About This Blog

This blog is for unsigned Metal bands and bands on small labels. Whilst setting up my promotions company, I noticed that a lot of sites don't cover demo bands and bands just starting out. Hopefully this small corner of the internet will have redress the balance, ever so slightly

Friday, 27 June 2014

Week number 4 and it's mainly Black Metal and a couple of jigs this week

Capgrass - Reflections

I like Black Metal, but I’m not a big fan of the majority of the genres founders, nor of the utterly raw, lo-fi variety. My sedentary tastes are more in-tune with the melodic and atmospheric forms of Black Metal.

So when I discovered Argentinian band Capgrass this week, well, I’d finally found my Black Metal Helvete. It’s melodic, very accessible, yet still retaining plenty of bite, particularly on the (almost) epic, Disruption Of The Deepest Dreams.

Their debut release has 5 tracks, plus an intro, clocking in at around the 26 minute mark, and that’s enough to convince me that these guys are as good as anything I’ve heard doing this style of Black Metal.

Those looking for something a bit more “true” probably won’t like this as much, but for those that enjoy a modicum of melody in their music, you should find plenty to enjoy here.

Vragh - Iskopan
Like me, I’m sure, the first thing you notice is the cover. Not the most “Metal” looking cover I’ve ever seen, despite the striking nature of the picture, it’s a slightly strange choice. But I think it’s actually a brave move by the band.  And one that could actually help them standout in a very over-crowded market.

Musically, it’s a bit different too. Hailing from Serbia, the band claim to have “a touch of Serbian black metal spice for a unique taste”. I’ve no idea of what’s the norm on the Serbian scene, but this album does feel very unique.

The core of their sound is undeniably Black Metal, but there’s so much else going on, it’s impossible to pin down why this does feel so very different.

There’s a slight theatrical feel to the album. The dynamics constantly shift, the song structures flit in and out of melodies, with the occasional bout of off-kilter sounds that seem to wrestle with Vragh’s more melodic tendencies. The vocals follow a similar path, with two contrasting styles battling for supremacy.

And that’s what I love about this album. You constantly get to hear something different on every listen. And to top it all off, you can get the album for free from the bands Bandcamp page.

Chiral - Abisso
Shit, this is fast becoming a very Black Metal orientated update. But, as Chiral are featured on my compilation, which is out next week, it would be rude not to include the bands brand new EP in this weeks update.

If you visit the Chiral Bandcamp page, you are greeted with:
A raw black metal journey through pain, death and solitude as seen by Chiral.”

And that is spot on with where the band are. Raw, but with good production, this is as beautiful as it is miserable. Maybe that’s because I always find music that’s tinged with misery very uplifting.

The star of the show is the mammoth title track, which pounds away for just over 10 glorious minutes, before fading out gently with soothing acoustic guitars.

A times this is a bit primitive, but it’s still an absolute joy to my ears, especially the more classical flourishes which are littered throughout the release.

Well worth checking out: https://chiral27.bandcamp.com/

Spotify Band Of The Week
Ok, let’s break away from the darker side of Metal with the Folk inspired goings on from Spain’s Celtibeerian.

Keltorevolution is a mishmash of violins, violas, bagpipes, whistles and both male and female vocals.

I was trying to think of who to compare them to, and I’d probably say somewhere between Eluveitie and a less cartoony version of Korpikaani. Quality wise, this matches any of the bands signed to the big Metal labels, and this album is actually self released.

So get jigging around your computer to the Irish sounding “The Booze Song” and the feel good factor of “Win Another Battle”, before consuming crazy amounts of alcohol and raising the horns.

This is very happy Metal

Search for Celtibeerian on Spotify, or use the direct link: http://open.spotify.com/artist/6DdV1uJJ5JHD22ad5MyFwk
or visit them via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Celtibeerian

I was supposed to be adding some music videos at this point, but Blogger is being a pain in the ass and they won't embed, so I'll be adding some new videos to by Facebook page this week

SixSixSix Music Update
I’ve had a very busy week. I sent out the 1st batch of promos for the In Metal We Trust compilation, which is out on Tuesday via my Bandcamp page, with another load to go out over the weekend.

The album will be online sometime on Tuesday morning. I think it takes a very long 3 hours to upload, so whilst you’re eating lunch on Tuesday, spend an extra $1 on an 11 track compilation.

And at last, just 5 weeks later than planned, we have the new Wolves Of Avalon album. I’ll add a pre-release offer over the weekend to Bandcamp. The album will also be out via the likes of Amazon and iTunes. Release date should be July 21st and I have no control over how much they charge for it. So via Bandcamp and the link I’ll include on www.sixsixsixmusic.com (on July 21st) will be the cheapest options for downloads. More details on the cd version closer to the release date.

I’ll publish full details about the album, entitled Boudicca’s Last Stand, next week. And maybe an exclusive airing of one of the tracks. Possibly The Sky Goddess, featuring Hildr Valkyrie, as it’s so stunning.

And there will be details of a competition I'm running with the forum, Black Phoenix Rising http://blackphoenixrising.freeforums.org/index.php 

Friday, 20 June 2014

It’s week 3 already on my quest to discover every unknown Metal band on the planet. The reason I started this blog in the first place was because so many webzines won’t accept submissions from demo level bands, or even bands on small labels. So I’m now finding it very frustrating when (some) bands I contact can’t even be arsed to reply to me.
What’s wrong with the offer of no strings attached free publicity? Maybe they want to remain as a cult band that no one has ever heard of. Trust me, they’re doing a good job of ensuring just that.

Thankfully, the bands that will be on the first In Metal We Trust compilation are the complete opposite. You’ll find more details about that at the end of todays’ posting.

I received a link to Italian Black Metallers, Dogmatic Absolution, at the start of the week. And it was a fine way to begin my weekly listening marathon on a busy Monday morning.

There are only a couple of tracks to listen to, but the quality is good enough to make you want to hear more.
Bringer Of Light was slightly more caustic than I was expecting. The music is generally mid-paced, but the vocals are tad harsher than the music. It didn’t take long for my ears to make the adjustment though. And unlike most Black Metal, the bass can be heard rumbling along on full blast for the songs faster sections.
The Eternal Promise is slightly more polished, mainly because of the atmospheric intro and use of acoustic guitars. Also, at nearly 10 minutes long, it has time to develop into a song of epic proportions. It’s definitely the path for them to follow, as well as the left hand one, of course.

Spotify Band Of The Week
At a time when I’m seriously considering, and trying, to stop drinking alcohol, my musical addiction continues. And it shows no signs of (ever) slowing down.
One of my biggest buzzes about finding new bands, is when you find a band that sound so alien to their own culture. And to top it off, they sound so damn good at what they do.
Ladies and gentlemen, from India, we have Cosmic Infusion. They’re a Symphonic Black Metal band, for the most part. But best song of all is Burial Of Thy Own which has an amazing Viking / Pagan choral section that sounds as authentically Scandinavian as it gets.

This 5 track release is unbelievably good. Find them on Spotify via
http://open.spotify.com/album/0IleGp3egY7dnjRWL3sj8N or search for Cosmic Infusion via the  Spotify search engine. Or visit them at www.facebook.com/CosmicInfusion

And a quick mention for another band I discovered through Spotify. I tried to get Mongolian Folk Metal band Nine Treasures for the In Metal We Trust compilation, but I never received any reply.
Never mind. Hop on over to Bandcamp to enjoy the Far East’s answer to Korpiklaani. My personal favourite track is Sonsii http://ninetreasuresband.bandcamp.com/

Shorts, News and links to free stuff
Unfortunately the volume is a bit on the low side, but I do love this cover version of Kraftwerk’s Das Model by Absinthropy. http://absinthropy.bandcamp.com/track/das-model-kraftwerk-cover

But this cover version, wow, maybe the best cover version of all time

Russian Folk Metal band GjeldRune are offering their debut album, Shoronili My Svoy Kray, for free via their website: www.gjeldrune.com

And here’s another album that’s free, this time on Bandcamp.
French Folk Metal - The Compilation
13 bands (from France, obviously) that ply various forms of Folk Metal with a myriad of other influences. Some the bands aren’t great, but there’s a few bands worth discovering.

The winner of the strangest band name of the week goes to Pervy Perkin of Spain. And while they might remind you of a 50 year old perverted schoolmaster (from the old grammar school days, if you’re old enough to remember such times) that still lives at home with mummy, musically, they are in fact quite stunning. A Progressive take on the soundtrack work of Vangelis, with top-notch musicianship and a stunningly clear production.  http://pervyperkin.bandcamp.com/album/ink

A band who I like to keep an eye on are called Utstøtt, from Portland, Oregon.  I picked up this one man bands EP from Bandcamp and it’s a release that still gets regular airings, almost a year after its creation.
Labelled as “For fans of Windir, Summoning, and Enslaved” it was the comparison to the middle band that made me download this. And essentially, it’s keyboard led Pagan /Viking / Black Metal, very heavy on melody and so very easy on the ear.
A full length is slowly reaching its completion, so lease keep this band bookmarked as the EP is a wonderful appetiser for future greatness.
Get the EP at http://utstott.bandcamp.com/ and look out for the new album via https://www.facebook.com/Utstott

Unfortunately the new Wolves of Avalon album, Boudicca’s Last Stand is delayed until next month. I will try and sort out a pre-order option for the album on Bandcamp at the start of July and it’ll be available everywhere else, hopefully, on July 14th

And finally for this week… drum roll please….

In Metal We Trust will be released on July 1st. It's a digital compilation album and the selling price is just $1.
It's a play on words from various forms of US currency, which feature the words In God We Trust. And as an atheist, Metal is my only religion.

Most of these bands are unsigned, but I have to say, even if I’m extremely biased, the quality is good throughout. The line-up is, in alphabetical order:

Aramaic (United Arab Emirates)
Awake The Sun (Italy)
Chiral (Italy)
Crucifixion BR (Brazil)
Dolentia (Portugal)
Godless (Puerto Rica)
Heavy Chains (Costa Rica)
Heid (Spain)
Pick Axe Preacher (USA)
Sorrowseed (USA)
Vomitous Mass (Russia)

Artwork is by Chaz Wood from FenrisWulf Books http://www.chaz-wood.com/

The money that we make from this goes towards the promotion of the album as I’m sending out a hundred or so review copies across the globe. So please support this venture and the bands that are featured.

The album will be available from here: http://sixsixsixmusic.bandcamp.com/ 

The next compilation will be released on September 1st and the deadline for band submissions is on August 1st. Once again, the price will be just $1.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Heid  - Voces de la Tierra Dormida EP

Pigeonholing a band is a useful tool for trying to get across how they sound, but Spain’s Heid fall between so many stools, and break many of the moulds usually associated with a particular sound.

In layman’s terms, they dwell somewhere between Pagan Metal and Folk Metal. Pagan Metal as they echo the vibe of their Northern cousins in Scandinavia. But they break with tradition and have an edge more akin to their Southern European roots (ie, it sounds a bit happy, rather than gloomy). The Folk side of their sound is courtesy of violins, bagpipes and whistles, instruments I’m a big fan of in Metal.

And if you strip away the Folk influences, you’re left with a band that could easily pass for Melodic Death mixed with Black Metal influences, as well as a bit of Thrash.

Opening number, No Habrá Paz, feels slightly restrained, despite some very nice violin work, but once the Thrashy riffs of song number two, Golpejar, kick in, the band spring into life and their energy levels shoot through the roof. From here to the end of the 5 tracker, the quality is outstanding and I’m at a loss for words why someone hasn’t snapped these guys up

You get about 28 minutes worth of Metal for just 3 Euros, so the digital download is an absolute bargain. And the cd and t-shirt deal at 10 Euros is good value too

Pay them a visit at: https://www.facebook.com/HeidPaganMetal  or at their Bandcamp page: http://heidpaganmetal.bandcamp.com/

Ones to Watch
One band who’ve caught my eye recently, (or should that be ears?) are Cardinal. They’ve only got one song online at the moment, but it does clock in at an impressive 12 minutes.
Hiraeth is a brooding monster that’s dripped in misery. And call it what you want, Atmospheric Black Metal, Shoe-Gaze, Post-Rock etc…  it’s simply bloody good and I can’t wait to hear more from the band.  They have an EP, entitled Alpine Voice, coming out soon.

Completely new on the world scene are Aramaic, who are from Dubai. As you’d expect, there are some Middle Eastern flavours on their debut EP, The Fallen, but a mid-paced Death Metal vibe is the mainstay of this release. I’m very impressed with everything about this band from the presentation, their sound and the fact they’ve put this release on Spotify as well. I look forward to hearing more from Aramaic in the future.

Again, another taster of what’s (hopefully) to come, this time from Reykjavik in Iceland. Mannveira have a 3 tracker of icy Black Metal, which is beautiful, in a lo-fi, inciting people to murder kind of a way. For the most part, their sound is quite discordant, but there is a melodic side which constantly battles the harsher tones for supremacy.
There’s also a cassette version in the pipeline for all of you Underground diehards.  https://www.facebook.com/mannveira

And finally in this mini section of very short releases, we have 2 tracks from the UK by Kroh. An Honest To God Mistake starts off in a dreamy psychedelic fashion before the most wonderful and catchy vocal comes in. If Cheap Trick and Black Sabbath had babies, they’d sound like Kroh.
Probably the best £1 you’ll spend all week.

Spotify Band Of The Week
As I mentioned last week, I’m a big fan of Spotify. So every week I’ll try and link up a band that have their music on there. This week, it’s the turn of Sorrowseed from the USA.

They’ve been compared to the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth, but I’m more inclined to say that they sound like Italian occult band, Opera 1X, when Cadaveria was heading up the band.

Sorrowseed have a striking frontlady, in the form of fetish model, Lilith Astaroth. And boy can she crank out a vicious vocal or two. The two sides of her range, the ferocious and the more sedate can be best heard on Arcana (of the Lich Queen) from 2013’s Nemesis Engine album.

Search for Sorrowseed on Spotify, or click via http://open.spotify.com/artist/5KMp4xL5BOLd3UIyZlVk7M

You can also check out a new song, Stygian Athenaeum, on ReverbNation: 

Some advice for bands
I use social media a lot to look for bands. Quite often I visit a Facebook page to hear a band and I am confronted with the option of “Like this band to listen” type buttons.
If I have to “like you” just to listen to your band for the first time, with no idea what you sound like, I simply hit the back button and you’ve lost me as a potential fan, or even potential record label or promoter.
So let everyone hear your music without being held to ransom.

And while I’m on my soapbox giving out advice. If you have a demo with shit sound, please don’t post it online. Learn your craft and pay someone to give you a decent sound. I’ve heard so much crap the last week it’s like being back in the 80s.

Compilation Update
I have 8 bands confirmed for In Metal We Trust, which is the 1st in a series of $1 compilation albums. Hopefully, the remaining bands will be confirmed in the next few days and the album can be released on July 1st, as planned. The full line-up will be revealed next week.

Compilation number 2, will be released on September the 1st, with a cut-off point of August 1st for submissions as I’d like to get a full month of promotion in beforehand for this one.

Work starts next week on finalising bands for a Black Metal split album, with a possible release date of mid July. The digital album will retail for just $3, about £2 in the UK. A very limited cd release may be possible too.

And to end on, how about a couple of videos?

Crucifixion BR are from Brazil and Eternal Judgement will feature on their debut album, Destroying The Fucking Disciples of Christ, later in the year. I love this band, so please take the time to check them out. And by the way, the video is slightly NSFW, as there are some boobies towards the end, so don’t let your boss catch you watching it at work.

And carrying on the with the anti religious theme, we have Pick Axe Preacher from the USA.
This song has been stuck in my head all week. 

Unfortunately the video didn't want to work on this site, so hop on over to YouTube to view

So have a blast to Angels In The Ground and check back next Friday for another update.

Friday, 6 June 2014

As the text at the top of the page alludes to, this blog is going to focus on unsigned metal bands and bands on small underground labels.

And where better to start than China.

Ghost Bath – Funeral

I think, for most people, this will be a band that you’ll either love or downright hate. There won’t be any middle ground, mainly because of the vocals.

Musically, this is depressive Black Metal, quite beautifully constructed, it has to be said. But the vocals… Well, they sound like someone being tortured. High pitched uncontrollable screams which conjure up images of hot pokers being shoved where the sun doesn’t shine.

The juxtaposition between the control and beauty of the music with the hellish freeform nature of the vocals has me hooked, in a very similar way that Wotan’s Return on the In The Woods opus, Heart Of The Ages did way back in 1995.

My first foray into the Chinese Metal scene has turned up a rather unique gem. https://ghostbath.bandcamp.com/

England are playing Costa Rica in the Football World Cup and I hope that their football team isn’t as good as one of their bands. Heavy Chains, as if you hadn’t guessed, are a good old fashioned Heavy Metal band, with a few thrashier overtones thrown in for good measure.

Frontman Diego Acuña isn’t too dissimilar to a certain Bruce Dickinson and I would place this somewhere between Iron Maiden and the earlier works of Metallica and Megadeth. Perhaps with a few Judas Priest references as well.

The 4 track Deathstalker EP is their 1st recorded release and it’s a fine piece of work for them to begin with. Check them out at: https://heavychainscr.bandcamp.com/

Keeping the World Cup theme going, we are heading over to Brazil to listen to some Slayer worshipping Thrash from Setfire.

I know the intro of Revolution Of Machines is a case of Reign In Blood getting ripped off for the umpteenth time, but it still sounds awesome.

Social Bomb hints at a more original sound, before deciding to veer into Pantera territory to completely blow away what I was saying. But for what they lack in originality, they more than compensate for with a feverish energy.

If you head on over to their Reverbnation page, you’ll find 4 songs and the teaser of a new video for Envy Shit, which looks very good… so please post all of it! http://www.reverbnation.com/setfire

Slowing down the pace completely, the next offering is Carnivorous Forest from the UK.

The music may be acoustic and for the most parts, the vocals soothing, but the subject matter is about as dark as it gets, with genital mutilation and sexual violence being the less than savoury subject matters. And with song titles such as Carving The Cunt and Cocksucker, there’s not a lot of subtlety on offer, apart from the lilting acoustics. Personally, I think this is pure genius as the sparseness of it all completely draws you into the lyrics. And did I mention how catchy this is? Whilst doing my shopping this morning I was ambling around the supermarket, avoiding as many screaming brats and hassled parents as possible, with the joyous tones of “Cocksucker” repeating in my head. It’s just as well I wasn’t singing it out loud!

You can make your own mind up about where to pigeonhole this, but I guess Neo-Folk or Acoustic Black Metal will suffice to give you an inkling on whether to investigate this further. And I recommend that you do. Click that mouse on over to http://carnivorousforest.bandcamp.com/

Shorts and News

This one’s been out for a while, but I only recently found it on Spotify (surely the best musical invention since… well, ever) Black Fast, as the name suggests, play Blackened Thrash and their debut album, Starving Out The Light was released last year.

The band are offering a free song if you join their mailing list, so pay them a visit at https://www.facebook.com/BlackFast and you can download the song Levitations for free

Progressive Black Metal band Chiral, who hail from Italy will release a new EP on June 21st entitled Abisso. One track is available to preview now:  https://www.facebook.com/ChiralItaly

Also out on the same day, June 21st, is the 2nd album from UK Celtic / Pagan band The Wolves of Avalon, who feature The Meads Of Asphodel’s crazy frontman Metatron.

Dubai melodic Deathsters, Voice Of The Soul, will release their debut album in September. It’s a follow up to their 2011 Into Oblivion EP, which I’ve been playing a lot this week. Sneak a listen, or pay for a download at: http://voiceofthesoul.bandcamp.com

And before I disappear, here’s something I have in the pipeline, which may be of interest to up and coming bands.

I’m planning a number of split and compilation albums for the remainder of this year.
The first album, which will be a digital compilation, will be entitled In Metal We Trust and I’m working with Illustrator / Author, Chaz Wood from Fenriswulf Books, who has designed the cover artwork.

Each album will have approximately one hour of music. We are intending to sell the albums for just $1. The hope is that people will support underground/unsigned bands by paying such a nominal amount.

There is no charge for inclusion on the compilation, so we are offering free publicity for the bands. We cannot offer royalties either as the money collected will be used for promotion purposes, which will include sending out promo copies via the ipool system to webzines and magazines around the world. We will also post details of the release on forums around the net, as well as social media outlets.

If you are interested in appearing on one of our releases, please get in touch. The first album is filling up fast and we hope to have it out by the end of June, start of July. Album number 2 will hopefully arrive a month later. A Black Metal split album is being assembled too, which will showcase many sides of the genre. That will feature just 4 bands, with each band having about 20 minutes each.  The split albums will sell for $3 or less and if they are successful on an underground level, they’ll receive a full worldwide release and will be available on the like of iTunes and Amazon.

That's all for this week. The next instalment will be unleashed next Friday