Friday, April 13, 2007

What Are Well Going To Call This Genre?

When I first started writing my post about Rosetta (and it happens pretty often when I write about a similar band), I was trying to state what genre they happen to be in.

The first thing I know I have to deal with of course, I know there are those of you out there who have to say “Why do we need labels?” Now, while I can understand how bands don’t like to be labelled, if you haven’t heard it, you need a way to describe it. If we had no labels, what would we I be forced to say in order to describe a band? Perhaps something long and drawn out? Simply compare them to other bands? Just keep it simple and say they simply play music? I don’t claim my word to be gospel, and many of you who know me personally know that I’m simply explaining my own interpretation.

Some well-known sites have attempted to start their own terminology for the genre started by Neurosis. The BNR Metal Pages calls it “atmospheric hardcore”. Decibel Magazine started calling it “metalgaze”, a term I know at least one of the authors at Metal Review has adopted. The posters at Wikipedia often refer to Neurosis, Isis and Cult Of Luna as “post metal”.

Things can become even more confusing at the Metal-Archives. Genre labels at that site usually describe the aforementioned bands as being mixtures of things like “Sludge”, “Doom”, “Atmospheric”, “Progressive”, “Post-Hardcore”, even things such as “Tribal” and “Ambient”. There has been some argument between users as to what belongs at the Metal-Archives, typically avoiding genres such as punk and hardcore despite the connection some people see between those genres and metal. This could possibly lead to some posters at the Metal-Archives not wanting to label anything resembling “Post-Hardcore” fearing it could be rejected (even if the description could be apt for the situation).

It is true that many of these bands have had, or still have hardcore connections by either starting as hardcore or having former members of hardcore bands. Recently some bands of this style have had no hardcore connections. Additionally there are many fans of metal and hardcore crowds, as well there are a new group of fans not interested in anything metal or hardcore that are turning their attention to bands of this style.

Another question about genre interpretation - if something is heavy, and has harsh vocals, is it metal? People unfamiliar with underground music might quickly answer yes without even giving hardcore or punk a second thought. In this day and age, many a “Troo” metaller or “Trve Kvlt” fan would argue no, as some don’t consider certain forms of grind to be related to metal. Those examples of music fans are at very opposite ends of the spectrum though.

I’d like to add that I don’t think the description of “Post-Metal” at Wikipedia is that accurate. I’ve read lots about bands of this style, but I have yet to hear the term “Post-Metal” being used, as the only place I have heard it used was Wikipedia. The Wikipedia page about “Post-Metal” also states that there are very few bands playing this style of music, but if you start digging you’ll discover there’s actually quite a few bands that fit together playing this style (I would say you should be able to find about fifty of these bands easily, and possibly a hundred with some extra digging, possibly more).

Some Genre Definitions (Including Atmospheric Hardcore) At The BNR Metal Pages.
Decibel Magazine
Metal Review
“Post Metal” At Wikipedia



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