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Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Vancouver Progressive Metal Scene

Photo of Seven Nines and Tens

Band Photo: Seven Nines and Tens (?)

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 revisiting Vancouver, Canada’s underground metal scene. While last time we gave some of the city's death metal bands the spotlight, this time I'm taking a look at the city’s more experimental metal acts. There is no doubt that this west coast Canadian city is abundant in metal talent, but beneath the piles of death metal and hardcore/metalcore acts lay a handful of exceptionally talented progressive and experimental bands. This week we will be taking a closer look at three of these bands.


Nylithia is an absolute force in every aspect. Its music is insanely technical and vastly diverse. While being labeled as a death metal act, Nylithia combines stylistic elements from many different areas. Technical death metal, progressive metal, ambient and melodic thrash metal are all combined into one fluent sound. The members who come together in Nylithia are also exceptionally young and are one of the youngest active bands in the Vancouver metal scene. A debut EP was released in 2008 by the name of “Infector,” and the band is currently setting up some studio time to record its second album and debut full length for a mid-2011 release. Nylithia has already made news around the world when they debuted a music video for its adaptation of a Super Mario theme song, which Metalunderground.com covered. Do not be surprised if you start to hear alot more about Nylithia in 2011. Its extremely entertaining debut music video for the track “Replicants” is available for viewing below. Nylithia may be underground today, but could easily become a household name in extreme metal in the years to come.


Haggatha is easily the most the underestimated live act in the city today. Haggatha blends slow, down-tempo sludge metal with extreme amounts of heaviness and epic song lengths. Featuring former 3 Inches of Blood and Pride Tiger drummer Matt Wood, Haggatha has become one of the top acts to go to when bands need an opener. Its live shows are intense and often leave people in a state of shock, earning them a reputation as being a one of the city’s premier live bands. With two 12” vinyl releases under its belt and tours across the country, Haggatha is becoming not only one of Vancouver’s most reputable forces in metal but will surely become a destructive entity across Canada and hopefully soon into the United States.

Seven Nines And Tens

The last band being profiled in this week’s column takes a much different direction than the other two bands profiled. Seven Nines and Tens is a melodic post-metal/post-rock band from Vancouver that combines different elements from across the musical spectrum. While being a band more based around melody, they also aren't afraid to add in some heaviness when the songs call for it. Similar in style to the likes of Pelican, God Is An Astronaut and Oceansize; Seven Nines and Tens offer up a diverse sound that has the potential to appeal to a wide range of people, from extreme metal fanatics to the more pop-minded individual. Seven Nines and Tens is one of the most underrated progressive/experimental acts in the city and is still looking for its big break . With a strong live performance and exceptional song writing ability, it is without doubt that Seven Nines and Tens will become one of Vancouver’s top experimental acts.

Certainly there are more quality experimental bands in Vancouver. If you’d like to recommend some other good underground progressive metal/experimental bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below and don't forget to check about the above mentioned bands - if you skip on it you might be out of the loop in the near future!

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

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4 Comments on "Unearthing The Metal Underground In Vancouver"

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1. systemsdown writes:

I saw Haggatha open for 3 Inches Of Blood here in Vancouver and I gotta say, they slay live. Alot of times doom/sludge bands can lose the energy of the crowd but these guys had slow moshes going through the whole set

# Nov 23, 2010 @ 1:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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2. cam666 writes:


# Nov 23, 2010 @ 3:43 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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3. mike21 writes:

you should feature avatara,
they are also from vancouver.
and feature nylithia`s ex-drummer dustin

# Nov 23, 2010 @ 8:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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4. Nev the Impaler writes:

I am a vancouver musician ( ex- guitarist for the Dayglo Abortions )...working on a new metal project called SICLE STROKE ...myspace.com/siclestroke

# Dec 3, 2010 @ 10:45 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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