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Old 12-20-2005, 07:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Metal Education Thread

A Short History Of Metal

written by Ian Woods and Ethan Smith


Metal is music that can trace it's roots to both early rock and electric blues. Bands such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, who were influenced by Led Zeppelin, Cream, etc., are often credited with starting the genre known as Metal. But this is only partially true. Black Sabbath and Deep Purple were stoner/sludge (also known as doom) rock. Judas Priest are, in fact, the first real metal band (formed in 1971). Acts like Iron Maiden and Motorhead also developed this fledgling style. Metal musicians eventually started looking past Sabbath's blues scales and began writing diminished and minor keys into their solos and diatonic modes into their riffs.

These changes are now a standard in metal and it's many bastard children sub-genres. In the early 1980s and Thrash Metal made it’s debut with Metallica and Exodus being prominent. Through out the 80’s and 90’s, different Metal styles were being invented and developed. Death metal in Florida and Sweden. Black Metal in Norway. And Progressive Metal in Connecticut and Seattle. There are many sub genres and musical histories of metal so to help explain this, here are the main styles:

Black Metal


While Venom is credited with coining the term “Black Metal” (from their 1982 release of the same name) it is Mayhem and Bathory who gave it its distinct sound. Muddled, murky recording quality, fast paced scratchy guitar riffs, high screamed vocals that are usually barely heard and never understood, and pounding over bearing drums are the key in creating a Black Metal sound. The lyrical themes usually deal with Satanism, death, and even Nationa; Socialism (in the case of Burzum)

Examples: Darkthrone, Bathory, Immortal, Negator, Emperor, old Satyricon, Mayhem.

Death Metal


Style of metal that deals almost exclusively with…you guessed it, Death. Bands in this vein often write very gory and morbid lyrics. As far as music is concerned technical fast paced guitar is implemented with varying tempo’s and time signatures, however the sound is so muddied (intentionally through amp settings and recording) that it sounds very simple. Drums incorporate blast beats which are alternate hits of snare and bass drum with a crash or ride symbol hit. These are used in large amounts to accent the ferocity and speed of this style.

Examples: Morbid Angel, Death, Suffocation, Bolt Thrower, Rubicon, Dying Fetus, Possessed

Melodic Death Metal


Very similar to Death Metal with the addition of some melody. Screams can alternate between high and low. Songs are generally of a better sound quality

Examples: In Flames, Dark Tranquility, At The Gates, The Black Dahlia Murder, Entombed, Arsis


Doom Metal


Very melancholy sound that stresses tragedy and depression. Characterized by Black/Death vocals and slow, trudging guitar riffs. Several offshoot styles have arisen from Doom’s slowly grinding footsteps including Sludge Doom, Drone, and Funeral Doom. All of these follow the same basic blueprint, having relatively repetitive slow riffs and vocals stressing the negative of love, life, and the hereafter.

Examples: My Dying Bride, Sun O))), Candlemass, Sleep, Ramses, Grief

Folk Metal


Metal that incorporates folk melodies and rhythms in its music. Originally from Finland. Heavily influenced by the occult and Viking culture. Music is usually Black or Death in style.

Examples: Finntroll, Skyclad, Adorned Brood, Elvenking, Primordial, old Vintersong

Goth Metal


Sound style that depends heavy on ambiency and keyboards. Unlike Industrial “Metal” electronic’s are not heavy, instead string arrangements are used to heighten the forbidding atmosphere. Vocals alter between Death screams and clean singing, often provided by female vocalist. Goth bands usually fall into one extreme or the other, having mostly singing or mostly screaming with some talking parts. Also many Goth bands, most notably Type O Negative, have their roots in Thrash or Speed metal, but later changed their style as they “matured”. It is also important to noticed that many operatic acts (such as Nightwish, Lacuna Coil) have borrowed extensively from Gothic music, while not being a Gothic band themselves. Lyrical themes often deal with disillusionment and/or religious themes.

Examples: Theatre of Tragedy, Type O Negative, Without Face, Moonspell, Lacrimosa


Industrial Metal


Depends heavily on synthesizers to fill out the often hollow sound. Metal-esque riffs are used and vocals are often put through some sort of distortion. Sometimes referred to as “dance metal”. There are two distinct sides to Industrial, the Electronic turned Metal, as demonstrated by Ministry and KMFDM, and Metal turned Electronic, such as Godflesh and Malhavoc.

Examples: Godflesh, KMFDM, Red Harvest, Rammstein, Zeromancer, Ministry, Frontline Assembly, Swamp Terrorist


Hardcore Metal


Also referred to as Metalcore, Hardcore Metal borrows heavily from Hardcore in terms of drum patterns and lyrical themes. The metal/hardcore crossover style began in the late 1980’s with bands such as Integrity and Nuclear Assault combining the speed and fury and punk and hardcore with the metal riffing. Early metalcore and thrash shared many similarities but for the mid raged growl of hardcore vocals. The style evolved over time containing just as many Swedish influences (Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying) as it has Southern Rock (Everytime I Die, A Life Once Lost).

Examples: Dead to Fall, Zao, Everytime I Die, Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, I Killed The Prom Queen


Power Metal


Borrowing heavily from baroque style classical music and classical music in general, Power Metal came to the forefront of the metal scene in the mid 80’s, even though it’s inception began with the formation of Iron Maiden in 1975. The dueling style solo’s used by the their guitarist set the benchmark for Power Metal to follow. Europe’s Accept fused Iron Maiden’s mentality with folk music to form their own distinct sound. Power Metal has grown more grandiose as time goes on, with bands such as Blind Guardian and Iced Earth gaining national attention. Lyrical theme’s include many fantasy standard (dragons, wizards, castles, battle) and folkish themes (folk heros, religious stories).

Examples: DragonForce, Angra, Iron Maiden, Fates Warning, Hammerfall, Mystic Prophecy, Kamelot


Progressive Metal


Prog Metal is simply progressive rock with a heavier mentality. Progressive music’s sound cannot really be pigeonholed due to the very nature of Progressive Music, however some factors remain constant. The musicianship is very high and often very complex. Most songs are very long with very few “parts” repeated. And often bands put out concept albums (albums unified by a central theme that runs throughout the record. Often songs will have a consistent riff or sound that anchors it together). Developed in part by Queensrÿche, Dream Theatre, and Fates Warning in the mid 80’s, Progressive metal has expanded into countless sub-styles. Ranging from the death metal influenced Opeth and Cynic, to the spazzy PsyOpus and the Dillinger Escape Plan to the jazz stylings of Liquid Tension Experiment and Ephel Duath.

Examples: Dream Theater, Symphony X, Opeth, Rush, Atheist, Liquid Tension Experiment



Thrash Metal


Thrash metal combines the speed and intensity of punk and hardcore with the precision of metal. High velocity riffing and shifting time changes are commonly used, all anchored by “machine gun” style drumming. Beginning in 1981 with Overkill, Thrash metal remained an underground until 1984 with the release of Overkill’s “Feel The Fire” and the ever present Slayer’s “Haunting the Chapel EP”. Thrash metal started to stagnate with too many bands saturating the relatively small market. However in 1989 with Sepultra’s “Beneath the Remains” being release on Roadrunner Records. Europe got into the sound and soon bands such as the Haunted and Kreator combining the Swedish death style with Thrash riffs.

Examples: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Annihilator, Overkill, Death Angel, Kreator, Anthrax

Nu Metal


Not truly a metal sub-genre, more closely like a 2nd cousin twice removed, Nu Metal combines some metallic and alternative rock riffing with a hip hop based vocal delivery and rhythm. Usually involves heavy sampling and turn table use. Many bands reached mainstream status. Lyrics usually tell of some sort of hardship, whether it be a relationship failure or substance abuse. Few true metal heads put this bastardization of our music on the same level as other genres however.

Examples: Korn, the Deftones, Limp Bizkit, Staind, American Head Charge, Taproot, Cold
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default The Prog Education Thread

A Short History Of Progressive Rock

written by Bryan Russell

Progressive rock or prog (As it is commonly known) is a diverse genre of music which can be traced back to the early days of pyschedelic rock and avant garde music, with strong roots from classical music, jazz and other forms of music outside of standard rock n roll music, basiclly a more progressive form of rock music, hence it's name. Prog has many typical characteristics, but rarely are these essential for every prog band...Though styles and forms of progressive rock may vary, the majority of what is considered progressive rock has the following characteristics...

Complex musical arangements, virtuoso musicianship (Though this is not always a requirement, as in the case of Pink Floyd), exotic and precise musical scales, odd time signatures, alternate tunings, prominent use of instruments not common in rock music, solo passages for almost every instrument, unusual vocal styles and complex harmonies, alternatives to the "verse-chorus-verse" format, lengthy compositions and epics with multiple parts, which can sometimes be considered songs in their own right (The Yes hit "Soon" was released as a single even though it was originaly a final section of "The Gates of Delirium") and sometimes these songs can take up a whole album side or in some cases be split into seperate tracks (Pink Floyds "Shine On You Crazy Diamond parts 1 & 2"), obscure and sometimes fantastical lyrics, with complex and often intricate narratives and themes dealing with issues ranging from war, religion, history, literature, human mentality, spirituality and even science fiction and fantasy, concept albums (Sometimes refered to as "Rock Opera") that are often meant to showcase these narratives, linking of music with visual art with the use of surreal album covers and elaberate stage shows, imagery that can sometimes be used to illustrate the stories and themes that are discribed in the music and great dynamic range going from quiet to loud often in the same piece of music. Other common conventions in progressive rock include the inclusions of classical pieces in the music, multi instrumentalism and the use of strange sound effects and samples.

Progressive rock in it's earliest form arose in the 60s around the same time as pyschedelic rock, both genres came from the same era and musical movements at the time, though the psychedelic movement began in both England and America around the same time (Liverpool and San Fransisco were the key locations of the growing movement), while the progressive rock movement was primarly in England and to a lesser extent, other regions of Europe. Early pyschedelic bands included Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Love, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Spirit, United Staes Of America, Iron Butterfly and Country Joe & The Fish from the U.S.A. and Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Animals, Small Faces, and The Zombies from the UK....The earliest progressive rock bands included The Nice, The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, Pink Floyd, Vanilla Fudge, The Arthur Brown Band and Giles, Giles and Fripp...Some bands like Vanilla Fudge, The Arthur Brown Band and Pink Floyd are often labeled as progressive rock bands as well as psychedelic...Some primary influences on progressive rock included The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Who for their progressive elements and innovations of the concept album, as well as Deep Purple for their use of classical scales and their grand approach....Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention are also considered a very important influence on progressive rock, since they helped popularize many of the characteristics described above.

Prog at first was labeled as a sub-genre to pyschedelic rock, but eventualy outlived the pyschedelic era of the 60s and took on a life of it's own, it was rarely called "progressive rock" at the time but instead was often refered to as "art rock" until the 70s when progressive rock became the official term and art rock became more of a loose term. Unlike pyschedelic rock which already grew popular in America by the mid 60s launching it's own movement in that region, progressive rock didn't gain much popularity in the states until the early 70s, in the early stage, both genres were quite similar, both featured longer songs, unusual approachs to melody and strange lyrics. Only prog was more complex and precise, less acessible and with more influence from jazz and classical music, plus pychedelic rock still relied on catchy hooks and melodies which is one reason psychedelic rock had a wider appeal than prog and was much more mainstream, prog remained behind the spotlight until the 70s. Psychedelic rock was eventualy proven to be little more than a fad as it died out near the end of the 60s and the beginning of the 70s, progressive rock however was just beginning to spread, some of the most important progressive rock bands formed near the end of the 60s, primarly between 68 and 69, these bands included King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator and Jethro Tull. Other important bands such as Camel, Gentle Giant and ELP came into the scene later on in the early and mid 70s...Soon north american acts such as Rush became involved. Progressive rocks mainstream popularity began with King Crimson and their debut album In The Court Of The Crimson King, their song 21st Century Schizoid Man became a hit on some british radio stations at that time, soon other bands began taking suit, and bands like Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull, Genesis and Pink Floyd found overwhelming popularity in the 70s. Progressive rock eventualy became quite popular in the US, and soon more obscure bands around Europe earned modest popularity, such as Focus, Magma and Goblin. Around 1973, prog had become huge worldwide, and was widely accepted as the dominant sub-genre in rock (Remember, this was before Metal and Punk became popular) throughout most of the 70s, however, as the 70s grew closer to it's end, many of the genres superior creative forces were finding themselves in career crossroads, short on material and with very few directions left to take, progressive rock was both losing popularity and was getting a lot of negative feedback from critics as well as the music going public, many of the strongest criticisms these bands received included the accusations that they were pretentious, overblown, self indulgent and pompous, the final blow to prog however, came in the form of the punk rock movement, which was more or less a reaction to prog which most punk bands dispised.

Punk rock was overall the exact opposite of progressive rock... The complex musical arangements replaced with basic and more traditional songs, the long compositions replaced with songs that are less than 2 minutes, the technical and precise musicianship replaced with a primitave and often agressive playing style and the complex narratives replaced with more coherent lyrics. Punk became a growing threat, and eventualy prog was dethroned and punk became the reigning force in rock. Prog almost completely disapeared from the public spotlight as a result. However, prog never died completely, there was somewhat of a prog revival in the 80s thanks to bands like Marillon and IQ, veteran bands like Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Rush and Genesis regained some popularity in the 80s by introducing elements of pop, new wave and worldbeat into their music to gain more mainstream appeal. The 90s saw a new prog movement with bands like Spocks Beard, The Flower Kings, Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine Tree gaining modest popularity. And prog is still very active and popular today, though the days of media exposure and mainstream appeal it once had in the 70s is long gone. Still, many bands that are considered progressive have gotten quite popular, primarly Coheed and Cambria, The Mars Volta, Sigur Ros and Primus. If the good luck streak continues, prog may very well see a great rivival and even the kind of mainstream popularity it once had in the 70s, but only time will tell.

As noted since the beginning of this thread, prog is a very diverse genre, and what is and what isn't prog can often become the matter of debate. Bands like Tool, Radiohead and Queen are considered prog by some, while many others disagree. If you have a clear understanding of progressive rock and what it's all about, wheither or not these bands qualify as prog is really up to you. For example, King Crimson being prog is accepted as factual, Queen being progressive rock is accepted as subjective opinion...This is what seperates bands that are prog from bands that could be prog.

The sub-genres will be listed in the next 2 posts since i can't list them here due to the 10000 character limit.

Last edited by boo boo; 03-28-2007 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Art Rock

In progs earliest carnation, it was known simply as "art rock", once the term "progressive rock" was adopted "art rock" became the term to describe bands who obviously have many progressive elements, but do not fall into any of the other categories or sub-genres. Art rock is a very loose term, and very few art rock bands have much in common, and weither they qualify as prog or not is really a matter of opinion.

Examples: Radiohead, Queen, Roxy Music, Rush, Captian Beyond, Brian Eno, Family, Mars Volta, Muse, Uriah Heep, Utopia, Kansas, Curved Air, The Long Hello, High Tide, Babe Ruth, Vangelis, Kate Bush, Super Furry Animals.

Canterbury Scene


In the kentish town which is the home to the church of Englands archbishop, there was a small but influencial musical movement known as the canterbury scene, most of the musicians involved were part of fraternities and knew each other personaly, many of these musicians formed some of the most talented british bands from the post-pyschedelic era during the 60s and 70s. One of the early canterbury scene bands was The Wilde Flowers, featured many of the musicians which would form two of the most important bands later on in the movement, Caravan and The Soft Machine. The similarities between the canterbury bands are not overwhelming, but each band has a good dose of jazz influence, especialy The Soft Machine, which are seen by some as a prototype fusion band. Also, folk music is a major influence on some bands from the canterbury scene as well, though not as prominently. Canterbury is seen by many as one of the precursers to jazz fusion.

Examples: Caravan, Soft Machine, Gong, Hatfield And The North, Khan, Matching Mole, Egg, The Wilde Flowers, National Health, Supersister.

Jazz Rock/Fusion


Not all fusion is rooted in progessive rock, obviously, this paticular type of fusion however is the fusion of jazz with progressive rock. Blending two very technical styles together creates a genre composed of some of the most amazing musicians out there, The Mahavishnu Orchestra is a prime example. The music is extreamly complex, and features some of the best musicians in fusion.

Examples: Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Brand X, Bauhaus, Colosseum, Dixie Dregs, Wigwam, Planet X, Area, Return To Forever.

Italian Prog


As bands like Yes and King Crimson were gaining media attention in their native England, Italian musicians took part in their own prog movement around the same time, and a lot of new progressive music still emerges from Italy today, and as one would expect, the lyrics are almost entirely in Italian. Some consider Italian prog a sub-genre of it's own, since it's quite different in style from most European and North American prog. Italian symphonic prog is different from the symphonic prog that emerged from England at that time, the compositions in Italian prog often follow traditional italian arangements and the composition style of italian classical music and folk music, the movement was nationwide, emerging from several different regions of the country rather than just certain cities. Because italian prog is very versatile and many italian prog bands are different from others, italian prog styles can and often do fall into other sub-genres of prog as well.

Examples: Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Museo Rosenbach, Le Orme, Quella Vecchia Locanda, Semiramis, Goblin, Celeste, Maxophone.

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock


The 60s were some wild times, american culture was rapidly being influenced by the excess of pyschedelic drugs, LSD and cultures from around the world. Thanks in most part to the hippie counterculture, indian music was introduced to western audiances, The Beatles began to incorperate heavy indian elements in some of their songs and music festivals like monterery pop, woodstock and the concert for bangladash had indian musicians like Ravi Shankar performing alongside rock musicians and performing for rock audiances who were not familiar with indian culture or raga music, it was this new found interest in indian music that birthed the sub-genres Indo-Prog/Raga Rock. While The Beatles used indian elements in some of their songs (Such as Love You To and Within You Without You) more progressive bands began pushing the same dynamic to a more extreme level, instead of a song or two bands began using elements of raga in all their songs, with more use of indian scales and instruments (Sitar, Tabla, Tamboura, etc) and spiritual themes common in indian music. These bands featured several talented raga musicians, blending raga with progressive rock, and there were often jazz and pyschedelic elements as well. All these bands incorperate the common structures of indian music such as repetitive circular rhythms, the use of patterns, ornamentation and long endlesss improv.

Examples: Quintessence, Magic Carpet, Shaki, Flute & Voice.

Krautrock


The common term for the German prog movement of the 1970s, bands like Kraftwerk, Faust and Neu! pushed the limits of progressive rock and popular music as well...Showcasing the sonic possibilities of synthesizer's, sampling, overdubs and electronic music as we know it. One of the first innovators in this movement was Can, who are one of the earliest examples of electronic music....The amazing impact and influence of krautrock is not limited to prog...Krautrock helped give way for new wave, techno, industrial rock, ambient music and even post rock. Krautrocks roots are mostly in avant garde and pop music.

Examples: Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Can, Faust, Neu!, Grobschnitt, Amon Duul II, Ashra, Kraan, Birth Control, Agitation Free.

Math Rock


Math rock is a sub-genre to prog which is usually made up of independent bands and musicians, it is known for it's sheer complexity, unusual rhythmic structures, angular and dissonant riffs and stop/start dynamics. Though bands like Rush and No Means No are considered math rock by some, the true movement began in the 90s, the most active movements took place in Chicago, Minneapolis and Buffalo. And math rock was and still is mostly exclusive to independant labels only, though some big label bands such as Tool and System Of A Down use math rock elements. The music isn't rooted in just progressive rock however, the actual movement grew from the noise rock scenes in Chicago and other midwestern towns during the 80s and 90s, several japanese rock bands are also influencial to math rock. Among the biggest influences on math rock include John Cage, Igor Stravinsky and other avant garde musicians, as well as the super complexity of King Crimson and Frank Zappa. Math rock is never in 4/4 time. Common time signatures in math rock include 7/8, 11/8 and 13/8.

Examples: Slint, Polvo, Don Caballero, Lynx, Shellac, Craw, Dazzling Killmen, Zeni Geva.

Neo Progressive


The term to describe the great prog revival of the 80s. Neo-prog (As it is often called) is very retro in style but with more pop elements than the progressive rock of the 60s and 70s... And most neo-prog bands can fall into any other sub-genre in prog, such as symphonic prog or space rock.

Examples: Marillion, IQ, Pendragon, Arena, Satellite, Collage, Pallas.

Post Rock


Post rock is avant garde rock music with a lot of ambient and electronic elements. Weither or not post rock is a true genre is often the matter of debate, those who dont consider it a genre of it's own consider it experiemental rock with some similarities but not enough to be put into one category, still, some disagree. Post rock is very hard to describe, the term "post rock" was invented by music journalist Simon Reynolds to describe a new form of music that was emerging during the 90s, which "used traditional rock instruments for non rock purposes" as he described it. Post rock bands use their instruments as facillitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs or chords, favoring drones and ambient soundscapes over scales and rhythm...One of the founding bands of the movement was Tortoise, bands like Sigur Ros and Godspeed You Black Emperor! have since defined the modern movement.

Examples: Tortoise, Mogwai, Sigur Ros, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Explosions In The Sky, A Silver MT.Zion, Magyar Posse.

Prog Folk


Folk music took the world by storm in the 60s, on both sides of the atlantic. While innovators like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and others fused rock with North American folk music. British progressive rock musicians began to do the same, but with English folk instead. The most important of these bands was Jethro Tull, tull began as a blues rock band before focusing their attention towards traditional English folk music and other styles...Their defining moment was with Aqualung, with proto metal anthems like the title track and Locomotive Breath mixed with softer ballads all with a strong social message. Tulls sucess continued with Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play. Other prog folk bands include The Strawbs and Traffic, these bands rarely share the same influences, these prog bands can take elements of everything from bluegass, jazz and blues to renaissance music and other forms of traditional European music. Prog folk is still active today. Bands like Blackmores Night and Mostly Autumn have had some success.

Examples: Jethro Tull, The Strawbs, Traffic, Aphrodites Child, Blackmores Night, Mostly Autumn, Gryphon, Los Jaivas, Comus, Mezquita, Fairport Convention.

Last edited by boo boo; 03-29-2007 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Progressive Metal


Is just that, progressive rock and metal blended into one super genre of sorts, the loud agressive intensity of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest is blended with the complexity and precise composition of Yes, Genesis and ELP. Rush are sometimes credited for the innovation of the genre, for the use of progressive elements but with a heavier sound than that of their peers. However others point to King Crimson, Robert Fripp himself described the sound of crimson as "Metal with a brain" and songs like 21st Century Schizoid Man, The Great Deceiver and One More Red Nightmare clearly have a proto metal sound. In reality, progressive metal didn't become a genre of it's own until the mid-1980s. The important bands in this movement included Queensryche, Fates Warning and Dream Theater. While other progressive metal bands like Tool have little in common with typical prog metal bands, they still qualify. Progressive metal could be broken down into several sub-genres in it's own right, primarly because bands that are considered prog metal like Tool, Dream Theater, Kings X and Opeth are completely different from each other stylisticly and sonicly. Other artists like Mars Volta, Buckethead and Primus could possibly fall into this genre as well, though it may be too subjective to be certain.

Examples: Dream Theater, Tool, Opeth, Symphony X, Fates Warning, Pain Of Salvation, Queensryche, Kings X, Liquid Tension Experiment, Nightwish, Rhadsody, Shadow Gallary, Meshuggah.

RIO/Avant Prog


RIO (Rock-In-Opposition) is a very unique and diverse genre (Or Anti Genre, as it is sometimes known) which began in the 60s and it is inspired by the avant garde classical stuctures of composers like Igor Stravinsky. The leader of this musical movement was non other than the mother himself, Frank Zappa. Common characteristics in RIO are dissonant chords, odd time meters, polyrhythms, abstract melodies and often oblique lyrics. Avant prog, is rooted in two different prog movements, one is in the rock-in-opposition movement and the other is the canterbury scene...Because of this, avant prog is a much looser term, not a actual movement but a style that clearly draws inspiration from the 2 aforementioned musical movements. While RIO and canterbury have geographical and temporal limits, avant prog artists come from all over the world.

Examples: Frank Zappa, The Mothers Of Invention, Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, Mr Bungle, Primus, Phish, Buckethead, Yeti, Henry Cow, Fantomas, The Residents.

Space Rock


Sometimes called pyschedelic prog, since it basiclly fuses elements of both genres, the complexity of progressive rock and the surrealism and the other worldly state of consciousness of pyschedelic rock. The term "space rock" was first used to describe the bizarre sound of Hawkwind and Pink Floyd, common characteristics include unusual production techniques, sound effects, electronic instrumentation and science fiction related themes. Space rock bands can both compromise and improvise, and often do both...Space rock still lives on in the oddball soundscapes of Porcupine Tree and Ozric Tentacles.

Examples: Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Jade Warrior, Eloy, Galaxy, Nektar, Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tentacles.

Symphonic Prog


Many of the most successful and important prog bands belong in this category, symphonic prog first emerged in the late 60s with the arival of bands like The Moody Blues and Procol Harum breaking all the rules when it came to traditional rock music, symphonic prog follows most of the conventions of prog as described shortly after the introduction, including uncoventional instrumentation, long compositions with multiple parts, extended solos, drastic time and tempo changes, odd vocal harmonies, multi instrumentation, a variation of moods and tones and classical music influence's and structures. The top bands in symphonic prog are King Crimson, Yes, ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Camel, Van Der Graaf Generator and Renaissance. While these bands dont sound very much alike, they all follow the main principles of symphonic prog. The hammond organ and moog synthesizer were popularized by these bands.

Examples: King Crimson, Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Camel, Renaissance, Van Der Graaf Generator, Focus, Barclay James Harvest, Greenslade, Mike Oldfield, Happy The Man, Triumvirat, Marsupilami, Spocks Beard, Flower Kings.

Zeuhl


The name "Zeuhl" comes from the Kobaïan language, a fictional language which was invented by Christian Vander, the drummer and founder of Magma, a progressive rock band from France. The meaning of the word is "Celestial". Zeuhl is the self appointed genre of magma. Magma were a bunch of oddballs who came up with a concept that has been called both brillant and pretentious, inventing their own mythology, claiming to be aliens from the planet Kobaja and giving each member their own name in Kobaïan, all their albums are cronicles of this mythology, and the lyrics are all in Kobaïan. Though magma never had much success, they had a huge cult following, with many bands taking influence from their unique style and even using the Kobaïan language, yes believe it or not, what began as a strange concept has since become a musical genre in it's own right. While critics refused to take Zeuhl seriously as a genre, many bands demanded attention with their music. Zuehl is a mix of pretty much everything, avant garde, jazz, classical music, folk music, pyschedelic rock as well as neoclassicism, romanticism, imressionism and modernism. Brass instrumentation, recuring melody lines and chanted vocals are common in Zeuhl. The Zeuhl movement began in Magmas native France, though bands from Japan eventualy got involved as well.

Examples: Magma, Dun, Happy Family, Ruins, Kultivator, Eskaton, Far Corner, Weidorje.

Proto Prog


Bands who were involved in the development of progressive rock but dont really belong in any of the aforementioned categories.

Examples: The Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Vanilla Fudge, The Nice, Procol Harum, The Arthur Brown Band, The Beatles.

Last edited by boo boo; 07-31-2007 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default The Rock Education Thread

A Brief History Of Rock Music

Written by Merkaba

Rock is an extraordinarily diverse area of music. It is widely established that Rock ‘n’ Roll was first defined in the very early 1950’s but small pieces can be traced back as early as the 1920’s through the “father of rock”, the Blues. The main reason Rock is so diverse today is that it has always been a large blend of genres right from the word go. When Rock ‘n’ Roll was first classed in the 1950’s it already had many roots planted deep in the Blues, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues with influences also coming from Gospel, Folk, Western and Country. Rock music is by no means a purebred, more or less a cross of extreme proportions.

The term Rock ‘n’ Roll itself is hard to define, as there is much debate as to how it was actually derived. Some believe it was due to the surfacing of racial tensions in America, and the white folk wanted a title for it that didn’t associate with the black nature of Rhythm and Blues. They’d be devastated if they could see today’s relationship between the genres! Others believe it was because of a Disc jockey called Alan Freed. Freed was the first to introduce such music to white folk in the 1950’s via radio and this is apparently what Freed called it when he first played the stuff.

There is a huge line of debate as to who the first Rock n Roll artist was. Generally accepted pioneers include Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Bill Haley. Many believe Chuck Berry was first in 1951, but then we have historians arguing that the first eligible piece of rock came from way back in 1940’s by Fats Domino, though it was heavily encased in other styles of music. Then we have The Press of today such as the Rolling Stone who like to think Elvis Presley was the first artist and he arrived in 1955, a year after Rock ‘n’ Roll had already spread to the rest of America and was just finding it’s feet in Britain. That obviously makes things a little misguided. However, it is Elvis who took Rock ‘n’ Roll to a new level. With Elvis and Rock ‘n’ Roll came a whole new culture and this culture revolted much of society at first. Sexual dancing, the swinging of the hips, sexual four piece beats, emphasis on every second beat created a sexual beat or “thrusting” which back then would have been highly embarrassing for a society who had been accustomed to such mannerisms, that these days would be found only in a family of royalty. However it was this music and attitude to dancing frivolously that began pegging back some of the more outspoken racial tensions of the time. Above all else the people loved Rock ‘n’ Roll because it meant freedom. The lyrics, the music, the attitude, the realism of the artists all provoked a freedom other styles of music had not yet tapped into.

Rock ‘n’ Roll slowed in America at the end of the 50’s with Presley and co losing popularity for their “of late” ballads, but was still going strong none the less. The British scene however was going like a whirlwind and in the early 60’s we saw the beginning of the British Invasion. British teens were going bonkers having been strongly influenced by the recent explosion of Rock ‘n’ Roll in America. In a matter of years The Beatles emerged and took the world by storm. Held in such regard for their musical achievements of the time, they were also held in such high regard for spreading such popular music to most parts of the world. While the Beatles were taking the world by storm out emerged another extremely important band in the Rolling Stones. This band also achieved feats similar to the Beatles but it was their image that they bought to the industry that set them apart. Rough clothes, long shaggy hair and cigarettes for miles were a catalyst for their careers. It was a true bad boy image that coupled with their music made them famous. Many say they were second only to the Beatles but it was American tours that had them being billed as the “Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll band ever” simply because they embodied everything rock should and did stand for, which at the time was freedom to express.

Riding on the crest of the British Invasion wave saw a whole onslaught of break away styles that developed from the basis of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Back in America we saw the emergence of Garage Rock or more commonly referred to these days as Punk Rock. Then we started to see Folk emerge again sporting traces of Rock with the likes of Bob Dylan coming to the front. At first labelling the Beatles as “bubblegum pop” he soon grew on them and experimented a bit, and brought a new form of instrumentation to the masses, in the form of electrical instruments. Lets take a look at the majority of rock genres.

Arena/Stadium Rock

Commonly referred to as Arena Rock, or Stadium Rock, this breed of music more or less is what the name says. It’s designed for artists whose music was particularly suitable to a large arena or open space, and first occured in the 70's as hard rock bands started gaining popularity. This genre is not very definitive as it applies to most bands that could also quite easily fit into another genre of rock. This genre is basically for bands that have fairly mainstream vocals, the likes of Freddie Mercury for example, and the music is fairly simplistic in flow or rhythm. There is some form of guitar, be it electric or acoustic and usually there is some form of drumming. Some music borders on being titled “Metal” but in general is not overly heavy. Note the varying styles of the bands that are in the examples.

Examples: Queen, (some) Metallica, ACDC, REO Speedwagon, Velvet Revolver, Kiss, Van Halen

Avant Rock

This is a style of rock that is usually unique to the artist that attempts to venture into it. It is experimental and has many progressive qualities about it. Unorthodox time signatures, vocal experimentation, crossing with other genres, special instrument effects and so on. Obviously the finish product is unique and not very reminiscent of other artists around at the time.

Examples: Fantomas, Mr Bungle, Frank Zappa, Sonic Youth, The Velvet Underground

Blues Rock

Again is what it says it is. This is basically mixing the lyrical nature of Blues music with a rock n roll style of music usually electric guitar is involved. Canned Heat are well known as pioneering the music in America while early forms of Fleetwood Mac kindled the blues rock fire in Britain.

Examples: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, The Yardbirds or very early forms of Led Zeppelin.

British Invasion

Does that mean the invasion of the British? Yes. Rock n Roll in Britain took off like a spark to Liquid Nitrogen. The British Invasion saw many British artists gain huge appraisal in foreign countries such as America, Australia, Canada and many parts of Europe. Cliff Richard sort of opened the Flood Gates by claiming some early recognition in America but it was The Beatles who opened the gates and proceeded to blast away the entire Dam in the process. Their music pretty much went to the top of charts in every place it reached and it set the stage for almost all other bands to build off of. The Rolling Stones lose a fair bit of recognition to the Beatles, but it was these guys that made being a musician look “cool”.

Examples: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Celtic Rock

A very European style of music derived from the musical composition of Folk Music. This music is most commonly found around Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There are a few bands that dabble close to the definition of Celtic rock but cannot be truly classified as it, such as Thin Lizzy, The Pogues, Flogging Molly.

Examples: Fairport Convention, Tempest, Sweeneys Men, Lenahan, Wolfstone

Classic Rock

Classic Rock is basically early forms of rock that still had their feet firmly planted in the origins of Rock n Roll. Today Classic Rock is moving on as even some music from the early 1990’s is starting to come under scrutiny for Classic rock status. Classic Rock originally came from a bunch of Radio Stations who as they entered into the 80’s, started looking back into the 60’s when rock really found it’s feet and pretty much said “hey, I want to play some of the original rock”. So they did and playlists of all this old Beatles music and such became known as Classic Rock. The term has just evolved and evolved to today, and it’s highly likely that in 20 years time the music of today will be known as their Classic Rock.

Examples: Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd.

Comedy Rock

Hardly a recognised and accepted genre but this is rock music with humour as a major lyrical subject. Sometimes sounds add to the humour. Often Comedy Rock is known as music that “takes the piss” out of the topic in discussion, usually it's something to do with everyday society.

Examples: Tenacious D, Adam Sandler, Kevin Bloody Wilson, Frank Zappa, Mojo Nixon, Weird Al Yankovic
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Country Rock

This is country music (a blend of blues, gospel, and folk that came from early western civilisations) fused with rock music. This style of music has generally always been around since the birth of rock but it’s around the late 60’s to early 70’s where the country sound really came across strong and there were also a few major artists making this particular style of music.

Examples: Neil Young, The Byrds and even later outfits such as The Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Folk Rock
This can be referred to as the tidy genre. The music is completely clean. The guitar work is free of distortion, the vocals are crisp and harmonious and can be associated with early Northern American white people. The boundaries of this genre are always hard to define, as it is so similar to Celtic rock.

Examples: Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills and Nash, Bob Dylan

Funk Rock

Four words. Red Hot Chili Peppers. There are others but these are world renowned artists and attempting to define Funk Rock while separating it from Avant rock would be a nightmare. Basically Funk Rock is a large portion of drum and bass, electric guitaring and sharp vocals with an upbeat attitude. Funk Rock is meant to sound happy, enthusiastic, or happy while aggressive.

Examples: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Trapeze, Incubus, (some) Sublime

Garage/Punk Rock(See the Punk Education Thread in the Punk Forum)

This is raw, undiluted rock. The music is fast paced, short and aggressive. Garage rock is linked to young artists or poor artists who couldn’t afford a big label so they set up shop in their own garages and belted out rock that was heavily inspired by bands like the Beatles and much of the British Invasion.

Examples: (Early) The Count Five, The Seeds. (Modern) Jet, The Hives, The Strokes.

Glam Rock

Like Arena Rock, this is not so much about the music, but about things associated with the music. Glam Rock is about the image an artist conveys. Generally Glam Rock meant the artist wore glittery outfits or objects of a glamorous nature. Often these costumes were outrageous and definitely earned them the spotlight.

Examples: David Bowie, Brian Eno, Slade, Members of T-Rex

Gothic Rock

Emerging after the punk surge in the 70’s gothic music was originally rooted in the punk music of that time. But later on it became more and more involved in the literary sides of symbolism and philosophical ideas of religion and mysticism. Being involved in all this symbolism and not so much the punk music, has made the gothic genre kind of redundant, because it now isn’t so much of a genre as it’s more of a culture or image.

Examples: Bauhaus, Alien Sex Fiend, Marilyn Manson, Southern Death Cult.

Hard Rock

Hard Rock in its simplest form, is aggressive Rock n Roll. While the range of Hard Rock is vast, the structures are all very similar from song to song. A general layout for a hard rock song consists of: Intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, instrumental, chorus, outro. Hard Rock is meant to consist of High Energy aggression with charged vocals and often has a menacing guitar riff of some sort.

Examples: ACDC, Guns N Roses, Def Leppard, Deep Purple.

Instrumental Rock

This is rock music with no singing. Usually a popular song is nothing without some form of catchy chorus but when done right these instrumentals could also become popular hits too such as Honky Tonk by Bill Doggett Combo. The instrumentals range from funk tunes, to the Blues, to Metal.

Examples: Steve Vai, Lee Allen, Jimmy Reed, Joe Satriani.

J-Rock

Japanese Rock. Japanese vocals accompanied by the standard rock set up of bass guitar and drums.

Examples: After Dinner, YB02, Kenso

Krautrock

Krautrock is pretty much all things German. The earliest Krautrock took off around the world in the 60’s with their mechanical style of music, it was precise and predictable but people loved it. Since then they’ve helped develop the world of industrial, progressive and psychedelic rock. The Germans are also pretty damn prominent in the electronic department of music.

Examples: Tangerine Dream, Can, Faust, Mouse On Mars, Cluster

Math Rock

This style emerged just before the 90’s or around the late 80’s. It is a very complex genre accompanying unorthodox meters. While most rock uses a 4 beat meter, math rock incorporates beats of 7/8, 11/8 or 13/8 creating complex structural layouts. Vocals aren’t often the main focus of math rock as the music is complex enough to pull off it’s own fan base and attention. Many Math Rock bands so far have been purely instrumental. For a glimpse of early, early Math Rock, check out bands like Genesis, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. They won’t be mentioned in the examples since they’re mainly Progressive Rock but bands as such, paved the way for the intentional Math Rock of today.

Examples: The Blood Brothers, Autoclave, Crain, Hella.

Medieval Rock

This genre does not refer to music of medieval times, but is of a medieval nature. The music is often of a Celtic or Folk genre. The interesting part is that the lyrics are often poems or melodies from medieval times. In rare occasions you will get bands using authentic medieval instrumentation while other bands require synthesisers. Harps and other various string objects are not uncommon. Be aware of the similarity this genre has with Celtic Rock, the minor differences will likely be in the style of lyrics.

Examples: Cultus Ferox, In Extremo, Subway To Sally.

Modern Rock

Is not so much a genre, but more or less a constantly changing definition for the music of today. In the 70’s Modern Rock meant mainstream artists who were popular on the airwaves. The Modern Rock of the 70’s is now known as Classic Rock. The Modern Rock for today is music associated with pop-punk, emo and Nu metal. As you can see Modern rock simply refers to the music of today.

Examples: Linkin Park, Offspring, Bad Religion, Heroin.

Noise Rock

This is punk rock mixed with an Avant style of musicianship. It’s basically distorted, fast hardcore techno music with an intense amount of energy. Early influences came in the form of Velvet Underground and some of The Stooges work.

Examples: God Is My Co-Pilot, The Locust, Mindflayer, Scratch Acid

Piano Rock

Speaks for itself. Mainly known as a sub-genre of Pop Rock, this is for artists who use Piano as their instrument of choice.

Examples: Elton john, Missy Higgins, Coldplay, Billy Joel

Pop Rock

Okay this is both Pop music with a Rock edge and Rock music with a Pop edge. Again The Beatles are the first recognised Pop Rock artist and with the amount of success they had it’s not surprising. Pop is music that is traditionally popular with the masses and there are certain simplistic things done to make it this style of music, be it a catchy beat or a fun sing-a-long chorus. And when this is mixed with rock we get an amped version of Pop or what true rock fans regard as a watered down version of Rock music.

Examples: Lifehouse, Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morissette, The Beatles

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic refers to the experience the mind has when in an almost subliminal state. The boundaries of this genre are not clearly defined and spill into Stoner Rock, Acid Rock, and Progressive Rock among others. The aim is to create trippy pieces of music using vocals that either flitter or are of a low rumble. The bass is usually quite prominent to create a heavy, sedated feel and the guitar riffs are very distorted and either very jumpy or smooth and paralysing. The Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band is the first recognised album to incorporate psychedelic features. Bands from all over the rock world can fit into this genre.

Examples: Ozric Tentacles, Kyuss, Led Zeppelin, Hawkwind

Rockabilly/Rock N Roll

Alrighty then. This is where much of all rock music formed. A fusion of all things good and nice, some Blues, Folk, Western, Bluegrass, Country and more made up the genre of Rock. Rockabilly incorporates a good portion of Western and hillbilly music, the beat is rather bouncy and feels enthusiastic. The genre wasn’t at first noted thanks to artist experimentation but it was thanks to the work of some early producers who incorporated distinct hillbilly style instrumentation. Such producers include Sam Philips and Leonard Chess.

Examples: Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Rap Rock

Similar to Pop Rock, this is rock music where the vocals are tailored to those of a rap artist. In today’s time this is very popular with mainstream people who have been swept up in the hip-hop wave, although some artists were experimenting long before this wave came about. Early pioneers are the likes of Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. Nowadays much Rap Rock is referred to as Nu-metal.

Examples: Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, P.O.D, Korn

Soft Rock

Has been around since 1970 with the likes of Fleetwood Mac. This is rock that isn’t as upbeat and animated but more an easy listening form of rock. Lyrics are user friendly in that they aren’t too mind boggling or offensive. The genre often incorporates soothing instruments like the Piano or Saxophone.

Examples: Fleetwood Mac, Meat Loaf, Phil Collins

Symphonic Rock

Using classical instruments, themes, structures and compositions. Listeners can often make the obvious trace to orchestral music or the likes of the Famous Composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. This genre is often considered a sub genre of Prog Rock since one can hardly be classical without being Progressive.

Examples: King Crimson, Yes, Pink Floyd, Spock’s Beard, Savatage
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Old 07-29-2007, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm surprised there is no entry for POMP ROCK, which can be traced back to early 80's of which bands like PENDRAGON, MAGNUM and ASHBURY were exponents. Blues based rock with an emphasis on orchestral sounding keyboards, and lyrics that usually dealt with subjects like heroic fantasy and Lord Of The Rings-type escapism.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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And all this time I thought pomp rock was just another term for prog.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I few suggestions for the metal education post:

Moving Entombed from Melodic Death to regular death metal and putting Carcass instead.

Removing Iron Maiden from Power Metal and putting Helloween in there instead.

Perhaps adding NWOBHM and Grindcore genres to the post.
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