Thursday, June 23, 2011
The metal nerd's collection (Part 2 of 3)
We're back for the second installment of the metal nerd's collection, a look into the minds of the pretentious cred-hungry cretins who are increasingly infesting the metal scene lately, desperate to soak up any praise for their taste for being different if not actually good. Here's another five bands that are essential to such a character's collection.
1. Gorguts - Much like Immolation, this is shooting fish in a barrel. Just about any pre-'98 tech death band is a good choice for the metal nerd, but Gorguts' extra-abstract and atonal style in their later career makes them perfect fodder for someone seeking to flatter their own sense of taste and style. It goes without saying that the nerd will emphasize the latter two albums in the band's catalog, but he'll probably mention the early two in some capacity- maybe to refer to them as "minor Gorguts." Favorite album: "Obscura," undoubtedly. The sheer Immolation-style nerd cred of that album is unbeatable. For bonus points, the nerd might say they have a particular soft spot for "Considered Dead," but NOT the sophomore release.
2. Darkthrone - This is actually a very specific case. The ONLY album appropriate to reference by the nerd from Darkthrone's extensive catalog is, of course, "Soulside Journey." To discount the entirety of Darkthrone's seminal career as a black metal one is a daring and clever move on the part of the nerd, and harping on the technicality and compositional elegance of the band's first death metal work is a quick ticket to get noticed in a world where that album is mostly forgotten. Ignore the fact that "Soulside Journey" is mostly forgotten because it's just not that amazing an album: this is about appearances, not logic. Favorite album: "Soulside Journey" with an entirely random mid-era album like "Total Death" as a backup.
3. Incantation - Not much is better for the nerd than oldschool, doomy death metal, and what's more oldschool, doomy, and deathy than Incantation, who sucks up all the interesting elements of the oldschool NYDM scene and regurgitates them with all the fun and enthusiasm entirely stripped away. The reams of identical albums the band has released allow, similar to Angelcorpse, the nerd to impress his personality on them, making the actual CHOICE of album almost totally irrelevant. Saying that you enjoy Incantation is a positional statement in and of itself- any conversation beyond that is just meaningless detail. Favorite album: the metal nerd cannot actually name an Incantation album, but they will say "I'm a big fan of their slower work."
4. Demigod - We can't ignore the Finnish scene, can we? Demilich is an obvious contender but simply too many people actually enjoy them for it to be feasible. Adramelech is another good choice but doesn't have the sheer namedrop factor necessary. Demigod, on the other hand, is in just the perfect niche: no one's heard them even though everyone knows their name and history, their primarily lauded release for a long time required a ton of money to acquire on Ebay, and they're still kinda-sorta active which keeps them in the public's mind. Favorite album: "Slumber of Sullen Eyes," simply because claiming another would be so implausible.
5. Tiamat - So the metal nerd needs a classic doom/death band from the more romantic side of the equation to hang his hat on, but the Peaceville 3 are just too straightforward. What should he do? Step sideways and go for Tiamat, who no one really listens to but are revered by many people pretending to listen to their copy of "Clouds." Tiamat's music isn't as openly weepy and cloying as My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost, but the real advantage these guys have is how they totally fell off the map when they turned into a rock band. Favorite album: some transitional work between their rock and metal eras, in order to talk about the "amazing synergy within."
Check back tomorrow for the final installment. Don't get into the pit, though; you might tear your bootleg Electric Wizard shirt!