Too Epic? Too Braindead, more like


Mar 31 2008, 6h35

I recently picked up the Limited Edition of "01011001" and was completely flabbergasted when my friends, usually lovers of the more triumphant kind of metal lamented that it was too epic for their tastes.

This isn't a review of a CD - and I'm not being a smart arse in the sense that it's actually a review of music or two CDs, but rather a irate critique of ham-fisted and inelegant criticisms of this record by my own friends. Yes, this is a rejoinder to my own friends about Ayreon's latest magnum opus, 01011001.

To give the reader context, my friends are quite articulate and knowledgable people. They know their craft - heavy metal music - and they know it rather well. Well, not as well as me, but that's just me trying to establish credibility. Which I of course have, and they of course, do not. (Not to sound arrogant.) They are dedicated fans of the crunching and screeching guitar. The thunderous bass. The pounding beats. You know the drill. I fondly remember the day I put on The Human Equation for them to hear, and the cries of "Dude, that shit rocks!" were ample and voluminous to say the least. I of course, wholeheartedly agreed. They enjoyed the throbbing guitars, eclectic and thrilling mixes of traditional and electronic instruments; whimsical flights of progadelic fancy; all finished off with thick, lush production as much as I did.

We, however, diverge sharply on our opinions about 01011001. Never had I used so many expletives to express my disapproval and disbelief. To my knowledge. My friends; the ardent, the vehement and often overzealous aficionados of Wintersun, Ensiferum, Sonata Arctica, Blind Guardian and DragonForce - told me they disliked the album because it was too epic. Too long, I asked? No, that wasn't it, they said. Surely they could not mean that it was too triumphant and resplendent in melody and forceful in rhythm? Too flowing and beautiful? Too immersed in stellar, mind-blowing performances from an array of sublime voices?

"Exactly," they replied. "It's just too epic." Is that even supposed to be a negative? Apparently so. Holy Wars is epic. The Bard's Song is epic. The Dance of Eternity is epic. But this monstrous concoction of blossoming sounds, delicate yet destructive riffs and ear-bending walls of angelic voices is beyond the realms of acceptable "epicness" and therefore is not worthy of our attention according to my astutely tempered colleagues. In my view, it's consistently fantastic, that is undoubtedly correct (apart from the ho-hum vignette, Web of Lies) Consistently epic - well, apparently, that's a big no-no.

I implore - yes, the entire site even to you bastard trolls and Radiohead lovers whom we all despise (but secretly love for teh lulz...except Radiohead lovers, no one likes them) to PLEASE EXPLAIN what "TOO EPIC" could possibly mean.

Connections mentioned: Megadeth, Dream Theater


  • Arch-Enemy532

    It could be they are complete jackasses.

    Mar 31 2008, 7h29
  • crushtor

    True enough...they deserve ear-botomies

    Mar 31 2008, 7h48
  • hhm

    If something is bombasting in full throttle all the time, you don't get to enjoy it as much. Basically, there is no climax if everything is too climatic. There you have it.

    Mar 31 2008, 18h19
  • Seryn

    Apparently most of us simple minded Aussies simply cannot handle the large doses of pure awesome. It happens when you're raised on a cultural diet of Slim Dusty and Guy Sebastian. It takes years of dedicated training to prepare ones ears for the true enlightenment of epicness - good to know there are others down under who have the dedication :P

    Mar 31 2008, 19h56
  • crushtor

    @hmm: I know what you're getting at, but that wasn't their gripe. There is plenty of dynamics on the album, and they didn't just give it a superficial listen either. Apparently this lent itself to the too epic tag also? @Seryn: Got two words to say to that - OATH MATE :)

    Mar 31 2008, 23h43
  • AppleKabukiSuri

    In the last chorus in Sisqo's acclaimed thong song, a full fan fare of strings and horns erupt as Sisqo laments let me see that thong! This is an example of too epic. The examples you mentioned as being suitably epic are suitably because of the epic themes of the songs. Now I am yet to hear this album so I'm not sure if the problem is unepic lyrics being stretched out into epicness, however what I think it might be is that both the music and the themes are too epic throughout, because life lets face it, isn't all that epic. Even because you charge out into the field to face a battalion of orcs you must first have some breakfast, pack up your tent and strap on your armour. Its like in Whitehouse's album Bird Seed, when Philip Best is screaming at you to Wiggle Like A Fucking Eel your still trying to ponder his suggestion in the earlier track for you to Get Fucked.

    Abr 1 2008, 0h38
  • crushtor

    * huggles AppleKabukiSuri

    Abr 1 2008, 0h57
  • namnatulco

    Too Epic would probably mean that it [i]sounds[/i] really amazing, almost as it it's rather [i]fake[/i], so it say. What hhm says is true too, but when you attempt to make [i]too much[/i] dynamics (by that I mean so much variety that it gets annoying), it has the same effect. I'm still listening to the album, so maybe I'll have a more useful reply later:).

    Abr 1 2008, 13h48
  • Arch-Enemy532

    Cellador could be an example of Too damn epic?

    Abr 1 2008, 15h40
  • crushtor

    There's Epic and there's cheesy. I don't think Ayreon falls into the too cheesy category like Rhapsody or Hammerfall might.

    Abr 2 2008, 3h08
  • Doomface

    Maybe it is just too awsome for them to comprehend, rather like the Old Gods... maybe they just feel they are unworthy for its majesty to grace their ears and that if they listened to it any longer they would lament to the fact that no other music could sound as good after hearing it. Like if you eat the best burger ever, ever other burger would then taste poorer simply by the sheer scale of comparison. But that could be them, personally I liked it but not in a way i'd wet my pants. River of Time my favorite song on there btw. Reminds me of the reviews for Therion's Gothic Kabbalah, where the only bad points were basically that it was kinda pretentious and went too far, like you've come but they still keep on thrusting. Perhaps that's how epic metal has become nowadays, it's just becoming TOO awsome people can't handle it anymore

    Abr 3 2008, 19h18
  • crushtor

    [quote]Reminds me of the reviews for Therion's Gothic Kabbalah, where the only bad points were basically that it was kinda pretentious and went too far, like you've come but they still keep on thrusting.[/quote] Haha, brilliant analogy there. Overstimulation could be a possible cause...perhaps my ears have just been understimulated by shitty promos for so long Ayreon comes along and blows me away (puns unintended)

    Abr 5 2008, 3h35
  • Seryn

    Beleive I not I've actually found something that's too epic! The Genius Rock Opera. Just so over-the-top and overambituous, with lyrics which are thrice as lame as anything Arjen's come up with *slaps forehead* And it's really saying something for me to think it's too cheesy/epic :P Just stuck up a more indepth review here:

    Abr 18 2008, 13h44
  • crushtor

    Haha, I liked that review Seryn! I think it is possible to try too hard to be epic and fail like Genius, but Ayreon usually hits the mark when he's being epic.

    Abr 20 2008, 8h00
  • Nathi_Rhapsody

    too epic? Too difficult to listen to it. You have to hear the album at least 3 times before you really get in it.

    Mai 3 2008, 19h11
  • crushtor

    You're a cruel man, Corqueatsz...a cruel man indeed. :P

    Mai 10 2008, 11h36
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