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Troels Pleimert

Where are my metalheads at?

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We've got a couple of music threads going, so I thought I'd add to the mayhem and seriously bring some noise.

 

There seems to be a fair number of metalheads among Space Quest fans. Our very own MusicallyInspired, of course. And, much to my ecstatic surprise, it turns out that Tom King, the dude who plays Chuck Clusterbluck on my podcast, has a very similar taste in music to my own.

 

So, hey, come forward! What kind of metal (if any) are you guys into?

 

My favorite style is industrial metal. It's not just the mix of computer sounds, distorted guitars and furious double-pedal drumming. I am fascinated with industrial metal's preoccupation with dehumanization; the struggle between man and machine.

 

In broader terms, I know I come off as a whiny teenager here, but I love music that has a depressive, suicidal, despondent, despairing theme. Whenever someone sings (or, more often, screams) about killing themselves and everyone around them, I'm in.

 

Bands that have taken up permanent residence in my music player include Sybreed, Sphere, Synthetic Breed, Sovereign, Blue Stahli, Dagoba, Mechina ... and, of course, my one true love, Gary Numan.

 

I'm not so much into chest-beating metal, or sword-and-sorcery metal. And, although I'm not adverse to female fronted metal (I like The Birthday Massacre, for instance), stuff like Nightwish or Lacuna Coil turns me off.

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The metal I listen to is mainly from the late 80s and early 90s, though I was always a little bit more

into grunge, mainly Alice in Chains and Soundgarden.

 

Also loved Faith No More (again, probably not really out-and-out metal), and their Real Thing and Angel Dust

albums and I like most of what Rage Against the Machine put out. Can we count Primus as metal? I love Primus too.

Also I was a big, big fan of Tool, haven't listened to them in a while though.

And Ugly Kid Joe and Green Jelly, though out of all these bands those might not stand up as well today. 

 

I've dipped in and out of the albums of a lot of the other major metal groups like Metallica, Helmet, Pantera,

Megadeth, Anthrax, White Zombie, etc. and I like bits and pieces of all those groups without really consistently

loving their stuff.

I really like the first Black Sabbath album and some of the other pre-metal stuff, Deep Purple, etc.

 

I also enjoy a little of the lighter side of metal too, some of the glam stuff, Alice Cooper, Cinderella, Guns N Roses, 

Skid Row, Saigon Kick, Tesla, etc.

 

I never really got into any of the nu-metal stuff myself, though of course it was inescapable for a while there

in the late 90s, early 2000s. I haven't really listened to any metal that's come out in the last 15 years or so.

 

Also, my main musical love is hip-hop from 1986-1994, so metal has always been on the backburner a bit for me,

I've never been able to devote the time to it that it deserves.

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DEVIN TOWNSEND!!!

 

And in no particular order:

 

The Gathering

Paradise Lost

The Black Dahlia Murder

Keep Of Kalessin

In Flames

SYL

Fear Factory

Pantera

Megadeth

Anthrax

Whitechapel

Slipknot

System Of A Down

Slayer

My Dying Bride

Despised Icon

Down

Nile

The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza

 

Given Troels' original post, as well as his liking of Beneath A Steel Sky, I feel like he might get a lot of enjoyment out of Fear Factory - both the music and the lyrics.

 

...

BTW, Guns 'n' Roses is hard rock, not metal. :P

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DEVIN TOWNSEND!!!

Yes, please!!!

 

Been a big fan of HevyDevy for a long time now. Still waiting for my vinyl edition of Z2.

 

Given Troels' original post, as well as his liking of Beneath A Steel Sky, I feel like he might get a lot of enjoyment out of Fear Factory - both the music and the lyrics.

Way ahead of you. ;) Spent a lot of time in high school listening to Obsolete and Demanufacture. Actually, it was the original Carmageddon game that introduced me to Fear Factory with its use of an instrumental version of Zero Signal as its theme tune.

 

I saw them open for Devin Townsend recently, though, and, boy, Burton C. Bell can't sing for shit live. I wonder how much studio trickery went into making those classic albums.

 

Yes, I even liked Digimortal. A lot. :P

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Also loved Faith No More (again, probably not really out-and-out metal), and their Real Thing and Angel Dust

albums

Angel Dust is an amazing album. I saw Faith No More on their reunion tour at Roskilde Festival and I remember being super bummed out that they didn't play Malpractice. Look up Mike Patton and The Dillinger Escape Plan doing Malpractice live -- fantastic stuff.

 

I also really, really love Mr. Bungle. Particularly the first album. It's silly, weird, dark and unapologetically so. :)

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I don't consider myself a metalhead per se. I tend to be more into proto-metal, like Black Sabbath, which is probably my favourite "heavy metal" band. There are numerous exceptions already mentioned in this thread, though. Tool, Primus, Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, Rage Against the Machine. I also really, really like Haken (an English prog metal band) and I like Opeth's most recent albums. But you'll notice that all of those bands have an avant garde or prog rock edge to them. So I'm not really into "pure" metal as such, though I've certainly tried.

 

Well, I also do listen to Metallica on occasion. Their first four albums are still brilliant, I have a soft spot for parts of "Load" and "ReLoad" and aside from its shitty production, "Death Magnetic" was a pretty solid return to form. But the overplayed stuff just about makes me vomit these days. I bought "The Black Album" on vinyl years ago and found myself really disappointed with it. The songs everyone knows and loves are awesome. The rest are shit. It's one of the most wildly inconsistent albums ever to be put on a pedestal. Could have been a pretty stellar EP without all the fluff.

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I also really, really love Mr. Bungle. Particularly the first album. It's silly, weird, dark and unapologetically so. :)

 

I have a kind of love/hate thing with Mr. Bungle... I love the musicality and the oddness of the actual music, but

I'm not so keen on the lyrics in general...

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Growing up I was always against metal. I didn't really understand what it was. I assumed it to be just loud noise and pointless aggression/animosity with no real respect for the music. Didn't know how wrong I was (I still believe some is, though).

 

I "discovered" metal (or rather, discovered how great it is) via Metroid Metal in the beginning, and then video game covers in general after that (Dwelling of Duels and MAGFest stuff). It turns out "metal" is just what I would have called "guitar music". So I liked it and I didn't even know it. It wasn't evil sounding and dripping with mindless hate, it had layers upon layers and the music was actually intricate and enchanting all at the same time. Metal is just rock music with the intensity amped up to 11 with all the delicious musical complexity you could ever want. Needless to say, I love intensity. Actually, I've come to appreciate a lot of soul and r&b music in the same way.

 

Bands? I still don't really know a whole lot. I used to be a huge music snob years ago when I was a dumb kid and would always go against the flow of what everyone else liked because it must be "dumb". Some of that has still carried over, even though I don't have that opinion anymore, so I don't go out of my way to discover these popular metal groups. Every once in a while someone will recommend me something, though, and I'll actually listen to it and fall in love with it. Need to take more musical suggestions more often. That's something I'm working on. I'm not a musical snob anymore, I promise.

 

Anyway, these are the metal or metal-related bands I've come to love:

 

-Pagan's Mind - Norwegian prog awesomeness, like Dream Theatre only heavier. If you don't mind power metal vocals. I love their actual music, though. Not so much from Heavenly Ecstacy, but they're earlier albums (sans their first, which was a bit of a flop, and they later reimagined themselves) are just amazing, musically. Some of the best and most talented guitar solos I've ever heard. Plus, their albums are all about sci-fi and Stargates!

 

-Dream Theatre

 

-Ayreon - The epic sci-fi prog metal/rock/everything concept works of Arjen Lucassen. Guest vocalists and musicians on every double album. Just great. And he loves to use old "outdated" hardware and equipment. It's just great. His drummer Ed Warby who plays on most of his albums is one of the sickest drummers I've ever heard. I was excited to learn that one of his best albums The Human Equation is getting a live theatre performance. Most of the vocalists (including James LaBrie) from the album are involved as well. I was sad to hear that Devin Townsend and Mikael Åkerfeldt wouldn't be able to make it, though. Still, it will be epic. I need to listen to this guy's other projects as well, like Star One.

 

-Circle of Illusion - These guys aren't strictly metal. In fact it seems like they do a lot of styles like rock, electronic, soul, r&b, and even disco. But it's prog greatness and they do have a lot of metal as well. Fairly new group, I think. Yet another concept album band. Loving concept albums lately.

 

Nine Inch Nails - I haven't listened to nearly enough of this, but what I've heard tells me that Trent Reznor is a musician with true soul. Loved Hurt and some of the other tracks I've heard.

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Nine Inch Nails - I haven't listened to nearly enough of this, but what I've heard tells me that Trent Reznor is a musician with true soul. Loved Hurt and some of the other tracks I've heard.

You might want to stay away from songs like Heresy, dude. ;)

 

Anyway ... Yeah, good picks, people! I love Tool as much as the next guy -- in fact, I even bought that Lateralus vinyl with the double picture discs and the holographic artwork that didn't sound all that great, but looked spectacular -- and I have both Toxicity and Steal This Album from System of a Down (which is one of my wife's favorite bands).

 

Oh, and I gotta give a shout-out to this one:

 

Paradise Lost

Hell fuckin' yeah! Paradise Lost ticks everyone of my boxes with regards to depressing lyrics, punishing guitars, and -- of course -- a good, solid melody you can sing along to. I mean, it may not be everyone's favorite, but I LOVE the song "Symbol Of Life." Anyone who can sing the lines "can't get by with what I've got / always dwell on what I've lost / just a loaded gun, a symbol of my life" convincingly is a fuckin' hero in my book.

 

Anyway, time for a showcase, ladies and janitors. How about some epic rhythm guitar work to start us off? Brandon, I know you're going to get a kick out of this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3269wR6Kg_M

 

These guys are (were) my fuckin' heroes of cybermetal. These guys effortlessly took everything that made Fear Factory great and just upped it to the ultimate level. You know that "next level" Tyra Banks always talks about on Top Model? These guys took the fucking warp cheat and went straight on to the last level. I was so sad to see these guys break up. Luckily, I did manage to see them live once and I got one of their guitar picks with "Sybreed" emblazoned on it.

 

Next up, let's go to Australia:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTLL7KieVuI

 

Sorry I can't show you a performance or anything, but this song is just ... well, it's creepy, it's technically impressive, it's hyper-aggressive, it's melancholic; it's everything I want in a song. These guys are Australian, so you'll have to fill me in on the cultural discrepancies, but, as far as I can tell, this is about a person in an abusive relationship finally exacting his/her revenge on the perpetrator. My favorite line of this song echoes the old Tex Murphy game "Mean Streets" with the breakdown, "My perception covered in red / All of the psychotic voices screaming inside my head / I can't separate anymore." Again, I realize in writing this sounds like any 14-year-old angsty teenagers diary and shit, but in the context of the song, the pause that comes before him screaming "anymore" and then the tranquil, melodic guitar line that follows ... well, shit.

 

What does this have to do with Tex Murphy, you may ask? Well, every time this dude yells "screaming inside my head," I immediately think of Carl Linsky's tape recorder: "They're in my head! They're in my head!" Okay, so I'm a nerd.

 

Right, finally ... let's get off our train to Depressionville and get on the expressway to JustPlainFuckingImpressiveTown.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoRZRMD2kCM

 

Brandon, you're free to join in any time while I pick my jaw off the floor.

 

Edit: Boy, BBcode is really screwing with me. Sorry, guys.

Edited by Troels Pleimert

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You might want to stay away from songs like Heresy, dude. ;)

Surprisingly, when asked in an interview recently, Trent Reznor stated that he does, in fact, believe in God. I don't think he's a major churchgoer or anything like that, but it was still pretty surprising to see.

 

So I suppose "Heresy" is best taken as part of a narrative. Just like Roger Waters doesn't turn into a neo-nazi by the end of "The Wall".

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Surprisingly, when asked in an interview recently, Trent Reznor stated that he does, in fact, believe in God. I don't think he's a major churchgoer or anything like that, but it was still pretty surprising to see.

Yeah, well, Jane Jensen said the same thing about believing in God because she went through a thunderstorm in an airplane. I'm pretty sure both of these fine people weren't exactly in their pious mood when they were writing their oeuvres.

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Yeah, well, Jane Jensen said the same thing about believing in God because she went through a thunderstorm in an airplane. I'm pretty sure both of these fine people weren't exactly in their pious mood when they were writing their oeuvres.

 

 

Well, this is only months old. Reznor seems happy right now, so good for him. His belief in a supreme intelligence is none of my damn business, as long as he doesn't cover Jesus Is My Friend. It does seem more like a belief than being part of an organised religion to him, which I'm all for. Believe what you will, but don't force it upon anyone else.

 

You know, this upsets me less than him naming his sons Lazarus Echo and Balthazar. And people say North West is a stupid name. I wonder if he's going to try to out-Zappa Zappa and have a daughter named Apollo Landing Module Reznor.

 

Actually, now that I think of it, I'd love to hear Nine Inch Nails cover Jesus Is My Friend. That would be fucking hilarious.

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A few years back, I began marathoning entire discographies of classic metal bands for the heck of it. I recall mentioning to Frede that I got really into Black Sabbath and Ozzy's solo albums. Other ones I ran through and began collecting included Led Zepplin, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Megadeth. Before then, I had my symphonic metal phase (Nightwish, Epica), and now my background music is somewhere in between Rolling Stones and Queen.

 

I remember "Brutal Legend" being one of the bigger influence on my musical tastes. After playing that game, I found myself drawn to all these obscure bands whose music accentuated key points through the story. There's nothing quite like storming the enemy stronghold with Dimmu Birgor's "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" or Judas Priest's "One Shot at Glory" as your battle theme.

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