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RaiCoss

Do you care about lyrics?

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We've talked about this a lot. Most people here and a lot of metal fans I know IRL don't really care too much. I've started to care more as I take my own lyrics more seriously, and some of my favorite non-metal bands, like Swans, really depend on lyrical content for their impact. The only bands I flat out won't listen to based on lyrics are proselytizing Christian metal bands, but I haven't felt like I'm missing out. The important thing for me is that vocals be expressive, and I think good lyrics give a vocalist more opportunities for that. Bad lyrics often drag a band down in my opinion - Suffocation, for instance, I wish I couldn't understand Frank because his lyrics are dumb as bricks.

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Music first. But when it's good and lyrics are good, it results in synergy effect. I don't get most of english language lyrics - they're always too simple to call them "good" (and it's a big majority of this kind), or, in contrary, so complicated that I don't understand even one line without intensive use of dictionary.

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Due to my hearing disorder, I usually have a really hard time picking up on lyrics, but I have to say I'm not too bothered by that. The music and vocal expression are top priorities for me when listening to music. I do read lyrics from time to time out of curiosity.

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Due to my hearing disorder' date=' I usually have a really hard time picking up on lyrics, but I have to say I'm not too bothered by that. The music and vocal expression are top priorities for me when listening to music. I do read lyrics from time to time out of curiosity.[/quote'] Hearing disorder?

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Hearing impairment? Handicap? Disability?
Sorry - I I just couldn't recall you mentioning it, and I was surprised. You can obviously hear well enough to enjoy music and play. I'm curious how it affects your playing. My parents have a friend who plays violin, who is completely deaf - you wouldn't know it to speak with her, as she's an excellent lip reader and has great control over her voice.

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Sorry - I I just couldn't recall you mentioning it' date=' and I was surprised. You can obviously hear well enough to enjoy music and play. I'm curious how it affects your playing. My parents have a friend who plays violin, who is completely deaf - you wouldn't know it to speak with her, as she's an excellent lip reader and has great control over her voice.[/quote'] Well, volume isn't the problem. The closest description I can give you would be 'an issue processing'. For example: I can listen really carefully to someone speaking. I know the vocabulary and his volume is clear to me, but it often happens that I have no idea what he just said. That sounds weird, but it's the best way for me to explain. It does cause some difficulties regarding music. If the interval between notes is small enough (about a semitone to a major second) it's possible I won't be able to tell which one was higher or lower, even if they're played right after each other. In playing music, it's less of a problem since I know my finger positions well and make sure my cello is tuned correctly.

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Well' date=' volume isn't the problem. The closest description I can give you would be 'an issue processing'. For example: I can listen really carefully to someone speaking. I know the vocabulary and his volume is clear to me, but it often happens that I have no idea what he just said. That sounds weird, but it's the best way for me to explain. It does cause some difficulties regarding music. If the interval between notes is small enough (about a semitone to a major second) it's possible I won't be able to tell which one was higher or lower, even if they're played right after each other. In playing music, it's less of a problem since I know my finger positions well and make sure my cello is tuned correctly.[/quote'] Hmm. This sounds familiar to me. Something similar gave me a hard time understanding lyrics, especially when I was younger - they were just strings of syllables, almost a foreign language at times. I don't usually have a problem in conversations, but I've had to ask people to repeat themselves when it does happen. Is this part of why you got interested in languages?

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Hmm. This sounds familiar to me. Something similar gave me a hard time understanding lyrics' date=' especially when I was younger - they were just strings of syllables, almost a foreign language at times. I don't usually have a problem in conversations, but I've had to ask people to repeat themselves when it does happen. Is this part of why you got interested in languages?[/quote'] Well, for a split second I do understand what is being said, yet it feels as if I also forget it at the same time. It's difficult to explain. This hasn't been a (conscious) factor in me getting interested in languages. I have been loving reading since I was able to do so and I guess that kinda sparked my interested in other languages.

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It depends on the context - if the lyrics are telling a story then I tend to view them as an integral part of a song/album. Similarly if the lyrics are particularly funny or thought provoking I think they add to a song. I can, however, enjoy a song with dull lyrics provided the music is enjoyable to me.

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This is a really good thread idea and I think we should resurrect it. 

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of lyrics. I love the written word in general, so for me good lyrics can really augment my enjoyment of the music and take it to the next level. 

Take a recent example. Probably my favourite band right now is Septicflesh. I was drawn to Septicflesh due to the music first and foremost, seeing them live back in 2008, then listening to their albums before buying the CDs. I love everything about the music. Everything.

Recently I had been listening to their latest album 'Titan' quite a lot on youtube while I waited for the CD to arrive. 

The first track on 'Titan' is called 'War in Heaven'. I remember thinking, yeah that's cool I guess but fairly run of the mill. I guess it was about god fighting with lucifer or some shit. Anyway, no biggy, 'War in Heaven', got it. 

Then when I got the CD I sat down and read the lyrics along with the music to discover that it's not actually about that, it's about BLACK HOLES DESTROYING MATTER IN SPACE. 

Amazing. 

"Planets that rule the abyss

The architects behind the carnage

They are black holes in the sky

Predators lurking as spiders"

And with the last line of that verse, "Predators lurking as spiders" it goes into that amazing symphonic riff. The second I heard and understood that line in the context of a black hole, "Predators lurking as spiders" I just lost it. Comparing a black hole to a lurking spider, devouring. What an idea. It's almost too perfect. 

So lyrics 100% add to my enjoyment of music. A great song became for me an all time classic. Bands like Septicflesh have amazing lyrics on themes and ideas that I love: Lovecraft, astronomy, Greek gods. Just everything I love, here it is, appearing in Septicflesh songs. 

This is something that I think a lot of downloaders miss too. Even fans of the band might have missed the importance of "Predators lurking as spiders" line in relation to cosmic phenomena. 

"Dark suns

The mighty atom smashers"

Black holes. The war in heaven. Hats off to the Septicfleshes. 


 

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22 hours ago, Requiem said:

This is a really good thread idea and I think we should resurrect it. 

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of lyrics. I love the written word in general, so for me good lyrics can really augment my enjoyment of the music and take it to the next level. 

Take a recent example. Probably my favourite band right now is Septicflesh. I was drawn to Septicflesh due to the music first and foremost, seeing them live back in 2008, then listening to their albums before buying the CDs. I love everything about the music. Everything.

Recently I had been listening to their latest album 'Titan' quite a lot on youtube while I waited for the CD to arrive. 

The first track on 'Titan' is called 'War in Heaven'. I remember thinking, yeah that's cool I guess but fairly run of the mill. I guess it was about god fighting with lucifer or some shit. Anyway, no biggy, 'War in Heaven', got it. 

Then when I got the CD I sat down and read the lyrics along with the music to discover that it's not actually about that, it's about BLACK HOLES DESTROYING MATTER IN SPACE. 

Amazing. 

"Planets that rule the abyss

The architects behind the carnage

They are black holes in the sky

Predators lurking as spiders"

And with the last line of that verse, "Predators lurking as spiders" it goes into that amazing symphonic riff. The second I heard and understood that line in the context of a black hole, "Predators lurking as spiders" I just lost it. Comparing a black hole to a lurking spider, devouring. What an idea. It's almost too perfect. 

So lyrics 100% add to my enjoyment of music. A great song became for me an all time classic. Bands like Septicflesh have amazing lyrics on themes and ideas that I love: Lovecraft, astronomy, Greek gods. Just everything I love, here it is, appearing in Septicflesh songs. 

This is something that I think a lot of downloaders miss too. Even fans of the band might have missed the importance of "Predators lurking as spiders" line in relation to cosmic phenomena. 

"Dark suns

The mighty atom smashers"

Black holes. The war in heaven. Hats off to the Septicfleshes. 


 

I care about the musical components of the song more but good lyrics add another level of appreciation to the song for me (especially in stuff where you can understand the lyrics easily and they are prominently featured).

Those Septicflesh lyrics are cool though, I should get around to checking them out. 

I also really like Lovecraft and similar authors.

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Just now, Will said:

I care about the musical components of the song more but good lyrics add another level of appreciation to the song for me (especially in stuff where you can understand the lyrics easily and they are prominently featured).

Those septic flesh lyrics are cool though, I should get around to checking them out. 

I also really like Lovecraft and similar authors.

You will love Septicflesh's lyrics then. The first song on the 'Communion' album is called 'Lovecraft's Death' for crying out loud. 

A case in point about lyrics, I was listening to Black Sun Aeon's 'Routa' album today and the booklet doesn't contain the full lyrics. So I have no idea what he's saying. It all sounds good, and I really enjoy it, but knowing a couple of great lines to hang my emotional hat on would just be the seasoning the dish needs. 

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Furthermore, I think lyrics happen to be really important in building the landscape and context of music.

Amorphis using lyrics from the Finnish folklore book 'The Kalevala' to bring history to life.

Cradle of Filth's first four classic albums that remain the pinnacle of gothicism and wordplay.

Katatonia's bleak and poetic expressions of isolation and disenchantment in the modern world.

Woods of Ypres' intelligent and unconventional observations of the folly of misplaced values.

Dissection's anti-cosmic triumphant worship of darkness and death.

The music is fundamental but the lyrics reinforce the emotional twist that the art of metal is all about for me. 

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To me, lyrics are pretty much secondary to music. No matter if it's my own music or any of my favorite bands, I was always more interested in music material and lyrics are kinda, if I really like the song, than I will find something in them. I'm not daying that they don't matter at all to me but I definitely don't find much interest in lyrical content unless it's really, really important to me for some reason. And what's even more interesting is that I can write lyrics and I ahve my own themes but still, music before lyrics.  

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Great lyrics will enhance the overall experience and bad lyrics will negatively impact the experience. I pay more attention to the lyrics of my favourite bands and tend to get a sense of a band's lyrical capabilities before I invest much time into reading them. I usually don't pay attention to lyrics when first listening to an album. 

Most metal bands' lyrics strike me as being generic and this isn't enough to sway my perception of the album either way, unless I had higher expectations. 

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Another example of how knowledge of the lyrics enhances the listening experience in is Marduk's 'Frontschwein'.

Significantly, in the song '503' when Mortuus starts listing the towns/areas that the tanks were rolling through. It's so goddamn haunting and effective, and if you didn't read the lyrics and understand this it would just be more black metal screech effect. Oh man, I get tingles from those parts. It's one of the reasons why 'Frontschwein' stands head and shoulders above the more generic satanic themes/listening experience of Marduk albums like 'Serpent Sermon' or 'Wormwood'. 

The difference between listening to 'Frontschwein' as a bunch of (awesome) riffs and vocalisations compared with listening to it for those riffs, vocals and the WWII stories/events/places detailed in the lyrics is really significant. 

Also a band like Devilment. They have pretty modern, catchy melo-metal at their musical heart which I definitely enjoy, but the whole thing is lifted so excitingly by Dani Filth's lyrics that cover ideas such as the novel Frankenstein, alcohol dependence and even the blonde actresses in Alfred Hitchcock movies. The vibes generated by those lyrics just add so much meaning to the listening experience. 

 

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