Songs That Define My Taste In Music #4 & #3 (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.
#4 – Technicality
Tagging on to artistic impression is technicality. Many genres boast bands that are technical and in many cases brutally technical. I do like a good simple rhythm, but when songs demonstrate a uniquely technical song, it’s quite captivating. A song doesn’t have to be specifically tied to a certain style to be technical. Just because it’s faster doesn’t mean it’s harder to play. Though my ears gravitate to guitars, something that is technically proficient is a team effort between all musicians involved and if they can pull off their studio work live, it’s even more special. I choose Opeth for this category because they have clearly proven that they can pull off an amazingly wide range of musical talent.
Other bands that fit: Into Eternity, Sleepers Awake, Gojira, Mastodon, Death
#3 – Poignant Intelligible Lyrics
I would have to say, I don’t care much for lyrics unless I can understand them and they have some deep, special meaning. I love growling vocals, but if I can’t hear them I am usually not going to go out of my way to find out what’s being said. I just appreciate the growls for what they are as if they were their own musical instrument. But, when I hear lyrics I try to understand them. And sometimes bands just have stupid lyrics that make no sense. I am not going to name names, but when a little creativity goes into word choice vs the let’s make a rhyme approach, I’ll remember the lyrics.
Right before your very eyes
A reflection of the mistakes
To the end you will deny
Your part in the demise of a life…
The poignant part moves me. Instead of just saying “I hate you” or “You’re a bitch” it’s nice to take a more subtle approach to get the same meaning. With the lyrics above they are very blunt, but utilize a smart approach to calling someone a pussy as in being in denial for their role in the demise of a life.
Laying your guilt and pain
On people that had no part in the molding of a life
That creates its destruction…
This song is Lack of Comprehension from Death. To be technical, brutal, and intelligible with poignant lyrics is talent, but it doesn’t have to be heavy to fit this bill. RIP Chuck Schuldiner.
Other bands that fit: Suicidal Tendencies, Katatonia, Biffy Clyro, Paradise Lost