Unearthing The Metal Underground: The German Metal Scene
Heavy metal was almost certainly born in the English city of Birmingham, but ask most fans of the genre (especially the European ones) and they'll tell you that the real home of heavy metal is Germany. The country hosts many metal festivals every year, including one of, if not the most famous of them all, Wacken Open Air, along with the likes of Summer Breeze Open Air, Ragnarök and Bang Your Head!!!. Germany has long been a place for rock musicians to ply their trade and build a loyal following: From the Beatles spending much of their early days in Hamburg, to the formation of the Scorpions in 1965, to the rise in German thrash bands like Kreator and Sodom, as well as popularising power metal through such acts as Helloween and Blind Guardian, to modern favourites such as Rammstein, Germany certainly has one of the richest histories in rock and metal music. This week we'll be looking at three young bands to come from the country to help prove that it's still top of the tree when it comes to the genre we all know and love.
Formed in the federal state of Saarland in 2003, the band consists of only one member, who goes by the simple alias, A.H. He recorded the first Arcthuris demo, "The Grim White Woman" soon after the project's inception and released it the next year. Arcthuris has also self-released all of their full length albums, beginning in 2005 with "Ruf des Zerfalls." It would be four years until another Arcthuris album surfaced in the form of, "Children of Nibiru," but since then, material has come quite steadily, with two more albums, "Mondsucht" and "Ghouls of Nepenthe" following in 2011 and 2012 respectively. As one might expect from a one man metal band, Arcthuris started life primarily a black metal venture, but has grown to display a more ambient sound along the way.
Arcthuris - "Lucustas Liebestraum"
Arcthuris - "If I Could"
From ambient black metal, we move to the more progressive side of things next with Effloresce, a group formed in 2008 in the Bavarian city of Nuremburg. They released their first EP, "Shades of Fate" the following year to promising reviews before building on this with the release of their first full length album, "Coma Ghosts" this year, through Generation Prog Records. The album has so far gained good reviews from both metal and prog publications, and looks to be the first step in establishing the band as a force in German progressive metal.
Effloresce - "Swimming Through Deserts"
Effloresce - "Pavement Canvas"
Human Thrash Machine
No prizes for guessing what area of metal these guys cover, Human Thrash Machine are another band formed in Bavaria, this time from Hartkirchen. The band makes no bones about their straight forward approach to thrash metal, having entitled their first demo, "Songs About Blood, Death & Hate," which they released in 2010. They followed on from this with with their first full length effort, "Our Darkest Nightmares," which they self-released on December 23rd of last year. Since then the band has been performing regularly in the German club scene, looking to make a name for themselves and honour the legacy of thrash metal that their country has forged throughout the years.
Human Thrash Machine - "Polluted World"
Human Thrash Machine - "Chainsaw Killer"
What did you think of this week's bands? Please feel free to comment about your favorite bands in this article in the comments below, and check back in next Monday as we continue to unearth more underground metal bands.
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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