Welcome to my A2 Media Studies Blog. The brief is: to produce a music video, a digipak cover, and magazine advert for the digipak. Throughout the course we will be learning about conventions (general and genre specific) used for each of these products.

Friday, 11 November 2011

CO - Influences/techniques on our band and on the track

Architects' debut album, Nightmares.
As a band of five people, we all have different influences when it comes down to making our music, however we all share similarities in taste and ideas as well. Obviously we are all fans of the metal genre hence why our music sounds the way it does, but there is a little more to our influences than just that. Bands that influence myself the most include Architects (mostly their more technical early stuff, around Nightmares-era). Their approach to amazing-sounding yet technically outstanding brand of metalcore/tech-metal influenced myself when writing my bands songs; as much as I would've loved to include their complex rhythm changes and time signatures, I felt that it would be too challenging for both myself and the guitarists in my band so I stuck to Architects' approach to chord dynamics and tonal styles. All of the members of Sunburnt In December enjoy this style of music and it influences us when writing.

A drum kit fitted with a double bass pedal.
Dwelling on the conventions and instruments of metalcore, we also as a band make sure that our rhythm section is powerful while one of the guitars is doing the lead work; we accomplish this by ensuring most, if not every note played on bass and guitar is accompanied by a beat on the bass drum, and seeing as this is regularly fast, we include the use of a double-bass pedal when drumming. In addition, all metalcore bands do this as it is integral to making the song sound powerful; examples include The Devil Wears Prada, Bring Me The Horizon, August Burns Red and Parkway Drive to name a few of a vast amount of bands.

However, although as a band we take influence from a lot of contemporary musicians, we also play in the style sometimes of bigger older bands, such as Metallica; our songs often have fast, rhythmic yet simple passages that are akin to Metallica's mid-career stuff (and none of that Lou Reed garbage.) Similarly, bands like Nirvana and Pixies also have an influence on our approach to songwriting due to the way the instruments are set out.

Guitar tapping on an 8-string.
The elements that are most obvious in our songs come from metalcore but also has elements from deathcore too, which is obviously a fusion genre, similar to metalcore, which combines elements of death metal and hardcore; noticeable aspects in our stuff include the long, drawn out breakdown is reminiscent of deathcore bands likeThe Acacia Strain or Emmure (the latter band is disputable as Emmure, whilst retaining one or two good songs, often duplicate their material very frequently, as their songs all sound the same and are normally just breakdowns that last two minutes and have lyrics with them. Also, the members are pillocks and have recently kicked out their only really talented member). A noticeable (from a musician's standpoint) feature of our songs that relate it to deathcore is the dissonance chord halfway through (Where two notes, normally only one note from each other, are played together creating a harsh-yet-heavy sounding chord). This is noticeable in our song, Like a Match To An Arsonist. Still continuing with the guitars, a highlight that could be related to metalcore and deathcore is the use of tapping in the breakdown, a concept where the string is sounded with the finger pressing a fret on the neckboard rather than plucking the string and fretting it with your other hand; a lot of metalcore bands use this technique. Another feature is that the lyrical content is similar to that used in the two aforementioned genres, dealing with matters of religion and faith, a topic regularly voiced in metal.

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