Music Metal School - Page 22




Thread: Metal School

  1. #211
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    Tesla's first two albums put them in a class above almost all other American hard rock at the time. I really hated what they did after those two albums, but those two albums stand on their own as examples of great songwriting (especially with respect to what else was getting airplay at the time).

    Great White was a love/hate thing. I dug the musicians and the tone, but disliked the ready for pop radio songwriting that took over after the first album.

 

  • #212
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    A little more on synth...

    In all fairness, heavy music had a few bands featuring keyboards from the get-go.

    Deep Purple always had a pretty prominent keyboard element to their music thanks to founder and ivoryman extraordinaire Jon Lord.

    However, few heavy bands followed that particular lead, and most of them were really prog bands in the vein of Yes, with musicians inspired by guys like Rick Wakeman- though Tony Kaye was no slouch, he wouldn't venture beyond the organ, while Wakeman was an early adopter of the Moog line.

    Wakeman also played on Black Sabbath's "Sabra Cadabra," FWIW.

    Dream Theater's first album is a triumph of prog rock, equal to almost anything I could name from Yes or King Crimson. Though I love them dearly, the rest has been a bit hit or miss, but when they hit, they NAIL it.

    Pretty Maids really is one of those bands you need to hear to understand. They have elements of prog, but rock harder than most prog bands ever did. IMHO, they were WAY ahead of their time, and failed because of it.
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  • #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
    A little more on synth...


    Pretty Maids really is one of those bands you need to hear to understand. They have elements of prog, but rock harder than most prog bands ever did. IMHO, they were WAY ahead of their time, and failed because of it.
    All good points and a note on Pretty Maids, their ground breaking work on synths lead to future bands like Children of Bodom and Dragonforce. The work that the Maids did was surely the foundation for most up-tempo synth in Heavy Rock today. Even old hands like Jens Johansson took a couple of cues from the bands keyboardist Alan Owens (Allan Neilsen)(The band took Anglicanized names to be an easier sell to non-Danish markets.) Jens an accomplished pianist and synth player liked Alan's straight ahead and powerful style that he adopted some of his techniques. (From about 1986 on his playing undergoes a slight change if you listen closely.)

    Truly an underrated band.
    Last edited by Thunderfoot; Friday, 25th July, 2008 at 09:32 PM.
    Headmaster of Metal School

    "I may be unconscious, but at least I still look good!" - - Me (at the Halfling Musketeers game GenCon '06)

    On one hand, taking away their weapons is a dead giveaway that they will need them. On the other hand, by the time conflict starts the players will already have opened the rulebooks and found the parts that deal with bare-handed combat, performing disarm moves, and using improvised weapons. Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu. - Shamus Young DM of the Rings

  • #214
    I just saw that today, May 29th, is the 25th anniversary of "Heavy Metal Day" at the US Festival. The lineup consisted of:

    Quiet Riot
    Motley Crue
    Ozzy
    Judas Priest
    Triumph
    Scorpions
    Van Halen

    Entering any of these band names plus "us festival" into youtube will turn up some quarter century vintage footage

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moulin Rogue
    I just saw that today, May 29th, is the 25th anniversary of "Heavy Metal Day" at the US Festival. The lineup consisted of:

    Quiet Riot
    Motley Crue
    Ozzy
    Judas Priest
    Triumph
    Scorpions
    Van Halen

    Entering any of these band names plus "us festival" into youtube will turn up some quarter century vintage footage
    And as a side note six of the seven groups are either on tour and preparing to go on tour currently.
    Headmaster of Metal School

    "I may be unconscious, but at least I still look good!" - - Me (at the Halfling Musketeers game GenCon '06)

    On one hand, taking away their weapons is a dead giveaway that they will need them. On the other hand, by the time conflict starts the players will already have opened the rulebooks and found the parts that deal with bare-handed combat, performing disarm moves, and using improvised weapons. Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu. - Shamus Young DM of the Rings

  • #216
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    Progressive music has several heavy offshoots- metal, rock, even punk.

    One that is often forgotten is Progressive jazz- aka Fusion.

    And it should not be- some of Fusion's best can bring it as heavy as in any other genre.

    Case in point: Return to Forever. The classic lineup of Chick Corea (keyboards), Lenny White (drums), Stanley Clark (bass) and Al Di Meola (guitar) is currently on tour after 25 years and countless solo albums...and I just saw them last night at the Nokia center in Grapevine, TX (a suburb of Dallas).

    Simply put, they rock. White brings the thunder. Corea scorches the ivories. And Clark and Di Meola bring as much string wizardry as anyone would care to see.

    If you are a fan of prog, and this tour comes anywhere near you, go see it.
    IAAL...and an MBA. No, really!
    Metal School Founder; Campaign Ideas; my 3.X Databases: The Monk, The Martial Arcanist, Aquatic Ideas, The Psychonomicon

  • #217
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    Fusion is awesome - The Dixie Dregs gave us a lot of Metal stars through the years, specifically Jordan Rudruss (Keyboards), Rod Morgenstein (Drums), and founding member Steve Morse (Guitar).
    And of course Frank Zappa doesn't really fit in anywhere, so fusion jazz/progressive rock is kind of his homeland.
    Headmaster of Metal School

    "I may be unconscious, but at least I still look good!" - - Me (at the Halfling Musketeers game GenCon '06)

    On one hand, taking away their weapons is a dead giveaway that they will need them. On the other hand, by the time conflict starts the players will already have opened the rulebooks and found the parts that deal with bare-handed combat, performing disarm moves, and using improvised weapons. Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu. - Shamus Young DM of the Rings

  • #218
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    Thunderfoot, I thought you'd appreciate this...

    I was watching Metal Mania the other night and saw an early video of Black Sabbath doing "Paranoid", and Bill Ward's drum kit was positively spartan- a couple of cymbals & snares, a single kicker, and a couple of others. He was still quite visible.

    Then, flipping over to Headbanger's Ball, I witnessed drummer after drummmer practically entombed behind a wall of drums.

    Wha hoppen?
    When did drummers become so..."equipment" conscious?
    IAAL...and an MBA. No, really!
    Metal School Founder; Campaign Ideas; my 3.X Databases: The Monk, The Martial Arcanist, Aquatic Ideas, The Psychonomicon

  • #219
    It started in the "arena rock" era in the mid-'70s when bigger became better - elaborate stage designs, pyro effects, and so on. Obviously KISS are the example that comes to mind most readily.

    Then music became even more visual in the '80s with MTV. Look at the videos to "Jump" and "Panama" from Van Halen's 1984 album and look at the size of Alex' kit by then.

    Metal musicians tend to pride themselves on technical skill, so the ability to play monster drum kits and 12-string basses inevitably became part of the whole bombastic nature of the genre once the shredfest thing got going in the '80s.

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    Rogue - you are partially correct.

    Believe it or not heavy metal actually stole from Jazz, Progressive Rock and Disco when it came to set size.
    Anyone not interested in drum history tune away now, this is long and boring.
    The drum set is actually the Frankenstein creation of the old theater musicians of the early 1900s. When silent film and Vaudeville were the standard, kits were used not only for rhythmic purposes but also for sound effects (which by the way is how the hi-hat was invented, it was originally a sound effect, not a real instrument) Tom-toms were Chinese or Native American in make and were "tacked" on in order to reproduce an array of sounds; before this all percussion was orchestra style.

    Ludwig, Slingerland & Leedy (in the US), and Premier (UK) were some of the very first companies to introduce "Jazz" kits or drumsets. The usually consisted of a bass drum, a snare, a floor tom and mounted tom and an array of cymbals that varied by performer but almost certainly included a ride, a crash and a hi-hat. Eventually by the 40s the 'standard' five piece (two mounted toms) was almost as common as the four piece.

    In the late 50s/early 60s the four and five piece Jazz combo was the standard though a few jazz pioneers (namely Gene Kruppa and Buddy Rich) began to experiment with adding an extra bass drum or another floor tom. Though rock was still using the 'traditional' kit, changes were already happening.

    Rock drummers that notably broke the 4/5 mold were Ginger Baker of Cream (who used 2 basses or kicks, 2 floor toms and three mounted toms), Keith "the Loon" Moon of the Who (who supposedly had all those drums so he wouldn't miss) and Carl Palmer of ELP who added so many orchestral instruments to his traditional kit that he looked like a one-man circus when he preformed lived (and along with Emerson's keyboards along the back wall... you get the picture.) Likewise, the amount of cymbals these guys used started to break the standard three mold as well. Though not pivotal in name the group Iron Butterfly's hit "Ina-goda-da-vida" with its 3 minute drum solo in the middle set the tone for more drums equals better sound.

    By the time the 70s came around most all drummers had 7 to 10 piece kits, even for the most simple music, part of it was the show of course, but drummers were beginning to be released from the mold of 2 & 4 and providing the backbeat. Progressive groups like Rush, Kansas and the like needed all that 'firepower' in order to open the musical envelope while veteran groups like the Grateful Dead used a two drummer attack with a dizzying array of percussion from all over the world during this time period. Disco drummers were also trying to get more sound for the pound and acts like Earth, Wind and Fire and ELO were sporting the monster kits as well. To compensate the drum companies all had 7 - 9 piece kits listed in their catalogs as well as a large selection of add on drums to make really impressive kits.

    Of course as Rogue mentioned KISS played a big part as well, Peter Criss couldn't match the on stage theatrics of his fellow members so his drum riser got larger and larger and eventually became a mobile weapons platform for the band's pyrotechnic show. In the 80s Heavy Metal was very much about bigger is better and many groups felt this meant drums as well as stage shows (ala KISS). The most notorious example was Luis Cardenas who sported a monster 75 piece kit painted in tiger stripes. This was the largest single drum kit at the time and though it has been 'officially' (see note below) been beaten in the Guinness book of World Records in my mind stands as the single largest kit ever created for continuous play.

    One of the problems with these kits is of course the tremendous amount of time and dedication it takes to set them up, get them set just right and still be able to have the drummer hit stuff. The CAGE by TAMA, a rack system that allowed the drummer to build up as well as around, enveloped the drummer allowing them to surround themselves and still function is perhaps the pinnacle of basic technology created for the drumset, however it was the invention and eventual improvement of the electronic kit that eventually started the Preparation-H like shrinkage of the over-sized kit hemorrhoid.

    Neil Peart was the ambassador of electronics when he in 1988 threw half of his kit away and integrated a wide array of electronic triggers to still have the sounds he craved but without having to have a single tractor trailer haul around his drum kit for tours. This came after seeing smaller jazz players like Peter Erskine and Billy Cobham integrate electronics into their normal sets but only for the purpose of electronic sounds.

    The killer came in the 90s when grunge killed the large drumset (like it killed so many other things in music). 4 piece kits became the norm and often the drummer was once again relegated to 2 & 4 with no fills.

    As an aside, many drummers are much better on smaller kits, especially if that's what they are used to, their solos and fills are much more musical and inventive, however when faced with a drummer who has command of a larger kit and its intricacies, they just can't keep up.

    BTW I play a ghosted 9 pieces (an 8 piece with a double-pedal and several electronics thrown in for good measure - viva la grandiose)

    **** Luis Cardenas was replaced as having the largest kit when Chad Smith in conjunction with a Drum Store assembled a massive 129 piece kit for him to play. He did play it, but only once and the kit was just a bunch of 5 and 6 piece sets that they put side by side and then sold off as individual set to fans as a publicity stunt to sell drums. This in my book is cheap, especially since Luis' kit was custom built and with a few exceptions (like the kicks and the dual snares) did NOT have a single replicated piece in the count. He will always in my mind, at least until a real drummer that can back it up and put it out on the road, will always hold that record. ****

    So, does that answer your questions?
    Thunderfoot, bringing the thunder since 1970...something..
    Headmaster of Metal School

    "I may be unconscious, but at least I still look good!" - - Me (at the Halfling Musketeers game GenCon '06)

    On one hand, taking away their weapons is a dead giveaway that they will need them. On the other hand, by the time conflict starts the players will already have opened the rulebooks and found the parts that deal with bare-handed combat, performing disarm moves, and using improvised weapons. Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu. - Shamus Young DM of the Rings

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