Damn it! We are almost at the end of May and here i am typing away last month’s Diamonds in the Rough. As usual i’ve been giving the lords of procrastination a run for their money. To be frank a combination of the much dreaded office work and and downright laziness have been a cause of immense self loathing for sometime now, and this is probably a byproduct. Ah well, lets get on with it already. With this second edition i to visit the more modern side of last month’s releases. Now flush out all your previous playlists, and make space for this one.
P.S. Hope you’ve listened to the first part of our playlist.
Music can be infectious, yes. But when it comes to metal, it takes an altogether different level of precedence. Although not being an avid fan of Power metal, Empyrios from Italy seems to do it for me rather wonderfully well. They combine the downtuned grooves of djent with the aural range of power metal, and yet they cannot be pigeonholed as being cheesy as most of power metal usually ends up being. They even have a good amount of electronica tagging along and it suits their brand of music pretty well . An added fact is that the vocalist is not even close to being whiny, which is always a plus. In fact at times, sounds much like the gifted Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge (one of the few mainstream bands that is worth a dime). The track from comes from their new album Zion released via Scarlet Records.
When scouring the metal holy lands of Germany, you are likely to come across bands from all the given subgenres of metal. Yet Black metal is one genre, which the country is not really known for. Despite having a more than active underground, there have been far too little for people to take up and notice. Yet last year brought some surprisingly good albums from bands such as the long running Desaster and Secrets of the Moon. This year seems geared to be no different with Endstille, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult and the Ruins of Bevarest coming out with interesting releases. Another such promising new band is Negator. They play a brand of black metal more close to the styles of Dark Funeral and Belphegor. An interesting fact is that since Lord Caligula retired from the Dark Funeral early this year, none other than Negator’s vocalist Nachtgarm replaces him in the live set. Serenading everything unholy, the band unleashes a scathing attack on the senses with their song The Last Sermon. The track comes off their new album Gates to the Pantheon released via Viva Hate Records.
The French! Need i say more? Redefining ingenuity as they are, the country is hardly the cesspool that most nations where metal took its roots from, are now. It seems that nothing can go wrong with anything remotely French. To be precise when they are not at their creative best, they produce downright catchy stuff, much like Hord here in Unleash the Hermod. Drawing inspiration from most of the modern melodic death metal veterans as well as adding in tons of spaced out atmosphere, this is aural bliss. Clean vocals, strangely similar to Anders Friden’s that are far from today’s cheesefest and several downright infectious hooks are the order of the day.
4. THY ART IS MURDER
As much as i dislike Deathcore there are a few bands that are truly worth the time. All Shall Perish, the Akeldama era The Faceless and yes Whitechapel too. I’ve been a fan of Whitechapel’s post- This is Exile work while all of their early stuff was uninteresting metal drivel. Yes i might draw some serious flak for this, but what the hell! I better be frank and true to myself than be Mr.Blatant Poseur. Now lets get to the crux of the matter here. Very similar in style to Whitechapel is Thy Art is Murder from Australia. Its got everything that makes Deathcore a much maligned genre, the no middle ground deep guttaral/high pitch screams , layered growls, bassdrops and the one thing that has almost attained ubiquitous status, Breakdowns. But Thy Art is Murder mixes it up in such a way that it retains a certain freshness much unlike the general stale and saturated state of the genre. The song Shadow of Eternal Hate best exemplifies their sound and quite easily is their best song. Goddamnit listen to that intro groove/riff. Absolutely mauling!! The song comes off their new alum Hate released via Nuclear Blast Records.
A band that might as well have gone under everybody’s radar, the Swedish Agrimonia play a dark and sludgy variant of post- metal. At times their songs, hint at the bleakness inherent to most of Black metal, and with the raspy vocals it does seem more like it. Eerie and melodic, they eschew the generally seamless meandering tendencies of post-metal/hardcore for a more directed approach. This makes their songwriting more precise and as a result, potent. With the production duties handled by the now legendary Fredrik Nordstrom, every little nuance becomes discernible. This particular song The Battle Fought comes off their latest offering Rites of Separation released via Southern Lord.