Djent

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Djent ( /ɛnt/ ) is an subgenre of progressive metal characterized by its use of off-beat and complex rhythm patterns inspired by free jazz. [1] [2] Its distinctive sound is that of high-gain, distorted, palm-muted, down-tuned strings. The name "djent" is an onomatopoeia of this sound. [3] [4] [5]

Contents

Development

Fredrik Thordendal, lead guitarist of Swedish band Meshuggah, is considered the originator of the djent technique. [6] However, the band did not coin the term itself; In a 2018 interview by Rauta, Meshuggah guitarist Mårten Hagström apologized for the band's role in creating the "djent" genre. [7] [8]

Other bands important in the development of the style are Animals as Leaders, [2] Periphery, Tesseract, [9] [10] [11] and Textures. [12]

The scene has grown rapidly, [13] and members of the original online community, including the bands Chimp Spanner, Sithu Aye, and Monuments, have gone on to tour and release albums commercially. [6] [14] Other bands that often use djent include A Life Once Lost, [15] Veil of Maya, [16] Vildhjarta, [17] and Xerath. [18] Born of Osiris have also been described as being inspired by the djent movement. [13] Furthermore, Hacktivist [19] [20] and DVSR [21] are djent bands that use rapping as primary vocal style. [22]

Characteristics

Djent as a genre is characterized by progressive, rhythmic, and technical complexity accompanied by a use of polymetric groove. An example is the song "Cafo" by Animals as Leaders. [11] It typically features heavily distorted, palm-muted guitar chords, syncopated riffs, [6] and poly-meters alongside virtuosic soloing. [1] Another common feature is the use of extended range guitars that are seven-string, eight-string, and nine-string, or even more strings. [23]

Reception

Some members of the metal community have criticized the term "djent," either treating it as a short-lived fad, openly condemning it, or questioning its validity as a genre. However, bands such as Tesseract and Animals as Leaders have gained positive reviews, receiving awards and releasing highly-acclaimed albums. Post-metal band Rosetta is noted as saying, "Maybe we should start calling doom metal 'DUNNN'". [24] In response to a question about 'djent,' Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe stated in 2011, "There is no such thing as 'djent;' it's not a genre." [25] Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter similarly opined in 2016 that "I thoroughly can get djent, I even have great appreciation for the bands, and I mean Meshuggah is one of my favorite bands. But it’s just not a genre. It’s just metal." [26] In an interview with Guitar Messenger, Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor said:

I was looking for gear that was djenty. I was like: 'Are these pickups djenty?’ For some reason it caught on, but completely in the wrong way, because people think it's a style of music and they think it's a style of music I play. [27]

In a later interview with Freethinkers Blog, Misha Mansoor stated that he felt djent had become "this big umbrella term for any sort of progressive band, and also any band that will [use] off-time chugs [...] You also get bands like Scale the Summit [who are referred to as] a djent band [when] 80% of their stuff sounds like clean channel, and it's all beautiful and pretty, you know [...] In that way, I think it's cool because it groups really cool bands together [...] We are surrounded by a lot of bands that I respect, but at the same time, I don't think people know what djent is either [...] It's very unclear." Later in the interview, he stated, "If you call us djent, that's fine. I mean, I would never self-apply the term, but at the same time, it's just so vague that I don't know what to make of it." [28]

Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders takes a more lenient view of the term, stating that there are specific characteristics that are common to djent bands, and as a result the term can be legitimately used as a genre. While stating that he personally strives not to subscribe exclusively to any one genre, he makes the point that a genre is defined by the ability to associate common features between different artists. He says that in this way, it is possible to view djent as a genre describing a particular niche of modern progressive metal. [29]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Eight-string guitar

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Fredrik Thordendal Swedish guitarist

Fredrik Thordendal is a Swedish musician, best known as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the extreme metal band Meshuggah, of which he is a founding member. Along with Meshuggah's rhythm guitarist Mårten Hagström, Thordendal was rated No. 35 by Guitar World in the top 100 greatest heavy metal guitarists of all-time.

<i>obZen</i> 2008 studio album by Meshuggah

obZen is the sixth album by Swedish heavy metal band Meshuggah. It was released in Europe on March 7th, 2008, and in North America on March 11, 2008 through Nuclear Blast. Tomas Haake made his return as the studio drummer for the record after the Drumkit from Hell drum software was used on Catch Thirtythree. It is also the first album on which bassist Dick Lovgren performs despite having been a member of the band since 2004; this is due to the bass having been digitally programmed on the previous album, Catch Thirtythree, and the bass having been performed by guitarist Fredrik Thordendal on the previous I ep. The release of the album was followed by their first world tour. A video was filmed for a shorter version of the song "Bleed". A two-disc vinyl re-issue was released on March 22, 2019 through Nuclear Blast.

The Ibanez RG2228 is the world's first mass-produced eight string electric guitar. It came out in March 2007 and was introduced in the Winter NAMM show of that year.

Animals as Leaders American instrumental metal band

Animals as Leaders is an American instrumental progressive metal band from Washington, D.C.. It currently consists of guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes and drummer Matt Garstka, having been formed by Abasi in 2007. They are a prominent band within the djent scene. Prosthetic Records released the band's eponymous debut album in 2009. They went on to release the albums Weightless (2011), The Joy of Motion (2014), The Madness of Many (2016), and Parrhesia (2022).

Tosin Abasi American guitarist

Oluwatosin Ayoyinka OlumideAbasi, is an American musician, best known as the founder and lead guitarist of the instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. He has recorded and released five albums with Animals as Leaders: a self-titled debut, Weightless, The Joy of Motion, The Madness of Many, and their most recent album, Parrhesia. Abasi was ranked #97 on the Guitar World list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time.

<i>Animals as Leaders</i> (album) 2009 studio album by Animals as Leaders

Animals as Leaders is the debut studio album by American instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. It was released on April 28, 2009 by Prosthetic Records. In 2015, a reissue titled Animals as Leaders – Encore Edition was released with bonus tracks.

Periphery (band) American progressive metal band

Periphery is an American progressive metal band formed in Washington, D.C. in 2005. Their musical style has been described as progressive metal, djent, and progressive metalcore. They are considered one of the pioneers of the djent movement within progressive metal. They have also received a Grammy nomination. The band consists of vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarists Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcomb, Jake Bowen, and drummer Matt Halpern.

<i>Periphery</i> (album) 2010 studio album by Periphery

Periphery is the debut studio album by American progressive metal band Periphery. It was released on April 20, 2010 through Sumerian Records, and was produced by the band themselves and Matt Murphy. Many songs on the tracklist had been written long before the release date—with some written by original lead vocalist Casey Sabol—but due to membership changes, the album was postponed on several occasions. Former vocalist Chris Barretto had nearly finished recording the album before he and the band parted ways months before its release. Rather than release the songs with Barretto's vocals, the band decided to rerecord Barretto's songs with Spencer Sotelo; however, Sotelo only re-worked a few of the melodies when recording vocals, versus writing completely new lyrics. As a result, Sabol's and Barretto's lyrics and vocal melodies and harmonies are still featured on the record. The album was re-released on February 6, 2012 as a 'Special Edition' including instrumentals, along with a new song "Passenger," originally recorded by guitarist Mark Holcomb during his time in the band Haunted Shores. This is the only album to feature guitarist Alex Bois and bassist Tom Murphy.

Tesseract are an English progressive metal band from Milton Keynes. The band, formed in 2003, consists of Daniel Tompkins, Alec "Acle" Kahney, James Monteith, Amos Williams and Jay Postones. The band is currently signed to Kscope. They are credited as one of the bands to pioneer the djent movement in progressive metal. As of 2022, Tesseract have released four studio albums: One, Altered State, Polaris and Sonder, as well as two live albums, Odyssey/Scala and Portals, and the extended plays Concealing Fate, Perspective and Errai.

Uneven Structure

Uneven Structure is a progressive metal band based in Metz, France. They play a style of post-metal which is heavily influenced by the Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah. The band blends polyrhythmic passages and extremely low tunings with a heavily layered production style and ambient soundscapes. They are often categorized in the djent movement due to the Meshuggah-like guitar tone they often employ. The band was formed after the split of Longchat, a band which featured Igor Omodei and Benoit Friedrich.

<i>Eclipse</i> (Veil of Maya album) 2012 studio album by Veil of Maya

Eclipse is the fourth studio album by American deathcore band Veil of Maya. It was released on February 28, 2012 and is the band's shortest album to date, clocking in at only 28 minutes. Eclipse was co-written and produced by Misha "Bulb" Mansoor, who is the guitarist of the Maryland-based metal band Periphery. It is the first record by the band to feature bassist Danny Hauser and the last with vocalist Brandon Butler.

Misha Mansoor American guitarist

Misha Mansoor, also known as Bulb after the name of his solo project, is an American musician, best known as the founder of and one of the three guitarists in the progressive metal band Periphery. He is also a part of the projects Haunted Shores and Four Seconds Ago, previously having been a part of the projects Of Man, Not of Machine and Snuggles.

<i>Periphery II: This Time Its Personal</i> 2012 studio album by Periphery

Periphery II: This Time It's Personal is the second studio album by American progressive metal band Periphery. The album was released on June 29, 2012 through Roadrunner Records in Australia and on July 3 through Sumerian in America. It was produced by Misha Mansoor and Adam Getgood. It is the first record by the band to feature new members Mark Holcomb and Adam "Nolly" Getgood, replacing Alex Bois and Tom Murphy on guitar and bass, respectively.

Hacktivist (band) British rap metal band

Hacktivist are a British rap metal band formed in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, in 2011. They released a self-titled EP in 2012, followed by their debut studio album Outside the Box in 2016.

<i>The Joy of Motion</i> 2014 studio album by Animals as Leaders

The Joy of Motion is the third studio album by American instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. It was released on March 24, 2014, in Europe, March 25, 2014, in North America and on March 28, 2014, in Australia and New Zealand by Sumerian Records. The entire album was previously made available on YouTube on March 19, 2014.

<i>Parrhesia</i> (album) 2022 studio album by Animals as Leaders

Parrhesia is the fifth studio album by American instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. It was released on March 25, 2022 by Sumerian Records.

References

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