Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Metal and Summer

Hmm… I feel obligated to explain something.

The coolest thing, in my mind, about metal, is the amazing amount of variety you can find. From the technically masterful works of Dream Theater (even if the band looks like a bunch of hippies :D) to the amazing melodies of Nightwish to the piercing screams of Black Metal to the guttural roars of Death Metal.

On top of sounds, we have lyrical themes… from serious stuff like the meaning of life (or other such philosophy) to well… crap. By crap I mean anything from Alexander the Great to Fatal Tragedies like murder to well… pirates and LotR. :D

Now, I’ve talked to various people who say they like metal (and in the case of at least one, I know he IS a metal fan… the other, I’m not so sure) and they don’t always seem to like the fact that some bands (Alestorm, a pirate metal band, or DragonForce, a “cheese” metal band as I call ‘em) give metal a bad name. Now, while I realize these bands aren’t exactly serious or anything, I respect them as musicians. Neither DragonForce nor Alestorm are musical geniuses and I’ll be the first to admit this, but they can play their instruments (to a degree; I have conflicting reports on DragonForce from THEY SUCK AND ARE CHEATERS! To they’re okay, to they’ve gotten better, and they did use to suck).

My question to people who say these bands give metal a band name is why? Or how do they do so? Yes, they sing about “souls shining onward” and “Captain Morgan's Revenge” but to any arguments about that being geeky or cheesy I have a few words for you: Iron Maiden.

Iron Maiden song titles: “the number of the beast”, “two minutes to midnight”, “the loneliness of the long distance runner”, “Out of the Silent Planet,”, “The thin line between love and hate”… need I say more? If Iron Maiden, one of the most respected and well known Metal bands in existence (before I was a metal band I knew of about 2 metal bands: Iron Maiden and Metallica, so I’d say they’re pretty well known and pretty well respected) can sing about fantasy, science fiction and history, then Alestorm can sing all the drinking songs they want!

Now, I’m not saying that metal should not be serious. Serious lyrics are good. But, every so often you need some humor in your life. That’s why I listen to bands like Alestorm, Sabaton and DragonForce. They don’t take their lyrics completely serious but they’re good fun. There is a place for humor in all genres of music, I just wish I could hear more pop bands taking their lyrics a bit less seriously.

Now… a personal update. Its summer… and this summer I have a very simple, very important, goal: do not get bored.

How will I accomplish this goal? Video games, books, movies and friends. I bought the “half-life 2 collection” (thank you pirated games. :D) yesterday and I made my way through City 17, to the canals then to Black Mesa East and now I’ve just exited Ravenholm (darnit… that level is both creepy and awesome). I forgot how amazing HL2 is… in my mind it’s the greatest FPS game for single player value at least, that has been released in a while. Of course, I haven’t played Far Cry 2 yet (I will though) and I don’t really count Fallout 3 as a FPS… it’s a hybrid RPG FPS type game.

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