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Context: RockMusic


Quora Answer : Why do you think electronic music is better than heavy metal music?

Sep 26, 2017

These days heavy metal increasingly IS electronic music.

So, I'm not sure the dichotomy still works.

Let's assume that back in the day, heavy metal was basically a sub-genre of rock.

In that case, it suffered all of the problems with rock : a restricted set of instruments : drums, guitars, bass, singer. A restricted format : albums full of traditional "songs", even if somewhat extreme. Having to work in a genre that had been "mined out" by decades of other musicians doing the same thing.

Electronic had a far wider palette of sounds, and forms, and feelings and themes.

Today, though, it feels to me that metal has a healthier future ahead of it than rock. While rock is still very restricted, metal does seem to be happily ditching these format restrictions. You can find long ambient and experimental dronescapes, dubstep cross-overs, cinematic and symphonic metal that veers close to Broadway musical. Personally I listen a lot to Om, which is half-metal half- religious / new-age chant.

I'm not a metal-head. I don't claim to know metal. But I'll buy an argument that metal is more of a "feel" or "spirit" which can inhabit and animate any musical form. Like 70s prog, or early 80s post-punk or 90s IDM it feels wide-open to new possibilities and reinventions.

Meanwhile, while electronic music is also an incredibly open and diverse field of exploration, most of what is now established as mainstream, especially EDM seems to me to be boring as hell.

But then talking about "electronic" as a single genre is probably misleading. Increasingly all music involves some electronics, for recording, processing, effects, instruments, sequencing etc.

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