Context – the day before

The end of this year has been a metal as fuck couple of weeks for me, no questions asked.  Winter brings out the ‘bow throwin’ nature that naturally slumbers during the rest of the year.  Other seasons bring other reasons to listen to music, I suppose.  Maybe metal brings out my natural desire to move around more than other genres I listen to, and what with midwestern winters being what they are it’s good to indulge this instinct.  Who knows.

I found Jared Dines while doing some YouTube crawling–he’s a well respected member of the metal/guitar community there.  Earlier this year he started releasing original music, and thus the EP’s “The Dark” and “The Light” were born.  They’re ok.

This kind of djent/metalcore/whatever isn’t that appealing to me.  It lacks the aggression of yesterday’s Nails, at least in a raw and visceral context.  The production is very good, when I isolate any aspect of the song it all sounds good enough.  The guitar is technically proficient, the drumming is about what you’d expect from this style of music, I’m sure there’s a bass in there holding it’s own, and the vocals are fine.  I’m sure they’re great, actually.  It’s just when it all comes together it creates something that I can’t get too excited about.

As I continue to explore the nuances and subgenres of metal, I’ve come to realize I expect a certain thing to happen, and my overall opinion of the music rides heavily on whether or not that thing happens.  What is that thing? I have no words to describe it.  It needs to provoke a sort of forward leaning momentum.  It needs to feel unique.  It has to grab my attention and refuse to let it go.

And while Jared Dines is a very talented musician and a very entertaining YouTuber, this music doesn’t force me to reckon with it.  I can (and did) get up in the middle of my listen and came back, feeling like I hadn’t missed out.

“The Light” was better than “The Dark” though, and there lies my hope for Dines.  Maybe he’ll keep getting better as he keeps writing.  I’ll give him another chance after this listen, but I probably won’t be coming back to these recordings.