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So there was this one time at band camp...
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SpiritOnParole



Joined: 02 Aug 1999
Posts: 2655
Location: New York, NY/Somerset, NJ.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2000 3:25 pm    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

All right, various HardBoardians among us have been indicating that they miss me, so here I am. I agree that the time has come to "take back the board," as Ripperjack so aptly put it. No, I don't mean, "Let's ban all the members who aren't part of the old-school HardBoard crowd." I mean, "Let's get some good discussions going."

Once upon a time, I posted a topic about classifications of music -- what distinguishes hard rock from metal, power metal from thrash metal, etc. Everyone told me that I'd opened Pandora's Box, since everyone has different opinions on what music falls into what category. No matter how we define them, however, the categories still exist. My question this time is why. I can understand the genre classifications, but what lies behind the desire to classify beyond simple genres? Are we afraid that, if we don't subdivide it adequately -- I wish I could insert a little .wav file of "Subdivisions" here -- the music will run rampant and take over the world? Is it control we desire? Do we want to make music shopping more convenient? Or is there a certain cache to specific classifications? It's part of our nature as human beings to classify things, but how much good does having sub-categories of metal, and sub-categories within them, really do us?

Personally, I'm one of those organization freaks who enjoys working things out right down to the nitty gritty. I don't fear a compulsory takeover by rogue unclassified CDs, but I do think that it's useful to have some smaller categories for the purpose of writing reviews and such, as this makes it easier to verbalize the exact nature of the music. However, you run into problems when bands don't want to be stereotyped as fitting a certain sub-category. It's a shame we don't have the ability, in words, to communicate the essence of a particular artist's sound. Wait, what am I saying? That's what mp3s are for.
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HeatherMetal



Joined: 26 Jul 1999
Posts: 1586
Location: Nashvegas, TN USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2000 7:41 pm    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

Wow I'm going to have to get my brain outta my arse for this one.

Metal music is a subculture. But there are subcultures within the subculture. I think people like to microclassify the music so they know which lifestyle category it helps define.

It also narrows down a diverse category so the metal connoisseur can narrow down the selections of new music to choose from. It's a pretty busy world out there and I don't have time to sit around and really listen to every single song out there. I wish I could. It helps me to know if a band is Goth Metal, Power Metal, Glam, Thrash, blah blah blah so I know which CDs I should buy or which MP3s I should listen to without wasting a whole lotta time and effort.

Speaking of classifications - I'm now a "Hardboardian". Thank you everyone who voted for me *blows a kiss and does the prom queen wave*.

[This message has been edited by HeatherMetal (edited 08-06-2000).]
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SublimeSerpent



Joined: 29 Nov 1999
Posts: 384

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2000 2:26 am    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

Welcome back Spirit!

I think our need to place music in sub-divisions is only part of us because the music exists.Before speed metal,or any kind of metal,existed the words heavy metal didn't mean anything in terms of music.Once a new entity is created it has to be classified as something.Any type of intelligent property will fall under some sort of classification.It has to be,to be considered viable and for it to survive.

F.uckers!!!Sorry my thoughts took a strange direction.I'll refrain from being as strange as I can be.It doesn't go over well through writing.

Lets get one thing straight here.Most people don't know s.hit about music technically so the only way to explain what something sounds like without getting too specific about keys and time signatures,etc. is to come up with a classification that consists of a few words.

If you are talking to someone who speaks the language of music the conversation rarely involves classifications.

~ ~ ~
Classifying musical categories only using technical phrases(Just music,w/o vocals):

1.Speed metal:Heavy palm muting,mostly downpicking,sixteenth note triplets and variations on eighth note-two sixteenth note phrasing and vice versa,180 plus bpm,standard tuning,vibrato bar,melodic lines,pedal tone riffs,open and closed droned chords,mostly E minor used,power chords.

2.Thrash metal:200 plus bpm,mostly alternate picking,very little melody,extensive vibrato bar,straight sixteenth note filled bars,mostly E minor used,standard tuning,power chords.

3.Death metal:220 plus bpm,eight note snare hits,sixteenth notes almost exclusively,alternate picking,few chords used(mostly playing one string at a time),few solos,little or no melody,down tuned to D,C#,C,or B,mostly E minor used.

4.Power metal:Varied bpm's,melodic,any and every key,various scales used for soloing,elaborate harmonies,vibrato for infinite expression,standard tuning,alternate between heavy palm muting,slight palm muting,and no palm muting.

5.Death rock:Between 75 and 160 bpm,down tuned to C#,C,or B,minor pentatonic scales,string bending,mostly E minor used,some melody.

Anyway,my point is that the techniques used dictates the categorization.What I listed above are what defines the genre,but when a given band borrows from another genre it's just them expanding their own playing abilities,not genre switching purposefully.

Take In Flames.They use everything I mentioned above and then some.The only thing they don't use is the standard tuning.They've kept C since The Jester Race.

I think for anyone to put a classification on them you would have to classify each riff seperately.The only reason they're classified as death metal is because of the vocals,which is absurd.There is much more to classification then vocals.

More strange is the fact that when I bought Clayman,the classification sticker on the CD simply said HM.That's heavy metal which,ironically enough,is the perfect way to classify them.




[This message has been edited by SublimeSerpent (edited 08-07-2000).]
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Night-Breed



Joined: 18 Sep 1999
Posts: 1417

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2000 7:52 am    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

Serp, you need a hobby bud! *JK*

Anywho... for me, over subcategorization of music is pointless. It's a ferret chasing it's own tail. I don't really need to know the perceived difference(s) between rap-core, grind-core, death-core, Goth-rock, whathaveyou. General categories are enough for me. Metal and Hard Rock suit me just fine. The difference? Hmmm... Metal is edgier, heavier, darker. Hard Rock is more radio friendly, less sinister, less controversial, and generally gives Grandmother less gas. If you want a defining quality, I'm thinking the guitar tone and tuning make a difference as much as the vocal style. I'll have to put more thought into this as my caffeine kicks in here...

"Was it Kierkegaard or Dick Van Patten who said, 'If you label me, you negate me.'"
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Motorola



Joined: 21 Feb 2000
Posts: 587
Location: Planet Earth

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2000 8:46 am    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

We create categories because we need them to express ourselves and explain nuances, don't we? I'm not for categorization in music, but it helps when one wants to discuss music. The weird thing is that Bon Jovi are often in the same section as Slayer in the record shops...
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SpiritOnParole



Joined: 02 Aug 1999
Posts: 2655
Location: New York, NY/Somerset, NJ.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2000 9:56 am    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

I think Serp may have taken RQ's advice on getting stoned a bit too seriously...
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Depp



Joined: 30 Nov 1998
Posts: 414

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2000 3:06 pm    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

I was expecting a flute in a pussy ! I though that was what happened in bandcamps, or ?

Dividing metal is quite interesting, but when metal became unpopluar most bands wanted to be rock bands, just plain and simple. But itīs a good way to descrbe bands, first class it and then state some comparing bands...
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DeathtofalseMetal



Joined: 18 Nov 1998
Posts: 1529
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2000 3:19 pm    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

I agree with Motorola. Classifications are essential tools for communication. Every time we speak, we can't start from scratch. It's easy to put things in groups with other similar things. There's nothing wrong with that.

The problem with classifications is that they can become chains. Those classifications develop certain connotations that can hinder an artist or band. In that respect, classifying things can be detrimental. Unless you have an open mind and do not rely too much on them, of course. For instance, In Flames may be classified by some as death metal. Of course, that's not very accurate and could stop some from listening to the band. Such a classification may have been accurate at one point simply because there was nothing else. Of course, now you could say "Gotenburg sound." But then, at this point Dark Tranquility's "Projector," In Flames "Clayman" and Arch Enemy's "Burning Bridges" only share similarities around the edges.

My point, if I have one, is maybe just that while classifications or subgroups can be used as tools, well, you can use a hammer to nail things and to crush someone's skull. So, be careful with how you use these tools.
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Lockfist



Joined: 14 Dec 1999
Posts: 534
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2000 8:54 pm    Post subject: So there was this one time at band camp... Reply with quote

I like having different classifications for music. A lot of people refer to it as a "label" as if it cant change without altering all the ingredients. As long as its still Heavy Metal, I dont care which sub-genre it is.

My new favorite category is Death N Roll. I love the name and I love the sound. I guess Entombed is doing it best, but I thought Heartwork and Swansong by Carcass had that groove as well as Diatribes by Napalm Death. I think Slayer is leaning that way, I just hope they dont take it too far out there.

Sublime, you may have too much time on your hands but I appreciate the input. I dont play any instrument and my ears are not too keen on nuances. For instance, I still dont know why So Far So Good So What sounds so different than the other Megadeth records.

I guess the only thing that p*sses me off is when people mis-classify Crossover (Mall Metal) and Hardcore as Heavy Metal.
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