Thursday, June 26, 2014

MetalSucks Is Getting It All Wrong About Bruce Dickinson

This is more or less an open letter to MetalSucks.

First off, I begin with saying I completely respect them 100%. I like their blog. I support them and wish them no ill will.

However - this particular article is just a little bit insulting to those of us who are familiar with and sing opera. The author of this piece, Axl Rosenberg, seems to think that calling someone an "opera" singer is a fucking insult.

Therefore, as of right now, I'm having a BIG problem with the guy who is alleging these things as truths and continually working to distort the statement Bruce Dickinson made (and probably now regrets, with the number of people taking it as a personal attack instead of seeing it for what it is with the help of sensationalist headlines and a lack of people who actually go and read the entire article).

Hansi Kürsch of BLIND GUARDIANSo, Axl, calling someone an "opera" singer is an insult, eh?

Fuck that. Opera is every bit as difficult to perform as a guttural metal growl and adds a depth that the latter cannot. Bruce Dickinson is considered by many as an "opera" singer, as was Simen Hestnæs of Dimmu Borgir, Roy Khan and Tommy Karevik of Kamelot, Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian, along with several others.

That's not even including all the opera-singing women in metal such as Simone Simons of Epica, Tarja Turunen of Nightwish, Floor Jansen of ReVamp, or Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation.

Simone Simons of EPICAIn case you weren't fully enlightened on this topic, Axl, allow me to clarify what constitutes an opera singer. Opera is a form of vocals that entail utilization of a technique totally unlike the ones you would use to achieve the more commonplace "contemporary" vocals. It is a form of singing which projects loudly and clearly in decipherable notes, accentuated by the use of vibrato and falsetto (in other words, that wavering waviness you sometimes hear when a note is sustained).

There are many different types of opera vocalists of all ranges and a multitude of styles that vary with each singer. Not all opera singers are fat ladies rolling around on a theatre stage attempting to hit the highest notes possible in an attempt to break glass. Just look at Hayley Westenra. Some of us are pretty hot.

I really, really hate when this image of opera being old and outdated, even "comical" as Axl suggested, when the fact is that couldn't be further from the truth. Opera is still very much alive and just as much open to interpretation as any other form of music - meaning that those who sing in the operatic style are ever evolving their craft and seeking new ways to improve upon it or take it to the next level.

Just watch this, Axl, and tell me with a straight face that opera is a fucking joke. It's not even metal, but there are few things that show the potential of opera as it moves into the future, and how versatile it truly is.

Axl, I heartily recommend you give the bands Blind Guardian and Amberian Dawn a listen. It will show you just how fucking spectacular opera is when it's mixed with really good fucking power/prog metal. These two videos would be a good place to start:

Look, Axl. I've already addressed the issue of Bruce Dickinson's comment and it is so blatantly clear that he meant no slight or offense with it that I'm not sure where you're getting this idea that he was even speaking maliciously of punk music - and now you're going to take it a step further and encourage the misinterpretation of this damned string of brutally honest sentences by declaring that he has it out for the former singer of Iron Maiden?

Stop, okay? Just stop.

I tried bringing this to your attention in a comment on the article you so callously wrote, only to find that said comment has mysteriously disappeared.

Is there some reason you are trying to stir up a controversy? Will it give you pleasure to know that you helped provide the fuel to everyone's fire about this and make such slanderous assumptions as to the possible double meaning his comments didn't even have?

When did MetalSucks start caring more about creating dissention and anger among fans of metal (or punk) than actually reporting on new music or unheard-of bands that are grossly underratted?

Oh, that's right. When profit, pageviews and advertising took over as the driving force behind the scenes.

Correct me if I'm wrong. I certainly don't know intimate details on how your site is run. All I know is what appearances suggest, and lately especially I've seen more rage-inducing, controversy-stirring stories than stories on actual music and bands.

I know everyone has to make a buck, so I'm not hating on you if you feel this is what you need to cover in order to get more visitors to see the ads of the day and keep that revenue gravy train rolling. However, if you insist on stories like this, at least come to educated conclusions that are not based on nonsensical speculations and assumptions.

Above all, make sure you at least look into what the fuck you are talking about before you start belittling things you admittedly have little experience with and avoid insulting an entire demographic of vocalists with your uninformed and careless statement towards opera. We have it hard enough as it is. We don't need people like you encouraging the stigmas surrounding opera, and we certainly don't need people like you asserting that being called an "opera singer" is a fucking insult (or a "comedic" joke).

Read this, Axl Rosenberg, or don't. I don't fucking care. Just know that you're leading people down the wrong direction and that an opera singer is just as valid a vocalist as any metal or contemporary style singer. If you go around making statements like that, you're going to piss a lot of people off.

Me included.

There. That's it. I'm done.

*drops mic*

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