Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It's early days yet and it's hard to know if a new found enthusiasm for heavy metal music will last. Nonetheless, I've found myself alternating between symphonies and metal the last few days.

It all began when Christian Graus, over on Codeproject[^], mentioned 'The Glorious Burden' by Iced Earth. I can't remember, even though it was only a few days ago, what it was about his post that piqued interest but I checked and found it available on Rhapsody. Gave it a listen and it's now on my music player. Ditto for another recommendation; 'Nostradamus', by Judas Priest.

It feels like that last band has been around for nearly as long as the Stones; I certainly remember hearing the name in the very early 70's though I have no memory whatsoever of what they did at that time.

As for why I like it? I think it's the layered complexity. Certainly much of the thematic material is pretty banal but one could say that of most music; the power is in the treatment. And whilst the words might seem silly (indeed I thought so at first hearing) it's not much of a leap from there to the commonplace silliness of such lines from Bergs 'Wozzeck'[^] as 'Langsam, Wozzeck, Langsam'. Sounds very profound in a foreign language but in english it means 'Slower, Wozzeck, Slower', sung by the captain as Wozzeck gives him a shave! Now there's profound soap opera for you!

In other words, I've learned not to go to music for profundity in poesy.

Enough armchair amateur analysis! I'm enjoying it as much as I enjoy Bruckner.

1 comment:

Stuart Dootson said...

Hah - metal - you're talking my language :-)

I listen to a lot of waht I guess is the metal equivalent of 'post-rock' (by post-rock, I mean the likes of Tortoise and Slint), so bands like Isis (Oceanic, Panopticon and In the Absence of Truth are my favourites), Boris (Rainbow, Feedbacker, Flood, Sun-Baked Snow Cave) and Om are common listening for me, although I am partial to some Machine Head or Nail Bomb if I want something a bit more....I dunno, BRUTAL!

Give it a whirl - as you've got a Rhapsody account, it costs you no more than your time :-)