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Debate: Satori by Flower Travellin' Band is metal

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Poll Question: Is Satori metal?
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TheHeavyMetalCat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheHeavyMetalCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Debate: Satori by Flower Travellin' Band is metal
    Posted: 10 Sep 2017 at 5:39am
Just checked this album out on a recommendation. It was Japanese group Flower Travellin' Band's second album (first of original material). It came out in 1971 and for the time period I was quite surprised by how heavy it was, and to me seems to have characteristics of both heavy metal and doom metal. What do you think? We have it in hard rock here (agreed by RYM's heavy psych tag) but to me this band sounds like something more on the level with bands like Black Sabbath (who they covered on their first album), Budgie and Sir Lord Baltimore.


http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/flower-travellin-band/satori


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote voila_la_scorie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2017 at 6:34am
The first track is excellent early doom metal and very obviously inspired by Black Sabbath. It's actually quite unusual to find a song that intense and dark in those years. I don't recall tracks 2-4 so well but track 5 also has some great heavy stuff if I recall correctly. I bought this album two, maybe three years ago. I believe I wrote a review for it. I think it's proto-metal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2017 at 9:43am
I had never heard of this band before, but I checked it out, and I would agree with you. While there's a lot of hard rock in the 70's that crosses into metal territory, this does sound like some serious Black Sabbath worship. Why am I not surprised that RYM doesn't know what they're talking about and doesn't have heavy metal or doom metal as at least secondary. Wink

Edited by Unitron - 10 Sep 2017 at 3:49pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 666sharon666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2017 at 11:42am
I'd need to have a full listen before acting but a quick sample suggests this needs moving on MMA. Actually, this seems like it may actually be more metal than Sir Lord Baltimore's debut, if memory serves.

This is their version of Black Sabbath from their previous album:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sisslith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2017 at 12:56pm
Just streamed the whole album. For me, it's more heavy metal with doom metal elements than hard rock (though it's also there)...  Many parts of the album do sound like early Black Sabbath. Maybe it should be tagged as traditional heavy metal, or at least proto-metal.

I can't say whether the heavy psych tag on RYM is appropriate since I haven't listened to many albums of the genre...


Edited by Sisslith - 10 Sep 2017 at 2:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2017 at 1:59pm
I can reasonably see this as heavy psych but I do have to agree. This is well in excess of the minimum metal requirements of MMA. 

Loved the album too. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheHeavyMetalCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2017 at 8:57am
So I'm not thinking crazy then. Good to know. ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 666sharon666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2017 at 11:44am
No, you're not thinking crazy. In fact unless someone can come up with a good reason not to I think I'm going to move this release into Heavy Metal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 2:13pm
So can the album be moved to heavy metal then? I don't see anyone disagreeing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 666sharon666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 2:46pm
I'd really like to hear at least a couple more opinions first. To my ears it's pretty obviously a metal album, especially for an early 70's release, but this topic is still only a couple of days old at the moment, and there are still quite a few active or semi-active collabs who haven't posted here. They deserve a bit of time to do so, if they're going to. This isn't actually a case where the band/album is widely accepted into the early metal canon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 7:21pm
I own this album. I consider it heavy psych that is heavier than usual. I would probably vote for proto-metal myself since it's not really a metal album in the traditional sense

70s hard rock is most notably characterized by a bluesy shuffle with the decibalage cranked up. Satori is more of a psychedelic experience that happens to have heaviness. Even RYM lists this exclusively as heavy psych, however it doesn't really matter to me where it ultimately ends up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 7:25pm
One question i have always had is why a band like this would be considered metal when it uses slow distorted riffs but a much more energetic band like Van Halen which has monster riffing and blitzkrieg guitar solos is only considered hard rock. Seems illogical
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 10:43pm
Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

One question i have always had is why a band like this would be considered metal when it uses slow distorted riffs but a much more energetic band like Van Halen which has monster riffing and blitzkrieg guitar solos is only considered hard rock. Seems illogical

I consider some of Van Halen's stuff heavy metal, but that's besides the point. You can be as energetic as possible and have riffs and guitar solos, and that doesn't always make something metal. Metal is about technique and sound as much as it is heaviness. Think about it this way, what other genre of music uses slow, brooding, heavy, and distorted riffing all in one? The riffs on Satori are right out of the 70's Black Sabbath playbook. Would you call Black Sabbath heavy psych or proto-metal rather than Heavy Metal?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheHeavyMetalCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 1:36am
Originally posted by siLLy
 puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

Even RYM lists this exclusively as heavy psych


Yes but its not as if metal tags are being unanimously voted down on it either. It might be contested but there's still a strong support for this being a metal album there. Most of the comments (often a better source of the correct genre on such heavily debated albums) support heavy metal over heavy psych.

Revolution666 hit the nail on the head regarding this vote:

Originally posted by Revolution666 Revolution666 wrote:

Top 10 Most Fucked Genre Pages on RYM

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheHeavyMetalCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 1:40am
I'm also pretty sure that under site rules this can't be placed in Proto Metal if it's a fully fledged heavy psych album.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 666sharon666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 6:18am
Originally posted by TheHeavyMetalCat TheHeavyMetalCat wrote:

Revolution666 hit the nail on the head regarding this vote:

Originally posted by Revolution666 Revolution666 wrote:

Top 10 Most Fucked Genre Pages on RYM



There are more than ten pages deserving to be in such a top 10 that's for sure.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 10:34am
Originally posted by TheHeavyMetalCat TheHeavyMetalCat wrote:

I'm also pretty sure that under site rules this can't be placed in Proto Metal if it's a fully fledged heavy psych album.

Correct, but this wasn't always the policy so there's probably a fair bit of hard rock still in proto that shouldn't be. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 666sharon666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 11:04am
Satori actually was in Proto until very recently but was moved when I went through the F entries in Hard Rock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 666sharon666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 11:27am
Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

it's not really a metal album in the traditional sense


I'd argue that a traditional sense for metal didn't exist in 1971.

70's heavy metal is actually a very small pool of artists unless you want to count groups like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple who, while they may have been included in the fledgling heavy metal genre/scene then, are now widely considered 'just' hard rock bands.

Until the mid to late 70's there are actually very few groups that have a Heavy Metal tag either on RYM or here on MMA itself. From RYM's charts:

1970:

Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Sir Lord Baltimore - Kingdom Come

1971:

Black Sabbath - Master of Reality
Budgie - Budgie
Bang - Bang

1972:

Black Sabbath - Vol 4
Budgie - Squawk

1974:

Budgie - In For the Kill

1975:

Black Sabbath - Sabotage

That's literally just four bands and ten albums and all of them considered part hard rock. That's nowhere near enough to consider the heavy metal sound standardised.

'76 brings Judas Priest and Rainbow into the picture and this is our cut off year for Proto-Metal, so between them Rising and Sad Wings of Destiny could be seen as the first truly defining heavy metal albums, especially Sad Wings, which is the earliest heavy metal tagged album on RYM that doesn't have hard rock as a co-Primary.

This paves way for further bands in '77 such as Riot, Motörhead and Quartz, whose self-titled is the earliest release typically included as part of the NWoBHM. Personally I can't help but wonder if that's a little too early, but that's another debate.

Bearing this in mind, I don't think Satori should be judged by standards that only came to be years after its release. It needs to be judged as a contemporary of Black Sabbath, Budgie, Sir Lord Baltimore and Bang.

It may not be in line with the popular view, but I do think this album warrants Flower Travellin' Band being considered a fifth true early heavy metal act on MMA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 666sharon666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 11:37am
Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

One question i have always had is why a band like this would be considered metal when it uses slow distorted riffs but a much more energetic band like Van Halen which has monster riffing and blitzkrieg guitar solos is only considered hard rock. Seems illogical


I wouldn't say that Van Halen is considered only hard rock. Many of their albums have heavy metal recognised as a secondary on RYM. Think of them as a hard rock and heavy metal band, who lean more heavily on the hard rock side.
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