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Unearthing The Metal Underground: The New York Progressive Metal Scene

Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week I am exploring progressive metal in New York.

The progressive metal bands in New York are rarely a typical prog act, so the focus is more on bands that incorporate progressive elements in their music.

Zandelle

Zandelle is a progressive metal band from Brooklyn, New York. Their earlier albums leaned more to the power metal genre, but their recent album, “Flames of Rage” is thrashier. Zandelle was signed last year to Pure Steele Records. Formed in 1996, the band has toured the world, recorded four albums and an EP, and is still not signed to a major metal label. In their most recent album, their powerful singer explores his range more and is raspier. The band has truly perfected all aspects of their style: fast guitars, loads of double bass, and tight playing. Check out the band on their MySpace page.

Watch Zandelle perform “Flames of Rage” at Club Europa in Brooklyn from Aug 28, 2009:

Ethereality

Ethereality is a progressive metal band from New York. Their sound is what one would expect from pure progressive music: keyboards, lots of solos, long epic 6+ minute songs, and talent everywhere. As a result the music has a very Dream Theater feel to it. What this band does that many prog bands don’t do, is that they keep their egos in check. The band seems to have more of a grasp on song writing and melody than wanking solos and constant time changes. Also unlike Dream Theater and various other prog bands, I find the singer pleasing to listen to. Though the singer has a wide range, I find that he explores his upper register only when need, rather than all the time. If you are a fan of progressive metal, definitely look out for this band. and for those who hate the genre, have an open mind and check them out you’ll be surprised. Listen to their music on their MySpace page.

Watch a live performance of their song "Common Conception" at Nokia Theater in New York City from September 16th, 2009 below:

Desdemon

The female fronted band Desdemon combines prog, power, and gothic metal, which something I don’t see nearly often enough. The music is very hard to describe, but I guess you’d have to combine Nightwish, Nocturnal Rites, Trail of Tears, and Arch Enemy. The singer, Mistress Tina, has a very unique style blending operatic, screaming, and growling. The music also seemingly crosses genre lines without hesitation. Guitarist Lord Metadox rhythm lines drive the music with the drums. The great amount of emotion he puts into his solos in “A Soul in Exile” shows a different side to his playing than his more aggressive riffs. Check out their MySpace page for song samples.

Watch a live video of the song “A Soul in Exile” below:

Certainly there are more quality progressive metal bands in New York. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground [area/genre] metal bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.

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1 Comment on "Unearthing The Metal Underground In New York"

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Jenny's avatar

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1. Jenny writes:

I recall hearing stuff from DesDemon once and I thought they were ok. I've never heard of Ethereality; they have an interesting sound. The only band I am familiar with here
is Zandelle, which I really like.

Awesome work.

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