Art and Grip: About Me

One might wonder why, considering the wealth of other metal review sites on the internet, I think that I have something to add to the discussion on metal. The honest truth is that I probably do not. I do, however, have strong opinions on music, metal in particular, and I wish to talk about them. Whether or not anyone will be interested in listening is secondary to me, and I am secondary to the music itself. I believe music deserves to be heard, to be thought about, to be discoursed upon.

Here is a statement of my philosophy of musical criticism. I believe that the human being is more than meets the eye, and I view music as the key to expressing the whole human soul. I believe that metal expresses essential parts of Man that many other mediums no longer speak to, and I wish to help reveal that to people who may not have otherwise considered metal as something that could hold their ear, or engage their mind.

That said, music is not a philosophical text book. Music expresses emotions, not logical arguments or even clearly defined propositions. Music, especially metal, can and should be fun. Therefore, and to distinguish myself from many other review sites, I am going to review albums on a two part scale. Each scale will range from 1 to 5, five being the best, leading to a total possible score of 10 for any album. As I am only one man, I am mostly only going to bring albums to your attention that I feel are worth your time, as well as my own. Most albums will be 7s and 8s, but there will be more than enough 9s and 10s to make it seem like I only give high marks. Believe me, it is not so. I listened to over two-hundred and fifty albums released in 2009, and fewer than twenty-five deserved a 9. Possibly less than ten deserved a solid 10.

The first part of the review I will call "Art." In this section, I will look at elements such as song structure, faithfulness to or innovation in the genre, trendsetting status, variations and themes, coherent structure, clear or incomprehensible philosophies, and anything else that I feel makes the music mentally enriching. This is art, and not science, so don't expect me to have or hold to any sort of formula.

The second part, I will call "Grip." Here I will measure how the music feels when you listen to it. Are the riffs catchy? Can you sing, scream, growl, howl along, and, more importantly, do you feel compelled to do so? Do the songs remain in your head for hours, days, or even years? Can the album hold your attention the whole way through, or is it full of dead tracks, filler riffs, and stale ideas?

Remember, all this will be one man's opinion. But I urge you to listen to something you've never heard before, or listen again to something you've dismissed. Perhaps it will move you.

Why The Blackened Edge? I assure you that I will not be writing exclusively about black metal. But the music that I love the most cuts and sears, seizing the complacent heart from the chest and forcing a reaction. Besides, "The Blackened Edge" sounds KVLT enough to please this philosopher

~Written July 28th, 2010