50 Years of Metal

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Original post

Posted by Ganondox, 23.10.2019 - 06:08
So Metal Hammer made a 50 years of Metal Playlist and it inspired me to make one of my own. Note that theirs starts at 1969 and goes to 2018, mine starts at 1970 and goes to 2019. Anyway, I'm wondering what people would include in their own playlist. Rule is exactly one song for each year in whatever span you use, the span must be 50 consecutive years, each song has to be considered metal by some standard (hard rock is okay for the early years, though I really don't get why Metal Hammer thinks Coven is metal), and no band can appear more than once. Anyone else down for it?
04.11.2019 - 09:47
Decided to swap out "I Dream of Lines" with "Scattered Sprites".
04.11.2019 - 11:35
Written by Ganondox on 04.11.2019 at 09:38

Even if they weren't more metal, it shows there was more going on in the scene at the time than just the Unholy Trinity. Budgie is considered by many to be the heaviest band of their day though, their influence on speed metal is critical, so I fundamentally don't agree with your claim. The 70s may be hard to find stuff, but that does not apply later on. There is no reason to have seven different Devin Townsend songs unless you're strictly doing what you find to be the best songs for each year, but that's not what the challenge is. As good as he is it really doesn't make for an interesting list, as diverse as he is it's still one man. Two bands being featured a couple times is passable, but from looking at how you ended filling out your list I think I'm justified in placing that rule.

Metal has evolved a lot since the 90s. Most forms of metalcore including melodic metalcore and deathcore didn't form until then, and djent and blackgaze also didn't come onto the scene yet. You don't need to include any bands from any specific subgenres, but if metal wasn't still evolving there would be no point in doing a 50 years of metal playlist.

I see your point, but I believe you are nit-picking. Our opinions about Budgie aside, those 7 DT songs are as different as they can get and they show progression in a sense. I personally believe Devin Townsend is the best thing that happened for metal in the last 3 decades. Whether we speak of his extreme SYL stuff which was very innovative, unpretentious, provocative and extreme, or his more softer, progressive, even outright pop but still innovative solo stuff, DT represents the evolution of metal of the last 30 years in a single artist. And the real definition of being a progressive band.

I disagree on your interpretation of the evolution of metal since the 90s. Metalwhore, if anything, was a sign of devolution, rather than evolution. Metal evolved together with technology. But technology has kinda stagnated since the early 90s. There hasn't been a breakthrough in terms of studio and instrument tech that allowed for a second diversification of this genre like it was in the 80s when the extreme forms of metal started emerging. You couldn't have recorded a thrash, death or other extreme for metal music with the technology that we had in the 70s. This era of metal cannot be compared with the hey-day of this genre, when experimentation was much more prevalent. Today, there are just a handful of bands bent on straying away from the usual metal formulas and then a shitload of bands riding on their coat-tails, sometimes getting undeserved attention which generally, is detrimental to music on the long-run, as they might overshadow the important bands. There is also a small crowd of bands that can rehash an overused formula in an inspired, fresh manner, but those are becoming fewer and fewer. Today we also regard many past bands as progressive but back then it was common for bands to more often experiment with sounds without having to be labeled a progressive outfit.

Today we have a new brand of bands that play stuff randomly and hide their dilettantism by labeling their music with pompous sub-genres, such as progressive or even avant-garde. And hipsters bite this trend, cause it's hip and stinks of faux-intellectualism. Djent is a type of genre nit-picking, popularized by a band that made monotonous rhythmic escapades seem progressive while blackgaze is essentially a hipster sub-genre, characterized by combining a very cheap, soft form of black metal or post-metal or whatever with indie and dream pop drudgery. This is devolution, not evolution.

Metal is not really evolving today, but it can still squeeze out a few notable albums or some nifty songs, which is a feat, as other genres no longer produce interesting music for decades even. In addition, my list expresses both what I think was best for the years mentioned and reflects the evolution of metal through quality, not quantity. I do not win a prize anyway if I follow a nit-picking rule, so you can ignore my list. My list is much better than what Metal Hamster put out though. Def Leppard being placed for the year 1987 when so many great metal albums were released just shows what a garbage webzine they are. And were, considering what 'artists' this magazine has been hyping and showering with big ratings for decades. If anything, their list, with few exceptions, shows the devolution side of this genre. If I were a new metal listener, and you gave me that list to start my acquaintance with this genre, I would have given up on this metal shtick long ago. It is magazines such as Mental Hamster who give metal a bad, cheesy and ridiculous name and more cred to garbage genres.
05.11.2019 - 04:22
Written by TarannonFalastur on 04.11.2019 at 11:35


Nitpicking would be complaining about the people who couldn't find a unique thing for ever year in the 70s, while you didn't even try to follow the rule because you found it stupid without even considering why I included it in the first place. I was just using the same format Metal Hammer used, you're the one trying to bend it to accommodate numerous instances of the same band, and for multiple bands as well. Regarding DT specifically, his range is wide, yes, but he also kinda blends all his influences together. It's all clearly Devin Townsend, no matter what flavor it is. The evolution of DT hardly represents the evolution of metal in general.

No one wants to read another stupid rant about metalcore and every other ongoing trend, it just makes you sound like a pretentious old fart. If you don't like it, don't include it, you found plenty of other bands to include even if you did repeat a few. Regardless, the idea of devolution is completely nonsensical, just because you don't like doesn't mean it wasn't innovative, and plenty of people disagree with you. By your same reasoning, I could argue thrash and death metal were devolutions by replacing vocal melody with speed and distortion, and are just garbage genres for edgelords. It's not like you actually could make djent with older technology either as it's dependent on modern production techniques, though I'd argue you very much could record extreme metal with 70s recording technology as the production is less essential to the genre.

The notion that technology hasn't improved is blatantly wrong, it's just the most the innovations have been with software rather than hardware, and information networks have also changed the scene. It's not like hardware hasn't been improving though, it's just that with the raise of digital audio software is much more important. Not that improving technology was ever a necessity for artistic advancement, people can come up with new ideas for existing technology. With generalized digital audio there is a ton of room to explore. There is more experimentation in metal now than ever, it's objectively more diverse than it was in the late 80s and early 90s. You're just suffering from hindsight bias and dismissing everything that doesn't conform to the tastes that you had already developed.

This thread is for the challenge. You are under no obligation to participate, but if you aren't, then why even bother replying? If you're going to have a shitty attitude when I explain why it is the way that it is, then you can just leave. Frankly, people who complain about hipsters despite acting like hipsters themselves and feel the need to litter their comments with juvenile name-calling are the worst. It's not funny, it's not insightful, it's just obnoxious. Metal Hammer is lowest common denominator trash, but people like you do far more to give metal a bad name.
05.11.2019 - 09:55
Written by Ganondox on 05.11.2019 at 04:22


No, nitpicking is about placing several pointless criteria that has absolutely nothing to do with the evolution of metal music at all, other than your own personal preference. And yes, I am a pretentious old fart, as I am nearing 30 years of listening to metal music, so an old fart I am, but the pretentious part not sure. Particularly if pretentiousness is another word for uncompromising and not lowering my criteria when it comes to quality music. The idea of devolution is not only the norm for the past 20 or so years, but it has become even more prevalent today than ever before. And it ain't just me not liking what I see today in metal, pretty much everyone that has been in the scene for at least 2 decades can see that what we have today is like a factory producing copy-cats of well established bands, who only rehash ideas in a non-creative manner. There is a sense of complacency and faux-originality that has been infesting the metal scene for the past few decades. Style without substance.

DT's musical influences are so wide, in his hey-day he rarely composed the same album twice. It is today he does this mainly because the guy is now in his mid-40s, his creativity was bound to nosedive some day and it is becoming harder and harder physically and mentally to play the stuff he played when he was in his 20s or early 30s. The stuff from SYL and Physicist is the polar opposite from the stuff he made on Epicloud, Sky Blue or Transcendence for example. Same with the stuff he made on Infinity, Terria, Accelerated Evolution or Ocean Machine. There is more metal evolution in DT, for the past 3 decades than in half of today's metal scene. So why should I include an inferior product as SOTY? Just because of your rule with one song per band? Or because Mental Hamster made their cesspool of a list in this manner?

And it is precisely that which dilluted the metal scene. Back in the day, hardware technological advancement did help metal progress towards, faster, heavier and more sophisticated soundscapes while not descending into cacophonous nonsense. Nowadays, software can even help talent-free 'musicians' supplement their dilettantism with pointless digital escapades. Vocalists who wouldn't get a place in a band in the 80s can now tweak their voice in the studio to sound professional. We even have bands that do playback at concerts. So how come this is not a sign of devolution?

Thrash and death metal were a mini-revolution in terms of song composition and performance. It wasn't just mindless fast riffing, brutality and aggressiveness. Much of that scene was all about writing great, catchy songs with a knack at recognizing a good tune from a bad tune while not descending into commercial fap. Of course, there was the every now and then thrash or death metal band who played their stuff by the numbers, but that was mostly marginal and unlike today, they did not really get popular or respected during the hey-day of thrash and death metal. It is today that there is an interest in reviving some of these bands who sucked back then and still suck now. Why? Because hipsters and edgelords. These are the kind of people who are content with little, they believe that if a band played in the 80s it was a classic, they have no criteria regarding songwriting prowess, production values (i.e. they tend to accept sewer production even if it ruins the actual music because it is hip), and the only thing they are interested in is image and faux-pretentiousness. Those guys that would blame you for listening the good, although mainstream thrash or death bands while praising an obscure crappy one that was rightfully forgotten by time. And of course, they ignore the really forgotten gems as they don't care about the music itself.

Improving technology was a NECESSITY for metal to evolve, for music to evolve. Why didn't we have thrash metal in the 60s then? Simple, because the technology wasn't there yet. Back then there were barely amps to create proper distortion, there weren't pedals to enhance the sound and there weren't studio equipment advanced enough to properly mix and master the sound and instruments of a heavier form of music. Musical creativity is important, but if technology doesn't help you, these bands would have been stuck at playing a version of blues or country music, which are very restrictive and limited. The stuff you consider to be technological evolution did not bring a musical breakthrough and diversification like the technological advancements of the 80s triggered. All we have today are bands that essentially rehash the formulas already established in the 80s and 90s, some with more creativity, most being content with just copying their idols. The metal music today is devoid of inspiration, originality and creativity that we came to consider the metal music in the 80s and 90s progressive or even avant-garde, although the perception we had back then about it was that it was only normal for those bands to experiment with sounds, considering that the stuff they played was rather new and innovative.

I have participated to this thread, but under my own rules. Like I said, I don't get a medal or prize if I follow that nitpicking rule, one song/one band. You can do so, others can do so. I don't wanna do so. Your explanation is nonsense. You are accusing me of having a shitty attitude just because I chose not to respect one of your rules. So no need to be butthurt. Chill out. It is not the end of the world if I include more than one song per band. What matters to me more, rather than senseless nitpicking rules is for me to make a list worthy of the name heavy metal, at least from my own point of view. I love this music, despite its obvious devolution in the past few decades, but like I said, compared to other genres, metal is pretty much the only genre today that can still squeeze out a few interesting songs or even the rare great album. Not the same I can say about other musical genres, who have been stuck in a rut for decades.

People like me try to give metal a good name by actually highlighting what's good from it while casting aside the obvious trash. The problem is people like you who are content to lower your expectations and criteria, to put all sorts of rules that don' really reflect neither quality or the evolution of the music and who give a name and notoriety to the worst stuff that has been going on in the metal world such as metalwhore, deathwhore, djent (whatever the hell that means) or drudgerygaze. And this attitude is what makes many metal bands tackle these edgelord/hipster genres, wasting away their time, money and possible musical talent rather than focusing on valid genres that could use a push today more than ever, such as progressive or avant-garde metal (and I mean real prog and avant-garde, not atonal, dissonant for the sake of it bands or power metal bands masquerading as prog bands).

And this is final. If you don't like my list, you can just ignore it. No matter what explanation you give me, you cannot convince me that the rule is necessary, and no matter what explanation I give you, I will not be able to convince you that the rule is stupid. So lets leave it at that. We both love metal, even if we don't share the same views about it.
05.11.2019 - 18:10
Written by TarannonFalastur on 05.11.2019 at 09:55


You're not pretentious for being uncompromising, but for acting like your opinions are fact and throwing around big words like "faux-originality" to justify it. It's not that we have lower expectations, it's just that we like different things, and you're incapable of realizing the subjectivity in your taste and the inherent psychological biases people have against new music as they get older. Believe it or not, I vastly prefer stuff like blackgaze to thrash. I'm not going to waste my time debating your opinion even when you're objectively wrong on some of the technical points as that's not what this thread is about. Your mistaking rules about a specific challenge for rules about accessing quality in metal because you fundamentally didn't understand the purpose of the challenge and did not appreciate elaborations there of. If you don't appreciate metal across 50 years, there is no point in making such a list. Aside from not even trying to do the challenge your list wasn't half bad, but if you're can't even bring yourself to try to bring in other bands you don't come across as much as a fan of metal as specific bands. As you've demonstrated you have no interest in actually doing the challenge and have shown that your opinions aren't worth reading, I will be ignoring you for now on.
05.11.2019 - 19:58
That was a lot of carpal tunneling for 5 fucking comments.
And the tears that we will weep today
Will all be washed away
By the tears that we will weep again tomorrow
07.11.2019 - 06:54
M C Vice
Written by TarannonFalastur on 05.11.2019 at 09:55

Improving technology was a NECESSITY for metal to evolve, for music to evolve. Why didn't we have thrash metal in the 60s then? Simple, because the technology wasn't there yet. Back then there were barely amps to create proper distortion, there weren't pedals to enhance the sound and there weren't studio equipment advanced enough to properly mix and master the sound and instruments of a heavier form of music.

So why didn't black metal pop up 2 decades earlier? A bunch of the early acts used old equipment anyway.
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