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Discussion in 'Opeth (Archived)' started by Demilich, May 29, 2004.
You've got to remember there's that difference between "superficial" and "meaningful"...
i too agree, but you don't have to be dark to be meaningful, just like not all happy things are superficial.
of course, the fact that it's superficial is a very valid argument against commercial music, but it doesn't make dark underground any better, just cos it doesn't have the same kind of superficiality (does this word exist? )
i like opeth cos it isn't shallow, not because it's dark. there's plenty of shallow dark stuff. the fact that opeth plays dark music (not always) is "just" a bonus.
Darkness vs Light
Light [usually] 2d people, predictable
Dark [not necessarily evil]; less 'flat', have more realistic qualities, aren't flawless.
That's the appeal of darkness; power, but can you control it or will it slip ? ?
Light/right hand path beleifs generaly lump darkness into the 'undesirable' category eg. Christianity tends to fear anything dark/mysterious... or even thinking for yourself.
As Christianity has a fairly good hold over society's values, happyness is seen as something to be attained by any means possible.
'Turn that frown upside down'...
Why, you ask.
Because no-one wants to be unhappy...
The dark of the night is a great Place to hide away from the busy loud and annoying Everyday-life; and the sound of 'dark' music is [for me] a kind of compensation (don't know if it's the right word, i'm not that perfect in speaking english) to the anger sadness and pain i know. that doesn't mean that i'm sad and depressed all the time, i've a lot of fun in my life. but i don't know if i could live without that hard'n'heavy kind of music and the silence of a night by fullmoon... on a special way it gives me the power to find my place and live in this chaotic world. ...my opinion...
Couldn't agree more with you there hubster. This kind of 'exploration' should take place in all levels in life. I spent years of exploring MUSIC, to finally find the kind of music that appeals to me the most. And when found, there is feeling of satisfaction. This kind of satisfaction I've named 'esthetical satisfaction', and I believe this is necessary to gain further knowledge and strength.
This didn't give an answer to why the 'dark' music appeals to me or anyone else, but it seems to me that, especially fans of bands like opeth, katatonia, anathema etc, are more reflecting and thinking than the average guy. Maybe this makes (I dare to include myself) us aware of the huge differenses there can be between even the closest friends, and subconsciously drives us toward something to more or less alienate us from the often; ignorant, crowd. I am not saying we are better in any way, only that we perhaps are more aware of who and what we are. And by enjoing 'dark' music/literature etc. we create a perfect solution for such alienation.
- Just to get 'away' for an hour or two..
I don't think whether you have a "good" or "bad" life matters at all. I can only speak for myself, but I think I have a rather average life at the moment. I have absolutely no money, but I have parents who are doing so-so, so I'm not suffering. I have suffered the loss of a few people I cared for deeply, but I have a family I love and a girlfriend I'm crazy in love with. I do shit in school, but I have several hobbies I love. All in all, just average (so don't be fooled by my custom title, I've merely dedicated it to someone).
So how could that explain why I'm so very much into the more extreme branches of music? I think the answer lies more in more superficial territories than that. Like this: Some people likes football, some don't. Some likes meat, others don't. Some people likes metal, someone don't. This is just my opinion, of course.
And my compliments to Hubster. Your post was very interesting indeed. You almost swayed me from my opinion.
Very interesting thread.
I haven't really thought much about what you're all saying, I listen to Opeth because it's quality music. Also i like dark and heavy music, mostly to express my anger i guess, it really builts up during the day (i don't recomend any job which includes you serving people, "the customer is always right" -nah).
On another note, Hi! i'm new to these forums.
Call me shallow, but I really do listen to music purely on the surface level; that is, I never really explore the lyrics or the interpretations behind them, I just enjoy the sound, or at least most of the time I do.
I'm jealous that I started this EXACT thread about three weeks ago and got no response....
That said....there is evidence (see How We Believe by Michael Shermer) that the human species is very social and seeks out story-telling groups. Some people love romance, some people love horror, some people love comedy, some people love all of them. One is not better than the other unless it impacts your life in a "negative" way. Negative and positive are relative terms. There is no absolute. Negative in this sense means that, within the system in which you live (the society and the culture), you are causing yourself or others problems. The Incas practiced human sacrifice. That wasn't wrong to them. It is wrong to us because we live in an entirely different society.
I don't think there is a good answer to this question because I don't think it's heavily researched. What is researched is when darker things impact people's lives in a negative way. The Columbine Problem was analyzed this way. It's all after-the-fact research. You don't go to a counselor and say, "I think I might someday get into the darker things in life and it may cause me problems." You go only after your life is fucked up.
Let's face it: there is nothing overtly beneficial to the "darker" side of things. Yeah, it helps to explore a bit and humans are awfully curious but what good (again, relative to the system) does it do? I personally don't see how any of you can listen to extreme stuff that has "satanic" lyrics. That is so CHILDISH. It's was so embarassing to see people at the Opeth concert really getting into Devil Driver and Moonspell. Occult stuff is silly and a waste of time.
You might ask why I listen to Opeth then. They are dark, yes, but they are quality and I think they are very tasteful. I think Blackwater Park is some of the most tasteful music I've ever heard. I think alot of thought and energy goes into their music. Still Life is a dark album but it's not threatening or disturbing. I get the impression Mike is well-read in the British Romantics (I've said this before) who were quite tasteful in their exploration of the darker side of things. The Victorians were tasteful in their obsession with death.
A couple people here said their lives suck. I would like to know why exactly. If you don't feel it's appropriate to discuss here, feel free to email me. If you are having trouble, I HIGHLY recommend against listening to dark music. It's not the end of the world, but what good could it possibly do you?
See also the thread I started about why certain acts feel they must portray such an evil and threatening image.
I find listening to aggresive music helps relieve a lot of stress. Just getting home and blasting off something like "thorns on my grave" by emperor. It's like musical exorcism.
Dorian Gray, you've got an interesting oppinion on the matter, which I find a little mislead.
The happiness people strive for the the happiness of social cohesion. It's a conditioned sense of happiness, as opposed to the intuitive happiness which derives from personal achievement.
A lot of people think that happiness is something that must be attained by any means necessary. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I do not believe this is the case. I believe that happiness is anything you want it to be. Personaly, I'm happiest after a short period of depression. When I'm depressed I have a certain perspective that I have at no other time, that allows me to look at everything objectivly and question everything's values. When I'm feeling better, I have a better grasp of the things around me, and a better perspective.
Evil is just a term. It's used to try to inform people of a pre-determined good and bad. Like I've also stated in posts in this thread, I dont beleive in pre-determined assumptions, and I strive to learn the entire spectrum of life alone, without people telling me what I should and shouldnt do. This goes MUCH further than just the music I listen to.
This is a great thread. Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful replies. I especially like how Shroud of Dusk stated that happiness isn't the epitome of all emotion. It's hard when society is so strongly for happiness only. While reading this thread, so many great ideas came to my head, but I'll try to make this coherant.
I have a great life in most senses. I have a full scholarship to Northwestern U., not far from my home in Chicago, my parents do alright, and I have a good job. I got my proverbial "dream girl" about a year and a half ago, and we've been together since then(albeit far from perfection). On the downside, I don't have any solid metal buddies or friends outside of the lady. I've only been listening to metal for two years, and the darker stuff for maybe one and a half. I guess at first the sound appealed to me most. In Flames, Metallica, Megadeth, etc. I remember my first listen to Blackwater Park. It was so eerie at first. I usually forget how dark this album is. Or at least how it was in comparison to what I was listening to before. It literally kept me up at night, how haunting and hypnotic some parts were.
For someone who had things as good as I did, I still had a pretty dark, cynical, pessimistic side. I don't think that it had much to do with Judeo-Christian values, as light and dark are used in such metaphorical ways that it's hard to make the connection between Biblical "darkness" and musical darkness.
I just see the world as a pretty bad place. There's pain and suffering and misery in just about everyone's life. The whole happiness fad is just because people try to block out the bad realities. Thinking about the bad is clearly a downer. But forgetting about the bad makes me feel extremely guilty. I know I'm not really deserving of what I have. Listening to dark music is sort of a way to acknowledge the bad things in the world.
I think the important thing for me to understand is that there's absolutly nothing in existence that is wholly bad or or wholly good. Think in real basic levels. (We need water to drink, but we can drown in it. etc.)
Whereas most people think happiness is the peak emotion, love really is. Loving sex. Now that's the peak experience. But love in general is what threads people together, and helps us understand that we're all in this together. I digress from darkness somewhat, but darkness is in there because it reminds me of this whole mess I stated. Dark, beautiful music perfectly exemplifies the dark/light, good/evil in everything. Love can be very dark sometimes. Opeth show this well a lot of the time.
If anything here sounds interesting and you'd like me to elaborate, just let me know. Sorry for being somewhat cluttered. Sometimes I think too much at once. I think people like that enjoy dark music. And for a lot of other reasons I didn't touch on.
i think what you're trying to say is that basically anything's good, as long as its real. by what you're saying, anything can be used to explore human psyche. for example, hypothetically staring at a wall for hours or hearing music about that, or SOMETHING, could be used to explore human psyche. the question is if it will find an aspect of the mind that you could almost say is "true." like what ginkogoth was saying, when he listens to happy music he wants to shoot himself cuz he isn't happy. but that could just mean that the happy music he's been hearing isn't deep, or good, but stupid poplike stuff. maybe if he heard music that evoked a sort of "true happiness" then he would enjoy it. same with dark stuff, if you ask me. ridiculous dark stuff (such as a sort of satanic metalcore) wouldn't really evoke the same sadness, evil, etc. that say opeth or morbid angel. thats really what seperates deep music like opeth from all the mainstream stuff we all hate: the ability to evoke deep emotions. i guess you could say that the people who have the capacity to experience deep emotions wouldn't be happy cuz most of the happiness they've seen, and because of that run away from, is the britney spears variety
and to the guy who mentioned breakup songs: but either way, the songs are centered around the loss of superficial pleasure they're experiencing.
great thoughts. i enjoyed reading them.
im having trouble writing tonight so i will say this:
objective = neurochemical and physioelectrical responses to stimulants
subjective = the personal response to the above
example = getting raped. no would say this is a pleasant experience based on the objective reactions and the subjective experience. i would consider getting raped a dark experience. no one is going to say any good could come out of it.
opeth content of post = opeths dark music allows the listener to experience the "darker" side of things but is non-threatening. i dont know anyone who is traumatized by listening to opeth. i doubt listening to opeth releases oxytocin. maybe it does. i quit.
If this is in reference to my earlier statement that all things contain some good and bad, look at this in a more basic level. Sex, which is what rape is, is why we are all here right now. The early primitive states of man probably reproduced exclusively by rape. The point I was trying to make earlier is that this is a world of balanced things, and ignoring the negative or positive aspects of reality is a poor way to live. I know I could have been more clear there.
In a way i found out that it's not darkness that appeals to me, but music that expresses a certain atmosphere. If it is a very dark and brooding atmosphere or a very relaxed and mellow atmosphere, doesnt really matter to me.
An interesting thread... (for once....)
Firstly to Dorian Gray, who said "Occult stuff is silly and a waste of time";
I think you are being a little naive here. Occultism does not - by any stretch of the word - equal satanism. I do agree that church burning, etc, etc IS quite childish, but I don't think that this should in any way discolour the actual 'occultists' out there. For instance, do you think that a Kabbalist is silly or wasting his time? Or a Hermeticist? Occultism is a legitimate study, and should not be confused with psuedo-Satanism.
Anyhoo, back to the topic. Darkness. I find that many of the views in here overlap with my own, however I think it is an important realisation that "happiness" and "contentedness" are two separate things. I don't think it's wrong to be content in darkness....but I do think it's wrong to force happiness upon someone who is not wholly content there.
I hope I'm making sense.
Anyway, let's keep the ball rolling....