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Old 11-24-2012, 09:56 PM   #1901
Magero
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I'm still not completely sold on the overall concept of theory "dictating" music, but eh. Each to their own. As I said, I think the problem I have with it, is the implication that these "accidental genius'" somehow ARE more talented/interesting/boundary pushing/etc, even though their intents were no different to gerenic deathcore band #392,254, and their compositional coherency (at least from the perspective you're talking about) was no more than luck and being good at their instrument. I actually respect Trey more than I let on, but I still don't hear his "unified" vision that progresses the story, etc.

Take God of Emptiness for example. It's essentially three sections with a bridge riff in the middle. The only reason it doesn't follow verse/chorus structure is because half of the repeats just coda themselves back to the start of the song randomly, and the outro comes out of nowhere. It's may be melodically connected, but rhythmically, it's like watching a kid smash a Barbie and a Ken doll together to simulate sex. No matter how much he tries, they ain't fitting together.

And keeping in mind, I rather enjoy that track at least.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:36 PM   #1902
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I can't really comment on God of Emptiness as it's the last song and I far prefer all the other tracks, so I usually just skip it, however the concept which I describe is not present in any of their works excluding their magnum opus, Blessed Are the Sick. Altars and Covenant are incredibly strong in terms of execution, with the latter also showing increased tempo ranges on the part of Pete, which I sort of feel led to Trey writing longer phrases underneath which more consistently extreme drums serve to provide a thunderous counterpart, but the songs do not really proceed in a narrative way, as albums they stand more as a collection of songs as opposed to a wholly unified work.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:54 PM   #1903
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Be honest, Jack: Have you actually listened to Blessed Are the Sick, in its full entirety, with your full attention? Sometimes you need multiple listens to "get it", especially with music this dense.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:27 AM   #1904
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillonrips7
Be honest, Jack: Have you actually listened to Blessed Are the Sick, in its full entirety, with your full attention? Sometimes you need multiple listens to "get it", especially with music this dense.


I expect he has since he asked me the same thing about The Parallax II.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:41 AM   #1905
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Originally Posted by Steve08
@bold: that's amazing... by S&M are you referring to Metallica's release by that name?

Oh right, yeah, the DVD of their S&M orchestra concert. I'm not sure if it was in the extras or a documentary or whatever, but it was on the DVD.

IIRC, he had composed all of the music for the orchestra in E, but then had it transposed down to Eb, and one person still had the old sheet music in E, and he caught it after a couple of measures and was something like "Yo violinists, one of you guys still has the old sheet music. Who needs the new one?" and the one guy stood up to get the new copy. Jason Newstead, who was watching, turns around to the camera with a huge "WOW"-face and says "That's a damn good ear".

I also now realise it was a half note sharp, not flat.

EDIT: woohoo, found it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igh...tailpage#t=559s

Okay so it wasn't exactly how I told it, but it was still amazing

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Old 11-25-2012, 01:09 AM   #1906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillonrips7
Be honest, Jack: Have you actually listened to Blessed Are the Sick, in its full entirety, with your full attention? Sometimes you need multiple listens to "get it", especially with music this dense.

Once with full attention, once with a kind of "background" approach. I have no issue with admitting that I probably missed a lot, but that's basically the argument I was making for Steve with BTBAM, so...

No, but that's also true. I've never denied that Steve has analysed death metal more than I have, or that he's listened to more of it, more than I have. But in regards to "first few listens", I didn't pick up any more from Bathory or MA than Steve did from the specific song he was pulling apart.

Also, just as an aside, I'd genuinely forgotten how much I enjoyed Dead and Dripping for it's hilarious structuring. The way that they wrote a perfectly servicable death metal song, and then still stuck random breakdowns in there to break shit up. The notes may be related, but those tempo changes are so lulz.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:12 AM   #1907
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Altars of Madness is better than Blessed are the Sick; the production is better and none of those annoying interludes. That being said, Fall from Grace and The Ancient Ones are probably two of the best songs ever written.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:49 AM   #1908
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I'm enjoying the theory arguments, but all the advanced thinking in the world falls flat when you ignore the very first thing every theory students is told in his entry level course (most of whom ignore it the first time around): theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.

There is no objective, theoretical basis by which you can argue a piece of music is superior. Steve, you obviously understand a lot of fairly advanced concepts, but it's pretty clear to me that your understanding of the philosophy behind theory is very limited. Complexity is not quality, and fulfilling the requirements of various forms and concepts does not imply superiority. To suggest otherwise is to attempt to quantify opinion, which is impossible.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:54 AM   #1909
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Blessed was a more ambitious work for sure, while Altars seemed more of a very single minded (I don't mean any negative connotations by this) but passionate and driven album.

I feel shamed that I don't own any Morbid Angel CD's.. I would get Altars first for sure. It's basically a speeding death thrash album on the surface, but there's many instances of brilliant composition and unique phrasing when you take a second glance. For example, the section of Immortal Rites after the solo (1:30), this overwhelming, huge sounding bridge (with what sounds like strings sample? Not sure myself..) flowing into a dark, heavy ostinato layered with a simple counterpoint



That section in particular has stuck with me more so than anything else Morbid Angel has done haha. It gets to me in a way I can't explain, it feels something like a crushing abyss, hopelessness, darkness, fear...

This is getting kind of off topic I admit though

EDIT: One more thing, I love how Trey just cranks out these ridiculous 80's/ glam metal style shred solos on top of all this death metal, it works every time! By the way Morbid Angel is looking these days, I think he is better off just playing 80's style speed metal/rock and doing exactly this
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:04 AM   #1910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geldin
I'm enjoying the theory arguments, but all the advanced thinking in the world falls flat when you ignore the very first thing every theory students is told in his entry level course (most of whom ignore it the first time around): theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.

There is no objective, theoretical basis by which you can argue a piece of music is superior. Steve, you obviously understand a lot of fairly advanced concepts, but it's pretty clear to me that your understanding of the philosophy behind theory is very limited. Complexity is not quality, and fulfilling the requirements of various forms and concepts does not imply superiority. To suggest otherwise is to attempt to quantify opinion, which is impossible.


Indeed, theory is more or less an explanation of how notes work in relation to one another. Sort of like how scientific theory is an explanation of a phenomenon.

Also, complexity can suck a dick, the only time it ever works in music is when it is incidental to the composition and not its primary purpose.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:08 AM   #1911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beadhangingOne
Also, complexity can suck a dick, the only time it ever works in music is when it is incidental to the composition and not its primary purpose.


There's always exceptions, some brilliant musicians can just wank around and make damn good music

I mean, does making music for money sound admirable or having artistic merit to anybody here? Well Bach was writing pieces every week for the church to make a living, and he was writing some of the most melodically interesting and creative western music of his time... I guess you just can't be too absolute with things haha
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:12 AM   #1912
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geldin
I'm enjoying the theory arguments, but all the advanced thinking in the world falls flat when you ignore the very first thing every theory students is told in his entry level course (most of whom ignore it the first time around): theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.

There is no objective, theoretical basis by which you can argue a piece of music is superior. Steve, you obviously understand a lot of fairly advanced concepts, but it's pretty clear to me that your understanding of the philosophy behind theory is very limited. Complexity is not quality, and fulfilling the requirements of various forms and concepts does not imply superiority. To suggest otherwise is to attempt to quantify opinion, which is impossible.

And thats where all our other arguments fall flat. We simply believe that you CAN quantify it, just not in a "physical" way. You believe that there is no objectivity in music.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #1913
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^"Believe" being the key word. Belief being a purely subjective version of anything. I have no issue with the argument that there IS objectivity in music, just not on the grand, black and white, all encompassing scale that seems to be the prevailing counter-argument.

Kind of feels like one guy going "There is no god" and another giving a long-winded speech about why there are too many signs to ignore, hence why he believes in God. You can argue all you want, but a personal belief structure has to play a part in it, and simply being able to show off trinkets or tokens of that belief isn't enough to convince the entire world that it's the gospel. I'm pretty sure I fucked up that metaphor, but eh
Quote:
Originally Posted by piratemetalhead
EDIT: One more thing, I love how Trey just cranks out these ridiculous 80's/ glam metal style shred solos on top of all this death metal, it works every time! By the way Morbid Angel is looking these days, I think he is better off just playing 80's style speed metal/rock and doing exactly this

Oh my god, yes. I would listen to the shit out of a balls to the wall, rawk band with Trey on guitar. It'd be like Steel Panther, only... you know... good.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:20 PM   #1914
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Originally Posted by Magero
^"Believe" being the key word. Belief being a purely subjective version of anything. I have no issue with the argument that there IS objectivity in music, just not on the grand, black and white, all encompassing scale that seems to be the prevailing counter-argument.


QFT

I went through a phase wherein I insisted that technical and theoretical complexity was key to good music, but then I found myself "slipping" and music that didn't quite fit. It was then that the concept of "descriptive rather than prescriptive" really started to mean something. I still enjoy the music I found during that stage, but I feel like I've matured a great deal as a listener simply by cutting out the need to justify my musical enjoyment with anything besides a simple "It sounds good to me".

Consequently, the idea that an artist I like is somehow objectively inferior because they don't strictly follow rules of perfect cadence (BTBAM) or because they are in an immature scene replete with generics and copycats (the djent scene, for example) seems a little bit silly to me because theory can only describe, not prescribe. It does not command what must necessarily follow. It describes and predicts, to suggest otherwise betrays an ignorance of the objective and subjective.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:06 PM   #1915
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Originally Posted by beadhangingOne
Altars of Madness is better than Blessed are the Sick; the production is better and none of those annoying interludes. That being said, Fall from Grace and The Ancient Ones are probably two of the best songs ever written.
Forgive me not,
this knowledge makes me strong, to resurrect
the cities of the damned.
All the treasure of Sodom
now belong to me-- celebrate,
fallen angels take my hand.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #1916
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I've always ascribed to the school of thought that theory is descriptive, not prescriptive. If it becomes prescriptive, then you just limit yourself to such a high degree. It's just that theory and scales (or whatever else you choose to use as a guide) should NEVER limit your overall vision.

For instance, using chromatic notes can be a powerful tool. But one should never feel like "this note isn't in the key, therefore I can't use it". Some of the best work in classical music uses chromatic notes. Just listen to Bach a bit.

Keys, scales, modes, ect. are merely a guide to keep you following the same overall track, so to speak. They should never limit where you take your musical ideas, which is why I say that you should view theory as descriptive rather than prescriptive.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:53 PM   #1917
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So guys, did you hear that one about theory not being prescriptive, but descriptive?
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:58 PM   #1918
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:02 PM   #1919
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Did you also hear the one about how you can use all 12 notes of the chromatic scale and still have it be in key? What about the one about how people who go on about how theory limits creativity almost universally have a pretty limited understanding of it's precepts?
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #1920
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I personally find myself at my most creative when I impose arbitrary limits on myself. Anyone who thinks that theory limits creativity has a very limited understanding of theory and is likely fairly uncreative.
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