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2016 Metal Newcomers Explored, Part III: Huldre, Skuggsjá, Northern Crown, Necromancing the Stone, Blues Funeral

Photo of Northern Crown

Band Photo: Northern Crown (?)

Our annual staff awards were recently announced, but each year we delve into some of the newcomers a little more in-depth to help our readers discover new metal bands. I have not been on the pulse of metal as much as in years past, but I still discovered a few new bands to enjoy in 2016. While my best-of picks were all folk metal and thrash, the newcomers I enjoyed were a little more varied, but some still falling into those categories. Here were my top five metal newcomer picks for 2016:

Huldre

I enjoy folk metal a lot and with the shakeup in Eluveitie's lineup, I was especially happy to discover another excellent folk metal alternative in Huldre, who released "Tusmørke" this year. While not officially the band's first album, until hitting bandcamp just recently it was extremely difficult to get a copy of the band's music in the States. Huldre varies things quite a bit on "Tusmørke," going from soothing folk with female vocals to heavier, chugging riffs. "Hindeham" is a decently heavy track throughout and is a good place to start, while "Underjordisk" is a bit faster paced overall.

Skuggsjá

Not exactly metal in the traditional sense, the band describes their sound as "the epic sound of Norway's Norse history as told through harder music." Skuggsjá is a compilation between Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Einar Selvik (Wardruna). The band released its debut, "A Piece for Mind & Mirror," in March this year. Featuring an assortment of atypical instruments such as taglharpa, Kravik-lyre, goat-horn, birch-bark lure, bone-flute, and Harding fiddle, the music comes across like a heavier version of Wardruna on its debut album, while songs like "Makta Og Vanæra (I All Tid)" and "Skuggeslåtten" have some heavier elements on display.

Northern Crown

Following up their debut EP, "In the Hands of the Betrayer," Florida's Northern Crown released a slightly longer full length album, "The Others," in 2016. Playing a style of epic doom metal that brings to mind Candlemass, this is my favorite style of doom and doesn't disappoint.

Necromancing the Stone

I'm not a big power metal fan, but I love the rare few bands that can combine power metal and thrash. Pittsburgh's Necromancing the Stone does just that on their debut, "Jewel of the Vile," joining some of my other favorites like Charred Walls of the Damned, Crown the Lost, and Holy Grail.

Blues Funeral

Blues Funeral released its debut album, "The Search," this year. The band successfully channels early 70's giants Deep Purple and Black Sabbath while mixing in a pipe organ with an excellent vocal delivery. If early 70's metal is your thing, you can't go wrong with this album.

Did you find something you like? Let us know in the comments. Tune in tomorrow for another staffer's picks for best metal newcomer of 2016.

deathbringer's avatar

A self-described "metal geek," Doug Gibson has been listening to heavy metal for more than twenty five years and designed and coded Metal Underground.com from scratch over ten years ago.

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6 Comments on "2016 Metal Newcomers Explored, Part III"

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Drum_Junkie's avatar

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1. Drum_Junkie writes:

Huldre is pretty good - not quite at the level of songwriting as Eluvietie, but Nanna Barslev's vocals are nice.

I dig both the name wordplay and music of Necromancing the Stone. solid stuff.

Blues Funeral sounds like a poor man's Depp Purple. Not necessarily a bad thing. Jan Kimmel's organ work is pretty impressive and a real tribute to Jon Lord.

# Dec 29, 2016 @ 10:38 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

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2. spiral_architect writes:

Tusmorke sounds like music to stir your cauldron by. Bubble bubble toil and trouble!

# Jan 5, 2017 @ 9:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

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3. spiral_architect writes:

A Piece for Mind & Mirror? I'd rather listen to Piece of Mind.

# Jan 5, 2017 @ 9:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

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4. spiral_architect writes:

The Others has a cool riff, and sometimes during its sprawling 11 minutes vaguely reminds me of Tony Martin era Sabbath.

# Jan 5, 2017 @ 9:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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5. spiral_architect writes:

When Jewel of the Vile first kicks in with its breakneck pace I half expected Rob Halford to come in shrieking THIS......IS.....THE.....PAINKILLAAAAHHH.

# Jan 5, 2017 @ 9:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

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6. spiral_architect writes:

I liked The Search quite a bit. It starts out with a Ritchie Blackmore gone Renaissance sound and has a vocalist that reminds me of Purple's first vocalist Rod Evans. By the time it hits the five minute mark and gets into the purely instrumental part of the song, it definitely gets Sabbathy.

# Jan 5, 2017 @ 10:09 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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