UNSIGNED & UNHOLY: A FEW BANDS THAT ARE BETTER THAN MEDIOCRE!
I’ve spent enough time of late complaining about mediocre / unoriginal bands that are perfectly ok at doing what’s already been done before — and so has Axl — so for today’s Unsigned & Unholy how about a few bands that I feel have actually got something to offer? Positive mental attitude!
- Northern Sword: An admirably executed Viking Metal band. Kinda like Amon Amarth with a horn section… come to think of it, how come no one’s thought of having a full horn section in viking/folk/pagan metal before? (Now would be when one of you corrects me). Seems like an obvious match. Anyway, Northern Sword are decent, even if not that different from other similar bands; if they’d caught the ear of someone at Century or Nuclear Blast or like any metal label A&R guy during the great viking/folk/pagan craze of 2008/2009 they’d surely have been signed.
- Vira: Is it possible that there’s such a thing as a Danish metal sound? I think it’s not only possible but a reality. It’s one part early Haunted thrash n’ roll and one part crunchy mid-range hardcore riffs; think Hatesphere meets Mnemic and you’ve got it. Denmark’s Vira add a dose of Chainheart Machine / Predator’s Portrait-era Soilwork technicality to the mix — and, shockingly, a sense of originality all their own — for a sound that’s definably Danish but distinctive enough to be unique. I like it! [Thanks: “Nigguh”]
- Lost Coves: An experimental duo from Brooklyn playing all kinds of music infused with metallic influences, especially doom, and with a penchant for slightly dissonant weirdness. Vocals kind of kill it for me, but otherwise a cool band with a couple of musicians’ musicians.
- Omean: This is some super-glacially-paced doomy shit in the vein of Salome or Batillus, but it’s also got a tinge of a Floydian psychedelic/progressive bent to it and avoids many of the oft-used chord and note sequences that are so common amongst doom bands. Sometimes a little tough to stick with over the long length of their songs (as is par for the course in this genre), but I’d definitely keep an eye on these guys to see where they take things; there’s plenty of creativity to go around and more than enough ear candy to keep anyone interested.