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Potrokh
July 14, 2005 at 19:46:21
Dan and others - again, this is a deliberate generalization, and it's equally applicable to both new and old artists. There are examples of excellent start-ups and great new albums from veterans. The problem is they are few and far between, and the percentage is probably about the same in both groups. (And yes, of course traditional/power metal is by no means an exception).

The same percentage rule applies to production. Unfortunately however, in most cases (and not only in metal) that "world-class" sound is nothing more than lack of dynamic range caused by overcompression. A viable technique very useful in some cases, like getting the crushing "bulldozer" sound in brutal death but by no means a panacea and equally bad for your eardrums and speaker coils in heavy doses. I guess, the final factor is always going to be the musical value, as I am not planning to throw away my early Bathory, but yes, in many cases bad production does make me turn to something else.

I'm actually surprised that so many of you feel at least somewhat the same. I guess it depends on the age and/or experience, as CE seems to have nailed it.
Bolt Thrower
July 14, 2005 at 17:59:13
I agree with pretty much everything said so far. The good news is that there are so many good recordings to date that the educated listener can select from quite a large library and enjoy good metal as long as desired. So what if there's a lot of crap out there -- it just makes the good stuff that much better. On the other hand, I respect those artists that at least try to be different. That is not easy to do.
Curumbor Elendil
July 14, 2005 at 16:01:09
I would say the last three or four years have been pretty bad for metal. 1994-1997 was the period of greatest originality; 1998-2001 was the period of "quantity over quality"; 2002 and since has seen both quantity and quality decline. To be more precise, the quantity of good metal has declined, and the good metal that is made tends not to be very original or groundbreaking. The quantity of downright bad metal has probably increased.

I think the problem is that listeners/consumers are not doing their jobs. We put up with mediocre retreads of the same old stuff. If we were more discerning, and simply refused to buy anything that wasn't very good, then labels wouldn't sign bands that weren't top-notch.

Of course, another problem is the huge upsurge in American metalcore and simple death metal, which I don't like at all - but I don't think anything can be done about that. Teenyboppers will be teenyboppers. We mature and sophisticated listeners just need to demand better music from "real metal" bands; that's something we can control.

Dan
July 14, 2005 at 15:32:14
-Potrokh, when you said that you cant find anything new of interest, did you mean that older bands don't hold there own like they used to? Just the newer bands arn't anything spectacular? As far as production is concerned, I don't really mind how it is either way. Like mentioned before, I don't care for that completly flawless production, cause it does sound more brutal when it isn't mastered to perfection.
Dead Eyes
July 14, 2005 at 15:01:05
Yeah I see what you mean by black metal getting all cookie-cutter nowadays it's like let's go into mom's purse and steal some of her make up, then we'll go put in the same keyboards in the background of our music, the same guitar melodies, the same i love satan lyrics and have a page dedicated to us where people cry that black metal doesn't suck and isn't on the verge of dying, have you ever considered the fact that changing the way you're music sounds isn't wrong, I mean look at death metal, nowadays there's technical death, melodic death, death-core I mean there's about a thousand different sounding death metal bands out there and what about black metal there's hmmmmmm nope only black metal same old shit, and metalcore blahhhhhh just keep the whiny boy band influences out of your music, not to say that all metalcore bands are bad (Glass Casket, Between the buried and me) it's just I would prefer my music without death metal growls that turn into an i love ponies and unicorns thrown in so liitle My Chemical romance fans can associate with you.(cough Atreyu). And as far as crappy production, come on every band has to start somewhere every one's not rich enough to put out crystal clear production especially on there first demos or albums, and if you look back at it most bands that get record deals usually they go back and remaster there old cd's(Nevermore, Carcass, Necrophagist.....).
Cuchulainn
July 14, 2005 at 14:55:59
When the metalcore barrage first started, I would have called myself a huge fan of the genre... If metalcore did nothing else for me personally, it provided a bridge to harder heavier elements of the metal genre... I've met many people that would say the same thing actually... If nothing more, metalcore served that purpose in the grand scheme of things... However, I totally agree with Pot and Wayf that the entire metalcore has become so oversaturated with bullshit bands because of the popularity of the genre on the corporate scale... For that reason, I don't even know what true metalcore is anymore and that's sad... I still listen to metalcore, but you really have to stand out or sound true to metalcore's roots otherwise I start grouping some of these bands almost as screamo...

I would disagree with Pot on the "change is pretentious in doom metal" comment... Although I've heard numerous doom metal bands, Crowbar is by far my favorite and with the release of "Lifesblood for the Downtrodden", I think they are generally changing their subgenre for the better and perhaps making it more accessible than it used to be... I don't listen to enough gothic metal to make any assumptions or generaliztions there though...

I definitely agree with Wayf that traditional and power metal said everything it needed to say in the 80's, and I'm so sick of fhearing the newer stuff it makes me sick (sorry side note)... Straight up death, I'm not so sure... The same themes are still there, yes, but I think that with some bands its being presented with more intelligence and I think its starting to incorporate other metal subgenres (i.e. Fear Factory with industrial or even Paradise Lost with more gothic influences)... In this way, I think there is a revival in the death metal genre especially with the growing melo-death subgenre alive and kicking...
Wayfaerer
July 14, 2005 at 07:35:53
You made some really good points.

Metalcore has definitely left a taint in the entire scene. While I still listen to a lot of it, I've found only two discs good enough this year to even vie for a spot on top 20 (Agony Scene, Trivium by the way). There are some good releases, but it's mostly good to okay to completely awful. Metal labels are seeing the relative success they can have with the subgenre and are signing everything they can before it fades away, and it's disappointing when I hear of other underground bands that have been around for years and years, that outclass and outperform many of these signed 'core bands, yet still can't get a decent label contract. I do like some metalcore, but the sooner this "trend" is over and we're left with only a few good bands, the better.

Completely agree with your thoughts on gothic, don't listen to enough doom to comment there.

"Straight up death said everything it had to say in the 80's/early 90's. Melodeath is heading that way now." Very true, but you could say the same for power/traditional metal. It's just a matter of taste I think and those happen to be my 2 favorites so I'll still listen to bands in those areas even if they aren't breaking new ground.

I don't know about production though, I'd almost say that some productions nowadays are "too" good. Many metalcore recordings are so slick they lose the heaviness necessary. I don't think metal bands have to have a super pristine sound in order to be listenable. It sucks if it sounds like it was recorded in a basement but world-class productions sometimes don't fit either. However, the new Nevermore (This Godless Endeavor) has what I thought was a fantastic production job and sounds damn near flawless.
Horfixion
July 14, 2005 at 06:11:37
Potrokh - Give us an idea of what you consider to be a good recording or good production, cause a lot of the modern metal I listen too the production is simply great and the recordings are very good. Some bands such as NEVERMORE re-released "Enemies of Reality" because of productin problems on the original release (2003) with superb results...I'm not sure I follow you at all on this subject. Please give examples of poor recordings and poorly produced modern metal albums...Thanks!
Eyeless Sentry
July 14, 2005 at 02:39:13
You make a valid point Potrokh! It can't be forgotten that some bands surpass all expectations, both musically and production-wise and can create a brilliant album. I think the main grievance that I have is that there are now _too many_ metal bands out there vying to capture the same audience, who are creatively stagnant and end up being boring. The same band that could do covers instead of loosely-termed originals could enthrall local audiences instead of churning out, well, loads and loads of crap into an oversaturated market. I tend to shy away from *.-core bands myself, and find myself spending my money on bands that offer something different to the norm and rarely find myself buying derivatives, repeaters and inepts - I think most people would agree.
Potrokh
July 14, 2005 at 02:26:24
I was just wondering if there are others who feel this way... This thread is by no means intended to provoke anything/piss off anyone... I could actually care less, as it wouldn't change anything for me or stop me from supporting this site.

I've been feeling more and more that most modern (and not only) metal is no longer interesting to me. For starters, I've never cared for anything with 'core in its name and though metalcore seems to be dying out, it has poisoned everything around it on its way out.

Doom and gothic metal have become all cookie-cutter and if there are female vox it's even worse... Bands that try to be different in that field are way too quirky and pretentious to be taken seriously, either.

Straight up death said everything it had to say in the 80's/early 90's. Melodeath is heading that way now.

Production is mostly bad on metal releases simply because the labels can't/don't want to afford good studios/budgets. For someone who knows what it takes to get a good recording I may be too spoiled, but I doubt many people will want to listen to most 90's recordings in 10 years from now. Even if it's something I would've considered interesting a few years back it's no longer so whether because of its horrible sound or its relatively unimaginative arrangements.

Very few select groups still manage to release something that attracts my interest and I can only see it getting worse.

Don't make assumptions or start a flame war, this is a deliberate generalization which has a right to exist as long as I do.
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