THE DEVIL’S OWN UNSIGNED & UNHOLY
Greetings Metal Suckers. I’m The Devil, and I’ll be your guest writer for this post as part of HessianHunter’s maniacal MS management today.
But before I delve into discussing a handful of unsigned and/or overlooked bands, I’m going to set the record straight regarding this “voting controversy” that so many people have sore vaginas about. Long story short, HessianHunter is running the show today through the grace of MY dark will, so if you’re still going to bitch about ballot counts, you need to shut your fucking whore mouth. I’m The motherfucking Devil, I am lord of this world, and I have influence over every election, so deal with it.
You see, an alternate option to selling your own soul in exchange for my unholy favors is to offer the soul of your first born child. Of course, this only works if your child 1) is unbaptized, or 2) has not been born yet. With respect to the latter option, my offerings are a little more limited, since I obviously have no guarantee that you’ll even have a kid. In any case, it’s still good enough for me to make you king of MS for the day, which was part of the deal I struck with my boy HessianHunter.
The other part of the deal was that I needed an avenue to fulfill the other deals I struck with a couple poor saps in unsigned bands who offered me their souls if I would give their music a shout out on MS. Amazingly, only two fucking bands took me up on my “soul for a shout out” deal (both of which are actually pretty good), but given the abysmal state of the music industry, I can understand why the rest of you weren’t exactly jumping at the opportunity.
So, I’ll briefly discuss those two bands, and then move on to linking you to some evil and/or rad shit from bands MS has overlooked that might just get your juices flowing. At the very least, it might help you kick your All Hallows Eve hangover.
My goal here is to discuss smaller bands that MS doesn’t talk about, so this is the one time you absolutely SHOULD link to your or your friends’ music in the comments section if you think it’s worth checking out. I’m also painting with pretty broad strokes here, so feel free to provide any additional detail on these bands that you might know. Caveat: don’t cry if these damn embedded song links don’t work.
Locale: Santa Cruz, California
Sounds like: Deathy, techy goodness
Before Ben from Chasm e-mailed me last week to sell his soul, I was never aware of there being any metal scene in Santa Cruz, but it’s understandable why brutal sounding music would be created there. While most folks assume Santa Cruz is full of peace loving hippies, the locals secretly harbor an antagonism towards all outsiders that lurks beneath the surface, just waiting to be unleashed in a violent fury upon unsuspecting victims. And out of this den of veiled xenophobic hostility comes the band Chasm.
Chasm’s music is pretty much the antithesis of the post/prog/djent/ skinny jeans core that MS likes to plug as of late. It’s fast, technical death metal that has growls, some chugga chugga, and some wheedily deedily, all of which I am down with. According to Ben, Vince and Axl ignored Chasm’s previous unsigned and unholy submissions, which is a shame, because I approve of Chasm. Check out their song “Ludovico” below, and their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chasmofficial
Ocean of Emptiness
Locale: Orange County, California
Sounds like: A modern take on classic hard rock/metal (without the vests)
This is the only other band that took me up on my “sell your soul for a shout out” offer. I have to say though, that bands like Ocean of Emptiness have it rough. The clean vocals make them not heavy enough to suit many metal fans, their distorted guitars, guitar harmonies, and double kick make them too heavy for your average rock fan, and the production is a little too much on the hi-fi side to suit the beardos.
Nevertheless, I can dig their stuff, and it’s hard to find decent hard rock these days. Musically, they have a bit of Sabbath, A.I.C., C.O.C., and Maiden going on, without sounding like they’re ripping off their influences. Solid guitar work and a hint of some occasional keys/spacey effects keep things interesting, and apparently their EP is all DIY (which I’m a big fan of), so good for them. Listen to “A Righteous Pride” below, and download their EP for free (pay what you want) at their Bandcamp site at http://oceanofemptiness.bandcamp.com/
Locale: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sounds like: Techy death with just the right amount of crustiness
Any urban area where it gets freezing ass cold in the winter will tend to have a robust metal scene. Don’t ask me why this is the case, but it comes as no surprise that the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota has a fair amount of no-nonsense death metal, which I’m going to focus on discussing with the next few bands.
Australis is an unsigned Minneapolis death quintet which sounds pretty damn crushing given the fact that they too are doing the DIY thing. It’s a fairly difficult thing to manage to simultaneously sound tight as a death metal band while maintaining an organic feel (let alone in any other genre of metal), but Australis does just that, especially in the blast beat sections where other bands would devolve into a muddy mess. Listen to “The Rapture of Eidolon” below and visit their Reverbnation page at http://www.reverbnation.com/australis
Locale: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sounds like: Crusty old school death
I really like umlauts. No joke, if I see one in a band name, I pretty much can’t resist giving it a listen. Ulvmörd’s former band name was Mordwolf, and for some reason (cease and desist letter from the folks at Death Wolf?) they changed their name to Ulvmörd. The difference is semantic, since Ulvmörd, Mordwolf, and Death Wolf, all actually all mean a “wolf of death,” which I envision being a badass undead wolf that rips people’s throats out and then lifts its leg on their corpses just for the fuck of it. At any rate, the name “Ulvmörd” trumps the other two names by a fucking long shot in my opinion due to the presence of the all-powerful umlaut.
If you like your death metal with tons of complex crazy sweeps and 8 finger tapping exhibitions, then Ulvmörd is decidedly not your cup of tea. If you like a lot of breakdowns, well, they aren’t gonna do that either. These guys do some unapologetic, crusty old school death, and much like a badass undead wolf, they don’t give a fuck. Check out “Before the Rot” below, and visit their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MordwolfMetal
Locale: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sounds like: Grindy death
Out of all of these Minnesota bands mentioned in this post, Invidiosus is by far the most brutal for several reasons. First of all, I don’t know precisely what “invidiosus” means, but it sounds to me like they could be referring to an invidious dinosaur. I was around during the age of the dinosaurs, and I can say that I know firsthand that you just do NOT fuck with an invidious dinosaur. I like it.
Even more brutal is their bio on Reverbnation, which states that since the band’s inception in 2007, Invidiosus has gone through TWENTY FOUR member changes. Maybe that isn’t something you’d want to advertise if you’re actively seeking a record deal, but withstanding that many lineup changes within the span of six years is certainly laudable in and of itself. I just hope that they have at least one story about losing a drummer to a bizarre gardening accident or something Spinal Tapishy like that. Musically, this is getting into even grindier territory than the other Minnesota offerings above. Check out the track “Organ Trail” (awesome song name) below, and their Reverbnation page at http://www.reverbnation.com/invidiosusMN
Locale: Los Angeles, California
Sounds like: Chuck Schuldiner lives
Most people believe that Chuck Schuldiner died in 2001. This is only partially true. You see, while his earthly body succumbed to cancer, Chuck was able to project his spiritual presence onto the Astral Plane, waiting for a suitable corporeal vessel to commandeer. That corporeal vessel turned out to be Leslie Medina, the female guitarist and vocalist of Insentient, a band featuring two female guitarists who can both play much better than 90% of all you jackoff male MS readers who fancy yourselves as “shredders.”
Critics of the band might accuse Insentient of sounding too much like Death. Well, duh motherfuckers, Chuck Schuldiner’s soul has merged with the consciousness of Leslie Medina and granted her majestic guitar playing and growling abilities—what the hell do you expect? Moreover, what the fuck is wrong with MORE Death? If you’re not down with that, then you need to punch yourself in the face (srs). This band is worth checking out. Do it now. Listen to “As I Wither” below, and check out Insenient’s Reverbnation page at http://www.reverbnation.com/insentient
Locale: Los Angeles, California
Sounds like: American Dimmu
And we’re finally into some good old, corpse paint wearing black metal. To be fair, I think Vince mentioned these guys once several years ago, but I’m going to briefly discuss them here mainly because they just disappeared.
The LA metal scene is host to a fair amount of black metal bands, most of which aren’t anything to get excited about. But for a few years, Sothis was making some waves doing the whole “hi-fi symphonic black metal” thing ala Dimmu, and sounding pretty damn tight in doing it. Although they were briefly signed by Candlelight, I’m fairly certain the label dropped them, so I’m going to lump them into the “unsigned” category.
Since then, there were rumblings of a new album in the works for at least a couple years, which never came to fruition, so it’s possible that they could be on a milk carton somewhere. Listen to “Hypocrisy” below, and go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SothisOfficial and tell them to make another album.
Locale: Los Angeles, CA
Sounds Like: Aztec-themed blackened thrash
In addition to being All Saints Day, November 1st is also the first day of Dia De Los Muertos, a holiday celebrated in Mexico and in other Latin American countries that has its roots in Aztec autumnal traditions. It’s safe to say that without the Latin American peoples, metal music would not be nearly as big as it is. There are countless metal bands with members of Latin American descent, and like the Scandinavians, many of them have a particular affinity for metal that has been instrumental in the genre’s proliferation. And I have a theory on why that’s the case: the robust history of institutionalized human sacrifice of the Mesoamerican and South American indigenous cultures such as the Aztec and the Maya, which I of course thought was pretty awesome while it lasted (and I’m still pissed at the Spanish for sailing across the Atlantic and fucking up a good thing like that). Gone are the glory days of human sacrifice, but it is precisely that legacy of brutality that continues to move metal music forward through the Latin American members of our metal community.
With that in mind, I submit to you Mictlantecuhtli (try saying that five times fast), a Los Angeles based black metal/thrash group that has been on the scene for a long time, yet has never quite broken through. In any event, they have a groovy Aztec schtick that celebrates their heritage with some pleasantly evil songs about things like human sacrifice and epic battles—two of my favorite things. Listen to “Blood Spills in Darkness” below, and check out their Reverbnation page at http://www.reverbnation.com/mictlantecuhtli
Locale: New Jersey
Sounds Like: Doomy, gloomy, Agallochy, and slightly blackened
I like to doom out with my ‘shroom out from time to time, even if it means listing to a ten minute song. I’m digging Forlorn Path from New Jersey, mainly because I freakin LOVE Agalloch and it’s easy for me to get on board with any band that takes a page out of Agalloch’s book like Forlorn Path does. But unlike other Agalloch influenced bands, Forlorn Path isn’t completely trying to copy Agalloch’s “Forest Metal” schtick by having lyrics about trees and snow, etc. They’ve also got a bit of My Dying Bride (a MASSIVELY underrated band) and old Swallow the Sun doomy gloominess, so I respect that too. Listen to “Man’s Last Portrait” below, and download their album for free (that’s about an hour of free music!) at http://forlornpath.bandcamp.com/
Location: Perth, Australia
Sounds like: Symphonic black, with a hint of death
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention at least a few non-USA bands, and this one is from Perth, Australia. It seems like any time that MS talks about an Australian band, it’s one of these ambient alternative acts like Karnivool or Dead Letter Circus. That’s not to say that those bands aren’t cool in their own respects, but there’s definitely some evil thunder down under going on with Advent Sorrow that is worth a listen.
These guys are basically symphonic black metal, but what sets them apart is that you can actually hear the bass for a change (which is a good thing). Listen to “Before the Dimming Light” below, and check out their Bandcamp at http://adventsorrow.bandcamp.com/album/before-the-dimming-light-ep
Sounds like: Straight up black metal darkness
Some seriously satisfying Satantic Slovenian sounds here. Maleficus Angelus translates to “evil doing angel,” which pretty much describes me to T, so naturally I had to give these Slovenian black metallers a listen. Much to my delight, Maleficus Angelus does not disappoint. This is some no bullshit, straight up black metal for you, and it doesn’t let up from start to finish. Listen to “Plague of Fantasies” below, and download their album for free (pay what you want) at http://maleficusangelus.bandcamp.com/
Location: Quebec, Canada
Sounds like: Death metal of the Gorguts vein
Longtime MS commentator Dental Damnation would likely never let me hear the end of it if I left Canada out of the mix. Vengeful have been exacting vengeance upon the Quebec and Ontario areas of Canada for about the last ten years, but remain unsigned, which is kind of a bummer because they’re pretty good. Vengeful’s music reminds me of some later Gorguts style stuff, and they also like to do some cool juxtapositions between clean or acoustic guitar lines and the rest of the band chunking away that some might dare to call “progressive,” even if it’s not exactly a new invention. Listen to “Anguish” below, and visit their Reverbnation page at http://www.reverbnation.com/vengeful
Grim Kim’s Recommendations
Sounds like: A bunch of stuff
And because I don’t think there’s nearly as much Grim Kim as there should be on MS, and I respect her taste, I’ll finish by linking to a SHIT ton of stuff she’s tweeted/tumblred about below for you to check out as well. Some of these bands are signed, and MS might have touched on a few of them, but there’s some seriously good stuff in here.
And there you have it. The most extensive unsigned and unholy post EVER, and it was 100% djent free to boot!
Like I said earlier, feel free to post your own links in the comments section below.
Stay evil my friends.