Thursday, July 30, 2009

Post-Metal: Is There a Forrest in All These Trees?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 2:03 PM

click to enlarge metal2.jpg
Metal subgenres can be a thorny subject for those of us who are silly enough to care what words like "grindcore" or phrases like "blackened death metal" mean. And if you were at last Sunday's Rock 'n Roll Trivia at the Mercy Lounge, you would have witnessed me bombing the the final question on metal subgenres (fuck Lucano Coil). Thankfully, one of the subdivisions of metal absent from that question was post-metal. Not that I dislike bands that get pegged as post-metal but the title itself doesn't make much sense. Other post-genres work in context. Post-punk followed first wave punk, and post-rock, while a silly name in and of itself, is supposed to allude to the idea that the genre's purveyors moved away from traditional rock band instrumentation. Then there's post-hardcore, which pretty much follows the same rules as post-punk. But post-metal isn't necessarily named such because it's preceded by anything--the idea is that the bands mix post-rock with metal. The problem is that the band's playing post-metal have more in common with the kinds of post-rock that focus on quiet, repetitive lines that eventually get louder (see Explosions in the Sky), rather than the earliest, krautrock-inspired post-rock bands for which the genre was christened (see Stereolab), rendering "post-metal" an even more meaningless term. The more accurate description of the style, which includes bands like Isis, Pelican and Red Sparrowes, is that they mostly rip-off Neurosis. So what's the point of all this, you might ask. Evil Bebos are playing at a place called Sky House this Friday, and they have a relatively new track on their MySpace page called "The Severed" that pretty much distills everything you need to know about post-metal. It's also badass. Also playing are Chicagoans The Atlas Moth and Why Intercept?.

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