Music post: Haggard - The Book of Ramblings
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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 10:37 am
Music post: Haggard

For those who enjoy classical music, I promise to get back to that soon! But I keep finding new music in my searches for various things and get intrigued. Yesterday I was on a search for another recording of Herr Mannelig, the Swedish folk song I based a story I wrote around and came up with a recording by a group called Haggard.

Not knowing anything about this group, I went and downloaded the album. They're described as being "German Symphonic metal." Now, I'm not a metal fan by any means. I know a lot of people enjoy it, but it's never been something that struck a chord with me. Except in one specific instance: when it is combined with classical music, especially operatic singing. I have no idea why, but something about the pulsing rhythmic and darkness of the metal plus symphonic or operatic music is just really awesome to me. I don't often think that classical music combines that well with other genres (for instance, Classical versions of Irish traditional tunes simply sound trite), but with metal and other harder rock, it somehow just WORKS.

So anyway, back to Haggard. I'm listening to the album now and enjoying it. It's an interesting combination of opera, symphonic, and metal music.

A few things to listen to:

Herr Mannelig

The Observer -- This may be my favourite one so far, especially for the beginning because there's almost NOTHING better than Baroque metal. Seriously. I know Bach would probably roll over in his grave but I think it's seriously awesome.

I'm admittedly still not all that thrilled with the "death metal voices" but it's part of the style and I can deal with it.

Ok and if that's a little too hard for you, I'll write some more on a favourite classical composer or piece later on.

Tags:

15CommentReply

joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 11:55 am (UTC)

I can't stand Haggard, but only because I can't get past the wild pig grunts courtesy of the male vocalist.

HOWEVER, my favorite in the symphonic metal genre is Therion, who started out as death metal, and eventually became symphonic metal, utilizing - you guessed it - classical music and operatic singers. Secret of the Runes is a prime example of this, and quite possibly their most highly-regarded album. I'm more of a fan of Lemuria/Sirius B, but that could be because they have Mats Levin singing for them for the first time.

Here's Therion performing O Fortuna (the person who made the video used scenes from 300...whatever, enjoy the music. :D)
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=p36ol1yRn2Q

This song is a bonus track on the album Deggial

Here is Hellheim from Secret of the Runes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=OP4Gz5BPzYo

And something more recent (with Mats Levin who is a chameleon of a vocalist and SMOKIN' HOT to boot) - Son of the Staves of Time from Gothic Kabbalah:
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=YY-EOYJQMMY

This band is absolutely amazing live. I've had the priviledge of seeing them TWICE (both times they toured the states) even though they had to tour with a VERY paired-down cast, since they couldn't afford to bring their entire chorus and orchestra to the US with them. And even paired-down they are amazing! They have a live DVD (which I own) which is really outstanding, too.

Metal is a VERY diverse genre of music, and it's not all cacaphonous growling, screaming, and repetatives riffs.
If you dig symphonic metal, I have a few suggestions for you. ;)


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 12:03 pm (UTC)

The pig grunts were the one thing that drove me crazy and I was always disappointed when he came in with them. I loved the Baroque parts and the female singer I was really digging. I'm totally going to check out Therion and any other symphonic metal stuff you want to recommend. I've heard some crossovers but this was really some of the first real metal/classical crossovers I've listened to and I was really digging it.


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joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)

Yngwie Malmsteen (more a guitar hero/shredder than symphonic) LOVES to do neoclassical guitar playing. The guy is amazing, but his ego is insufferable. Though it does make for some hilarious moments, like his donut fit involving Pantera. Hahaha. :D

Sonata Arctica (expecially pre-Unia SA) also does a lot of neoclassical metal. My favorite album is Winterheart's Guild. Oh, and it's mostly really fast and happy-sounding, with depressing lyrics. The tone of the music and the tone of the lyrics are so incongruent. But the band is so fun! I'd suggest "FullMoon" "The Cage" "My Selene" "Victoria's Secret" and "Flag in the Ground" even though Flag is from the newest album, which is somewhat disappointing, IMO. All male vocals, but Tony Kakko is pretty good.

Nightwish is another prime example of symphonic metal with an operatic singer. At least, pre-Dark Passion Play NW is. DPP has a pop vocalist, which completely changes the sound of the band overall beacuse the vocal dynamics are necessarily different. But I digress...

I'd suggest "Passion and the Opera" "Nemo" "Dead to the World" "Angels Fall First" and they did cover "The Phantom of the Opera" which was...okay, but it's not the best cover of that song I've heard. And their bassist/male vocalist, Marco, may annoy you. Or he may not. Either you'll love him, or hate him. Fans seem to be fairly evenly divided on the subject of his vocals.

Epica is one of those bands that formed following NW's emense popularity. They also utilize growls (and not very good ones, either) but for some reason, I still like Epica. and you can hear Simone Simmons' vocal development from album to album. The newest album, Design your Universe is much more interesting than the previous three, IMO, and Simones vocals have REALLY improved and diversified. Songs I would suggest are "Sensorium" "Solitary Ground" "Quietus" "Martyr of the Free World" and "Burn to a Cinder."

I would also highly recommend After Forever, which is no longer together (SADNESS!) but their singer, Floor Jansen is THE best female singer in metal, hands down. She is also the most versatile. She can switch from operatic, to pop, to rock vocals, all within the same song, and without missing a beat. She is amazing and I would give my pinky finger to sing like her. Now, the first two AF albums sound a lot like Epica, but that's because Epica's guitarist/primary grunter started out in AF. And then they kicked him out because he was trying to dictate how the band was run. He seems to have mellowed out in Epica, though. Anyway, songs I would suggest: "Black Tomb" "Emphasis" "Energize Me" and "Equally Destructive"


Oh, and for the record, Tarja (from NW) was 20 when she started in NW, Simone was 18 when she started in Epica, and Floor was 17 when she started in AF, though her career starts with Ayreon when she was 16. AND ALL OF THEM SANG AMAZINGLY AS YOUNG AS THEY WERE. I'm insanely jealous.


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joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)

Oh...also, if this is an April Fools' Joke...well done. :P


ReplyThread Parent
crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC)

LOL it's not actually! Though that would have been pretty funny. If it really were a joke, I would have posted about the greatness that's Ricky Martin and how distraught I am over his being gay. lol


ReplyThread Parent
joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)

Yeah, but that would be too obvious. ;) Pranks of textual nature should be somewhat plausible, to make people think you're serious, even on today.

This post would have made for one epic prank. Hahaha.

UNLESS THIS IS ALL AN ELABORATE PRANK! *trusts no one!* XD


ReplyThread Parent
crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)

It really would be, but I'm actually serious. I've got the names all jotted down and I'm going to do a search tonight. I'm really not a mean person! I don't like doing prank things too much and especially not when someone might take the time to write a well thought out post full of info. That would be SO unfair.

I really haven't heard much symphonic metal and was surprised that I liked some of the Haggard tracks.


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joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)

A friend of mine REALLY loves Haggard. But then, if it's metal that features female vocals, he loves it. He doesn't seem at all picky, even if the metal is horrible. XD But I guess he likes what he likes!


ReplyThread Parent
crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)

Out of curiosity, since you're like my metal expert (lol), I have an album floating around by a group called Sirenia. Have you heard of them? What do you think if you have? I'm downloading some stuff to check out!


ReplyThread Parent
joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)

They're symphonic metal from...Thailand, I think. Not bad, but they aren't really anything unique in the subgenre of symphonic metal. And I believe the singer also doubles as a growler, which I can't imagine is good for her opera singing. But just because I'm not in to them doesn't mean you won't enjoy them. So I do encourage you to check it out and see if you like it. :)

However, I would HIGHLY recommend Diablo Swing Orchestra. It is as awesome as it sounds. Their singer is also an opera singer. She works at the Stockholm opera for a living. SHE IS AMAZING. The whole band is, really. I saw them at ProgPower last year and they impressed a whole lot of people. And since they couldn't bring their brass section along, during one song four of them busted out kazoos and used that in leiu of their absent brass section. It was pretty hilarious.


ReplyThread Parent
crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)

Oh wow I LOVE that name! That name alone makes me want to check them out. Will do!

I really really love the operatic soprano voice with this kind of music. Something about the combination just makes me happy.

I downloaded an album by Epica, Sonata Acrtica (I love their name too!), and another group called Within Temptation that I found linked from one of the other places. Got some listening to do!

www.filestube.com is my friend!


ReplyThread Parent
joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)

Ooh, I do like Within Temptation. I have thier Black Symphony DVD and it's pretty much amazing. No one has any right to be as gorgeous as Sharon den Adel, either.

Here are some things you might like:
Aina: The Metal Opera, Days of Rising Doom (it's more of a collaboration project among a bunch of artists. It's outstanding, though)
http://www.mediafire.com/?q10mn3vzun3

Dark Moor - Autumnal
power metal that uses a whole lot of classic influence. And the singer's (a male) accent is SO FREAKING ADORABLE. Autumnal uses music from Swan Lake.
http://www.mediafire.com/?2xlgukmyoyu

Here is Therion's Deggial:
http://www.mediafire.com/?ydy2gdzjtgz

Midnattsol - Nordlys
Basically, Norwegian folk metal, with a female singer. Carmen has a rich, Mezzo voice. They sing in English and Norwegian
http://www.mediafire.com/?0wmitnmzyyo

Diablo Swing Orchestra - The Butcher's Ballroom
This is their first album. They have two out. The other one is called Singalong Songs for the Damned and Delierious. XD
http://www.mediafire.com/?iytkmycjmmd

These are all from my collection, so if you like any of them, be sure you support the bands and purchase their CDs. :)


ReplyThread Parent
crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)

Oooo fun fun fun!! I'm leaving work soon so I'll download these at home (ok so I shouldn't be downloading shit at work anyway but I do). I'm happy to buy CDs for groups I like. (or more likely, mp3s from amazon.com if they have them as I rarely listen to CDs these days!).


ReplyThread Parent
crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Fri, May. 7th, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)

Ok so old post but...After all the listening I've fallen totally in love with Within Temptation. They're my favourite of the group. I've bought a couple of their albums (well, a couple of their mp3 albums -- I rarely buy CDs anymore! lol) and they're just AWESOME.

Thank you for all your awesome suggestions. I'm going to pick up a few more by other groups when I have more money.


ReplyThread Parent
joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Fri, May. 7th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)

LOL! I was just thinking about the recs I'd made and was wondering how you liked them. XD

If you get a chance to check out Sonta Arctica, go with one of their first four albums. Unia and Days of Grays both moved rather far away from the baroque, neoclassical sound SA is usually known for. Winterhearts Guild and Silence are my favorites, but I do enjoy the s/t album, and Reckoning Night quite a bit, too. :)


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