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Is it possible for there to be "acoustic metal"? (See below.)

Yes24
No11

Total votes: 35


nasmith

Posts: 112

Age: 18
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 04:51
No distortion.
No amplification.

Just acoustic guitars (albeit played agressively), often vocals, and sometimes drums.

This is pretty much the trend I've seen on YouTube videos by people who play music they call "acoustic metal." That's like an oxymoron. It's a stretch to say there's a genre of acoustic rock, but acoustic metal . . . ? What do you think?

Note that acoustic metal, as I'm using it here (and in the context of most of the usages I've seen it), is not the same as an acoustic cover of a metal song. Just thought I'd get that straight.

Discuss.

EDIT: I'm also not talking about bands who mix acoustic into their songs between or alongside electric guitars, just ones who use acoustic the whole time.
Susan
Smeghead

Posts: 6051

Age: 30
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 05:08
Interesting! This really brings about the question of what makes something metal. If amplification and distortion define a part of metal music then is "acoustic" metal actually a type of acoustic rock?

Any answers to these questions could then lead to the discussion of instrumentation. For instance: that black metal band that uses hammered dulcimer instead of guitars, is it still metal? Still black metal?

I'd have trouble accepting acoustic metal as an actual form of metal but I'll see how this conversation plays out; maybe someone will change my mind. And of course: metal is, to me, the most limitless and diverse type of music out there. Perhaps this could be an off-shoot/related form of music to some people.
----
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
Lit.
Brütal Legend

Posts: 3092

Age: 27
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 05:27
Do we think of metal any differently when it used pop hooks, violins, foreign instruments or keyboard riffs? How would acoustic guitars be any different?
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THERE'S SEMEN ON EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING!"
nasmith

Posts: 112

Age: 18
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 05:28
Written by Susan on 03.12.2012 at 05:08

Interesting! This really brings about the question of what makes something metal. If amplification and distortion define a part of metal music then is "acoustic" metal actually a type of acoustic rock?

Any answers to these questions could then lead to the discussion of instrumentation. For instance: that black metal band that uses hammered dulcimer instead of guitars, is it still metal? Still black metal?

I'd have trouble accepting acoustic metal as an actual form of metal but I'll see how this conversation plays out; maybe someone will change my mind. And of course: metal is, to me, the most limitless and diverse type of music out there. Perhaps this could be an off-shoot/related form of music to some people.


Yeah, I think the sound more than the instrument determines whether it's a "metal sound" or not. TBH I'd say that a distorted dulcimer sounds more metal than an acoustic guitar XD
enumaelis

Posts: 261

Age: 31
From: Spain

  03.12.2012 at 05:49
Yeh it's interesting, so I guess the question might be in other words, do you consider for example these 2 songs "metal"? (correct me if I'm guessing wrong)

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http://enumaelis.blogspot.com/
BoxCar Willy
John Doe

Posts: 6853

Age: 17
From: Canada

  03.12.2012 at 05:50
I say it's good, hell there are bands like Agalloch, who have a ton of acoustic and neofolk elements. I dot really think distortion defines metal either, just look at Botanist.
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Pop punk crusader
Susan
Smeghead

Posts: 6051

Age: 30
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 06:15
^ The thing about Agalloch and other bands who incorporate lots of acoustic elements is that they're incorporating it INTO metal. They have plenty of distortion and other accepted metal sounds in their music that even if we hear an entire track or two of acoustic music we're already in the metal mindset with the amplified guitars, drums, and bass that set the scene in the first place.
----
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
Dentura
Shadow King

Posts: 1077

Age: 20
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 06:18
Should be fun!
----
...And so death to the falsity of thy former rulers. Thy kingdom of "heaven" burns in a field of fire, and Dentura is the one true God thou must yield thy hearts and souls to in absolute submission. It is his ultimate decree and will unto thee..
Edmund Fogg

Posts: 1752

Age: 27
From: Canada

  03.12.2012 at 06:54
I guess I could hardly recognize something as Metal if their is no slight hint of distorsionin the music. I like my fair share of Atmospheric/Post/Noise/Minimalist/Ritualistic subgenres, but they all, at some degree, have some distortion. The videos of "Accoustic Metal" I've sound more like a parody, like they're trying too much to prove a point.
----
You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
nasmith

Posts: 112

Age: 18
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 16:16
Written by Edmund Fogg on 03.12.2012 at 06:54

I guess I could hardly recognize something as Metal if their is no slight hint of distorsionin the music. I like my fair share of Atmospheric/Post/Noise/Minimalist/Ritualistic subgenres, but they all, at some degree, have some distortion. The videos of "Accoustic Metal" I've sound more like a parody, like they're trying too much to prove a point.


Yeah, that's kind of how it sounds to me most of the time.

And to clarify, I'm not talking about bands that incorporate acoustic, just bands/songs that are entirely acoustic.
moe5512

Posts: 405

Age: 20
From: Finland

  03.12.2012 at 19:37
Was just going to link some Ajattara but enumaelis was faster but that's clearly "acoustic metal"
psykometal
Staffpool

Posts: 4366

Age: 28
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 19:52
I think it also depends on whether said "acoustic metal" bands invoke a feeling of being metal or not. Like those 2 examples from enumaeils clearly sound and invoke a metallic feeling when I listen to them. Same with Botanist, he invokes that feeling you get from listening to a black metal band. However listening to someone sitting on a stool playing acoustic music you would expect to here in a coffeehouse clearly does not invoke a feeling of metal.
----
~Zep~
theFIST

Posts: 753

Age: 21
From: Austria

  03.12.2012 at 23:01
While i don"t really see a problem with the idea of trying metal with acoustic guitars only, after there have already been attempts without any guitars, but i"d say a certain sound density is necessary for it to qualify as metal, which i didn"t find in the examples posted
i"d rather call them acoustic rock and folk
----
http://metalstormmusicianscorner.bandcamp.com
Written by Warman on 07.11.2007 at 22:39
Haha, that's like saying "compose your own Metal album and upload it here, instead of writing a review of an album".
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie

Posts: 574

Age: 22
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 23:14
Go listen to any of Dornenreich's "older" material. It's aggressive as hell and fully acoustic:
ANGEL REAPER

Posts: 2792

Age: 22
From: Serbia

  03.12.2012 at 23:28
Acoustics in metal can be good,good acoustic music is also good ,but acoustic metal? that;s bullshit ... in other words- its good stuff,just those people need find other name for style that they play...
----
"Cross is only an iron,hope is just an illusion,freedom is nothing but a name..."
"Build your walls of the dead stone...Build your roofs of a dead wood..Build your dreams of a dead thoughts"
nasmith

Posts: 112

Age: 18
From: USA

  03.12.2012 at 23:47
Written by psykometal on 03.12.2012 at 19:52

I think it also depends on whether said "acoustic metal" bands invoke a feeling of being metal or not. Like those 2 examples from enumaeils clearly sound and invoke a metallic feeling when I listen to them. Same with Botanist, he invokes that feeling you get from listening to a black metal band. However listening to someone sitting on a stool playing acoustic music you would expect to here in a coffeehouse clearly does not invoke a feeling of metal.


Yeah, the coffeehouse acoustic "metal" was what I was getting at.

Written by enumaelis on 03.12.2012 at 05:49

Yeh it's interesting, so I guess the question might be in other words, do you consider for example these 2 songs "metal"? (correct me if I'm guessing wrong)




There was a sense of the epicness and some of the intensity of metal from Syn Ze Sase Tri, but it still would've been more metal with electrics. The Ajattara song didn't really sound metal at all.... Part of that was the long breakdowns, but mainly the lack of intensity.

(Off topic: The clean vocals in both of those bands were shit, and the Ajattara BM vocals were . . . shitty too. But vocals don't exactly qualify whether something's metal or not IMO.)

Written by Marcus on 03.12.2012 at 23:14

Go listen to any of Dornenreich's "older" material. It's aggressive as hell and fully acoustic:



WAAAAAAAAAAY too folk/symphonic to be metal. Brings back memories of having to play old-school violin music in orchestra for years.... But it might sound more metallic with distorted electric guitars.

I might listen to Syn Ze Sase Tri, to see if they can pull it off, because that was pretty badass music, metal or not. But still. . . .
I REST MY CASE.
psykometal
Staffpool

Posts: 4366

Age: 28
From: USA

  04.12.2012 at 00:11
Ajatarra was a little goofy and gimicky sounding (contrived maybe even) but, to me, it still sounded very metal. Even if it does just sound like parody metal, parody metal is still metal. And Syn Ze Sase Tri sounded very serious and epic to me and much more natural, and still every bit as metal as bands like Týr, Turisas and Korpiklaani.
----
~Zep~
Night Theater

Posts: 53

Age: 25
From: Australia

  04.12.2012 at 08:14
Good topic. It's hard to say, as I'm coming up with arguments for both sides. Perhaps you could say, "Yes, but it's incomplete metal"... hmm, not sure.
Bad English
nobody

Posts: 36680

Age: 29
From: Sweden

  04.12.2012 at 21:36
It is because guitars are guitars and all who can use electrics ue accustic and many bands use accustic to practise to play and many metal bands write beautiful accustic ballads, I would say Heavy metal bands like Tarot, WASP, even Amorphis wrote accustic replice to song my kantele, 60% of HM bands has written accustic song and also many extreme genres can use lil accustic eleemnts and there is genre what is neo folk, a genre who's fits in bm, folk and any other ..... all basics is accustic, those who is free from complex can understand it
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Evil Chip

Posts: 488

Age: 22
From: Chile

  05.12.2012 at 03:07
I think it's possible. In fact it sounds like metal played on acoustic instruments
seafood

Posts: 81

Age: 21
From: Slovak Republic

  05.12.2012 at 16:14
Good question. I hope I won't get too off-topic, but with so many different sub-genres in metal today, I think that the distorted guitar sound (or large amount of distortion on some other instrument) is the only thing that ties them together. For example, bands that play funeral doom have very little in common in their music with bands that play power metal. I feel like you have to use a different mindset when listening to those two subgenres and they may be even further from each other in sound than punk and hard rock. And while those two are generaly considered different music genres, we could still generalize both Esoteric and Sonata artica as metal bands.

But I would definitly consider Syn Ze Sase Tri metal, which I guess disproves most of what I've just written .
psykometal
Staffpool

Posts: 4366

Age: 28
From: USA

  05.12.2012 at 19:27
Written by seafood on 05.12.2012 at 16:14

But I would definitly consider Syn Ze Sase Tri metal, which I guess disproves most of what I've just written .

I wouldn't say it disproves, but rather further proves that [as you said] different types of metal require different mindsets to listen to them. There truly are so many different types of metal out there and lots of them are so vastly different from each other yet they are all still considered "metal".

So why is it such a stretch to call an all acoustic band "metal", especially since the only thing preventing someone from calling it metal is just because the instruments are acoustic instead of distorted electric? For all you people in here saying that bands like Botanist, Ajattara and Syn Ze Sase Tri are not metal because their instruments are acoustic instead of electric w/distortion, let me ask you this...if those same songs were played with electric instruments would you then call it metal or would you still say it's not metal because the songs were first written and played on acoustic instruments?!
----
~Zep~
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie

Posts: 574

Age: 22
From: USA

  05.12.2012 at 22:02
Written by psykometal on 05.12.2012 at 19:27

if those same songs were played with electric instruments would you then call it metal or would you still say it's not metal because the songs were first written and played on acoustic instruments?!

While I agree with you, I think you can also make the argument that when a symphony/orchestra covers a pop song, does it remain a pop song or become symphonic/orchestral?
Vombatus
Title

Posts: 1178
From: Spain

  05.12.2012 at 22:22
If this isn't metal, nothing is. So the answer is yes.

psykometal
Staffpool

Posts: 4366

Age: 28
From: USA

  05.12.2012 at 23:57
Written by Marcus on 05.12.2012 at 22:02

While I agree with you, I think you can also make the argument that when a symphony/orchestra covers a pop song, does it remain a pop song or become symphonic/orchestral?

Well the difference there though is symphony covering pop. This thread discussion is not about acoustic songs covered by metal bands being considered metal. This topic is can you write metal songs with acoustic instruments. So to counter/answer your question, if a symphony conductor writes a piece of music to be played by a symphony but with pop hooks, rhythms and structure to be performed alongside a pop artist as part of that pop song then it would be considered a pop song not a symphony song.

Your question could also be countered by asking, do you consider Apocalyptica to be metal or symphony?
----
~Zep~
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie

Posts: 574

Age: 22
From: USA

  06.12.2012 at 01:36
Written by psykometal on 05.12.2012 at 23:57

Well the difference there though is symphony covering pop. This thread discussion is not about acoustic songs covered by metal bands being considered metal. This topic is can you write metal songs with acoustic instruments. So to counter/answer your question, if a symphony conductor writes a piece of music to be played by a symphony but with pop hooks, rhythms and structure to be performed alongside a pop artist as part of that pop song then it would be considered a pop song not a symphony song.

Your question could also be countered by asking, do you consider Apocalyptica to be metal or symphony?

It's a pretty similar analogy. If most people are saying that it's the use of distorted electric instruments that make a song metal, then covering an "acoustic metal" song using metal instruments would make the song "metal" regardless of whether it was metal or not in its acoustic form. My example followed the same logic that the instruments used have a tendency to pigeonhole the music into a specific genre often regardless of whether the music necessarily belongs there.

And to your example, that's the same as saying if a classical guitarist played acoustic guitar as part of a larger metal composition, the whole song would be metal. Of course it would be. Remember, I'm agreeing with you, but I think people need to make a distinction between the instruments making it metal and the actual composition making it metal.
Edmund Fogg

Posts: 1752

Age: 27
From: Canada

  06.12.2012 at 01:52
Distorsion dosen't have to come from electric guitars. Hell, most ritualistic bands don't play any instruments and have more of a violent Atmospheric Noise feel to it but I still consider them Metal due to the violence of the music and the slight hints of distortions here and there. Botanist is Metal without a doubt, However Qwertzuiop isn't Metal... I don't get it. I know I don't consider him Metal, I just can't put my finger on why.
----
You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
psykometal
Staffpool

Posts: 4366

Age: 28
From: USA

  06.12.2012 at 02:07
Written by Marcus on 06.12.2012 at 01:36

It's a pretty similar analogy. If most people are saying that it's the use of distorted electric instruments that make a song metal, then covering an "acoustic metal" song using metal instruments would make the song "metal" regardless of whether it was metal or not in its acoustic form. My example followed the same logic that the instruments used have a tendency to pigeonhole the music into a specific genre often regardless of whether the music necessarily belongs there.

And to your example, that's the same as saying if a classical guitarist played acoustic guitar as part of a larger metal composition, the whole song would be metal. Of course it would be. Remember, I'm agreeing with you, but I think people need to make a distinction between the instruments making it metal and the actual composition making it metal.

Yea, I just realized what I said in my initial question "or would you still say it's not metal because the songs were first written and played on acoustic instruments", I did qualify that in a "covers" comparison. What I meant to ask was not if those songs were covered or re-recorded as "electric versions" but if those songs were never recorded acoustically and they were originally recorded as electric songs would people still say they are not metal...

And I realize you're agreeing with me, so let's say we're having the back and forth argument (with you playing devil's advocate, so to speak) for why acoustic-original songs can still be considered as "metal".

And Fogg, I've never listened to Qwertzuiop before just now when I read your mention of them but if I had to guess I'd say maybe you find them to be too atmospheric/ambient/neofolk; kinda like how early Mortiis isn't metal but it still appeals to metalheads.
----
~Zep~
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie

Posts: 574

Age: 22
From: USA

  06.12.2012 at 03:33
Written by psykometal on 06.12.2012 at 02:07

Yea, I just realized what I said in my initial question "or would you still say it's not metal because the songs were first written and played on acoustic instruments", I did qualify that in a "covers" comparison. What I meant to ask was not if those songs were covered or re-recorded as "electric versions" but if those songs were never recorded acoustically and they were originally recorded as electric songs would people still say they are not metal...

Haha yeah I figured this was some argument based on misunderstandings since we were trying to say relatively similar things. Ahh that clarifies it for me, and I'd say say a lot of those aforementioned songs would fit that criteria, but then again I'm not the one you're trying to convince so it may fall on deaf ears.
Edmund Fogg

Posts: 1752

Age: 27
From: Canada

  06.12.2012 at 05:20
Written by psykometal on 06.12.2012 at 02:07

And Fogg, I've never listened to Qwertzuiop before just now when I read your mention of them but if I had to guess I'd say maybe you find them to be too atmospheric/ambient/neofolk; kinda like how early Mortiis isn't metal but it still appeals to metalheads.


Pretty much. Its gloomy and dark, but calm and soohing. Well, well look at me putting words on the feel of the music
----
You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan

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