The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Progressive Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

It’s been a while since I wrote one of these, despite writing about numerous other things and being on the Nine Circles Audio Thing. Blame grad school – I am stuck in this hellhole to further new opportunities, so I am hoping things pan out. Otherwise, I will be so mad. Luckily, I am free (for now!), so here we are!

Anyway, last time, I discussed gothic metal and my appreciation of the aesthetic as a whole. I consider that genre to be the darker side of symphonic metal; instead of the beautiful fairy queen, you get the belle dame sans merci who will make you suffer for your desires. I also wanted to address something that I thought of before we jump into the next genre – if you think about it, there are more men involved in gothic metal than in symphonic metal. Granted, the genres overlap, but men rarely take the spotlight in symphonic metal. Maybe some of you can tell me why?

Now, we can start talking about a genre that is known to be experimental in nature, albeit not avant-garde (I might write about avant-garde at some point). Given our recent discussion of Empath (see podcast), it’s only fair that we look at how this genre has become a staple in my music listening and how it has expanded my horizons into other bands.

It’s time we talk about Progressive Metal. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Gothic Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I was just sad – it was one of my first Christmases without my entire family – so I thought it would be fitting to discuss one of the saddest genres in metal, much to my chagrin and (possibly) tasteless jokes. It got personal, as I tend to closely associate with the music I listen to on an emotional level once my tendency to intellectualize it is stripped away. The music I chose to discuss last month were albums I deeply connected with – particularly Created in the Image of Suffering – and they needed to be revisited to see if they still hit as hard as when I first encountered them…some still do and others hit harder.

Enough about that. That was all in the past, and now we get to move on to something I have wanted to talk about since I wrote about symphonic metal many months ago.

On the darker side of symphonic metal exists another genre, one that tends to be overlooked due to its association. After all, it’s always easier to lump two genres together when they have a similar tendency to showcase female operatic vocals.

It’s time we talk about Gothic MetalContinue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Doom Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, we dove into power metal and talked about how it was essentially foreign for me until I decided to step outside of what I knew. I also talked a lot about vocal envy and voice mimicry, which has somehow worked for me in learning how to sing. Essentially, power metal is fun, somewhat cheesy, and comforting – like a good chicken noodle soup — it will lull you to sleep and think happy thoughts, or it will amp you up to get stuff done.

Now, for many of us, it’s the holiday season. We spend time with family, friends, and other loved ones to bask in the good things that the year has brought us, eating good food, and having a great time watching movies or doing whatever normal people do during the holidays. However, because of my sense of humor and my rather interesting year, I decided to become the ultimate Grinch and give you all something to cry to. After all, nothing says “Happy Holidays” more than reminding you that we are all, fundamentally, sad people. Let me tell you something: this genre is definitely the opposite of chicken soup.

It’s time we talk about Doom Metal. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Power Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I spoke about fandom once again and how it led me to appreciate folk metal for what it is rather than for what it could be. I tend to intellectualize things when I don’t understand them, which is why I can’t let myself enjoy music or video games sometimes. Looking for the bigger thing doesn’t always lead to answers and, sometimes, you just have to have fun.

Considering how there has been many events this past month that have occurred, I think I need to bring some comfort and cheese into this column just to get away from all the rage and despair we are seeing. This brings me to, of course, another unfamiliar genre of metal that I am only aware of because of two bands that I am familiar with, and then I jumped the gun. Of course, I am still wading my way through the genre, so forgive me.

Also, be prepared to hear me talk about vocals – I am fascinated by them.

It’s time we talk about power metal. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Folk Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I discussed my love for industrial metal, and how one song shaped my entire adolescence before I fully landed in the German camp of industrial metal. Since writing the column, the song “Bye/Die” has become more prevalent as of late, as I am knuckles-deep into grad school and I haven’t had time to breathe. Thus, what better way to fully curse being a full-time student and being split in various camps than by humming a song about hoping some entities – in this case, my institution and select members of my immediate family – would fuck off and die?

If you can’t tell by now, humans have a tendency to categorize things because we like heuristics (shortcuts), and I am doing this because I like to organize what I know into small piles of easy-to-access information.

Also, for that one person who suggested other bands to check out: I do not consider Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson metal. They may be industrial and metal-like, but they are not metal to me. Like I have stated previously, labels are subjective, and while they do tend to crossover, I came to Nine Inch Nails later in life. As to the others, I might check them out, but we shall see.

Speaking of coming to things later in life, the next genre I want to explore is one that I came into because of fandom. While I never thought to involve myself into another fandom after what happened with symphonic metal, I watched from the sidelines while people talked about bands in this genre.

It’s time we talk about folk metal. Continue reading