Trailer Music - When Metal Meets Epic [Chapter I]

Written by: Mindheist
Published: 05.11.2011
On January, 13th, 2011, 24 hours prior to the feigned collapse of the ex-regime's long-standing empire, the death toll had hit 300 as Tunisia was thrust into a state of total chaos. We were three young men, waiting for the dawn to break to flood the streets again; blasting metal during the wintry curfew like there was no tomorrow. I was terrified, devoured by harrowing forebodings and gut-wrenching reflections, quivering in fear at the idea that I might bite the dust before we clutch freedom. The two of them never came back from the battlefield but I remember one of them telling me this after noticing my anxiety, just few hours before he passes on: "Don't worry buddy, better die young and handsome than old wearing a diaper. Here, listen to this..." - Handing me an artwork-less ragged CD - He added "…This is the darkest sound you'll ever hear during your existence..."





Prologue - The Birth of Metal [The Day The World Stood Still]:


On February, 13th 1970, something happened to a small town lying to the north-east of Birmingham, England. No one really knows what hit that town that day but the impact was so massive that it begot the rise of one of history's darkest legacies.

The world back then was a slaughterhouse filled with ignorance, violence, racism, murder and suicide in excess (probably even worse than now) and the world leaders, in an attempt to keep their seats, thought they should find a scapegoat to lay the blame on, and they found it in metal. Countless movements were created in the 80s to preach hatred and disgust towards this music throughout the world using their control over religion, the media, and the law as a weapon. And so, by the dawn of the new century, metal was referred to as "The Black Death of the 21st century", "despicable music for tasteless ears" and "Satan's voice", and the list goes on and on. But they never succeeded in extinguishing its flame; the flame that plowed through borders, seas and countries like a dark plague looking for minds to heist and heads to scythe.

Metal wasn't that discreet either. Since its birth, it has been injecting unseemly toggeries and unorthodox tenets into societies, ranging from the devil's horns - the holy hand signal formed by a fist with the pinkie and index fingers extended - to the conspicuous way of dressing featuring deucedly buttoned jackets with cut-off sleeves, bullet belts and black shirts.

Your way of releasing tension must be going to the movies with your wife and kids, isn't it? Well theirs is a round of fierce headbanging, cheap beers and violent moshing to heavily drunk, jowel-sagged, grovel-voiced demons' hollers and the most brutal music there ever was. And to crown it all, you have "The epic gathering": thousands of metalheads annually answer the call of gathering at the two biggest heavy metal festivals in the world, Germany's glorious Wacken and France's royal Hellfest.

Yet few and far between were those who dared to question the ground rules of the metal "holy book" by deeming the "theory of heaviness" incomplete and relatively erroneous, and thus, incapable of defining the genre. That is to say, metal is not necessarily all about heaviness, nonstop guitar shredding, pummeling drumming and gore-depicting lyrics - resulting in a roughshod maelstrom of crestless interwoven sound waves (Carnal Forge, Disgorge, Kataplexia, Carnophage…) - but perhaps more about establishing coherency within the sound and writing meaningful lyrics (Katatonia, Porcupine Tree, Agalloch, Opeth…).

Almost 40 years have slipped away since God viciously unbolted the hell gates to hurl the "sound of the beast" at the world's most unreasonably arrogant creature, man. Countless bands have been approaching this genre ever since yearning to bring forth a new scent to metal that none of their forefathers did. And although metal has substantially been altered over time - siring a wide range of subgenres from thrash and death through doom to power metal - none of those bands have ever come close to generating the "epic sound".


The Epic Sound:


So, what do we have here? What is "epic" really? Is it the eerie calm the sunset brings as it dies away? Is it the clarity that drenches the sky after a storm? Greece's Iliad? The Arabs' One Thousand and One Nights? J.R.R Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings? C. S. Lewis' Narnia Series? Or perhaps Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle-Earth? Well, you'd think that, wouldn't you? These 21st century demons come from different worlds and have utterly redefined epic with wordless music and incredible composing abilities. They have sewed up what once was thought to be unattainable and what mankind's most poetic souls failed to hammer out: combining the monarchical orchestral epic sound with the plebeian rugged rough-cut metal. The process might seem simple since metal is arguably the most adjustable music, for it succeeded to blend perfectly with inflexible resonances (orchestral scores, dark drones, sonic diffusion, computer-generated cues…) and to breed unpopular-themed lyrics groaning over unorthodox ideologies and notions (Satanism, occultism, paganism, anti-religion, Gnosticism, mysticism, suicide, drugs…) but it's far from being easy. There's actually a big difference between blending folk with metal or symphony and blending it with the most delicate sound which is basically a combination of cues, scores and live instruments written by the most talented musicians and composers out there and stored within the dustings of music libraries.

A lot of metalheads wouldn't be interested to see metal and epic coalescing together and forging one hell of a mutant sound. But there are some others who would: those who have been longing for decades to alleviate the brutal metal's aggressiveness and turn it into a darker yet more alluring genre, because for all they knew, metal is the only genre of music capable of scorching the final frontier of reality and piercing the virgin territories of "Epic", and they were right…



The Fusion:

The very idea of soldering metal and epic into one shatterproof entity remains pure fiction, as ninety percent of the gathered songs fall a few miles short of metal's required heaviness and crushes instead against the choral hybrid rock gates. Still, imagine what sort of impact the underground world would be doomed to carry if these two genres were to lock horns...


Having said that, theoretically, the entanglement of trailer music's slithering choral structure would inevitably tear metal's wide-ranging and smashing musicality to shreds had they had a subtle detour and crossed paths. And even though the presence of contrapuntal combinable chords between the two is undeniable, only two metal subgenres would blend perfectly with this sound's elevated balance without wrecking the greater whole with ear-shattering combination between the two.


The thing is, "Epic" is a very delicate matter, a concealed dark world for only dreamers to relish; be it in literature or in music and in order to unearth its gears, brutal death metal wouldn't be one's first choice. Just imagine the likes of Cryptopsy or Dying Fetus shredding to hyper epic choral orchestral chords and you will understand how excruciating it might be. Basically, in order to uplift this sound's delicacy without bursting it into pieces, it should be escorted upon only "doom-ish" dirges or "folk-ish" passages. That's right, only doom and folk metal would be able to steer its technical complexity and melodic euphony, for doom's slow-fibered tempos and melancholy-delving patterns would bestow utopian reveries on the epic's trembling pandemonium, while the Nordic pagan art's forbidden instruments and folkloric atmospheric melodies would lavish soulful ambivalences on the sorrowful aura.

But this is just on paper, the long-awaited fusion is unlikely to happen any time soon, and all of this remains almost just a theory. Almost, because, as luck would have it, there have been few epic metal cues from different music libraries that dared to set foot in the metal territory and tried the fusion and the result was literally m…. (Well no spoilers, wait until you've heard it).



This was the prologue to "Trailer Music - When Metal Meets Epic" anthology.


 
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.




Comments

‹‹ Back to the Articles
Comments: 7  
Users visited: 61  
Search this topic:  


Milena - 11.11.2011 at 15:38  
Interesting when's it continuing?
Valentin B - 13.11.2011 at 12:51  
Epic article, really well-written, and although i'm pretty sure what bands you'll be talking about, it's still going to be very interesting to read your next article
Mindheist - 15.11.2011 at 12:17  
Written by Milena on 11.11.2011 at 15:38

Interesting when's it continuing?

Thank you . Chapter II is ready but I have to proofread it myself first before submitting it. I got held up with exams and everything but hopefully it will be on before the end of the week .

Written by Valentin B on 13.11.2011 at 12:51

Epic article, really well-written, and although i'm pretty sure what bands you'll be talking about, it's still going to be very interesting to read your next article

Thanks a lot for the kind words my friend, they are pretty much appreciated . The next chapter will be on, hopefully, before the end of the week if everything goes smoothly and as planned.
NocturnalStalker - 02.12.2011 at 15:04  
Very interesting...
Though, with
Quote:
only doom and folk metal would be able to steer its technical complexity and melodic euphony
I can't agree. But let's wait with any conclusions before reading the second part of the article.
Mindheist - 03.12.2011 at 13:28  
Written by NocturnalStalker on 02.12.2011 at 15:04

Very interesting...
Though, with
Quote:
only doom and folk metal would be able to steer its technical complexity and melodic euphony
I can't agree. But let's wait with any conclusions before reading the second part of the article.

Thanks man . The folk/doom metal part is just a theory of mine. The trailer music industry is mainly centered around orchestral and choral sound so naturally the heavier the metal subgenre is, the harder its fusion with epic can be, so I think death, thrash and black metal are out of the equation. I wouldn't rule them out entirely though cause most recently I have listened to a thrashy version of it and it was actually great but then again, billiant is the library behind it .
NocturnalStalker - 05.12.2011 at 14:58  
Written by Mindheist on 03.12.2011 at 13:28

The trailer music industry is mainly centered around orchestral and choral sound so naturally the heavier the metal subgenre is, the harder its fusion with epic can be, so I think death, thrash and black metal are out of the equation.

I see your point. But doom metal is pretty heavy too. Probably on the same level of heaviness with thrash and black metal.
Also... Listen to Septicflesh. Their music is an organic mix of symphonic music and death metal. It's only natural that things don't work out when you record some death (thrash, black) metal music and put orchestrations over it, but when you compose the music with both sides (classical and metal) kept in mind, I believe, it can provide a good result.
Mindheist - 07.12.2011 at 21:03  
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I'm listening right now to something quite reminiscent of your description .

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Articles Trailer Music - When Metal Meets Epic [Chapter II] 15.5 01.12.2011 by Milena
Articles Trailer Music - When Metal Meets Epic [Chapter III] 12 27.12.2011 by Milena
Articles Trailer Music - When Metal Meets Epic [Chapter IV] 11.5 21.11.2012 by NocturnalStalker
Albums Newsted - Heavy Metal Music 3 05.06.2013 by Ruin
Albums Metal Church - The Dark 3 28.02.2012 by tea[m]ster



Hits total: 2930 | This month: 101