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    • Hard Hitters vs. Smashing?
      If you want to talk about the darkness in music, at least commercially, I would trace it back to Sabbath, and the supposed satanic influences in Zeppelin music.  Look at the things Alice Cooper did in his shows.  But listen to him talk, he wasn't and still isn't a bad guy, as dark as a lot of that imagery was.  It was all a show.  Other bands simply took these as marketing gimmicks, and made them bigger.    Iron Maiden starts getting big with mythic overtones to it's music and a zombie character as their trademark, Ozzy uses the incident with the bat to sell his crazy Prince of Darkness image.  Dio's trademark image was a chain wielding demon.  These guys laid the foundation by influencing younger musicians, then it expands from there.  A lot of metal bands like W.A.S.P. and Motley Crue took those theatrics and symbolism and ran with it.  Once thrash found it's voice it naturally lent itself to death metal and black metal.  Neither are my taste, but I'm sure there's a lot of good musicians in that bunch.     Think about this too, late 70's early 80's saw a new breed of horror film hit just as the US box office was seeing surges in ticket sales with the birth of the blockbuster.  These things permeate the social consciousness too, and in many ways cross over into darker music.  The album cover doe Anthrax's Among the Living was inspired by a combination of Reverend Kane from Poltergeist II (a holy man with evil and contempt in his heart) and Randall Flagg from Stephen King's The Stand, a book about apocalypse and the aftermath which was essentially a fight between God and the devil.  You had The Exorcist (a movie that scares the shit out of me to this day) making almost as much bank as Star Wars, and you see how that series has transcended in our culture (not just popular culture anymore). You had these genres find purchase in a decade where art started to really push accepted boundaries.  That gave us the PG-13 rating and the joy of the PMRC.  With all of this in mind, it's easy to see where these bands found enough to build their foundations.  Some do it just because they like that kind of music, some do it because it can be a lucrative gig, and others because they really live it.  Those are the guys I'm more wary of, true nihilists who may have sociopathic tendencies.  But these people are in every walk of life too.  We just don't see them in the public spotlight until something goes bad.  I've heard of too many bad cops and clergy to not see that. What I'm trying to say is that just because they are into that music, doesn't make them bad people.  And just because the music is aggressive, it doesn't mean it's preaching violence and hate. DieHard, I don't know what the Legend album is.  I'm sorry if you explained in another thread, but can you tell me please?  If this is something you can put out there and influence new musicians in what you feel is a positive way?  If so, by all means, man, get it out there.  Make your voice heard.  Silence is so often resigned defeat and apathy.  Don't fall into that.  Fight back, dude, let it be heard.    
    • Hard Hitters vs. Smashing?
      Just to clarify my comments from earlier, (I want to make sure I don't sound hypocritical) I don't have a problem with hard hitters or aggression in music, especially for drummers.  What's more primal than beating a skin with a stick?  For me the two have always been tied together.  For me, it's therapeutic. What bugs me is bad technique and disrespect for the instrument.   These are personal pet peeves for me, which means all of this is subjective...just my opinion.  Watching guys that hit THROUGH the instrument instead of using that crisp snap of arms, wrist and fingers that accepts the rebound of the stick, bugs the hell out of me.  Doesn't make them bad drummers or bad people.  I hate watching the guy from Godsmack play, but I have no doubt he'd outplay me in a heartbeat.  But seeing it grates on me, and I can usually hear it in the feel of the music too.  TO ME it's a detriment, where you've knocked things out of balance and taken away from the music instead of adding to it.  Sean Fuller, had the same vibe to me.  Drove me nuts.   That's how their passion manifests itself, and I won't judge them for that, it's not like they're hurting anyone.  But TO ME, it looks foolish and worse, TO ME it sounds bad.   
    • Hard Hitters vs. Smashing?
      Many people get Neil's last name wrong.  Many say it like the shampoo, Pert.  It is pronounced like the word Pea, with rt on the end.  I think Logogogue just beat me to this as I am typing. 
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