As the text at the top of the page alludes to, this blog is going to focus on unsigned metal bands and bands on small underground labels.
And where better to start than China.
Ghost Bath – Funeral
I think, for most people, this will be a band that you’ll either love or downright hate. There won’t be any middle ground, mainly because of the vocals.
Musically, this is depressive Black Metal, quite beautifully constructed, it has to be said. But the vocals… Well, they sound like someone being tortured. High pitched uncontrollable screams which conjure up images of hot pokers being shoved where the sun doesn’t shine.
The juxtaposition between the control and beauty of the music with the hellish freeform nature of the vocals has me hooked, in a very similar way that Wotan’s Return on the In The Woods opus, Heart Of The Ages did way back in 1995.
My first foray into the Chinese Metal scene has turned up a rather unique gem. https://ghostbath.bandcamp.com/
England are playing Costa Rica in the Football World Cup and I hope that their football team isn’t as good as one of their bands. Heavy Chains, as if you hadn’t guessed, are a good old fashioned Heavy Metal band, with a few thrashier overtones thrown in for good measure.
Frontman Diego Acuña isn’t too dissimilar to a certain Bruce Dickinson and I would place this somewhere between Iron Maiden and the earlier works of Metallica and Megadeth. Perhaps with a few Judas Priest references as well.
The 4 track Deathstalker EP is their 1st recorded release and it’s a fine piece of work for them to begin with. Check them out at: https://heavychainscr.bandcamp.com/
Keeping the World Cup theme going, we are heading over to Brazil to listen to some Slayer worshipping Thrash from Setfire.
I know the intro of Revolution Of Machines is a case of Reign In Blood getting ripped off for the umpteenth time, but it still sounds awesome.
Social Bomb hints at a more original sound, before deciding to veer into Pantera territory to completely blow away what I was saying. But for what they lack in originality, they more than compensate for with a feverish energy.
If you head on over to their Reverbnation page, you’ll find 4 songs and the teaser of a new video for Envy Shit, which looks very good… so please post all of it! http://www.reverbnation.com/setfire
Slowing down the pace completely, the next offering is Carnivorous Forest from the UK.
The music may be acoustic and for the most parts, the vocals soothing, but the subject matter is about as dark as it gets, with genital mutilation and sexual violence being the less than savoury subject matters. And with song titles such as Carving The Cunt and Cocksucker, there’s not a lot of subtlety on offer, apart from the lilting acoustics. Personally, I think this is pure genius as the sparseness of it all completely draws you into the lyrics. And did I mention how catchy this is? Whilst doing my shopping this morning I was ambling around the supermarket, avoiding as many screaming brats and hassled parents as possible, with the joyous tones of “Cocksucker” repeating in my head. It’s just as well I wasn’t singing it out loud!
You can make your own mind up about where to pigeonhole this, but I guess Neo-Folk or Acoustic Black Metal will suffice to give you an inkling on whether to investigate this further. And I recommend that you do. Click that mouse on over to http://carnivorousforest.bandcamp.com/
Shorts and News
This one’s been out for a while, but I only recently found it on Spotify (surely the best musical invention since… well, ever) Black Fast, as the name suggests, play Blackened Thrash and their debut album, Starving Out The Light was released last year.
The band are offering a free song if you join their mailing list, so pay them a visit at https://www.facebook.com/BlackFast and you can download the song Levitations for free
Progressive Black Metal band Chiral, who hail from Italy will release a new EP on June 21st entitled Abisso. One track is available to preview now: https://www.facebook.com/ChiralItaly
Also out on the same day, June 21st, is the 2nd album from UK Celtic / Pagan band The Wolves of Avalon, who feature The Meads Of Asphodel’s crazy frontman Metatron.
Dubai melodic Deathsters, Voice Of The Soul, will release their debut album in September. It’s a follow up to their 2011 Into Oblivion EP, which I’ve been playing a lot this week. Sneak a listen, or pay for a download at: http://voiceofthesoul.bandcamp.com
And before I disappear, here’s something I have in the pipeline, which may be of interest to up and coming bands.
I’m planning a number of split and compilation albums for the remainder of this year.
The first album, which will be a digital compilation, will be entitled In Metal We Trust and I’m working with Illustrator / Author, Chaz Wood from Fenriswulf Books, who has designed the cover artwork.
Each album will have approximately one hour of music. We are intending to sell the albums for just $1. The hope is that people will support underground/unsigned bands by paying such a nominal amount.
There is no charge for inclusion on the compilation, so we are offering free publicity for the bands. We cannot offer royalties either as the money collected will be used for promotion purposes, which will include sending out promo copies via the ipool system to webzines and magazines around the world. We will also post details of the release on forums around the net, as well as social media outlets.
If you are interested in appearing on one of our releases, please get in touch. The first album is filling up fast and we hope to have it out by the end of June, start of July. Album number 2 will hopefully arrive a month later. A Black Metal split album is being assembled too, which will showcase many sides of the genre. That will feature just 4 bands, with each band having about 20 minutes each. The split albums will sell for $3 or less and if they are successful on an underground level, they’ll receive a full worldwide release and will be available on the like of iTunes and Amazon.
That's all for this week. The next instalment will be unleashed next Friday