Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Prog Metal Scene Part 3
Every Monday we unearth three more underground metal bands that our readers may not have had the pleasure of hearing yet, and this week we’re looking another batch of acts that throw prog rock into the mix or otherwise break genre boundaries.
This is our third outing into the ever-changing waters of prog, and what’s interesting about this style is how many different sounds can be contained within the same overall genre title (even the term “prog” itself is somewhat contradictory – if a band falls into an easily identifiable genre label then is it really “progressive?”). For instance, compare Orphan Bloom’s over the top rock style from our last prog metal edition of Unearthing the Metal Underground with the mixture of soothing atmosphere and death metal mayhem found in Enochian Theory below. Both are “prog,” but both are vastly different in style and substance.
These three acts are a little less jazz and instrumental focused than the bands in our last prog lineup, and cover a wider range of ground, heading into power and symphonic territory as well.
U.S. act Ocean Architecture is a newer band on the scene, having just now finished and released online a first full-length album title “Animus.” Although the sound quality isn’t perfect (this is a debut from an unknown group after all), the album still has pretty much everything that a progressive metal fanatic craves: crazy electronic keyboard sounds, a strong prog rock feel, random gang shouts, and even some black/death metal bouts interspersed all throughout.
Topping it all off are some technical and showy bits, as well as interesting changes in tempo and vocal styles, such as the odd feeling of falling created during the “spiral downwards” section on the track “Plato’s Cave.” You can listen to the full “Animus” album through the Bandcamp player below.
This utterly insane Greek band could fit in any number of genres – power metal, electronic, symphonic, etc. – which is why it’s a perfect candidate for the term “progressive.” The band’s mastermind has been known to call it “epic space metal,” which essentially means whatever you’d like it to. Dol Ammad just released a new full-length titled “Cosmic Gods: Episode I – Hyperspeed,” and the album has a truly crazy blend of electronic and industrial sounds with full choirs, electric guitar and, as you can see in the video below, at one point even cat becomes a member of the band.
Get ready to enjoy life at “Hyperspeed” – just don’t drop any acid first. In the second clip below you can also find Dol Ammad’s tribute to Carl Sagan, featuring a guest appearance by D.C. Cooper of Royal Hunt.
“Winds of the Sun”
With this U.K. act you can hear a sound similar to the more laid and atmospheric back proggy bands, like Anathema or Haken, but then there are also sudden bouts of death growls and some heavier guitar riffing. Most of the vocals are very clean and soothing, with a more mainstream feel than is standard in metal.
Enochian Theory has now dropped the new album “Life…And All It Entails.” You can listen to a track off that album titled “The Aching Isolation” below, or find more music via the band’s YouTube page.
“The Fire Around The Lotus”
“This Aching Isolation”
There are plenty of stellar prog metal bands out there, and these were just three that may strike your fancy. Feel free to share your favorite prog picks in the comments below, and check back in again next week as we unearth more underground metal acts.
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