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deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 3950
From: Australia

  11.12.2013 at 03:38
I've been looking at the Top albums for 2000-13 on this site.

My search parameters were years between 2000 and 2013, sort by rating and votes over 500.

The results were interesting - nearly all the top 10 bands were classified as some form of "progressive" and even in top 20 it was dominated by progressive, folk and other more melodic and/or softer bands - Opeth, Agalloch, Dark Tranquillity, Amon Amarth, Enslaved, Be'Lakor, Orphaned Land etc.


The more "abrasive" styles are barely present, bar Machine Head's Unto The Locust. Next to no pure Death, Thrash or even Black.


I've noticed this is common place on the internet and mags alike - stuff like Opeth, Enslaved and toned down Mastodon (Remission seems near forgotten) tends to rule album of the year highlights. Even the popular "heavier" albums often carry progressive tag - e.g. Gojira.


It's interesting cause the top "true" metal in the 1980s was often more abrasive, especially in the context of the day (i.e. Thrash was extreme in 1985-90, melodic DM or progressive metal is not extreme in context of 2000-13).

Even much maligned stuff ala Pantera or Machine Head is far more intense and in-your-face than something like Opeth or Dark Tranquillity.


It's interesting because the basic premise of heavy metal music is to be abrasive, to be offensive and to be loud. Indeed this sort of thinking dominated up to the 1990s. Yet modern metal fans seem to prefer far more timid, melodic stuff.


Obviously this is a generalisation and doesn't apply to all Metal fans.

Also I'm not attacking any particular genre - if you look at my collection you'll see I listen to a ton of different genres. In fact I'm listening to the rather mellow Be'lakor album Stone's Reach right now.
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist

Posts: 18673
From: Canada

  11.12.2013 at 04:38
The more extreme and abrasive, generally the fewer people who listen to it. "Softer" metal is more accessible by nature (easier on the ears), so your findings aren't exactly surprising. This isn't a matter of elitism or picking on others' musical preferences, just an observation.

Also, not everybody listens to metal for its in-your-face straightforward aggression. There are a plethora of sub-genres that cater to fans of less extreme music, even within the confines of what technically originated as heavy and extreme music compared to what was on the radio at the time.

And you also have to factor in the users here: primarily North American (in spite of its Estonian origins), and most of the stuff that gets promoted on this side of the ocean tends to be of the more melodic variety. Power metal, prog, gothic, symphonic, and the melodic styles of black and death metal usually receive more support from label execs than bedroom black metal, drone, slam death metal, etc.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
Dentura
Shadow King

Posts: 1151

Age: 20
From: USA

  11.12.2013 at 04:46
I think this might be because our tastes have diversified for the past couple of decades and as a result we demand more from our music as opposed to the more straightforward styles of the past. It has less to do with "softer" styles, than it does with pushing the music further, and seeing if the musicians can do more with the sound rather than sticking with a stagnating idea. Our natural instinct is to just move on to the next level, and continue evolving, which greatly applies to why people are demanding more diversity in their music nowadays.
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...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..
deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 3950
From: Australia

  11.12.2013 at 05:21
Quote:
e more extreme and abrasive, generally the fewer people who listen to it. "Softer" metal is more accessible by nature (easier on the ears), so your findings aren't exactly surprising. This isn't a matter of elitism or picking on others' musical preferences, just an observation.


I think this hits the nail on the head.

What is interesting is that the second tier of metal music (Opeth, Amon Amarth) is often less heavy/extreme in terms of sound than the first tier entry level stuff (Slipknot, Slayer, Devildriver, Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God).

Back when I got into metal the second tier (Slayer, Sepultura, Testament, Kreator) was heavier/more extreme than the entry level stuff (Guns N Roses, Metallica, Skid Row. Motley Crue).


I wonder if the demographic has shifted too?

Most of the guys I knew in real life who got into the more abrasive stuff generally completed high school and that's it. Most of them never got jobs or did lower skilled work. The guys who I knew got into the more melodic side of things wer often Uni students.
Thrashette

Posts: 621

Age: 22
From: Canada

  11.12.2013 at 18:47
Written by deadone on 11.12.2013 at 05:21

I think this hits the nail on the head.

What is interesting is that the second tier of metal music (Opeth, Amon Amarth) is often less heavy/extreme in terms of sound than the first tier entry level stuff (Slipknot, Slayer, Devildriver, Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God).

Back when I got into metal the second tier (Slayer, Sepultura, Testament, Kreator) was heavier/more extreme than the entry level stuff (Guns N Roses, Metallica, Skid Row. Motley Crue).


I wonder if the demographic has shifted too?

Most of the guys I knew in real life who got into the more abrasive stuff generally completed high school and that's it. Most of them never got jobs or did lower skilled work. The guys who I knew got into the more melodic side of things wer often Uni students.

I think the definitions of what's "second tier" and what's "entry level" is unclear, since it does vary from person to person... I know what you mean, but I'm just saying that which bands fall into which category is debatable. I would say that the bands you considered entry level are catchier than the ones you considered second tier and also get more media attention, which is why people would get into those bands first. That answer also applies to the original question of this thread. Softer music is much more accessible, as Troy said.
sentinel65

Posts: 144
From: USA

  14.12.2013 at 15:45
Interesting topic, I never really thought about that before. As I was looking into the metal of my generation, I first ran into the more simple stuff that I don't like, this includes screaming metalcore bands, and others such as Slipknot. I found Mastodon, and listened to The Hunter, then their earlier stuff, which got me into heavier metal. So really, I think I was drawn to some of the proggier bands you mentioned, because many of the other bands today lacked the musicality I was looking for. Since then prog bands are my favorite. Troy Killjoy pretty much hits every point otherwise.
deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 3950
From: Australia

  16.12.2013 at 00:38
I find the growth of prog and folk to be very interesting as I find those genres to be often moving away considerably from the basic tennants of metal (loud and obnoxious).


I found as I get older, I grew to like raucous simplicity be it stuff like High on Fire or early Down or older stuff like Twisted Sister, Motorhead and WASP or even hardcore punk. I never liked any of this stuff when I was younger.

When I was younger I demanded pure intensity and listened to lots of Death and Thrash. Thrash still dominates as my preferred genre though I prefer song based thrash than pure intensity stuff ala Gama Bomb.

With Death Metal it's got to be song based and have a dash of groove and rythm - e.g. Carcass, Entombed, early Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation, Edge of Sanity, Ghoul, Gorefest etc.

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