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Archive: Unearthing the Metal Underground Columns

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Unearthing The Scottish Metal Underground

Every week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we take a look at three quality bands that haven't gotten as much exposure yet as they should. This week, we will be taking a look at three heavy metal bands from Scotland, since it seemed criminal that we hadn't already. There is currently a tourism commercial airing for the country which opens with the line, "Scotland may surprise you," which is certainly evident in its metal scene, containing everything from traditional thrash metal to pagan black metal, and everything in between.

Cerebral Bore

Another band formed in 2006 is Cerebral Bore, who hail from Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, and perform a brutal brand of death metal that lives up to the harder than nails reputation of the city on the River Clyde. They released their first demo, "The Dead Flesh Architect" in 2006 and soon found themselves garnering attention internationally, making their first trip abroad in August the next year to perform in New York, and have since gone on to perform in many other countries including Russia, India and Israel, as well as supporting some legendary names in extreme metal such as Brutal Truth and Suffocation. In 2010, they signed to Earache Records and released their full length debut, "Maniacal Miscreation," the next year. While touring for the album, the band made headlines when guitarist Paul McGuire and bassist Kyle Rutherford were falsely arrested and jailed in New York on suspicion of murder. The two were released a week later without charge and flown back to Scotland. The band recently released a single entitled, "Horrendous Acts of Iniquity," as well as completing the Summer Slaughter tour which also featured the likes of Cannibal Corpse and Exhumed and will be kicking off a European tour this Friday (September 14th) in Lindau, Germany and last until October 14th.

Cerebral Bore - "The Bald Cadaver"
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Unearthing The Heavily Atmospheric Underground

Monday means it’s time to expand your metallic horizons again as we delve into the underground metal scene and dig up three bands you might not had a chance to check out yet, but which all deserve to be heard by a wider audience. This week we’re looking at heavily atmospheric groups that incorporate specific sonic elements to create an undeniable mood throughout the music. In this instance by “atmospheric” we’re not necessarily referring to ambient or even symphonic bands (although these acts do have some symphonic sounds), but rather to bands that have a clearly present atmosphere in addition to being extreme metal.

Porta Nigra

This out-of-nowhere band just signed on with Debemur Morti Productions to release an upcoming album titled “Fin De Siècle.” The vocalist’s weird, screechy screams almost would have qualified this act for our previous look at unearthing bands with bizarre vocals, and those screams are put to good use to foster a specific tone and mood.

The abrasive, off-the-wall screams mixed with the atmospheric clean singing and mid-paced guitar riffs draws all ears in, and basically forces attention as the music builds and becomes more frantic. The video for “Megalomanic,” available below, embodies the depressive black metal ideal, creating a sort of unhinged and demented sound, while vaguely giving the impression of being utterly alone in the middle of nowhere.

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Boston

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, we'll weigh in on the scene around Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston has been my home all my life. Back in 2006 when I first started Nefarious Realm Productions, I worked with local bands, promoting and booking shows. It set the foundation of what NRP is today. Boston has an unbelievable scene spanning all genres. Most people only think of the heavy weights like Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, fast-rising Revocation, etc., but there lies a wealth of bands that are just mind-blowing. Lunglust, Ramming Speed, Sexcrement, The Summoned, Abnormality, Dysentery, Phantom Glue, Give Zombies The Vote, Morne, Sonic Pulse... I could go on and on but Metal Underground.com has limited me to three, and I'm going to span the sub-genres here. Hang on to your pants, you're going for a ride!

Widow Sunday

This "dance metal" outfit is sure to get you moving, that be breaking' faces or shakin' your booty. Each member brings distinct influences to the table, fusing elements of death metal, groove metal, hardcore, and electronica. Think of Meshuggah, Lamb of God, Bury Your Dead, and The Browning all smashed together.

The five-piece brings quite a live show with their stage antics and their "have fun" attitude. Widow Sunday just recently released a new EP earlier this summer and are already writing for a followup full length to their 2010 debut, 'In These Rusted Veins.' Below is a video for "Blood Money" from 'ITRV' and a live clip of "The Wave" which appears on the new EP, 'Dance Metal." For more on the band, check out their Facebook.

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Unearthing The British Hardcore Underground

Every week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we take a look at three quality bands that haven't gotten as much exposure yet as they should. This week, we'll be taking a slightly different approach to the article and focusing on hardcore music instead, specifically hardcore music in the United Kingdom.

The history of hardcore in Great Britain dates back a long way, beginning with what would become known as the "UK82" scene (also called "No future punk" and "UK Hardcore" amongst other things,) which featured massively influential bands such as The Exploited and the socially concsious, Discharge, who were so influential that they had a sub-genre named after them called D-Beat (similar to hardcore, only even faster,) which featured other high quality British hardcore acts like The Varukers.

Discharge - "Never Again"

The Varukers - "Soldier Boy"
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Unearthing The Sludge Metal Underground

There’s a whole lotta metal out there, spanning dozens to possibly hundreds of sub-genres, and it can be difficult to find new music to match your tastes if you don’t know where to start looking. Every Monday we unearth three lesser known or unsigned metal bands within specific genres or geographical areas that deserve to be heard by a bigger audience.

With metal’s roots firmly rooted in thrash, and with styles like power metal dominating a big portion of the playing field, heavy music is generally thought of as something fast and furious played while lightning fast fingers work up and down the fretboard. While this is often the case, there’s a large section of metal that likes to take a nice leisurely stroll down aural destruction avenue.

Today we’ll put the spotlight on three acts that have a seriously sludgy component to their music. Sludge, stoner, doom, drone: these genre tags and more all get lumped together and frequently intersect at varying points, so there may be some crossover and any given listener may decide these bands are more one than the other. My only qualification here is that they utterly annihilate musically, usually in slow motion and with a fair share of drawn out notes, like a low speed avalanche of crushing molten metal.

Bereft

This California act is a bit of a dream for fans of sludge or funeral doom. Formerly called Bewilderbiest before dropping a proper release, Bereft is still very much an unknown in the overall metal scene, even though it features names that will be familiar to fans of extreme metal, including Derek Rydquist (The Faceless) and Charles Elliot (Abysmal Dawn). Moving away from their normal modes of operation, these musicians are producing a more primal, less technical form of extreme metal that’s a disturbing look into the hate and despair humanity is capable of feeling.

Bereft has now released debut album “Leichenhaus” (reviewed here), and while tracks from the release are unfortunately sparse online, there are a few ways to check out the music. A live performance video of two songs off the album can be heard below, or you can check out the full album version of “Withered Efflorescence” via Facebook. Noisecreep is also currently hosting a stream of the track “Ethereal Dispersal” at this location.

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Unearthing Female-Fronted Underground in Taiwan

Taiwan has no shortage of ass-kicking front women in its growing metal scene, with a collection of female-fronted groups that are making a name for themselves both locally and abroad. Here are three bands from Taiwan with ladies at the helm that prove metal is no longer nearly as male-dominated as it once might have been.

Eye of Violence

Though just in her early twenties, Eye of violence front woman Lala Lin is already a seasoned veteran in the Taiwan metal scene, having previously done time in Hardcase before making a move over to Eye of Violence in 2009. The band has been active in Taiwan, playing all over the country, and recently made its first couple of forays to foreign shores, making two appearances in South Korea. Combining elements of metalcore, deathcore, and hints of electronic music, Eye of Violence has a determinately modern sound for the younger generation of metal fans. Currently, the band is playing in support of its debut EP, “Tears of the Victims.”

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Argentina

I truly would not doubt it if Argentina has almost as many bands as America does, as it's the second largest country in South America. It's history with the metal genre has some similarities with our own, but yet as one would expect it is vastly divergent from our own annals. To arrive at the huge scene they have today, Argentinians went through many hardships in the beginning and along the way.

Back in the late seventies/early eighties rock bands began to play more metallic sounds to add to the rock stylings of locals Pappo's Blues or V8, but during that era there was plenty of government censorship when it came to music. Heavy metal always bore the brunt of the bad press and some bands were even threatened by the authorities. Some bands like Riff added to their own demise by putting out a year-end party "Riff termina el ano sin cadenas," which broke out into such revery, debauchery and violence that it plagued that band for years and almost sounded the death knell for it. More...

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Unearthing The Goregrind Underground

The other day I was trading video uploads with fellow staff member Carl, whose taste usually gravitates towards classy traditional metal. I sent him a track from the grindcore band Cuntscrape, "Giving Head to Mr. Ed," leaving him speechless. His reply went something like this - "I thought there was a limit to the extreme. I was wrong." Ha ha, poor Carl.

Nope. There's no limit to the extreme in sight. Back in the late eighties and early nineties, the progenitors of twisted and depraved metal like Lividity or Broken Hope couldn't have imagined how contorted the genre would have gotten. Nowadays it gets more brutal than anyone could have ever envisioned. The horror fantasy themes have given way to pornogrind lyrics, inaudible vocals and psychopathic themes. Over time lyrics have been all but done away with, almost as if they are too sensitive and get in the way of what should be primal. It's all meant to be hilarious and over the top, and goregrind is the last frontier when it comes to offensive, loud metal. More...

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Unearthing The Genre Flip-Flopping Underground

The overall realm of metal is an incredibly expansive and diverse place, with many different styles and sub-genres all vying for your attention. To help our readers navigate the metallic landscape we unearth three underground or unsigned metal bands every Monday that deserve to be heard.

Awhile back we covered bands that combine different genres or simply ignore genre trends, and on a similar note this week we’re uncovering three bands that drastically changed either sound or lyrical theme from the early works to their modern releases. There are plenty of more well-known (in the extreme metal community anyway) acts that have gone through such a transformation: Samael’s change from black metal to electronica, Katatonia’s move from harsh growls to a cleaner rock sound, Amorphis switching gears with “Am Universum,” Ulver changing things up on pretty much every album, and so on. Instead of rehashing those bigger names that everyone knows about, instead we’ll cover three lesser known acts that have essentially become different bands over time.

Ereb Altor

Ereb Altor’s underground days are very quickly waning, with the band now releasing new album “Gastrike” through Napalm Records, but there was a time not long ago when nobody knew about Ereb Altor, and it is a side project of an already unknown band, so we’re going to slip this one in here.

The Swedish duo’s debut album “By Honour” (reviewed here) definitely wanted its audience to take the scenic route and enjoy the ride, with slow moving, Viking-style doom metal that took some clear cues from Bathory. Things started to change a bit and the songs become shorter on the follow-up release “The End,” which as the title suggests, was intended to be the demise of the project. Ereb Altor just wouldn’t die however, and now with third album “Gastrike” (review coming soon) the band has radically shifted gears into mid-paced black metal, with only a few underlying doom and Viking metal moments.

To hear the change, check the title track “By Honour” below, and then listen to either of the two songs from “Gastrike.” With the exception of the atmospheric intros, we’re dealing with two completely different genres between these songs.

“By Honour”
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Unearthing Underground Bands With Bizarre Vocals

From the completely mainstream outfits with a horde of fans to basement one-man acts, heavy metal is composed of a vast multitude of bands – and the number of metal groups continues to constantly grow. Every week we unearth three bands to help expand your metallic horizons and introduce you to styles and sounds you might not have heard otherwise.

Last week we covered groups that blend together a variety of genre styles and break trends within metal, including Germ and Vintage Flesh, two bands that utilize very odd vocal styles. While it can be argued that any extreme metal band uses vocals that most would consider bizarre, there are vocalists within the world of heavy music who go much further and produce sounds that even hardened underground metal lovers may find shocking.

From avant-garde groups like Peccatum with purposefully off-key singing, to the gut-busting and throat-shredding growls of black metal bands like Marduk, there are plenty of new vocal varieties to discover while journeying through the many sub-genres of metal. This week we’ll take a look at three lesser known bands that use vocals you are almost guaranteed to never hear anywhere else.

Abruptum

Taking the concept of evil atmosphere to an entirely new level, Abruptum was a group primarily active in the ‘90s that puts most black metal acts to shame and released its early material through the infamous Deathlike Silence Productions. Rather than evil guitar sounds and high pitched screams, Abruptum uses bizarrely distorted vocals and shrieks of agonized pain – and rumors persist that the screams are authentic due to self-inflicted wounds in the studio.

Listening to Abruptum albums all the way the through really requires a specific mood, as song structures and melody are pretty much thrown out the window in favor of highly chaotic musical expressions. If you’ve got the candles lit and the razors handy, dip into the madness of Abruptum through the clips below.

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Unearthing The Genre-Blending Metal Underground

The big name metal bands may get most of the spotlight, but Metallica and Black Sabbath are just the tip of the heavy iceberg. Every week we search out and share lesser known or unsigned acts that deserve to be heard by a wider audience. For today’s edition of Unearthing the Metal Underground you’ll get a dose of metal that bucks specific trends and expresses a heavy sound in unexpected ways.

For all the focus on rebellion and the disdain for conformity, heavy metal is undeniably a style of music that breaks down into very regimented genres – black metal, thrash, grindcore, etc. There tends to be a rigid confinement that bands are expected stay within when creating music, and stepping outside those boundaries either leads to derision by hordes of anonymous Internet posters, or the formation of yet another sub-genre.

While there’s a whole division of metal devoted to ignoring those boundaries (prog and avant-garde), some bands simply blur the lines between styles naturally and don’t easily fit in one recognizable category. Breaking the strictures set down by the worldwide conclave of elitist metalheads , these three bands start with a standardized form of metal and then head in unexpected directions that set them apart and make them unique.

Germ

The solo band from Tim Yatras of Austere and Woods of Desolation, Germ is a project that exudes a pure love of music, no matter where the sonic inspiration originally comes from. Starting out with a highly atmospheric form of black metal using totally indecipherable vocals, the act then blends in shades of rock and other mainstream elements, including the use of clean singing. Going even a step further, the new album “Wish” mixes in trance and electronic elements, at times sounding almost like an ‘80s movie soundtrack. In a nod to the black metal roots, there is a bit of a lo-fi aura filtering everything, and the harsh vocals screech out from the background, just barely breaking out of the surrounding noise.

What’s interesting about Germ is that its particular blend of these styles rarely sounds like anything else out there. The collision of trance and black metal sounds essentially nothing like Nachtmystium’s forays into similar territory, and it also never falls into any resembling the dance metal or dubstep collaborations that have become par for the course lately.

For a condensed look at this intriguing mixup, check out the four minute track “Asteroid of Sorrow” below, or for a longer float down the cosmic highway that is Germ, instead dive headfirst into the 10 minute sublime ride “An Overdose on Cosmic Galaxy.” To check out more from Germ, head over to the band’s Facebook profile.

“An Overdose on Cosmic Galaxy”
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Unearthing The Italian Power Metal Underground

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 take on the ever emerging Italian power metal scene.

When one thinks Italian power metal, likely the first band to come to mind is Rhapsody, or as time and subsequent “amicable splits” would have it: Rhapsody of Fire and/or Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. Italy has been spawning off power metal far back into the 1980’s with bands like Domine, Wotan, Wyvern and White Skull, but few have ever reached such worldwide stardom as Rhapsody/Rhapsody of Fire/LT Rhapsody.

As the 90’s commenced, one of the other well-known pioneering Italian power/progressive exports, Labyrinth, was just starting out under the moniker Visions. It wasn’t until 1994 that the name Labyrinth was born. Within that same year or shortly after, Rhapsody would just start out along with bands like Drakkar, Arthemis, Derdian, Heimdall and Power Symphony. The late ’90’s would see a greater emergence of the scene with another well-known export Elvenking, along with Vision Divine (with Rhapsody vocalist Fabio Lione) Spellblast, The Dogma and Rapid Fire.

By the time the new century started, the Italian scene was bursting with talented power metal acts. Power metal bands seem to pop up on a more frequent basis that new gellato flavors, however, trying to locate the best of the emerging talent isn’t as easy as consulting the Yelp application on your smart phone. To provide some guidance, this week we introduce three of the lessor known Italian power metal bands: From the Depth, Aeternal Seprium and Nightland. More...

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Unearthing The Technical Death Metal Underground

That familiar old school and brutal sound is the foundation on which much of extreme metal is based, but death metal has come a long way since its origins, and plenty of bands have taken it closer the extremes of human ability.

Technical death metal pushes the boundaries of the style, making the music faster, more intricate, and sometimes absurdly complex. Tech-death also generally puts the bass more up toward the front than in either the brutal or melodic varieties, which often leads to some crossover into “progressive” territory and adds a grounding in melody for a point of reference in the storm of metal.

While acts like Obscura and The Faceless get plenty of press and are fairly well known in the metal world, this week we’re going to unearth three lesser-known acts that should be in your technical death metal rotation.

Ophidian I

This newly formed Icelandic group is getting ready to release a debut album later on during the summer, dropping an apocalyptic death metal bomb filled with blistering solos and plenty of brutality. The tracks that have been released so far will definitely appeal to fans of Necrophagist or similar acts. Check out tech-death insanity below by listening to the title track off the new album “Solvet Saeclum” or the earlier demo track “Zone of Alienation.”

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Unearthing Metal Underground In Beijing

Though many touring bands are starting to make inroads in China, with most of them bypassing government censors by way of venturing to the Middle Kingdom on tourist visas rather than foolishly attempting to secure an elusive performance visa, few metal bands from China are able to tour outside the country due to the government’s travel restrictions placed on the Chinese people.

“How can that be?” you might ask. “Chinese tourists are everywhere these days, spending RMB like they’re going out of style.” Well, what you might not know is that each and every one of these tourists is only allowed to become well-heeled because they’ve posted what is essentially a large cash bond that is meant to ensure their return to China. And as we all know, being in a metal band and the ability to post a large cash bond are pretty much mutually exclusive.

Getting out is made all the more difficult when you’re a musician playing what is regarded by many authorities in China as a dangerous and highly disruptive form of music. Hell, some bands in China even get banned by the government from playing in their own country, which is exactly what happened to Ordnance, a modern-era Sepultura-esque band from the capital. Ordnance drew the Communist Party’s ire for its overtly subversive lyrical content, and now can basically only perform in the guitar player’s own venue, 13 Club in Beijing. Freedom of expression? Not in Mao’s house.

As another case in point, Painkiller magazine, the nation’s top metal publication, has sponsored a national Wacken Open Air Battle for local bands for the past few years, with the winner gaining a spot at the venerable German festival to beat all festivals. However, in the history of this competition only one band has thus far managed to secure the right to travel outside China and make it to the fest, while the other winners have had to resign themselves to merely enjoying the pride of winning.

Luckily, though, none of this can stop us from reporting on some bands from China that are worth checking out, all of whom made an appearance at the 2012 rendition of the Wacken Battle. We’ll start in Beijing on this week’s installment of Unearthing the Metal Underground.

Ready to Die

Female-fronted five-piece Ready to Die plays an old school, filthy brand of death metal that would fit right on the Ibex Moon label alongside acts like Funerus, or decimating the stage at St. Vitus in New York with Disma. Taking cues from Obituary, Bolt Thrower, and other plodding death metal bands of similar, sludgy taste, Ready to Die is a band that places its focus on simplicity, opting for the one-punch knockout riff rather than the overwhelming jabs and slaps of abject technicality.

The band’s front woman has a growl that could rip the short and curlies off of any of her male counterparts, as can be heard on their lo-fi demo that’s currently streaming online. The production really captures the overall atmosphere of death metal’s early days. This band is one to watch in the Middle Kingdom, and yet another reason to wish that it could be easier for bands from China to actually tour outside their home country. More...

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Unearthing The Unknown Side Project Underground

Every Monday we take a break from the news to highlight three lesser known bands that deserve a moment in the spotlight and can help expand your metal horizons.

Last year we showcased three side projects from black metal icon Ihsahn, but there are plenty of musicians from throughout metaldom who have a host of additional projects outside their most well-known bands. This week we’ll take a look at bands covering a range of sounds from the members of Borknagar, Katatonia, and Samael that all show a different side than what fans may be expecting from their favorite musicians.

Otyg

While many may be aware that Vintersorg from Borknagar has had his own self-titled, folk leaning and clean singing focused project for years, it’s not as well known that he was also involved in a folk metal project called Otyg prior to his solo releases.

Otyg had a very ‘90s, proto-metal feel as the musicians were starting to explore the boundaries of the genre, and is a must hear if you want to explore the roots of folk metal or are into the early works of bands like Amorphis or Borknagar. The band released two full-length albums titled “Älvefärd” and “Sagovindars Boning” before going on hold indefinitely. The music is a little on the lo-fi side and not quite as bombastic or epic as the intricately arranged folk and orchestra stuff that has come out of metal in the interim, but just listen to that atmosphere!

“Fjällstorm”
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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Connecticut

We've done a Connecticut scene report before, but the volume of bands coming from this third-smallest U.S. state is incredibly big - so today it merits another look. Connecticut has a long history with metal music, due to the vast number of colleges and radio stations promoting the scene in the eighties and beyond. The Constitution state also has a rich hardcore history that ties in with the metal scene, which dates back prior to the existence of that legendary club The Anthrax in South Norwalk. The classic metal and hardcore shows played there became the subject of the book "Everybody's Scene: The Story of Connecticut's Anthrax Club," which was penned by Chris Daily. Check out that book trailer here. Even the fabulous Forced Reality (a band with members of the now disbanded Skeletal Ambitions) has reformed and is playing oi punk rock again, recently doing a few shows down south. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Colombia

Colombia just might be one of the forefathers of the extreme metal scene and it may have influenced some of the most nihilistic groups to come out of Europe. Yes, this South American land of extremes may have been one of the catalysts for the Scandinavian scene, ushering in a whole horde of sick and twisted metal bands. You may think that's an incredulous statement to make and a mighty tall order, but wait. There's a true story I am going to recount for you now.

Back in 1992, a few Colombian metal fans/musicians went up from Stavanger, Norway to a record shop in Oslo owned by Oystein Aarseth (better known as Euronymous). As they were going through the releases, they struck up a conversation with Euronymous about the country they were from, black metal in general and their respective bands. Euronymous became animated and said "Two bands from your city of Medellin influenced Mayhem's sound."

"Parabellum and Reencarnacion were a few of the true bands that shaped us. They captured a hellish environment and represented a true hardcore, evil sound that we emulated in the band."
Spoken by Euronymous himself a year before he died in infamy, and put in Spanish on the liner notes of the 2005 compilation "Tempus Mortiis" put out by Blasfemia Records. This anthology featured Parabellum, a nihilistic affair redolent in that evil backwards riffing that characterized the band. Songs such as "Engendro 666" and "Madre Muerta" influenced Mayhem and other Norwegian bands and helped create a whole genre of evilness, blasphemy and sickos.

At the time, neither Parabellum nor Reencarnacion were satanists, but critiqued Christianity and Catholicism and played an early prototype of metal that predated the "black" genre in 1981 (with the exception of Venom) and was called "ultra" metal or "anti-technical" metal in Colombia since it was raw and primitive musicianship. Kreator, Beherit and Impaled Nazarene have also paid homage to them in one form or another. More...

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Unearthing the Hong Kong Metal Underground

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to tour around Asia with my band for eight days, stopping in seven cities. One of the highlights of the tour was Hong Kong, not just for the great crowd, but for the excellent bands I and my band mates had the privilege to share the stage with. Here’s a quick intro to those bands in this week’s edition of Unearthing the Metal Underground:

Elysium

Melody, abject brutality, and paramount evil. This is the formula that death metal four-piece Elysium has adopted as its own. Featuring some of the most earthy and natural guttural vocals this side of Incantation and Immolation, along with the occasional elongated pig squeal thrown in for good measure, Elysium has been plying its trade for a few years in the Hong Kong scene, and has managed to make its way to foreign shores at least once, having played at last year’s Drown In Metal Festival in Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

While technical, Elysium manages to keep its songs memorable without compromising brutality—no mean feat. Slams and pinch harmonics are put to good use, but not overused, and the band knows how to employ versatility while still maintaining a discernable sound. Currently, the only way to hear Elysium’s music is to pick up a demo from them at a show or check out the band’s Facebook page.

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In El Salvador

When looking at the El Salvador metal scene, it is shocking coming to the realization that a country this small has close to ninety metal bands. Two of the ones I have unearthed today are not even in the Encyclopaedia Metallum archives, which shows how fast the scene is still growing. El Salvador has only a few dozen less bands than its significantly larger neighbor a couple of countries over, Costa Rica.

One of the first nationally renowned Salvadorean metal bands was B'rock (later known as Broncco). B'rocks polished power metal sound laid the foundation for future generations of metal bands in El Salvador. The group disbanded in 1996 due to founder Vicente "Chente" Sibrian's degenerative illness, but he is viewed as a godfather in the scene still. He recently appeared at the Maaskab Open Air and other festivals in his wheelchair, to the chants of all the concert goers. Watch a video montage done in homage for Sibrian to the Broncco track "Vendedor de Suenos" by going here. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Morocco

Every week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we take a look at three quality bands that haven't gotten as much exposure yet as they should. Last week, we exposed three metal bands from Pakistan and we continue in something of a similar vein this week, turning our attention to another Islamic country, though this time in North Africa, namely Morocco. Morocco had something of a controversial encounter with heavy metal music, when in 2003 more than a dozen heavy metal fans were jailed in the city of Casablanca for "acts capable of undermining the faith of a Muslim" and "possessing objects which infringe morals." The Moroccan courts felt that the black t-shirts adorning heavy metal logos worn by these young men, all of whom played in metal bands themselves, were Satanic. However, after global outcry from musicians and human rights activists, they were released and today, Morocco sees more bands performing hard rock and heavy metal music. This week we will be looking at three such groups.

Analgesia

Formed in early 2006, Analgesia created a blend of groove metal with classical elements, fusing black metal vocals with a more operatic female counterpart. They released their first record, "Return to the Self" the same year and gained quite a following amongst metal fans in Morocco. They have performed at some of the biggest festivals in the country including L’boulevard and have since released two more albums, "Era of the Storytellers" and "Beyond Illusion."

Analgesia - "From The Ashes Of Morocco"
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