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Symphonic Metal Bands: Nerdiness vs Kickassery — A statistical analysis

by lupu alexandra 2 months ago in metal
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I love metal,

I love metal, especially the power/symphonic kind. But man — there is some nerdy stuff out there. But does the nerdiness improve or hinder the overall kickassery of the music? Let us analyze:

Disclaimer:

This is a joke originating from a random, beer-fueled discussion with some fellow metal fans and hardcore nerds. It’s entirely subjective.

I am aware that making a scatterplot to understand the correlation of nerdiness to kickassery is in itself the nerdiest fucking thing on here.

And most importantly: own your nerdiness! With Zuck, Musk, and the Google guys among the wealthiest, clearly, the age of nerds is here!

So — how nerdy are we talking?

Really nerdy. Incredibly nerdy. You might think this is about popular nerdy bands like Dragonforce, Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Manowar, or Hammerfall, but there is a whole other level beyond them.

Now don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of other nerdy genres: Country is full of middle-aged toner distribution managers wanting to be cowboys. Dubstep and anime intros have formed some sort of unholy marriage. And don’t even get me started on the very specific brand of nerd that’s into classical: “Dude, Opus number four rearranged for Oboe and Triangle in F Minor key was A REVELATION!!!”.

But I’m pretty confident that Symphonic Metal takes the cake. Let me show you what I mean:

Foto: Napalm/Promo. All rights reserved. (singer Thomas Laszlo Winkler depicted here has since left the band)

Let’s start with Gloryhammer. The gentleman in the center, donning green battle-armor, silver space-leggings, and holding a huge plastic hammer, goes by the name of Angus McFife XIII, Crown Prince of Fife. Around him, we find Ser Proletius, the Grand Master of the Deathknights of Crail, Zargothrax, the Dark Emperor of DundeeRalathor, the Mysterious Submarine Commander of Cowdenbeath and ultimately The Hootsman, an Astral Demigod of Unst…. got it? Cool. Let’s move on.

Foto: Napalm/Promo. All rights reserved.

This is Windrose. They are dwarves. Their songs cover popular dwarven topics such as digging holes, living inside of mountains, and the correct etiquette for Goblins when entering a dwarven bar. Also, they seriously rock (no pun intended).

Dragony Twitter Profile Image

Here’s Dragony. Their latest Album Viribus Unitis tells an alternative history of the Austro-Hungarian empire in which Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) is a Zombie, and emperor Joseph is a Cyborg. It’s fucking awesome.

Copyright AFM Records

These are the “Brothers of metal”. They are just one of many MANY bands, ranging from Amon Amarth to Leave’s Eyes that would much rather be Viking warriors than musicians.

Src: https://feuerschwanz.de/

Feuerschwanz, I would put in the “chronologically and historically” confused category.

Src: https://time-for-metal.eu/twilight-force-gehen-mit-sabaton-und-accept-auf-europatour/

And finally, we have Twilight Force. I mean, this dude is just straight up a wood-elf — pointy ears and everything.

But how about kickassery?

So, there’s plenty of nerdiness to go around. But do nerdy bands make more or less kickass music than their “cooler” counterparts? Or is there any correlation at all? To find out, we’ve ranked 89 of the bands we were most familiar with on two dimensions: nerdiness and kickassery. Scores go from 0 (not nerdy/kickass) to 10 (totally nerdy/kickass).

We’ve limited this to the genres of Powermetal, Symphonic Metal, and adjacent genres (metal genres are a whole issue in their own right.) — So you won’t find any Metallica or Motörhead in this list. Here’s what we find:

Results

I’m saddened to report that our chart shows a clear trendline. As nerdiness increases, kickassery declines. There are, however, notable exceptions such as Sabaton, Windrose, or Powerwolf that managed to maintain significant levels of kickassery relative to their undeniable nerdiness.

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lupu alexandra

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