The bit where the noise kicks back in

Posted in Petulance on June 21st, 2009 by Alex

It’s a well understood technique, in literature, music, movies, even politics, that if you want something to have particular impact, you precede it with something quiet, calm, inert, mundane. The classic horror scare technique is to dupe the audience into thinking that the protagonist is safe, before slamming them sadistically into new levels or terror and torment – think, in Alien when Ripley thinks she’s safe in the shuttle only to find that they alien followed her in.

Look me in my brand new eye - no thanks

"Look me in my brand new eye" - no thanks

Metal is a musical genre that uses this technique to devastating effect: there’s quiet bit (usually around two thirds of the way through the song) that lulls you into a little pocket of calm – the eye of the storm – before smashing back in, like a cricket bat to the side of the head, with the most brutal part of the track that make you mosh so hard your head snaps clean off at the neck. Bloody marvelous!

Here’s a few examples of this technique used that will make you run, face first, into a brick wall.

Rage Against the MachineKilling in the Name of (4:34 “F*ck you I won’t do what you tell me!”)

Lamb of GodContractor (2:21 “They all die!”)

AmenMayday (2:26 “Take your bible, burn it alive!”)

SlipknotEyeless (3:05 “Look me in my brand new eye!”)

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