Unsigned and Unholy: Fraud, Hamferð, Status Abnormal, jakeL, Your Favorite Enemies
It’s December, it’s cold and gross out and the yucky holidays are approaching. What better way to commiserate than with a special FIVE band edition of Unsigned and Unholy?? Surely there’s something for everyone here.
Fraud do indeed sound like a mashup of technical death metal and grind, just as advertised. I’m surprised their album Forms Unknown isn’t getting more attention seeing as members of The Red Chord, Maruta, East of the Wall, Rosetta and more all lent guest vocals to it. Jesse Beahler of Jungle Rot, Black Crown Initiate and, uh, Rings of Saturn proves he’s worthy of far better than the latter by showcasing his drum chops throughout. Check out “Inward,” below, featuring The Red Chord’s Mike “Gunface” McKenzie, and stream the full album at Bandcamp:
Hamferð (pronounced “Ham-ferth”) hail from the Faroe Islands, a chain more or less on the center of the axis between Iceland, Norway and the UK, and their music is appropriately bleak given their isolated and, for half the year, extremely dark, geographical location. Hamferð combine the plodding tempos and rhythms of Paradise Lost with the melancholy melo-doom of bands like Insomnium, and the results are completely arresting and, in the best way possible, colossally depressing. Stream “Deyðir varðar” from the new album Evst below:
The downtuned ugliness, technical approach, ambient symphonic elements and psuedo-operatic choruses of Status Abnormal call to mind Fleshgod Apocalypse, yet this band’s new album Call of the Void seems faster, more groovy, and somehow unique in its own special way I can’t quite put a finger on just yet. Get ready to be brutalized:
For something a bit more on the easy listening side (not in a bad way) try jakeL. Fans of And So I Watch You From Afar, Russian Circles, etc ought to enjoy the highly cinematic, almost orchestral arrangements and dreamy atmospheres that jakeL crafts out of layer upon layer of heavily effected guitars.
Your Favorite Enemies don’t have much to do with metal at all hence their inclusion at the very end of this week’s column — Queens of the Stone Age might be the closest touchstone but even that’s a stretch — but I enjoyed the song “I Just Want You to Know” so much I just had to post it. Your Favorite Enemies really remind me of a band called The Loving Loss that crossed my desk years ago and this song is a catchy little ditty that would’ve felt right at home on alt rock radio a good decade ago, not that there’s anything wrong with that: