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Old 01-30-2008, 01:29 PM   #14
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That makes good sense. I suppose a band's identity, since that seems to be what we are discussing, is the issue. Napalm Death is a good example of this. When I think of this band I really think of the music, not the individual musicians. That's because their music has remained fairly stable in its evolutionary direction to my ears. They started out as a punk/grind/metal band and have created music that has progressed from that point in a seemingly stable manner despite all the changes to the band. According to Wiki, none of the current members are the original members of the band (a significant point of irony for me given the anti-capitalist rhetoric of so many of their songs ). Despite this, to me the band as an entity has remained stable.

The same thing holds true for Black Sabbath, despite Tony Iommi being the only constant for this band, their music has varied significantly during this band's existence and its half a dozen or so singers it has utilized over the past what, 5 decades (fuck I am getting old)?The whole of this band's music always seems to be greater than the sum of its parts, i.e. there is terrific complementarity amongst the members that are participating and that has been rather constant imo concerning their entire catalogue.

On the other hand, a band like Iron Maiden really lost their identity to me when Dickinson left as their singer. Somehow, Blaze could not fill in for Dickinson the way that Dickinson filled in for DiAnno. Even more confusing to me is that even though Dickinson has returned, this band has not returned. The Iron Maiden of today is nowhere hear the Iron Maiden of the 80s. Today, they sound like a group of musicians that have gotten together to play some music, but the sum of the parts are in fact the whole and it is nothing more than that. This is quite different than it was in the 80s. Even their classics performed live are painful to listen to these days.

I guess what I am saying is that a band's identity is made up of more than its members. Should Cryptopsy change its name with the absence of Lord Worm and Jon Levasseur? I don't know. They seemed to retain their identity with DiSalvo handling the vocals. The band's participants seemed to complement each other during the Disalvo era without much interruption. Will it continue with the current version? I don't know, I'll have to wait to hear how things turn out.

The same thing goes for Pestilence. We'll see.

I should add I don't think Atheist has ever lost its identity. I haven't seen any of the reunion shows, but there was a significant change in losing Patterson and Flynn, along with Shaffer suffering his arm injury and yet those albums affected by these changes generated no discernable interruption in the identity of the band raised through its music.

I apologize if I sound incoherent here. I already spent too much time writing this out.
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