Wednesday, September 07, 2011
in "Here Comes Everything" I speculate that hyperstasis/Net-induced post-everything omnivorousness might well be affecting metal like it's affecting dance music like it's affecting modern classical like it's affecting ___ ...
"speculate" because I haven't been paying much attention to metal since the last time i paid attention to metal
but Andrew Parker says the intuition is sound judging by these excerpts from
Terrorizer magazine’s summing up the 2000s (see cover above) special issue:
So, now what? What boundaries remain to be broken? What borders are left to be crossed? According to Chris Chantler [Moss], there are none. “The radical impulse of extreme music has faded, everything’s a variation on something else,” he says gloomily. “Aesthetically too, there’s no further to go – Dead was digging up his wormy Mayhem stage clothes nearly twenty years ago. By the mid-‘80s, Whitehouse and Sutcliffe Jugend had pushed sonic tolerance levels as far as anyone since. This is why the craze that has dominated the last part of the decade in metal has been the conservatively precise replication of old, reliable genres.”
“We’re better than everyone else,” exclaims Gama Bomb’s Philly Byrne, when asked what they offer the broader pantheon of thrash metal, “and we’re way more old school than everyone in the ‘new’ wave of thrash, in that we’re a better representation of the best parts of thrash than any other band out there. We’ve got our own attitude and sound, not just a mish-mash of Dark Angel and Sodom and the more ‘acceptable’ portions.”
Do the old dudes get frustrated with the dearth of imagination? Stagnancy and lack of progression definitely nags Sacrifices [Rob] Urbinati. “Sometimes I wish someone would take a chance and go out in a different direction. I don’t mean do ballads like bands did in the ‘80s, but just mixing things up. It always seems like the vocalists have the same cadence and phrasing and there aren’t a lot of new bands expanding on the old sound. But at the same time, some of these bands are writing some pretty good material.”
“Well, it’s kind of cool, but kind of a bummer at the same time,” laments [Matt] Harvey. “It’s that feeling that everything that could be done has been done, which is kind of depressing. But that’s the perception of a guy in his mid-30s, not a seventeen-year-old that wasn’t even alive when any of this stuff was happening. I can’t blame them for wanting to experience it in the same way it happened, because it was awesome! But it’s gonna be the bands that step back from that worshipfulness and have the balls to put their own stamp on it that will survive. And I know that’s kind of intimidating – it’s like writing your own chapter of the bible or something, but someone’s got to do it.”
Actually what those quotes suggest is more a case of metal-retromania than the "it's everything time"/atemporality-fusion syndrome (which probably relates more to post-metal and all those hipster metal bands who have really eclectic music tastes)
Also looks like the same syndromes of historicisation/list-mania/commemorative issues that you get in non-metal music mags like Mojo and Uncut are also going on in the metal world, judging by this issue
(Recently watched part of a metal-nostalgia festival on VH1, it was a Monsters of Eighties Thrash affair with Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. In somewhere like Hungary)
(The weirdly compelling in its tedium/lack-of-substantive content/near-zero-budget half-assedness That Metal Show is basically old metal geezers shooting the nostalgic shit isn't it... Did learn from the last series, or the one before that maybe, and to my utter fascination, that W.A.S.P. are born-again Christians now and that Blackie Lawless really seriously earnestly and truly believes that all the sub-Alice Cooper girl-slaying theatrics they used to go in for - and which I witnessed back in the day at Donington were Art in a living theater/confront the audience style)
As I say, not been following the post-metal zones barely at all, but on this vague topic and related issue of generic splintering, which metal has even worse than dance (and there may well be something to the idea that the delta-isation of a genre leads to its slowing down, the dissipating of all that tightly channeled forward momentum into innumerable ever-narrowing creeks) ... it always tickled me that you have doom metal and then you also have "retro doom metal". Doom being already decidedly enslaved to the Sabbath template laid down aeons ago, as then further codified by Saint Vitus, but I guess "retro doom" must mean groups that are unusually enslaved to the Sabbath/Vitus template? Or dress like Sabbath circa 1971?
Bet none of them can beat the original non-originals though - the mighty mighty Saint Vitus putting the EPIC into EPIGONE
here's a live version ripped from the Reunion DVD!