Heavy Metal

Corlyss_D
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Heavy Metal

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:52 pm

I've always been perplexed by the genre, so last night when I came upon a 4 hr documentary on VH-1, I watched. :shock: Yes, really! Well, 3 hours of it.

I still don't get it. The music is hardly detectable over the noise. The lyrics might as well be the phone book as far as discernability is concerned, and without the cheat sheets in the albums, how could anyone possibly know what was being said? They covered a bit of the 80s effort to rein in the most egregious excesses in the lyrics, but even at the time, I wondered why anyone was concerned when the listeners couldn't understand them anyway. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister talked about the rage and the confrontation that is inherent in heavy metal, and I'm asking myself, "Why? The audiences were clearly white-bread and middle-class, living in liberal democracies, with all the opportunities and potential that implies." One of the other band members talked about the horrors and tragedies of high school, not as a set of circumstances unique to him, but as a rite of passage. High school! One of the VH1 djs noted that 30 years on, men and women who loved this music in their youth were still going to the concerts to hear the same bands and the same songs. Made me think of Ricky Nelson's infamous Garden Party.

I dunno. It all seemed exquisitely phony and narcissistic to me, a straining after some kind of mythic legitimacy in an era when the teens and bands-as-a-form-of-protest had nothing serious to complain about.

Maybe some of our members who have more experience with it can explain it to me.
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Post by living_stradivarius » Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:16 pm

Some people like the thrill of overstimulating their aural/vocal senses.
With heavy metal it's all about reaching the limits of one's capacity to produce sound. Simply the act of screaming their lungs out gives bands and fans a rush. Fans also stick with the genre because "it sounds different." High adrenaline stuff.

Classical music is a light jog compared to heavy metal's 5000k sprint. Heavy metal concert goers also tend to fall asleep AFTER the show is over.
Last edited by living_stradivarius on Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Heavy Metal

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:18 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:I've always been perplexed by the genre, so last night when I came upon a 4 hr documentary on VH-1, I watched. :shock: Yes, really! Well, 3 hours of it.
[/quote]

Don't worry, dear, we forgive you. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Heavy Metal

Post by living_stradivarius » Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:21 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:I've always been perplexed by the genre, so last night when I came upon a 4 hr documentary on VH-1, I watched. :shock: Yes, really! Well, 3 hours of it.
Was wikipedia not sufficient? :D
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Post by miranda » Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:45 pm

Corlyss, heavy metal, like punk and so-called "experimental" music, as well as some of the more dissonant forms of jazz, is one of those genres of music that is perplexing to a great many people. (And, of course, on this forum, I'm sure there will be choruses of "That crap isn't music!") Personally, I've never been a huge fan of heavy metal, although one band, Black Sabbath (pre-tv Ozzy Osbourne, anyone?), I do love, whose lyrics happen to be intelligible--and often intelligent--and whose music can be beautiful, in its own way. Also, the audience for heavy metal isn't exclusively white, or middle class. I grew up in a rural area that was marked at the time by a lot of poverty, and heavy metal was what all the kids who lived in trailers, and on some of most downtrodden farms listened to. I know a number of non-white people who love heavy metal.

There's also heavy metal that's overtly political, and not narcissistic at all. The Brazilian metal band Sepultura is an excellent example of this. Dee Snider is an idiot (of which there are no shortage of in this form of music--but then, there's plenty of idiots everywhere...it's an equal-opportunity phenomenon) and it's unfortunate that it sounds like they just gathered up all the knuckleheads for this show.

While where I grew up was a far cry from Somalia, or India, or Afghanistan, there were children where I grew up that were clearly scarred by abuse--physical and otherwise, by neglect, and by malnutrition. These kids were disenfrachised, and there were a lot of high school dropouts and families with generations of substance abuse problems. For kids in those kinds of situations, music filled with rage speaks to them, and can be--and often is--cathartic for them. I know it was, and still is, for my closest friend, who lived in a trailer park, got beaten daily by her father, frequently didn't have enough to eat, and got pelted with dog dung and called the n-word by groups of boys on the way home from her school. She'd listen to heavy metal at her friend's house, and it was therapeutic for her. It's the same reason that kids listen to rap, or punk--because it speaks to them, articulates their feelings, comes from a world they can relate to. I don't regard high school as having horrors and tragedies that are a rite of passage--that's just simply inaccurate.

Now, I regard this kind of music as being for the young. I don't ever see myself being 40 and going to heavy metal concerts. I went to some while I was in my 20's, and I had fun, but I don't feel the need to ever go to one again. But that's just me.

Anyway, kudos to you, Corlyss, for being open-minded enough to actually watch that and not change the channel.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:55 pm

Heavy Metal wasn’t exactly protest music. If I may, I recall Higgins in the Lower Sixth at Hampton School telling me in no uncertain terms that moral outrage was for punk bands while metal bands sang about more important things, such as women with steel breasts. Led Zep, Deep Purple, Sabbath – these were not the voice of morally outraged youth but stoners off to Zanzibar and the fantasy world of the Battle of Evermore. Twisted Sister were lame and tame as most metal went thrash and unintelligible. One may not care for Black Dog or Misty Mountain Hop by Led Zepplin, but is isn’t just noise the way successors to Judas Priests’ Breaking the Law rendered the genre.

Recasting metal as the voice of youthful moral outrage is just bizarre to me. At least here in Oz, metal was for biker parties and extreme consumption at maximum volume/adrenaline overload. It was youth rebellion in and of itself, not in the lyrics save in the way that they were utterly unconcerned with everyday reality. The Clash were belting out White Man in Hammersmith and Guns of Brixton while Rainbow were coming up with Man on the Silver Mountain and Hawkwind were singing of their Silver Dream Machine.

The moral outrage contained in metal is stuff like School’s Out by Alice Cooper. Sure some of it seems like white trash whining about nothing – and if you can’t remember what it was like to feel on that first day of summer, then it won’t resonate with you. But not being allowed to feel anything like such elation or rebellion because one is suburban and comfortable creates the peculiar tension metal and such thrives upon. Suburban conformity is anathema to such thinking: indeed, it was the great moral outrage and the social push to normal life the source of paranoia and rebellion. Constantly being told about freedom to do as one pleases then being told do this don’t do that, learn this, be at school on time etc in world filled with drugs and parties and metal videos – and the icons of success and their lack of education and restraint creates a sense of moral outrage in youth that wants to party 24 x 7 and damn the future. Why study when all I want to do is party? Ever hear of a supermodel dating a bookworm? Metal stars make X-rated home videos with them! Any impediment or restraint to the party becomes oppression in some minds – and metal is all about turning it up to “11”.

Rebelling against comfort rather than oppression – or redefining comfort as oppression – hardly has the moral high ground that impresses others, IMHO. But it creates it’s own vicious circle of aggrieved superiority and righteousness.

Fortunately, it is for youth, and it all becomes comical when one sees Motley Crue today, beer-bellies hanging out of their spandex, trying to keep the party rolling. But every now and then, there is nothing in the world quite like Rock’n’Roll by Zep or Paranoid by Sabbath, even if only for nostalgia.

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Post by miranda » Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:29 pm

Well, I never said heavy metal was protest music. (Although some of it now, like the band Sepultura, is. And they've been around since the eighties.) But it was and is therapeutic for many of the kids who listened. It may have been about partying 24-7, but that's not 100% of what metal is like nowadays, and it hasn't been that way for some time. (Again, listen to "Roots" and "Chaos A.D." by Sepultura for some examples of what I mean.) And I really don't understand why everyone assumes that everyone who listened and listens to metal lives a comfortable middle class suburban existence, because that just isn't true. And I'm not just talking about a few demographical exceptions, either.

Also, Megadeth covered the Sex Pistol's "Anarchy in the UK". There's a lot of overlap between punk and metal. Punk bands like Bad Brains, Black Flag, and D.R.I. got a great deal of their sound from metal. The punk band Amebix's favorite band was Motorhead (whose hedonistic lyrics are all quite intelligible.) So while metal may not have had real moral outrage, it inspired many of the people in punk bands who did. (And I still do love punk. I don't go to punk shows any more, but for me, it's the very best music to work out to in the gym--it gets my blood moving.)

Plus, there's all these different subgenres of metal. There's glam metal--Dee Snider and Motley Crue fall into that category, there's thrash metal, there's death metal, there's black metal (curiosly enough, a genre that seems to hail mainly from Scandinavia), and then there's the earlier stuff like Sabbath, Judas Priest, etc.

If you don't think metal can be political--wrong. It may not have started out that way, and a lot of it is stupid, but there are quite a number of politically minded songs. Here's the lyrics to Megadeth's "Holy Wars"--

Brother will kill brother
Spilling blood across the land
Killing for religion
Something i don't understand

Fools like me, who cross the sea
And come to foreign lands
Ask the sheep, for their beliefs
Do you kill on god's command?

A country that's divided
Surely will not stand
My past erased, no more disgrace
No foolish naive stand

The end is near, it's crystal clear
Part of the master plan
Don't look now to israel
It might be your homelands

Holy wars

Upon my podium, as the
Know it all scholar
Down in my seat of judgement
Gavel's bang, uphold the law
Up on my soapbox, a leader
Out to change the world
Down in my pulpit as the holier
Than-thou-could-be-messenger of god

Dave Mustaine is no great songwriter or anything--hell, few of these guys are--but he could definitely come up with some metal lyrics that didn't fit the cliches of the music.

And the first two Black Sabbath albums are masterpieces, in my opinion. "Planet Caravan", off of Paranoid, is a beautiful song. Too bad Ozzy is an even bigger jerk now than he was then.
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Post by BWV 1080 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:20 pm

Miranda makes excellent points. If you like the Rite of Spring, you ought to like some thrash metal. At its best, Heavy Metal has as high a level of musicianship as any popular music genre -particularly the trash and death metal bands. Megadeath, Sepultura, Metallica, Meshuggah, Slayer et al play extremely tight, rhythmically complex music. For example, try to count along with this tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2zrMLrQOCg.

But the white-trash biker stuff like Motorhead or AC/DC is fun too.

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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:37 pm

BWV 1080 wrote: If you like the Rite of Spring, you ought to like some thrash metal.
The problem with spell checkers is that they let through a word that is misspelled as another word that actually exists.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:45 pm

Actually, all the posting of Megadeth lyrics did is confirm to me that metal bands shouldn't try to move beyond their limitations. That some tried was not in question, but it doesn't have the same class as Holiday in Cambodia or Kill the Poor by the Dead Kennedys. I didn't say metal can't be political; I said even metal-heads thought it lame in that respect relative to punk, and that politics wasn't one of the original motivations of metal (Born to be Wild) where it was for punk (Anachy for the UK).

I was talking to Corlyss' comment about the rage and frustration of youth and the horrors and tragedies of high school. I'm well aware of various sub-genres of metal, but am not nostalgic for anything other than Zep, Floyd, Sabbath etc.

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Post by Panzerfaust » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:08 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote: If you like the Rite of Spring, you ought to like some thrash metal.
The problem with spell checkers is that they let through a word that is misspelled as another word that actually exists.
Hey, congrats, you get the award for most arrogant post in an otherwise pleasantly open minded thread! Way to go!
:roll:

Anyway, first, stop referring to metal in the past tense, real metal is still alive and well. Second, I love metal, it is my favorite form of music, I like it better than Classical, I'm 30 and I don't see this changing any time soon. And I still go to shows.
Now, as for some documentary on vh1, they and the clowns they had on didn’t know anything about metal. Now, as for the music/noise thing, the "noise" is part of the music, don't try to separate them, the "noise" in metal is like the resonation in Indian music, it’s supposed to be there. As for not being able to understand the lyrics and needing to read them, I can't even believe someone on this forum used that argument. What about Opera? I have to look in the notes to find out what they are saying, and I still fully appreciate the music. The pronunciation of the lyrics in metal is subordinate to the sound of the lyrics in order to create a superior sound. As for why metal explores dark themes, it’s like asking why horror movies do. BTW, plenty of classical music explores dark themes and I don't hear anyone complaining about those rich white guys. Also, any band that wore spandex and had big hair was not metal, but heavy glam rock.
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Re: Heavy Metal

Post by burnitdown » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:30 am

Corlyss_D wrote:I dunno. It all seemed exquisitely phony and narcissistic to me, a straining after some kind of mythic legitimacy in an era when the teens and bands-as-a-form-of-protest had nothing serious to complain about.
Metal seems to me a lot like literature: there are popular versions that are vapid, and an underground of esoteric prizes a few can appreciate. I don't want to step on toes regarding literature here, but I think as a general statement this can be appreciated.

The best of heavy metal were the originals, like Black Sabbath, which was heavily influenced by classically-influenced King Crimson, and the underground bands that came after.

Sepultura is an excellent recommendation, but if you want a political protest album, why not "Beneath the Remains"?

Slayer's "South of Heaven" is one of the most intense protest songs ever written.

But it was in death metal and black metal that the classical influence can be seen. The music isn't written like rock or heavy metal; it's melodic lead riffs combined into a narrative, what I call "phrasal composition." (Yes, there are also barfing people vocals, but I think fewer people listen to those than is thought - mainly they replace rhythm guitar for on-beat emphasis and let guitars work on a 'lead rhythm' principle or that of rhythm changing against the beat not with it).

Death metal of interest to classical fans: Incantation "Onward to Golgotha", Demilich, Morbid Angel, Deicide "Legion", Gorguts "Obscura"

Black metal of interest to classical fans: Burzum, Immortal, Emperor, Enslaved, Gorgoroth

Thrash was a metal/punk hybrid... no musical interest for classical fans.

Metallica's tribute to classical was "Orion," a song off their "Master of Puppets" album.

French band Aggresor covered Mozart. And so on and so forth... I am not a fan of rock music, or heavy metal, or even mainstream metal of any kind. I like select bands from the underground. Most pop, hip-hop, techno music sounds to me like machine music for null minds. So classical, a little Kraftwerk and Biosphere, and a fair dose of quality metal keep me going :)

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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:21 am

Panzerfaust wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote: If you like the Rite of Spring, you ought to like some thrash metal.
The problem with spell checkers is that they let through a word that is misspelled as another word that actually exists.
Hey, congrats, you get the award for most arrogant post in an otherwise pleasantly open minded thread! Way to go!
:roll:
It's a classical music forum. If you ask for it, you get it, and no apologies. I am forced to dissemble "pleasant open-mindedness" in day-to-day life in order to get along. I don't have to or want to or intend to do that here.

I sympathize in a sense with Corlyss, though I do not wish to speak for her. I would like to find some redeeming value in all that garbage, because I don't want tp believe that so many especially younger people find such stuff a fulfillment of the aestthetic dimension in the hierarchy of needs. Unfortunately, we must face facts.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by miranda » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:38 am

jbuck919 wrote:It's a classical music forum. If you ask for it, you get it, and no apologies. I am forced to dissemble "pleasant open-mindedness" in day-to-day life in order to get along. I don't have to or want to or intend to do that here.
I'm wondering why you're even bothering to post on this thread, frankly.
jbuck919 wrote:I sympathize in a sense with Corlyss, though I do not wish to speak for her. I would like to find some redeeming value in all that garbage, because I don't want tp believe that so many especially younger people find such stuff a fulfillment of the aestthetic dimension in the hierarchy of needs. Unfortunately, we must face facts.
Well, believe it. One man's trash is another man's treasure, De gustibus non est disputandum, etc. I've found some very useful, aesthetically pleasing items sitting outside my apartment complex dumpster.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:52 am

miranda wrote: I'm wondering why you're even bothering to post on this thread, frankly.
I would not have if I had not done a double take when I saw it was initiated by Corlyss. Half a dozen other old-timers might have gotten me to read it and post, but that's all.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:22 am

Anyone who listens to Heavy Metal should be “boiled in their own inner ear fluids and buried with a stake of electric guitar reinforcing rod through their heart”

Apologies to Charles Dickens

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Post by Panzerfaust » Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:19 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Panzerfaust wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote: If you like the Rite of Spring, you ought to like some thrash metal.
The problem with spell checkers is that they let through a word that is misspelled as another word that actually exists.
Hey, congrats, you get the award for most arrogant post in an otherwise pleasantly open minded thread! Way to go!
:roll:
It's a classical music forum. If you ask for it, you get it, and no apologies. I am forced to dissemble "pleasant open-mindedness" in day-to-day life in order to get along. I don't have to or want to or intend to do that here.
You don't have to explain or justify being rude, you have that right anywhere at any time. It simply means that people will be less likely to want to interact with you. That's your choice.
I might add that I have discussed classical music on many metal forums and no one ever insults it and everyone is respectful. I wonder what that says about the two groups of fans.

As for the ongoing posts about how metal is or is not justified by politics or the living conditions of the artists or fans, can anyone explain how this is remotely relevant? No one asks this of classical. Either the music has quality or it doesn't.
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Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:13 am

As said before, no genre of popular music owes more to classical than heavy metal. How someone can like a piece like the Rite of Spring, The Miraculous Mandarin or Totentanz and not like Black Sabbath or Metallica is beyond me.

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Post by burnitdown » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:29 am

Brendan wrote:I was talking to Corlyss' comment about the rage and frustration of youth and the horrors and tragedies of high school.
Like all things, metal comes in grades, and is somewhat esoteric. This is why metalheads pay careful attention to tshirts with logos: that Cannibal Corpse fan is most likely a moron, while the guy with the Sacramentum tshirt is most likely not. :)

The question of all quality metal has been how to convert a dark outward worldview into an inner sense of discovery of power and beauty. It is inherently amoral, but far from anti-ethical. Of course, you have to look at the best of the genre to see this.

One thing that people must keep in mind: Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and their ilk were the first "selling out" of heavy metal, approx. 8 years after Sabbath through the 1980s, and prompted the rise of the underground movements NWOBHM, thrash (metal/hardcore hybrid), death metal, speed metal and black metal.

What I wish metal bands would do: compose melodically in a phrasal sense, developing themes throughout the music and bringing the song from inception to a not entirely forseeable conclusion. The best attempt this, but the worst are what I don't like about popular music: closed-circuit loops anchored in harmony and rhythm alone.

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Post by burnitdown » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:30 am

miranda wrote:I've found some very useful, aesthetically pleasing items sitting outside my apartment complex dumpster.
Anytime a friend needs a computer, I take them dumpster diving. You can build an entirely workable system for $0 if you do it right.

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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:51 am

BWV 1080 wrote:As said before, no genre of popular music owes more to classical than heavy metal.
All genres of popular "music" are heavily beholden to classical in one way or another, no matter how disownable they might be by their "parent." Viruses also postdate the living organisms they infect.

Steve, next time you're on the East Coast, do me a favor. Examine the lawn at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center or Wolf Trap after a performance. Then examine the lawn at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia Maryland.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:57 am

burnitdown wrote:
miranda wrote:I've found some very useful, aesthetically pleasing items sitting outside my apartment complex dumpster.
Anytime a friend needs a computer, I take them dumpster diving. You can build an entirely workable system for $0 if you do it right.
I watched a lot of CNN before I left Germany, and there was a recurring snippet about how there are people in India who make a living doing exactly that. I know I had to throw away a few things before I left that would have made good donations to such a cause if it had been practical to do so. (BTW dumpster diving on a US military post is strictly forbidden, and you don't want to get on the wrong side of the MPs, ever.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:23 pm

Perhaps there are only two types of classical music fans - those who grew up listening to heavy metal and those who grew up getting picked on by those who listened to heavy metal. Could explain the animus here :)

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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:23 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:Perhaps there are only two types of classical music fans - those who grew up listening to heavy metal and those who grew up getting picked on by those who listened to heavy metal. Could explain the animus here :)
A friendly discussion, surely. The poster who accused me of being rude is new and doesn't yet get the local standards for differentiating opinionatedness from rudeness.

Yes, I absolutely agree with your analysis. Even such distinguished mavens of classical as Martin Goldsmith and Robert Aubrey Davis hosted for years that radio program "Songs for Aging Children," though I'm not sure whether it ever reached to metal. However, it is not unusual for those who appreciate classical music to be that way essentially from the cradle and have little use for any other genre. And yes, we get made fun of as kids.

As a matter of fact, I also like classic show music and songs of its type, which have a background in European operetta tradition with a number of other inputs, including sometimes jazz. I can more than tolerate as background music most jazz and instrumental Appalachian (not country and western), which have in common a wonderful tradition of improvisation. I am not knowledgeable about these genres, but if someone put them on the CD player I wouldn't throw up my hands in horror and head for the nearest door. I can even "get" and tolerate "soft" pop in classic acts like the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. There's a whole range of music where I think I get the fun aspect, and the fact that on its own terms it requires considerable artistry to produce, without it necessarily being what I would primarily choose to listen to when Bach is always available. But not heavy metal, and not rap. When the aim of music appears to be bad and proud of it, I draw the line.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Panzerfaust » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:33 pm

jbuck919 wrote:A friendly discussion, surely. The poster who accused me of being rude is new and doesn't yet get the local standards for differentiating opinionatedness from rudeness.
Well, basicaly, you called music I love trash. That seems pretty rude to me. Do explaine these suposed standards.
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Post by burnitdown » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:45 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I watched a lot of CNN before I left Germany, and there was a recurring snippet about how there are people in India who make a living doing exactly that. I know I had to throw away a few things before I left that would have made good donations to such a cause if it had been practical to do so. (BTW dumpster diving on a US military post is strictly forbidden, and you don't want to get on the wrong side of the MPs, ever.)
No kidding! I avoid diving at military bases, because they're high security installations. Same goes with corporations. Some are cool if you call and ask, and will even point you to someone in charge of getting rid of old equipment. Others are really paranoid and, well, it's best to avoid them unless you want to really get involved with 007 action.

I don't think metal is for most people, and really, it has a public image problem that's terrible. If my first exposure to it was Marilyn Manson or Deftones or Motley Crue or Whitesnake, I'd never look back.

And some of it's a taste thing... there might be good hip-hop, but I'm not going to try to find it :)

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Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:50 pm

burnitdown wrote:
And some of it's a taste thing... there might be good hip-hop, but I'm not going to try to find it :)
There is alot of good hip-hop - Dalek, Cannibal Ox, Wu-Tang, Public Enemy, NWA, etc.

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Post by burnitdown » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:There is alot of good hip-hop - Dalek, Cannibal Ox, Wu-Tang, Public Enemy, NWA, etc.
This may be true. Where I was going with that is that I'm not going to pursue any genre with whose artistic preconceptions I disagree. Hip-hop, most techno, most rock, and all but a few jazz artists fit into a postmodern view of music that I find repellent.

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Post by alex humphrey » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:55 pm

I'm not a major fan of Metalica but I've got to pay tribute to their S+M album. It's Metalica playing alongside the San Francisco symphony orchestra. Michael Kamen's orchestration is absolutely unbelievable. 2 sets of musicians from different disciplines comming together and fusing what Kamen (makes me chuckle) as a Wagnerian orgasm. The amount of thought that went into it writing music that comments on the lyrics, his comprehension of Metalicas soundworld. It's jaw dropping every time I listen to it and it has really opened me up to heavy alongside reading literature by Friedrich Nietzsche which has opened me up to Marylin Manson as well.

I'm not an expert in it but I do like going to Heavy metal clubs, it's a great way to thrash out some anger that is inside you by moshing and headbanging (although that does wreck your neck for a few days). It's really expressive and I would say there are some really versitile music.

There's actually a band member in Metalica, looks like he's got a perm who reel off Bach on the electric guitar. There are some real musicians in that discipline and it's a style of music that I have got a lot of respect for and interested in making further discoveries. It's like any style of music there are composers/ artists that you don't like and are free to and and well within your rights to slate and there are just some genius' who take you into other world!
Moved by late romantic/ 20th century classical music i.e. Mahler, Stockhausen, Turnage, Stravisnsky, Shosterkovich. Love watching films by Almoldovar, Lynch, Kiewclowski. Listen to various styles of music. That's my character, you'll know me better through the forums!

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Post by miranda » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:08 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:
burnitdown wrote:
And some of it's a taste thing... there might be good hip-hop, but I'm not going to try to find it :)
There is alot of good hip-hop - Dalek, Cannibal Ox, Wu-Tang, Public Enemy, NWA, etc.
There is a lot of good hip-hop. I was listening to some Public Enemy the other day.

And BMV, I love the image in your signature. I am a huge fan of Sun Ra--I've got 40 or so of his albums. Have you read Space is the Place: The life and Times of Sun Ra, by John Szwed? It's a great biography, of a fascinating man.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:23 pm

Panzerfaust wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:A friendly discussion, surely. The poster who accused me of being rude is new and doesn't yet get the local standards for differentiating opinionatedness from rudeness.
Well, basicaly, you called music I love trash. That seems pretty rude to me. Do explaine these suposed standards.
If I said to you that you were a pinhead who made Bart Simpson look like a young Enstein and that in addition I had private knowledge that you only change your underwear once a year, that would be rude. We have actually had posters here who were capable of insulting at that level or worse (sometimes at me), and they don't last for long.

Having opinions about music or what passes for music is another matter. I also am at loggerheads occasionally with another respected poster, with whom I cannot come to terms on the relative merits of George Gershwin. He vehemently disagrees with me, but we do not exchange insults (at least not without tongue in cheek). It is a classical music site, and if you are here you should not expect a "Mine's ok, yours is ok" attitude if you make the extremes of pop your daily bread. If you are also a fan of Bach, Beethoven, whomever, stay with us. Just not metal except as an unindicted co-conspirator, ok?

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Post by Kevin R » Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:34 am

Don't care much for heavy metal (though when young I did listen to a good deal of Black Sabbath). It all seems like so much noise to me. From a rock music standpoint, I've always been drawn more to Prog Rock. Give me Gentle Giant, ELP, (early) King Crimson, the Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, (early) Genesis, Yes, the Nice or McDonald and Giles. And if power (and musicianship) is needed, go to Cream, the phenomenal Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, Wishbone Ash, Taste, Jeff Beck among others.
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Post by BWV 1080 » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:40 pm

Kevin R wrote:Don't care much for heavy metal (though when young I did listen to a good deal of Black Sabbath). It all seems like so much noise to me. From a rock music standpoint, I've always been drawn more to Prog Rock. Give me Gentle Giant, ELP, (early) King Crimson, the Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, (early) Genesis, Yes, the Nice or McDonald and Giles. And if power (and musicianship) is needed, go to Cream, the phenomenal Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, Wishbone Ash, Taste, Jeff Beck among others.
The problem with 99% of prog is that it is inferior to the music they are borrowing from. None of them did the fusion thing better than Miles, so why bother? At least Sepultura, Meshuggah or Motorhead give you something you cannot find within classical or jazz

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Post by Kevin R » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:06 am

BWV 1080 wrote:
Kevin R wrote:Don't care much for heavy metal (though when young I did listen to a good deal of Black Sabbath). It all seems like so much noise to me. From a rock music standpoint, I've always been drawn more to Prog Rock. Give me Gentle Giant, ELP, (early) King Crimson, the Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, (early) Genesis, Yes, the Nice or McDonald and Giles. And if power (and musicianship) is needed, go to Cream, the phenomenal Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, Wishbone Ash, Taste, Jeff Beck among others.
The problem with 99% of prog is that it is inferior to the music they are borrowing from. None of them did the fusion thing better than Miles, so why bother? At least Sepultura, Meshuggah or Motorhead give you something you cannot find within classical or jazz
I couldn't disagree more.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:19 pm

jbuck919 wrote: I am forced to dissemble "pleasant open-mindedness" in day-to-day life in order to get along. I don't have to or want to or intend to do that here.
Uh oh . . . .

To you all who have posted serious thoughts on the topic, thank you. I have often managed to find a 'hook' into something I wouldn't even toss in the dust bin at first glance. I was looking for something to peak my interest enough to get familiar with Heavy Metal. Imagine my surprise in listening to the documentary on hearing that Eddie Van Halen was considered an apostate for introducing a keyboard into Metal with his Jump, which happens to be one of my fav music videos. I wasn't even aware that Van Halen was considered Heavy Metal because the first thing I ever heard by him was Jump. And while the documentary was on, the other VH1 channel was running Dee Snider and Twisted Sister doing a metal video of O Come All Ye Faithful. Then it dawned on me: irony and satire. Maybe Steve is right and it has similarities to literature. If only there were less noise . . .

BTW, can anyone tell me what the sign of the two fingers held up means? Less articulate fans seemed to think that all that was needed by way of comment was the gesture with "It rocks!" I feel like I'm visiting a foreign country.
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jack stowaway » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:03 pm

jbuck wrote:
It is a classical music site, and if you are here you should not expect a "Mine's ok, yours is ok" attitude if you make the extremes of pop your daily bread. If you are also a fan of Bach, Beethoven, whomever, stay with us. Just not metal except as an unindicted co-conspirator, ok?
I wonder how accurate the above assessment is in regard to the majority of posters at this site?

If this board were exclusively focussed on classical music it would hold zero interest for me. In fact, the reason I resigned from the forum in its early days was the refusal of the then-moderators to countenance a board for non-classical music discussion.

My own tastes lie firmly and unabashedly in popular culture. I would much prefer to watch an episode of 'Battlestar Galactica', for example, than to sit through a Beethoven symphony. Indeed, most symphonies seem to me like a special sort of torture. And the older I get, the less patience I have with such music.

My experiences as a browser echo those of the poster who commented on how much more civil fans of popular music tend to be compared with their classical counterparts. One of the reasons I enjoy visiting fan sites is the unabashed enthusiasm expressed by posters for the object of their affections. There is a special sort of joy in their admiration which I have rarely, if ever, encountered on classical music forums.

Finally, kudos to Corlyss for bringing up this topic. I can't recall ever listening to a heavy metal piece, but my curiousity has been tweaked sufficiently that I would like to give it a go. Anyone care to make a recommendation?

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Post by Barry » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:56 pm

jack stowaway wrote: Finally, kudos to Corlyss for bringing up this topic. I can't recall ever listening to a heavy metal piece, but my curiousity has been tweaked sufficiently that I would like to give it a go. Anyone care to make a recommendation?
It's been years since I've listened to any and I never liked it even remotely. But if Van Halen qualifies, I'll recommend their earlier song, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." It's not a bad rocker; not as harsh as something like Iron Maiden, ACDC or the more hardcore stuff out there.
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Post by jack stowaway » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:03 pm

Thanks, Barry.

I'll wait to see if any more (recommendations) come in then I'll line them up and track them down. It's surprising how easy it is to google up a song for a listen.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:27 pm

jack stowaway wrote:If this board were exclusively focussed on classical music it would hold zero interest for me. In fact, the reason I resigned from the forum in its early days was the refusal of the then-moderators to countenance a board for non-classical music discussion.
CMG was so long in the birthing after we were kicked out of the MSN Classical Music Form that when it finally did debut, I wasn't very interested in it. Once you and the other orphans came over from Amazon when they shut down their discussion boards, Ward was persuaded to entertain briefly a non-music forum. But then he changed his mind after a couple of weeks and eliminated the non-music board. I took French leave and went to Baldric's site where I remained until Ward died and Lance and I took over CMG.
One of the reasons I enjoy visiting fan sites is the unabashed enthusiasm expressed by posters for the object of their affections. There is a special sort of joy in their admiration which I have rarely, if ever, encountered on classical music forums.
Well, we were hoping that was what could be had here - people sharing their enthusiasm without having to feel they were being subjected to a cultural IQ test. But some of that "tone" will creep in because we can't control everyone's reactions to the discussions in the music room.
Finally, kudos to Corlyss for bringing up this topic. I can't recall ever listening to a heavy metal piece, but my curiousity has been tweaked sufficiently that I would like to give it a go. Anyone care to make a recommendation?
Thank you most kindly, Jack. I was interested in getting some of our members who had made the journey from headbanger to classical fan to speak up and shed some light on the genre and what interested them about it to begin with. If we have a rock historian out there, I'd like to hear from him too. Did someone mention an article in wikipedia? Is it good? Is it reliable?
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:32 pm

burnitdown wrote:I don't think metal is for most people, and really, it has a public image problem that's terrible. If my first exposure to it was Marilyn Manson or Deftones or Motley Crue or Whitesnake, I'd never look back.
Marilyn Manson did seem to need therapy. His visuals were pretty awful, like a halloween joke on steroids.
And some of it's a taste thing... there might be good hip-hop, but I'm not going to try to find it :)
Rap for me. It's clever, but it ain't music. It's poetic and that's cool in it's own way, but after Ogden Nash and Alexander Pope, it looks pretty lame.
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Post by Panzerfaust » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:06 pm

Corlyss, Regarding the two finger symbol:
Image
Which is known as the sign of the horns or simply the horns. It is an ancient symbol. In pagan times it was used to symbolise the horned god, a pagan diety. When christianity took over europe the sign, along with many other things pagan, was said to represent satan. In modern metal culture the horns still means the pagan god to some, satan to others, and to many uninformed fans does just mean something along the lines of "rock on!"

As for metal recomendations, I will post a list shortly that will trace metal back to its roots in blues.
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Post by jack stowaway » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:47 am

Barry Z wrote: It's been years since I've listened to any and I never liked it even remotely. But if Van Halen qualifies, I'll recommend their earlier song, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." It's not a bad rocker; not as harsh as something like Iron Maiden, ACDC or the more hardcore stuff out there.
Barry,

I wasn't able to source the Van Halen original, but I downloaded a cover by the Drive By Truckers. Their cover has an alt-country feel to it which may or may not be true to the original.

The version struck me as rather classic, 60's rock (rather than what I imagine heavy metal to be) in its pared down simplicity of three guitars and drums. In fact, the fuzzy guitar riff and shouted chorus reminded me of Cream. So it all sounded familiar (in a good, nostalgic way). I've added it to my playlist for a few more listenings.

Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:20 am

Panzerfaust wrote:Corlyss, Regarding the two finger symbol:
Which is known as the sign of the horns or simply the horns. It is an ancient symbol. In pagan times it was used to symbolise the horned god, a pagan diety. When christianity took over europe the sign, along with many other things pagan, was said to represent satan. In modern metal culture the horns still means the pagan god to some, satan to others, and to many uninformed fans does just mean something along the lines of "rock on!"
Thank you, Pan. Very interesting. I had no idea it had such a pedigree.
As for metal recomendations, I will post a list shortly that will trace metal back to its roots in blues.
:shock: Say it ain't so!
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Post by Gary » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:24 am

Corlyss_D wrote: If only there were less noise . . .
Image

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Post by miranda » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:47 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jack stowaway wrote:If this board were exclusively focussed on classical music it would hold zero interest for me. In fact, the reason I resigned from the forum in its early days was the refusal of the then-moderators to countenance a board for non-classical music discussion.
CMG was so long in the birthing after we were kicked out of the MSN Classical Music Form that when it finally did debut, I wasn't very interested in it. Once you and the other orphans came over from Amazon when they shut down their discussion boards, Ward was persuaded to entertain briefly a non-music forum. But then he changed his mind after a couple of weeks and eliminated the non-music board. I took French leave and went to Baldric's site where I remained until Ward died and Lance and I took over CMG.
One of the reasons I enjoy visiting fan sites is the unabashed enthusiasm expressed by posters for the object of their affections. There is a special sort of joy in their admiration which I have rarely, if ever, encountered on classical music forums.
Well, we were hoping that was what could be had here - people sharing their enthusiasm without having to feel they were being subjected to a cultural IQ test. But some of that "tone" will creep in because we can't control everyone's reactions to the discussions in the music room.
Finally, kudos to Corlyss for bringing up this topic. I can't recall ever listening to a heavy metal piece, but my curiousity has been tweaked sufficiently that I would like to give it a go. Anyone care to make a recommendation?
Thank you most kindly, Jack. I was interested in getting some of our members who had made the journey from headbanger to classical fan to speak up and shed some light on the genre and what interested them about it to begin with. If we have a rock historian out there, I'd like to hear from him too. Did someone mention an article in wikipedia? Is it good? Is it reliable?
Corlyss, and Jack, I'm with you here. Corlyss, I really, truly despise what you so accurately refer to as "cultural IQ tests", and while there isn't much of that here (thankfully, or else I wouldn't still be posting), I do see it pop up every now and then.

Jack, I'm no authority on heavy metal or anything, but the first two Black Sabbath albums, Black Sabbath and Paranoid, as I mentioned before, are masterpieces from start to finish.

While I've never been a headbanger, I'll share a bit about my journey into classical music anyway; like some others have mentioned, I've never liked more commercial, trite bands like Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, etc. When I was a kid, I listened to top 40 radio, and rap. My mother would sing me Hank Williams and folk songs, but I didn't start exploring all kinds of genres of music until I went to college. Then I started listening to jazz, some metal, blues, experimental music, and punk, and funk, and soul, and later on, country, folk, and classical. Jazz, rock, blues, soul, and punk will always be my first loves, because I spent my formative years listening to these forms of music. But classical music now occupies a true place of honor in my heart, and it was hearing Bach that brought me into its universe. A friend of mine told me about The Art of the Fugue, "It's as though Bach's playing 64 games of chess at once--and he wins them all!", and that got me listening.

And even though this is a thread about metal, one last addendum: rap is an easy target. But the best rap, as far as I'm concerned, is right up there with Chaucer--and yes, I've read Chaucer, in his original language. I would even venture to say that Chaucer might have appreciated some of the better rappers' sardonic, satirical humor, their double entendres, the thoughtful, sometimes politically charged, rich, varied, pornographic (Chaucer could be pretty filthy himself, as could Boccaccio) and often wildly funny world of their slang, the way that the music is composed of scraps of different music into an aural collage. I know everyone here will disagree with me about what I typed above, but I don't care. Is plenty of rap crap? Hell yes, but that can be said of every art form. I would ask you--how much rap have you listened to? How much of a chance have you given it? If you hate it, fine. I loathe a lot of classical music. But there is rap out there that is worth hearing. And what I love so much about going to rap concerts, and some rock concerts, and punk concerts, is that they are overtly physical, participatory experiences. The boundary between the performer and the audience is blurred, and the intensity is incredible. The audience dances; they often know all the lyrics to the songs and sing along; many times members will jump, or get pulled onstage, and sing with the band. The performers will sometimes get down offstage and dance with the audience, and even embrace some members. The rap concerts I've been to have been rooted in the call-and-response tradition, which I will always find amazing and powerful. I'm an agnostic, but the closest thing I've ever had to a religious experience---other than hiking in the mountains or scuba diving in the ocean (and nothing humans have produced, or will ever produce will ever trump the natural world, but that's another topic), has been concerts such as these. They're a full-body kind of happening, and I love it.

Whew! My apologies for the tangent. Back to your regularly scheduled programming. :)
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Post by Panzerfaust » Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:47 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Panzerfaust wrote:As for metal recomendations, I will post a list shortly that will trace metal back to its roots in blues.
:shock: Say it ain't so!
:?: Why? What? :?:
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Post by jack stowaway » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:55 pm

Great post, Miranda. Now you've got me all fired up to listen to rap!

I admire the way you describe rap and your response to it. It’s given me a whole new appreciation for the genre. Rap, for me, represents pretty much the last frontier of music left to explore. (Heavy metal was the previous boundary point.) So this thread is really broadening my music horizons.

In my previous post I mentioned the unabashed joy popular music fans take in their passion, and contrasted this enthusiasm with the snobbish, exclusionary attitude too often displayed by followers of classical music. Your vivid description of rap music concerts and the joyful, participatory atmosphere characteristic of such events reminded me of why I gave up going to classical concerts. The artificiality of most classical concert-going is a real turn-off for me. (The only exception that I know of to this stultifying correctness is 'Last Night of the Proms' where the audience noisily participates in the music experience.

I’ll hunt around for the two Black Sabbath albums you mentioned. Meanwhile, I’d be interested in listening to a rap piece. Care to make a recommendation?

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Post by miranda » Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:00 am

Jack--I need to make another long-ish post about this, because rap really is its own culture, with its own history--it's been around since the seventies-- which uses a different language, and can be repetitive--it's about rhythm, and music that makes you want to get up and dance, and move, and the rhyming flow of the words. The lyrics can be kind of free-associative, but that's part of what I love about it. A lot of it has a very political agenda, which most, if not all posters here would disagree with and probably deny that the issues addressed even exist. Chuck D of Public Enemy once said "You can teach the seminar, but you also gotta rock the boulevard," and that's what the best rap does. I'll do some intensive listening--I haven't listened to my great rap records in a while, which is too bad...and get back to you with recommendations, I promise. I'm glad I piqued your interest!
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Post by burnitdown » Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:46 pm

This guy claims to have invented the "horns"; it's an old Italian symbol for the devil. Heavy metal is allied with the devil, the pagan gods, and a pantheist/nihilist worldview, so it kind of makes sense.

http://www.hessian.org/metal/culture/

Regarding the roots of metal, I think it was prog, not blues. In fact, if anything, metal was an attempt to get over blues/pop.

Regarding rap and jazz: I disagree with them artistically, much as I disagree with the postmodern novel. They have nothing to offer me.

I'm glad to find people open-minded enough to consider a far-off genre even in the midst of acrimonious incendiaries of verbal pugilism.

I do NOT recommend Opeth/Meshuggah. Try Atheist, Gorguts and Suffocation instead.

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Post by Panzerfaust » Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:13 pm

burnitdown wrote:This guy claims to have invented the "horns"; it's an old Italian symbol for the devil. Heavy metal is allied with the devil, the pagan gods, and a pantheist/nihilist worldview, so it kind of makes sense.

http://www.hessian.org/metal/culture/
Well, Dio may have introduced the horns to metal culture, but how does one invent something that is an old symbol?
burnitdown wrote:Regarding the roots of metal, I think it was prog, not blues. In fact, if anything, metal was an attempt to get over blues/pop.
Well, first, metal predates prog, as metal began in the late 60s and as far as I know prog is a 70s phenomenon. Second, it is a well known fact that Black Sabath, the first heavy metal band, had been a blues band before making their style heavier and more abrasive thus inventing metal. I will give you the point that metal eventualy came to borrow a lot from prog.
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