"some music was meant to stay underground..."

OpEd

Metal: Sound or Image? Where is the Line Drawn?

Photo of Behemoth

Band Photo: Behemoth (?)

One of the most defining moments in my musical development was back in 2004 when Yahoo Launch saw that I liked listening to Unearth, Fear Factory, and Lamb of God and thought that I might enjoy My Chemical Romance's “I'm Not Okay.” That single moment of revulsion caused me to look for music on my own terms after seeing how some corny and cheesy pop-rock could somehow be marketed towards metalheads. Today, we see a number of bands that try to look and act like they're part of the metal scene through their image (and the bands they tour with), but have a sound rooted more in traditional rock and roll than anything spawned by Sabbath.

First off, I'm not here to debate the merits of bands like Ghost and Ancient VVisdom. The debate over artistic integrity isn't at all relevant here. Instead, this is about is marketing and claiming bands that in no way sound “metal” are still technically considered part of the metal scene. Personally, I do like some occult rock as I've long been a fan of Current 93 and I've done my fair share of listening to Coven. That said, I'd never call Current 93 a metal band nor would I want the group touring with Cannibal Corpse. Variety between acts belongs to big music festivals like Bonaroo and Lollapalooza, and not to small club shows.

To put things in perspective, I spent most of last year as far away as I possibly could from the heavy metal scene in no small part due to this development. We live in an age where Metal-Archives considers Ghost to be metal, but won’t list Periphery. Ghost shirts are now among the most worn at metal shows and I watched in horror as fans at The Decibel Magazine Tour preferred The Devil's Blood to Behemoth and In Solitude. (Nothing against The Devil's Blood though: SL is a great guitarist and songwriter, but he is in no way a metal musician.)

Now if David Tibet decided to take The Devil's Blood and Jess and The Ancient Ones out on tour, I'd probably buy a ticket (for the record, I consider Jess and the Ancient Ones debut album to be among the best of 2012. It's just not a metal album). But it's important to know that these bands aren't metal. While occultism is certainly an important theme to bands like Tool, Behemoth, and Burzum, insisting that their lyrics are what defines them as “metal” is like saying that Rage Against the Machine is a punk band or Tourniquet is a Gospel music act.

At some point a line must be drawn that defines a specific sound as metal before the term loses all meaning. I'm all for cross-pollination, since I've lost count of how many hardcore and speedcore artists are influenced by metal and how many metal bands are influenced by classical music, but what keeps genres and scenes alive are these distinctions and differences that allow new genres of music to materialize.

KoRn has already toured with Skrillex, so what more will it take to cause some sort of conservative backlash against these tour packages that dilute the metal scene instead of promoting it? At what point will we rise up and say what today is unthinkable - “Ghost isn't metal and aesthetics aren't anywhere near as important as sound.”

Dasher10's avatar

Matt is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Illinois and a metalhead since 1999.

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68 Comments on "Metal: Sound or Image?"

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Nunya's avatar

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1. Nunya writes:

I would argue that Ghost is just as metal if not more metal than retro-bands like The Sword, but thats just me. Also, in Europe its not that unusual to see bands of different genre's touring together, and while Skrillex is perhaps even farther from metal than Katie Perry, i dont think its bad that Korn toured with them. That said, its times of diversity and indirection like this that spawn new movments in metal that become huge and inturn dilute themselves until another innovation is needed. For example, Hair Metal (no matter what you say) was good at the beginning with the first few WASP and Motley Cru records, but it went south quick and then Thrash was born, which got old to listeners so Grunge (not metal) started to take over which caused 2 more inovations in Metal which many people disagree with (usualy if you disagree with one you agree with the other) being Death Metal (or at least the explosion of Florida Death Metal) and Nu-Metal, then Death Metal went out of the mainstream light that it had (it had a little bit with MA's Covenant and The early Cannibal Corpse records) and Nu-Metal became terrible, so metalcore came about, which in turn became terrible causing Deathcore which has rapidly become terrible and never truley replace metalcore, thus if we look at history, another inovation that will "define" metal's sound for the next 10 years or so is undoubtedly on the horizon

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 4:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Nunya's avatar

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2. Nunya writes:

*Thrash got old to mainstream rock listeners, is what i meant to say

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 4:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Nunya's avatar

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3. Nunya writes:

Thrash got old to mainstream rock listeners, is what i meant to say

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 4:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ZMA's avatar

Member

4. ZMA writes:

A good metal band needs to have an even amount of image and sound. Although I'd work harder on the music than my image.

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 4:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
NW_MetalHead's avatar

Member

5. NW_MetalHead writes:

I have considered this many times over. I look at popular non metal groups such as Lady Gaga and she puts a huge amount of importance on image both on and off stage. And I start to think to myself, is she was as talented a musician as the mainstream media wants us to belive, then what is the point of all that extra crap? Then I think of all the black metal bands that wear corpse paint, inverted crosses, etc... as well as Iron Maiden who puts tons of money into their live shows. I have fun seeing them as well as seeing a band play with not even a banner hanging in the background and nothing more than stock lighting from the venue. So what it all comes down to, with me in particular, is that the music is what counts, if it connects with you. All that other crap can just be an incentive. And when we are discussing whether or not something is "metal", I cannot think of time more wasted, if you like the damn music then that is all that matters, just enjoy yourself, which sometimes is something that is missing from metal, the pure enjoyment factor.

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 8:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

6. Cynic writes:

Well, that just like you're opinion maaaan. Haha.

To me a band like Ghost is respecting metal, and carrying forward everything they do in a "metal" way, apart from their music is borderline (new single especially). I give lenience where lenience is due, and we'll all turn a blind eye if the music is good.

People will start saying "Ghost isn't metal" when Ghost start sucking.

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 9:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
NW_MetalHead's avatar

Member

7. NW_MetalHead writes:

If someone could give me the exact standards to being metal I would greatly appreciate it. Because if bands as different as Suffocation and Lifelover can both be considered metal, then where do we draw the line?

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 9:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
sonictherapy's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

8. sonictherapy writes:

^^Which brings up the next subject. What is considered valid metal music? Some genres are not taken seriously for reasons that are interesting to explore. This could be a very heated discussion.

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 10:02 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
NW_MetalHead's avatar

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9. NW_MetalHead writes:

That was what I was sort of getting at, what bands in particular did you have in mind that could be up for debate?

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 10:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

10. Cynic writes:

Music is too complex to sum up in one single standard, or sentence. There are hundreds of individual elements of any given song. If there is dispute, there should be community discussion.

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 10:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

11. Cynic writes:

To add to that - while describing to a Deaf person or alien the difference between metal and jazz would be a hugely difficult task. On the other hand, human understanding of that mass of complexity is incredibly natural. This is why we often talk about metalness in comparison to other bands, or with emotional words, because it absolves us from discussing the actual physical elements of music.

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 10:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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12. Drum_Junkie writes:

Based off of my observations, we metalheads view the title of "Metal" like a badge, or a seal of approval. NW_Metalhead used the term 'standards' pretty aptly. In order for something to be considered Metal, it must be up to a certain standard, which is largely based on the values of each individual.
Someone heavily into Blackmetal or Death metal would likely reject those bands with synth/pop elements, while those who appreciate the light/dark contrast of a lot of the Gothic metal often write-off the extreme metal groups as 'noise'. With few exceptions metal is whatever moves you - whatever evokes strong emotions within you.

Back to the standards: The basic guidelines almost all of us can agree on for being metal involve aggression and power. They also should have an air of non-conformance. It's about attitude. I'm sure there are still some exceptions to this, but these largely sum up the criteria. There are few, if any, black and white rules like guitar tones or vocal sounds that determine 'metal' or not.

The non-conformance qualifier is usually the measuring stick used to fend off those not worthy. If a band is claiming to be metal, but is largely following the latest trends in metal, they get called out pretty quickly. AX7, Nickelback and Emmure come to mind. Alot of these bands can also be picked apart with their emphasis on image or success instead of music or even at the expense of the music.

Metal may be just a genre to outsiders, but to those within this proud tribe, metal is an attitude and way of life. This metal attitude is what drives metal groups to look and sound the way they do. If their image and their music are both a product of their personal convictions and not a half assed attempt to fit in to what they perceive as a clique, then more often than not, they are worthy of the title - Metal. \m/\m/

# Jan 16, 2013 @ 11:26 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. Torpedo writes:

Metal standards?
Or a "metalness" index rather, a way of assessing how much metal there is in the thing.
Let's illustrate: How much more (or less) is Rammstein metal than Anathema. Or Tiamat of today compared to its origins? Or My Dying Bride's "37.88...%" compared to now. Or Paradise Lost: its album 'Host' has a significantly reduced metal content than other albums, and it's especially true when columnists use the expression "back to the roots", which in fact evidences an increase in "metalness", so to speak for the band in both image (the short hair and no-leather cladding was gone), and sound (the synths much less prominent, more guitars - in fact, 7-strings became standard - and less clean vocals).

Tiamat did exactly the reverse: it increased the weight synths, reduced drumkits, and increased its goth imagery. While Anathema kept reducing the content of electric guitars, and replacing all harsh vocals by clean singing and relied on acoustic guitars.

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 12:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

14. deathbringer writes:

It really is such a complex topic, I'm happy to see some discussion here. I agree overall that Ghost is not metal and after seeing The Sword play live (with Kyuss), I'd say they are more rock than metal.

But what Cynic said sums it up very well too: "we'll all turn a blind eye if the music is good." (I agree with NW_MetalHead too, but Cynic's was more concise)

I know for many of my own musical choices, it only takes one element of metal to hook me. Bands above like Anathema and Tiamat and Paradise Lost are good examples. I've been gravitating less toward the progressive and more towards bands such as Les Discrets, Alcest, and Agalloch's "The Mantle." How metal are they? Not very but most would still call it metal.

"Metalness" is a continuum in my view and where one person draws the line of metal or not differs from the next. Or they may still draw the line, but those few metal elements in a mostly non-metal band are still enough to hook them on listening to the band anyway.

It's also easier to give a band the benefit of the doubt when their roots are metal, whether past material or the musicians themselves. When a band comes out of nowhere like Ghost, listeners are forced to make the attribution based on just their current material rather than musical background or history. And to that end, perhaps image comes into play as well, with less history to go on.

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 10:03 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Dasher10's avatar

Writer/Reviewer

15. Dasher10 writes:

To put it lightly, Ke$ha uses a lot of metal imagery in the video for Die Young. I'd rather eat my own hands rather than call her metal.

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 10:55 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

Member

16. R10 writes:

Pretty interesting topic. It is difficult nowadays, the whole "what is metal, what is not". I mean I listen to quite a bit of stuff that gets called metal, like Devin Townsends lighter stuff, Ghost, Alcest, etc. To me, Ghost sounds similar to Blue Oyster Cult, something no one would call metal.

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 11:20 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

17. BrianMN writes:

The music is the most important thing.
I don’t care who is metal and who isn’t. Good music is good music.
What drives me insane are the little subgenres that NO ONE outside of the underground has even heard of.
Grindcore.
Grindgore.
Thrash.
Speed.
Death.
Brutal Death.
INSANELY brutal death (made that one up)
Symphonic.
Core.
Deathcore.
Rapcore.
Mallcore.
Your mama’s core
UUGH!!!
If it has geeetars and some drums it’s metal.
Now as far as Ghost…don’t care for them, too corny.
Black Veil Brides are enough to make me want to jump from the nearest balcony.
But their fans may call them metal…and I can live with that.
For me, metal in all its wondrous shapes, sizes and images is just metal at the end of the day.

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 11:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

18. RememberMetal? writes:

The definition of metal is and has always been in flux. Though I will say that metal "for me" has always been exclusively tethered to sonic output. Visual elements like album art, costumes/face paint/makeup/hair, dramatic stage lighting, pyro, theatrics, etc are all embellishments… ask any blind metal fan.

Assessing metal from a music theory qualification standpoint would be agonizingly difficult to do in full and once done successfully, the reader would feel he already intuitively knew everything he read anyway. Subjectivity creeps into anything that isn’t strictly quantitative. Deathbringer’s “metal-ness” continuum and the points plotted based on personal experience make the approximation of sub-genres possible but the lines will always be blurry.

For me, metal is the many moods and shades of the id allowed or forced to depict itself through music. Other music (rock and variations there of) fails to scratch the same itch

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 12:23 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

Member

19. spiral_architect writes:

HEAVY METAL IS BOTH SOUND AND IMAGE, AS WELL AS AN OVER-ARCHING PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE . POWER AND FANTASY ARE AT ITS CORE......AND I WILL GO OUT ON A LIMB HERE AND SAY THAT BOTH GHOST AND BLUE OYSTER CULT, ARE IN FACT, VERY MUCH METAL.

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 12:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

Member

20. R10 writes:

Being a metal fan for 30+years, I can say there is far more division nowadays than there was 25 years ago. It seems that metal fans today are far more fickle, want to place bands into annoying sub genres. I pretty much like what sounds good to my ears, even some of the dreaded "core" stuff, be it death or metal. People nowadays seem too quick to write off something because it doesn't fit "what's in or cool".

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 12:54 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

21. BrianMN writes:

@R10...totally agree. Until a few months ago I wasn't even sure what death core really was. Then I heard a song by White Chapel and went...huh? This is just death metal...and not very good either. Not sure what song it was.
Now two core bands from Austrailia have really gotten my attention Thy Art is Murder and Make Them Suffer. I like both of them. MTS isn't available in the US but I listened to the whole Neverbloom album on Youtube and I'll probably send the band 20 bucks for a copy. Good stuff.

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 1:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

22. hellrat writes:

I like fabricated image for live purposes, if the music is good anyway... it only adds to the spectacle when done well. Would love to see King Diamond or Rammstein for instance; the King for the music and what I imagine would be an intriguing stage show, Rammstein pretty much just for show. Their music is ok, but would be more of a soundtrack to the the visuals, for me at least

That said, I prefer it when bands really have NO image...you see Mikael Akerfeldt walking down the street, you say, "well there goes Mikael Akerfeldt", not "I wonder if that was Abath???" Ya know? Its refreshing when people just roll out and play their fvcking music.

Seen Down last nite in Smelly Bunghole, and it was bad fvcking ass...no pretense, no contrived 'imagery', no goddamned bullsh!t....just a fvcking monster performance that held that place up by its own immense musical impetus; any stage gimmickry would have been superfluous.... though Bower did play almost the entire show in a small-cupped bra that some chick threw on the stage

"hey Jimmy, do ya think this'll fit yer man-tits??"

"I dont know man, lets check it out" *peels shirt* "Hey alright, fits good!"

fvcking classic :)

As far as bands that get a tattoo, a double kick set, a guitar solo, and some screecher/crooner frikken goofball at the front, all to play some variation of degenerate, misguided, 'electrified' fvcking POP, ala Avenged Vaginalfold?

Nah, that sh!t ain't metal; and I don't give a fvck how many snivelling screamo arselings wanna b!tch at me about it...fact is facts folks

Ghost? I don't know what that is

NP---Rivers Rise---COC

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 1:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

Member

23. R10 writes:

Music still has to be good, visuals hardly matter to me. No greater example of getting blown off the stage occurred April 25th, 1986. Cliff Burton came out on stage in boot cut bell bottoms, Levi jacket, and sh** kickers with Metallica and proceeded to blow bloated, sequined robe wearing, poofy Aqua net hair do, Ozzy off the stage. But I guess that whole anti image, torn jeans, t shirt, actually became an image for Metallica at the time. Anyways, don't care for Rammsteins music, so I wouldn't pay $$$ to see their "show".

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 2:09 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

24. hellrat writes:

ha! yes, I remember it well brother...ozzy looked like a fat chick in thatgoddamned miss piggy suit

that sh** was out, jake had a sh!t suit as well, some white poofy thing as I recall

Cliff was basically sporting grunge, long before there was ever any fvcking 'grunge', and kirk was setting the precedent for the revolting trend that would disgrace the metro youth decades later by wearing those faggy fvcking skinny chick pants...hetfield had the metal skater style, and ulrich actually didnt look like a fvcking idiot...heh, imagine that ;)

I'd look at a Rammstein show as like going to the circus or some such, all antics and atmosphere...like I said, NOT for the music eh

NP---Leave No Cross Unturned---4th time today \m/

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 2:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Nunya's avatar

Member

25. Nunya writes:

@hellrat
this is ghost http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=xm0Y0awVExo

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 5:09 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
NW_MetalHead's avatar

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26. NW_MetalHead writes:

After reading all these comments, it seems that the whole "argument" comes down to something that I always tell people, when it comes to music there is no right or wrong, its all subjective. Does someone saying that Avenged Sevenfold is metal make what I listen any less metal? NO. Even though I do not think A7X is metal, I couldn't care less that someone else does, unless they are arguing with me straight to my face and then I will shame them. As someone who is in my late 20s, I feel that I have a better knowledge of metal than most people younger than me, as well as I feel that those metalheads that I hang out with that are in the 30s and 40s must think the same way. and the different age subsets will always argue with each other over what is metal. With all the cross pollination of subgenres these days, its hard to tell exactly what falls into the "metal" category sometimes, but all that really matters is if you like the music. And to me, liking what you like despite what others think is the most metal you can be.

# Jan 17, 2013 @ 11:13 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
citrus_tea's avatar

Supporter

27. citrus_tea writes:

NW and R10 raise interesting points. I agree that there is a "generational" element to what people would consider metal with a general move a more "extreme" sound over the decades.
It seems to me that whilst Sabbath are happily considered metal by most (and during the 70's there was no debate at all on this) any modern band producing a similar sound would certainly not be hailed as "metal".

# Jan 18, 2013 @ 5:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
sonictherapy's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

28. sonictherapy writes:

It also seems that the average deathcore band gets treated as 'less metal' than the average one man grindcore band. There seems to be a stigma with the aforementioned genre, for many reasons which are interesting to explore. Also, there are folk and atmospheric bands that make the news as 'metal' with very little guitar elements, to the consensus of many, while a retro band or a punk band with plenty of guitar and attitude might not be deemed appropriate for the metal news. I think it all comes down to instinct.

# Jan 18, 2013 @ 8:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

29. Blindgreed1 writes:

Over the years, i've learned that often more can be gained by listening than contributing. This is one of those conversations. A lot of good stuff in here. Please continue.

# Jan 18, 2013 @ 10:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

Member

30. R10 writes:

The classification thing gets difficult for me. Take for instance a band like Converge. Their music is rooted in the hardcore/metalcore scene, yet I've seen their latest album show up in top 10 metal album lists alongside Testament, Accept, etc. I consider them metal, although I could understand why someone who listens to a more traditional style of metal wouldn't.

# Jan 18, 2013 @ 10:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
citrus_tea's avatar

Supporter

31. citrus_tea writes:

^ I never really got further than differentiating between Metal, Thrash and "everything else" ;-).

# Jan 18, 2013 @ 11:36 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
32. MonkeyGun77 writes:

Its all about the sound , the image is a bonus an extra appendage if you will. which wouldnt exsist at all if it wasnt for the other.

# Jan 18, 2013 @ 2:02 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
33. johnny ballgame writes:

the music does the talking, you can look dark, hardcore, badass, do a bunch of crazy antics on stage to rev up the crowd but if the music doesn't speak, visionary effects are meaningless.

# Jan 18, 2013 @ 7:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Overlord's avatar

Member

34. Overlord writes:

This is essentially a paradox lol. It is impossible to define any musical genre to a tee, and metal has hands down the most variety of all genres, which is one of the reasons it's so f***ing awesome.

Also, you would have to be either blatantly retarded, ignorant beyond belief, or just a dumb troll to say A7X is not metal. I have successfully avoided them since Jimmy's passing, but City of Evil, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, Waking the Fallen, and even their self titled albums are all metal as f***.

I mean I get it guys, they are a disgrace to our whole scene at this point, but at one point in time they were cranking out great material. I encourage all of you trashtalking little sh**s to check out their old stuff if you haven't done so already, Sidewinder and The Wicked End (essentially all of City of Evil) are two f***ing ridiculous songs, that is probably a good place to start.

youtube.com/watch?v=1GCCKt_Z1q8
youtube.com/watch?v=roZbgp3W51A

# Jan 20, 2013 @ 4:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

35. hellrat writes:

Overlord, the innocent irony in many of your posts is quite endearing indeed...

Thank you for the recommendations, however, I have already endured them, thence the formation of my educated, eh, OPINION...see?

For the record, POP is not metal...I don't care how many 'sick' drummers they get, how many of their 'shredding' guitar players fvcking OD, or how many times that squawking fvcking goober blows his goddamned lapdog yapper out. Its fvcking FAKE

Anyways, as you were...carry on ;)

# Jan 21, 2013 @ 3:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

36. hellrat writes:

Also for the record, I also find fvcking KISS to be the all time epitome of falsely classified 'metal'

No.

you see, I'm not just a d!ck because Im old...Im just a d!ck period :)

# Jan 21, 2013 @ 3:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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37. Blindgreed1 writes:

A7X CD's and Lance Armstrong books both belong in the fiction section.

# Jan 21, 2013 @ 5:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

38. hellrat writes:

^ya didnt hear? Dopestrong and Doprah are going to have a baby... its going to have big ears and theyre going to call it Dopey :)

Just seen your post Nunya man...nah I know about Ghost eh, just don't know what the fvck to call it...NOT metal, but definitely some macabre, tripped out sh!t...I do like a lot of it

# Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
39. m u. sucks writes:

Most of you jack holes don't even know what metal is, this site used to be pretty cool, I would cyeck it almost every day in the few years of existence, but this site blows now, it blows like blindgreed1's mom when the food stamps run out

# Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jenny's avatar

Member

40. Jenny writes:

Very much agreed with posts 12, 18 and 27 with defining Metal (an interesting concept with expression of id on 18).
Post 28 brought up excellent observations that not only tie with Metal "sound" , but also with image as well, believe it or not.

The way I see it, it comes down to the fact, that, in
words without exceptions at all is impossible when it comes to defining Metal. In general it appears we can't always know how to express what Metal is, but when we hear it, we seem to know what Metal is not.
As for bands that are up to debate on this conclusion, your answer can rest on one of two things:
1. Subjectivity: you honestly believe that a said band is not metal even when others think it is and vice versa , or 2. Defense mechanisms: be it denial or ignorance, you may just say a band is not metal simply because you
don't like them.

We all know sound and image go hand in hand; and of course, music will always MEAN the most. I could be wrong here, but the difference comes when bands with
a lot of face and distinct atmosphere make it big in the underground. Bands without an abundance of image
are still good, but unfortunately, they don't generate a
lot of chatter.

# Jan 22, 2013 @ 12:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jenny's avatar

Member

41. Jenny writes:

P.S. "The debate over artistic integrity isn't at all relevant here. Instead, this is about is marketing and claiming bands that in no way sound “metal” are still technically considered part of the metal scene."

Specifically addressing to this, I'd say that marketing is simply done poorly, by people who do not know what Metal is. Simple as that.

With all do respect, however, I applaud marketers that are creative enough to spot "non-metal" acts that make a lovely accompaniment to actual metal acts. Personally, Ghost and The Devil's Blood are thoughtful suggestions for metal fans. My Chemical Romance, on the other hand, are not a thoughtful suggestion for accompanying the genre of Metal. The difference is easy to spot--if not with words, with instinct, for sure.

"Metal: those who get it, get it, those who don't, don't."

# Jan 22, 2013 @ 12:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

42. RememberMetal? writes:

A carefully worded but informed OpEd or series on the defining (and debatable) characteristics of metal and it's sub-genres (one article per?) would be a good conversation piece if nothing else.

Perhaps it's ground we've tilled before but as stated by many here, "what is metal today isn't always the case tomorrow". Though I would suggest getting a broad cross section of MU staff to read the articles prior to posting... lest we post something heretical and have a not-so-quiet riot on our hands.

# Jan 22, 2013 @ 9:48 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

43. Blindgreed1 writes:

#39: BG1's mother is not into dudes so your level of douchebaggery is rivaled only by that of the smell of arse and failure on your breath. STFU and GTFO jackstain.

# Jan 22, 2013 @ 12:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
44. coco writes:

Metalheads talking imaginary "rules of being a metalhead". Metal is about individuality and non conformity when it comes it philosophy. f*** the rules. If I feel like listening to Garth Brooks after Pantera, I will lol.

# Jan 22, 2013 @ 7:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
silvermountains's avatar

Member

45. silvermountains writes:

it's an art.


simple as that

# Jan 22, 2013 @ 9:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
46. harrison ford writes:

She doesnt have to be into dudes to blow....

# Jan 22, 2013 @ 11:19 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

47. Blindgreed1 writes:

I'm sure you're an expert in blowing so I'll take your word for it. Point to the spot on the panda where the bad internet man touched you.

# Jan 23, 2013 @ 9:59 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
48. coco writes:

an art and a way of life.

# Jan 23, 2013 @ 6:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Nunya's avatar

Member

49. Nunya writes:

OFWGKTADGAFLSYKWTFWA

# Jan 23, 2013 @ 8:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Overlord's avatar

Member

50. Overlord writes:

Hellrat I know I'm not getting anywhere with your stubborn ass. I saw A7X once when they opened for Mastodon, not even a big fan of them lol, I don't need to defend them.

My point still stands though. City of Evil is a 4.5/5 heavy metal album, and saying it is doesn't classify as "metal" is simply hilarious.

# Jan 24, 2013 @ 11:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

51. RememberMetal? writes:

I personally hate Avenged Sevenfold and have made no attempt to sugarcoat my disdain but Overlord is boldly treading into one of the gray areas most metalheads are loath to acknowledge. It's easier to have a closure-oriented mindset: if you don't like a certain style you can reflexively dismiss them as "not metal" since there are no hard and fast rules. Basically: No more cognitive dissonance, ‘cus I say nay!

For instance: I don’t like most power metal and glam metal acts but I accept that they are still part of the metal species. Others may be more or less inclusive based on their own qualifications.

This is part of the "is it" or "is it not" metal paradox. The distinguishing characteristics of hard rock/heavy rock/metal blur, especially when a band like A7X borrows generously from all three. Then there’s the whole metalcore pedigree that they sprang from but eventually discarded. Many bands start as a metal act and become something else, while others incorporate metal elements but were never metal (or entirely metal) to begin with.

I don’t want (can’t bring myself) to classify A7X as metal but I can understand why one would do so. Some would dub Guns N Roses or Motley Crue as an offshoot strains of glam metal, while others would just say they’re 80’s hard rock. A7X seem to fall into a modern variation of that form… and their earlier and heavier work can most definitely be called metalcore, which is admission that there was/are at least metal components in their sound. So someone tell me and please argue your case: Are A7X metal or not?

# Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:30 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

52. Blindgreed1 writes:

Once again. RM with an EXCELLENT analogy.

" Some would dub Guns N Roses or Motley Crue as an offshoot strains of glam metal, while others would just say they’re 80’s hard rock. A7X seem to fall into a modern variation of that form…"

IMO, A7X is a coporate "metal" version of the hard rock boy band. Completely fabricated, plastic, genuine- simulated, vernier metal... Just one man's opinion.

# Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:41 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

53. hellrat writes:

Hilarious indeed, Overlord. As mentioned, the innocent irony contained within the large majority of your postings here is generally enough to make me smile....but here you actually (though haplessly) made a genuine funny:

"City of Evil is a 4.5/5 heavy metal album..."

thanks fer the chuckles Lordy, keep that little 'metal' weener stiff now ;)

# Jan 25, 2013 @ 11:18 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Borntomosh's avatar

Member

54. Borntomosh writes:

Well, I don't think we have to worry about The Devil's Blood anymore, considering they just broke up...

# Jan 25, 2013 @ 1:46 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

55. Cynic writes:

When it comes to bands like A7X and metal, let's just say I'm happy to send a few innocent to jail if it means a safer community :)

# Jan 25, 2013 @ 4:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
56. TheMan writes:

Early A7X is not terrible. In fact, enjoy it, and I don't like any kind of metalcore really. I agree that City of Evil was a great album. I think it blew any other metal album of that time period (other than any Lamb of God album) out of the water. Even Waking the Fallen and Sounding the Seventh Trumpet were good. Self titled wasn't bad but there was a definite change in sound. Their newer stuff not so much. Their latest single just was not them to me. Ever since M Shadows had to change his vocal style, they began to go downhill. I think they're great songwriters but I think they have hit the end of the road.

# Jan 27, 2013 @ 8:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

57. RememberMetal? writes:

M Shadows changed his vocal style as part of a well thought out, long term evolutionary plan for the band. Transitioning out of metalcore and into the realm of broader appeal (metal-influenced hard rock) and thus greater cash flow. Countless bands have dropped harsh vocals and heavier instrumental performances in favor of something that sells to a larger audience.

The #1 excuse for this change is always to "save my voice", which would ring true if the band maintained their heavier instrumental sound but oddly they rarely do. A7X is no exception.

Also there's this -- Producer Andrew Murdock: "When I met the band after Sounding the Seventh Trumpet ...Matt handed me the CD, and he said to me, 'This record's screaming. The record we want to make...is going to be half-screaming and half-singing. I don't want to scream anymore...the record after that is going to be all singing.'"

# Jan 28, 2013 @ 9:33 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

58. Blindgreed1 writes:

Well RM, that's where the rubber meets the road because M. Shadows doesn't sing. He still screams, he just does it badly.

# Jan 28, 2013 @ 10:41 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

59. RememberMetal? writes:

Quacks like a shot duck, honks like a wolf-choked goose, screams like a mutilated pig on the killing floor...

Whatever one calls the distressed ululations of M Shadows, it’s not metal. :)

# Jan 28, 2013 @ 11:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

60. hellrat writes:

^I'll have to disagree on the screaming like a mutilated pig on the killing floor...I can't give him that much credit, as I don't believe the Shadower possesses anything near that vocal register :P

Gurgles and gasps like a strangled magpie? mmmm indeed, yes

Metal? oh god...ha! Though I do kinda like it when the children get all empassioned and insistent :)

NP---Push, Push---Black Uhuru

# Jan 28, 2013 @ 1:43 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Overlord's avatar

Member

61. Overlord writes:

This argument is f***ing hilarious, City of Evil is a heavy metal album, there is just no debating that lmao.

I don't know why you guys are being so blatantly ignorant. I mean f***, Led Zeppelin is considered a heavy metal band.

# Jan 28, 2013 @ 5:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

62. hellrat writes:

Well my friend, I don't consider Zep to be a 'metal' band at all...however, they are generally about 7x heavier than then lil' Vengers could ever fvcking hope to be

And relax man, its fine to like non-metal, I like plenty of it. What I don't like is pretenders; whether it be Vaggiefold, fvckng Keith Urban, UB40, or goddamned Sh!tney Smears

False.

Also, there is no 'argument'...despite what the goddamned armchair 'experts' at Rolling Stone would misguide you to believe... ;)

NP---A Day, We Go---Gladiators

# Jan 28, 2013 @ 5:29 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

63. Cynic writes:

"Led Zeppelin is considered a heavy metal band."

..naaaaaaah.

# Jan 28, 2013 @ 5:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

64. Blindgreed1 writes:

Zepplin is rock n roll. Some say "hard rock" but definately rock n roll. Zepplin and A7X should NEVER be used in the same post (except in this case where I am pointing out the err of your ways). Shame on you Overlord. SHAME...

# Jan 29, 2013 @ 10:34 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
65. TheMan writes:

A7X may not be metal anymore but City of Evil and everything before that definitely was. There is no denying that.

# Jan 29, 2013 @ 9:29 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Overlord's avatar

Member

66. Overlord writes:

Well maybe I should change my statement to "Led Zeppelin WAS considered a heavy metal band," because they were.

Also, I've never had anything to do with Rolling Stone or for that matter any media about music besides online blogs like this one. That was just an ignorant shot in the dark, and not a very good one either.

# Jan 30, 2013 @ 2:21 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

67. Blindgreed1 writes:

Overlord: Slack shall be cut. ;-)

# Jan 30, 2013 @ 10:02 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

68. hellrat writes:

Actually Overlord, 'twas a fine 'shot in the dark'...seemed to get ya slightly rumpled anyway, eh ;)

I actually like ya quite well bro, but when you come on here and say silly a$$ sh!t, I'm gonna fvck with you :)

You would probably fair much better if you'd put a bit of effort into improving your witcraft as well...its a bit, oh I don't know...clunky?

gonna stick with Metal Zeppelin as well eh? tsk, tsk

# Jan 30, 2013 @ 10:37 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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