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View Full Version : Bands who have great mid-career releases but whose early and later works aren't good


AnthG
06-02-2014, 05:54 AM
Here's something I thought could make for an interesting topic.

Music fans, especially metal fans, always talk about bands who have had great albums early on and then start sucking afterwards. There's also quite a few bands who do the opposite, and start off not so great but then improve as they go on and release some of their best music late in their careers. But what about bands who start off not so great or mediocre, then release great music for a stretch before releasing some not so good albums?

This obviously applies to bands with a fairly big enough catalogue. I'm sure there's tons of bands we can think of who have 3 albums and only the second one is good, or something. I'm speaking more maybe of bands that have that longevity and a specific track record. Probably the most likely scenario with these bands is taking a few albums to establish their sound and songwriting chops, and then everything clicks for a stretch where they just release some awesome music before either running out of ideas or becoming uninspired and just releasing music that sounds that way, or trying something completely new that fails.

The first band that I can think of is Opeth. Maybe this is cheating a bit since their only bad later album in my eyes is Heritage, which i've spoken at length about how much I dislike the album, and Watershed before that was sort of "ehhh" in places. However, and I might be in the minority here, i'm really not a big fan of Orchid or Morningrise. The production has a lot to do with it, but the riffs and songs just aren't that great, and i'm really not a fan of Mikael's harsh vocal style he uses on those two albums. But then everything from My Arms, Your Hearse up to and including Ghost Reveries is just borderline flawless in my eyes.

Another band where this concept is more drastic is Cradle of Filth. I'm not a huge fan of them, but here's another band whose early work I don't like at all, when they were more of a "black metal" band (obviously never a full-on BM band but whatever), then have a trio of albums that I really like in Midian, Damnation and a Day, and Nymphetamine. Even those albums have a bit too much of a cheese factor (especially Midian), but Damnation and a Day's concept and music stylings with the orchestra and choir are really well put together, and Nymphetamine is just some good thrashy-ish music with some catchy guitar licks in there. But then everything after that just sounds so boring and uninspired.

There's probably more I could think of once they pop up in my mind, but i'm curious to see what other bands people can think of that fall into this category.

TheWildAndTheYoung
06-02-2014, 06:12 AM
Styx is probably the only band I can think of. Anything pre-Equinox I'm not a fan of and they're previous releases aren't that good either.

Spiner202
06-02-2014, 06:35 AM
This is a really difficult topic. Edguy maybe? Their first couple of albums were really weak, then from '98-'04 they were gods. The next three albums slowly got worse and worse. They don't quite fit because their newest album is one of their best, but they've certainly had a few ups and downs.

Gamma Ray is the same case as Edguy. Relatively mediocre early work. Brilliant middle period. Then they started getting boring once they ran out of ideas, but have now released another great record.

ravenheart
06-02-2014, 08:41 AM
This is a really difficult topic. Edguy maybe? Their first couple of albums were really weak, then from '98-'04 they were gods. The next three albums slowly got worse and worse. They don't quite fit because their newest album is one of their best, but they've certainly had a few ups and downs.

This depends on your view of the band though. I find their power metal stuff dreadfully boring. It's all the same. Whereas on albums like Superheroes, Age of The Joker, and Tinnitus Sanctus, they had loads of great variation. Those albums were far more interesting. So were the live shows.

Some bands have ruined this concept by pulling a great album out of their ass recently.

This is definitely tough... I can think of loads of bands who started great and got worse, and loads who started badly then got it right.

Opeth is a good shout.

I guess for me Bon Jovi would be one. I don't think the debut is all that good, and the last two or three have been pretty awful. But from '85 to '95 they were great.

HackedUpForBBQ
06-02-2014, 09:39 AM
This obviously applies to bands with a fairly big enough catalogue. I'm sure there's tons of bands we can think of who have 3 albums and only the second one is good, or something. I'm speaking more maybe of bands that have that longevity and a specific track record. Probably the most likely scenario with these bands is taking a few albums to establish their sound and songwriting chops, and then everything clicks for a stretch where they just release some awesome music before either running The first band that I can think of is Opeth. Maybe this is cheating a bit since their only bad later album in my eyes is Heritage, which i've spoken at length about how much I dislike the album, and Watershed before that was sort of "ehhh" in places. However, and I might be in the minority here, i'm really not a big fan of Orchid or Morningrise. The production has a lot to do with it, but the riffs and songs just aren't that great, and i'm really not a fan of Mikael's harsh vocal style he uses on those two albums. But then everything from My Arms, Your Hearse up to and including Ghost Reveries is just borderline flawless in

I loved those first two albums..... and Heritage was awesome too. Just the intro to In Mist She Was Standing alone is orgasmic

adamclark52
06-02-2014, 09:54 PM
Some people will argue with me but I don't like Enslaveds earlier work and their last three albums haven't been too good either. I pretty much only like Isa and Ruun.

slapguitarer
06-02-2014, 10:37 PM
Some people will argue with me but I don't like Enslaveds earlier work and their last three albums have been too good either. I pretty much only like Isa and Ruun.

Yeah, they're pretty stellar

adamclark52
06-02-2014, 11:37 PM
Yeah, they're pretty stellar

I forgot an "n't".

anomynous
06-03-2014, 09:15 PM
Rush?



That's the only thing I can really think of, but they have killer shit on all their albums.

Natrlhi
06-04-2014, 08:00 PM
If Target Earth didn't sound amazingly similar to Dimension Hatross, I would have said Voivod.

AnthG
06-05-2014, 09:50 AM
Another band I thought of is In Flames. Now, this a.) might piss people off who love Lunar Strain and b.) may be cheating because it's really only that album and Subterranean that i'm not a huge fan of. Now, i'm not one of those people who think that everything after Clayman stinks - I think i'm one of the few people who really likes Soundtrack to Your Escape, and Reroute to Remain was a solid album and Come Clarity has some gems. But like everyone already knows (or should knows), Jester Race, Whoracle, Colony, and Clayman are the where this band shines. The latter 3 to me are the Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and ...And Justice for All of their catalogue. I also want to be clear. But man, the last couple of albums, even coming from the dude who enjoyed Soundtrack to Your escape...yeah. Nothing terrible, just very empty, boring, re-hashed, etc.

300%_Density
06-05-2014, 07:48 PM
Another band I thought of is In Flames. Now, this a.) might piss people off who love Lunar Strain and b.) may be cheating because it's really only that album and Subterranean that i'm not a huge fan of. Now, i'm not one of those people who think that everything after Clayman stinks - I think i'm one of the few people who really likes Soundtrack to Your Escape, and Reroute to Remain was a solid album and Come Clarity has some gems. But like everyone already knows (or should knows), Jester Race, Whoracle, Colony, and Clayman are the where this band shines. The latter 3 to me are the Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and ...And Justice for All of their catalogue. I also want to be clear. But man, the last couple of albums, even coming from the dude who enjoyed Soundtrack to Your escape...yeah. Nothing terrible, just very empty, boring, re-hashed, etc.

IF is a great example. I don't love their first albums but JR, Whoracle, Colony & Clayman are great. Although I did like Reroute. After that have been albums w/ a few good songs but nothing else.

Maideneer
06-05-2014, 08:05 PM
None of these bands I feel have "not good" records, it's just that the middle albums are stronger to me.

Amorphis
Dark Tranquillity
Katatonia
Paradise Lost
Scorpions
Soilwork
Thin Lizzy
ZZ Top

TheWildAndTheYoung
06-05-2014, 08:35 PM
Another band I thought of is In Flames. Now, this a.) might piss people off who love Lunar Strain and b.) may be cheating because it's really only that album and Subterranean that i'm not a huge fan of. Now, i'm not one of those people who think that everything after Clayman stinks - I think i'm one of the few people who really likes Soundtrack to Your Escape, and Reroute to Remain was a solid album and Come Clarity has some gems. But like everyone already knows (or should knows), Jester Race, Whoracle, Colony, and Clayman are the where this band shines. The latter 3 to me are the Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and ...And Justice for All of their catalogue. I also want to be clear. But man, the last couple of albums, even coming from the dude who enjoyed Soundtrack to Your escape...yeah. Nothing terrible, just very empty, boring, re-hashed, etc.

I second this statement. I also really like Soundtrack To Your Escape.

adamclark52
06-05-2014, 09:14 PM
None of these bands I feel have "not good" records, it's just that the middle albums are stronger to me.

Amorphis
Dark Tranquillity
Katatonia
Paradise Lost
Scorpions
Soilwork
Thin Lizzy
ZZ Top

I was gonna say Amorphis and Paradise Lost. The later stuff I've heard from Paradise Lost is good but nowhere near Icon thru One Second. And with Amorphis I really only ever dug Elegy (and parts of Tales from A Thousand Lakes and Tunola) and the rest was either bad or boring.

I'm tempted to say My Dying Bride too. I don't like the first two albums and didn't care for the last album and EP. But that leaves a BIG middle career.

Sepultura69
06-06-2014, 12:17 AM
Sepultura.

AnthG
06-06-2014, 05:38 AM
None of these bands I feel have "not good" records, it's just that the middle albums are stronger to me.

Dark Tranquillity
Katatonia
Soilwork


Would you count Fiction as "middle" or "later" for Dark Tranquillity since they've released 2 albums since then. It's easily my favourite Dark Tranquillity album.

Curious about Soilwork too for this assessment. I thought about them when making the thread, mainly because i'm not the biggest fan of their pre-NBC outlook, but Figure Number Five isn't a very good album, and Living Infinite is one of their best I think. They've definitely gone through ups and downs, but I never viewed it as a "hill" so to speak, and more like peaks and valleys.

Same with Katatonia. Where do you view their "middle peak" starting and ending?

PVH5150
06-06-2014, 06:04 AM
Scorpions
ZZ Top

Uli Scorps >>>>>>>>>>>>> Matthias Scorps

And the whole Rockman effects/Simmons electronic drums periods were ZZ's dark days. When I think of ZZ Top, fucking "Rough Boy" isn't exactly one that I think of.

Dextrimental
06-06-2014, 09:49 AM
For me, Motley Crue. Their self-titled is head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion.

Also, Chimaira's Resurrection is the only album of theirs I ever want to listen to as a record.

TheWildAndTheYoung
06-06-2014, 09:59 AM
For me, Motley Crue. Their self-titled is head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion.



I'm complete opposite of you on that one. I love their 80's records (though Theater Of Pain is still ehh), actually really like Saints Of Los Angelas, and hate everything in between.

El Gordo
06-06-2014, 10:02 AM
Sepultura.

Not sure I follow you on that one... I'd consider Schizo, BTR & Arise all early releases, which are all better than Chaos, Roots, Against & Nation. Yes?

dcmetal108
06-06-2014, 11:43 AM
Not sure I follow you on that one... I'd consider Schizo, BTR & Arise all early releases, which are all better than Chaos, Roots, Against & Nation. Yes?

Roots




Bloody Roots