Last night, someone on my Twitter account asked me to listen to the band Wintersun with possible hopes that I would either A.) like it enough to play on the air or B.) like it enough to prepare for my quest to slay a dragon.
When bands are recommended to me, I’m never opposed to listening because I know there is music out there I may have overlooked. Unfortunately for this Twitter follower (and for Wintersun), I’m afraid to say the band will never make it into my iPod. I’m not saying that they’re a terrible band—because they are certainly talented—but I consider the music to be a product of the whole Nintendocore “Nerd Metal” scene that I haven’t been able to subscribe to within the past fifteen years.
OK, a couple of things first:
I know you’re asking yourself, “What is ‘Nerd Metal’?”
Nerd Metal would be the genre of music that includes plenty of orchestral-synth meshed with blistering mid-range guitar riffs that sound nearly sampled and a bounty of high-pitched vocal wailing that is intended to sound powerful, but sounds more reminiscent of Phantom of the Opera for hardcore gamers. As for the musicians, they’ve probably attended Julliard or some type of musician’s institute, graduated with honors, and believe that the world of Skyrim actually exists somewhere in Norwegialand. Further, fandom is taken to fantastical level of belief that the Van Helsing look is chock-full of domination while the reality sirens cry out, “Doooooooooork!”
In short, I’m speaking of Prog/Melodic/Power Metal.
OK, so I’m judging and probably alienated one-third of my audience who likes that music; I also understand that another third of my audience doesn’t match the aforementioned trench coat description, but they genuinely enjoy listening to Nerd Metal. I really don’t have a beef with Nerd Metal (or the fans) other than the fact that I don’t like the style of the music. This doesn’t mean that I hate the bands, rather, I’m just not into the music. I think it’s fair to not like a specific type of metal because internet is filled with opinions and assholes. If someone doesn't want to like Soulfly or Slipknot, I'm completely cool with this because not all music can fit on a person's musical palette.
Personally, I don’t want my “metal” to sound as though I’m trudging through World 8-3 with my raccoon tail only to find that I’m forced to avoid an army of Bob-Ombs and Goombas, collect another piece of the Tri-Force, and eventually fly on a white dragon named Falcor to an ungrateful bitch-of-a-princess who already has plans to put me in the “friend zone” when I save her.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone has a little bit of “nerd” inside of them and I think it’s healthy for all of us to know some lines from Return of the Jedi or Lord of the Rings, but I prefer to keep my fantasy achievement trophies separate from my real-life ones—especially when I get a 20 cent discount on my gasoline.
Let me put it to you this way: if you have a Kamelot sticker strategically placed above your World of Warcraft caricature on the back of your car—or some of you might call it your “chariot”—and you find yourself giving your friends the Viking arm shake upon greeting them for your Friday night “Storm the Castle” LAN party, it’s likely that you and I can’t be friends in public. My nerdom only goes so far, so just contact me on Twitter because there’s nothing nerdy about that at all.