Tag Archives: sam dunn

Airing Tonight: “Metal Evolution Pt. 11: Progressive Metal”

They say that all good things must come to an end and that I fear is the case with the solid VH1 Classic documentary “Metal Evolution” the Sam Dunn put so much time and effort into. Tonight airs the final episode, the one that gives us the inside look at “Progressive Metal”. Have you enjoyed this series so far?

In This Episode: The series finale of Metal Evolution features the subgenre progressive metal. Metal was influenced by progressive rock, which used textured sounds and intricate arrangements while incorporating the rock element in its own distinctive way. Modern prog rock most often cites the influences of the percussive guitar-playing of Steve Hackett of Genesis, and the instrumentals of Yes. Meanwhile, King Crimson added much to the development of the genre. Prog rock came to the forefront with the Canadian band Rush which is profiled in a one-on-one with Geddy Lee while on tour in Cleveland, Ohio. The nineties introduced the groundbreaking, innovative sounds of the seminal band Tool who, being the elusive group they are, declined interviews and did not permit broadcast of their music for the documentary. Interviews with members of Queensrÿche, Dream Theater, Mastodon, Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan were also present (as taken from Wikipedia).

Much like the Power Metal stuff that was discussed in the previous weeks installment, I have a very strong personal attachment to the Progressive Metal genre. There are just too many bands that I am listening to today that fall under this particular genre specification such as Rush, Fates Warning, Dream Theater, and well…..far too many more. The down side is that this is the final episode of the series and there is no heavy emphasis on the Death Metal or Black Metal stuff. That much troubled me since each are vital genres in their own right and deserve to be expanded upon. Oh well, perhaps they will continue this eventually and give us this kind of program.

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Airing Tonight: “Metal Evolution Pt. 10: Power Metal”

Speeding with the thunderous force that drives this kind of Metal comes the penultimate episode of “Metal Evolution” and I am speaking of nothing less than the glorious Power Metal which is one of it not my very favorite genre at the moment. Actually it has been for a number of years now so thank you VH1 Classic for delivering us this Sam Dunn documentary.

In This Episode: Completely alien to the genre, Sam Dunn sets off to find out what it’s all about, and why it’s so unfamiliar to him. Tracing its roots back to Europe, he analyzes the differences between traditional heavy metal and power metal, and identifies power metal’s ties to European classical music and the way in which power metal flourishes with metal festivals such as Germany’s Wacken Open Air and Slovenia’s Metal Camp. Notable interviews include Yngwie Malmsteen, members of Blind Guardian, HammerFall, Helloween, Rhapsody, Kamelot, DragonForce and the band that took Power Metal to number one on the European charts: Finland’s Nightwish (Tuomas Holopainen and former vocalist Tarja Turunen). (as taken from Wikipedia)

This is probably going to be my favorite episode of the series because the world is going to get a glimpse of some fantastic bands and let’s face it, when you live in the states you are not getting the level of exposure to this kind of stuff as much as you would had you lived abroad. Sit back and enjoy the ride my friends and then please do look into some of these groups. Trust me on this.

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Airing Tonight: “Metal Evolution Pt. 9: Shock Rock”

It’s time to get shocking with VH1 Classic’s “Metal Evolution” series that reaches its “Shock Rock” episode with this evening’s airing. Are you a fan of this kind of stuff? I know I am.

In This Episode: Unlike any other genre profiled on the show, Shock Rock is defined by its visuals and public image, not by its sound. The genre has roots in Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Arthur Brown. This episode focuses on metal’s impact in pushing the envelope when it came to disturbing and horrific imagery and its place as Public Enemy #1 to conservative America. From its first major figure in Alice Cooper in the 1970s, to early black metal pioneers Venom and Mercyful Fate (featuring the vocal histrionics of lead singer King Diamond) in the 1980s, to Marilyn Manson, who was made a scapegoat for the Columbine High School massacre of 1999. Slipknot and Rammstein (copied from Wikipedia)

As I’ve not yet seen the show I am surprised that they are not citing KISS as a “Shock Rock” act but perhaps they don’t apply as to the definition that they are using. I guess I will know more by tomorrow. I always felt that Motley Crue was a Shock Rock band in the beginning as was W.A.S.P. and kind of chuckle at their citing both Venom and Mercyful Fate who were in my humble opinion more important to other genres as opposed to this one.

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Airing Tonight: “Metal Evolution Pt. 8: Nu-Metal”

Hey Metal fiends, are you still following along with VH1 Classics “Metal Evolution” series? If so, then you will be excited to learn that tonight will air the episode that focuses on “Nu-Metal”. I realize that by saying that genre how several of you immediately lost interest but let’s give the show a look see to find out how it all ties together and what brought it about.

In This Episode: If hair metal was the antithesis of heavy metal purists in the eighties, that was delegated to nu metal in the late nineties. Likewise, if the keyboard was an instrument that such purists felt had no place in a heavy metal band, that disdain was now held by the incorporation of the turntable. Early influences came from bands such as Anthrax and their 1991 collaboration with Public Enemy, Faith No More, even thrashers such as Pantera whose riff-driven hooks were described as “groove metal”, and Sepultura with their 1996 album Roots are given credit. This spawned the rise of a new genre of music influenced by two seemingly opposing forces: Hip Hop and Hard Rock. Nu Metal broke ground and gave way to bands like Korn, Deftones, Rage Against The Machine, and Limp Bizkit. At the height of its popularity the show documents the unfortunate events that conspired in Woodstock in 1999 which included performances by Korn, Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit leading to Nu Metal’s decline soon thereafter. Yet the mantle has still been carried on by acts such as Linkin Park and Disturbed, among others. (taken from Wikipedia)

Don’t hate me for saying this but this is perhaps my least favorite of the genres that Metal has ever offered up. Like many of you I held groups like Limp Bizkit in contempt and felt that Korn and Rage only spoke to me on a couple of occasions. I’m comfortable in saying this to you because this music was not aimed at my particular demographic anyways and it certainly didn’t suffer without our support.

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Airing Tonight: “Metal Evolution Pt. 7: Grunge”

Let’s get those flannel shirts opened and let the facial hair go scraggly as we head to Seattle for the latest installment of the “Metal Evolution” series by VH1 Classic and its “Grunge” episode. Depending on your age, I am wondering what this genre did for you as a fan of Hard and Heavy music.

In This Episode: On April 5, 1994, Kurt Cobain pressed a shotgun to his head and pulled the trigger extinguishing the life of one of rock’s most enigmatic but tortured geniuses and symbolically ending the storybook reign of grunge. In Episode 7 of Metal Evolution, Sam explores grunge, a.k.a. the Seattle Sound, from a decidedly fresher approach, inspiring two fundamental questions: “Why did grunge polarize the Metal community?” and “What are the true roots of grunge?” The Melvins, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam are featured in this episode, as well as post-grunge bands Creed and Nickelback.

Living in the USA when Grunge first made its appearance was like watching a number of styles of Metal you liked go away. I am not kidding because the emphasis was suddenly placed on this more simple form and barely a blink given to the stuff that I loved to much. I was in a band that was playing a blend of the now referred to Traditional Metal with dabs of Thrash to it and suddenly this sound was not on anyone’s interest plate. It was all Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and while I really enjoyed some of that stuff I sure didn’t want to see my favorite stuff be hidden away. Oh well. I am very interested in seeing how Dunn works this chapter out. Hopefully you are too.

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