Schrodinger’s Metal As Fuck Cat

Posted: January 11, 2014 in General
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For those unversed in quantum physics, thought experiments (or the more famous version from ‘The Big Bang Theory’), the theory behind Schrodinger’s cat was that if you place a cat in a box with a cyanide capsule which will break at a random interval, you can view the cat in the box as both alive AND dead, as you will not know until you open the box.

What does this have to do with anything metal related, I hear you wonder? Well, I want to use it as an answer to the question posed to me by a friend. Can you truly learn to love and appreciate metal albums in these days of instant downloads/streaming and more bands and records than you could ever hope to keep up with? Or are you doomed to continually jump between new records, without allowing yourself to immerse yourself totally into a record and find its true excellence?

When I was younger and had less Internet access (and Amazon etc), I bought CDs at my local record shop. Either that or I got copies from my friends, or loans so i coudl tape them for myself. I have albums that I used to listen to constantly (Down II, Powerslave, Master of Puppets) that now I don’t even need to listen to anymore and still know every song, every word, every air guitar move. Since those days, I have moved onto having more metal in my possession than I ever thought possible, with 1400 CDs, records, tapes and thousands of mp3s. I have albums on my PC that it says on iTunes I’ve listened to 5 or 6 times through, yet I can’t really remember the tracks. I remember if its a good record, but its that lack of a constant connection that stumps me.

So, back to the original analogy. Can you appreciate an album on one listen? If you spend time listening to one record over and over, are you missing out on potentially other great music out there? Sometimes it’s a no win situation. For example 2013 saw the release of some magnificent records. I don’t really know which was my favourite out of all the ones I heard, but I feel like even though I listened to a lot, and a number of them repeatedly, I don’t really know them. ‘Surgical Steel’ by Carcass is a perfect example. Fantastic album, a true career highlight for a band that is by all rights a legend in the genre. I’ve listened to that record a lot this year because I loved it, yet I can’t see myself knowing it as inside out as the records I had as a kid. Same with Ihsahn’s newest, or Amon Amarth’s.

Maybe I had too much time when I was younger. Maybe my attention span is shot. Maybe I have an underlying obsession with having to find the NEXT NEW THING, the next obscure band so I can tell my friends how awesome they are (and increase my kvltness!). I’m not sure. But my New Year’s resolution is to try and remedy this ailment. Metal musicians put a lot of time and effort into writing these records, and the good ones deserve more than 40 minutes of my life to appreciate what they’ve done.


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