Best Metal Newcomers Of 2012 Explored: Part 5
Band Photo: Beyond The Bridge (?)
There's a slew of new heavy metal bands popping up across the globe covering just about every imaginable sound, and plenty more appearing on the horizon. Thanks to easy access to digital tools and online methods of music distribution, the metal scene as a whole has an exploding population, and every year we try to keep up with the best new talent in our year-end “best of” awards.
To help get you acquainted with the best new metal out there, we’ll be briefly covering the bands nominated by our contributors for the “Best Newcomer” category of Metalunderground.com’s recent 2012 awards.
Senior reviewer Progressivity_In_All nominated the following acts for best newcomer of 2012: Beyond The Bridge, Storm Corrosion, The Great Gamble, Aoria, and Lance King. You can also find yesterday's coverage of nominees by clicking here.
Beyond the Bridge
As CROMCarl noted previously, Beyond the Bridge's debut album (reviewed here) masterfully announces their arrival in the metal universe as a prospective heavyweight. Imagine a hypothetical scenario where George Lucas arrives in Hollywood for the first time and immediately directs Star Wars as his very first film. That's about the equivalent of Beyond The Bridge releasing "The Old Man and the Spirit" as their debut.
The very first release from the prog metal superduo of Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson and Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt surprised the world. Neither prog nor metal, where even the term "rock" would be a stretch, Storm Corrosion's sound sticks closer to the music that Wilson had been developing as a solo artist over his last two albums, "Grace For Drowning" and "Insurgentes," yet still doesn't recall them. A true anomaly that drove critics and listeners insane with either elation or frustration, Storm Corrosion's music relies on voice, piano, guitar, and synthesizer.
The Great Gamble
Students and graduates of Berklee in Boston, Massachusetts have never failed to raise the bar for extreme metal. Following college mates Dream Theater and Powerglove, The Great Gamble launched onto the scene in 2012 with a concentrated prog metal debut in "Book One" (reviewed here.) Their blend of prog metal incorporates a lengthy first-person active perspective in their lyrics with interspersed bits of fine instrument technicality and Symphony X-like stories. The band is based out of Scranton, PA in the US.
Within the framework of the melodic doom world, My Dying Bride and Katatonia currently have a stranglehold. Fortunately, Niklas Sandin of Katatonia teams up with Erik Nilsson of Kausal and Robin Bergh of October Tide to produce an offshoot that's right up that alley. Nilsson has a light and clean tenor voice, which counterpoints the mid-tempo churn. Their first album, 2012's "The Constant" (reviewed here,) is a well-paced and vaguely cinematic offering.
A veteran of the metal world, Lance King not only runs Nightmare Records, but has been recording with various metal acts since 1990. Striking out finally on his own as a solo artist, King's debut is punchy, timely, and non-coincidentally all about time. Mainly prog, King works with acclaimed producer Jacob Hansen to make statements about life and worldly events. While anybody could do that with a blog these days, King chose to use the medium of crushing riffs, bright clean singing, and a generous helping of Outworld-like instrumentation and technicality.
Moreover, Lance is donating money from the sales of this album to a charity called "Not For Sale," which stands against human trafficking (sex slavery.)
Read on to the sixth and concluding segment in our look at the best of 2012 over here.
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