Yesterday I devoted space to four under-the-radar bands with divergent styles of metal that I thought deserved more attention from fans of extreme music. Shining the spotlight on deserving but relatively unheralded bands has consistently been one of this site’s objectives, but my recent day-job death march put me way behind in doing it. So I’m doing it again today, with four more bands unearthed from the underground who have recently released new music. Once again, their musical styles are all over the map.
Shevils are based in Oslo, Norway. They released their debut EP last year under the title Necropolis, and earlier this month they premiered a new song named “We Walk On Shattered Glass”, which will appear on an upcoming album that’s projected for release in the fall of 2013. I took a chance on the song, not knowing anything about the band, and it kicked my ass right up between my shoulder blades. This has made it difficult to sit down, but I’m not complaining.
The new song delivers hardcore vehemence with musical flair, combining skull-pounding grooves, vein-bursting vocals, and a catchy melody that will get stuck in your head.
“We Walk On Shattered Glass” can be downloaded for free at this location. Band links are below, followed by a stream of the new track and a separate stream of the Necropolis EP.
Ögenix are based in Montréal and they released their self-titled debut album last month. As in the case of Shevils, I took a chance on the music, not knowing what it would hold in store, and man, is it good. It sounds a bit like what Fear Factory might do if you imagined Fear Factory starting out today with a renewed urge to break molds instead of re-treading old glories.
Ögenix employ electro and industrial elements in their songs, but it would be wrong to pigeon-hole them solely under those labels. There’s a hard, cutting edge to the music, and the hoarse hardcore-style vox add to the band’s gut-level punch. My favorite track is the last one, fittingly called “The End”. It’s an absolute crusher, super-charged with head-moving beats and dynamic transitions, and buried within it is a memorable chorus.
But all the songs crush, even the ones that are more jacked up on electro beats, and all of them are infectious as ebola. I’m afraid that I find most industrial-oriented metal becoming dull by the time I make it to an album’s end, but I never lost interest with this one. Very cool, very creative shit from start to finish — and sitting still while listening is not an option.
The Ögenix debut is available for streaming and download on Bandcamp, and that page also has info about how to obtain a CD. Links are below, followed by the Bandcamp player.
THE SOLEMN CURSE
I came across this Birmingham, England band yesterday via a Facebook status from NCS curmudgeon KevinP, which closely followed on the heels of another status about his need to buy a new six-pack of “tighty whities”. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good, and while trying to purge that first status from my mind I’ve really been enjoying The Solemn Curse.
The band consists of two brothers, one who plays all the instruments and one who vocalizes. UK-based Mordgrimm Records released their six-track debut EP, Gateways To Eternity, just last week. Two of the songs are streaming on Bandcamp and a third is available on YouTube, and those are the tracks I’ve heard so far.
The music borrows from both black metal and death metal, building atmospheres of darkness and dread. But what makes the music stand out is a fine feel for dynamics and the band’s knack for writing bleak but affecting melodies. It’s the kind of rich, dark metal that gets you in its grip and doesn’t let go.
Gateways To Eternity can be ordered on CD from these locations:
The band’s Facebook page is here — and here are those three tracks I’ve heard:
TAKEN BY THE TIDE
Of the four bands featured in this post, UK-based Taken By the Tide are the only one I’ve written about previously (here). They’ve released a three-song promo by the name of Long Pig, which was the subject of that earlier post — it’s available for streaming and download on Bandcamp. But yesterday I discovered a killer new promo track (instrumental only) called “A Partridge Among the Pigeons” that went up on their guitarist’s Soundcloud page.
The song is packed with jolting Meshuggah-esque rhythms, bright streamers of swirling lead guitar notes, and drum beats that go off like gunshots. I got neck sprain from banging to this baby. Check it out below.
You can find Taken By the Tide on Facebook here.