Is Progressive Metal the new Cock Rock?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by amonb, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. HeavyMetal4Ever

    HeavyMetal4Ever SS.org Regular

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    Is "Progressive" a genre in and of itself, is it a good word to describe some element previously unheard in some other currently existing genre, or does it have to be something fresh and original to earn the label?

    It's been a long time since I've heard new music that I would call fresh and original. Not because it doesn't exist, but because I'm not really looking much anymore, and have no clue at all about what today's "Progressive" is.

    Is Prog Metal the new Cock Rock? Probably not imho. Music just doesn't work like it did back then, with one trend/style killing off any widespread popularity held by what came before it as it takes it's place. The market, and people's tastes are so much more diverse now days, where even the most casual listeners have access to so much more than what the industry says is the next big thing.
     
  2. HeavyMetal4Ever

    HeavyMetal4Ever SS.org Regular

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    I agree with you, I'm just wondering where things like soundscapes and drone fit into this?

    While most examples have some melodic or rhythmic variation, I have heard tracks that are just a single sustained note...are they music or just noise that some people like?
     
  3. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    Thats a fun and happy song.
     
  4. Microtonalist

    Microtonalist SS.org Regular

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    Hmm well I wouldn't say myself that music HAD to be comprised of all of those elements at once

    However, that does raise an interesting question which I have been thinking about a lot recently
    Now, if nobody here listens to classical music this won't make any sense, but as far as I can see J S Bach was a primarily harmony based composer, which is why I like it so much
    Melody is certainly present, and so is rhythm, but both of those are subservient to the will of the harmonic backdrop.

    French composers throughout the 20th century though seem almost to a man to be focused on changing timbres and gorgeous sounds. Some are highly melodic and some barely have a melody at all, but they're all beautifully put together with regard to timbre

    I could go on, but the point is that ANY of the four elements you mentioned could be the composers focus, if it suits his/her vision best, to the exclusion of all of the other three

    If every person focussed on the same things when writing music it'd get boring pretty quick
     
  5. Microtonalist

    Microtonalist SS.org Regular

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    That was my point
     
  6. AngstRiddenDreams

    AngstRiddenDreams Filthy Casual

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    I missed that.
     
  7. Microtonalist

    Microtonalist SS.org Regular

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    This is probably where the term 'Sound Artist' comes in

    I don't think anybody knows the answer, though, everyone is going to have a different view on it and there are valid arguments in both directions


    By the way, I wrote the comment which started this little subdiscussion while under the influence of a headache, and I can't remember whether I was referring to timbre based soundscape stuff without any notes in it, or to music which has multiple pitches on multiple instruments (which would then be technically classified as a melody) but which contains nothing which somebody who requires melody in their music would classify as a melody, in other words absolutely impossible to hum or sing in the shower
     
  8. Andless

    Andless SS.org Regular

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    The latest frontier is the modular/electronic scene (not discerning between analog, digital or mixed)

    [SC]https://soundcloud.com/ideal-recordings/henrik-rylander-object[/SC]
     
  9. Microtonalist

    Microtonalist SS.org Regular

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    Interesting, you're not the first in this thread to say something to that effect

    Doesn't matter who I'm with I'm always defending some kind of music, seems very few people truly have fingers in all the pies.

    Let me explain. If you say the words 'electric guitar' to a classical musician, the image that appears in their head is of someone with no musical training and no technical skill playing smoke on the water at an unnecessarily high volume.
    The guitarist in their head does not practice, gets drunk frequently and only started playing a musical instrument in a belated attempt to attract females

    Classical musicians of this viewpoint are ime invariably surprised and impressed when it's brought to their attention that there are in fact players of the electric guitar that practise several hours a day (like a classical musician) learn theory (like a classical musician) and play long complicated pieces with many many notes (like a classical musician)


    This is the opposite way around. Chances are if I say 'classical music' to most of the people in this thread, what'll come to mind is a room full of very old people listening to snippets of Tchaikovsky ballet music.
    Which like smoke on the water played by a dude who can't play guitar, has a grain of truth to it.

    Classical music didn't stop in 1850 though, what happened in the 20th century is that, unshackled from the stricture of having to appeal to a rich aristocrat, classical music set off and got as radical as it possibly could (in exactly the same way as visual art has done, and at the same time too)

    Classical music ditched conventional harmony, having a home key, the conventional ensemble and playing actual musical instruments at all.
    And yes, electronics were pioneered by classical composers long before popular music got hold of it (PLEASE GOD tell me you have heard of Karlheinz Stockhausen.......)

    Of course, it then becomes a different genre, but 'classical music' is a bit like 'rock music', it's an umbrella term.


    What's really interesting though is when people take completely different routes and end up in a similar place. This seems to happen with electronics especially. Drone Metal seems to be slightly in radical classical territory as well.

    Meshuggah, despite what it may sound like on the face of it, has a lot in common with what Steve Reich was doing in the 70s. Always reminds me of Flamenco too

    Anyway. Point is, despite the fact that a lot of composers that I've heard use electronics in radical ways (either on their own or with acoustic instruments as well) physical objects have produced most of the strangest and most interesting sounds I've heard-most notably a 'sound artist' creating a soundscape using bowls of water and potato starch.
     
  10. Andless

    Andless SS.org Regular

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    Excuse me while I put my money were my mouth is
    [SC]https://soundcloud.com/andless/fools-gold[/SC]

    - half joking tho, I do not claim to be on any frontier myself anymore - my material is very traditional in essence, just using the fruits of it. But yeah, modulular synthesis has been around since Don Buchla, the concepts are not new.

    No, I'm going to disappoint you by saying I've missed Karlheinz Stockhausen, but Steve Reich I have not. Reich's stuff is interesting as in how Mr. Glass' stuff is interesting.

    In the 60:s and the 70:s electronic musicians were limited to what analog hardware could produce. With digital around, we can produce sounds that couldn't be produced with analog or physical instruments, simply defying the laws of physics.

    But speaking of experimental sound, the waterphone is seriously cool


    Sometimes, the physical world sometimes simply cannot be made up...
     
  11. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    How could would that be to start a song or album with one of those? I need to get me one.
     
  12. Microtonalist

    Microtonalist SS.org Regular

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    Not accusing you of anything, apologies if that's how it came across

    Not claiming to be personally right in the forefront myself either

    Yeah Glass can be great too, but I'm not always convinced by him.

    One of the best concerts I've ever been to was Reich's music for eighteen musicians at the Royal Festival Hall in London, there's a section for choirs behind the stage and when there's no choir you can buy tickets for those seats. I sat there practically above the grand pianos and I've got this image etched on my mind of this guy leaving the piano and standing in the middle of the stage, silhouetted against the packed-to-capacity audience, keying in the chord change on an unplugged vibraphone, just ringing out above the sea of rhythm....

    I was in an uncharacteristically good mood for a week because of that :bowdown:

    Sure, I was referring to contemporary stuff though

    Heard a piece recently by a French composer, lots of electronics but also a mixed ensemble of ordinary instruments. Sounded like a sci fi plane crash


    Thing is, some people seem to have the ability to make familiar things sound very different. I don't how it works but I'd love to understand how I can be physically there watching someone play a violin and there's this voice in my head going "there's no way that's a violin....."
     
  13. Microtonalist

    Microtonalist SS.org Regular

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    Be sure to post a 'new waterphone day' thread :lol:
     
  14. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    I see on ebay starting at $300, all the way up to $1000. Looks like i wont be getting one too soon!
     
  15. Microtonalist

    Microtonalist SS.org Regular

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    Bicycle wheel:yesway:
     
  16. endmysuffering

    endmysuffering I'm serious

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    This thread became a real ....storm.
     
  17. Andless

    Andless SS.org Regular

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    Not really, we're just jumping on the opportunity to shoot some breeze.

    SSO seem to have lost a lot of momentum... feels a bit deserted around here.
     
  18. couverdure

    couverdure No Gear Day

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    For real, I thought this thread was about the commercialization of the genre due to its huge exposure on the internet and worldwide popularity, and then it became "THIS ISN'T MUSIC IF IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE THIS".

    I think the popularity of the progressive metal/djent genre would have a better comparison with indie rock bands than any of those cock rock/buttrock bands that were being talked about early in this discussion. I'm surprised no one here mentioned that MTV was a thing because during that time, labels had to pay the station just to have their music videos be played nationwide during a certain timeslot, and then there are bands without any music videos (an example being Metallica until "One"). Nowadays, any person could upload whatever the heck they want on the world wide web without any extra charges and online communities, like this forum that consists of enthusiasts from all over the world, could gain them exposure.
     
  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That's an excellent point. Mtv was a huge influence on 80's and 90's kids. Back when "Headbanger's Ball" was a source of new heavy music, it was pretty much every band's dream to be featured there, because it meant tons of exposure to just the right audience.

    In the youtube age, though, you can upload whatever you want, but it doesn't mean anyone will see it. If a band uploads a music video to youtube, posts it on facebook, and calls it a day, they will not reach any new levels of exposure. On the other hand, the band could do that, then pay youtube to feature the video, but again, this really lacks the focus of targeted marketing, and would likely be a waste of money for a metal band. You could do targeted marketing through youtube, which would be a much better option, but facebook- I don't believe there is anything comparable- and you have to know a thing or two about what you are doing, strategically.

    Things are a lot more friendly toward DIY than they were ten years ago, but, on the flip side of that, if you don't know what you are doing, you are just going to end up wasting your money.

    So, you brought up Metallica. I first heard of them via old-fashioned music sharing (cassette tape), back when no radio stations were playing them during normal hours. That's how I heard of an awful lot of bands back then, and even up to about ten or twelve years after that. Being a metalhead in the 1990's was fun, but there was no Siris Liquid Metal channel or anything anywhere near that. Sometimes WRIF would play metal at, like 3 in the morning, but mostly, you had to have metalhead friends who bought CD's, tapes, or LPs for you to check out, and a lot of metal albums were expensive back then ($16+ in 1990's money - like $26 or 27 in today's money) for something you might not particularly like. I paid $32 for the new Symphony X CD in 1995 ($50 in 2017 money) because I had heard that they had a new singer who sounded better, and I had not even heard a single track yet.

    Stuff like Bon Jovi and Poison was really quite mainstream just before Nirvana broke out. I don't know if Misha and Tosin have been featured on poster tear outs in teen magazines, but I'm guessing not, nor whatever the modern equivalent would be.

    Just because many aspects do not compare, though, does not mean that there are not other aspects of the music, the careers, or the personalities that can compare.
     
  20. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Good question.

    If it is truly just a sustained note without any element of rhythm, harmony or even timbral variation, I don't think I'd personally call it music. Nor would I call it noise as that implies that it is unwanted. Perhaps I'd just call it sound at that point.

    If it involved just a sustained note with timbral changes, I think I'd call it sound design or soundscape or something similar.

    If it goes beyond that point, that's when I'd personally call it music.
     

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