I''m here and there and everywhere
If you're here
, you'd best give me a heads up, so I can lay in a supply of Guinness and tofu.
I suppose you mean what we devotees call "growl"
Well, we've had a lot of discussion on this in the Room, so I'l be short here.
Depends on who and where (not everywhere)
Opeth and Scar Symmetry are among my fave groups, and the growl is an inherent part of their music; I don't even think about it, just enjoy it (just like Jonesy, i.e. not his growl, but his reception of it)
The vocals of Mastodon and Slayer are mainly shout, and I enjoy them too.
I've learned to live with them, but I still feel that they generally detract from good music except in very limited situations, where the singer is portraying a character that would actually growl (like a monster or demon). At this point I feel about the same way about grunts/growls as I described in my tattoo analogy -- I'd prefer if they didn't use them, but if everything else about the music is good, I won't give up on it just for that. As you know, I've been getting into Opeth myself, and I do know they do some growling. Still not my cup of tea, but they are otherwise top-notch, so I deal with it.
Shouted vocals don't bother me, assuming they're appropriate for the song (generally loud, aggressive, heavy, and fast songs do well with shouts IMO). The mighty Devin does his share of shouting, and it fits. He actually growls in at least one place I've noticed, but in that instance, he really is portraying a monster - The Planet Smasher from Ziltoid the Omnicient
. That same album also has a fair amount of dialog, but it's a strange album -- sort of 3/4 music, 1/4 comedy. I like the album quite a bit, but even so, I probably won't play this one as often as some of his other albums since I imagine the spoken parts will get a little old after a while, despite being quite funny.
Once I realise that musicians are serious, intense, and progressive, I open up entirely to what they try to convey to me.
Same with speaking etc. If it's a group that I experience as serious, I try to figure what the message is, and usually it sets a lot going in me.
DT have a lot of stuff like this, and in my mind it really adds to their palette (a sublime example being The Great Debate, which is one of my fave DT-pieces). Of course Floyd too, Arena, Queensrÿche, Nevermore - I'l just say that all serious groups use these features to spice up their stuff
Welcome to progrock guys: We're dealing with musician-poet-philosophers who habitually push all frontiers
Well, I won't disagree that proggers push frontiers -- It's why they're called 'progressive'. My position, though, is that some experiments work better than others. Naturally, as with all music and art, some people will respond well to certain things and others won't. Nothing wrong with that -- I was curious as to what the rest of you thought about this because it happens to be something that usually
doesn't work so well for me, and as you noted, it's commonly used. Also, as I've said, there are instances where these effects do fit for me, but it's the exception rather than the rule.
One Dream Theater example I can site (and I hesitate a bit to say this because I know the majority of the active Roomies consider them one of the all-time great bands) is the song '6:00'. That song came on many times when I was using Pandora a lot, and even though Dream Theater never did really click for me, for the most part that is a song that I do like -- except for one problem, which is the old woman saying "I know all about the honor of God, Mary Jane." (forgive me if I've gotten the quote a bit off). I find that extremely jarring, and it "takes me out of the song." After a several plays I started skipping the song because I found that so irritating. I'm not trying to get anyone to stop liking music they like -- that would be pointless and rude. I'm just saying that for me, some of these effects really do lessen my enjoyment. As you say, the musicians push frontiers, but that doesn't mean that they're necessarily always making good choices when they do so. Also, I feel that voice-overs and sound effects have been around so long and been used so much that they've ceased to be innovative (again, there are, of course, exceptions) and are now so common that they're usually not breaking any new ground. Artists are free to express themselves as they see fit, but as consumers of art, we're also free to feel whatever we happen to feel about that art.
Anyway, once again, I don't demand that everyone agree with me -- I was mostly interested to hear your opinions and generate a discussion. If we all agreed on ever aspect of music, there wouldn't be much to discuss here other than what cheese Paco just had and who's drinking Guinness today.