Bands progressing - how much can you take?

dill_the_devil Music Editor
It's just occured to me how difficult it must be for a popular band to evolve their sound and musically progress without alienating their established fan base. For instance, Paradise Lost have in recent years moved from their original doom-metal roots to a more NIN-inspired take on industrial rock, before doing something of a U-turn in the face of an angry fan base and releasing 'Believe In Nothing', which dropped most of the industrial electronica heard in 'Host'.
On the other hand, bands such as Pantera and Bal-Sagoth have been criticised in the past for having not progressed in the slightest, leaving their sound exactly the same throughout the years.
Personally, the band I think has progressed most successfully is Tool - their sound has changed dramatically since the days of Opiate, but they are still recognisable as the same band.
What does everyone else think? How should a band progress? Should they experiment with new styles and risk alienating their established audience? Should they leave well alone and stick to a working formula? Or should they progress in another way?
I would say that a band makes music for themselves not for anyone else (or atleast I think they should). I feel as they progress they will do a few things differant but they will not change all that much (ulver not included). If the artists just do what makes them happy and not what they think will sell better I think they will do better in the long run. I have total respect for bands who have changed their style and were not afraid to do it because they might lose some fans.
Only few days ago I read an interview with Paradise Lost where they said that they are very proud of their musically changes and of not doing what they made in the year 1991. And that 's what I mean by posting to the last poll of the Katatonia forum. Have a look.
I'm with you on this one winter-frost - the only thing I object to is when a band changes their style in order to become more commerically appealing. That shows a lack of musical integrity.
As for Paradise Lost - if they're more proud of what they're doing now than what they did in '91, I would say why did they immediately change from the NIN-esque sound of Host to a more recognisably old-PL on 'Believe In Nothing'? Sounds like they were afraid of losing fans and were trying to claw back their old fanbase to me...
Doesn't really bother me, cos I've liked everything I've heard from PL. :)
One band who have progressed beyond recognition is the mighty Xysma from Finland. They've gone from pure Death Metal to a kind of strange Kinks / Garage Rock sound in the space of a few albums.

By the way, if any Finn out there can get me a copy of Xysma's "Girl On The Beach" CD, I will be eternally grateful..

Lee B
I like it all to be honest, but if you were going to chase me with a stick with some poo on the end, I'd have to go with the later period stuff. "Lotto" is a fantastic and criminally overlooked CD.

"There's a new gel in town..."

Oh yes!

Lee B