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 Definition of Avant-garde Metal? 
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What is avant-garde metal?

"The majority will always be the common, and the few will represent the progression. It’s the same thing with everything else as well. A good thing about breaking barriers is that it can never really go back to the way it was prior to the barrier being broken. I am not saying all progress is good, I am saying all progress is necessary. It’s intertwined with our nature. It’s the kinship between order and chaos."

Vicotnik (DHG, Naer Mataron, CODE, etc.)

Source: http://www.metal1.info/interviews/interview-en.php?interview_id=281


June 27th, 2009, 10:13 pm
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I realised the other day that Avantgarde Metal is the only "type" of extreme metal (quite vague what "extreme" really implies though, if you keep reading) in which Christianity and a general positive attitude towards things is sustainable. Happy (religious or not) thrash, death/grind, doom and especially black metal (the main forms of extreme metal) are, in my opinion, supposed to be destructive.

I would disagree. Given that AGM is very loosely tied to regular BM/DM musically, I think it is the philosophy behind metal that still keeps AGM tied to those genres.

However unlike a band such as Marduk where the philosophy of destruction and nihilism (and loosely 'Satanism') is very straight forward and blatant, AGM bands tend to lean toward a more introspective destruction. A destruction of the self, of the mind, of a perceived existence within the boundaries of thought.

After reading through this thread it seems to me, personally, that everyone is trying to classify AGM musically where by definition it can not be classified musically. The styles, ideas, and concepts between AGM bands are so disparate that the genre of AGM had to be created to confine all of them.

So how then do we classify it? In my opinion, we classify it philosophically. If you consider all AGM bands along with all regular BM/DM bands they all tend to share one thing in common: philosophy. Misanthropy, nihilism, isolation, destruction; rejection of the commonalities we have all grown within.

This is not to say that a Christian AGM band could never be successful, after all anything is possible. But I think it would be a massive struggle for such a band to be accepted and successful within the AGM community as a whole. At least for myself, they'd have to write some pretty fucking killer music. :]


July 3rd, 2009, 10:58 pm
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I've never experienced any such unity behind AGM bands' philosophies - I'll cite KEKAL and LYKATHEA AFLAME as prime examples - I cannot come up with any decent examples of AGM bands focusing on "a destruction of the self, of the mind, of a perceived existence within the boundaries of thought. ... Misanthropy, nihilism, isolation, destruction; rejection of the commonalities we have all grown within" - at least not in AGM "core" bands (ARCTURUS, SOLEFALD, VBE, KOROVAKILL etc). Bands like DEATHSPELL and similar, who are more black/death metal leaning towards metallic avantgardism. Reflections on the darkness & terrors within the mind perhaps, but not in a saluting, propagating way, the way a common BM band would hail destruction. That is of course present among AGM bands, but it is not a necessity to me, the way it is in black metal.

But the area is of course in countless shades of grey. I still stick to my original post though :)

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July 4th, 2009, 4:54 pm
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aVoid wrote:
Reflections on the darkness & terrors within the mind perhaps, but not in a saluting, propagating way, the way a common BM band would hail destruction. That is of course present among AGM bands, but it is not a necessity to me, the way it is in black metal.

I agree with this. Though I can listen to Arcturus/VBE/DHG/Virus/Ulver and there is definitely a philosophical lean toward a typical BM message (even in post-trilogy Ulver). I think it is more that with AGM they merely present the ideas and concepts, rather than espouse them as a typical BM band would, and then leave it to the listener to draw their own conclusions.

Perhaps that is the key, AGM is not defined by the band, but by the listener, making it unique to the individual? :shock:


July 4th, 2009, 9:31 pm
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I think it is more that with AGM they merely present the ideas and concepts, rather than espouse them as a typical BM band would, and then leave it to the listener to draw their own conclusions.


Exactly! Art rather than manifests.

Quote:
Perhaps that is the key, AGM is not defined by the band, but by the listener, making it unique to the individual?


That is the key, and AGM.com is the gatekeeper![/code]

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July 5th, 2009, 1:29 pm
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i love the fact that u guys cant leave this thread alone !!

i , for one, have yet to hear a happy agm album....dark, depressing, nihilistic, angry, ugly, discordant , sad, melancholy, weird, bizarre, odd, depressing, disturbing, even bitter sweet.....but definitely no happy albums.....and i would love to find one !

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July 7th, 2009, 7:22 pm
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Suleiman wrote:
i love the fact that u guys cant leave this thread alone !!

i , for one, have yet to hear a happy agm album....dark, depressing, nihilistic, angry, ugly, discordant , sad, melancholy, weird, bizarre, odd, depressing, disturbing, even bitter sweet.....but definitely no happy albums.....and i would love to find one !


well, does twisted happy count? = Polkadot Cadaver

Oh, and this is not really avant-garde but fun and happy in an happy/angry way :D:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoSxR4Jb_3E

Anyway, would love to see (more) happy agm albums!!!

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November 14th, 2009, 10:03 pm
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Quote by...Honeywine van de Barrel...
I think avantgarde metal to be a genre where all or some features of metal are always included (static) and new styles comming from all kinds of music genres are added (dynamic) to make it sound different from everything else heard before. So once a band makes something which sounds like what another band has done already, it is not Avantgarde-Metal anymore but more "fill in the blank" - Avantarde-Metal. (Fill in the band it almost exactly sounds like)
I´d say this can actually be done with every music genre.
We could have Avantgarde-Jazz or Avantgarde-Punk and so on. So it is very questionable if this is a real genre or not, because there are no fixed boundaries which are actually necessary to call something a genre.
*************************************************************

I like this definiton the best, even if there was tons of excellent feedback provided by alot of other freak zone users. The reason I like the above comment the best, because it really helped me really understand the DIFFERENCE between bands, who have there own sound who featuring originality in the riffing and songwriting, and bands that really deserve the classification of Avant Garde Metal. Some bands create a world with a a world, others just create a world all there own, with nothing but only the influences within there headspace.

As a Power Metal fan, then a thrash metal fan then later, of course death metal and black metal and Gothic metal later after I collected, then over-collected everything brutal with riffs + distortion. The mistake I made during those-era's, and other fans made, was everyone was allowed to use then later abuse those terms very badly. Out of all those different era's. I think Gothic Metal suffered the worse use and abuse of the coined term Gothic Metal. Some black metal fans may disagree though.

Myself when I like a sound, I have a tendency to over collect that sound. I do like alot of those hybrid bands, that are original but not avant garde because of the "fill in the blank" factor, mentioned above.

Nowadays what I consider EXTREME is artist that trailblaze a totally new path, instead of artist going from 188 beats per minute, to 288 beats per minute, to what ever is faster, that is just conventional true metal just getting faster.

If there is every a collectors table book written on this subject matter, that quote above has to be the page A, the intro page, or foreward, and must the first thing the reader sees! Since there are no books on this religion, :D aaarrgghh man... I mean genre. :lol: ...ha ha.

Those 128 words must be put on a plague or something, or at least committed to memory !!!


December 3rd, 2009, 11:15 pm
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Hmmm I think it's about time that I participate in this topic, but I admit that I haven't read all of it yet. :roll:

Well, my though on the definition of the term is that... oh, wait. First I must say that I agree with aVoid on that the Metal tag is not necessary and may dissappear one day, especially talking about anything Avant-garde.
Not only rock borders, but metal tends to break every border now. I don't know if KAILASH play metal or play jazz, the same goes for EPHEL DUATH at some moments.
Of course there is still plain metal, but after listening to King Crimson's 'Red' with much attention, I fucking have to thing it is fucking avantgarde-metal, probably the older release of it. Take it into another distortion and production and nowadays it is fucking metal. Take some today's metal and imagine it with a 70's production, it's more or less (prog) rock.

That said, when Metal music gets more avant-garde, fusion, eclectic or whatever, it is less metal to me and just modern music with extreme sounds or distortions depending on the case, sometimes even without that.
The last Organ: ep doesn't have a very Metal distortion, it doesn't sound like your typical black metal chainsaw guitar or even less your average 80's death metal crushing sound.

So avant-garde can of course be anything inside and outside metal, and here comes the definition.
Avant-garde is the vanguard of something, the moment it's done. The very first black metal sounding album had to be avant-garde, as it created something all-different. But, some peopole followed the same path and it ended up adopting a proper name (black metal).
On the other side, one cannot just do a different than anything album and then repeat the formula for years, it's not avant-garde it's following an own path. That's why we review ALBUMS and not BANDS. For instance, I take Satyricon's 'Rebel Extravaganza' as their only avant-garde album, when it came out, almost all of the people I knew said that only vocals where black metal there. And it may be true. But the rest of the albums are more or less typical black metal, except maybe some things on Volcano (but not the whole).
So it's a very good thing that we have some bands that have several albums featured here, because it means that band is always evolving and introducing something new and previously unseen.

Avant-garde metal has to be avant-garde albums that part from metal, or have some aspects in common with metal. Avant-garde metal could be playing music that sounds like metal or reminds of it but is played on completely different instruments. I can see albums played without drums and guitar, having a metal feel, being reviewed here among the rest of metal albums.

Avant-garde metal has to be the vanguard of metal, even if it means to start a trend afterwards, and that's why it has to be considered on its time of creation and publication.

That's kind of my opinion. But the topic can be neverending as it has been proved. Even I could talk a lot more on it.

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December 4th, 2009, 12:38 pm
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Well, my though on the definition of the term is that... oh, wait. First I must say that I agree with aVoid on that the Metal tag is not necessary and may dissappear one day, especially talking about anything Avant-garde. ....
********************************************************
Disapperance of the metal term/ tag? That term is associated with bands the use the RIFF + PILES of DISTOROTION, and amps at 140 decibels, when the music does not make you hum, snap your finger of tap your foot, but you use your noggin as a metrodome, and express brotherhood by throwing the horns, and the "dancing" aka MOSHING, resembles something closer to a super-ball out of control, than actual dancing something you would see a rave.

The two most important innovators in traditional metal, said they came up with there innovations, because they were sick of everyone paying attention to the bartenders, while everyone was there to socialize on a poser level.

I think this term has a very special meaning to those born between 1950 - 1970, at the front end of that you were 20 years old in 1970 and at the back end of that you were 20 years old in 1990, just in time to see traditional metal "sell out", via, the slow-down syndrome (bands getting slower with each release expect Slayer and Razor) and watch doom-death, gothic, death and black metal take over.

The reason this term has a special meaning to the first and second decade of fans, was we did not like the commerical accessibilty of bands that fell in the grey area between AOR/ Play-it-safe traditonal metal, and NWOBHM acts that could not decide if they wanted to play music for the FM radio, or be on labels such as Heavy Metal, Ebony or Neat.

I still get excited about my record collection from 1979- 1991, just as much as the artist from 1991- nowadays. I think this term "metal" benefits too many artist, fanzines, webzines, speciality labels, A&R executives, distrobution networks, concert theaters and record shops.

For example as a reader of this magazine and webzine, I see no problem listening to the most brutal of bands ala, Disiplin "Anti-life" or Imperyt "Totalitarian Love Pulse", then throw on a Bjork album then a Portishead album, then dig through the classical collection for the Iannis Xenakis, Ravel and Orff.

Venom when asked if they worried about the metal genre passing them by, because the record sells, were suffering stagnation, considering they were featured in tons of metal magazines, and they were mentioned by every major player in the thrash/speed/death/black metal movement as a major or minor influence. They said no!, one day the metal world will finally catch on to the reason why the created the black metal sound and concept. They thought alot of the Heavy Metal bands were just exaclty like the "chick rock", bands who were on the traditionl metal/ hard rock borderline.

Maybe the world will catch-on one day, too what aVoid is talking about. But first all the metal die-hards must finally die - off literally. I am 43 and I have 25 good years left !!! And if it every happened that metal not only circled the drain, but started to make that suction sound. I would be totally oblivious, because I still love my Snakepit Magazine France, Sounds of Death Magazines, that website norsksvartmetall.com, just as much as this place and those James L McHard books on Classical music.

Snakepit started with the idea of supporting the BEST OF THE BEST in tradtional metal no matter if they were traditional metal, or conventional thrash, death and black metal. I just applied that logic to bands who started to use embellishments, asethetics and creatvity outside the scope of traditional metal, and even applied that logic to classical music, inspiring me to seek out those James L. McHard "The future of Modern Music", next edition will be out in March 2010.

I am the biggest benefactor of the terms of metal and avant-garde locally. My local record shop carried the best of the best titles in every sub-genre, and they carry alot of bands way in left field. They have a little section called DARK METAL, where I can get all my want list items from publications such as Avant Garde metal, Sounds of Death, and Voices from the Darkside. In the future I do not care if they lose the dark metal sign, but I am glad the best of the best is segregated from the REST !!!!!


December 5th, 2009, 8:06 pm
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Well, maybe the Metal tag seems more appropiate for the more experienced people who watched it grow from the very beginning... I'm 27 and in today's "metal" I find a lot of mainstream bands that are far and far from what I understood by "metal" when I started to listen to it.
Of course the "metal" label still has significance and will always have, even be it just historical. What I mean is that with each iteration of the avant-garde, if we can say that, with each new vanguard, the sound necessarily goes further from its roots.
Did neoclassical music sound like much older classical? Not at all.
There will always be connections to metal on every metal-based musical vanguard, as well as I see connections between the metal you talk about and just rock.
It's really that I just don't believe in 'labels' or 'tags'. Black, death, doom... I prefer each album sounding different than the others than to listen to a lot of clone bands. Of course, it's fun and it rocks to have a band that just sounds like the old glories, but just for the sake of fun.
But when I talk of 'avant-garde', I feel it's a term that we are applying to 'metal' but is much more generic, so here we discuss its relation with Metal. And now we have the 'post-metal' thing... what was there after 'post-punk'? Punk again? It's supposed to evolve into something different.
Modernism, post-modernism, then modernism again? Retro-modernism? What the...? No, there must arise any new thing, and that's because I think Metal will have to leave place for something different, for the better or the worse. Anyway there will still be people playing plain metal, be it black, death or whatever, but that will have nothing to do with the avant-garde we talk about.
Do you understand my point now?

I basically mean that what today is called a vanguard, tomorrow it could develop into a whole new thing, create a new style... follow a cycle of repeat-innovate-repeat-innovate... but it's clear also that not all of the vanguards make new trends. It's because of this last thing that the term avant-garde is fucking hard to define once and for all, I think.

So I have the vanguard explanation, and the eccentric experimental art explanation, where the artist -musician or not, metal or not- creates something outside of the established borders/expected/seen before, and does not get a follow up by the same or other artist/s. Just think of it into your everyday metal. One day it could not even sound metal.

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December 6th, 2009, 1:42 am
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ars manifestia a la svein-egil hatlevik:
http://zweizz.blogspot.com/2010/12/tiny ... festo.html

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VII: The so-called Web 2.0 has revealed a shocking lack of ambition among younger artists. We, the veterans, the adults, must take responsibility when the new generation fails our proud tradition of incessantly working for the vigour of (extreme) metal!


VIII: The new generation must strive to prove the falsity of point VII.


doing my best here, aight?

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December 9th, 2010, 8:04 pm
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All respect to him (I like Fleurety & Zweizz), but during his whole career (1991-2011), what did Hatlevik do exactly to help the "proud tradition of incessantly working for the vigour of (extreme) metal"? Has he really incessantly worked for the vigour of extreme metal since 1991? It's hard to take his manifesto seriously when you read something like that hehe.


March 1st, 2011, 8:09 pm
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Haha! Isn't that the benefit of being of the old guard, the indiscriminate right to complain about the always so lazy youth? I suppose that he doesn't see today's new generation of musicians doing the same he felt he & his kin was doing 15-20 years ago. He's done his, now he's urging new generations to take it further - which is, of course, happening to some degree, but could doubtlessly be explored further.

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March 1st, 2011, 8:37 pm
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Post Re: Definition of Avant-garde Metal?
Avant-garde metal to me is metal with a lot of elements in it from other Metal, or maybe even from things that have no relation to metal at all. Lyrical subjects also seem more sophisticated, abstract and diverse then other genres. Maybe even interpretable in multiple ways.
Art metal, if you will.

Wether or not its an actual subgenre or not is something im not even getting involved in. It is to me and i wouln't know what other way to describe the music I like so much. Apart from that metal is already dealing with a million genres, i think one more or less won't hurt anybody.


October 12th, 2011, 2:02 pm
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