Mordy's Metal Listening Club - New Albums Every Monday

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You guys wanna keep this on one thread? Gonna make it harder for search. Let me know on this thread if you wanna spin off or just keep renaming it.
Gonna try the cradle of filth.

forksclovetofu, Monday, 19 April 2010 15:53 (4 years ago) Permalink

now that I'm seeing this in action, it does seem to make sense to break it up each week, yeah.

¬_¬ (Alan N), Monday, 19 April 2010 15:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

yes, but mordy says he wants it all on one thread with the weeks albums added to the thread title.

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 19 April 2010 16:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

We can do whatever the majority of people want. I'm just balking at the idea of having 52 metal listening threads this year. We can start a new thread when this one starts having trouble loading, but we only have 308 posts right now. It shouldn't be too hard to ctrl+f the thread atm.

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 16:06 (4 years ago) Permalink

how about something like 5 weeks per thread, append the bands to the title when we hit the fifth week?

¬_¬ (Alan N), Monday, 19 April 2010 16:11 (4 years ago) Permalink

dunno. I don't really care too much either way, honestly.

¬_¬ (Alan N), Monday, 19 April 2010 16:12 (4 years ago) Permalink

I also like the idea of people being able to chat about previous bands in the thread that the current discussion is occurring in. I'm not into saying that because the week is over that means those albums are done for discussion.

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 16:12 (4 years ago) Permalink

How about changing the thread on the first monday of each month if people dont want to load full threads?

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 19 April 2010 16:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

So I'm kinda digging the Cradle of Filth album so far. The guy's voice is distinctive (at the very least), but I actually think it suits the music (the dueling guitars, the gothy tone). I can't imagine really falling in love with this album -- it's not really my kind of music -- but it has its moments (really enjoyed "Absinthe with Faust," specifically, also "Gilded Cunt"). I guess this is the kind of music that The Used and My Chemical Romance got their shtick off of?

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 16:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

Changed the title.

forksclovetofu, Monday, 19 April 2010 16:29 (4 years ago) Permalink

Is Sarah Jezebel Deva the vocalist on Nymphetamine?

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 16:31 (4 years ago) Permalink

Nevermind, apparently it's Liv Kristine.

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 16:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

I hate to be this guy, but I don't hear any metal in HIM. I hear stuff like Thrice, or AFI, or The Used, and even like The Living End (one song actually sounded a lot like the Living End's "Read About It"), but def no metal in it.

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 17:41 (4 years ago) Permalink

i couldn't get past the 5th song, Sorry Glenn.

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 19 April 2010 17:45 (4 years ago) Permalink

I listened to the whole thing. Mostly unmemorable to me, but if this had come out while I was in highschool I would've prob fallen for it big time. It sounds a lot like a lot of the music I was into in 11th grade.

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 17:46 (4 years ago) Permalink

listening to HIM now

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:05 (4 years ago) Permalink

Joined the party late, but I managed to listen to the Kyuss and Entombed this morning. Liked the Entombed quite a bit, the Kyuss not so much. I had not heard either before. I was already familiar with the Mastodon and love it. Listening to HIM now... hmm, not at all what I was expecting. Is this considered metal? I'm surprised.

sofatruck, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:06 (4 years ago) Permalink

No need to apologize, pfunkboy or anybody, but it's definitely more interesting if you try to say something descriptive about your listening experience, rather than just reporting when it ended!

I picked the HIM album as a deliberate compare-and-contrast to the Kyuss record from last week. Both are clearly in some borderland informed by metal, but maybe or maybe not metal themselves. But what determines this? Take HIM's "Shatter Me With Hope", for example. Crunchy, distorted guitars, stomping drums, some wailing lead bits, surging bass, empassioned and oft-breaking vocals. How is this not metal? Easy to point out particular kinds of metal it isn't, but how do you justify saying it's not metal at all? I don't mean that as a "how dare you?", but as a genuine inquiry. If you instinctively feel that this isn't metal, examine your instinct and see if you can explain what it arises from.

Likewise, how is "Disarm Me (With Your Loneliness)" not a classically structured metal power-ballad? How is it different, in nature, from Queensrÿche's "Silent Lucidity", say?

glenn mcdonald, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:08 (4 years ago) Permalink

let's be straight for a sec--there is no way HIM would be considered metal if they were american, right?

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:09 (4 years ago) Permalink

this seems to essentially be mall-rock except these guys are total pros when it comes to writing hooks?

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

if there was anything remotely interesting about the production i could give this a positive review tbh

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:11 (4 years ago) Permalink

glenn, I guess I wonder by that measure (breaking voices, surging bass, crunchy guitars) that makes bands like Thursday, Thrice, Coheed + Cambria, My Chemical Romance, or The Used metal too. Obv genres are as useful as far as they help communicate, and I'm not trying to draw firm lines where this is metal and this isn't, but I wonder what the use is to call HIM metal when they seem to share a lot of commonalities with a band like Evanescence and less so with a band like Iron Maiden, or Black Sabbath (whether or not those are huge influences on them). And obv influences distill in weird ways and maybe in some ways a band like Thrice IS heavily influenced by metal. But what does it give us to call HIM metal outside making explicit that influence (that could otherwise be stated/acknowledged).

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

this actually seems to be of a piece with europe's boner for crunchy-but-melodic rock that i am tangentially familiar with, except it gets marketed to teenage girls too?

i'm on the 6th track--i mean, after a while you've reached your daily limit of sugary hooks, right?

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

Lacuna Coil-style

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:28 (4 years ago) Permalink

Turbonegro do it so so so much better

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:28 (4 years ago) Permalink

I was actually going to do Turbonegro - Apocalypse Dudes last week but I decided against it as I knew far too many would say it wasnt metal.

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:29 (4 years ago) Permalink

Wrapping up last week's right now with my 100th or so listen to Remission. Such an absolutely fantastic album and the first I turn to when I want Mastodon to pummel me instead of regaling me with prog tales of Rasputin and shit. "March of the Fire Ants", "Mother Puncher", "Ol'e Nessie", love 'em all.

I will give the HIM a fair shot, but I could never get the Spotify U.S. proxy thing to work right and it's not on Grooveshark, so unless I find another way I might skip it.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

I guess the good news about weeks like this is that I don't have to worry someone will beat me to the albums I'm gonna pick.

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

it's on lala jon

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:31 (4 years ago) Permalink

actually that reminds me the fates warning is not on lala--any u.s. bros have any tips for hearing that?

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:31 (4 years ago) Permalink

Fates Warning is on Grooveshark.

Thanks for the lala tip.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

ok word. will investigate.

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

"in the arms of rain" is my new favorite HIM track fyi

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

lol i'm probably gonna download that one track for the misc. section of my ipod

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:36 (4 years ago) Permalink

Seeing some of the band names tossed around, I guess I shouldn't be so dismissive of HIM. I mean, I have at one point or another heard and enjoyed album's by Thrice and Coheed and Cambria... so... glass houses and such.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:36 (4 years ago) Permalink

i am liking it WAY more than i ever thought (tho it's still outside of something i would actually buy) so props glenn, i would have just ignorantly hated on this band without you.

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

I think it's a context issue. When I come to a Coheed album I'm expecting one thing, and when I come to a HIM album (through the metal listening thread, but through the genre signifiers too) I'm expecting another and then it fails to deliver. It's not a super successful album as Hot Topic Punk either tho -- since the tunes aren't super memorable and I'd still rather listen to MCR's Teenagers again. So it kinda fails on its own level, not to mention failing on the level on which I was trying to listen to it. It took half the album before I realized that it wasn't about to turn into metal (there's that turn on so many albums where the first track is soft, melodic, and then the next track is brutal) and that never happens here. But maybe it says something about me that I expect brutality from metal and am disappointed when it doesn't show up.

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

(Also, glenn, I think it was a great idea to include HIM if only to open up these discussions about what is metal, what is HIM, etc. So even if I'm hating on it, I think it was a fab choice.)

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

xp i disagree with part of that--i think it's pretty successful on its own terms. i guess i can see mcr being more "memorable" but i always found the tone of their stuff a complete turnoff, where HIM is kinda campy in a way i can get with.

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:43 (4 years ago) Permalink

So the first track on HIM was a lot better than I expected, but "Scared to Death" is killing a lot of the goodwill built by it. This is just too far on the cheesy ballad end of things for my tastes. Yeah, wow, the "I am scared to death to fall in love with yooooouuuu-oooh-oohhh" is just killing me. Hoping the rest of the album has a lot less of this and more of the first track.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:43 (4 years ago) Permalink

and yeah ppl in this thread shouldn't fear bringing in something "not metal enough" esp. since i'm pretty sure we all listen to plenty of other kinds of music.

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:43 (4 years ago) Permalink

i think scared to death was the worst track actually

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:44 (4 years ago) Permalink

Yeah "Heartkiller" is a pretty good pop tune.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:45 (4 years ago) Permalink

Should've been able to tell from the title alone, but "Disarm Me (With Your Loneliness)" is on some 80s power ballad ish, and not really in a good way.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:55 (4 years ago) Permalink

"Love, The Hardest Way" has a killer solo but I wish they'd have kept those synths from the intro going.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 19 April 2010 18:59 (4 years ago) Permalink

(xp from back upthread where Mordy mentioned Thrice)

I wasn't saying that breaking voices, surging bass and crunchy guitars inherently make something metal, I was asking what does. I just went and listened to some Thrice, for comparison. Clearly they have a lot of non-metal songs, but if I take the most metal-ish ones I can quickly find, like "To Awake and Avenge the Dead" or "The Earth Will Shake", I still find a couple easily identifiable non-metal elements: the singing goes between hardcore shouting and soulful sighing and this emo-ish sensitive-boy croon, and the drums are much more twitchy than battering. It'd take me a while to construct a music-theoretical explication of what I mean by that, exactly, but I have a feeling it could be done.

Now take nearly anything loud from Sentenced's final album, say "Vengeance Is Mine" or "Consider Us Dead" or "Lower the Flags". As far as I can hear, HIM are doing a very similar thing. A little more production sheen, a little more keyboard support, and Ville Laihiala's singing has a throatier rasp than Ville Valo's, but otherwise it seems to me that it could easily be the same band, a few years apart. Now you could say that by the end, Sentenced wasn't "really" making metal, either, but to my ears it's a pretty smooth continuum all the way back to Down, at least, and I hear plenty of similarity in the band's music even back to their two albums with Jarva grunting.

So take these gradual musical evolutions, and I don't understand how we confidently draw lines and say "Oh, this clearly isn't metal". Not on aesthetic grounds, I mean. If we're bringing album-covers and politics and other stuff into it, that's its' own deal. But if tomorrow we unearthed two unknown early HIM demos with a death-metal singer, would we feel differently? If so, I think we're not so smart.

My own theory (and this is why I used HIM's own "genre" label, Love Metal) is that the thing we're responding to here is, more than anything else, Ville Valo's emotional affect and vocal presence. We're used to distance, to listening to metal as observation. Guys in corpsepaint are doing a spectator sport; they're not offering to come spoon with you and get paint in your hair. Ditto for power-metal technique, or black-metal muttering, or Dani's shrieking, or obviously anybody trying to sound like a monster. Valo's singing, on the other hand, or maybe more importantly the production of his singing, is disarmingly human, more Tori Amos than Dio or Gaahl or Wrest. More seduction than ceremony. Oh, and he sounds happy. Not a small thing, that last point.

If there's anything to this idea, by which I mean anything that resonates with anybody other than me, I think it has interesting cultural implications for the form. If happiness and unavoidance of contact are what makes this "not" metal, should they?

glenn mcdonald, Monday, 19 April 2010 19:16 (4 years ago) Permalink

that is interesting reading, but tbh what makes this "not metal" to me is the straight-up melodic pop chord progressions and song structures they use on exactly 100% of the album.

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 19:22 (4 years ago) Permalink

We're used to distance, to listening to metal as observation. Guys in corpsepaint are doing a spectator sport; they're not offering to come spoon with you and get paint in your hair. Ditto for power-metal technique, or black-metal muttering, or Dani's shrieking, or obviously anybody trying to sound like a monster. Valo's singing, on the other hand, or maybe more importantly the production of his singing, is disarmingly human

This feels false to me. On one hand, even the most human voice (let's say Joni Mitchell imo) is still affected when singing and is constantly using that affect to deal with affect/emotions in really interesting ways. So there's a level of spectator in all music. No one is rubbing their paint in your hair. But moreso, in many ways metal is even more personal to me and is often dealing with affect in a way that's incredible intimate. Sometimes that's terrifying, or more recently in dealing with NSBM, is there anything more personal than listening to a band that hates me? Whose music is being aimed precisely towards me and my personal identity? By contrast to that, HIM is incredibly distant, and many of their lyrical/musical tropes are almost too cliched to strike in a personal way at all. To draw a comparison to last week's albums, I feel much closer to Kyuss than I do now to HIM -- part of that is sensorium-related (or synesthesia) as I associate Kyuss now with a warmness, a slow desert feel, like lying out on a bench in the sun (and it helped that the day I first listened to it was really warm and I sat outside, and there's a drug association there too). With HIM I feel impossibly distant, almost like I'd have to be a totally different person to relate to what's going on there (specifically, a 17 year old version of me).

Also, I don't hear happiness in his voice. Is there a specific track you're hearing that in?

Mordy, Monday, 19 April 2010 19:23 (4 years ago) Permalink

but i agree, dude's vocals are a+

call all destroyer, Monday, 19 April 2010 19:23 (4 years ago) Permalink

You've got some great points in there glenn. Not sure I've got my thoughts in a nice orderly place to respond, but in general I pretty much agree with your general gist.

Just wrapped up the HIM. I would say there might be a handful of tracks I'd be willing to hear again, but I can't say I'll find myself aching to go back to any of it. There was a time in my life where this would have been right up my alley, but I feel like I've heard enough variations on this type of music that I don't have a place for it. I can see the merit and understand why he's got a pretty dedicated following, but I just don't feel like this is offering me something I can't find in other bands.

he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 19 April 2010 19:24 (4 years ago) Permalink


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