#1
So I am curious about this. I assume I know the answer already, but I think it could make for a good discussion and for recommendations of non-music media that would be of interest to metal forum regs.

So as we know, a lot of metal (other than some power metal) tends to be very pessimistic and is filled, both musically and lyrically, with negative emotions including anger, despair, regret, terror, hortor, repulsion, sorrow, grief, etc. Lyrics are often grisly, violent, misanthropic, and bleak with death and gore being common. In narrative songs stories rarely have happy endings unless you consider slaughtering all of your enemies to be a happy ending. It's similar to how in horror movies the closest you get to a happy ending is that the main character(s) make(s) it out alive despite everyone else dying.

Now there is historically a strong tie between metal and horror movies, gloomy folk legends of terrible happenings, real life atrocities (serial killers, war, famine, genocide, massacres,etc), etc. This is quite obvious to anyone that has experience with metal.

However just because there is a heavy focus in the music, does that mean that metal listeners and musicians prefer movies, books, stories, etc that tend to be similarly pessimistic in nature?

I am curious to what all of you like and if it is pessimistic or not. Also this is a good chance to share movies, books, etc that you like that fit well with metal themes.

My favorite movies are mostly German expressionist films from between the wars. Das Kabinett des Dr Caligari is my favorite film ever and Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens and Der Golem: wie er in die Welt kam are two of my other favorites.

My favorite author is Ray Bradbury and many of his short stories such as those featured in The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man are very bleak, pessimistic, gloomy, etc. All the main characters tend to die or go crazy or both and the only vaguely optimistic endings tend to come with great expenses (ie it takes the destruction of 99% of the human race for the main characters to have a happy ending).

Thoughts? Recommendations?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#2
I tend to appreciate Dark Souls 1 over 2, if you will - the one that makes me feel special and isn't about the world around me doesn't tickle my number quite so much.

But I do like stuff that has a glimmer of something special in it. There's a book by Miljenko Jergović (Sarajevo Marlboro) where he recounts moments of humanity in war time, and just generally vulnerable moments between people amongst cruelty and horror. The moments are solemn but he highlights their briefness and their significance to the characters even though they're incredibly mundane. In that respect it's very humanistic and it's a lot more effective than something that's comfortable or inversely wholly negative

I'm fond of the comics of Adrian Tomine but in a way they do something similar - find connection to people through mutual isolation. It's simple and broody, but it's also charming and shows a sensitive side to people that egocentric or overly happy comics fail to show. I really enjoy stories where the character might overcome adversity through their own will, and as a result 'win' in some way, regardless of how bad it is for the rest of the world. I see stuff like that as quite inspiring. And I am fond of a couple of animes where the protag has a token magical power and they have to learn to harness it as I find that journey interesting.

this is also my favourite video ever

they're coming to take me away
ha-haaa
#3
"unless you consider slaughtering all of your enemies to be a happy ending"

"unless"

???

Anyway, my favourite author of fiction is Dostoevsky. Non-fiction there's more to choose from, but I would be thinking about people like HL Mencken, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, both very cynical authors.

My favourite movies are 60s/70s exploitation/horror/etc filth. This, for instance, has close to everything I look for in a movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071275/?ref_=nv_sr_2 (the Italian response to Last House on the Left - but in the hands of accomplished master director Mario Bava, Rabid Dogs far surpasses it in most aspects). Though my favourite film is Chinatown.

Politically, I'd probably be best described as a reactionary. My ideal form of government would resemble an absolute monarchy.
O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ!

The music winners listen to
#4
I don't know. I'd say I enjoy pessimistic things more than non-more pessismistic things, but that's not true since Katamari Damacy is my favourite game of all time, although it does have its sadness in it. l enjoy a majority of pessimistic things to non-pessimistic things.

My favourite writers are dark satirists like Swift or Vonnegut. I've been meaning to get into Beckett but haven't done so yet. I enjoy Bradbury too, my favourite book is The Martian Chronicles since I enjoy the format and style of the book so much.

For films, my interests sit with action/horror of the 80s and the rare modern film. The latest movie I tried watched was Anomolisa and I thought it was trash, and incredibly boring. One of my favourite films is World's Greatest Dad, another dark satire film. and another one of my favourite films is Wild Strawberries, both very sad and enlightening in their own ways.

and all of my favourite comics (stand-up) were satirical by nature. I do think most comics should stop doing political jokes because a lot of them lack the irony of self in these instances. They're too involved. My favourite comic is Rodney Dangerfield, easily the best comic that ever lived. Norm Macdonald I've enjoyed for a long time too. My favourite comedians who worked in film is Leslie Nielsen and Robin Williams.

My leanings are mostly comical, so I like music that represents that comic vibe, darkly satirical. Lifelover, Peste noire, Frank Zappa. But I don't like comedy music. I don't think jokes should inherently be in music because a huge portion of it is garbage, but Bo Burnham does it in annoying way that makes me laugh.


EDIT: I'm really all over the board. You likely could have ended at, "My interests are a majority pessimistic."
Last edited by severed-metal at Aug 18, 2016,
#5
As for novels, I've really taken to dark satire writers like Palahniuk and Ellis, and some philosophy like Sarte and Camus. One of my all time favorite books that I look to often for advice is Sun Tzu's Art of War. I tend to like dystopia novels such as 1984 and Brave New World as well.

Movie wise, I enjoy the standard Kubrick fare, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Full Metal Jacket. American Psycho, American Beauty, and A Beautiful Mind rank high for me as well. Most of these movies end on a downer, though I also enjoy Zombie land for fantastic use of tropes in a meaningful and cohesive way, and Mean Girls for its comedy.

As for comic books, I am partial to various Batman arcs (Hush probably being my favorite), the Uncanny Xmen (the run from the 70s-80s with Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, etc) and Amazing Spiderman (riperoni Gwen Stacy). Generally speaking, all deal with main characters in various turmoil and lots of times they don't end up resolving their personal issues and sort of learn to live with their pain.

I also love the old Judge Dredd comics too, back with the original writers and artists, but he basically is all machismo and doesn't display emotions because men aren't supposed to have emotions
HESSIAN HAREM
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE HESSIAN CULTURE. STAY TRUE.
#6
It's cathartic. That's the appeal IMO. I for one would much rather listen to something about vikings slaughtering their enemies than a song about working to pay your bills or whatever.

As a large generalisation, musically metal is in a minor key, with aggressive instrumentation and loud in-your-face vocals. All of that lends itself to dark and pessimistic lyrical themes.

I was actually going to disagree about the point about liking pessimistic things as a metal fan but actually looking at my IMDB list of my favourite films a good portion of them are fairly pessimistic.

Inception, Fight Club, The Departed, City Of God, The Usual Suspects, American History X, The Deer Hunter, The Dark Knight, Requiem For A Dream, Gone Girl, The Silence Of The Lambs, Black Swan, Se7en, Alien, Memento, Shutter Island, Sin City, Reservoir Dogs, Moon, Platoon...
#7
Quote by MHDrunk
Though my favourite film is Chinatown

Chinatown is one of my favorites too.

Also The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 are a couple of my favorite books. I don't read many books anymore though. Not since high school. Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle have always been high on the list for me. As is H.G. Wells. George Orwell's 1984 is very pessimistic and doesn't end happily. I stick to the classics mostly but I enjoy the odd murder mystery novel.

If you want nihilism and pessimism, then noir is the best. Seediness, filth, corruption. The good guy hardly ever wins and when they do it's only bittersweet at best. Chinatown and LA Confidential are good to start with.
Who are you? The prince of darkness? Don't you have any friends?


#8
Sin City. The first film, and the comics by Frank Miller if you're keen on that media. All the noir and nihilism you can shake a stick at. Highly recommended.
HESSIAN HAREM
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE HESSIAN CULTURE. STAY TRUE.
#9
I live and breathe Metal but also love my mother.
A heathen, conceivably
but not,

I hope,
I’m not ashamed to be white
Vi doede ikke... vi har aldri levd
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind
Civilization is unnatural

It is a whim of circumstance
an unenlightened one
#10
True story, my birth mother is crazy and I ended up doing an adult adoption with my step mom. She's sorta crazy too, but to a lesser degree. Haven't spoke to the birth mother since I was 15. I don't hate my parents, but I don't have good relations with them either. None of that is due to metal music though.
HESSIAN HAREM
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE HESSIAN CULTURE. STAY TRUE.
#11
This is one of my most played CDs



I'm so devil.
A heathen, conceivably
but not,

I hope,
I’m not ashamed to be white
Vi doede ikke... vi har aldri levd
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind
Civilization is unnatural

It is a whim of circumstance
an unenlightened one
#12
Quote by VampireGoldfish
I live and breathe Metal but also love my mother.


Yeah I can't let anyone know I love my mother. Or soul music.
O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ!

The music winners listen to
#13
I look intimidating and scary to people outside of Metal? Does that count for anything? I have an uncomfortable dark humor and can be an asshole. But to pretend that I am a one dimensional human being? Nah.

I enjoy a whole lotta stuff.
A heathen, conceivably
but not,

I hope,
I’m not ashamed to be white
Vi doede ikke... vi har aldri levd
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind
Civilization is unnatural

It is a whim of circumstance
an unenlightened one
Last edited by VampireGoldfish at Aug 18, 2016,
#14
Quote by VampireGoldfish
I enjoy a whole lotta stuff.


I like both kinds of music: country and western.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Last edited by theogonia777 at Aug 19, 2016,
#15
I enjoy pessimistic media regardless of how pessimistic it is. If it entertains, it entertains. The tone rarely holds much importance for me, unless I'm specifically seeking something to elicit a certain reaction.
Quote by severed-metal


For films, my interests sit with action/horror of the 80s and the rare modern film. The latest movie I tried watched was Anomolisa and I thought it was trash, and incredibly boring. One of my favourite films is World's Greatest Dad, another dark satire film. and another one of my favourite films is Wild Strawberries, both very sad and enlightening in their own ways.


Have you seen 'Happiness' by Todd Solondz? It seems like it would be up your alley if you liked World's Greatest Dad.
Quote by duncang
maybe it's because i secrely agree that tracedin inymballsackistheb best album ever


he's got the fire and the fury,
at his command
well you don't have to worry,
if you hold onto jesus' hand
#16
Play LISA for pessimism and humor wrapped up in one incredible experience.

I know Ironic and Severed played? Don't read if you have not played it, but I can summon such an extreme pathos just from going through this scene in my head...

Seriously do not read it if you have not beaten it and the DLC. Buy the game.


Brad doesn't want to do this.
Brad is alone.
"Yeah... Buddy. It was the best I could come up with. I always called you my little buddy, and it sorta stuck."

Brad doesn't know what to do...
Brad takes some Joy.
Brad has given up.
"Stop. Don't call me that. I don't like it. My name is Brad, ok? Call me Brad."

Dad hugs you.
Dad comforts you.
Dad misses you.
"What? Dusty? Who told you that. Don't go near your uncles again. I never had a son, never did."

The nobody wails.
The nobody's heart aches.
The nobody is a failure.
"You have to know this Buddy. I was completely lost before I found you. You made me feel something again... Things no one has ever made me feel. You showed me what love really is. And that's why when I look into your eyes, it's the scariest feeling in the world.... It's why I buried myself so deep into the darkness. But I promise you, I tried so hard to fight it. I tried. And no matter what, I really did love you with all my heart.

I'm so sorry I failed you, Buddy.
I miss you so much."
A heathen, conceivably
but not,

I hope,
I’m not ashamed to be white
Vi doede ikke... vi har aldri levd
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind
Civilization is unnatural

It is a whim of circumstance
an unenlightened one
Last edited by VampireGoldfish at Aug 19, 2016,
#17
I haven't seen it, no. I'll look into it. Can't watch too much on my laptop unfortunately.


and yeah, LISA is a qualityseries. I'd like to say it doesn't fit into the medium, but with its descriptors on items it would have no better place than video games. It doesn't really play like a video game, but having it any other context just limits it. It's a brilliant series, through and through. Many sad, hilarious moments. Good resolve, and enemy design is hilarious.

Also slightly terrifying. It's the perfect example of narrative told through interaction.Many elements that aren't explained, and many more elements you'll find out later on. The gameplay is mostly irrelevant, but the interaction is the most important aspect. Way better than the telltale story garbage.
#18
Yeah man, definitely check it out if you're able to. A great cast, Phillip Seymour Hoffman in easily his greatest ever role, and one of Dylan Baker's lines towards the end of the movie got one of the dirtiest belly laughs out of me.

I've seen you fellas talk about Lisa a few times in the past, I'll check it out at some stage. I really dug the 'work for the story' approach in Dark Souls so if it's similar in that regard I'll probably like it
Quote by duncang
maybe it's because i secrely agree that tracedin inymballsackistheb best album ever


he's got the fire and the fury,
at his command
well you don't have to worry,
if you hold onto jesus' hand