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Best Metal Newcomers Of 2012 Explored: Part 6

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.

Today we'll conclude our coverage of the best metal talent from last year by featuring nominees from three different contributors. You can also find yesterday's post on nominated acts over here.

Metalunderground.com site founder deathbringer nominated:

Earthen Grave

I haven't been following as many new, up-and-coming bands this year as usual, but I couldn't help but notice that Chicago thrash/doom band Earthen Grave released a first full-length album in 2012. The self-titled effort followed (and also contains the songs from) the "Dismal Times" EP from 2009, which has been in heavy rotation in my doom playlists for a long time. The band most notably features Ron Holzner on bass (formerly of Trouble), and Rachel Barton Pine on electric violin. The violin is used to excellent effect to add atmosphere on the doomy songs and even some solos during the faster parts. The band has also done an excellent cover of Witchfinder General's "Burning a Sinner." Check out the epic "Death On The High Seas" below:

Contributing editor heavytothebone2 nominated the following two bands:

Bastard Sapling

USBM that doesn’t feel like a retread of Wolves In The Throne Room. The band immerses itself in static, with no light at the end of the road for this brooding quintet. This is black metal as it should be: raw, abrasive, and dynamic. Bastard Sapling's debut, “Dragged From Our Restless Trance,” is phenomenal and any black metal fan would be idiotic to pass up this album.

Wizard Rifle

The strangest new band to come out in metal in a while, this sounds like what would happen if someone listened to Corrosion of Conformity and Black Sabbath at the same time while on shrooms. “Speak Loud, Say Nothing” is the quirkiest thing I’ve heard all year, yet I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It gets played at least once a week, and that doesn’t seem like enough.

Reviewer buickmckane also nominated:

Star & Dagger

Sean Yseult’s latest venture with other men and women of rock n’ roll including Eagles of Death Metal and Queens of the Stone Age alum has just enough of a blend of rockabilly, hair metal, and extreme metal to appeal to a lot of people. The debut album “In My Blood” was heavier than the band's live sound, but I know that with the amount of talent and experience under each member’s belt that they will find their solid footing in 2013.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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3 Comments on "Best Newcomers Of 2012 Explored: Part 6"

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wilco's avatar


1. wilco writes:

well dont know what 5to say about star and dagger
just did watch the video not real impressed about it
do think they do suck donkey ass

# Jan 13, 2013 @ 10:31 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar


2. Drum_Junkie writes:

The Star & Dagger video had a kinda cool Russ Meyer - Faster p***ycat vibe, but the music was just too repetitive. Maybe their other songs have more variety? But I can see where the MU's southern lass, Buick, would enjoy this group. :)

I do dig Earthen Grave and hope for continued success for them.

# Jan 14, 2013 @ 11:40 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
kshanholtzer's avatar


3. kshanholtzer writes:

I enjoyed Earthen Grave and I agree with Bastard Sapling comment about black metal being better raw and abrasive, like Marduk. Bastard Sapling was pretty good.

That might be the only thing by Wizard Rifle I could stomach. I didn't like anything else they wrote, which means I'll never buy that particular album and probably nothing by them ever.

I'm as mystified as the other 2 commentors regarding Star and Dagger. I wouldn't call this metal at all and I surely wouldn't put it anywhere on this website, let alone a 2012 pick. That's a bit ridiculous.

# Jan 19, 2013 @ 1:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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