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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
Kamel
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Opinions: Worst and best ROCK & METAL lyricists (Updated)

in the beggining I intended to read opinions about the lyricists of all genres, but then, according to your opinions, I decided to delimit the topic to Metal & Rock lyricists.

-----------------------------------------------------

Well, I've heard so many good singers being totally lousy when writing lyrics that I couldn't say for sure who's the worst to me, but I surely know who's one of the best,

Henry Rollins
James hetfield
Anthony kiedis

Surely the best lyricist I've ever heard is Dave Mustaine.

I'll write more later, i gotta go.

Cheers.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
Lateralus14
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Lol, take James Hetfield out of there, he's just another metal lyricist and if you throw him in there you have to toss in a few thousand more names to be fair. And I dont want to see such a wall of text. So yea, metal's pretty much out because it's a no brainer.

So um...the lyrics on Fear of a Blank Planet were pretty dreadful as we already discussed.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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worst: John Anderson from Yes. Since he wrote most of the lyrics based on how they sound rather than what they mean, they are completely incoherent.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Best: Jesper Stromblad and Niklas Sundlin
Worst: James Hetfield (now)
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Old July 8th, 2009, 09:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Best in metal or in all genres?
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Old July 8th, 2009, 10:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Best in metal or in all genres?
well, let's say "worst and best metal and rock lyricist"
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Old July 9th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hmmm okay, rock is pretty broad, but I think I know what you mean.

Ummm metal first I guess

Just my personal thought... metal doesn't tend to rely on lyrics as heavily as other genres of music, so faulting a metal band for bad lyrics shouldn't really play a big part in your opinion on the band, at least not for me.

Best:
Jake Bannon (Converge) - I used to listen to Converge and not understand what the fuck this guy was saying, but I opened up the lyric booklet and read along with his incoherent screaming and it all made sense. His lyrics are like poetry about everything and anything this guy can think of. His outlook on love in Jane Doe is perfect.

Brent Hinds/Troy Sanders/Brann Dailor (Mastodon) - Who else could write lyrics based around Steven Hawkings black hole theories and czarist Russia?

Toby Driver (maudlin of the Well/solo projects) - I don't really like the guys bands, but theres no doubt he writes some good lyrics.

Michael Akerfeldt - Of course... this being an Opeth forum... but I really do enjoy most of his lyrics. I like the cryptic lyrics on Watershed, the concept driven lyrics on Still Life and Ghost Reveries, and certain songs with lyrics that are obviously deeply connected to the main himself (ie Burden, TNATSW, etc)

Worst:
James Hetfield (Metallica) - Later stuff of course. Pretty much goes without saying his lyrics are just dull and boring nowadays.

Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse) - Refer to: "I Cum Blood" nuff said.

Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour) - Ugh.

Rock:

Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) - Always intelligible yet cryptic lyrics that always get me thinking. I love trying to pick apart what he is trying to say.

Jesse Lacey (Brand New) - This dude sings from the soul. All of his lyrics are filled with emotion, and thats how it should be.

Cedric Bixler-Zavala (The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In) - The craziest lyrics I have ever heard. I was playing "Vermicide" for one of my coworkers, when the lyric "We are sacrosanct" came up. He commented what a good word that was, and how its hard to use in normal conversation, and somehow he worked it into a song. His lyrics make no sense, but they are great somehow, at least to me.

Marilyn Manson - His lyrics are always clever and witty. The way he works his lyrics in the trypich is incredible. Staying with an overarching concept across three separate albums, while still getting all of his thoughts out into the lyrics is unbelievable.

Worst:
Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer) - Cuntry Boner

There are far too many bad lyricists in rock music to mention.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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off the top of my head... the best:

maynard james keenan
mikael akerfeldt
john lennon
paul mccartney
roger waters
bruce dickinson
jim morrison
van morrison
nick drake
michael stipe
lemmy kilmister
dani filth

worst:

too many to mention.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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best=Mike Vennart or Thom Yorke (currently for me)
worst=Alexi laiho
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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best: dylan, lennon, van morrison

worst: all metal lyricists
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Old July 9th, 2009, 03:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koi View Post
worst=Alexi laiho
Agreed, C.O.B lyrics are so bad, it's unbelievable.

I mentioned this already on another thread, but when it comes to metal, I'm a fan of Devin Townsend's lyrics.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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best=Mike Vennart

+1 times infinity.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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as nice as it can be to read the lyrics from the lyrics sheet, what really matters for me is what they sound like when sung in context in the song. if I want to read a good text ill just read a novel or, heck, even poetry.

some favs:
metallicas rtl - mop - ajfa
opeths still life - deliverance - damnation - ghost reveries
edge of sanitys crimson

all i can think of atm in metal. when i think of rock i automatically think of prog rock and when i think of prog rock i automatically think of cool music + nonesense lyrics (though usually sung in a cool way that fits the psychedelic atmosphere)
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Andrew Eldritch
Layne Staley
Lord Worm
Jaz Coleman
Justin Broadrick

All write great lyrics.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
opeth8
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Cantrell also wrote some of AIC's best lyrics...especially on Dirt !
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Old July 9th, 2009, 08:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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well...I mentioned Dave Mustaine, in spites of being a metal lyricist, along with Bruce dickinson they can write very inspiring and "poetic" lyrics.

Lemmy Kilmister sucks at writing lyrics, but he's funny as hell.
Amorphis lyrics are somewhat incoherent, but I presume that's because of the translation
In flames lyrics just sucks, but I love the way he structures the phrases
Anneke's lyrics are sometimes lousy and some others are pretty much inspiring.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 09:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Best lyricists:

Dan Swano
Mikael Akerfeldt
Carl Mccoy - Fields of the Nephilim
Robert Lowe - Solitude Aeturnus
Byron - Bal Sagoth

Worst:
Alexi Laiho
newer In Flames
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiendJesterChaos View Post
Worst: James Hetfield (now)
It's amazing how the guy who wrote the lyrics for AJFA and the Black Album (no matter what you think of the music, that one has amazing lyrics) has gone to "my lifestyle determines my deathstyle"-type drivel.

Or should I say "deathstyle-CHA!"
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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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^ That lyric is actually Kirk Hammett's.
James Hetfield has written some incredible lyrics throughout his career, and there are some great ones on Death Magnetic:

Say is that rain or are they tears
that stained your crying face for years
Crying, weeping, shedding strife
Year after year, life after life
A narrow, freshly-broken ground
the concrete angel laid right down
Upon the grave which swallows fast
It's peace at last, oh peace at last

^ I mean, that's not bad lyrics at all.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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BEST:
1. Micke "Ulke" Johansson - Dia Psalma (there's just no doubt about it, he's the fuckin best)
2. Trent Reznor
3. Jonas Renkse

WORST:
1. any self destuctive fantasy goth-crap
2. Danko Jones
3. Corey Taylor
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Old July 9th, 2009, 12:56 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Peter Steele has glorious lyrical moments and also shitty ones...
Type O negative has tremendous lyrics!!
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Good lord we have some bad ones being mentioned as good. Jonas Renske's lyrics can be dreadful and melodramatic. Ghost of the Sun is the best example. That chorus makes me cringe. And Dan Swano's lyrics are pretty stupid too i.e. "Now the princess is they're everything" - k that's fine, if you're in some Disney-sponsored pop band.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Passing bird - katatonia

"she's got black hair...
she has got a black dress
She is pretending that her life's a mess
and I can not rest, with so many worries...
and I can't lie down and say that I'm done."

I know these lyrics sucks, but I dunno why I still like them :S.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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And Dan Swano's lyrics are pretty stupid too i.e. "Now the princess is they're everything" - k that's fine, if you're in some Disney-sponsored pop band.
they fit the whole epic story theme without going dragonforce silly (funny enough, the keyboard player in dragonforce wrote the lyrics for the sequel but there the lyrics kinda suck)
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Old July 9th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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lol at some of the choices in here...jesper stromblad? seriously? lemmy bad? all of his lyrics are incredibly witty and they sure beat out most of hetfield or mustaine's shit
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