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Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by Purveyor Of Evil, Feb 4, 2012.
I agree completely on that. It is easily my least favorite SX album.
Oops, did that one line make you stop reading the rest of my post? I tried to make it pretty clear that I think people who whine when 'their band' sells out are dumb.
"selling out" is a term with a very useful meaning in music discussions. It means something quite different than "this band sucks", though most people unfortunately interpret it in that simplistic way. The term shouldn't automatically have a negative connotation, especially because selling-out usually makes a greater number of people *like* a band than dislike them (if the sell-out is effective at least!) It's only the minority of grumpy old folks who usually see a sell-out as a bad thing. I like lots of bands more *after* they sold out than before ('The Black Album' is the only Metallica I own! ) Songs that are popular are often good songs, and I like good songs!
And a sell-out doesn't have to involve a "heavier -> wussier" transition. The only requirement is that it's a change in style that makes a band more palatable to a larger audience. In many cases, that's implemented with a "heavier -> wussier" transition, but the opposite is also possible.
Perfect reply, Milton! I couldn't agree more. I've never loved a SX album like I do Iconoclast. Seeing them in Philly last week and the heavy setlist they played was an epiphany for me. They beat the shit outta me and I loved every moment of it!
I'm the biggest anti-growly/death vocals guy on the planet, but I have no problem with Russell's more aggressive voice. I also prefer the more melodic Allen/Lande style, but for some songs the more aggressive style fits.
I don't mind aggressive Russ (in fact, I love Paradise Lost), but Iconoclast has done nothing for me. I'll give it some more spins since I'm obviously getting a heavy dose of it in September, but so far, no dice.
I agree with you to a point, but dude, ride the lightning and master of puppets blows the black album out of the water, especially ride the lightning....just my opinion of course......The drumming was actually interesting on those 2 albums...With the black album, Lars got lazy and un-inspired...
Really the connotation that the term 'sellout' has is that the change was made for the sole purpose of making your music more marketable, more accessible, more 'palatable' for the purpose of $$$$ rather than the change being made because it's what the damn songwriters want to write. A stupid music/ethic term that should have died long ago. I don't think it applies to Symphony X in this case at all......
Hmmmmmmm...MELODIC Metal: That's an idea. Sounds good.
Yeah, I agree, that's the complete meaning of the term. But it's really hard to ever apply it to a band with any certainty because we can't read their minds to know if they're actually fighting their inner desires or not. By that definition, I don't think 'Empire' or 'The Black Album' were actually sell-out albums (they waited 'til 'Operation: Mindcrime II' and 'Death Magnetic' for that), but plenty of other people do, and it was from that context that it just seemed like an obvious analogy to make to answer the question. "If you understand why 'The Black Album' was getting slagged so badly by old Metallica fans, then you might understand why 'Iconoclast' is getting slagged so badly on the SX forum."
(And again, I don't really know anything about recent SX, and haven't even checked their forum, I'm just going off the surprisingly-uniform comments/descriptions in this thread)
While we don't know what the impidus was for the change, we do know that the end result of the change was "making your music more marketable, more accessible, more 'palatable' for the purpose of $$$$". Perhaps they didn't set out to do this. But it has been the end result.
Just my two cents...I started back in the day with Divine Wings, and then kind of lost touch until Paradise Lost came out. It kicked my ass. I was very impressed, and it was in heavy rotation for a LONG time for me. And now Iconoclast....which is pretty much the same "new" style....not as much. Knowing that I'm getting to see them twice this year, and now what the set list is going to be, I've been listening to it more, and it IS growing on me. But it didn't instantly hit me the way PL did. I'm not sure how much the time and place you are in your life when you first hear an album imprints it's importance. I think when PL came out I needed that agrro-russell hit. I'm at a different place in my life and it isn't resonating with me the same. And yet I'm really loving his voice with Adrenaline Mob....so who knows?
Actually, I just got it a few weeks ago and last week listened to it for the first time.
With just a pair of listens in I feel it actually incorporates more aspects of pre Odyssey than Paradise Lost.
I have no idea why there is dislike for this disc as it is a solid release, better I feel than Paradise lost though a tad long winded including the additional disc as still for me perfection on most albums is 45 - 60 min.
In so far as selling out....so many progressive bands tend to go heavier the longer they are around, or so it seems.
SX seemingly has more of a natural progression to their sound as opposed to drastic change for sales, whether resulting in more sales or not.
I see it as Odyssey as the crossing point, then scales tipped and Evil Russ dominated Paradise Lost and brought Evil SX instrumentation with him.
Again, I actually think, as in my impression of, that this new one throws back more....not in total song structure but in many individual elements and moments.
.....well, that is what I have taken away from it after two spins and change.
For the last 5 years, Purveyor of Evil and I have sat beside each other at PP. We have gotten to be friends over the years, but in general our metal musical interests couldn't be much further apart. He gives me crap about my gutless prog leanings and I give him crap about his mindless power/thrash/death preference. We have a good time with it. Since I am co-sponsor of SX at PP this year, I was fully prepared to take my beating this September. But, I am delighted that the Purveyor likes Iconoclast. I think that it is a great album too with plenty of prog to satisfy this snob.
In general, I have little tolerance for people who bash any of these bands. I may not like the music of a band, but I don't have enough hours in the day to waste time bashing them. The few minutes that I have for providing feedback go to praising and supporting the music that I really like. At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader, I think that the bands playing the prog/power genre need all the encouragement that we can provide. The vast majority of these bands have day jobs to make a living and I certainly don't think that any of them are getting rich playing music. It must really suck being in a band and having people proactively bash the music that you have poured your heart, soul, and savings into making. Someday we might wake up to find that our little niche corner of the music world has disappeared. If that were to happen, we would only have ourselves to blame.
Hell yeah dude! Hating is for losers.
Holy shit, Lane! That was classic! I'm still laughing! And yes, Lane is right. All you need to do is check the SX forum and see how classless and delusional some of those people are. Defend your bands and their music. There are always plenty of outside forces trying to kill the music we love.
This is why I don't understand when people walk out on a band before the set even starts. I mean, I know there's other stuff going on, but sometimes I think people get up and leave because they -JUST KNOW- they aren't going to like a band, and to me that's I dunno... Just doesn't seem fair.
But bitching incessantly about a band releasing an album out-of-step with our expectations is silly. Sometimes it's hard to get over it too. I'm certainly guilty of it (Tyr is a good example - By the light of the northern star is, by it's inherent qualities, an album I should have gobbled up, but it was so much more straightforward, lacking in the "finesse" of their previous work, and to this day I listen to it and something just feels "wrong".) I was introduced to SX at Paradise lost. I know,I'm a noob, but I've since bought a solid chunk of their back catalogue...
Stupid though it is, I kinda understand the frustration that some longtime fans might feel regarding their new direction. You build up a lot of expectation - Zod, I think, makes an interesting statement, although an easy post to misconstrue, I totally get the general point - something not being really what you wanted to hear -from- that band, like, again using Tyr as an example, balls-to-the-wall power-folk isn't really what I want, or expect to hear from them. I want my verbose, poetic, meandering prog-folk, Dammit, and NOTHING ELSE WILL DO. Even though i'm totally okay listening to similar stuff from bands Who i've come to expect to get that sound from.
But it's still stupid to whinge about it for posts upon posts upon posts. The band tried something different, and regardless of their reason, it's a reality that at some point, you're just going to have to suck it up and fucking deal with it. All the energy a person spends being bitter about shit like that would be put to better use moving on and listening to..oh, I don't know. Some other band, or as someone else (I can't remember who) pointed you - the old albums are still there, and if the new music puts you off the old music, you're probably a douche.
And just to toss it out there i'm not crazy about Iconoclast, since I have become rather attached to the cheesier, proggier, earlier stuff, but the album is definitely growing on me, and I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being king of the mountain at some point.
tl;dr, expectations are a bitch.
I agree. There are a number of riffs and passages on the album that give me a hit of nostalgia and often make me audibly mumble "man, that's CLASSIC SX stuff." I got none of that from Paradise Lost. About the only thing Iconoclast takes from Paradise Lost, imo, is the heavier darker direction as opposed to their brighter/lighter past discs.