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2/13/14 - You Got Your __ In My Metal!

Feb 14, 2014

In which our genre-defying host bravely goes where no metal has gone before

If there was a theme today (which, let's be honest, there wasn't. This is total retconning), it was focusing on all the odd combinations and transformations metal has gone through over the years. We played tracks that saw metal combined with everything from Hardcore to Crust Punk to Symphonic music to Post-Rock, and included a special set dedicated to the oft-forgotten subgenre of Funk Metal. This made for a really diverse setlist tonight; one that covered all spectrums of the heaviness and aggressiveness scales.

So where to begin?

Well, let's talk a little bit about Funk Metal! Frankly, it's a genre that's too often forgotten or swept under the rug when people discuss important metal subgenres. Funk Metal reached its peak in the late 80's and early 90's, and I think tends to be forgotten because, like other genres such as Speed Metal and Groove Metal, it's more of a "transitional" style, one that helped metal move in new directions and to more successful areas. Funk Metal is also just REALLY TOUGH to pin down. There is no "signature band" that defines the sound, or even a "signature sound" to be defined when it comes to combining funk and metal. Every band that approached the combination did it in really different ways.

Some bands, like Living Colour (included in last night's show) and Extreme, took the dominant, more melodic genres of the 80's (like NWOBHM, Hair Metal, and Neo-classical) and combined them with classic funk stylings to create music grounded in the funk tradition, but made heavier and more virtuosic. These less openly-heavy bands may sometimes be forgotten in favor of the then-burgeoning death metal scene, but they're incredibly important in reminding us all that there's more than enough room for innovation and creative songwriting in the melodic metal/hard rock arena.

Other bands, like Faith No More and Rage Against the Machine (also included last night) began to take inspiration from a genre itself indebted to funk: Hip Hop. This may be one of the most controversial combinations in music, especially seeing how many frankly terrible bands this combination has produced, but the use of heavily-syncopated hip-hop style beats, basslines, and yes, occasional rapping, was incredibly innovate, and still sounds fresh to this day when carefully and properly combined with utmost respect for both parent genres.


Anyways, on to our TRACK OF THE WEEK. 

This week it's Du Ville Ville Vestland by Norwegian Black Metal band Taake (pronounced Toh-Keh), off their 2011 album Noregs Vaapen (pronounced Not Even Gonna Try). You can listen to it here:

Taake is an interesting band. Formed as a fairly typical Black Metal band in Norway in 1993 and encountering typical black metal band controversy, you'd really expect them to stick fairly close to the typical 2nd wave of Black Metal tradition. And yet, this band does so much more. When you listen to this song, it begins pretty much how you'd expect: Tremelo Picking? Check. Blast Beats? Check. Prognosis: Yes, this is Black Metal. But then you keep listening, and the song keeps throwing you for loops. Low, slow, heavy groove riffs? Huh? Fast thrash riffs? What? Melodic, almost poppy guitar leads and blues-inspired soloing? THIS ISN'T THE BLACK METAL I KNOW. Taake takes these disparate, atypical elements and combines them into the Black Metal tradition with a careful hand, and the results are amazing. A truly unique track, and that's why this is our track of the week.


Now here's this week's setlist:

Agoraphobic Nosebleed “Agorapocalypse Now” from Agorapocalypse on Relapse Records

Converge “DARK HORSE” from Axe to Fall on Epitaph

Misery Index “Theocracy” from Traitors on Relapse Records

Rollins Band “Low Self Opinion” from The End of Silence on Imago

Living Colour “Desperate People” from VIVID on Epic

Rage Against the Machine “Calm Like A Bomb” from The Battle of Los Angeles

Protest the Hero “Limb From Limb” from Fortress on Vagrant/Hassle

Yakuza “20 Bucks” from Samsara

RUSSIAN CIRCLES “Melee” from Geneva on Suicide Squeeze Records

Septicflesh “Persepolis” from COMMUNION on (RED) Season of Mist

Dyscarnate “Cain Enable” from And So It Came to Pass

Death “Flattening of Emotions” from HUMAN on Relapse Records

Skeletonwitch “This Evil Embrace” from Serpents Unleashed on Prosthetic Records

Sepultura “NOMAD” from Chaos A.D. on Roadrunner Records

Invidiosus “A Specious Existence” from A Specious Existence

Ludicra “The Only Cure, the Only Remedy” from Another Great Love Song on Alternative Tentacles

Taake “Du Ville Ville Vestland” from Noregs Vaapen on Karisma / Dark Essence Records

Suicide Silence “Disengage” from No Time to Bleed on Century Media

A Life Once Lost “THE WANDERER” from Iron Gag on Ferret Music

After the Burial “Neo Seoul” from Wolves Within on Sumerian Records

Ghost Brigade “Clawmaster” from Until Fear No Longer Defines Us on Season of mist