Kvlt Madness: Genre Headaches!


Written by: Branzig
Published: 07.04.2012


When you were a kid, did you ever collect anything? Did you ever collect one thing, but then organize it down into sub-classes of that same particular thing? Take for instance, marbles. Marbles are all one thing, but there are many different types, you could break them down by color, type, size, etc. Then maybe you could even break it down FURTHER! Like by "colored types of sizes of marbles." Did you ever use this extreme level of organization with any of your toys? Me neither. So why do we do it with our metal?

Obviously, when it comes to the "big hitters" of the metal world, there are a lot of different flavors, so genres do come into play and are a helpful form of organization in that regard, but what is it with metal heads taking it to the next level? Ever seen, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey? In that film there is a killer chart that lays out the ground work of all the "basic" genres that make up metal. You know, genres like classic, heavy, death, thrash, industrial, black, NWOBHM, etc, etc, etc! But even on this "basic" chart, there are still around 24 individual genres of metal. Isn't that enough? Do we need to further break it down? Well, many think yes, and now enters the "microgenre."

I recently got into a little microgenre that people are calling "war metal." Many of my friends and a lot of the Metal Storm community have contacted me and said, "Well, I like the music, but isn't it just 'bestial black metal, but harder and more lo-fi?'" Or, "Yeah it's 'blackened thrash' except they only sing about war. It's not really a new genre, just an old one that's a little different." And this got me thinking... Well, yeah a lot of these statements are true with the exception of little tweaks here and there. Not to mention that one man's "blackened thrash" is in essence another man's "bestial black metal"... but that's for another time... this is about categorization!

A lot of the time it seems like we're going at apples to apples here, I will admit. For instance, wasn't Carcass just Napalm Death singing about butchering limbs? They're still grindcore but they started the micorgenre "goregrind" which has grown to such a large genre now that I am sure no one would argue that it has now upgraded into a subgenre... ouch my head. And Possessed, sure they were a thrash band with more violent vocals but they're still thrash, right? Not something called death metal. And grindcore is just hardcore with blast beats and down tuned guitars. powerviolence is just thrashcore, but more violent? D-beat is just grindcore with less blasts and more hardcore? Blackened thrash is just thrash but with more black? Ugh...

I guess my point is: are we taking it to far? Are we over categorizing the over categorized? And how many plays does it take to get a microgenre to a subgenre, or a subgenre to a genre?! I don't know; I think I will go listen to some "lo-fi atmospheric war-doom powerviolence-metal" to ponder it over.



 


Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 40   Visited by: 138 users
17.04.2012 - 06:22
Branzig
Written by BitterCOld on 16.04.2012 at 21:53

haha. not quite, but it sure wasn't as easy to find new shit as now. it was 10 miles (up hill one way) to the nearest Wherehouse to buy a cassette.

and there were just basic break downs... thrash, glam, etc.

and i a m not a big fan of the ever-increasing levels of metal-nerdom where everything is broken down like zoologists use the animal classification table. i guess i like sub-genres to help narrow down the largest genres (doom comes to mind) but the minutiae just goes overboard.



I am a fan of subgenres for the most part, but sometimes I feel like microgenres can get a little silly.

Like I've said, it seems apples to apples sometimes hahah.
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25.05.2012 - 04:32
Necrox
Genres = fine
Microgenres =
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20.10.2012 - 01:59
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
I think we should claim bands style depending on who we are talking to,
such as if you were talking to a person with no knowledge of metal you should say:
Wintersun is a Metal band

Then if you were talking to someone with limited knowledge of metal you would say:
Wintersun is a Melodic Death Metal Band.

Then if your talking to someone with a decent amount of knowledge of metal, ie a Metalhead, you would say:
Wintersun is an Extreme Power Metal band

then if you really wanna get technical about a band you could say:
Wintersun is a Extreme Symphonic Power Metal band with European and Asiatic Folk influences.

So I think it really depends on who you are talking to, personally I like to use the broadest umbrella term possible when talking casually in RL, so I would simply call Wintersun Melodeath. Though I do admit I do get carried away sometimes with the microgenre nitpicking.
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20.10.2012 - 02:49
Branzig
Written by AngelofDeth on 20.10.2012 at 01:59

So I think it really depends on who you are talking to


You bring up a good point.

I have a lot of friends who aren't metalheads and you really do have to dumb it down to them, way down haha.

But, when I wrote this article, it was meant to be enjoyed/discussed by seasoned metalholics who have a good understanding of all the genres and subgenres in our little world.
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20.10.2012 - 03:06
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
Written by Branzig on 20.10.2012 at 02:49

But, when I wrote this article, it was meant to be enjoyed/discussed by seasoned metalholics who have a good understanding of all the genres and subgenres in our little world.

Well in that area I think this site does a great job of defining bands in their genres, not too much not too little.

Another thing about this way we define our subgenres... My friend brought this up one day and said that this microgenring we do makes metal one of the most fractured music scenes in his opinion. In some ways I do have to agree with him, as even when I do rarely meet a fellow metalhead we only have maybe a few bands we like in common.
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20.10.2012 - 05:38
Branzig
Written by AngelofDeth on 20.10.2012 at 03:06

Another thing about this way we define our subgenres... My friend brought this up one day and said that this microgenring we do makes metal one of the most fractured music scenes in his opinion. In some ways I do have to agree with him, as even when I do rarely meet a fellow metalhead we only have maybe a few bands we like in common.


Yeah, metal and punk maybe, are the most genre-ized genres in music haha.
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20.10.2012 - 08:57
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
Written by Branzig on 20.10.2012 at 05:38

Yeah, metal and punk maybe, are the most genre-ized genres in music haha.

Yes though I would probly say Metal, Folk and Jazz.

Metal and Jazz have 1million different subgenres and Folk as well because every country/nation has their own traditional folk music.
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23.10.2012 - 06:56
Branzig
Written by AngelofDeth on 20.10.2012 at 08:57

Written by Branzig on 20.10.2012 at 05:38

Yeah, metal and punk maybe, are the most genre-ized genres in music haha.

Folk as well because every country/nation has their own traditional folk music.


But isn't it all just classified as "folk?" lol
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23.10.2012 - 07:05
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
Written by Branzig on 23.10.2012 at 06:56

But isn't it all just classified as "folk?" lol

Yes just like all metal is just "metal" lol
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25.12.2012 - 14:24
Aristarchos
Written by Branzig on 20.10.2012 at 05:38

Yeah, metal and punk maybe, are the most genre-ized genres in music haha.

Doesn't techno have equally many sub-genres?
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