Apr 072014

(NCS guest contributor Leperkahn decided that for a school project he was going to spend a week without metal. He received a lot of suggestions from our readers, and this is his report on the last two days of the experiment.)

Today’s listening, on my last day of exile (I must have missed a day in writing somewhere, ‘cause it’s definitely been seven days, but I only have six posts to show for it), was a rather faint attempt to delve into some classical, bolstered by catching up on SNL and Vikings (hence the reduced listening). Let’s get right on to it.


I pretty much went for the two classical pieces suggested by reader TGLumberjack: Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. The former was, as were the other classical tidbits I sampled yesterday, quite a journey throughout its roughly 40-minute runtime, introducing many interweaving melodies and tense climaxes. As for the latter, TGLumberjack probably described it best:

“Anyone who likes metal should love this piece. It’s full of bombast and anger, nuance and grief. It was basically a big “FUCK YOU” to the Soviet party leadership who had been very critical of his work leading up to this, which was deemed too “modern” and “experimental”. To avoid falling into bad standing with Party leadership (and thus risking his life), he wrote this symphony.

“It’s a fairly straightforward symphony with lots of melody and glorious chord progressions, meant to be taken by the Party leadership as a musical affirmation and celebration of the Communist way. But disguised behind it all you can hear Shostakovitch’s frustration with the creative limits being imposed on him (and the limits being imposed on society as a whole), grief for all those that had been killed at the hand of Stalin (esp. Mvt. III), and the ending of Mvt. IV is so absurdly over-the-top triumphant and “epic” to the point that it becomes physically exhausting to perform…perhaps symbolic of something? Crank this up and bask in it.”

That, along with random samplings of rock and pop radio, has thusly concluded my self-imposed exile. As I write, I still have two and a half hours until my banishment expires, at midnight one week after it started. Once I have reinstated myself into the metal world, I will write one more post on this subject, and whether I feel like it’s changed my outlook on music (spoiler: it has).

Before I go (for now), I’d like to thank all of you for your multitudes of suggestions, especially in the genres for which I had few jumping-off points. I probably would have made awful choices in each genre had I not received the guidance I did. I also apologize for not getting to all of them, or even a decent majority of them. I hope to work through all the suggestions eventually, though not in the metal-starved world in which I’ve quarantined myself for this week.

So, once again, thank you so much. If you have further suggestions for stuff that should be filling my earholes, feel free to comment below.





  7 Responses to “METAL FASTING: DAYS 6-7”

  1. you’re a better man than me, i would be reduced to whimpering puddle of goo if i went even 24 hours without my precious metal. congrats!

  2. new world is an amazing piece, good choice!

  3. Chick Corea/Return to Forever, albums “No Mystery” and “the Romantic Warrior. Neo-classical fusion shred. I thought some elements were too close to prog metal to recommend during your actual fasting.

  4. That Shostakovich guy was quite something. If you don’t mind a reading suggestion, when you have the time to invest in a BIG book, you should read William T. Vollmann’s “Europe Central”, in which Dmitrij is a central character. It’s almost a story of his life but with fictional elements thrown in. Still, it provides a unique journey inside a genius’ mind.

  5. You should try the classical Indian music. I’ll suggest you –> Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma. He plays an ancient instrument called Santoor. You, or any music lover, will love this for sure.


  6. Since you’re venturing into Classical territory, I’d recommend Richard Strauss’s Eine Alpinsfonie, one of the greatest tone poems ever composed (IMHO). More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eine_Alpensinfonie

    For the most sumptuous, Wagnerian-like sound, I’d go with Karajan’s recording with the BPO (1980).


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