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The original post

Posted by on 22.05.2012 at 18:51
The great After Forever are no more. Bal-Sagoth are never going to release an album again (probably). Therion and Epica are but pale shadows of what they used to be and Nightwish's latest album might as well have been called Imaginaerum: Nightwish On Autopilot. On top of that, Xandria's latest and quite boring album is being hailed by many as some sort of savior of the genre. As a huge fan of symphonic metal and it's sub genres (symphonic power, death etc) I am worried. It seems that too many bands nowadays use symphonic elements not because they add much to the music, but to disguise the fact that they are just not very good metal bands. Anyone - and I mean that literally - can add a Carmina Burana ooh! aah! choir to the chorus of their frustratingly simplistic four chord song or attach some pointless violin melodies (if you can call them that) to their mediocre riffs. This takes no effort and far too many bands are doing it. In addition to that, most former great symphonic metal bands have either called it quits (the wise choice) or have gone downhill big time. I don't think anyone in their right mind would consider "Imaginaerum" or "Requiem For The Indifferent" to be in the same category of greatness as "Oceanborn" or "The Phantom Agony". So, what are your thoughts on this? Has symphonic metal become a cliche and if so, are there any bands out there who can bring dignity back to one of the most epic genres of music to ever exist?

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Angelic Storm

Posts: 6656
From: UK

  06.07.2012 at 20:38
Written by Troy Killjoy on 06.07.2012 at 18:47

The thread wasn't set up to debate whether or not other genres have cliches - it was to specify whether or not symphonic metal had joined the likes of other established genres in terms of becoming a "tired out" sound. Cal (account deleted) is a big fan of symphonic metal and wanted to see what others thought of his opinion, it's not like he was trying to separate this problem from other genres.

I was merely agreeing with a point that had already been made in this thread. I did not divert the topic to include other genres, as it had already been diverted before I posted anything. I don't know why you waited for my post to highlight this...

As for whether symphonic metal itself has become "tired out", I'm not sure I can really give a truly informed opinion on that, as I'm not really much of a fan of that genre... I hear a lot of generic-ness in the genre, but then again, as I'm not a fan, I haven't really delved deeper into the genre to see if it's just the more mainstream symphonic bands that are generic, or whether the genre as a whole is the same...
Troy Killjoy

Posts: 18662
From: Canada

  07.07.2012 at 06:40
Had nothing to do with me waiting on your post to mention that. It was the combination of posts diverting off topic and discussing other genres' stereotypes and cliches. I felt it necessary at that point to remind users that this thread was designed to discuss the theory of symphonic metal becoming a cliche rather than to compare the cliches of symphonic metal with the cliches of other genres. You can create a "genre cliche" thread for that discussion if you wish.

As for the topic, I agree with those who believe symphonic metal has become stale. I think with the exception of some lesser known bands (that I haven't ever bothered to listen to) the mainstream whole of symphonic metal has either been simply repeating itself or completely moving on from the origins of the sound to something completely different. Typically this "evolution" leads to pop music. Or at least pop-influenced metal.
Prettier than BloodTears.

Posts: 1249

Age: 27
From: USA

  07.07.2012 at 07:50
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.07.2012 at 06:40

Had nothing to do with me waiting on your post to mention that. It was the combination of posts diverting off topic and discussing other genres' stereotypes and cliches.

I think it's perfectly OK to mention that other genres have cliches when you are making the point that, yeah, symphonic metal is cliched too and so what all metal is. I think that's perfectly on topic and relevant to the discussion of whether or not symphonic metal being cliched is necessarily that big of a deal.

Posts: 271

Age: 19
From: Ireland

  11.07.2012 at 01:57
Overall I feel like it's moving into more avant-garde and extreme genres; Sigh and Fleshgod Apocalypse are good examples of this. It's adding weight to many of these groups' catalogues. To the more melodic side of things I feel it's not used properly by many bands, but not overused. If they executed it slightly better I wouldn't have a problem.

With regards to stuff like Nightwish or Epica: meh..... I think it's okay for the moment. I don't see a huge saturation (at least as much as more conventional genres such as thrash) but I feel like it's more of a stylisation to begin with, not a properly founded genre. Different forms of metal are affected by it and I feel that it's like technical metal: when done right it will turn heads, no matter how many wannabes jump on the bandwagon.
Hello, my name is Mr......Snrub and I think it would be a capital idea to invest the money back in the nuclear plant.

Posts: 1
From: New Zealand
  18.07.2012 at 13:18
Hmm...I am also a fan of many metal sub-genres, including symphonic power metal bands such as Nightwish and Epica, I don't think they are a cliche', but then I don't live in Europe or America. Metal fans are very clearly a minority where I live, and there are few metal fans here that would even know what symphonic metal is. Most metal fans here haven't moved beyond mainstream metal bands and metalcore bands. But what metal genre doesn't have it's own cliche's? Not many - four or five guys with long hair thrashing about and growling their displeasure at social conformity are far more of a cliche, but I still love it. I also think Imaginaerum is a great album, I was surprised to find out it was so unpopular. Still it doesn't affect my opinion of that album or make me want to conform to the most popular choice. Or any other album I happen to enjoy that isn't popular. So I guess that makes me crazy by your definition, I've got no problem with that.

Posts: 1
From: Philippines
  01.08.2012 at 09:56
Good point... I have noticed that myself, but I still like it. I just think "Oh I like this band more than I like this..." They are still good, though sometimes I think the keyboard/orchestra is doing too much of the work.
Cyborg Raptor

Posts: 966

Age: 24
From: USA

  01.06.2013 at 23:09
Completely agree with this. It seems that other bands are noticing how popular symphonic metal is and are trying to jump on the bandwagon and instead of adding to the genre of sympho metal are mostly just mimicing it. Xandria obviously comes to mind in being a Nightwish copy and also Shade Empire copying Dimmu/Fleshgod. There first albums got them into the industry but those bands latest have really propelled there career by copying symphonic elements of other bands and others are starting to take notice and doing the same.

I love symphonic metal and I do enjoy Xandria's and Shade's latest but to me they mostly just stave my appetite until the original sympho bands release something. Unfortunately as mentioned the big bands are fading in quality so sympho is becoming a stale genre, with people jumping on the bandwagon and half-assing their symphonic elements.

I find Folk Metal to have the exact same problem right now concerning copy-bands emerging and the big bands fading. These 2 genres are bound to crash and burn any time now...
pewpew.. gotcha

Posts: 56

Age: 30
From: France

  13.06.2013 at 17:25
For me, there are still some great symphonic bands. Kamelot used some orchestrations and this is not to make something commercial...I think symphonic metal is not dead. Maybe the symphony has been to much used in metal and today most of metalheads are looking for something more direct, "in your face"...And that's why symphonic metal bands are too underrated nowadays...Anyway, I've loved the last Xandria's album. It's very good. But the taste is something very personal and intimate...So, please, be objective and not subjective when you judge and album : that's not because you don't like an album that others won't appreciate it.

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