Unusual today, usual tomorrow?


Nonchalant Onlooker
May 5, 2001
Okay, since in this thread (Mikael's moustache..) I wanted more posts on the board, prompting drunken posts, here comes one.

You might wonder why the hell am I posting about 'unusual music' on the Opeth forum; it's simply because I want to know Opeth fans' opinions and commentary on the matter.

Ok, let's cut the bollocks.

With "unusual music" I mean music that defies all borders and categories defined by man. I really don't see the point in categorising music or defining elements that certain music should include or exclude to be counted as part of a certain genre of music, although it helps people finding the music of their liking. I categorise music by its feeling. In one category I might have some extravaganza trance, some metal and some pop (party-on - music!), and in another soothing trance, classical music, ambient and pop.

The latest 'hip' thing in music industry seems to be techno, and usually metal scenes are known for their resentment of anything related to techno, and vice versa. Likewise, metal has slowly been gaining popularity; e.g. in Finland Dimmu Borgir's latest album was on the top 40 albums - list for quite a while.

Two days ago I was acquaintated to Ulver's Perdition City by Hoserhellspawn, of which (among other things) to him I'm eternally grateful. The album made me think about future trends in music: The Covenant renamed themselves to Kovenant and released Animatronic, pretty mechanised an album; these days Samael is pretty mechanised; some time ago Arcturus released a remixed version of La Masquerade Infernale with triphop and rap versions of the original tracks, etc. Where is this all leading to? The eventual merging of techno and metal music (or the merging of all music)?

Personally, I wouldn't mind that at all, since I'm sure there would always be bands who would continue following the old line, just like there are new rock bands popping up in spite of Lenny Kravitz saying Rock And Roll is Dead. :)

What are your thoughts on the subject?

On a sidenote - after we get our crap together with Thales and I get some more spare time I'm going to launch a sideproject of my own which will concentrate on computerised, technoish, classical-influenced "metal". :eek:
hmmm, i think that is a condition that we should welcome, where tastes transcend themselves and ordinary boundaries are detested. The way I see it: Human experience and human joy don't have boundaries so why should music? But I wonder about the "tomorrow" after tomorrow.
It's funny, because we were both listening to the black metal radio mentioned elsewhere by ...someone... (Protocol, I think) and I 'requested' a couple of tracks off of Perdition City and that was the first time I had heard it myself. But I'll take that credit. :)

I've said elsewhere that I listen to almost no "pure genre" music... most of it is a hybrid or a splicing of various styles and ideas and is at least somewhat progressive in (if in no other way) that regard. I can listen to Opeth and Therion and Pain (the usual formula for me seems to be metal + _____ ), and I doubt Entombed or Morbid Angel will really ever strike me as being that interesting at all, as good as they may be within that genre.

Basically, I think like anything else, that it depends and it's different for each circumstance. There are some cross-genre attempts that ...just didn't quite work, and others that are quite cool.

I think as artists keep trying to do things that are DIFFERENT than what's been done before (as difficult as that's getting more and more every day) you will see more and more fascinating multi-influenced musical projects. However, like Orchid said, other bands will continue to follow older ideas because that's what interests them, and I think in this regard there will always be genres and there will always be categories of music. There'll be more and more of them and they'll become less and less distinct, but I don't think humans are really capable of tossing all distinctions out the window and simply embracing "music". Most people will always love one type and hate another.

And... Rock and Roll in particular is funny, because it was probably the first genre that people thought "wouldn't last", and the truth is it will be around forever, in some form or another. Same thing with hip-hop... once a style of music gains a certain amount of a following it becomes a part of the whole of "music" and will never die as long as music is freely being created.

When Lenny Kravitz says "Rock is dead" ...and bands like Limp Bizkit become the new definition of what "metal" is (ugh) and it seems that the integration of rap and metal is the only way for metal to continue, blah blah blah, what we need to remember is that these notions apply only to the mainstream, and I think there's not a person on this board that will argue that what gets played on the radio is a very insignificant faction of the music being created in this world as a whole.
Of course, unusual is a subjective term. I feel that deliberately progressive and experimental music, which includes Opeth, will never be understood by the general population. I understand how the assimilation of genres can lead to something thought of as exotic and of limited appeal can gain widesread acceptance, but this occurs rarely in the context of the music mentioned above. Innovation is something I always look for in music, I can obtain little continued gratification from bands that tread down familiar paths. At the same time, originality in itself does not always translate to quality...nu-metal being a good example.
I'm not drunk, but I'm still going to ramble a bit for you.

Everybody has the same tendency to get their hands on a really good album, and go 'how can they top this, I have no idea how things could be improved' But they always are.
I think that music will become more of a multimedia experience in the future. Now we have music videos, but in the future there will be virtual reality videos...Kind of like the movie 'Lawnmower Man' but with a soundtrack. Imagine how some artists could express themselves once given access to stimulate all of the senses instead of just one or two.
Originally posted by Demonspell
Of course, unusual is a subjective term. I feel that deliberately progressive and experimental music, which includes Opeth, will never be understood by the general population.

Yeah, I think you're right. Basing my comment purely on my experiences from this board, I'd say only intelligent people listen to Opeth (or listening to Opeth makes you intelligent, whatever). To clarify: how many idiots have you seen on the Opeth board spewing utter useless crap?

Me neither.

As discussed earlier in some other thread; intelligent, self-aware people are a minority and hence 'intelligent' music will not ever be as popular as nu-metal for example (don't take that the wrong way - I appreciate the nu-metal acts for finding a sound that the general public likes. I've also found myself thinking "heck, they have some really cool ideas (musicwise); this isn't as bad as their reputation in certain scenes!").

I understand how the assimilation of genres can lead to something thought of as exotic...

Hmm, "thought of as exotic" but not really exotic? Why not? I think mixtures of different genres (ok, not metal + (c)rap) are genuinely interesting, such as 'Masters of Disguise' by Arcturus and Deception Circus.

One more 'mechanised' / industrial thing I noticed - Old Man's Child's latest album's first track (at least, I don't remember if any of the others do) features some industrial / 'technoish' effects. Which I think is really cool an effect.
I see the progression of bands as either evolution or atavism/devolution. If you look at the OMC reference, that's a band moving themselves toward a new way of looking at their music. By altering styles subtly, and remaining true and constant to their artistic goal, then they have evolved, and are better musicians for it, whether or not they use this trait.
I look at Samael, a band which has become, as mentioned, fairly mechanised, their Xytras CD that came with Passage has the majority of their tracks played on piano and synth. While this is also electronic, they've done a kind of Metallica S&M thing, bringing a whole other dimension to the music, and, I think I've said this before so I'll be redundant, I listen to that cd more than Passage.
Now this regression to classical can be seen as devolution, but again, in taking the step, they've evolved. And both these changes listed can be viewed as "unusual" since they're breaking the common trend in "metal."

But what else is unusual? I listen to Tom Waits, who, on every album has some kind of surreal/morbid spoken word piece. They're very cleverly written, against a well-composed backdrop of music and noise. Nothing that can be classified. So where does it land? Is Opeth "metal?" When people ask, I say "Folk Blackmetal" to make them cringe. I can't even define the word Progressive for you (in musical terms)..
I see progress in every note of every album I have. Someone trying something new, breaking the barrier between the predetermined "genres".. like blackmetal..and folk.

I'm not drunk, though this post may suggest that. AND I WILL BE LATER! Happy Canada day to everyone, HoserHellSpawn, Satori, and WarsofWinter - and anyone else I missed in Canada. Hope it's a great day, the weather holds out, and the beer is good and cold. And strong. ;)
K, i just want to throw this question out....do any fellow opethians in this post enjoy the musical styles of more modern popular bands such as korn, papa roach, or slipknot? A friend and i were in my car and "harvest" from bwp came on my cd and he immediately persecuted me saying..."you call this metal!?!?...ill give you metal"..and he popped in a limp bizkit cd.....i tried not to laugh TOO hard.....but it really hit me hard that he started persecuting the music of my life (opeth). He claimed that because the one song on the album was acoustic and had absolutely no distortion, and clean vocals that they were not metal and that they were "posers"..... i tried to retailate by saying that they are progressive and are not some teeny-bopper band that recycle old songs with "new" styles, and then he called me a "fuckin poser broad"...... i was so immesly hurt i didnt know what to do....if anyone could please let me know what they feel about this subject id appreciate it cause i know other people have been persecuted and labeled as i have for listening to opeth and other such bands in the past....thanks so much

By why they call it nu-metal?
Fear Factory made Demanufacture some 6 years ago! That was nu-metal! And a great delusion to me, after their masterpiece 'Soul of a new machine'!
Ok, I realize that most of nu-metal fans are teens. Their taste will surely evolve into something better. When you're so young you're in search of trends, no matter how 'trendy' they can be! Damn, when I was a teen only Metallica existed for me, and their videos were broadcasted on the MTV (blame upon it! that's my opinion nowadays);)
I don't like nu-metal, I don't listen to it. If you like it I'm happy for you, music is a wonderful thing!
Opethians are few, on the other hand. Well, we are few, but our passion is (and will always be) far bigger than commercial attraction...

Opeth forever
Opethians are few, on the other hand. Well, we are few, but our passion is (and will always be) far bigger than commercial attraction...

LEJ.....there where you said that opethians passion is far bigger than commercial attraction was so beautifully put..... society makes me so sick today.....shallow judgemental people who find everything wrong with the music we listen to because there is "growling" and "darkness" is involved therefore it deals with satanism.... it's really hard being in a locational place where i am isolated and the only satisfaction i get is discussing topics such as these with people like you....what do you say were seclude an island somewhere exotic and just build a mass community of opethians!!!! haha....sounds like a plan to me!
Personally, I have nothing against the MTV people, but they DO worry me from time to time. Several times, I've tried to convince a friend of mine (who, by the way, introduced me to metal in the first place) to at least TRY to listen to Opeth. He then gets this worried, frightened look in his face and desperately search his CD collection for Linkin Park, Metallica, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Westlife or any other band that makes him feel safe....some people seem to do absolutely everything to avoid new experiences.

The sad thing is that I strongly believe that a lot of the enormous amount of individuals we, or at least I, refer to as "the MTV people", would, if they dared to be open-minded enough (...maybe we'll have to force them :), actually ENJOY listening underground metal bands like, for example, Opeth. Me myself, for example, listened mostly to Celine Dion and a few mainstream rock groups before accidently discovering bands like Emperor, Theatre of Tragedy, Darkthrone and Opeth. If a Celine "My Heart Will Go On" Dion fan can find something interesting in Darkthrone's hateful songs, I see no reason why a Korn fan couldn't like Opeth or In Flames, if they only tried. It's a pity, indeed!

And do I still listen to Celine Dion? Yes, often...
K, let me clarify..... i have nothing against nor will i ever persecute someone for their musical pleasures...i just find it hard to cope with the fact that i am judged and persecuted for mine..... music is life and if they choose to listen to korn, limp bizkit, etc. that's awesome! more power to them....it's just the handful of people that are unable to gather openmindedness and dismiss me as "freaky" or a "satanist" that make me want to question everything.......aaaahhhhh...now i just wanna scream
did I hear the word 'nu-metal'... errg.... well I don't know either why its called nu-metal... Ice-T was playing the shit in the early 80s. I do have respect for him cause he 'invented' it and actually had lyrics to it that are quite intelligent and had points and direction. Then came Rage Against the Machine (which I respect their political aggressiveness and BALLS to stand behind their music and do something about what they believe in).. and the plethora of crap-metal.. whoops forgot the silent c... ;).... and there ya go.. nu-cow paddies freshly (c)rapped ouf of their loose arse with shit dreads on each side to make them look pretty.

yeah man go for that project I'd like to hear your ideas. I've been into the underground hard-tek scene for a looong time (was listening to metal long before though) and I've aquired a very wide recognition of quality and refined palate throughout its evolution in the past 10 years or so. The TRUE, and not cheesy shit tek thats played, In fact I can actually compare it with classical music in the way its built up and torn down. Some producers are very intricate and at times simple and bring such beauty and expression to the music that is unparalleled. But such beaty doesn't make it out of the underground because theres a mass of hearded sheep out there... just like Opeth doesn't make it cause its music for the 'black sheep with no pastor'. And as we know there isn't alot of those around.
And I'm curious to see if you can distinguish between the true industrial and the tek... cause its a very fine line between them. VERY fine. I've been playing this game, and watching almost ALL the industrial acts out there... cause I'm an avid devourer of the industrial sound :) ... and I notice that its very rare when a band sticks to the purity of industrial and then passes it off as what it truly is, 'industrial'. Like Kovenant... you can't call them industrial... its down right tek with metal and classical. NIN uses many elements of the industrial headscraping whore... but I can hear the tek in there too and that kinda shits me.. Trent REznor uses it really good actually dont' get me wrong, but its classified wrong.. same for Velvet Acid Christ... that NOT industrial, its just pumpin tek with black metal vocals over it, 13 Candles, thats too tekkie too... and THAT is why music should have no label like you said.... cause it just 'IS'. Like any expression of nature. Original in its existance. No labels no nothing.. just embrace its emotion.. full stop. But still... I like to see how the music evolves and see what people pass it off as. Interesting game for me to play. :) Just goes to show peoples ignorance or stupidity... one of the two.
Though you hit the nail on the head Orchid.. music should be classified emotionally.

ignorance i tolerate but stupidity I can't. These are the ears of the ignorant it seems... untrained and unappreciative to diversity and REAL beauty and expressions of evolution. As someone else said on here.. just pump April Ethereal or Demon of the Fall.... or When... :) they'll not only be suckin on lollypops I can tell ya that! LOL!

But if you want to roll em say this 'Opinion is the excuse for the fool to be heard'. Shuts em up evertime cause its SO FUCKING TRUE. Its a direct quote off a track I'm writing for my band Autumn Rust. Hope you like it. :)
I appreciate the nu-metal acts for finding a sound that the general public likes. I've also found myself thinking "heck, they have some really cool ideas (musicwise); this isn't as bad as their reputation in certain scenes!").

I agree...I think numetal gets too much of a hard time from fans of more traditional and extreme forms of metal. I can understand that maybe they prefer music that is more intense, more complex and more musically challenging, and yes numetal on the whole is pretty simple stuff....but its effective to some and it has legions of fans. Developing a genre which so many people like is a pretty impressive thing to do, and hey who said music has to be complicated all the time? If you don't like the simplicity or the sound of numetal, then thats fair enough, but I still consider it a valid devlopment on the metal sound, admitedly not one to everybody's tastes...but thats why music is so diverse! There is something for everybody!

I did mention that I don't like too many numetal bands, but that has nothing to do with the genre. Its just to me, there aren't many numetal bands out there doing something cool and original with the sound, thus developing it further, most of them seeming content to jump on bandwagons to make a quick buck. But then you have bands like System of a Down who I think do something very original and special, and I think bands like this should have more press.

Personally, I have plenty against MTV. They started out completely racist - they wouldn't play anything by black artists until they realized how much money there was in it. Granted they don't exclusively play commersial 'music', but whatever they play it's always what will make them the most money.

Then there's the pornification: I don't mind sexy videos, but come on! Music videos should be music videos, not porn. Some will argue that music is evolving into a multi-media thing and excuse the pornified videos with that, but we already have porn with cheesy background music. It's nothing new and it's not a musically evolutionary concept, but rather a commersial tactic. That's not to say there are no good sexy music videos, but they're rather sparse.

It's not a matter of music taste, it's a matter of ideology. mtv is quite despicable regardless of what music they play.
Wow... I'm away from 24 hours and ALL THIS STUFF APPEARS!
This is great!

Allright, where to start...

Duvall - Happy (belated) Canada Day to you as well, ya hoser! The weather did hold out here in southwestern beautiful British Columbia... there was a jazz festival in town (which was cool), fireworks downtown, I was outside a lot, did all sorts of wonderful stuff. It was a great day all round, and I hope all Canucks here and far had as good a holiday as I did. What were you up to?

GeWn - "posers". He used the word "posers"? I'd personally find it difficult to take with any seriousness a musical opinion by someone who reduces artistic intent to the word "poser". Explain to him that when Limp Bizkit call themselves "artists" THAT's a "poser" statement, as they are clearly claiming to be something that they are not with the upmost pretentiousness. I'm developing a theory that all creative accomplishments fall under one of two categories: art and entertainment. Art challenges us, requires us to think, and reaches us on an emotional level. Entertainment is something to shut our minds off and keep our senses occupied. Sometimes (rarely) one can achieve both. What you see on MTV tends to be pure entertainment. Opeth exists on another plane altogether that the masses will never appreciate, and it's their loss. Leave them to their entertainment.

(Incidentally, I was also going to suggest kicking that guy's ass by cranking "The Leper Affinity", myself, but a bunch of people beat me to that point.) I can honestly say I've never really been judged against for my Opethian ways, but I will offer you one perspective you may wish to consider.

You need to decide whether or not altering the musical taste of this guy is worth your time. Do you take the uninitiated by the hand and patiently explain to him the blindness in which he is living, or declaire him unworthy of your effort to allow him to appreciate the beauty that is Opeth? People may never understand you because you're different, and that's because although a person (such as yourself) can be intelligent, "people" are always stupid. Those who dismiss you aren't capable or worthy of your attention anyways, so don't worry about them.

And on an other topic altogether, someone on this forum a long time ago (I think it was Satori) suggested the hope for one day staging a big party for Opethians to gather from around the world. It's a nice dream. I'm sure we all hope one day it can ...somehow... come true. If anyone has a few extra million dollars disposable income, and would be interested in making this happen, please email me. :)

Autumn Rust - 'Opinion is the excuse for the fool to be heard'. Not a bad quote at all, but we all blather opinion from time to time, do we not? Look at all of the "best this best that" polls... it's just seeking opinion. Opinion is an excuse to be heard... whether or not it's coming from a fool is another issue (I suppose those who can back up/justify their opinions vs. those who cannot may be the difference)... of course, that's all just opinion.

Incidentally, that "silent 'c'rap" thing is great, eh? I can't remember from where I heard it but I love it... glad to see that little lingual nuance is spreading (Heh, thanks Orchid). AND... I'm still anxious to see that logo, dude...

Xtokalon - I think my "art/entertainment" stuff is reflected in your quote "I may enjoy these songs but as a child enjoying a silly game". Thoughts?

Protocol - Again, when art gets passed off in the singular goal of obtaining large quantities of the almighty buck, the results are pretty sickening, because they'll go to all sorts of rediculous lengths to effectively commercialize their product and use "art" as an excuse. And, I didn't know all the racist stuff about MTV... it's kinda surprising for the U.S. considering the amount of history of black people in music in that country, and the popularity of black musicians at the time ...but then again, not surprising at all, is it? Just following an age-old trend...

heh, the ULTIMATE ramble!

Weather was really nice and hot, with a good coastal breeze. Had some beer, and didn't get out until about 9:30. I was on a bus going across the bridge over the harbour, and I got to see the fireworks from a pretty unique perspective. Our Jazz Festival starts on the 6th.. I can't wait! ;)

And now back to your regularly scheduled discussion...
Hey All ...

First up, Opeth is easily my favourite band. Just gotta get that out of the way.

Secondly, there's a quote (can't remember who's) that says-

"A mind is like a parachute, if it's not open, it doesn't work."

I think this applies greatly to musical tastes. A while ago, I used to only listen to real metal. Anything else would cop alot of criticism from me. I think this was because I thought that if I loved one style of music, I had to hate all the other styles of music.

I'm not sure what started to change my ways, but gradually I started to accpet other styles for what they were and how they made me feel. Now, for instance, I've been getting into trance (electronica) heaps lately. And in certain types of trance, the feel (sometimes quite dark and eerie), the progressiveness and the skill used, often parallels or exceeds some of the metal bands I listen to. The same sort of thing has happened to me regarding some other styles too, but, I'm too lazy to name them now, hehe.

As for the nu-metal scene. I really can't say I like it, its image just makes me squirm. But when I look at other ppl I know who say "Limp Bizkit/Korn/Slipknot/whoever else rule, and everything else sucks." I don't even bother starting an arguement with them, because I feel secure in my own musical tastes and realise that it's his choice if he wants to be so narrow-minded.

Later :cool: