Why is most fantasy metal so fucking cliché?


22. Jul. 2010, 3:01

I've just had MediaMonkey throw some fantasy metal at me one song after another. argh. I need to delete some of that shit. Look, I love fantasy. I love reading it, watching fantasy movies, I play fantasy computer games, I draw fantasy art, I write a fantasy webcomic. I've got NOTHING against fantasy in general. But I do have something against BAD or cliché fantasy. With a few exceptions, fantasy metal seem to go for the most cliché fantasy imagery possible. It baffles me. You have something like Turisas or Finntroll which, while tongue in cheek a lot of the time, is at least creative, also a more gritty and dark, which helps ground it. The fact that they actually go over the top in their stage personas actually helps too, it's easier to swallow if you can see the band having fun with it. (I guess maybe the Finns just do it better? for the record Warlord Nygard from Turisas has said: “We play around with history, there's fantasy imagery there, but I hate fantasy metal with all those dragons or whatever. There's no substance there. We actually believe in what we're doing.” which is basically where I stand on the issue.)

Then you have like Rhapsody babbling on about wizards riding around on unicorns battling dragons or some shit. Or the otherwise awesome Haggard move away from it's usual fare of historical figures, which (aside from the epic size of the band which is basically a chamber orchestra with electric guitars) is what made it really stand out, move into an original fantasy story... as a story, It's awful. (though I will say with both bands, their music is nice sounding, it's just the lyrics that are horrid). And it seems like the MAJORITY of metal bands that dabble in fantasy (not mythological) imagery go this route. This is the kind of stuff I had hanging on my walls as a tween, it's fluff fantasy, and then they make it worse by being oh-so-serious about it, like it's high art. Yes, I realize that fantasy imagery is often allegorical, with the fantasy stuff standing in for real-world issues. I do this myself. But you can do allegory without being lame.

Look, if you have the word(s) "wizard" "dragon" "princess" or "unicorn" in your song in a non-ironic sort of way, you're likely on the wrong track, if you have more than one, you almost certainly are. There is nothing wrong with either in theory, (I loooove dragons) but, when I hear most fantasy metal, this is the kind of image that springs to mind:


And that's not epic, it's not cool, it's not even particularly beautiful; it's cheesy and lame.


  • gooooone

    what do you think of someone like battlelore? im thinking from this u probs not a fan. they seem to have thought 'fuckit lets go as far as we can with this fantasy idea' most of their stuff is pretty average but some of it is pretty sweet.

    2. Aug. 2010, 11:47
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