Friday, December 17, 2010

The Brazilian Metal Invasion

Guess who. Of note: having recently completed the histology portion of my preclinical med school education, I was disappointed that we did not learn to identify...(wait for it!) dead embryonic cells. Perhaps this awaits us in pathology.

On the issue of whether a laboratory sickness will infect humanity (or whether there is, indeed, no hope - for cure) opinion is still divided. In the meantime, die by technology! i.e., yes there's a commercial.

Commentary: Arise is one of the most underrated metal albums ever. I say this knowing that it's already held in pretty high esteem. They have an odd but catchy melodic sense that goes well beyond merely an obsession with diminished fifths (although they do have that) that makes them analogous to a kind of metal Gershwin and puts them in the company of other melody outgroups like Carcass and Opeth. (Anybody can write amodal noise; the trick is to write strange parts and have them be catchy.)

It's also worth pointing out that the transition they underwent from Arise to Chaos A.D. that was curiously similar to the one Metallica underwent a few years before that, between Justice and
Metallica (The Black Album): the first album in each pair is a highly technical, modular, riff-based approach to writing music with a production that does the drums no favors. The second has a better all-around sound (particularly the drums) with a more holistic approach to song-writing that nurtures regional influences (think Metallica's transition from metal to nylon strings to get a subtly more country sound and Sepultura's expanded use of Latin percussion; listen to Territory from Chaos A.D. for an example.) The vocals also both underwent somewhat of a parallel evolution, if only in the sense that on the second album of each pair they don't seem treated as just another instrument.

In the early aughts I was expecting the next wave of metal post-Sweden to come from Brazil and Argentina (NWOBaADM?), based on my experience in the Southern Cone in the late 90s, but this has so far failed to materialize.

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