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Re: Re: The Arsies: A Reflection

I think there are actually two amazing things here:

1) “[Y]ou somehow have managed to avoid the calcification of musical tastes that is a basic biological fact of age. How did you do that?”  I agree, this is truly exceptional.  In case you want to know what the near opposite of what you have been able to achieve is, here is a list of the ten albums I have most recently purchased:

  • Candlemass — The Door to Doom
  • Dream Theater – Distance over Time
  • Overkill – The Wings of War
  • Visions of Atlantis – The Deep & The Dark Live @ Symphonic Metal Night
  • Avantasia – Moonglow
  • Beast in Black – From Hell with Love
  • Evergrey – The Atlantic
  • Within Temptation – Resist
  • Ancient Bards – Origine: The Black Crystal Sword Saga PT.
See the rest here
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Re: Re: The Arsies: A Reflection

Thank you, my friend! I think the First Listens have had the key effect of keeping my tastes fluid and evolving. I’ll keep that going, as I said, so that I can That, and being in frequent contact with other (younger?) metalheads in my area; these folks are not shy about talking at me about <insert random band or subgenre> at me until I relent and promise to give it a listen with an open mind.

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Re: Before the Arsies Begin…

That’s some excellent analysis, JaPaBo. I can’t argue with the math!

What I can say, however, is that I don’t intentionally go against the grain per se. If anything, I try to avoid groupthink and keep an open mind about albums I’m going to listen to. The payoff comes in those moments when I find myself saying, “You know, this new Winger album is pretty good!” The cost, of course, is anything David Draiman is up to (but even then, I’m perfectly prepared to love it if warranted.)

In this way, I find myself fairly often disagreeing with other established metal organizations (which I’ll start calling Main Stream Metal, or MSM for short), both about albums they promote and works they dismiss out of hand or otherwise overlook.

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Re: Re: Metal?

I’ve been thinking a lot about your answers to my question. I agree with both of you on some points.

In particular, I can think of plenty of examples of bands that have a shifting relationship with the genre over time. (Hey, we can’t all be Overkill Inc.) And yet, most people don’t talk about metal albums; the categorization happens around the band.

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Re: Metal?

Although I suppose we could come up with a definition of metal based on some combination of objective musical criteria (e.g. double-bass drumming, de-tuning, distortion, etc.) or some common sense standard like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography (i.e. “you know it when you hear it”), I have a nagging suspicion that metal is best defined by the particular emotions it most commonly expresses.  

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Re: Metal?

The age old question: what makes something metal? It has come up for me lately a bit because my daughter has been enjoying AC/DC lately (started with hearing Highway to Hell over the closing credits of one of the Iron Man movies, now she likes some other tunes like Dirty Deeds and TNT) and she asked me “Is AC/DC heavy metal?” I told her no, they are really hard rock.