Friday, November 30, 2007

Whoooooooooaaaaaah Whooooooooooahhhhhh Whooooooaaaaaaaaaah

Various Artists - Forged In Steel

While on a recent music purchasing outing I found myself laden with this free compilation, published by Roadrunner Records. Normally I hiff this stuff in the bin as fast as possible, but my curiosity was stimulated by the chance to actually hear the mediocre mall-metal that the kids are a-hipping and a-hopping to today.

We start out in solid enough territory, with Machine Head's 'Now I Lay Thee Down', a song I have already declared my fondness for on this very blog, and Megadeth's 'Sleepwalker', which doesn't need to be described any further than to say that it's 'a Megadeth song', but definitely a decent listen.

Later on there are a few other bands that I found moderately entertaining. Porcupine Tree, Pain and Daath were all pleasing (the former two reminding me that the genre of industrial metal does still exist), and the last track by Sanctity, which I can't actually remember anything about at all. I guess that means at least that it wasn't terrible.

Most of this shit is pretty dreadful though. At track three we encounter Within Temptation, a band that takes the Evanescence's gimmick, removes even that bands small traces of subtlety and sophistication, and makes up for it with extra shitty rapping.

Things don't get any better from there. Shadows Fall, Behind Crimson Eyes and Stone Sour give me both a belated insight into the dire metalcore that the kids have made popular today and a sense of gratefulness that my aversion to radio and television has thus far mostly spared me from it. To these bands I have only one thing to say: I hope your dad finally gives you that raise in your allowance and gets off your back about succeeding in school. Maybe then you can quit your angsty, crappy kiddy metal metal band and start a better one. Even Killswitch Engage, a band that up until now was my touchstone example of shitty radio friendly metal, come off looking not so bad when compared to these shamelessly commercial appropriations of teenage angst.

Lastly we have a few bands that are just so bad that I can't even be offended by their terribleness, and merely take pleasure in marvelling at just how bad they are. Trivium are a shitty rip off of Dragonforce (or perhaps Manowar) without the decency to inherit their (few) non-sucky elements. Dragonforce themselves also have a song on this disc, which I estimate to be composed of 23% “Whooaaah's” and 76% wank solos, and arranges said elements in such a way to create a song even more gratingly awful than what I've heard of them previously.

As much of a chore as this was to listen to, I'm at least glad to know that by deliberately insulating myself from mainstream pop culture I haven't accidentally missed out on anything truly worthwhile.

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