Rockin' in the Eastern Hemisphere, or would be if I wasn't in the US
August 15, 2008 11:35 PM   Subscribe

Calling all Germanic (and Slavic) rockers, ravers and, uh, *insert classical term that starts with "r"*! Help me expand my music collection with European melodies!

A similar question was asked before, but I'd like to narrow the scope down a bit.

I'm a big-time metal/hard rock/electronica/classical/ambient fan. I like non-American music more than American, and have heard that Europe has a big music scene for those genres. Sure, I could spend countless hours listening to samples from each of them, but I'm VERY picky about the music I listen to. Main reason? Getting inspirations for making my own music.

So, fellow MeFites, help me discover more European music that adhere to one or more of the following criteria. I'll be listing American and non-American examples that I feel exemplifies the qualities I want so you can have a few starters. Oh, and I use the term "electronica" broadly, just to point out:

- Good/great sense of melody - This one is top priority. The more complex, the better, whether by vocal and/or instrument. And if screaming/growling is involved, it better be done not just for show (see below). Examples: Disturbed, Poisonblack, Paradise Lost, A Perfect Circle (Mer de Noms), Orgy, Schiller, Lunar, Hybrid, BT, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Liszt, Squaremeter

- Heavyweight/Workout/Emotional - Oh yeah. I love to bang my head and blow my eardrums out (not literally, of course). Or really rave and dance like a maniac. Or... shake my head in internal pain over the piano. Examples: Disturbed, Judas Priest (pre-Nostradamus), Testament, Oomph!, Rammstein (pre-Reise Reise), The Prodigy (pre-Fat of the Land), The Crystal Method's "Stir Fry - Breakin On The Street", Infected Mushroom, Rachmaninov, Lizst

- Quirkiness - I also don't mind something that "sounds" fun and manages to be unpredictable. Examples: Mars Volta, Spacehog, Van Halen, Infected Mushroom, Dead Can Dance, 70's Scorpions, System of a Down, Prokofiev

- Angst with authenticity - There's screaming and growling and wailing, then there's the good mature kind, done in the right places so they don't like they're just... there. Examples: Disturbed (yeah I know, I'm a fan), Oomph! (pre-Ego), 30 Seconds to Mars (debut album), Breaking Benjamin, Trapt, Paradise Lost, Alice in Chains, Sevendust, Zeromancer

- Good drumwork - I'm not a drummer, but since getting Rock Band, I've been paying more attention to drums because they're so underestimated. Speed is not an issue; complexity is. Examples: Disturbed post-Believe (alright, I'll stop), Mars Volta, Testament, Queens of the Stone Age, Kagerou (NO Dragonforce. After listening to the stupid lyrics and the mind-numbing drums and guitars, that kind of music now just exhausts my brain).

- Mysterious/Twisted - Crawl-under-your-skin or whoa... gnarly... Examples: Panacea/Squaremeter, SunnO))), Infected Mushroom, late 80's/early 90's Delerium, the soundtrack from Quake, some Prokofiev

- Germanic lyrics, Slavic lyrics, or none - This includes German, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, English, Czech, Russian. Please no French; I heard French rock once and it made me cringe. Chinese rock made me laugh out loud, not in a good way. I don't really care whether the lyrics make sense or not.

Whew! I know that's a lot to cover, but these criteria were listed in order of descending importance to me, so don't worry if your searches don't match all of them. Metal, electronica, classical, ambient - heck, even New Age (think Enya) - , whether from the mainstream or indie, gimme gimme gimme! I really love to see what new great music is out there. Who do you recommend/what are your favorites?

Note: Middle Eastern-style music is acceptable too, comme Squaremeter's "Aswad".
posted by curagea to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, forgot to add: I know the examples I listed are subject to opinion; you could argue that so-and-so doesn't have that quality. I don't want to get into that argument on here. Thanks.
posted by curagea at 11:42 PM on August 15, 2008


One word: Scooter.
posted by godisdad at 12:16 AM on August 16, 2008


Opeth.
posted by Bodd at 12:30 AM on August 16, 2008


Hi, ollsen from Germany here:
for mysterious / twisted check out a band called "Bohren und der Club of Gore"
posted by ollsen at 1:41 AM on August 16, 2008


It still is an open-ended question. What bands (if any) are you already familiar with? For instance, many Norwegian black metal bands would cover criteria 2,4,5,7 and 1 (3,6 seem rather subjective), but you get a different answer if you know the basic stuff or post-black or whatever. Do you like every sub-genre in Metal, electronica, classical, ambient?

You list Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Liszt. Do you want a recommendation of Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Korsakov, Scriabin, Stravinsky, Shostakovich? A recommendation of Bach or Elgar? Led Zeppelin or Hawkwind? Too broad to be meaningful, unless I missed something.

Anyway, let me second Opeth. Blackwater park is perhaps the best encapsulation of their sound, even though I don't consider it their best album. There's an easy answer for Swedish death metal (try At The Gates- Slaughter of the Soul, Entombed - Left Hand Path for less polished or Wolverine Blues for more). As I mentioned Opeth, you might like to give a listen to Spiritual Beggars' Ad Astra for a bit of heavy rock.
posted by ersatz at 5:13 AM on August 16, 2008


Siddharta meets a lot of your criteria: they mix hard rock/electronica/classical to great effect. And they're Slavic. Solid drumming and consistently good melodies.

For a taste try Rave. (The head-banging/ass-kickin' starts at about 1:20)

Japan is also very typical of their sound: hard rock and orchestral strings.

They're one of Eastern Europe's best-kept secrets, IMHO.
posted by Ljubljana at 6:29 AM on August 16, 2008


Nautilus Pompilius
posted by prefpara at 7:51 AM on August 16, 2008


Therion. The album "Vovin" would be a great start.
posted by vernondalhart at 9:20 AM on August 16, 2008


Don't have time to quantify, but check out:

Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, In Flames, ">Korpiklaani.

More generally Scandinavian death metal bands and Finnish metal.
posted by Nelsormensch at 9:29 AM on August 16, 2008


@ersatz: I've heard of some of these bands, like In Flames (a guy I know said they're falling out of the scene lately though) and Scooter. Already familiar with Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, but they kind of get predicatable after a while, and I like music that, even through thousands of listenings, still jolts me with some quirky transitions. Starting to get into Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. Metal bands that I've heard of and am starting to get into include Stahlhammer and Soilwork.

And yep, I have all of Led Zeppelin's albums. Loved them for years.

I realize this is pretty much an open-ended question, so I'll list a few more criteria:

- No rap (some of Panacea's work, or other electronica artists, feature rappers, and I don't like that)
- In the classical genre, it'll be great to know more Russian composers, particularly from the Impressionist/Contemporary period.
- For rock, anything 70's and beyond, more preference to post-80's. The other genres can be from any decade. Melody is still the key trait.
- Any sub-genre is fine. Death metal, synth metal, dance, techno, drum 'n bass... just to name a few.
- Bonus points for crossing genres!
posted by curagea at 11:08 AM on August 16, 2008


On the classical side, I'll just toss out some ideas: Schubert. Sibelius. Mussorgsky and the Russian nationalists - Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, Borodin, etc. Scriabin might interest you, especially the piano music. Try Shostakovich, perhaps the string quartets (#8 is the place to start) and the piano quintet. Give Prokofiev a listen as well. You also might like the contemporary Finnish composer Rautavaara.
posted by bassjump at 3:34 PM on August 16, 2008


Uz Jsme Doma. prog rock. not exclusively, but mostly, slavic lyrics.
posted by msconduct at 4:58 PM on August 16, 2008


Try the Danish band Wuthering Heights. You can listen to a pretty good selection of their work on their website and myspace.
posted by gueneverey at 11:54 AM on August 17, 2008


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