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Thu, 01 Nov 2007

Metal existance

There's an album out from Nightwish called Dark Passion Play which has a sticker on it proclaiming them to be the best Metal band of all time. This could well be true, I suppose.

Listening to this album, it seems a little like light opera - Gilbert and Sullivan or Andrew Lloyd Webber for people who drink a lot lot of beer. I imagine the conversation amongst the band was quite similar to a legion of big guitar bands from the past who had sudden urges to do art and maybe similar to the one that pursuaded a band of old East German rockers (think long grey hair, gum chewing mean looks, and some almost cool single coil noises) to appear in front of one of Berlin's orchestras in the Gendamenmarkt. Though maybe this last was a simple case of deciding to take the money while it was there. In the other cases it had more than a little to do with wanting to get out of those black jeans and into a white caftan.

So, anyway, this thing from Nightwish is not the HM we might love or loathe - the cartoonish riffing for one thing is well back in the mix and there are all sorts of other more effete things scooting around in there. This is what you might expect from a Concept Album.

HM itself has a huge following right through Europe complete with mythology like the story of the Belgian event where beer drinkers are lined up drinking and peeing simultaneously. Basic is the word we want here - along with smelly. Belgium is also famous for techno parties where you pay something like 10 or 15 Euros in places like Lille in France, and then get bussed to an unidentified building in Belgium where you can drink all you want for no extra, and get pounded by techno of differing quality. Understandably, this is a popular way for students to lose a weekend or two.

I can't be too rude about HM though. The sheer basic exuberence of big guitar with the volume on 11 can lead to moments of primal exaltation.

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