Diamonds in the Rough – April – Part II

Diamonds in the Rough

Damn it! We are almost at the end of May and here i am typing away last month’s Diamonds in the Rough. As usual i’ve been giving the lords of procrastination a run for their money. To be frank a combination of the much dreaded office work and and downright laziness have been a cause of immense self loathing for sometime now, and this is probably a byproduct. Ah well, lets get on with it already. With this second edition i to visit the more modern side of last month’s releases. Now flush out all your previous playlists, and make space for this one.

P.S. Hope you’ve listened to the first part of our playlist.

THE PLAYLIST

 

 

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1. EMPYRIOS

Music can be infectious, yes. But when it comes to metal, it takes an altogether different level of precedence. Although not being an avid fan of Power metal, Empyrios from  Italy seems to do it for me rather wonderfully well. They combine the downtuned grooves of djent with the aural range of power metal, and yet they cannot be pigeonholed as being cheesy as most of power metal usually ends up being. They even have a good  amount of electronica tagging along and it suits their brand of music pretty well . An added fact is that the vocalist is not even close to being whiny, which is always a plus. In fact at times, sounds much like the gifted Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge (one of the few mainstream bands that is worth a dime). The track from comes from their new album Zion released via Scarlet Records.

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2. NEGATOR

When scouring the metal holy lands of Germany, you are likely to come across bands from all the given subgenres of metal. Yet Black metal is one genre, which the country is not really known for. Despite having a more than active underground, there have been far too little for people to take up and notice. Yet last year brought some surprisingly good albums from bands such as the long running Desaster and Secrets of the Moon. This year seems geared to be no different with Endstille, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult and the Ruins of Bevarest coming out with interesting releases. Another such promising new band is Negator. They play a brand of black metal more close to the styles of Dark Funeral and Belphegor. An interesting fact is that since Lord Caligula retired from the Dark Funeral early this year, none other than Negator’s vocalist Nachtgarm replaces him in the live set. Serenading everything unholy, the band unleashes a scathing attack on the senses with their song The Last Sermon. The track comes off their new album Gates to the Pantheon released via Viva Hate Records.

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3. HORD

The French! Need i say more?  Redefining ingenuity as they are, the country is hardly the cesspool that most nations where metal took its roots from, are now. It seems that nothing can go wrong with anything remotely French. To be precise when they are not at their creative best, they produce downright catchy stuff, much like Hord here in Unleash the Hermod.  Drawing inspiration from most of the modern melodic death metal veterans as well as adding in tons of spaced out atmosphere, this is aural bliss. Clean vocals, strangely similar to Anders Friden’s that are far from today’s cheesefest and several downright infectious hooks are the order of the day.

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4. THY ART IS MURDER

As much as i dislike Deathcore there are a few bands that are truly worth the time. All Shall Perish, the Akeldama era The Faceless and yes Whitechapel too. I’ve been a fan of Whitechapel’s post- This is Exile work while all of their early stuff was uninteresting metal drivel. Yes i might  draw some serious flak for this, but what the hell! I better be frank and true to myself than be Mr.Blatant Poseur. Now lets get to the crux of the matter here. Very similar in style to Whitechapel is Thy Art is Murder from Australia. Its got everything that makes Deathcore a much maligned genre, the no middle ground deep guttaral/high pitch screams  , layered growls, bassdrops and the one thing that has almost attained ubiquitous status, Breakdowns. But Thy Art is Murder mixes it up in such a way that it retains a certain freshness much unlike the general stale and saturated state of the genre. The song Shadow of Eternal Hate best exemplifies their sound and quite easily is their best song. Goddamnit listen to that intro groove/riff. Absolutely mauling!! The song comes off their new alum Hate released via Nuclear Blast Records.

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5. AGRIMONIA

A band that might as well have gone under everybody’s radar,  the Swedish Agrimonia play a dark and sludgy variant of post- metal. At times their songs, hint at the bleakness inherent to most of Black metal, and with the raspy vocals it does seem more like it. Eerie and melodic, they eschew the generally seamless meandering tendencies of post-metal/hardcore for a more directed approach. This makes their songwriting more precise and as a result, potent. With the production duties handled by the now legendary Fredrik Nordstrom, every little nuance becomes discernible. This particular song The Battle Fought comes off their latest offering Rites of Separation released via Southern Lord.

Diamonds in the Rough – April – Part I

Diamonds in the Rough
Its that time of the month where i bring you guys our truly one-of-a-kind playlist for your immediate relief and later demise :P. Today we look back at some of the records released in the month of April,which might as well have escaped your grasp, or failed to take notice of altogether. Fortunately the month of April seems to see the whole of metaldom roused from its rather long slumber. It is safe to say that albeit having a few good records, quite nothing has had enough staying power and quirkiness to clearly catch one’s attention. But with April you’ve had the back to form Arsis, subtly reinvented Killswitch Engage, beautifully harrowing Amorphis all making good albums in their own right. That said, there are still some great tracks you ought to give an ear to. Below is the first playlist.

 

THE PLAYLIST

 

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1. APOCYNTHION

While Spain’s Wormed has unleashed this year one of the most brutal albums to date and has raised the weirdo metal bar outright high, there’s been something brewing in a genre at the exact opposite end of the spectrum. Ambient and spaced out blackgaze (Black metal and shoegaze) are outfit, Apocynthion from Madrid, Spain . Now now! Before you draw up the Agalloch and Alcest comparison chart, i must say that this veers more towards the post-rockish side . The ethereal  and flowing clean guitars climaxes in phalanxes of tremolo-laden riffs and rasps. Something that will sombre you up, and hint at depression if you get too close. The track Redshift comes off their new album Sidereus Nuncius released via Pest Productions.

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2. VERMINOUS

Straight from the 9th circle of hell is Verminous. The track Hordes ov Vermin reeks of the vilest odor . With a much fast paced death metal barrage, reminiscent of early Morbid Angel and possibly  Severed Survival era Autopsy, they clinically eviscerate your senses. Their version of the Last Supper (album cover) is probably the best way to describe their music as well. The track comes off their sophomore effort titled The Unholy Communion released via Xtreem Music.

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3. VALLENDUSK

Now something to wear out that grim look, off your face. Here is Vallendusk from Indonesia. The first thing that came to mind is why India cannot have such great bands, despite having a population that shrinks Indonesia’s into irrelevance.  While we senselessly go on aping bands and delve deeper into the cauldron of mediocrity, Indonesia wets its feet in blissful atmospheric black metal. Among the Giants is a 9 minute epic, traversing everything from upbeat to moody passages and instantly catchy folky riffs. Yet it exudes a certain sense of serenity. The track comes off their first full length Black Clouds Gathering released via Pest Productions.

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4. BLACK PYRAMID

Psychedelic War metal. Something which Black Pyramid calls themselves, and most veritably so. This is stoner doom for the animal skin clad, club swinging hunter from the stone ages. Much like watching Conan the Barbarian after a bad acid trip. Their last album which was released just last year, completely floored me and if the rest of their new album, this year, follows much like Onyx & Obsidian then i am all for it. The track comes off their new record titled Adversarial.

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5. LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR

Intro riff… And there you have it! A choke hold. Lair of the Minotaur takes what would make for a great thrash song on its own, slows it down several notches and then adds in a few beefy sludge sections, essentially transforming into one mind wracking listen. You’ve got the thrashy pace of the song plateaued by an insane amount of downtuned yet hard hitting heaviness. Coming off their EP titled Godslayer, here is the title track. God slaying indeed…

Diamonds in the Rough – March 2013

CLICK ON THE YOUTUBE PLAYLIST BELOW!!

We just couldn’t make it for the February edition of Diamonds in the Rough and in fact i never seem to find much time for March’s as well. But then again, this month or there were in my opinion only a few handful of releases that have yet to be touched upon by some major metal site. So there are only 4 songs for this month, but pretty good ones at that. 3 songs from 3 brand new album releases made during the month of MARCH. Another small change is that all the songs on the list will be posted as one single Youtube playlist. This will make streaming much more easier and it gives the whole listening experience an uncluttered feel. Ok then here goes!

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1. REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER 

Definitely one of the more lengthier names, and being completely in French don’t make things all that better. Translated as “See How They Fall’ RLHT is a band that revels in its obscurity. So little is known about them. A typical band – search entry into Metal Archives hits up at a dead end. Guess they are bent on following their fellow countrymen Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega, when it comes to that. Their music as their name suggests is strictly dystopian. With riffs that seems to foretell mankind’s imminent fall from grace, it is as crushing as it is captivating. It is not everyday a band makes an individual feel such deep hatred for its own kind. A hideous concoction of blackened sludge and dissonant atmospheres. Check out the song “II Wanderer Of Eternity ” from their upcoming self titled debut. The record was released via les Acteurs de l’ombre

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2. THE HOWLING VOID

Sometimes creativity comes full circle when working in solitude. There’s been a constant number of people embracing the Quorthon like workmanship, and going DIY irrespective of the genre. The Howling Void from Canada is one such outfit. The whole band is more or less one man – Ryan and the track ‘Irminsûl’ listed here comes off his second EP titled ‘Runa‘. Runa is melancholy played out grand, with epic orchestrations thrown into the mix as well. Irminsul wallows in the dreary depths of doom and still holds on to a clear sense of melody although it can be far from what is considered to be uplifting.

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3. BORIS

Alright we come down to the last track on the playlist! From the far east this is Boris. Its a travesty that this band is little known in the metalverse(myself included) although not strictly fitting right into the metal bill. They are just too eclectic to pigeonhole into one particular genre. Taking cue from stoner, doom and sludge metal, coupled with layers of dream pop atmosphere to congeal it all together.  Taking their band name from a track off ‘The Melvin’s seminal album ‘Bullhead’, the Japanese trio make music which is sublime yet serene. Elegy floods your senses with a calming ambiance that opens doors to a flurry of emotions.  Rarely do tracks live up to their title and this one does with great finesse. The track comes off their 22nd release (goddamnit and how come i’ve never come across them?) titled ‘Praparat‘.

Diamonds in the Rough – January 2013

Before our(this website’s) virtual annihilation by a few jobless hacker pricks late last year, i had this rather unique series running. Diamonds in the Rough. If any of our old readers could recall, Diamonds in the Rough was where i visited a few songs over the internet. Mind you, that all of those songs were off albums that saw release in a particular month. I embark on this rather exciting exercise towards the end of every month. This was also how i got to find some exciting new bands and releases myself. And here today, after the site has reincarnated itself, i am obliged to kickstart the series back again. and oh boy do i love doing this !

1. Revenge

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Ever wondered how a band with a pure hardcore styled vocal delivery would sound with a rather metal, old school death to be precise, sound? Well here you have Revenge. Attached below is a song from their 2nd LP titled “Hymns of Annihilation” and unsurprisingly the song is titled “Annihilation”. With pure misanthropy, as depicted in the cover art above, as their motto i guarantee that this song will slaughter every soul in sight. Huge chunky riffs coupled with a vocal attack that is relentless yet typical of ‘straight in your face’ hardcore, you have a song that can well spur global obliteration on its own.

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2.  Unburied

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My respect for Selfmadegod records, have quadrupled for they seem to sign the best of the brootz. Last year’s Masachist seemed like heaven sent. It was easily my favorite death metal album of 2012, yet still it never got the attention it deserved. Come 2013 and i guess i’ve found a likely replacement in Unburied, who were signed recently to Selfmadegod. These guys have been in the fray since 1994, the glory days of death metal, and that shows. Dabbling in the ever so unholy goregrind side of things, they seem fresh and instantly catchy. Attached below is a track which is probably from the entire album that has been uploaded on bandcamp. Due to personal preference, i happen to choose a track that is more death metal than grind. Make sure you  strap yourself to a chair before clicking the play button. Caution advised.

P.S. Although the bandcamp release date cites 17th Dec, 2012 the official pushed release date is Jan 8 2012.

Catch them on Facebook.

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