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Thread: Metal as Neoclassical Music

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    Junior Member SchubertObsessive's Avatar
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    Default Metal as Neoclassical Music

    The music, and subculture, itself remains controversial, as in both music and ideals it is a revolt against populism within a populist style of music, rock. Its themes are dark and individualistic in a way that circumnavigates the sterile and utilitarian definition of the individual in bureaucratic society; they have more in common with ancient and modern Romantic poets than with condescending definitions of "empowerment" and "rights." The music, based on the movable fifth chord with added second, tends by nature toward melody, as the chords are equally at home in minor or major key phrasing. This allows heavy metal subgenres to remake rock into something based on the most difficult to define, but widely appreciated, elements of music, where otherwise it would be rhythm and harmony alone; conveniently, such simple music does not offend the taste of a crowd. Aesthetically, of course, metal is a process of finding esoteric beauty in darkness, where the broadest segment of society would prefer easily-encapsulated, mass-market beauty that everyone can understand. However, heavy metal is notoriously non-political, opting for statements at a level of artistic and not sociological voicing.
    from http://www.anus.com/metal/



    The history of Metal for beginners:
    http://www.hessian.org/metal/music/



    Taste the best of uncorrupted Heavy Metal:
    http://www.anus.com/metal/about/best_of/



    Until the light takes us
    Last edited by SchubertObsessive; Aug-15-2006 at 12:29.

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    Junior Member SchubertObsessive's Avatar
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    Note that the finest within this movement mention influences the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, Holst, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream.

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    Junior Member Mahler Maniac's Avatar
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    Interesting sites there SchubertObsessive..

    You don't like main stream Metal?? Was it not once underground...and undiscovered??

    Does all Metal have to be cryptic or not easily understandable ???
    Some of my favorite Metal songs have been simple....I feel it should be more balanced..

    MM

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    Newbies Hannibal's Avatar
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    What's your opinion of people like Yngwie Malmsteen with regards to neoclassisism, SchubertObsessive? Does he fit the definition? Or what about bands like Dark Moor or Rhapsody?
    Your job is to craft my doom... so I'm not sure how well I should wish you... but I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun. Ta-ta. "H."

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    Junior Member SchubertObsessive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahler Maniac View Post
    You don't like main stream Metal?? Was it not once underground...and undiscovered??
    Mainstream strands of Metal have taken conventions from the seminal acts of the genre, and moulded them into pop music that appeases the wants and sensibilities of a mass audience. It's vague and generic because it upholds Metal's image and conventions without understanding the ideals that gave rise to them in the first place, enabling artists to transcend the formula and create something meaningful and unique.

    We could talk about the status of Black Sabbath (generally accepted pioneer, as you know) and Judas Priest, but I think the 70's was a completely different musical environment. The 80's was when Metal with any artistic integrity was forced underground, and developed into its more expressive forms from there.

    So, I don't think it's a case of Metal simply overcoming obscurity over time, but the very nature of the best keeps it underground. However, it's interesting to note that the 'underground' is something quite different now than it was during Metal's creative height during the late eighties to early nineties.

    Does all Metal have to be cryptic or not easily understandable ???
    Some of my favorite Metal songs have been simple....I feel it should be more balanced..
    Metal as a form of music has to be artistic, foremost! If not, it becomes a circus, a casual alleviation from boredom, a product.

    Although it may take time, if the music is actually any good, it's meaning should be lucid and you only have to sit and enjoy it for the experience to be rewarding, simple or not. In this sense, I think going well out of your way to analyse a piece of music to find that meaning is kind of pointless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
    What's your opinion of people like Yngwie Malmsteen with regards to neoclassisism, SchubertObsessive? Does he fit the definition? Or what about bands like Dark Moor or Rhapsody?
    I haven't heard Dark Moor or Rhapsody.

    Malmsteen is more of a technician and I can't really enjoy his works. I guess he's historically important.

    "Neoclassical: In popular music, originally meant guitar flourishes by whizzards such as Yngwie J. Malmsteen, who borrowed technique and riff shaping from classical music to liven up his intensely technical solos."

    Metal is Neoclassical in that it owes more or is similar to Classical in terms of structure, eg. how themes are developed in a song.
    Last edited by SchubertObsessive; Oct-11-2006 at 21:36. Reason: bad links

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    SchubertObsessive

    I see you mention Tangerine Dream. They used to be one of my favourite Electronic bands. I have loads of their material.

    Don't you reckon that electonica has taken a bit of a dive over the past decade or so? I haven't really kept up with it, being too busy with mainstream classical, but I'd be very interested to hear what new electronica you think's worth listening to these days. Is there any classical/electronica fusion material that's any good?



    Topaz

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    Is Deep Purple considered Metal I like them. :P

    I like older 70's metal, but Metal now is strange.

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    Junior Member SchubertObsessive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
    SchubertObsessive

    I see you mention Tangerine Dream. They used to be one of my favourite Electronic bands. I have loads of their material.

    Don't you reckon that electonica has taken a bit of a dive over the past decade or so? I haven't really kept up with it, being too busy with mainstream classical, but I'd be very interested to hear what new electronica you think's worth listening to these days. Is there any classical/electronica fusion material that's any good?



    Topaz
    Yes, Tangerine Dream are a fine electronic band and pioneers of Ambient music along with big names such as Eno, Jarre and others. Where Electronic music has gone downhill is in the mainstream, where bands in Techno, Dance and Trance music just strike me as variations of Kraftwerk, who are undoubtedly masters. Of course, there are also new age projects who wield an aesthetic but little spirit (just as their philosophy). The brilliant Electronic music is quite scattered here and there, with varying degrees of exposure. I'd cite Maeror Tri, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Biosphere, Lustmord, Steve Roach and VNV Nation as examples of leaders. As for Classical/Electronica, by 'fusion', I can only imagine what you mean is a fusion of instrumentation, as the abovementioned artists and their use of Electronic music, do not deviate much from the Classical approach to music, similar to the Metal mentioned at the start of this thread (a lot of which is Ambient inspired too).

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    Are any of you familiar with a band by the name of At Vance? They've done a few albums, but they arent popular here in the states.

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    Senior Member Metalheadwholovesclasical's Avatar
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    Pretty much all mainstream metal (Slipknot, System of a Down, Korn, etc.) is all crap. The only exceptions are the classics, the ones that started it all like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc.

    The underground is where you find true metal, a world where classical music, rock, alternative, and jazz combine. This is where you get the true bands, Cryptopsy, The Spawn Of Possession, Decapitated, Behemoth, Peste Noire, Violence, Meshuggah, Gorgoroth, Ancient, and other metal masterpieces.
    "When I open my eyes I must sigh, for what I see is contrary to my religion, and I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

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    Junior Member Dividend's Avatar
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    I dont like all the bands you mentioned, behemoth is really good though. Gorgototh is to repetitive for me...

    For metal being neoclassical, one reason it isnt is that it doesnt sound like classical, and have no counterpoint, lacks in dynamics often..

    Opeth comes pretty damn close to being classical though. (Deathmetalband), there is even a cd out there with a pianist playing opeth songs (no growling
    It is the stillest words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come on doves' feet guide the world

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    There is a difference between utilizing Classical Music and being neoclassical.

    Williams film scores are neoclassical (well.... neoromantic)

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    A lot of the newer metal sounds like film scores and soundtracks of a neoclassical nature.

    The best of it is composed like neoclassical music, but doesn't adorn itself in the instrumentation.

    Then again, the best of metal is a tiny minority. It and the electronic music are the only popular music I can stand. Rock, blues, rap, jazz, disco, techno, reggae et al are repetitive noise for distracting laborers.
    the Dark Legions Archive underground metal reviews

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dividend View Post
    I dont like all the bands you mentioned, behemoth is really good though. Gorgototh is to repetitive for me...

    For metal being neoclassical, one reason it isnt is that it doesnt sound like classical, and have no counterpoint, lacks in dynamics often..

    Opeth comes pretty damn close to being classical though. (Deathmetalband), there is even a cd out there with a pianist playing opeth songs (no growling
    There's a lot more counterpoint in death and black metal than you think, but if you listen to it with an ear trained by rock (i.e. an ear trained to focus solely on the rhythm guitar and the lead vocal), you're going to miss it. Dynamics likewise (where metal plays less with volume than with distortion textures and tone).

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    Senior Member SamGuss's Avatar
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    The second link was an interesting article. Did make me feel old though. Apparently I missed some steps in my own listening to the evolution of metal rock, but nice to know I was in at the ground floor... course all that does is make me feel old.

    I'll give a listen to some of the newer stuff mentioned, as I am unfamiliar with most of it. However, it was good to see some old time favorites listed as part of the movement.
    Remember the 3 SW's: Some Will, Some Won't, So What!

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