Question of the Week

Question Of The Week: Not-So-Instant Classics

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Question Of The Week: Not-So-Instant Classics
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What’s up MetalSucks readers! Welcome to today’s MS Question Of The Week! So hey u are into metal, and from that fact we may surmise that u will accept a challenge when it comes to complicated or dense or singular or precedent-free music. U will throw down the hours, spins, and energy required to decipher the most unusual and tricky jamz. And as such, u will experience the most intense enjoyment once an album finally reveals its secret to your searching ears. U sit there thinking, This shit seemed cool, but I didn’t quite get it, but I knew it was awesome, and now I win! Excelsior! 

Everybody loves when that happens! So let’s share those tough listens and shirt-ripping triumphs in this Question Of The Week! Urge on other frustrated metal listeners! Encourage masterpieces of tomorrow! Remind our Metal musicians to keep getting as nasty as they wanna be cuz we’ll figure out their wildest artistic statements … eventually. lol 

Fearless. Controversial. Half-baked. We give it to you straight every Friday afternoon. Straight from the to-do pile to the hall-of-fame pile! Here’s this week’s question:

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Inspired by challenging music with elusive appeal, we asked our staff the following question:

Of all the albums u now super-love, which required the most time, listens, and/or effort to get into?

Read the MS Staff’s answers then reply below! Don’t say Lulu!

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Question Of The Week: Not-So-Instant ClassicsSATAN ROSENBLOOM
I had to buy Emperor‘s Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise three times before I finally understood it. The first time came just a little too early in my metal-listening career for me to handle its density; I remember staring at its majestic grey-scale cover art and wanting to love it, but not really hearing the music amid all those layers. The second, I bought a used copy at Lou’s Records in Encinitas, but opened the case to the find some shitty band’s CD so I had to get a refund of my $4.99. The third, I finally had decent speakers and a few more years’ worth of existential despair under my belt, and manoman did Prometheus ever click. This is one of few instances where I agree with the “more is more” principle: Ihsahn put everything into Prometheus. He’s made great records since, but to me, this was the pinnacle, the record where the Emperor project became fully realized. And as I wrote for MS back in 2009, Prometheus became one of my favorite metal albums of the 21st century.

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Question Of The Week: Not-So-Instant ClassicsVINCE NEILSTEIN
Gojira‘s 2012 album L’Enfant Sauvage. It didn’t grab me at first; something about the guitar tone, mix, and/or master was rubbing me the wrong way (it seemed so loud and fuzzy). I never disliked it — it just didn’t overwhelm me the way I’d hoped for from new Gojira music. But I’m glad I stuck with it. Its songs grew on me and it has all the Gojira-ism that we came for in the first place. L’Enfant might not be an evolution of the Gojira sound, but the songs are as solid as any they’ve ever written.

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Question Of The Week: Not-So-Instant ClassicsABYSMAL SHAWN
For me it wasn’t an album, but a band: Mastodon. I checked them out briefly before hitting up the 2005 Unholy Alliance tour and wasn’t feeling their stuff at all. But their performance that night enlightened me. Then Blood Mountain came out, which I found to be not nearly as badass as the first two records. But once Crack the Skye dropped, I understood and appreciated where Blood Mountain fit in. My jury’s still out on Crack The Skye; depending on the day, I either can’t get enough of it or can’t stomach it at all. (It holds the record for the CD that I’ve sold and re-bought the most: four times.) Similarly, I listened to The Hunter a lot only around that co-headlining trek with Opeth, but it’s is pretty cool I guess. I still hope the phrase “It’s just the curl of the burl” catches on and becomes a thing. But when all is said and done, Mastodon is at #30 on my Last.fm with more than 1400 plays — yet I still can’t decide whether or not I like them.

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Question Of The Week: Not-So-Instant ClassicsLEYLA FORD
I don’t really force myself to like albums. If one doesn’t immediately hook me, then the outlook is not so good. But a few albums have grown on me: like Iron Maiden‘s Dance Of Death. Everything about that album — the tone, the songs, the artwork, to name a few — bored me stupid. But a song from it would come up on random, and after a while I grudgingly got to like them. Even “Dance of Death” at a mind-numbing eight and a half minutes rose to the rank of “okay.” It helps to experience it in concert when you’re so excited to be there that even crappy songs get a pass. Sometimes. And “Rainmaker” is my favorite Maiden song now.

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Question Of The Week: Not-So-Instant ClassicsANSO DF
Early in 1991, Saturday Night Live aired a hilarious sketch called The Sinatra Group, which parodied the roundtable news discussion The MacLaughlin Group. Phil Hartman plays host Frank Sinatra at his embittered-asshole worst, and is joined by Luke from 2 Live Crew (Chris Rock), Billy Idol (Sting), Sinéad O’Connor (Jan Hooks), and Steve Lawrence & Edie Gourmet (Mike Myers & Victoria Jackson). For topic #4, the surly relic asks brusquely, “Milli Vanilli: What is this faggot crap?” And those scandalous words were fresh in my mind a few months later when I first heard Streets: A Rock Opera by Savatage, a dignity-free concept album about a dreamer’s rise to the top and flaming crash back to the bottom. My brah got into it right away, and sure enough after a hundred second-hand listens, I was hooked by super-guitarist Criss Oliva — his leads on that record are whoa — and soon by the proto-TSO showchoir foofery of big fat genius Jon Oliva. Think Operation: Mindcrime on Broadway; in other words awesome as fuck, every goddamn note — even its Christian-rock finale — and gosh here in 2013 it seems way less fruity next to the last four W.A.S.P. albums.

 

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Question Of The Week: Not-So-Instant ClassicsSAMMY O’HAGAR
In theory, it’s Emperor‘s Prometheus: The Discipline Of Whatever And So On. But I can’t say that I’m into the album yet. Back in 2003, Prometheus was presented to me as “one of the densest metal albums you’ll ever hear.” I was instructed to not focus on “Thorns On My Grave,” as it wasn’t a typical Emperor song (even if it’s the closest thing to a “single” on the album). So what did I do? I listened to “Thorns” a bunch of times then tossed the album aside after the rest of it didn’t click. But whenever I saw it on my iPod or I packed it away, I knew that someday I would do the necessary work to decode it. Five years later, I was in the perfect mood for complexly constructed black(ish) metal. Lo and behold, I dove back into Prometheus and heard a bunch of new things. The riffs, while proggy and difficult, have a Wagnerian grandiosity to them. It’s a lot to swallow but worth it. I need to spend more time with it still, but I feel now like the album has a point and will provide me with an answer. I didn’t really warm to Ihsahn’s album from last year, but I know I’ll give it another shot sometime after the Obama administration and once President Gosling is sworn in.

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