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Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by Merloch, Jan 14, 2010.
I agree with the topic started.
It's ok if DT is not the right band for some of you anymore, there are many bands (especially those of technical death metal that I used to heard from the USA when I was younger) which I dont listen to anymore because it's not what my taste is about nowadays, what I fail to understand, is the bashing...that people tend to do in abundance in the music world (especially in Metal)... why the bashing all the time? I will give you an example, I am deeply disappointed with the direction that In Flames have taken, they were my favourite band for many years... and honestly, I still dig them... they don't write bad music, but they are not THAT great anymore... but I am not whinning around in the forum's complaining about it... that's the way it is, and you can't do nothing about it, if you still like it, listen to the band, if you don't, just listen to many other bands who can fulfill your tastes better.
I'm not sure if you're implying there's needless whining or bashing in this thread, but if that's the case, I must disagree. While I admit some bands get bashed way more than they deserve, I sense no such notion in this thread - on the contrary, pretty much everyone has expressed their respect for DT, even though their personal tastes might not match the band's current style. Without this thread, we'd never had the pleasure of reading Stizzle's expert analysis on riffing in metal. Thus I, for one, am grateful for Merloch starting it all by expressing his opinion.
While I agree that it was a pleasure to read Stizzle's expert analysis about metal riffing and stuff, I am not sure I agree with the rest you said, anyway, perhaps I overreacted because it's really annoying to see such complainings all the time, and as someone as said before, it's hard not to do something that has been done before quite some times, and regardless of the past and considering that, DT is one of the few bands in the whole metal genre that managed to put out good material everytime they release a new record so far.
Personally, I'm overjoyed to hear different opinions about music. There's nothing wrong with not liking something, and the fact that we, the listeners, and our artists have different tastes are the only reason that we have so many thousands of bands and millions of albums. It's that diversity that makes being human so groovy.
I just think that you've got to be able to support your position. I'm generally not a fan of expressing negative opinions, as I believe that we should just thank musicians for the good they do, regardless of our personal response. There is always room for constructive criticism and commentary.
I have no appreciation, however, for statements that are blatantly false, or that lack support. The band's modern work is "uninspired" or "simple"? I completely disagree, and I think I've made a good argument that it's not. Can anyone tell me why you think so? I honestly have no idea why anyone would think that. Saying something negative doesn't seem very productive, unless you were looking for a serious discussion, and there hasn't been one. Some of us disagree with the premise of the thread, and have said so. Those that agree haven't really said much of why; I feel like some people just kind of want to be negative.
You hit it right on the spot AGAIN. Like you feel some people kind of want to be negative, I personally want to be positive. When someone(not always music-related) makes a mistake or anything I always think like "well, I guess he/she didn't mean it that way." Same with music basically, on some occasions, I found myself listening to songs I didn't really like of my favourite bands just until I did like them.
Something else I'd like to mention in addition to that, or mainly as an example of unsupported ranting, is the fact that I heard people say that DT didn't put any effort in their new album, since they just re-recorded old songs. That was about the most unconstructive criticism I've heard. I've heard only two songs from the album, and they've got some DT trademarks which are certainly recognizable, but they also sound really fresh, and I really don't think that the other songs will sound like re-records. Of course, you're gonna hear things similar to what you heard before, but what do you want, it's still the same band, isn't it? If you want something completely different, then just go listen to another band!
Basically, you can't have everyone happy. If a band changes their musical style there's whining and if they stick to a working formula there's whining.
I agree completely. It's like when a band makes a big change (like DT with Projector, or Nine Inch Nails with The Fragile), you have to trust that a band that was so good prior to that album made the change for a reason. I trust the members of DT to put out a genius album; if it's something totally different, I trust that it's also good. If I don't care for it, that's on me. It's okay not to like it, and even to say it, but you can't blame the band.
In the present case, when a band makes an album using previously demonstrated stylistic elements, it's kind of silly to complain. It would be like whining just because DT made another death metal album: "They've made a bunch of them, and I think it's high time they put out a country album." It's their STYLE to use those riffs. No one complains about Amon Amarth speed-riffing in every single song, because that's why you listen to Amon Amarth. If you hate that style, or you want something totally fresh, find it. But DT will always use certain stylistic elements, and innovate in other ways. At The Point of Ignition has a lot of familiar DT in it, for example, but the synth leads in the chorus are completely out of left field. That's the freshness in that song, mixed with familiar elements. If you're tired of another DT album with familiar technique, find a band with a completely different approach. As evidenced above, I don't want to discourage anyone from enjoying this band; I think it would be your loss. I just don't understand why you would a) listen to a unique and beautiful metal band without contemplating the context and reasoning of a particular technique and b) why you would go to a forum on "ultimateMETAL.com" to complain about bands using core techniques of metal.
l am not whining. DT has been a top 5 band for me for at least 10 years now. Very few bands write as complex and beautiful metal as they do. I just cant take the reliance on simple riffing anymore. It is starting to go down the same path that many other bands have gone. While I still like all of their albums thus far, I fear they will be crossing the line soon. The two new songs seem very boring to me, and the repeated riff is popping up again.That was my point
And the reason I complain about it, that style is inherently taken from Nu metal and Mallcore/Metalcore. It is boring, bland, takes no skill and is designed to attract Mallcore kids ala killswitch engage.
I find it ironic that a lot of melodic death metal bands these days are using riffs from the metalcore bands who stole melodic death metal in the first place and dumbed it down!
Im not the kind of elitist fan to jump ship as soon as things change. I like a lot of bands who have changed it up. Some is acceptable (hypocrisy - catch 22, inflames - reroute) but you can only do it so much. Peter realized his mistakes and got Hypocrisy back on track. Inflames is now a complete abortion of metal.
I think I understand where you're coming from.
When Clayman came out, I was a bit worried hearing In Flames replacing actual riffs with these rhytmic, one-chord verses in Pinball Map. The almost complete lack of guitar-work on Only for the Weak lowered my expectations for the coming album.. and indeed, they had taken the formula to the next level on Reroute to Remain. Cloud Connected is really (in my book) the ultimate example of the kind of riff/song-writing we're talking about here (unless I'm completely mistaken). As metalheads, we expect a band to put in a little work when they write the riffs and melodies because - let's face it - Metal IS guitar*.
Unlike you, however, I don't think DT are going down that road. If you would have read what stizzleomnibus wrote, you might see what separates DT's use of this type of riff from that of In Flames for instance.
* = Actually, I'm not sure Metal = Guitar anymore. It used to be that way.. but today there are a lot of bands who just don't put a lot of energy into writing riffs.. Godgory's Way Beyond is a good example of this. They use guitars mainly as rhythmic instruments and have keyboards provide melodies. Granted, they're probably more of a goth metal band... but my point is that they just replace guitar-work with keyboard-work.. and IMO it really works.
Certainly, it doesn't specifically have to be about guitar, but there aren't a lot of instruments that would give you the right amount of attack to build heavy grooves.
Yes that is a good point about guitar not = metal anymore.
I may be a bit biased because I play guitar. I think that makes my opinion on certain music harder...'
Anyway, I hope I can hear the new album and post a thread about how dumb I was....
Yeah, I'm a drummer, so I tend to look at music from that perspective. I've branched out, so I'm going to riff on drumming a bit and see if my once-upon-a-time drummer's eyes don't parallel your guitarist's eyes, and maybe this will make sense to you.
Anders is an amazing drummer. It's hard for me to tell how good musicians are on instruments that I don't play, so anyone who is not a drummer should take my word for it. He's really good.
One technique that he frequently uses, that pops up on every single album, is called a blast beat. If you're not familiar listen to Empty Me. When the drums kick in at 0:10, that's a blast beat (sometimes, at this tempo, it's called a "hyperblast"). A more conventional tempo of blast beat kicks in at 0:19. This is one of the easiest beats you can possibly play (with a huge exception made for the incredible speed in this example). If you can tap your hands in an alternating fashion, simply practice stomping your right foot every time you tap your right hand; congratulations, you're a death metal drummer.
However, you have to contrast that against things like the signature DT breakdown. The first set of songs that comes to mind: The Lesser Faith 2:15-3:25 (syncopated 4/4), My Negation, 4:32-5:43 (tricky 7/8, which I missed the first few times), At Loss for Words, 1:38-2:25 (a series of variations in 5/8). Aside from the intricacies of the rhythm, listen to the extra candy in the drumming: 32nd note rolls on the hi-hat, left-handed open-close sounds on the hi-hat on odd 16th notes, and a ton of play on the splashes. Basically, everything that you hear that isn't a bass drum, snare, or hi-hat/ride on an 8th note is just ornamentation. It doesn't make the song, it just makes it more awesome. If you'd like to hear what I'm talking about in slow-motion, listen with awe to the first minute of The Mundane and the Magic. A drummer with a voice is a very rare and special thing. Rhythm is often easy, but this is weaving a goddamn tapestry.
So why, if he's so good, is he always playing simple-as-crap blast beats? The answer here is a very common theme in DT's work: they play what's appropriate. In the grind section in Dream Oblivion that came up earlier, the guitars take a backseat to the keys. The keys frequently drop down to playing synth pads behind the grind. The drums frequently step back and support the guitar work. Usually, though, everything is in balance, and focusing on any one instrument misses the grand gift: it's a full band, playing one section that works together. This band isn't about any one instrument, it's hours on end of appropriate instrumentation supporting a common goal, and it's in those hours we forget ourselves.
The ultimate example of this in practice is one that I figured out a while ago. I felt vindicated when Niklas mentioned it in the last "Making of" video. Where, exactly, are the DT guitar solos? Not the sweet transition flourishes, not the breakdown melodies, not the gentle, mournful little solos (Focus Shift, 2:12-2:30). I want to know where to find the big, flashy, super-technical solos, like In Flames, Children of Bodom, or Amon Amarth.
By now, you should know that you're not really going to find them here. This band always put musicality and the unity of a work ahead of any individual instrument. "Flash" and "wow factor" will always be of secondary concern. Every song is a mission, and anything that does not implicitly support the mission of that song isn't going in.
Here is a list of things that we'd love to see, but probably won't:
Mikael singing in the style of your favorite vocalist (too personal to choose a good example).
Martin H./Niklas playing like this.
Daniel playing like this.
Martin B. Playing like my hero. (give that one a serious viewing, probably the single most technically talented musician alive today)
Anders playing like this.
Those are all amazing musicians, but you couldn't put nearly that much action in one song all at once. A balance of technique and simplicity is why DT is still the best band in the world. Technical music, not musical technique.
</Dear god is it over yet.>
Totally agreeing with this dude. ^
Damn yeah, love the way you used some lyrics in there actually (Blind At Heart)
That interpretation of Liszt was breath-taking. Thank you for the link!
I smiled when Anders said (on the DVD) that he had given up football (something he was, according to him, really good at) for drumming in DT (something he was, according to him, really bad at - which was not true - the early recordings show that he was quite good from the very beginning). I wonder how good a footballer he might have been, if he was such a "bad" drummer. And as for solos, the very Blind at Heart contains an excellent thrash solo.
Allow me to elaborate my previous ramblings:
You need guitars to call your music metal. However, you don't seem to need to write riffs (or even melodies) these days. Guitars are stepping back as keyboards and vocals provide the melodies for a lot of bands. Many old school metalheads are having a tough time adjusting to this paradigm shift.. and I think this may be the case with Merloch here.
I think you're too obsessed with if the guitar riff is easy to play or not. Just because the riff is 'just palm muted power chords' it doesn't mean that the songwriter was taking an easy way out. You have to listen to what else is going on, what happened before the riff and what it leads up to. As stizzle said - you have to listen to the riff in its context.
Yeah it also made me smile when they said that when they decided to start a band, they were like "oh well Mikael and Niklas do the guitars, Martin the bass and uhmm... Anders (Jivarp) is pretty strong so he can do the drums and there's nothing else left so Anders (Friden) does the vocals."
As for the solos, I have to add The Wonders At Your Feet and Icipher to that, those may not be thrashy solos but they're great anyway
I think I've just found my new favorite poster on this board.
Valentina Lisitsa is absolutely amazing. She's got a ton of material on Youtube.
I wasn't trying to say the DT doesn't have any solos. They've got a whole lot of them. It's just that they're not nearly as bombastic as many bands, and they don't take you out of the song as much. The solo I've got in mind is from Amon Amarth's Twilight of the Thunder God. Big, dramatic song. Then you get towards the end, and it's just the rhythm guitar and...something... on top of it. It's a pretty awesome solo, but when it hits, it stops being about the song and it's just about awesome technique. It's not bad, and it works for some bands. But could you imagine Martin or Niklas standing at the front of the stage, arrogantly making awesomeface while they lay an awesome solo down? Most of solos are more modest, or somehow support the song. They're not pure wankery like some bands.
In a way, its proper song writing. Its part of the song, and not a song inside of itself.