowadays, I totally agree. Even the bands, song writers, ect...don't like it. I still have some Old unopened albums from the 80's, I have tons of cassette tapes of old blues players like Lightin Sam Hopkins. I guess we will have to see where so called rock ends up, it may not be totally dead, but pretty dang close, save for the older songs.
If you can't find Tommy on you tube, let me know, I'll PM you a link.
I grew up playing 80's metal - still 95% of what I play on guitar. Having been playing for so long, it's amazing how heavy music has changed - used to be you had to be an absolute kick ass guitar player to be a rock star ... it's clearly no longer about the musicianship. The decline of western civilization as we know it can be directly traced back empirically to Curt Cobain, the man who killed metal (tongue in cheek, but a little truth in there)
Edited by inthehole - 11/25/13 at 10:45pm
I'm really into bluegrass, folk, and celtic music so it really weirds friends and family out when they find out that my "work out" Ipod list is entirely made up of Nordic death metal. There's just something about that music that really gets me going.
I get to see Amon Amarth (from Sweden) in February, really excited. It'll be the only metal show beside GWAR and Motorhead that I've been too.
Some Finntroll (Finland) on the Ipod
and to cap off the Scandinavian countries, some hilarious faces and mountain playing from Immortal (Norway)
I pick a little geetar. The blues and surf music are my main stays, but lately I've been listening to the music of the late 50's and early 60's when music was about happiness, not about how to rape, or kill someone. IMHO the music, if you want to call it that, of today is CRAP.
My father in law who grew up during the 50's and 60's highly disagrees. Of course he'll mainly listen to the music from his generation...but he says he's extremely jealous of what all the kids get to choose from and what's "in" nowadays. He stated that liking country back in the day would get you a ticket into squaresville. Now country is popular. If you think about, there isn't anything that can make you unpopular anymore. Kids love the oldies, kids love folk, kids love rap, kids love dubstep, kids love punk. Everything from the 50's and 60's was very much the same, so much to choose from now. If you take a good look you may find something you like. You like happy music? How about this...one of my favorite songs.
maybe that doesn't float your boat, but it's just an example of some fun music nowadays.
even people in the 60's could probably enjoy some Feist
maybe you like some more fun contemporary rock? check out the Black Keys, add a little bit of blues? check out The Heavy, i could go on and on. But the fact that I already added Feist to a metal thread is far enough!
Edited by Crim - 11/26/13 at 1:41am
To each his own, just cuz we are old, doesn't mean we will like the same music. What you posted isn't my cup of tea, but not bad. I disagree about 50's and 60's music sounding all alike. You had slow doo wop/ low rider type songs to fast paced dance tunes and the wailing guitar of Dick Dale. In my mind, that pretty diverse..no?