Songs That Define My Taste In Music #10 & #9 (Reggie)
Posted by Reggie
Talking to other metal admirers has certainly opened my ears to a world of music I barely knew existed. I have to say, my library has expanded quite a bit over the years though meeting friends in blogs and social forums. A recent conversation on a facebook forum called “I, Author of Despair” led me to do some soul searching on songs that define my taste in music, more specifically heavy metal. When asked, I usually tell people I just like the aggressive nature of the music, but after thinking about it for a bit I realized there are so many other reasons that define my particular taste…reasons that opened the door to my favorite genres and opened further doors to new ones. Those 10 reasons in no particular order are Speed, Cadence, and Flow; Rhythm and Groove; Guitars; Presentation and Appearance; Disposition; Artistic Impression; Technicality; Poignant Intelligible Lyrics; Storytelling; and Aggression. Although some of the bands used to articulate the things that define my taste can cross over into multiple areas, I use them as good examples of why it defines my taste in music.
#10 – Speed, Energy, and Flow
I like a song that maintains a continuous flow of energy. It doesn’t have to be blazing speed like Fleshgod Apocalypse, but a nice headbanging faster-than-normal velocity is certainly preferred. One thing that makes it hard to enjoy bands like Killswitch Engage or System of a Down is the abrupt nature of many of their songs. They tend to just stop out of the blue and it confuses my fragile little mind. Separate from those two bands, metalcore in particular, is a tough genre for me to get into with its breakdowns and inherent need to be heavy, then not heavy, and then heavy again…to scream or not to scream, that is the question! I am more simple minded and if a band is going to change tempos while maintaining a speedy cadence, they should have better transitions such as the Canadian band Into Eternity. They do it well. I choose Overkill to represent this category. If you listen to Overkill’s Thanx for Nothin’ you can hear that it is very rhythmic and high in energy all the way though. It’s one characteristic indicative of this band…90% of their music is like this. There are very little tempo changes, but that’s why I like it because of its continuous octane boost. This is one of the bands that got me into thrash metal from all the glam (hair bands) I was listening to several decades ago.
Other bands that fit: Megadeth, (old) Metallica, Amon Amarth, Death Angel, and Revocation.
#9 – Rhythm and Groove
It doesn’t matter what the speed of a song is, but if has a good rhythm and/or a cool groove it certainly has shaped my taste in music. Perhaps a song with a good rhythm has a defined structure and lends itself to be a song with good flow and I like flow. Nearly any metal genre has a band that can fit into this category, but when it comes to rhythm and groove Judas Priest should have a patent on it. Rhythm and groove doesn’t have to be over complicated, but should inspire fists flying, foot tapping, and perhaps a little headbanging. Judas Priest is also another band, perhaps one of the first that opened the door facilitating my enjoyment for something a little more aggressive like Metallica. The rest as they say was history.
Other bands that fit: Five Finger Death Punch, Ghost, James LaBrie, Prong, Six Feet Under