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Last Active 09-12-22 5:06 pm
Joined 09-12-22

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01.31.23 Slipknot Ranked12.27.22 Separating The Artist from the Art?
12.21.22 RED Ranked12.20.22 Nickelback Ranked (2022 Edition)
11.28.22 The Audacity of Papa Roach11.26.22 Where do I start with Faith No More?
10.30.22 Rec me generic Myspacecore

Separating The Artist from the Art?

Always interested to see what other people think of this topic, because to be honest, I've been going back and forth on it myself. I'm obviously not naive; not every artist I listen to will agree with my worldview, and that's totally ok. However, when artists get busted for objectively bad things, it can make it harder for me to reconcile how I feel enjoying that artist's work. I would love to get some takes from other people here on how they approach this. List is albums from those artists that make me experience a good bit of cognitive dissonance, with a brief explanation. Light trigger/NSFW warning here too: I'm not going to go into graphic detail with what these artists did, but I will likely mention it for context for the potentially uninformed.
1Marilyn Manson
Antichrist Superstar

Manson recently faced a bevy of credible sexual assault allegations and, from what I've been able to gather, was likely quite abusive to several intimate/romantic partners. That's terrible, it's inexcusable. I'm not going to pretend otherwise or defend him.

However, his work (specifically Antichrist Superstar), has absolutely pushed me through a lot of religious trauma and helped me regain lost self-confidence and willpower which was really robbed from me by fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity. I know I'm not alone in being empowered by SOME of Manson's provocative behavior, but knowing what he likely did to women does dampen this feeling a bit.

Plus, this album is extremely solid from a musical perspective. It's dark, heavy, well-written, and spans the sonic gamut from introspective artsy tracks to chainsaw-riffing barn-burners.
This Is Where Death Begins

I went with a (comparatively) lighter pick here to give us a bit of a break after Manson, as I'm pretty sure Combichrist's Andy LePlegua has at least dodged sexual assault allegations and does not appear to have every actually laid his hands on anybody.

Anyways, look, I get it. The brand of aggrotech/industrial metal that Combichrist trafficks in depends in part on excessive lyrical edge. For fuck's sake, one of that scene's biggest artists is named Suicide Commando. I'm not always excusing the content, don't get me wrong, but it's one thing to have songs like "Shut up and Swallow". It's another to pair that with promo imagery that features suggestively-clothed young girls and repeated Confederate flag representation, as well as a music video that drops the f-slur for no other reason than to drop the f-slur.

That said, Andy is not untalented. TIWDB and We Love You are solid slabs of old-school industrial metal, while his back catalogue boasts some truly solid EBM.
The Fake Sound Of Progress

I have a feeling that this record (and band, really) was likely a predictable pick. Look, we're all aware of Ian Watkins' horrific sex crimes and the man belongs in jail. I'm also skeptical of his bandmates' supposed ignorance as to his behavior, but as I have no proof one way or the other, I'm going to drop that for now.

The band's later catalogue is of no interest to me, but TFSOP and Start Something are undeniably creative slabs of nu/alt-metal, especially the former record. Somehow, this band managed to take all of the best parts of the burgeoning nu-metal scene and smash them all together, resulting in two of the best albums to come out of the naughties rock scene.
4Red (USA)
Of Beauty and Rage

This list isn't my therapy session, so I don't want to belabor this point too much, but I was raised in a conservative Evangelical home. I've since deconverted and have been dealing with a shitload of religious trauma since. Therefore, it's important to note that the RED guys have never been accused of sexual assault or anything of the like. I've actually met them and, in person, they all seem like nice enough dudes and they clearly care about their fans.

They make this list for me for two reasons. First, a quick glance at the guitarist or bassist's social media page, and you'll figure out pretty quickly that these dudes likely believe that the Democratic party is in fact a socialist unit hell-bent on destroying the nation by telling religious bakers that they cannot in fact be assholes to gay people. Second, some of the Christianese the band trafficks in is still a bit of a sore spot for me, their solid take on alt-metal aside.
5American Head Charge
The War Of Art

I'm cheating a bit here, because I think this record has more of a potential problem of edgy and dark lyrics arguably taken a bit too far (just Google "Seamless"), but I wanted to include it as a curveball.

This album is probably one of the best to come out of the nu-metal scene. It's got plenty of bone-crushing riffs and brutal screams, but is strangely cerebral and progressive at places as well. However, it is also relentlessly bleak. "Seamless" may well be about a sexual assault from the point of view of the abuser, "Never Get Caught" graphically describes a brutal murder, and "Fall" references skinning an enemy.

On the one hand, it's nu-metal, and to an extent, dark stuff is par for the course, and I highly doubt the band has actually done any of this stuff. However, the band's delivery of these themes is SO intense and convincing that it is legitimately disturbing, and even though I love this record, I sometimes worry something might be a bit wrong with me for doing so.
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