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> Power Metal & The Happy Sound, Tell Me I'm Wrong !
Ben Higgins
post Jul 5 2014, 12:59 PM
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Here's a subject to get people divided ! I've used Power Metal as an example but it's a potentially wider subject than that.

Ok, here's an opinion to start us off:

The trouble with Power metal is that it's all great up until the point it goes all HAPPY. You know the bits I mean. The point where you're transported from a galloping onslaught of epic riffs and vibrato laden vocals to something that makes you feel as if you've woken up in a Disney movie. Or the Eurovision Song Contest.

Examples of this can be the 'cheesy sing along Eurovision style chorus', complete with major key chord changes and references to 'victory', 'promised land' or any sort of triumphant key words. Or outrageous keyboard solos (sorry, keyboardists) and folky interludes sitting side by side with thrash beat drums. Just no. No.

Attached Image

Is there anything wrong with any of those things ? In my best Will Smith voice.. Hell No ! But I think you can still evoke triumphant and epic feelings without making the listener feel like a 5 year old kid watching cartoons.

Of course, this is just a personal opinion.. some may love and crave that fantastical 'happy' sound conjured up by Power metal bands and many other metal sub genres. But for me it ruins otherwise great music.

But there are other examples of non Power metal bands inserting strangely upbeat interludes into otherwise rocking tracks.

The Black Sabbath track 'A National Acrobat' is a brilliant, lumbering, heavy piece of excellence. Then at 4:52 it all just goes a bit...wrong. But it was the 70's and hippy-esque musical expression still managed to sneak it's way into the Sabs music from time to time. So it's understandable, even if it undermines a classic tune.

I love Maiden but 'Sanctuary' is my least favourite tune. For the most part it's average but then at 1:42 it all goes weirdly happy. What's that all about ? It's a song about hiding from the law and women being killed.

But does this mean that I think all the things I've mentioned shouldn't be used ? Of course not.

The main / verse riff of 'Can I Play With Madness' by Maiden uses a sequence of 3 major chords and has to be one of the coolest riffs ever. So there's nothing wrong with major chords.

Again, using Maiden as an example (lazy or what ?), you can do EPIC without being cheesy or Eurovision. 'Alexander the Great', 'Rime...' 'Seventh Son.'

But Ben, I hear you say, it makes me feel good and pumped up. Well, 'Riding on the Wind', 'Freewheel Burning' or any other up-tempo track by Judas Priest can make you feel like a human motorbike. 'Die for Metal' by Manowar, a band who know how to cross the cheese line, can make you feel like grabbing your sword and rushing to the front of the nearest shield wall to cleave in some skulls.

Attached Image

But before you point out the hypocrisy of mentioning Manowar, those songs manage to do those things without touching upon the pre-packaged 'hit factory' chord changes that litter so many power metal tracks.

Does it mean that there's something wrong with the HAPPY sound of Power Metal ? No. It's just one person's personal taste and possibly a sign that I'm a miserable git !

So, tell me I'm wrong ! Lay it down for me and explain what's so good about happy metal. Or maybe you agree with my sentiments. If so, why ? Is there anything I've missed ?


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bleez
post Jul 5 2014, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 5 2014, 12:59 PM) *

So, tell me I'm wrong ! Lay it down for me and explain what's so good about happy metal. Or maybe you agree with my sentiments. If so, why ? Is there anything I've missed ?

Testify, brother Higgins smile.gif That woman's face is exactly the expression I often get when a song goes awkwardly happy.
I tend to like the power metal stuff until it gets all triumphantly happy, my ears will not accept it. I also assumed it was just because Im naturally a miserable sod.
I dont mind the sabbath change you pointed out, I dont think its 'too' happy but it might be just because its Sabbath rolleyes.gif
Id also suggest The Sword as an example of an epic non-happy happy type band.
Are there power metal bands from the UK? maybe we are just to grumpy.


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 5 2014, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Jul 5 2014, 01:54 PM) *
Testify, brother Higgins smile.gif That woman's face is exactly the expression I often get when a song goes awkwardly happy.


laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

I think it's time to form G.A.H.

Guitarists Against Happiness


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klasaine
post Jul 5 2014, 04:39 PM
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My personal opinion is that it's an attempt to attract more females to the concerts (sales in general).
Of course that's inherently a sexist statement but I actually think that those bands and their representation believes that ... and maybe the numbers bear it out - ?


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 5 2014, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Jul 5 2014, 01:54 PM) *
I tend to like the power metal stuff until it gets all triumphantly happy, my ears will not accept it. I also assumed it was just because Im naturally a miserable sod.


Here's something to test your sanity. Inspired by my post, someone just shared this with me.



Nothing against the composer, I don't want to be cruel. But this is horrifying.


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Sensible Jones
post Jul 5 2014, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 5 2014, 04:08 PM) *
laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

I think it's time to form G.A.H.

Guitarists Against Happiness

Or maybe just BAH!!
Ben Against Happiness.
laugh.gif laugh.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 5 2014, 05:24 PM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Jul 5 2014, 05:03 PM) *
Or maybe just BAH!!
Ben Against Happiness.
laugh.gif laugh.gif


Listen to the last song I posted and you might be joining me ! laugh.gif


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Sensible Jones
post Jul 5 2014, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 5 2014, 05:24 PM) *
Listen to the last song I posted and you might be joining me ! laugh.gif

In all honesty I did press 'Play' on that and very quickly pressed 'Pause' and went away for a while.
I had no idea such things were allowed to exist in this Universe.
ohmy.gif


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bleez
post Jul 5 2014, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 5 2014, 04:59 PM) *
Here's something to test your sanity. Inspired by my post, someone just shared this with me.



Nothing against the composer, I don't want to be cruel. But this is horrifying.


Interesting composition but....


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You say 'minor pentatonic ' like it's a bad thing
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Todd Simpson
post Jul 6 2014, 12:29 AM
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WOW! Killer post and YOU NAILED IT!!!! I DESPISE the "Disney Metal".

As you mention, a song can be epic and positive without stooping to cartoonishness. For example EAGLE FLY FREE comes to mind. It's pushing the edge of overly happy but strikes a good balance smile.gif








QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 5 2014, 07:59 AM) *
Here's a subject to get people divided ! I've used Power Metal as an example but it's a potentially wider subject than that.

Ok, here's an opinion to start us off:

The trouble with Power metal is that it's all great up until the point it goes all HAPPY. You know the bits I mean. The point where you're transported from a galloping onslaught of epic riffs and vibrato laden vocals to something that makes you feel as if you've woken up in a Disney movie. Or the Eurovision Song Contest.

Examples of this can be the 'cheesy sing along Eurovision style chorus', complete with major key chord changes and references to 'victory', 'promised land' or any sort of triumphant key words. Or outrageous keyboard solos (sorry, keyboardists) and folky interludes sitting side by side with thrash beat drums. Just no. No.

Attached Image

Is there anything wrong with any of those things ? In my best Will Smith voice.. Hell No ! But I think you can still evoke triumphant and epic feelings without making the listener feel like a 5 year old kid watching cartoons.

Of course, this is just a personal opinion.. some may love and crave that fantastical 'happy' sound conjured up by Power metal bands and many other metal sub genres. But for me it ruins otherwise great music.

But there are other examples of non Power metal bands inserting strangely upbeat interludes into otherwise rocking tracks.

The Black Sabbath track 'A National Acrobat' is a brilliant, lumbering, heavy piece of excellence. Then at 4:52 it all just goes a bit...wrong. But it was the 70's and hippy-esque musical expression still managed to sneak it's way into the Sabs music from time to time. So it's understandable, even if it undermines a classic tune.

I love Maiden but 'Sanctuary' is my least favourite tune. For the most part it's average but then at 1:42 it all goes weirdly happy. What's that all about ? It's a song about hiding from the law and women being killed.

But does this mean that I think all the things I've mentioned shouldn't be used ? Of course not.

The main / verse riff of 'Can I Play With Madness' by Maiden uses a sequence of 3 major chords and has to be one of the coolest riffs ever. So there's nothing wrong with major chords.

Again, using Maiden as an example (lazy or what ?), you can do EPIC without being cheesy or Eurovision. 'Alexander the Great', 'Rime...' 'Seventh Son.'

But Ben, I hear you say, it makes me feel good and pumped up. Well, 'Riding on the Wind', 'Freewheel Burning' or any other up-tempo track by Judas Priest can make you feel like a human motorbike. 'Die for Metal' by Manowar, a band who know how to cross the cheese line, can make you feel like grabbing your sword and rushing to the front of the nearest shield wall to cleave in some skulls.

Attached Image

But before you point out the hypocrisy of mentioning Manowar, those songs manage to do those things without touching upon the pre-packaged 'hit factory' chord changes that litter so many power metal tracks.

Does it mean that there's something wrong with the HAPPY sound of Power Metal ? No. It's just one person's personal taste and possibly a sign that I'm a miserable git !

So, tell me I'm wrong ! Lay it down for me and explain what's so good about happy metal. Or maybe you agree with my sentiments. If so, why ? Is there anything I've missed ?


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 6 2014, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Jul 5 2014, 05:51 PM) *
I had no idea such things were allowed to exist in this Universe.
ohmy.gif


I'm not sure it is allowed..... it's breaking some laws of nature, I'm sure of it !

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 6 2014, 12:29 AM) *
WOW! Killer post and YOU NAILED IT!!!! I DESPISE the "Disney Metal".


Yep. Keep that cack where it belongs.. in the cartoons ! tongue.gif


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