Ever since the late 1990’s metal has been far and away my favourite genre of music, to the point where there were entire periods of my life where I dismissed every other form of music and devoted my earholes strictly to its charms. Over all that time of listening there have been plenty of aspects that I’ve disliked or grown tired of though. Some of them are deal breakers. In the past, I would listen contently and not really take notice of a specific aspect of a band’s sound which would some day become tiresome or even just plain annoying. Other times, if I heard them I’d think “This is garbage, I’d never listen to that,” only to eventually come around through a particular band who opened up a whole bunch of other niches for me to explore.
Today, I’m going to air some grievances about that which I hold dear, and then it will be time for you to do the same. This Sunday Sesh is for you to say GTFO.
Now, I’m not just going to pick something I have always disliked about metal or something universally derided. It would be too easy to say GTFO to something cheesy or obviously cringe-worthy, so I’m going to choose something that has only recently started to get my goat. It’s not even something overly prominent or frequently used, but when I hear it now, I just think why? My issue is with that announcer-style effect vocalists use sometimes. I’ll drop in a recent example so you know what I’m complaining about.
The effect comes in at around 3:19 on this killer Aosoth track from their most recent split with Order Of Orias. Now don’t get me wrong, I fucking love this track. It’s ominous, engaging and unsettling. Yet I find the use of that vocal effect to be the most jarring feature of the song. As soon as it begins, I’m sucked right out of the intricate and dense atmosphere Aosoth had created through the excellent introduction, and it takes a minute or two to re-enter that mental plane. I guess I just don’t understand the point of it. Maybe it works for you? As I said previously, this is just the most recent example I could think of. There are probably much more annoying examples than this and, for the record, I still really enjoy this track.
Now I’m sure there are/were times when this effect was cool and served its purpose. For me, there has only been one time and one time only. That being when Apollo 11 first landed on the Moon and the astronauts relayed back their success to the groundstaff at Houston. That was in 1969, and they didn’t use that technology because it sounded awesome but rather due to it being the best audio quality they had to work with at the time. The only other time I ever want to hear this effect again is when dolphins eventually evolve knees, inevitably enslave the remaining human population and send space travelling Orcas to ultimately terraform and subsequently colonise the subterranean oceans of Europa. When they plant the unified flag of Cetacea on the icy crust of Jupiter’s most intriguing moon and relay back the message to President Bottlenose, it will be in that shitty announcer voice-over sound, if only to mock us petty humans.
I may have taken a tangential course there. You get my point, there was one somewhere, maybe. Now it’s your turn to let us know what you want to GTFO out of metal. If you could choose just one thing to remove, never to be heard again, what would it be? Let’s hear them in the comment section and maybe include the most glaring instance of your choice. Try to pick something from an artist or sub-genre you actually enjoy with the thought of improving it through constructive criticism.