Monday, March 1, 2010

Metal:Then and Now

How did metal get from this: Nazareth 70's metal band

To this: Poison 80's hair metal band
Then finally to this: Five Finger Death Punch -Modern day douche bags in a band. DEATH TO FALSE METAL! Your guess is as good as mine.

(Sorry any FiveFingerAlign CenterDeathPunch fans who read my blog)

First off, I just want to thank everyone who is old and new to the blog, who posted their opinions of which I have yet to respond. I value it all-be it praise or critique. I'm glad that people feel comfortable enough to really say what they mean to say and not feel awkward or tense about it. Keep it up-yes that even goes to the Lord Toph fans (*read earlier post) I love interesting conversations even if we both don't necessarily agree. But really, thanks for coming back and checking up to see if I'm still there and for being very patient. Now back to the main topic:

I think having an understanding of how modern metal has come to be formed is important for any metal head. Quite honestly I still am not really sure how it has all come to be. I call myself a metal head yet when faced with this post I found myself doing research and realized that I really don't know shit about it. Or perhaps, rather, that I had only skimmed the surface of a genre that has alot of depth. Far more than a self proclaimed music geek like myself even thought there was.

Recently, I have been into alot of music history and such and I had always wondered how and why the metal that I've become so familiar with (from radio friendly to underground) came to have that certain modern sound I just can't quite place but know by ear. Or even if a metal purest could even consider the hair/glam metal bands of the 80's pure 'metal'. What really is the heavy metal sound? Or what makes a song classified into heavy metal? Drop D tuning? Heavy fast drum work? Or gut wrenching vocals?

If you look at when heavy metal was in its first pure form-its alot different than what we would even consider metal today. I was browsing Youtube the other day and had an argument in the comments section (I know, pathetic) with some being who thought that a song was only metal if there was screaming in it. Of course, my nerdrage kicked in and I argued about various classic bands being metal w/ out the whole pig squeal, growling, etc vocals. And alot of people agreed with the plebeian. So I had to ask them if they thought Black Sabbath wasn't metal to which they responded 'Whats Black Sabbath'? That's when I realized I was dealing with children and logged off. I mean, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple didn't scream-and they are famous metal bands. Had they come out today? They would be considered at most, hard rock.

Lets fast forward to the 80's. Hair metal has arrived. But what I find very interesting is that also during this time, the first wave of black metal arrived that progressed from thrash metal. So at this time bands like Celtic Frost, Venom, Mercyful Fate, and Bathory came to play. Which is probably a result of wanting to be apart from the commercial metal that was emerging in America with the bands like Poison, Stryper, Ratt, etc. This sort of L.A brand of dare I say, pop metal? It's just amusing to me that Europe was like 'Fuck that' and went all black metal. (Not to say there aren't European hair bands. *coughDefLeppard*)

Let me make a point that during all this time, Underground metal (thrash, speed, death, power, doom, etc) is alive and kicking. I suppose I should now go into the awkward 90's fusion metal brand that emerged where it all just sort of got scrambled into many things. Metal fused with rap. Metal fused with rock and punk. Cross over thrash. Metalcore. Prog.You name it. That "nu-metal" sound.

And now? There is so many metal sub genres that it starts to hurt my brain when I think about it. I still don't even feel like I have a definitive grasp on metal as a whole. I wanted to go into more of how it came to be with the history of what was going on around the time but that is another post. This is just the skim of the milk. I can say that it has definitely evolved musically into many things. So much that if you don't like a certain type then maybe you could like another. That is what is great about metal. There could be an audience for anyone and everyone.

So I have to ask:what is metal to you? Or even, what does it do for you? Perhaps then we can fully grasp how and why it became what it is today.