In a just and fair world, there would be very little manufactured pop music like that of the endless procession of boy bands like Take That and pop idols like Taylor Swift, all regurgitating musical ideas which revolve around the same four chords played in the same progression. Rick Beato has a video entitled Why Boomers Hate Pop Music (start at 5.00 to miss the boring intro) and of course, he’s absolutely right, because when you’ve grown up on simpler music e.g. Beatles and the British Invasion (that era’s definition of boy bands), at least this was followed up by music becoming more thoughtful, complex and artistic — Procol Harum, Zep, King Crimson etc.
The problem with all the modern music is that it starts simple and stays that way, without any pretense towards greater sophistication. (With notable exceptions like Dream Theater and their ilk — who, by the way, are technical wizards and their music is complex but not very sophisticated.)
As I’ve said in earlier posts like this rant, I find myself drifting more and more towards Eurometal bands because while they too sound fairly alike after a while, at least they come up with interesting songs like Everybody Dies, Sancta Terra and the incredible No More Hollywood Endings. Just remember, all musical genres eventually sound repetitive — classical music works with the same instruments and orchestral setups just as much as metal bands perform their repertoire with the same five or six instruments. This is why the songs have to become more interesting — Rachmaninoff’s Air On A Theme by Paganini uses essentially the same instruments and musical format as Beethoven uses in his Piano Concerto No 4 G major, but they are different works altogether — something that cannot be said for most modern music, where last month’s chart-topper sounds exactly like this month’s, even though they are performed by completely different artists.
Yeah, I know that orchestral metal is really just a development of classical orchestral music, so it should come as no surprise that I would prefer orchestral metal to anything ever written, sung or performed by Ed Sheeran or James Blunt, just as I prefer Chopin to Gilbert & Sullivan.
And of course, a number of the orchestral metal performers are — quelle surprise! — classically trained (Amy Lee, Arjen Lucassen — who is today’s Donald Fagen — and Simone Simons, to name but three) and it shines through their music like a searchlight.
Go ahead and search for bands like Evanescence, Epica, Gentle Storm, Nightwish, Ayreon and… oh heck, just look up Noora Louhimo, Sharon van Adel, Tarja Turenen, Anneke van Giersbergen and Simone Simons, to name but a few.
And just to be absolutely clear: when it comes to vocal ability, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga together aren’t fit to wear Floor Jansen’s eye makeup.
Now go and listen to Ghost Love Score.