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Keyboards in Metal. How can this be?

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jampa17 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 4:02pm
Well, I was very disapointed when I was a teen because there was no rock music with keyboards in the late 90's. I wonder if the instrument was not heavy enough or if the instrument was not good enough. Luckly, I found bands like Dream Theater, Angra, Stratovarious and another that really succed in that. Now we have a lot of this kind of metal in sub genres like Symphonic Metal, Prog Metal and Power Metal, but some purist still denied the keyboards as an important part of metal. What do you think about it?
 
We can denied the importance of John Lord in metal? please, share your thoughts about it...
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micky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 4:17pm
well... as much as I love keyboards...  it is like crying about lack of guitar in electronic music.  Metal is all about guitar.  Keyboards can be a creative flavor to metal... as say the guitar was in Tangerine Dream but I definitely can relate to those who deny the importance of the keyboards in metal.. because.. well.. they are not important to it.  Only as important to as a flavor to 'good' 'creative' metal as good musicianship and attention to songwriting and melody are to good music.  Not important.. but it sure helps to make good interesting music haha. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote J-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 4:24pm
Keyboards are not essential to metal, but they can really add a lot of atmosphere and creativity to otherwise lackluster titles. I always love when I hear a death metal release that incorporates atmospheric and haunting keyboards into their sound. It can really add a nice touch, if done correctly of course. I'm sure people will disagree with me, but people always disagree with me haha...

Guitar, Bass, and Drums are the only really "essential" instruments of metal, but keyboards are just as important to certain subgenres of metal. It all boils down to personal taste.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Negoba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 4:28pm
Bass is not essential. Just listen to the classic ...and Justice for All. Tongue
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 4:36pm
Originally posted by Negoba Negoba wrote:

Bass is not essential. Just listen to the classic ...and Justice for All. Tongue
 
 


LOL Clap

bass is another one that is not exactly important.. unless you consider doubling the guitar riff to make it heavier important (all back to the importance of the guitar)

all like keyboards... a melodic (and audible LOL) bass can only metal better.. but far from important.  There is a reason the greatest bass players generally come from R&B, jazz, and prog... and not metal. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 4:57pm
As much as I love Jon Lord (I've been posting my PA Deep Purple reviews in the past hour or so), his keyboards work so well because they find a perfect foil in the guitar played by a certain Mr Ritchie Blackmore. It is the combination of both those instruments that makes DP's sound as exciting as it is, IMHO. Micky said it well... Metal is, and always will be, guitar-based. Keyboards can add some extra spice, but they will never be the main ingredient. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 9:18pm
Keyboards definitely aren't essential in metal, never have been.
In fact I hate the way most power metal bands use keyboards. Keyboard solo after keyboard solo, arghh. It just gets on my nerves.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 9:23pm
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

Originally posted by Negoba Negoba wrote:

Bass is not essential. Just listen to the classic ...and Justice for All. Tongue
 
 


bass is another one that is not exactly important.. unless you consider doubling the guitar riff to make it heavier important (all back to the importance of the guitar)



Well yeah, any metalhead that knows anything about metal should know that doubling the guitar IS important.
There is never a point where the bass guitar isn't important in metal.
If you've ever heard a mix with a bass guitar side by side with one without a bass guitar, you definitely don't take bass guitar for granted after that.
A lot of people say "I Can't hear the bass guitar" which to me is silly. It only seems that way because a good mix engineer knows how to blend the bass guitar and guitar tracks together well so they sound seamless.
Without a bass guitar, the only thing holding down the low end of a mix is a kick drum, which isn't sufficient enough to do it by itself.
It's not and never has been about making it "heavier". It's just about ensuring you have a full sounding mix that covers a good range of the frequency spectrum rather than having a huge hole in the sub bass and mid bass.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 10:22pm
Others have said that keyboards are not essential to metal, and I would agree with that, but I would take it farther and say that for certain types of metal, keyboards downright detract from the experience. For example, my favorite subgenre is sludge. I can't imagine a band like Crowbar being made better by keyboards. It misses the whole point. That being said, certain other subgenres benefit hugely from keyboards. Dio uses keyboards to great effect. So my overall point is "it depends."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coorpz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2010 at 11:53pm
Like that guy said, it's all a matter of your taste. I am sure bands wouldn't give up doing what they like doing, incorporating the instruments they like to use and play just to please you. I might be coming off like a dick here, but assuredly it's not my intent. Simply, if you don't like what they are doing  a) either its not your type of music  or  b) just don't listen to that band.   Who's definition of 'metal' are you going by? Yours? Theirs? It's different for everyone. Else, we would have x50000 Iron Maiden replicas walking about.

There is no point to being one dimensional, sometimes I find that bands are so much better when they let themselves speak what they define as much, but sadly a lot of them like to play 'traditionally' and use only the basic stuff. Not saying it's bad, in fact it's fine, just don't expect me to hold a band in as high of regard as the OG's of that stuff. The previous poster mentioned his favorite subgenre is sludge, which at it's bare bones as a whole I find entirely, cripplingly, painfully unlistenable. It's not that I find it "bad", it's just that ALL THOSE BANDS SOUND THE SAME. I do/did like certain records, but don't expect me to go ape-sh*t over it. With a little talent and originality you'd be surprised how cohesive it sounds.

I'm just talking from experience, but if people like to live in a boxed metal world, let them, who am I to say? In short - Keys are not "essential" by many a definition, although they just add some zest to the mix. Just my thoughts on this subject, not that anyone actually cares.

Edited by coorpz - 09 Apr 2010 at 11:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stephen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2010 at 1:04am
Keyboard added a depth and beauty to the music but of course can't be done in thrash or death,
probably worked out magically fine in glam, power, and progressive metal.  Not a very essential instrument to me, but don't have any problem at all with it

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeathOfSeasons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2010 at 1:57am
Originally posted by Stephen Stephen wrote:

Keyboard added a depth and beauty to the music but of course can't be done in thrash or death,
 
 
Ever heard of Sadist or Nocturnus? Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeathOfSeasons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2010 at 2:01am
I really wish that keyboards were used more often in Metal sub-genres outside of Progressive Metal and Symphonic Metal. I find that keyboards sound great when used with Technical Death Metal (Nocturnus for example) and it adds a really good atmosphere to everything. But unfortunately keyboards aren't essential to most Metal bands and they don't get used as often as they should.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beekeeper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2010 at 3:52am
Originally posted by jampa17 jampa17 wrote:

Well, I was very disapointed when I was a teen because there was no rock music with keyboards in the late 90's. I wonder if the instrument was not heavy enough or if the instrument was not good enough. Luckly, I found bands like Dream Theater, Angra, Stratovarious and another that really succed in that. Now we have a lot of this kind of metal in sub genres like Symphonic Metal, Prog Metal and Power Metal, but some purist still denied the keyboards as an important part of metal. What do you think about it?
 
We can denied the importance of John Lord in metal? please, share your thoughts about it...



See the problem with metal bands that use keyboards is that 99% of them are inconceivably cheesy and awful such as all the bands you listed.


Edited by Beekeeper - 10 Apr 2010 at 3:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote topofsm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2010 at 8:09pm
Not even guitar is essential in metal: Apocalyptica Tongue
Lost respect for these archives when I saw Creed added, among other bands. Not going to be foruming here anymore. You can keep my reviews if you want.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MAVIIIVAM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2010 at 8:12pm
Ugh . . .
There was that series on VH1-2 where Comedians and Metal Band members would comment on
Heavy Metal, and some Comedian, whom I never heard of, would say "KEYBOARDS! Keyboards isnt
Metal!".   Well of course he thought that, because they're playing the song from Europe . . . (Oh God,
do I really need to say the "song" ? Tongue).

I never knew Metal had to have Rules . . .

Yeah I know many Metalheads don't want Keys in their music, well, that means you really dont have
to listen to it (or maybe, you didn't notice them LOL).
Deep Purple, Rainbow, Uriah Heep, ELP (ELP were considered "Hard Rock" by some long ago, I'm
sure by ignorance of not knowing what Prog Rock was) and the like, have Keyboards as "essential
parts" of the Band, not only to add textures, but as a Lead instrument.
Like Dream Theater, they basicaly brought on a wave of Prog Metal Bands (other than "Powermetal")
that still used the crunching, riffy chugging Guitars, but had Keyboardists as a Lead and Textural
Instrument as just another part of the Band, not as just something in the backround (Like Post-Ozzy
Black Sabbath).
There are TONS of International Prog Metal Bands that use Keyboards as a Lead Instruments with
Guitarists and they can sound VERY Heavy and Technical too, with various Vocal styles as well . . .
Especially with The new wave of Dark-Wave/Prog Metal (TNWODWPM?) like, Forever After,
Epica
, Leaves Eyes, Within Temptation and many more.

And then you have the Extremes like Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Samael and other Blackmetal Bands
that use them as Textures, but you can hear them.
I think Nocturnus was considered the 1st Band to use Synth/Keyboards in Death Metal.
Soilwork and Opeth use them, but Opeth have been using "Per Wiberg" of late as a Soloist, getting
back to those 70's influences (like Jon Lord and Ken Hensley).
Fates Warning always recruited Dream Theater's Kevin Moore to add some textures and little solos
in their later albums ("No Exit" on).
And Kevin Moore (and Portnoy for the 1st 2) has his "Radiohead meets Dream Theater" Band "OSI".

Many other Bands use various "unusual Instruments" to an enhance ideas. 
Believer
, Atrocity and Rosicrusion, 3 Tech/Death Metal Bands used Male and Female Opera
Singers to enhance a song, just to add something that had never been done before, they were
ahead of their time.
Martin Walkyier (Co-founder of Sabbat (u.k.) who formed Skyclad has a Fiddle Player and they set
the course for Folk Metal.
Ihshan, the Blackmetalist from Emperor on his latest Solo Album, there is a song where you hear
this chugging riff in the backround as Ihshan plays his Guitar on top of it, I then realized that "riff" is a
freakin' Saxaphone as the player does a Sax Solo! Clap
The Post-Prog Metal Band Sculptured uses Trumbones and Trumpets AND Keyboards.
The Ocean is also another Band that breaks the mold of Metal with all its influences and all sorts of
sounds.
And Apocalyptica are all strings!  Mark Wood of Wood plays a Lead Doubleneck Violin with a
Tremelo Bar, his Band has no Guitarist.

We live in a time of Metal that is influenced by "decades" of various music.  How can anyone percieve
of it not grabbing parts of different musics to enhance an idea?
Heres the thing about the pre-concieved notions of "Metal", it is regulated to that mind-set, and soo
damn irratating that people cant get out of that "Box". But if you don't like it, you don't like it Tongue.
The more Bands push the envelope, the better I like it.

Go here and see how many Prog Metal Bands use Keyboards, its NOT a "minority" anymore Wink:
http://www.progulus.com/rprweb/playing.php

Guitar, Bass and Drums I totaly agree are the foundations of Heavy Metal, but Keyboards can be an
essential part of Metal depending what your vision is when concieving a Band, or just an "Idea" to be
purely creative.
I believe in no rules for Metal . . . period.
:keybang: Bang On all Smile


Edited by MAVIIIVAM - 12 Apr 2010 at 1:24am
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For Progressive Metal and Prog Rock, come visit, request songs and explore at PrOgulus.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PROGMAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 1:07am
depends on the band.

but I like metal with or without keyboards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stephen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 2:09am
Originally posted by DeathOfSeasons DeathOfSeasons wrote:

Originally posted by Stephen Stephen wrote:

Keyboard added a depth and beauty to the music but of course can't be done in thrash or death,
 
 
Ever heard of Sadist or Nocturnus? Tongue


never heard of them buddy, but that's only my opinion
i guess probably the keyboard was used at the intro or outro because when it's used in the midst of a song, isn't the key sound will drown and vanished with a dominant distorted guitar and pounding drums esp for death ?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 2:13am
Originally posted by Stephen Stephen wrote:

Originally posted by DeathOfSeasons DeathOfSeasons wrote:

Originally posted by Stephen Stephen wrote:

Keyboard added a depth and beauty to the music but of course can't be done in thrash or death,
 
 
Ever heard of Sadist or Nocturnus? Tongue


never heard of them buddy, but that's only my opinion
i guess probably the keyboard was used at the intro or outro because when it's used in the midst of a song, isn't the key sound will drown and vanished with a dominant distorted guitar and pounding drums esp for death ?



As long as the guitars are only double tracked, the keyboards should fit in the mix.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeathOfSeasons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 2:30am
Originally posted by Stephen Stephen wrote:

Originally posted by DeathOfSeasons DeathOfSeasons wrote:

Originally posted by Stephen Stephen wrote:

Keyboard added a depth and beauty to the music but of course can't be done in thrash or death,
 
 
Ever heard of Sadist or Nocturnus? Tongue


never heard of them buddy, but that's only my opinion
i guess probably the keyboard was used at the intro or outro because when it's used in the midst of a song, isn't the key sound will drown and vanished with a dominant distorted guitar and pounding drums esp for death ?
 
 
The keys are actually used for the majority of the song, and never really even come close to being drowned out. On the album Crust by Sadist for example the keys/electronic effects are just as important, if not more important than the guitars.
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