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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Kicking Off 2017

Photo of Meadows End

Band Photo: Meadows End (?)

It's a whole new year metal fans, and as the first Monday in a wide open 2017 standing before us full of metallic possibilities, we've officially arrived at the year's inaugural edition of Unearthing The Metal Underground!

In week's past we've covered modern prog rock groups and much more extreme metal bands alike. Today we're going to cover three completely different sub-genres in our underground picks, from post-rock to black metal to melodic death.

A Province Of Thay

This unlikely group hailing from Seattle caught my attention strongly when we had the opportunity to premiere the "Atonement" EP in October of 2016.

The opening title track immediately grabbed me and had me spinning the release multiple times to experience more of this shoegazy post-rock just absolutely dripping with atmosphere and emotion but still very much on the metal side (check out our full review here).

I sort of love the genre description A Province Of Thay uses on Facebook: "gloomy doom, post rock, post metal, prog, nerds." That pretty well sums it up. Take a listen to "Atonement" below.

Ur

A new Polish black metal outfit with strong influences from other sub-genres (particularly classic heavy metal), the simply titled Ur just released debut EP "Hail Death" via Arachnophobia Records.

There's a ton of promise in this mini-album with a sound that will appeal both to fans of classic black metal or more modern genre interpretations. All six tracks are now available for streaming in the Bandcamp player:

Meadows End

The longest-running band in our look at underground gems today, this Swedish symphonic / melodic death metal band has actually been around since the late '90s, but only released three full-length offerings so far from 2010 - 2016.

We had the pleasure of premiering a song from "The Sufferwell" back in 2014 and then watched as the band went on a year-long "Sojourn," releasing one track per month throughout all of 2015.

That's a gamble many bands have attempted and most fail at, invariably ending up missing months as the work backs up, but Meadows End persevered and released all the "Sojourn" tracks as a complete album in February of 2016.

It's always been vexing to me that Meadows End isn't bigger in the melodic death metal scene, since the music here is easily on par with (and in some cases, exceeds) anything from the big names like Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium, etc.

These are but three of a vast ocean of lesser known metal bands that are all well worth your time! What did you think of our picks this week, and what unknown groups would you recommend we check out soon?

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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1 Comment on "Unearthing The Underground: Kicking Off 2017"

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1. Drum_Junkie writes:

I liked Meadows End ok, but to me, it's missing some elements that Insomnium has in spades. (Using Insomnium since you mentioned it as a point of comparison.)
I like Insomnium's hooks (Vocally, Guitar, ethereal keyboard sounds, and lyrics).
For Meadows End, the lack of clean vocals or even well enunciated rough vocals, makes it harder to pick out key lyrics. The guitars and keyboards are good, but they aren't cohesive in a way that supports the song or takes it to the next level. All the elements I mentioned above for Insomnium work well together, where Meadows End doesn't have many hooks that pull me in or get me emotionally vested in the music.

I like what I've heard, just not blown away by it.

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