Unsigned and Unholy: Iris Divine, Mean Little Blanket, Helm
All the bands on this edition of Unsigned and Unholy share a common trait: they’re great examples of how heavy music can be smart (and good) without being overly extreme. This grouping happened by chance, not by design; these three bands just happened to be ones that hit my inbox in close succession. They’re all heavy, and they’re all quite proggy, but the presentation and sonic aesthetic borders on hard rock, and they’re no less awesome than the much more extreme bands we usually feature. And so:
I’ve written about Iris Divine and their blend of Dream Theater-esque proggy hard rock in this space many times before, and now they’re getting ready to record another album which couldn’t make me more excited. They have a very modest Kickstarter goal of $4,500 to get that done, and they’re about halfway there with three weeks to go. Check out demo versions of two songs they’ll be giving the proper recording treatment below, and then donate if you like ’em.
Mean Little Blanket would fit quite well on a show bill with Iris Divine. Although their sound’s a bit more… gritty… I’d bet both bands share a lot of the same influences. Here’s their latest album BLAST OFF! to stream in full:
Helm remind me of a slightly more hard rockified version of The Ocean, although they’re certainly not afraid to get their heavy, aggressive side on when warranted. They’ve got plenty of that post-metal and proggy goodness, just a bit more chilled out. Dudes also remind me a bit of Big Wreck, if anyone else here remembers that band. Here’s their new album Vol 3…’Panthalassa’: