Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Modern vs. Older Material

One thing I've tried to find a regular balance between in my blog is modern metal and material predated it. Presently, I haven't done a very good job of staying true to that, as I've posted far more recent music rather than older landmark releases that we all know and love. In fact, I have a great deal of hidden gems from the older era that I'd like to include in my blog in the future. It's just a matter of which gets posted first.

What I'd like to do with this post is show the parallel between newer and older music. Whichever you favor is up to you, and no one else can make that decision for you because it's a matter of personal taste. However, it would be nice to get the older crowd to appreciate modern bands, instead of the mindset that says no decent music has been released since the mid-nineties. I'm not saying every metalhead is like that, but I've seen a fair number who refuse to listen to anything released after 1995. Alternatively, there's the contemporary metal listener who refuses to listen to the older material that indeed influenced modern day music.

As metal is encompassed by so many subgenres, it's quite tough for me to do this with two songs. Because of that, I'll pick the two tracks from the same metal subgenre. It wouldn't be fair for me to compare a modern death metal song against a traditional heavy metal song because they're aesthetically different and share little, if any, sonic similarities. The easiest way for me to do this is with an old school death metal (OSDM) song vs. a more modern, "brutal" death metal track. Something from Morbid Angel and Hour of Penance ought to do.

First, we'll take a look at Morbid Angel's "Chapel of Ghouls." Back in '89 when Morbid Angel stormed the scene with Altars of Madness, they were the most aggressive, evil, and harsh thing anyone could think of--they were literally Satan's spawn. The band (and "Chapel of Ghouls") were something original, something that produced countless imitators, and something that defined death metal. At this point, it's really hard for me to believe this track is 21 or 22 years old because it's still so fresh. Death metal's been around for over 20 years? YOWZA! Unfortunately, I wasn't alive when the track was first released, but I would have loved to see the revolution that this and other OSDM created.

Next up we have Hour of Penance with...wait for it... "Paradogma." Surprise! I'd wager this is the band's most well-known track, and rightfully so because of the epic orchestrated intro that explodes into a kick in the teeth. Sure, it's been done before, but hasn't most everything in metal at this point? Go create something new if you're going to whine about it!

Decide which one you like better for yourself, but hopefully you can appreciate both because they are each great pieces of music. Bot classic and modern music have their places in a metalhead's collection; it's merely a matter of acquiring a taste for both, or being able to understand the music going on around you. Or, you know, you just dislike one or the other.



  1. I like both eras, but I normally tend to like old school death meatspace more because they're better crafted, and because of the lack of hyper speed found in most modern bands the classic are more evil sounding than the current generation at least to me it does. The analog and organic nature of the old recordings made it more crude sounding therefore more evil...modern bands are more impressive in the technical department plus recording technology is more efficient nowadays but not necessarily better at capturing that evil essence like the old analog technology.

    1. Thanks for commenting--I totally agree, especially on the evil subject. There is something incredible about a simplistic, old school death metal band. The song writing is usually much better, as are the quality of the guitar riffs. Many technical bands today, whether aided by computers or natural skill, lack in the writing department.