Posted by Meltwater
on 12 December 2016 - 06:52 PM
You certainly won't find them included in lists of metal bands by most dedicated metal sources (see www.metal-archives.com for example), but I don't think this is the place for arguing metal genres and even if it was you'd regret getting sucked into those discussions (trust me).
Back on topic, I don't necessarily mind "commercial" psytrance if it's done well, but honestly my main issues with such commercial psy aren't really that different from my main issues with lots of lesser-known psy these days. It's not the commercial-ness of stuff like Vini Vici that bothers me, it's the modernity. It's the worship of bass at the expense of acid melodies, or really just melodies in general. You go back to the old psy and goa up until around 2002 or 2004, and often the entire song had melodies throughout. Those old Pleadians and Astral Projection songs had as many as five different melodies going on, it was very polyphonic stuff.
Now we have either bass throughout with a single breakdown section for melody, or we have the 150+ psy that's pretty much entirely abstract without melodies. I like melody. If I want abstract music I listen to something like Thomas Köner, Sleep Research Facility, Lustmord, Halo Manash. If it has a dance beat I want melody.
Which reminds me of the other trapping of modernity in psy, something it borrowed from commercial trance: every single song does not need a 20-60 second breakdown. It's dance music, please keep the beat going.
Posted by Meltwater
on 11 December 2016 - 07:18 PM
I wouldn't call Nightwish commercial. For me commercial is something you could listen in a mainstream radio station.
I meant stuff like Evanescence or HIM.
This leads into a point I was going to make: location. Location is everything. Nightwish is very much "commercial" and something you could hear on a mainstream radio station in Finland, Sweden, Norway. This sort of variation is the case with trance as well. Trance was huge in Israel and Europe during the late 90's and early 2000's but frankly, for a long time the idea of "commercial" or "mainstream" trance in the US was an oxymoron. Just Be by Tiesto never cracked the Billboard Top 200, and I mean that's TIESTO. That album only got on the electronic Billboard charts. When trance dominated the charts elsewhere it was still something Americans didn't really buy into. I'm 29, I was in high school when that album came out. I think there were 10 people in my school (including me) who knew who Tiesto was (out of 700). If it wasn't something you'd hear at a baseball game or on an SNL skit (a la "Sandstorm" or "What is love"), trance was unheard of.
For comparison, since we brought up metal as well: Cannibal Corpse has made it to the Billboard 200 five times, one of which was in the top 50. In the US, Cannibal Corpse has been more mainstream than most trance for much of the last 20 years. Nile's 5th album placed higher in the Billboard 200 in 2007 than A State of Trance 2008 did the next year. For those who have no idea what we're talking about, Nile sounds like this (link). That sold better in the US than something Armin van Buuren made in the same time period.
Now, I understand what sort of music people mean when they talk about "commercial psytrance," mind you, but as a matter of verifiable fact psytrance is not and has never been commercial in the US. Not even Astral Projection or Infected Mushroom; IM made it onto the Billboard 200 once, AP never has. These are considered underground here.