Djent

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Djent (/ɛnt/) (also known as math metal), is an extreme musical subgenre 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]

Development[edit]

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] 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bowcott, Nick (26 June 2011). "Meshuggah Share the Secrets of Their Sound". Guitar World. Future US. Archived from the original on 17 May 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b Angle, Brad (23 July 2011). "Interview: Meshuggah Guitarist Fredrik Thordendal Answers Reader Questions". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  3. ^ Hammerpublished, Metal (22 July 2017). "Currents: making waves in the djent-metal underground". loudersound. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  4. ^ "What is Djent | Djent Hub". Djent Hub. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Meshuggah - Kings Of Underground Music Scene". UnBumf. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "Djent, the metal geek's microgenre". The Guardian. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011
  7. ^ "MESHUGGAH's MÅRTEN HAGSTRÖM On 'Djent': 'We're Very Sorry For Creating That Genre; We Didn't Intend To – Our Bad'". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  8. ^ Camp, Zoe (24 July 2018). "Meshuggah Apologize for Djent: It Was "Drunk Misunderstanding"". Revolver. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  9. ^ GuitarWorld Staff Member (16 March 2011). "TesseracT Unveil New Video". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  10. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "One". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  11. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Concealing Fate". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  12. ^ Bland, Ben (3 October 2011). "Textures - Dualism (Album Review)". Stereoboard.com. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  13. ^ a b Colgan, Chris (24 June 2011). "Born of Osiris: The Discovery". PopMatters. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  14. ^ "TESSERACT's ACLE ON THE BIRTH OF TESSERACT AND THE DJENT MOVEMENT". Metalsucks. Metalsucks. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  15. ^ Debenedictis, Matt (23 February 2011). "A Life Once Lost Took 'an Outsider's Point of View' During Time Off". Noisecreep. AOL. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  16. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "[Id]". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  17. ^ Hart, Josh (6 October 2011). "Vildhjarta Unveil New Album Details, Post Teaser Video". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  18. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "II review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  19. ^ Rosenberg, Axl (17 October 2011). "Djent-rappers Hacktivist Kind Enough to Put the Word Hack Right There in the Name". MetalSucks. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  20. ^ Islander (9 November 2012). "Hacktivist". No Clean Singing. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  21. ^ CroOZza (25 November 2013). "DVSR - Got-Djent.com". Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  22. ^ Pasbani, Robert (5 May 2014). "Is Nü-Djent The Next Big Thing?". Metal Injection. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  23. ^ Kennelty, Greg. "Here's Why Everyone Needs To Stop Complaining About Extended Range Guitars".
  24. ^ "What is your opinion of Djent?". Rosetta band. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  25. ^ Blythe, Randy. "Lamb of God's Randy Blythe on Djent". smn news. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  26. ^ "Deftones' Stephen Carpenter On "Gore": "I Didn't Want To Play On The Record To Begin With"". Theprp.com. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  27. ^ Mansoor, Misha. "MARC OKUBO (VEIL OF MAYA) & MISHA MANSOOR (PERIPHERY) INTERVIEW". guitar messenger. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  28. ^ "Periphery interview part 3 of 3." FreethinkersBlog. 19 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Aug. 2013. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bE0Q_9nQ9U>.
  29. ^ Abasi, Tosin. "Tosin Abasi's Opinion of Djent". Retrieved 20 October 2017.