I don’t watch the Grammy’s. However, I do take a semi-interest in who wins the so-called, BEST Heavy Rock / Metal Performance Category.
Suffice it to say, I was NOT impressed.
Now, as with music and art of all types, it is subjective; therefore, whatever I say here won’t be agreed upon by everyone – what I say here may not be agreed upon by anyone else.
Oh well…I let last year’s Grammy Awards slide when Judas Priest won in that category, the one mentioned above. I just can’t sit by this year without giving an opinion, no matter how moot it is, or how disagreeable it is among anyone who might read this blog entry.
First of all: Why the hell does the Grammy Awards even include a Metal Category anymore, when: 1) They don’t give a damn about Metal Music; and 2) They (the ones who choose the nominees for the award) don’t have a clue!
They don’t give a damn is obvious because they jumbled up Metal in the Hard Rock category and squished them together. This ALSO goes to show right away that they don’t have clue-one about the awesome music genre – METAL.
They may not also realize that there are many sub-genres of METAL that sound very much different. Therefore, for example, it would be ludicrous to compare MELODIC DEATH METAL music, to say, METAL CORE, or ORCHESTRAL METAL. The themes of the songs (lyrics), the tempo, the types of instruments, the guitar riffs, melodies and solos differ, the drum styles differ, and the voice styles are different. I’m not a huge METAL expert by any means, but even I know these components matter when comparing different types of METAL music.
Thus, it would even be difficult to lump all types of METAL bands into one awards category – it would be asinine to say the least.
(continuing from above)
Second of all…did anyone dig the nominees for ‘BEST Heavy Rock / Metal Performance’?
The Winner: Dah, Dah,…Dahhhhhh! Foo Fighters! What? Foo Fighters… I’m sure there are LOTS and LOTS of Foo Fighters fans out there, and as most people should have figured out, the Grammy Awards are about popularity, not completely about skill, musicianship, or meaningful songs.
“White Limo” – What?
So, being a little open minded, I decided to give “White Limo” a listen, and give FF a fair shake. I listened.
What a stupid song!
I just couldn’t find anything good about this 4 chord song (I think I counted four chords – could be wrong). The singing was like someone wanted to imitate Metal screaming, but way, way, way, horrible. For me, it is a meaningless song for a meaningless award.
I feel that a good METAL Screamer – Growler is someone who can still do their METAL singing and the listener can still understand most of the words, because in many cases, the words of the songs are meaningful. NOT all metal songs portray meaningful stories; however, many GOOD METAL SONGS deal with social issues, or political issues, war, peace, Historical events, or personal reflection and struggles. I feel that it is important for METAL bands to write really good, meaningful songs with EXCEPTIONAL musicianship on top of that.
I definitely do NOT like much of the METAL music out there, BUT, there are some groups that I do appreciate: some for the guitar work ONLY – some for the singing ONLY – and a few bands who have been able to combine GREAT musicianship with GREAT voice and meaningful lyrics.
I gave “On The Backs Of Angels,” by Dream Theater, a listen. It is a respectable song, and way better musicianship than FF.
I started to listen to “Public Enemy No. 1” by Megadeth, but just couldn’t finish listening to it. Sorry Dave. The best thing about Megadeth is Chris Broderick and I suppose if you edit out everyone except Chris’s guitar playing, then I could have liked listening to his part of the song.
Then, I can’t hack Mastodon and Sum 41.
From what I saw, it was slim pick’ens in a category that compares apples and oranges. When that happens, just pick the band that appears to have the most Top 100 Hits, or whatever algorithm they use.
That is my opinion on the Hard Rock / Metal Performance category of the Grammy Awards.
With that out of the way – I will give some of my personal picks for my own imaginary categories: GREAT / BEST Metal Band, BEST GUITAR Player, BEST DRUMMER, BEST METAL VOCALIST MALE & FEMALE, BEST UP-COMING METAL GROUP, BEST UP-COMING FEMALE METAL SINGER, MOST BEAUTIFUL VOICE IN METAL MUSIC (ALL GENRES), BEST EPIC METAL SONG, MOST HARDCORE/BAD-ASS GUITAR PLAYING IN METAL SONGS, TRIBUTE AWARD IN METAL MUSIC.
I could go on with categories, but that is enough. And, I’m sure I won’t offer “comments” for this as music opinions get too ridiculously heated – many people can not understand the idea of “agreeing to disagree” about music likes. Like I said already, most of my thoughts here are moot anyway, and my personal preferences in music tastes.
“And the Award goes to…”
GREAT / BEST Metal Band: NEVERMORE. Too bad they disbanded late last year. Perhaps there is hope that after time, they may get back together.
BEST GUITAR Player: Jeff Loomis.
The reasons Jeff Loomis is the BEST Guitar player are that he CAN combine HIGHLY Technical playing that is interesting and fresh; his Live playing is photocopyish of the studio sound he delivers with each album (difficult to do); he knows music Theory up and down; he Shares his knowledge; AND, he is Humble. That’s why he is the Best.
BEST DRUMMER: Chris Adler (Lamb of God). This is a tough category, could also choose Van Williams (formerly of NEVERMORE), Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall) – too many great drummers.
BEST METAL VOCALIST MALE: Warrel Dane (NEVERMORE). Also a very tough category – could also choose Brian Fair of Shadows Fall.
BEST METAL VOCALIST FEMALE: ANGELA GOSSOW of ARCH ENEMY. And, she’s beautiful too!
Would also have to give this award to the ultra-talented and lovely, Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil – She is a GREAT singer.
BEST UP-COMING METAL GROUP: STRAIGHT LINE STITCH (I have no idea if this is true, but I like their sound, so, that’s what I would say!)
BEST UP-COMING FEMALE METAL SINGER: Alexis Brown (Straight Line Stitch).
MOST BEAUTIFUL VOICE IN METAL MUSIC (ALL GENRES): Simone Johanna Maria Simons, a Dutch coloratura mezzo-soprano singer, who is the lead vocalist of the symphonic metal band, Epica.
BEST EPIC METAL SONG: “THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOUR” by NEVERMORE.
MOST HARDCORE/BAD-ASS GUITAR PLAYING IN METAL SONGS: Jeff Loomis, and could pick so many songs, but let’s just mention “The Termination Proclamation,” (NEVERMORE’s “The Obsidian Conspiracy”); “The Obsidian Conspiracy (NEVERMORE’s “The Obsidian Conspiracy”); “Devil Theory” (Jeff Loomis’s “Zero Order Phase”); TOO MANY to mention.
TRIBUTE AWARD IN METAL MUSIC: …and the award goes to, PANTERA. Got to give this award to PANTERA. A great talent was lost with Dimebag. A couple of their classic songs for me, are “5-Minutes Alone” and “WALK”.
There are my picks for some of my own made-up categories. And, even I am unable to separate the awards into METAL genres – they are very diverse. But, I sure as hell did a better job than the Grammy’s did in showing some respect to really great METAL musicians.