Wednesday, 9 November 2011

CO - Research on djent

An ESP/LTD SC 608b Steven Carpenter (guitarist of Deftones)
guitar. Note the eight strings for maximum depth of tones,
as this style of guitar is used a lot in the genre.
The term "djent" is loosely used to categorize a subgenre of metal which employs a specific type of note played on guitar. This note is played very fast (staccato) and often in a variety of rhythms. The rhythms played on guitar are usually very fast, in a specific pattern and settings on the amps often set to a medium-high gain setting. Because of the low notes that are often used in djent, the guitars used by bands are often seven or eight string, with thick and low gauges on each string to maximise the depth and tone of each note, and downtuned to a large extent. The genre can also be played on a more conventional six-string guitar, although contrastingly guitars with as many as 10 strings can be used.

The genre was arguably birthed by Swedish metal band Meshuggah, who formed in 1987 and are most famous for their songs Bleed, Perpetual Black Second, Rational Gaze and Stengah. Stengah itself is extremely noticeable and famous in the metal for such characterization of the djent tone, even with the opening being phonetically transcribed with "djent djent, djent djent djent, djeeeeeennnnnnnntttttt." However, the band are most renowned for their song Soul Burn, where the genre was pretty much born.

Since its inception in the mid 1990's (when Meshuggah started to get noticed) djent has evolved, mainly by becoming even more technically proficient due its fusion with other genres, mainly progressive metal. Bands like Periphery have pioneered the genre by creating an extremely unique mix of djent tones, fast picking, fractured drum patterns, guitar tapping, and a unique mix of clean and aggressive vocals and more, although the latter is more recent due to the addition of a new vocalist. Other bands around today to employ the microgenre in their sound include TesseracT, Animals As Leaders, Structures, Volumes, Born of Osiris, Textures, Cloudkicker, Bulb, Veil of Maya, SiKth and more. It may be worth noting that the man behind Bulb is the guitarist of Periphery and "Bulb" is his one-man project that he did before he founded Periphery and still does today. Similarly, Cloudkicker is a one-man band who has put out around 3 albums and some EPs, writes all the music himself and releases it for free; because of the size of the genre, very few bands have been able to find a lot of mainstream success as it is a very underground scene at the moment.

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