Unsigned and Unholy: Pigeon Lake, Sovereign, Skallbank
Oslo, Norway’s Pigeon Lake combine all the best parts of Opeth both new and old, deftly mixing healthy doses of proggy bliss with bits of heavier almost-death-metal thrown in, although somehow the end result ends up feeling closer to hard rock. Stream new album Tales of a Madman at Bandcamp and album highlight “Confrontation,”below:
Sovereign‘s emphasis on songwriting is what really grabbed me. Clearly these guys can all play their instruments, but, for a band that leans towards the proggier side of black metal, they don’t get lost in either a) playing for the sake of playing, or b) mood for the sake of mood. Chris Grigg’s (of Woe fame) mix is both raw and clear, and the delightfully intricate bass work cuts through.
I’m surprised that more bands haven’t aped Kvelertak following the explosion of those six Norwegians’ combination of AC/DC riffs and punk, which seems like a no-brainer. But I honestly can’t remember coming across anyone else who’s done it… until Sweden’s Skallbank. Sure, it’s not the most original sound, but I’ll give ’em a pass for now because I’m digging the riffs and the tune.