Grab a pencil and a notepad, Professor Joe’s about to take u 2 skool. Metal skool.
Scientists, musicians, and philosophers have tried in vain to create an iron-clad model for categorizing the many varied strains of metal. For years, the standard has been genre classification, an ultimately useless (though occasionally hilarious) stab at psuedo-science. Genre classification in metal is far too unwieldy to remain the dominant paradigm. With each genre tag, we take into account such wildly disparate elements as instrumentation, region of origin, scene-identification, vocal styles, as well as unnecessary proto- and post- prefixes, and -core modifiers. It has to stop. Your shitty Bandcamp lists #slam as a genre when the music is clearly closer to #gorenoise. No, we must push for a more thorough approach to cataloging the music we so thoughtlessly inject into our orifices.
To advance our cause, we must strip away unnecessary taxonomy and delve into the atomic structure of music. No, not music theory, stupid. We must go deeper. Today, we will begin classification of music by using the only factors that really matter: Intelligence and Fun.
Ladies and gentlemen of the scientific community, I present my system for the betterment of metal: Thrashnkill’s Continuum of Cognitive Metallic Identification.
In this highly scientific model, the X-axis represents the amount of fun a participant is allowed to have in association with the music, and the Y-axis represents the level of intelligence inherent in this musical product. In practice, this graph presents four quadrants for easy classification.
The Idiot Sphere:
Oh dear. If you’re not smart and you’re not fun, you’re gonna have a tough time making friends. Music found within The Idiot Sphere is marked by excessively negative, and often wildly incorrect opinions. Furthermore, bands within this category tend to eschew the element of Fun in favor of tuff-guy posturing and/or referring to their concerts as “rituals” like a bunch of goddamn dorks.
Quintessential Act: Recluse
The Nerd Locker:
If a band knows everything about complex time signatures, obscure modes, and poly-rhythms but doesn’t know how to shotgun an Olde English, it might belong in The Nerd Locker. Despite the utter absence of Fun, many bands within this quadrant tend to amass large audiences of similar, humorless followers.
Quintessential Act: “Jazz”
The Dope Spot:
Is the music created by knuckle-draggers with hearts of gold? Idiots that can get the party started? Total dummies but they have a case of beer and a puppy? The Dope Spot is the proper classification quadrant for these energy-filled bands with barely-functional cognitive abilities. Music within is often marked by wild mosh pits and piles of novelty merch.
Quintessential Act: Municipal Waste
The Brilliance Quadrant:
This quadrant is the most sparsely populated field in the Thrashnkill Continuum. Bands within The Brilliance Quadrant are capable of parlaying intense musical skill and heady lyrical themes into an immersive display without being a bunch of total boner killers.
Quintessential Act: Iron Maiden
Though it’s far beyond our current technological abilities, I predict that future generations of scientists will evolve the Thrashnkill Continuum even further into a 3D model that accounts for a Z-axis that will establish a range from wicked-bad-vibes to hella-good-feelings. Unfortunately, our nascent scientific findings are not yet equipped for these futuristic models.
I understand that new scientific advances can be difficult to wrap your head around. Regardless, I’m confident that my model will immediately be the basis for all music identification, from now til the end of time. You’re welcome, Earth.