"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Archive: Unearthing the Metal Underground columns

Displaying records 1 - 20 of 242 1 2 3 ... 12 13 Last

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Skelator

Seattle’s speed metal beast Skelator has been dishing out its dramatic and epic thrashing speed metal since 1998. At the band’s onset, Skelator initially emerged from San Diego and has since released numerous demos, albums and splits. The quintet now returns with an effort that embraces their fanaticism for Star Trek. Gates of Hell Records is set to release the band’s four-song EP, “Blood Empire,” on September 30. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Mass Extinction

One of the distinguishing facets of grindcore is the prominence of sociopolitical commentary. Mass Extinction is faithful to that template as the New Jersey based band drives forth with a heartfelt vegan perspective. A press release states that “this is anti-human crust-grinding annihilation for total animal liberation!” The grind act released its debut full-length, “Never-Ending Holocaust, digitally in 2020, and Horror Pain Gore Death Productions is poised to release it on August 19. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Kryptamok

Finland is home to seemingly countless metal bands, so much so that you may have encountered a regularly recycled meme depicting a promo pic of a band in the forest that includes the caption: “75% of a Finnish park ranger’s job is rescuing metal bands that get lost shooting album covers”. Levity aside, Finland boasts a rich history of black metal, from Beherit and Impaled Nazarene to Sargeist and Horna. There’s a newer kid on the block who isn’t exactly paving new ground, but the passion and drive behind their timeless black metal makes them worthy of attention. While Kryptamok only has a demo and a full-length under its collective bullet belt, they’re poised to raise hell once again. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Ritual Dictates

Vancouver’s formidable duo that operates under the moniker that is Ritual Dictates has technically been in existence since 2014. However aside from their debut album “Give In To Despair” that was released in 2020, they haven’t left much of a trace at all. But that album was one hell of a release, undoubtably unique and adventurous, to say the lease. They seem to have hit their stride now, though, as they’re poised to release their sophomore album, “No Great Loss,” on October 7 through Artoffact Records. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Cirkus Prutz

Sure, describing some music or any form of art as “cheesy” can certainly be a pejorative. That is not always the case. Sometimes, noticeable excess can be endearing and enjoyable. Case in point: Sweden’s Cirkus Prutz is a slightly metallic take on blues rock. However authentic or not the expression of the blues and the American South may be in question with the quartet, yet few hard rock/metal fans are likely to deny how likable and upbeat Cirkus Prutz’ music is. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Atramentum

One would think that underground metal is perpetually abundant with forward-thinking, innovative music. While that’s the case with subgenera as they emerge, maniacal devotion has typically led to a prominent degree of homogeneity within most styles. But within the cracks certain bands maintain their resolve to create music that matters, no matter how many or few people will latch on. For a decade now, the Atramentum has been sharpening its tools to create a sonic sculpture of bizarre, left-field black metal that’s truly its own. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Sign of Evil

Sign of Evil has only been around for a couple of years, but the South American entity stands apart from its continents’ dark metal bands that typically plumb the depths of all things old school Sepultura, Sarcofago, Mortem and Pentagram. Sure, the aforementioned bands’ vile and bestial blackened sensibilities are evident, yet there’s a clearly psychedelic quality at hand with Sign of Evil that unfortunately isn’t too common in extreme metal. The awesome psychedelic Floridian death metal outfit Wharflurch, covered last year in this weekly column, comes to mind as a band that’s similarly reaching forward toward this relatively newer kind of extremity. Sign of Evil was born two years ago, the brainchild of the band’s driving source, the man bearing the ever-so-eloquent pseudonym Witchfucker. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Static Abyss

For this weekly column, I typically like to dig into the underground for either undiscovered, new talent or bands that have been around but have remained under the radar in spite of their high-caliber music. Once in a while, however, I’ll spotlight familiar underground faces who have congealed into formidable new entities. Case in point: A couple of members of the pioneering death metal beast Autopsy have banded together to create Static Abyss, a paradoxically primal and majestic expression of death/doom metal. Peaceville Records will release their debut album, “Labyrinth of Veins,” tomorrow on multiple formats. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing Tales of a Therion

We have recently enjoyed countless YouTube videos of “supergroup” styled lineups performing one-off cover songs since bands have recently been hindered in many ways due to the pandemic. Guitarist Scott Sargeant (Laaz Rockit, Skinlab, M.O.D.) considered doing the same with friends he’s known throughout his years of touring, but he wanted to take a slightly different path with Tales of a Therion. Instead of performing adored cover songs, Scott wanted to write an original song—presented via the horror-flick inspired video below—that would pay tribute to a band that made an impression upon him during his formative years: Celtic Frost. Accordingly, Scott paired up with Jörgen Sandström, whose resume includes Grave, Entombed and The Project Hate MCMXCIX, to write the song “This Means You Die!” More...

Read more...  |  1 Comment - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Hallas

Sweden has had an abundance of artists who bow at the altar of metal and classic rock’s “roots bands,” if you will. While they’ve been grinding the axe for 20 years and some change, Witchcraft, for instance, has been worshipping classic bands of the sixties and seventies. And, of course, acts like Candlemass and Count Raven have been fundamental with regard to the establishment of doom metal in the eighties. More recently—since 2011, to be specific—Hallas has been making waves with its cross-pollination of proto-metal, seventies-based hard rock, psychedelic rock and folk. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Mosaic

Germany’s Mosaic has been making noise since 2005, and their earliest releases, including the stunning debut full-length “Old Man’s Wyntar,” represented a black metal band that wasn’t afraid to be bold and step outside of the lines of convention. Yes, it was primitive and bleak—adequately captured by a cold production aesthetic. And yet there were beautiful melodies and epic elements that were film score-like in nature. They’ve continued upon their own path through several releases including their significantly more experimental sophomore album, “Secret Ambrosian Fire,” that was released in 2019. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Morbid Cruelty

Raw, primitive dark metal has been exploding in South America since the early days of Pentagram, Sepultura, Sarcofago and Mortem. Chile’s Morbid Cruelty is a newer act that’s comprised of two members who have been active with bands like Atomic Aggressor, Evil Madness, Perversor and Valefar. The unit initially banded together in 2018, releasing a desirably unrefined cassette demo a year later. They digitally released their debut album, “Holodomor,” last August; and now the renowned German extreme metal label is poised to properly shine a light upon the spirited duo by releasing a vinyl version of said debut on April 8. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Necrom

Ukraine is currently plastered across all forms of media at the moment because of the Russian invasion. Beyond the immediate human suffering, the lasting geopolitical consequences are and will be profound and seemingly immeasurable. Germane to our world of heavy metal, however, the Ukrainian metal scene has long been vibrant, prominently inclined toward the darker side of things. Nocturnal Mortum is one of the more notable names, and some of that black metal band’s current and former members are involved with Necrom, a relatively newer death metal band that guzzles from the goblet of classic European death metal line in the vein of Asphyx, Entombed and Carnage. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Intolerance

While the disturbing sounds may be appealing to death metal fiends the world over, and it’s good to see the abundance of bands paying homage to the classic eighties and nineties era of death metal, the adoration has led to a noticeable over-saturation of the scene. Spain’s Intolerance, very intentionally, is not here to re-invent the wheel of death metal. But the Spaniards stand apart because of their straight-forward songwriting and jam-room feel. They’ve released a demo and a thoroughly enjoyable EP since their inception in 2015, and they’re finally about to unleash their debut full-length. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Pestilength

Not to be confused with the classic death metal band Pestilence, an obscure, burly and otherworldly act known as Pestilength has been vomiting its cacophonous sounds since 2018 from the Basque region of Europe. The act has been quite prolific in spite of its short span of existence, having released various singles and EPs, in addition to a demo, a split and the fantastic debut “Eilatik” in 2020. The anonymous duo, operating under the pseudonyms “N.” and “M,” are set to release their sophomore full-length, “Basom Gryphos,” on March 7 via Nuclear Winter Records on CD. The label will co-release the vinyl version with Sentient Ruin, the tape version with Goat Throne. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Mortify

Latin America is fertile ground for extremely dark death and black metal. Is it the notorious, perpetual corrupt politics or the prominent pockets of impoverishment? Whatever the case may be, places like Mexico, central America and South America provide the perfect soil from which the most dank metal grows. Chile will forever be linked in this regard because of the absolutely legendary act Pentagram (not be confused with the Maryland-based doom band), but there are some younger upstarts, including Mortify, who are producing some fantastic death metal that pulls from classic, late eighties and early nineties artists. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Malefic Throne

The trio behind Malefic Throne don’t need a lengthy introduction if you’re a longtime aficionado of death metal. Guitarist Gene Palubicki (Perdition Temple, Blasphemic Cruelty) converged with drummer John Longstreth (Origin, Hate Eternal)—both of whom performed together with Angelcorpse—as well as vocalist/bassist Steve Tucker of Morbid Angel and Warfather. The legendary musicians are poised to release an utterly savage, self-titled EP via Hells Headbangers on January 28 on CD and tape. A vinyl version will be released later this year. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Rope Sect

Iron Bonehead is typically known for the considerably scathing black and war metal bands on its roster. Standing apart from the bulk of the savagery on said label, however, is Rope Sect. The relatively new German project released its debut EP, “Personae Ingratae,” in 2017, and they’re mostly known for their awesome debut album “The Great Flood” which was released last year. The dark, slick ’n somber death rock entity returns now with its new EP, “Proskynesis,” an effort that follows Rope Sect’s trajectory of art that’s quite simply cool as hell, music that’s appropriate for the soundtracks of cutting-edge, indie cinematography. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Crawl Below

One-man black metal projects can mean many things, and in the case of New England’s Crawl Below, sole member “Charlie Sad Eyes” offers a plethora of styles and approaches under the umbrella of this entity. Blackened punk defined the debut full-length, “Welcome the Possession,” while subsequent full-lengths and a covers EP have scraped across a broad cross-section of styles including Lovecraftian-themed pub songs and doom gaze. Surely to the dismay of black metal purists, he even tackled the classic metallic hardcore band Hatebreed on a cover of “Filth,” a song that works surprisingly well - save for the out-of-place breakdown portions. In any event, Crawl Below returns with a new full-length, “Its Ministers on Earth,” a black/death doom offering that’s unsettling and yet certainly quite satisfying. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Unearthing the Metal Underground: Malignant Altar

Houston and its surrounding area has been a goldmine of extreme music for decades. Houstonian soil has given birth to thrash metal icons DRI, demonic death metal legends Imprecation, and the battle-ready grindcore outfit PLF, to mention but a few. A newer name making waves in the underground is Malignant Altar, a considerably thick and heavy brutal death metal band that sucks insatiably from the sap of classic American death metal. With two well-received demos under its belt since forming in 2018 (their rendition of Celtic Frost’s “Procreation of the Wicked” from the “Ceremonial Decapitator” demo is a special treat), the quintet is poised to release it’s debut album, “Realms of Exquisite Morbidity,” on December 10, 2021, via the revered label Dark Descent Records. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Displaying records 1 - 20 of 242 1 2 3 ... 12 13 Last