I agree with Adam, look at the amount of awesome stuff that is purely instrumental. Look at classical composers, post-rock soundscapes, endless prog epics, music has alway moved me more than lyrics do.
OK, most important is a bit over the top - but if you're going to have a vocal element, the vocals are one of the most important things.
Yeah, but only the sound of them. I do like good lyrics (and bad lyrics can put me off a bit if I can hear what is being said) but ultimately lyrics aren't so important to me, especially in extreme metal.
Hmmm, I'm not so sure. Obviously, without being able to speak Swedish or Norwegian or French, I don't understand what some songs are about, so I'll backpeddle again a little bit. If you're going to have audible lyrics in English, then they best be good - that Sekhmet song for me is a bit weak because the lyrics are so poor.
Lyrics are especially important for me in extreme metal - it's not just the "heaviness" that's extreme, it's often the ideology behind bands that's quite extreme, too. If you're going to deal with those concepts and have shit lyrics, the whole things fails at the first time of asking. For me anyway, obviously this is hugely subjective.
I think nick what you meant to say was that clearly audible BAD lyrics are detrimental to a song, rather than "lyrics are the most important thing in music". I would agree to that point anyway, but just so long as the lyrics aren't too bad, then its the music that matters to me.
Yeah, that's fairly accurate. Having bad lyrics for me is as bad as having a bad lead guitar, or bad drumming; I tend to find them infuriating on the same level. Especially when a band chooses to write a song in English and the lyrics are nonsensical.