Metal-ish stuff with >1 melodic line

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by troyguitar, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. troyguitar

    troyguitar SS.org Regular

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    Can anyone think of any rock/metal bands using >1 melodic line at once? Not just doubling a line using a constant interval like Thin Lizzy and everyone after them, but 2 completely different lines like a Bach invention or most any piece of classical music ever. Basically looking for contrary motion with 2 guitars.

    The only example I can think of is Cacophony but even then they only did it in a couple of songs. These 2 tracks, however, are my favorite instrumental shreddy pieces ever and I think the use of counterpoint is a big part of it. Jason and Marty being the players doesn't hurt either!





    I would prefer examples that are not black/death metal, but post them anyway since other people might like those. Thanks!
     
  2. Unknown Doodl3.2

    Unknown Doodl3.2 look at each other..

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    Off the top of my head... Necrophagist, Ulcerate, Atheist, Anata, Augury, Spawn of Possession. Although these are ALL death metal :lol:

    Especially with SoP because the counterpoint is obvious and in your face. Keep in mind melodic direction relates to the whole arrangement, not just (in the case of metal) the guitars.
     
  3. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    Check out the riff from 0:43 to 1:00 here -


    There's even an introduction of a third melodic line at 1:53, although it only lasts for the phrase and isn't entirely distinct from the other discant voice (if you can call it that in metal :lol:).

    I can't think of any extensive examples that are strictly metal. How contrapuntal do you want? Plenty of bands will have a rhythm guitar riff that goes on during the lead, and it's sometimes contrapuntal by contrary motion.
     
  4. troyguitar

    troyguitar SS.org Regular

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    Basically looking for something that sounds like a metal Bach invention, preferably with 2 guitars playing the main lines rather than a guitar and bass. Imagine Malmsteen having a twin brother :lol:
     
  5. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    No, thank you. :lol:
     
  6. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    You mean counterpoint?



    Anata is known for using counterpoint a lot during their songs. Give them a go!
     
  7. Waelstrum

    Waelstrum All Fourths Advocate

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    Two part invention starts about 25 seconds in.

    BRO stands for Bach Rip Off. (A jab at Malmsteen, as a previous Racer X song had the same bass line as Black Star, so it was called YRO.)

    As I type this, I am arranging the fugue for solo piano in E minor that I wrote as part of my university application for two guitars and bass (also inspired by cacophony).
     
  8. MintBerryCrunch

    MintBerryCrunch Melody>Metal

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    4:40 to the end is a melody whore's dream. thanks A LOT for posting this. definitely looking into more of this band.
     
  9. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    No problem man, that album is my favorite, the others are all quite different from each other but in a good way.
     
  10. lankeysob

    lankeysob New Member

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    Between the Buried and Me, Listen to the final solo's in either Selkies or White Walls, both guitarists are playing different melodies but they sound like they go together, often times they are kind of syncopated as well.
     
  11. infernalservice

    infernalservice SS.org Regular

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    The Haunted song "In Vein" off of their debut album has a pretty catchy line using contrary motion. One guitar is playing an ascending melody while the other descends and a third plays a pretty simple root fifth thing underneath. It pretty much runs through the whole song in different variations.

    Also some of the stuff from Kris Norris-era Darkest Hour uses counterpoint and contrary motion. Kris is a pretty big theory guy or so it would seem from his playing and DVDs.
     
  12. DanielKRego

    DanielKRego SS.org Regular

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    Second the recommendations in the thread so far, especially Anata and Spawn of Possession. The Conductor's Departure basically has everything you're looking for in one tight album.

    Cynic's Focus album and even the newer Traced In Air has a lot of independent guitar lines that work together.

    Since you seem to be looking for classical-oriented stuff from what I understood of the first post, this song should make you very happy. This is what Paul Masvidal, guitarist, vocalist and main composer of the music had to say.

    "There is a lot of classical Bach influence in the chorus progression especially. It's a very classically rooted and inspired song. I think it would make an interesting piece as a symphonic orchestration."

     
  13. anne

    anne No privacy hedge.

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    I can't figure out how to embed a player in a reply, but: iii. and think happy thoughts | zero|sum

    Three distinct melodic guitar lines with imitative entries. Four if you include the bass and rhythm guitars when they're just doing the progression. So it's pretty Bachly and contrapunctal, but the harmonies are pretty modern. The solos start around 1:15.
     
  14. troyguitar

    troyguitar SS.org Regular

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    Most of this stuff is great until the damn vocals kick in :lol:

    I really really wish I could get into that stuff, but I just hate it.
     
  15. Despised_0515

    Despised_0515 Bassist of Redivider Contributor

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    Forgive me if I'm not getting exactly what counterpoint is but, if I'm not mistaken, The Black Dahlia Murder does it a lot, no?

    EDIT: Like at 0:30?
     
  16. Waelstrum

    Waelstrum All Fourths Advocate

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    Not to start shit about semantics, but I am fairly certain that the OP is looking for songs that use a lot of polyphony. Most of the songs posted here are homophonic almost all the way through, except some of the solos which have two part polyphony with the lead and rhythm parts.

    That is to say that if the two separate parts are chords and melody, it is still homophonic. Even if the chords are played as arpeggios, it's still not really polyphony. If there are three parts, and they are chords and two leads where they play the same rhythm and are harmonised in similar motion, then it is still homophonic. If they were harmonised in contrary motion, or a combo of different kinds of harmony, then it might be considered polyphony. If the two (or more) lead lines have significantly different rhythms, and use significant contrary motion, then it is polyphony.

    tl;dr: The term polyphony (like polyrhythm) seems quite often to get used in circumstances in which it is not really accurate.

    EDIT: Also the term counterpoint seems to receive a bit of misuse. In counterpoint, you can not have any consecutive fifths (so NO power chords, and most barre chords won't work) and you can't have any consecutive octaves (so No doubling the guitar line on the bass an octave down and most barre chords won't work). I would say that power chords, doubled bass lines and barre chords rules out almost every single pop song, rock song, metal song, reggae, etc... from being considered contrapuntal.
     
  17. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    Nope, that's just oddly harmonized. Counterpoint goes in separate directions.
     
  18. Durero

    Durero prototyping... Contributor

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    I think your post is excellent and informative until you get to this information about counterpoint which is incorrect.

    Any course or textbook on counterpoint has to heavily emphasize the importance of watching out for parallel 5ths or octaves because those intervals harmonize so transparently that two independent melodic lines will loose their separation and independence and sound like one line. So typical multi-voice counterpoint exercises are considered incorrectly done when they contain parallel 5ths or octaves.

    However, once you have composed a clear multi-voice counterpoint and you wish to orchestrate it for an ensemble which has more than the minimum number of voices available then parallel 5ths and octaves are exactly what you need. A very typical beginning orchestration exercise is to take a 4-part Bach chorale and orchestrate it for symphony orchestra. Adding parallel 5ths and octaves is absolutely encouraged in this context. For example the bass voice is often arranged for the cello and double-bass sections to play in parallel octaves with the goal of creating one rich-sounding melodic line. Of coarse if the goal was to create two melodic lines and the composer wrote them in parallel octaves then that would be a complete failure.


    In other words there's nothing at all wrong with parallel 5ths or octaves appearing in contrapuntal music as long as the composer is able to maintain the clarity and independence of each voice within the overall texture.


    Parallel 5ths and octaves absolutely do not disqualify any music from being considered contrapuntal, the question is how many independent melodic lines can be heard; if it's more than one then the music is contrapuntal.
     
  19. Dea7h

    Dea7h Member

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    One of my favorites ever, listen to that part @ 2:50
     
  20. Waelstrum

    Waelstrum All Fourths Advocate

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    Oh, I can honestly say I did not know that. I'm really only at the basics of music theory, so I guess I'm at the stage where there is absolutely no consecutive octaves or fifths aloud at all, because I'm not yet at the orchestral arrangement stage.

    Thanks for the info. :yesway:

    (I guess this also explains there could be contrapuntal songs with so many voices, I always thought that they were even more complex than they seemed and I couldn't hear it all :nuts: )
     
    Durero likes this.

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