Jumping Darkness Parade

JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: EYAL ON LINE-UP CHANGES

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So I’m sure you’re all aware of this major lineup change for Dimmu Borgir. I’ve been a fan of that band since ’98, and I’ve liked every single one of their records except For All Tid. My favorite lineup of theirs was the Puritanical and Deathcult lineup. For me as a fan, the music those dudes made together is what really sealed the deal for me with that band. I still enjoyed some later stuff, but for me those two records are where it’s at.

I’m sure they’ll find some amazing people and continue to put out great records, but the band that I became a fan of is now altered. And that got me thinking. How many times has this happened, and when does it really matter?

I remember in the olden days THE Megadeth lineup. Dave Mustaine, Dave Ellefson, Marty Friedman, and Nick Menza. Everyone who’s played with them since has been amazing, and Chris Broderick is a BEAST of a guitar player, but for me the prime of Megadeth was Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction. Those two albums, at that time in my life, were what did it for me. Once that lineup was disbanded, that feeling I had was forever altered. I just don’t feel the same. Holy Wars still hits me just as hard as ever, but the dudes who gave me that when I was a kid are no longer there.

Now here’s an example of a band who has gone through multiple lineup changes and I still think they’re amazing… Opeth. I think that no matter who they get, as long as Åkerfeldt stays on his game, that Opeth will retain their magic. And I don’t understand why that is, because when I got into them they absolutely blew my mind, and they were a completely different band at the time. I first saw them in the Blackwater Park days. Blew my mind then, blow my mind now. So yeah, different lineup completely but I don’t care. I still love ’em.

Or how about The Black Dahlia Murder? That’s another band that I’ve always loved, and they’ve had a ton of lineup changes. Somehow they just retain their magic. Is it maybe that some bands have “celebrity” members like Megadeth had Marty Friedman, or Dimmu had Vortex? Members that you associate with that band, and when they’re gone, it kills something for you?

Maybe its that with a band like Black Dahlia I never cared who was in it, just what it sounded like. Bands that retain the same lineup for their entire careers I think are a rarity. Mastodon, Pantera, etc. That’s harder and harder to do in these trying financial times, and so lineup changes will just continue to be an inevitable and everyday part of metal. It’s not something that’s going to change. So I’m trying to figure out why this matters in some cases and why it doesn’t in other cases and I’d like to get your thoughts on the issue.

P.S. – Kevin Talley is still in DAATH.

-EL

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