Monday, October 3, 2011
The metal nerd's collection (BONUS INSTALLMENT)
Doing a little guest continuation on Noktorn's metal nerd entries, I've selected another five that really seem to bring on the hordes of obstinate cred-seekers that I've found myself surrounded on the 'net by. Enjoy:
1. Voivod - Undoubtedly the dorkiest band ever to enter the thrash arena, Voivod stands at a nerdy epicurean position between just-abstract-enough and a sci-fi premise that is more than enough to make every metal nerd make a wet spot on their carpet. The metal nerd can either like the early albums for being intelligent raw thrash or praise the Killing-onwards albums for "making all other thrash in the 80's seem amateurish." Of course, remembering a riff by Voivod isn't something that happens naturally, so the nerd can invent all kinds of reasons why they're so good. Favorite album: Rrröööaaarrr, just because the metal nerd loves umlauts.
2. The Chasm - This is like a twelve course meal for the metal nerd. Aztec mythology, a lengthy eight album career AND a progressive edge that constantly seems underappreciated?! Jesus, the metal nerd doesn't even know where to begin with this one. Only can an album like Deathcult for Eternity make the metal nerd feel like he's eating saffron butter poached lobster with truffle sauce at a royal banquet. This band is just exotic enough to inflate the music with all kinds of extra shit the nerd can over intellectualize. They're also a great example of a death metal band nerds show off to their metal - hating friends to show how it can be soooo MUSICAL and SOPHISTICATED. Favorite album: any of them, but some just love to debate about if the EP is in fact better than the albums.
3. Ved Buens Ende - If metal nerds were flies, this album is the pile of Triceratops shit in Jurassic Park. The music's not shit at all, but this album is still nerdier than Chris Owen in October Sky. Appearing at a time when the first wave of prog influences in metal were really starting to take hold, VBE's occult lounge rock (and Norwegian origin) fools the nerd into seeing this album as some transitional bridge from black metal into some kind of 'post-' whatever. Seemingly abstract and surreal in nature, Written in Waters has enough artsy ambiguousness to induce a nerd coma in the wrong ears. Note that in this case this is the only time the metal nerd will defend the 'post-' prefix, simply because it's from the 90's and not the 00's and they're from Norway. Go figure.
4. Root - Root never really seemed to know which style to settle on, so their career has really just been a big long mishmash of all kinds of shit. This gives the nerd a perfect reason to invest all kinds of energy into trying to pinpoint just what album could be 'the masterpiece transitional' or the 'incredible display of Root's maturity', and it's the perfect type of variety needed for the nerd to reminisce about how his taste could be more unique depending on which album he calls the best. It could from the early era so the nerd feels like he's listening to legit and underrated black metal, or the nerd may try to love the later era stuff more just to feel more open minded. Either way, the principle would the same. Favorite album: The Temple in the Underworld, since nerds love to defend controversial transition albums.
5. Worship - Certain funeral doom bands emit some kind of cult appeal that inspires certain nerds to latch on like they were Tom Cruise on the bullet train in M:I. Worship seems to be one of them, for reasons that I couldn't entirely explain, but I'll give it a shot. I guess Last ________ Before Doomsday has always been seen as a pedigree release in the FD scene that was always sort of like a third stringer yet also just solemn and depressing and artistic enough (consensus seems to say, not me) to make it perfect fodder for the nerd who wants to earn cool points be showing everyone the best band they've never heard of. I have no idea how Worship fits the template, but I have been surprised numerous times by the amount of times I hear a nerd arguing about Worship is the penultimate funeral doom band - often for all kinds of reasons that seem to have little to do with the music. Sounds like the nerds have found a new migration spot. Favorite album: oh maybe something that's not L_BD!?
Anyway, this series was fun. Whoever leaves the best hate comment will win my original copy of Obscura.