Breakdowns are SO 2004; I’m Into Fixups!
The widely accepted opinion amongst us IMNs is that the breakdown is, well, broken down. Although the breakdown has existed in some form or another since the advent of death metal (at least), over the course of the past ten-to-fifteen years, so-called “core” bands have more or less run it into the ground. Even the work of bands that can still do breakdowns “the right way” — as a brief climax to the song, not as, like, the whole fucking song itself — has been diminished as a result of this abuse of the technique. Something so prevalent simply cannot maintain its power.
Fixups, on the other hand, remain a largely untapped resource in modern metal.
What is a fixup, you ask? Well, unlike a breakdown, which propels a song into controlled chaos, a fixup is when a previously-heavy song suddenly takes a turn for the meditative and/or melancholic, and just gets generally more melodic. Sometimes the fixup comes in the middle of the song, and sometimes it comes at the end. Sometimes it’s just a repeat of a slow intro, so the fixup actually bookends the song. There are lotsa ways to use fixups!
One band that has a really amazing talent for fixups is longtime MetalSucks faves Meek is Murder, as evidenced by their song “Sundowners” (fixup kicks in at the twenty-one second mark):
Get the idea?
Here are some other songs featuring fixups that I think are just tops:
What are YOUR favorite fixups? Do you think fixups will ever replace breakdowns as one of the most laughably overused aspects of metal? Weigh in the comments section below!