Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is Technicality The New Trend To Bash?

I recently reviewed the latest Anata album. Previous to gaining a copy myself, I had read about the new album, and the band from a few sources. I’ve heard and read Anata described as technical death metal. I generally dislike the tags of technical, as that description used to be a way of describing a band someone likes, and a reason why they are inherently good. Certain things that sound “technical” aren’t always hard to do, and certain things that sound easy can require some dexterity.

Why am I going through such a preface? Well, I grew up in the 90's when things such as “technicality” and guitar solos were considered by many in more popular forms of rock genres to be the enemy of creativity. At the same time, some of the more underground crowds sometimes touted their beloved genres and bands as being superior due to being “technical” and/or having guitar solos.

Right now we seem to be seeing a reversal of roles, with certain bands labelled as being “technical” or “progressive” gaining a degree of popularity. I’m also witnessing a growing backlash against what’s being labelled as “technical death metal” and technical music in general. The reason behind the lash out against “technical death metal” was put simply by one lasher, they stated it was the next trend. It wasn’t the current trend, but the next trend coming up.

Could it be in fact that trend bashing is in and of itself, a trendy thing to do? Some people of course look for trendy things to do before everyone else, to be the one there to do it first. In theory someone could begin searching for that thing about to become big and beat up on it.

I’ve said many times that I feel that this new millennium is one of the best musical times we’ve lived in. One reason is for diversity, as now if you want to create something that simply breaks the rules, you can make some rule-breaking music and get signed, and tour. Sure, there are bands who base some of their sound on being technical, some to the point of eschewing creativity almost completely (a few guitar heroes come to mind). On the other hand there’s a slew of new bands with a different idea. Many raw black metal, the genre inspired by Neurosis, and some instrumental bands have their sound completely based on song writing and simplicity. The genres of these bands is growing, as is the popularity of certain figure heads of those genres.

So, in ending, if you’re one of those people worried about trendy people practising really hard on guitar to get good just to become followers, the yin to their yang is in fact already here.


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