#1
So I was thinking about the rec thread and I had an epiphany why isn't there a thread (more like a garbage bin) for bands that are complete hipster/poser
garbage?

A "recommend to avoid" thread. I know this would include a huge percentage of metal but it would really just be for the absolute worst offenders.

Elitism at it's finest, embrace it. I know when digging through the hordes of shit to listen to it would have been nice to know which ones to avoid right off the
bat instead of wasting so much time.

Maybe we can come up with a criteria or maybe just have a standard, I know it is completely subjective but I feel like there are bands that completely deserve to be added to the garbage bin.

I realize there aren't supposed to be any boundaries in Art and there aren't but this thread would serve the purpose of separating the Art from the Entertainment.

I say we put them to the Scythe and see who is left standing.
Last edited by Falsehammer at Sep 11, 2016,
#2
As an alternative to a garbage bin, how about something like this and this? As opposed to seeking recommendations, users would ask for others' opinions on specific bands. That format would accomplish the goal of preventing people from wasting their time on low quality music, but it would serve a more general purpose as well.

Or a single thread could handle both types of queries (recommendations and opinions).
Last edited by P1ayingW1thF1re at Sep 11, 2016,
#4
Quote by Ironic Maiden
Unnecessary. People can like what they like. I don't give a shit.


It's not about that it's more like giving people useful information about bands that in your experience weren't worth investigating. I mean you are never going to keep people from liking garbage bands but it would be a useful resource for some people to help them find worthwhile stuff that may not be in the rec thread. I mean if you don't give a shit then why bother posting anything?
Quote by P1ayingW1thF1re
As an alternative to a garbage bin, how about something like this and this? As opposed to seeking recommendations, users would ask for others' opinions on specific bands. That format would accomplish the goal of preventing people from wasting their time on low quality music, but it would serve a more general purpose as well.

Or a single thread could handle both types of queries (recommendations and opinions).


Yeah man that would basically accomplish the same thing so I'd be all for it
Last edited by Falsehammer at Sep 11, 2016,
#5
Seems like a lot of effort would be put into highlighting bands that we supposedly want to avoid. I think it would just result in a shit show. Someone well-versed in the rec thread should be able to determine what isn't real metal. A satirical rec thread might be funny if done right. Or like PWF suggested, just a thread for people to ask opinions about bands/albums and get succinct, honest answers from the community.
Who are you? The prince of darkness? Don't you have any friends?


#6
Quote by Kytokinesis
Seems like a lot of effort would be put into highlighting bands that we supposedly want to avoid. I think it would just result in a shit show. Someone well-versed in the rec thread should be able to determine what isn't real metal. A satirical rec thread might be funny if done right. Or like PWF suggested, just a thread for people to ask opinions about bands/albums and get succinct, honest answers from the community.


Haha yeah something Satirical would be perfect.
Last edited by Falsehammer at Sep 11, 2016,
#7
Like Kyto said, it would probably turn into a shit show. Satire is fine, though. I'm not opposed to that. PWF's suggestion is better, I think, but even that I dunno. I personally just think the mind set of going to the users of this forum before listening to an album is a little silly, but I'm not really opposed to that either. I think the rec thread does well enough to help people weed out good Metal from bad, and I just think it's better to listen to albums yourself. If you're like a two or three tracks into an album and you're really not feeling it, just stop listening to it. You might change your mind later. Maybe a user around here will describe the album in a way that puts it in a new light for you and you'll listen to it again and it'll click. It's happened to me. But I just think a thread devoted to asking "should I listen to this album?" is a bit silly.
#8
Ok, not a bad idea, but I don't think it's worth putting a lot of effort into for the sole purpose of finding bad music. However..

So, my recommendation is to do a mini-review thread. This way it covers, demos, full-lengths, splits..whatever. There's a place to consolidate everything from all genres and each personal review gives some insight without having to listen to an album. Having a mini-review thread lets smaller releases that don't warrant their own thread a place to be (even if they're bad), gives some people an outlet to be abrasive, and doesn't interfere with band threads.

I don't like the idea of promoting bad music but I take it you're wanting to do something with the really bad releases, yes? I like the idea of the "Scythe" where a winner (loser?) can be chosen, worst of the worst. It's a fun idea. I love ripping into bad music. I get a similar feeling to watching bad movies. I don't really want people actively going after other bands in the forum, but if you find some absolute turd of an album digging through some older albums, I see no harm in writing a review for it and then it being promoted (demoted?) to The SCYTHE.


As a side note, deconstructing shitty albums gives a wonderful perspective into what makes an album good.
#9
Ironic Maiden

You make a good point. A "seeking opinions" thread manifests its value mainly when 1. your "to listen to" list is huge but you have little time, and/or 2. when you trust the knowledge, values, and standards of the people who supply the opinions.

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

severed-metal

I think that a mini-review thread is an excellent idea.
Last edited by P1ayingW1thF1re at Sep 12, 2016,
#10
Fair enough. I know it can get pretty rough when you only have so much spare time and you want to not only to burn your favorite albums into your brain even further but also find new music at the same time. Like I said, I'm not really opposed to the idea.

Now, dissecting bad albums is a cool idea that I like a lot more. Not only is it more constructive, but it's something I'd probably be really into just because I love seeing an album taken apart and examined, as it often gives me a new way to look at the album and other albums too/
#11
All of us hardened veterans can discern between the good and the shit fairly quickly by ourselves just by figuring out what scene they are a part of, judging the book by its cover (95% effective with metal bands), who talks about them, etc.

As for the rest well if we are trying to get more people in here, this thread idea seems like it would just alienate them.

I do like the idea of a satirical rec thread though something like r/shittyaskscience or r/badhistory
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
#12
Quote by MHDrunk

I do like the idea of a satirical rec thread though something like r/shittyaskscience or r/badhistory


Yeah it's a great idea, but like someone already said the execution is the problem. How does one make fun of an album tastefully on an internet forum? Visual art would be a good way but who is going to dedicate that type of time a shit album?
Last edited by Falsehammer at Sep 13, 2016,
#13
So what do you guys want to do?

Ironic already summed up my thoughts on "seeking opinions" thread. We do get those threads, but people want to be agreed with and then never return once they're disagreed with. DMU forums approach music in a different way, so they're more open and accepting of other's opinions because of the environment they're in. I don't really know how well that will do, but I'm not against that thread either. So I'll separate this idea from the mini-review and scythe thread.

--------------------------------------

Anyways, I love the idea of drinking a beer and ripping an album apart. If you don't want to drink or smoke or whatever you bums do, then don't but that's likely what I'll do. Although it doesn't have to be an album, could just be a song off the album. My thinking for this comes from Brokencyde. Horrible shitty music I don't think I could stand.

Although we can have a game like "how long can you sit through this album?", like a side-game within The Scythe.
#14
For me personally, a thread where users ripped apart bands that they disliked would be awesome, as I've always been looking for an opportunity to write a lengthy tirade about why I hate [insert any mallcore band here]. Just my two cents tho
#15
Mallcore isn't metal I only jest, but am I really jesting?...

..Regardless. Yes me too. I don't think straying too far from honesty is worth what we lose. We need that honesty factor in this forum because it's integral to metal in the first place. I'm going to be honest and say that I don't really care if you rip on mallcore, things like brokencyde. They aren't with this forum and I'd rather they never be. Slipknot I can stand for what they are. I don't like their music, but I recognize their usefulness for getting people into metal. Same with Lamb of God, so on and so forth. I get what they do. Some bands are fucking garbage though.

Bands that we share space with I don't really want being made fun of. It creates a needless tension because people can't lose their egos when they listen to metal. That's about my only restriction, oh and if an argument or something happens, just to not insult the other person.


So say we go through with THE SCYTHE... how would we actually go about doing The Scythe? How would the thread actually go? Do we have a separate Scythe once a month, every few weeks? (once every two weeks sounds fine by me). (Scyhe #1, Scythe #2) Do we have specific themes we run for each Scythe?

How do we choose bands? Do all of us listen to one band and give our thoughts? Do we listen to multiple bands, give our thoughts on each then choose a winner (technically loser)?

I gave my restrictions, basically bands we share forum space with. At the moment that opens up a lot of bands...Literally most shitty music outside of Slipknot.
#16
the power metal subreddit has a thing where there is a weekly thread where someone either defends an unpopular one or tears up a widely accepted one. we could have something similar just focused on the tearing. new thread every week or 2
Who are you? The prince of darkness? Don't you have any friends?


#17
Interesting, what are some examples of that? Like what in particular have they done so far?

I don't want to steal it, it's just a really neat idea that could easily apply to here. Maybe a minor tweak on the idea could work for the nature of this forum.
#18
Quote by severed-metal
Mallcore isn't metal I only jest, but am I really jesting?...


Oh of course kek, I totally agree. It's just after a while, plebs thinking that Slipknot, BMTH and Linkin Park are my thing really gets to me and I feel the uncontrollable urge to rip said bands to pieces
#19
Quote by severed-metal
Interesting, what are some examples of that? Like what in particular have they done so far?

I don't want to steal it, it's just a really neat idea that could easily apply to here. Maybe a minor tweak on the idea could work for the nature of this forum.


Here's a few examples of reviews. It's mostly the one guy but sometimes other people participate and write reviews.
Quote by MadTheMad attacks: Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Welcome! This weekly thread aims to attack well-beloved albums or defend hated ones, these albums must fit the Power Metal genre and should be sufficiently known by most fans of the genre. Do not take the word of the author has an universal truth, it's a mere opinion. Oh, and you can also give me ideas or request to do one yourself.

Band: Iced Earth
Album: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Released: 1998
Metal Archives Page

Iced Earth is among the most overrated bands in current existence, their repertoire is nothing short of fucking terrible, cluttered with overlong crap and copied riffs. They're a lot like Manowar, but Manowar are just shitting around, Iced Earth on the other hand always exhibited a lot of passion and seriousness for their craft. Jon Schaffer, the mastermind behind Iced Earth was once a pretty good songwriter, I'll be damned if Night of the Stormrider isn't one of my favorite albums ever, but after that one began Schaffer's fall from grace, Burnt Offerings was still good with some cracks on the painting; The Dark Saga was still tolerable, but now the cracks are on the walls and the house is looking messy; and then Something Wicked This Way Comes swings in at full speed and like a wrecking ball demolishes the whole fucking house and it is... disappointing!

Something Wicked This Way Comes is the most basic, bottom-of-the-barrel Metal album. There is almost nothing of true worth in the album for you to explore, it's basically mundane or copied riffs from previous albums, bad ballads that Schaffer likes to write so much, all jumbled together in the most asinine order to give you a Metal song, then a ballad, then a Metal song, then a ballad, repeat ad infinitum. Still, there's some good in this album, Burning Times, 1776, Stand Alone is pretty damn good and thrashy, but short and the three songs all sound like leftovers from previous works. Then there's the saving grace of the album, the three last songs aka the Something Wicked Trilogy. Basically, Jon Schaffer channeled his inner Metal heart into these three songs and 20 minutes of pretty damn good Power/Thrash, it's galloping thunder with lightning triplets and Matt Barlow's supreme vocals, and surprisingly Jon displays some short-lived talent for progression.

Everything else on this album really just isn't to par, it's quite simply some of the most boring music that you can hear. Of course if this is the first Iced earth album you listen it's going to sound somewhat better to you, good even, but if you listen in chronological order, this is simply tired and tried music lacking any form of originality or hooks to even keep you listening, and this is not a case of poor production or lack of talent, we're talking about the legendary Matt Barlow, he sings full of passion and power but when the given material is so bare and lackluster, the performances matter very little and it's just going to feel like wasted man power.

Gah! Just for writing this shit I had to listen the damn album 5 times, and every single time it's forty minutes of torture to get to the good part, it's just not worth it and it's mostly because of the ballads, they're just so pedantic and annoying to me that it disappoints me to no end. Maybe if Night of the Stormrider wasn't a thing...

Final Score: 4/10
TL;DR - Riff tank depleted, obscene amount of ballads. 40 minutes of disappointment, 20 minutes of good stuff. Stellar performances can't save shit.

Quote by MadTheMad attacks: Pathfinder - Beyond the Space, Beyond the Time
Welcome! This weekly thread aims to attack well-beloved albums or defend hated ones, these albums must fit the Power Metal genre and should be sufficiently known by most fans of the genre. Do not take the word of the author has a universal truth, it's a mere opinion.

Band: Pathfinder
Album: Beyond the Space, Beyond the Time
Released: 2010
Metal Archives Page

This fucking piece of shit of an album... I must have heard it about 20 times in the past, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything and no, I wasn't missing anything, there's just too many idiots calling this album a masterpiece. And boy is this album not a masterpiece in any sense! It's not even half decent, it's quite frankly very bad, there are streams of shit sludge running in sewers that have more appeal than this abomination. I would rather descend to hell and have Satan shove pineapples up my butthole for all eternity than having to listen to this album again. Every time I have to endure it, I shiver and shake like a dog shitting razor blades. It's a bad album and I will never like it... But pointless exageration is not what I am here to deliver, I'm here to tell you what makes this album truly horrible and that is a sum of many problems.

Problem #1 - All of these fucking knobs...!
I'm not going to pinpoint each issue in the production, but whoever produced this turd must be bipolar. At any given moment the guitars can be the main focus in audio, then enters a really loud symphonic section, then some vocals go from normal volume to an overpowering wail, then some dumb stilted transition happens, then there's musical shifts that go from complete usage of all available instruments into guitars and drums at a snap of a finger. It's bad and it's consistently bad. Of course it doesn't stop there, offputting volume changes, unnecessary stock sound effects, weak drum sound where the bass drumming often is inaudible, the abrasive constrast between squeaky clean instruments and robotic sections. I think you get the point, the production is a mess and tries to be too versatile for its own sake. I'm not even talking about murky productions or fuzzy or whatever, I'm talking about a myriad of inconsistencies that get in the way and make this album sound almost comically bad.

Problem #2 - My favourite hobby is shattering windows.
The vocalist is probably the biggest divisive element in the band and album. The idiots will say he sings amazingly and he's the best thing that ever happenned to music, the normal people with actual functioning ears will hear nothing but a powerless squealing chipmunk. He is among the worst vocalists I have ever heard, sure he hits a really high note but who gives a shit, he doesn't convey power with it. He also does rough vocalization occasionally which is a big mistake because he also sucks at those. But the real culprit is all of the falsettos, they are mindblowingly horrible... Abhorrent, wretched, think of the most foul adjective. Listen to this abomination, if you didn't laugh at how bad it was something might be wrong with your ears. You may compare him to Cyriis or King Diamond or even David DeFeis who had his weird quirks, but I'm just going to stop you right there...

Problem #3 - Riffs? What the fuck is that?
You know, as in guitar riffs, as in the center piece of goddamn Metal... Yeah, you have to write those too and they have to be good, you can't just cover everything with leads and synth pomp and hope that no one is going to notice. But I noticed Pathfinder, I noticed your riffs suck! Alright, it's not the worst case of Manowaritis, there's some decent riffing on Lord of the Wolves and Pathway to the Moon, but for the most part it's mediocre candy-ass melodic riffs with no end in sight, and they do their best to cover the lack of actually interesting guitar work with a ton of leads, licks and synths. Every part where there should only be a simple musical background of guitars and drums, it's quickly covered with has much melodic/shred/symphonic bullshit has possible, to the point that songs only have breathers when they abruptly slow down to nothing but short symphonic/operatic segments.
But that's not even the worst part about the riffs in Pathfider, the big issue is that some of them are easily the worst riffs I have ever heard, and they're all condensed in one album. Here's a sample. Do you hear that? That's the laziest and weakest riff I have ever heard! The drums are frantically going at it, the vocalist is singing and trying to sound epic, everything in the song is moving forward except the guitar... Is this some Avant-Garde bullshit I've never heard of?? And that's 90% of all riffs, because they didn't go through the effort of writing more, that's too hard. That's not even the worst one, here's the worst. That's has low as it gets, it's the crummiest, most artificial stupid piece of fucking regurgitated shit riff I have ever heard! And it's also the shittiest shred in the album, it's like they focused their inner shit to shit out the shittiest moment in music. It's shit.

Problem #4 - When I grow up, I want to be Yngwie.
In Pathfinder land, it's always Wank O'Clock; If you look at their watch, all numbers read a big W for wank and where the number twelve should be, there's a big Y, the designated hour for praying to our lord and savior Yngwie. For breakfast they have Ynggwie's Special W, for lunch they go to McWank's for a Big Wank, dinner is usually at Wanky's where they get the Double Wank, but sometimes they just get instant noodles. I hope you're catching my drift, it's really not all of the Dragonforce and Malmsteen worshipping/stealing, the problem is that they're doing it constantly in pretty much every single song. It's absolutely fine to piggyback on Yngwie, after all everybody is already doing that, Yngwie himself must be the most ripped guy ever to carry so many people. But it's not okay to constantly shred at every given time and still try to pretend you're writing a song. Also, all of the neoclassical shred is not that phenomenal, they have none of the finesse of Malmsteen and lack the unique style that Dragonforce sort of brought. Of course, they sometimes drop a good lead here and there, but most of the times it literally sounds like they're just shitting on the strings and hoping something musical is coming out.

Problem #5 - "Ah don't worry, no one even cares about lyrics anymore".
There's some truth to that sentence, when the music is really that good, fuck the lyrics! Who even gives a shit. More truthful when you go into the extreme genres of Metal: "The booklet says "I stabbed her with my dick" but all I understood was "AAwraurauwruhudhhwirhk"". When the music is terrible, I go to the lyrics to hopefully find some redeeming traits on the album... Oops!
But sometimes, when the stars are falling down, in my heart grow strange fillings... (I'm also assuming it's "strange feelings", but that's what it said in Metal Archives).
Even, when the moon is fool I close my eyes and the nightmare is a beginning. (I'm also assuming it's "When the moon is full", but again, that's what it said in Metal Archives).
Demons of abyss disturb my mind!
Red eyes leak the blood... I’m running behind!
...Ohhh, get it? That last phrase is an euphemism for when your asshole is bleeding. It's really not all too bad, but it's pretty much the typical fantasy writing style. It only becomes stupid because the music is already bad.

Problem #6 - Look at all these ideas I bought on discount at the Bazaar!
What do when your creative output consists of nothing but guitar wanks and you don't know how to write songs...? You copy other bands! Of course, what a simple solution to the problem at hand. It starts in Vita Reducta which translates the amazing intro of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and quickly shits on it by adding leftover battle sounds from World of Warcraft. The following song also has the Presto Agitato (Perfect usage of italic if I do say so myself) segment as the opening and closing piece, but done with none of the grace. In Moonlight Sonata, each note is perfectly audible and carries weight, Pathfinder turns the iconic arpeggio into a fucking flurry of nearly undistinguishable notes those fucking dumbfucks FUCK YOU!!... Sorry, I get angry when bands do Beethoven poorly. Half of that song isn't actually too bad, it's one of the better ones in the album, but it just goes for too long with a super long solo section and an unnecessary part with operatic vocals.
All the Mornings of the World is a shitty attempt at copying Kamelot's Karma but you know, Kamelot's version is so much better. The Demon Awakens has a small ode to Iced Earth's Ten Thousand Strong, this one is actually pretty well done or most likely just a coincidence. Sons of Immortal Fire is a mix of Kamelot and Sabaton. And everything I didn't mention is either Dragonforce or Rhapsody or Dragonland or Yngwie worshipping and it all sucks...

Problem #7 - Bass? Yeah it's a pretty good fish...
Bass was always super important in Metal, but if there's one band that genuinely doesn't need it, it's Pathfinder. Music so fucking overproduced and filled with shit that if they removed the bass, no one would even notice it. It's already nearly impossible to hear it at all. If it was removed, the music would pretty much stay the same.

Problem #8 - Oops I summoned C'thulu, all I wanted was to write a song.
It's not that they don't know how to write songs, it's that they have too many ideas and try to cram too much in such a short space. Look people, I'm not going to deny that they're talented or that the album is very catchy (not synonymous of good), but the music written here is all on surface value and everything is very wonky. I'll use the worst song here to give you a few examples: 0:00(Crappy riff and awful shred, is that actually a guitar making that horrible sound?); 0:25(Horrible singing and a choir that overpowers all other sounds); 1:12(Again, what the fuck is that guitar sound? Among the worst tones I've ever heard); 1:30(The song is moving forward and suddenly it's an opera, mind-blowingly jarring how it just jumps into it); 2:35(Barely audible drums, bass is gone, guitar is still there); 3:26(That guitar entering sounds like vomit); 4:10(Unnecessary bad shredding going on, but it's really only because the rhythm section sucks); 5:05(Shit vocals); 6:26(Yuck...!); 7:18(More solos, this one starts well but it almost seems like it's starting to fall apart at 7:44); 8:08(I don't even have an explanation for this part, it starts to sound really good for half a minute, it's almost as if it's another band playing); 8:48(More crappy vocals). HOWEVER! And I'm not even sure how this is possible, the band shows remarkable restraint on the final chorus and they do not bury it in as much shit as possible. It's honestly a very surprising and decent ending to a horrible song.

Problem #9 - More is more phylosophy...
Above everything else, what I get out of this first album is that the members of the band are pretentious as fuck. Or at least they sound pretentious as fuck, they might even be the most humble people on earth (Not very likely given their fund raising campaign, music videos? How deluded can someone be that they would think their fanbase wants music videos instead of new music?). It's almost as if they saw this clip and decided to follow it to a T. Maybe if they stopped being so snobbish and actually tried to write something that wasn't as ecletic and pompous, maybe it would have been good. I mean it would still have a lot going against it, the vocalist, the production, the lyrics, but I'm the kind of guy who forgives all if the music is well written, but it's definitely not the case. I always wanted to love this album but I can't get over how juvenile everything is, the will is strong but the execution is shit.

Problem #10 - How the hell do I conclude this review?
I don't. This album is crap and I don't like it, I think I made myself clear with the wall of text above me. I can't understand how someone can even defend this turd of an album, let alone sit and actually listen to the music. There's no sane reason to call this album a masterpiece unless you purposefully ignore its glaring problems which seriously hurt the album. I'm positive this is the one and only case where someone calling this album perfect is pure blasphemy, pure insanity, with the only possible explanation that you were dropped on your head when you were born, but not just from arm height to the ground, the doctor straight up flung you through the window.
Also, this album must also be one of those rare cases where most of the Metal Archives reviews are just a bunch of bullshit. Either overly praise to the point that the reviewers themselves sound immature and childish; or given a big fat 0 because the revieweres are, well, childish and immature.
And just to top this salty meal with a little bit more of salt, I do prefer Fifth Element over BtSBtT.

Final Score: 3 Yngwies out of 10
TL;DR: For an album that is often called "epic", this sure is the wimpiest and lamest shit I have ever heard.

Quote by MadTheMad defends: Virgin Steele - The Black Light Bacchanalia
Welcome! This weekly thread aims to attack well-beloved albums or defend hated ones, these albums must fit the Power Metal genre and should be sufficiently known by most fans of the genre. Do not take the word of the author has a universal truth, it's a mere opinion.

Band: Virgin Steele
Album: The Black Light Bacchanalia
Released: 2010
Metal Archives Page

Virgin Steele is my favorite band ever. David DeFeis, the mastermind behind the band, my favorite songwriter. So when I used to call Bacchanalia a turd and Nocturnes of Hellfire and Damnation an even bigger turd, it always felt like a poisoned dagger carved into my soul, I just couldn't believe that I disliked them so much. Here is a band that released over 10 albums and I think half of them are masterpieces and the others are straight up great records. What the fuck happened? Well I think this has a very simple answer, David is getting old... That's it! That's the whole reason. And I don't mean he is physically incapable of doing it or singing, I mean his tastes are changing and he is moving towards his more mellow side. So from Visions of Eden and forward, the music progressively transitioned into a weird form of Power Metal that consists of long songs, romantic moods and is not powerful at all.
Turns out Bacchanalia is kinda of an amazing album, but there are some hurdles that you need to overcome. In fact, too many hurdles for the average listener to overcome, only the legendary tenacity of certain fans can see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I came up with a small handy guide to understand this album, I dubbed it: The 4 epic hurdles to Mature Steele:

Hurdle #1 (It's no longer the Virgin Steele of olde) - The hardest truth to accept is that this is no longer the Epic and anthemic Virgin Steele, they straight up stopped rocking and the music is no longer totally Power Metal. They have created this weird quasi-Prog style with pianos and fake orchestras that tread along with simplistic drumming and mutated guitar riffs. This is insanely different from the Epic Power Metal they masterfully crafted and although it's still unmistakeably Virgin Steele, it's very different from their trademark sound. There is still aggression on occasion, but they move through nuances and melody a lot more, with weird progressive sections and dark sequences. As a massive fan of their style, it took me years to accept that DeFeis has simply moved on and I doubt he will ever return to its roots. To be honest, I'm scared and almost hoping he doesn't go back...

Hurdle #2 (Odd production) - From Visions of Eden and onwards, the production starts to get weirder and weirder. I'm not sure why, but I have a lot of trouble believing it's lack of money or production capabilities, I'm positive this is just the sound that DeFeis intends, and what it resembles to me is a sort of live and raw production. It's also thin, the guitar seems to bounce between spotlight and background. DeFeis freakish vocal exercises always seem to overpower just about everything on occasion. Production was never a problem to me and it really shouldn't be for anyone, it matters very little if the album sounds sonically perfect. It's only about the songwriting and creativity and how willing the creator is to push boundaries. But I know some of you just have to have the perfect squeaky clean production sound, you'll get none of that here.

Hurdle #3 (Vocal insanity or brilliancy?) - On Bacchanalia, DeFeis vocal shrieks hit new soaring heights, he hawks, he jaguars, he roars, he yaows, he just doesn't go full elephant because he probably can't. Pretty much all songs feature some weird form of yelping and although I have grown accustomed to it, I'm sure it must be a huge turnoff to anyone who is not familiar with Virgin Steele. Who else does these kind of screams? I would go on a limb and say that maybe a handful of bands do it with the prominence of Virgin Steele. Besides that, David alternates between different singing styles. There's the awesome high falsettos and the gritty rough tone is still present, but there's also a lot of whispered singing, inner vocal projection and some sublime yet subtle background choirs. To be honest, his voice seems to be wearing off more and more, but all of these different styles he uses and his trademark howls, barks and hoots really add an impeccable layer of texture. You either accept the craziness that is David's singing or you don't, I'm sure there's no middle ground in this one.

Hurdle #4 (Metal riffs no more) - The riffing style in this album is very different, the songs are not guitar oriented at all. The riffs are still good don't get me wrong, but they're not Metal riffs and they don't have that 'oomph'. What lacks in riffs, is compensated by pomp and I usually find a problem with this, but the pianos on the record are so good that I just forgive him for taking such a different path. It's hard to accept that the catchy Metal guitar riffs are gone, but what you get is different but with similar qualities.

Go beyond these hurdles and you will be rewarded with one of the most interesting albums Virgin Steele ever put out. Although it still has the driving pounding elements of Heavy Metal that we all love, it's also riddled with genre surpassing details. It's an incredibly strange shift in Virgin Steele's music, one that rewards patience and investment.

Lyrically, this album is beyond gorgeous, it truly shows DeFeis puts in a lot of thought into anything he makes. The songs can get very complicated to understand has he almost never directly tells you what is happening or what he is reporting/accusing, he embellishes and adorns each verse and dialogues/monologues are always very dramatic and barbaric. So if you're not familiar with Sumerian mythology/history or religion in general like me, you're getting fucking lost. But I'll do my best to give some context and explain some of it.

Musically, it grows and grows with every listen, it seems like every repeated listen just makes me love this album more and more. When I first started writing this, I was going to give it a 7 and now it's sitting on a very comfortable 8. It's very similar to Visions of Eden but darker and at the same time, tender. This is probably due to the usage of 7 strings instead of the typical 6 giving it more note variety, maybe, don't quote me on that one. Because this is such a dense album with so many nuances and a ton of versatility, I will do a track-by-track inspection:
Opener By the Hammer of Zeus and the Wrecking Ball of Thor (Holy shit title!) is a true thunder of Power Metal. All the passages are memorable and the bridge harmony sublimely marries the verse with the chorus, one for the Virgin Steele classics. This one showcases a ton of weird vocals, from the beginning of the song where DeFeis is just going at it with as much as he can, to the excellent sections that are sung in his "calm" voice. The song doesn't actually mean that Zeus has a hammer or that Thor has a wrecking ball by the way, it's not meant to be taken literally. Also, this song is as close as it gets to the House of Atreus era, with very similar guitar work that starts to mutate into its dark form and carried into the rest of the album.
Pagan Heart is a really odd song, it's simple except for the really weird guitar harmonies going on, completely getting away from any form of Metal riff I believe, it's in the cool yet odd riff after the first verse and in the dissonant notes played over the chorus. In the end, it's still a really good and intricate song. The shortest song, The Bread of Wickedness, is a very direct song with a really sounding chorus and very good keyboard harmonies.
In a Dream of Fire is DeFeis attempt to return to The Marriage of Heaven and Hell era, and he's successful at doing so. In this particular song, the keyboard is always present and constantly decorates each verse. For a few minutes, it almost sounds like he is going to play the recurring theme from the albums this song tries to reminisce, almost as if he is fucking teasing me!

Nepenthe is the weakest song on the album, it feels as it isn't going anywhere and for brief moments, it sounds too close to Arms of Mercury with none of the qualities of it. The solo at 2:40 is too weak and the song just continues in a stalemate with no quality harmony of riff. Quite frankly, this is probably one of Virgin Steele's weakest song ever.

Thankfully, The Orpheus Taboo doesn't shit around and quickly storms in with a wicked riff, I think there's an interesting duality between the drumming and the vocals, they just sort of tense up on the bridge and then the chorus is very relaxed and nonchalant. At 3:30 the song does a very interesting change that leads to the awesome second part where the song just explodes with creativity, with amazing tempo changes and harmonies.
To Crown them with Halos is the big epic, quite portentous and evil at it. I initially didn't think too much of this song, always felt like it was too long and senseless. But with more and more listens, this song is now one of my favorite from the album. It's very well structured and paced, and it's the one to sort of close the story in Visions of Eden with the death of Lilith. I'm not entirely sure how to explain this song, it just requires multiple listens, where each repetition adds a little bit more to your understanding and enjoyment of the song. Also, this is easily one of the harder songs lyrically, it took me like 15 listens to finally understand what it was about, having in mind that the previous song is actually about rebellion against established religions and has nothing to do with Lilith.

The title track is probably DeFeis most experimental in terms of harmonies, very dark and bizarre at times, in particular the bridge comes off with a very different mood. Lyrically, this one is a very interesting piece: I'm sure that at its core, it's just about Paganism losing its strength to other religions, and how a new "age" is arriving because of it (the dark ages). Also the idea of rebellion against orders. But it also seems to dabble on the idea that deities from conquered religions become the lucifers of new ones, and what was once idolized is now demonized. Plus the odd name of the song and album, "The Black Light Bacchanalia", the word bacchanalia alone sort of puts this album in the age of Bacchus and Dionysus; the black light being a reversal of illumination, light (white) flashes darkness (black), but under the gaze of the black light, things that are white are illuminated instead. And so the full title, seems like a label for the craziness of life with its joys and dramas and everything, only centered around religion... Probably not, I'm usually wrong about this kind of stuff, but this would be my take on the song and the album title meaning.

The following 3 songs feel like they were meant to be together, and it's one of the best epics Virgin Steele ever wrote when put together. I know that may seem odd for a guy who used to hate this album, but in my eyes, it's a testament to the complexity and intricacy of the album. The 3 songs are the continuation to the epic "To Crown them with Halos" (remember: where Lilith, Adam's first wife, is killed). Somehow, someway, the music is taken one step further and the songs are crafted perfectly and written sublimely:

Torture of the Damned - This short song works as an interlude where Adam is basically pissed and begins to doubt everything, if the world is worth it, who to worship, why all the bloodshed and hatred towards women, culminating in a very angry, very epic phrase: "What Ancient lie can let my People Die... I will tear your Fucking Kingdom from the Sky!". The last part sung by DeFeis with legendary conviction.

Necropolis (He Answers them with Death) - A 9 minute epic that delves into the touchy subject that God is an asshole. Necropolis might be a metaphor for the world and "He answers them with Death" is probably one of the most fitting phrases for God. The song manages to match innocence with aggression, it never cranks the gears into full Power Metal, but it delivers many tempo changes and sublime piano lines. The bridge that leads to the awesome chorus is sensational on all fronts. It's also filled with memorable phrases, in particular the last one: "I will not fail, I will defeat".

Eternal Regret - The album closes on a whimper and not a bang as most Virgin Steele albums tend to. It's of course fitting that he did so, this one is about God regretting everything, lamenting and crumbling under his own mistakes. A very humane twist as the album could have easily ended on Necropolis. The song itself, for fucks sake, it's fucking beautiful ok? And every time I listen to it, it seems to get more and more moving. It's a very special song, in the sense that I don't see any other band in any genre writing music like this: A long ballad that is as romantic as it is barbaric, with twists and crazy good melodies, with this kind of vocalization and poignancy. There's just nothing like this out there.

If I'm coming as a huge fanboy of the band, it's normal, I AM a huge fan of Virgin Steele! They're one of the few bands that have the balls to actually do what the fuck they want in terms of musical content. They are also the one band I went balls deep in because to be honest, there was never a band that impressed me as much as these guys. The Black Light Bacchanalia proved to be their most challenging album, even Visions of Eden which took a few listens to get accustomed too, wasn't as complicated as this one. So if you don't like this album, that's absolutely fine and if you're not willing to put the time and effort to appreciate it, that is also fine. This album is not easy to enjoy, and as I said, it doesn't rock like previous releases. However, it's still very much a Virgin Steele release and the qualities are still there, you just have to concentrate a bit more.
I guess that in the end, the big conclusion is that the album needs time to sink in and for you too process how much Virgin Steele has changed.

Final Score: 8 virgins out of 10
TL;DR: What seemed on the surface to be a very simplistic and dull album, turned out to be an incredibly nuanced and complex piece, phenomenally well written and paced. The rare kind of album that reward multiple listens and a lot of patience.
Who are you? The prince of darkness? Don't you have any friends?


#20
Quote by severed-metal

So say we go through with THE SCYTHE... how would we actually go about doing The Scythe? How would the thread actually go? Do we have a separate Scythe once a month, every few weeks? (once every two weeks sounds fine by me). (Scyhe #1, Scythe #2) Do we have specific themes we run for each Scythe?


I think Kyto's idea would end up being the best way of going about it, with some type of rating system

Quote by severed-metal

How do we choose bands? Do all of us listen to one band and give our thoughts? Do we listen to multiple bands, give our thoughts on each then choose a winner (technically loser)?


I was wondering this myself, I think it would be better to focus on one band at a time, because trying to listen and form opinions on more than one at a time wouldn't be feasible for some of us.
Last edited by Falsehammer at Sep 17, 2016,
#21
Which idea? The review thing?


and it's ok about details, all that can be easily worked out. One band will likely be the best and easiest to work with.
#22
Yeah the review thing, every two weeks would work out well I think
Last edited by Falsehammer at Sep 18, 2016,
#23
The devil's advocate of your dislikes/hater of your likes sounds especially good. Much more conducive to discussion, harder to bandwagon over, amusing but with depth etc etc
Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
#24
We can also do the opposite. Everyone here enjoys Blessed Are the Sick and I mostly don't. Wouldn't mind laying out why I don't and hashing it out.
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
#25
Quote by VampireGoldfish
We can also do the opposite. Everyone here enjoys Blessed Are the Sick and I mostly don't. Wouldn't mind laying out why I don't and hashing it out.


I don't see any reason not to scythe bands that have high status, especially the works that fall short of their former glory, How many great bands in the early 90's "sold out" we should definitely look at those situations instead of giving bands a pass because their first 2 albums were good.
#26
Blessed are the Sick can't compete with Altars. Neither can any Morbid Angel album actually. Covenant is probably slightly better than Blessed, but they are both still pretty strong offerings.
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
#27
Production ruins Blessed for me. Covenant's a cool album. Nothing will ever touch Altars, of course.
#28
I'm a Blessed fanboy, not gonna give that album up for anything. It's what got me into MA. But hey now why talk about this in this thread when a new thread could be created on the exact same topic..go create the thread thing with the reviews and I'll stick it.


Let's lay out some fast and loose ground rules:

-Someone reviews any album that is critically acclaimed, challenges its position on the hierarchy
-Give it a swift kick in the chompers
-Everyone disagrees and yells obscenities
-people should detest opinions laid out, but if you agree then say something about it too
-Repeat every two weeks

Is that the jist? Who's the first volunteer? Is that you volunteering I see, VG?

I figure people can post if they want next in the thread (or in here too) and the list will be born from this thread's ashes.


(also sorry about not accepting your fight request VG! had to go get supper and do homework!)
#29
welcome to the thunderdome

Why is The Somberlain put over Far Away From the Sun when the former is just Iron Maiden with growls while the latter is complete metal mastery?
lstfm

I'm a Nazi, baby
I'm a Nazi, yes I am
I'm a Nazi schatzi, you know I'll fight for the Fatherland
#30
So

What's the sacred cow of the metal forum?
Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
#31
Quote by The Wildchild
welcome to the thunderdome

Why is The Somberlain put over Far Away From the Sun when the former is just Iron Maiden with growls while the latter is complete metal mastery?


Ok, why not have the choice to dismantle a highly regarded album or question the status between two comparable albums. Sounds ok by me.
#32
Quote by Banjocal
So

What's the sacred cow of the metal forum?


BrokenCYDE's I'm Not a Fan, But the Kids Like It!
#33
Quote by The Wildchild
welcome to the thunderdome

Why is The Somberlain put over Far Away From the Sun when the former is just Iron Maiden with growls while the latter is complete metal mastery?


Probably because a shit ton of Metal fans adore Iron Maiden and have for many years. Just like how we adore Arghoslent's many Iron Maiden attributes. Varg's favorite Metal Band? Iron Maiden.
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 Sep 19, 2016,
#34
Ok who is going first. I want something by someone for this Friday. We are definitely doing the review thing.

Falsehammer, it's your idea so I think it'd be best if you made the intro, and/or the thread itself. I want it to be this Friday so hit me up in this thread before that. If you don't want to write the intro or make the thread just say so. Alternatively if you want it on a different day just say so.

NEXT STEP:

Sign up! Just post something in this thread along the lines of "fuck yeah dude sign me up for this shindig" and I'll add you to the list.
#35
Yes please write the intro and thread because I'm drawing a blank I'll follow later on after I get a feel for how this should be done.
#36
Alright I can do that.

Hmmy so the core idea is to write a review about an album question it's status. Typically aim for something worthwhile and not something easy like Six Feet Under.

We can probably push this back to.next Friday for sake of having a better review and allowing more tI me.

Basically how this will turn out is, you can sign up, whoever is next goes first. They can send me their review and I can make the thread.

Alternatively, whoever is doing the first review can title it and make the thread.

I don't know if this thing is still the scythe or if it's something different. But either way, pushing it back to next Friday.
#37
Quote by Banjocal
So

What's the sacred cow of the metal forum?

Probably Crystal Logic
Who are you? The prince of darkness? Don't you have any friends?


#38
The three albums that came after Crystal Logic are actually better than Crystal Logic.
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