Onhell said:I disagree. Change in direction by no means means decline in quality. Further more, popularity due to change in direction, and just as a thought better quality, does not make a band "bad" or "sell outs".
I'd be inclined to agree but in the case of Amorphis and Therion, their changes were for the worse. Nu Amorphis and Nu Therion are hilariously awful in their attempts to be 'progressive' and 'open-minded'(TM). Listening to The Karelian Isthmus and Beyond Sanctorum might not make you look cutting edge and 'open-minded'(TM), but I'd imagine the music would be a lot better.
As for At the Gates, they declined after With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness when Alf Svensson left the fold. The hallmarks of Svensson's songwriting - long melodically and rhythmically irregular phrases, unusually dissonant phrasing, the consistent use of inversion and retrograde inversion and the generally broad technical palette - predominate throughout the band's early work, and are consistently present in Svensson's post-ATG work (and notably absent in ATG after his departure). Slaughter of the Soul basically sounds like Pantera with weedunhdunhwiddleSQUEEE! at the end of every phrase. One of the most horrendously overrated and damaging albums to metal as well as paving the way for the Gothenburg craze (as if death metal wasn't terrible enough during the mid-90s thanks to bands like Internal Bleeding and Dying Fetus spreading da slamz) and the metalcore boom.
And no, I'm not some elitist (OH NOES!1) who only listens to death metal, I hardly listen to metal at all these days to be honest.