Monday, 20 May 2013

Underground Bands

I figured for this post I'll keep it to something simple; my favorite underground Bands. This list is not in any specific order and it's not really a list like my prior ones, it's me trying to spread the word about some great bands that I enjoy. I know some people already know about some of these bands, so I would ask that people continue this list in the comments section so that anyone who reads this (including myself) can be exposed to bands that they/I may not be familiar with.

Hollow Ground released I think about 6 songs in their career and fell into obscurity rather quickly, which is too bad because they were a great NWOBHM band and I would have loved to hear more of them.

For those who listen to Death, you probably already know of this band since it was a side project. For those who don't take a listen, the vocals are good but understandably they are a bit of a "love it or hate it" kind of thing. The music is quite melodic but still heavy and progressive.

Catharsis released a demo and their debut Pathways To Wholeness, and they are a progressive metal gem. The music is very well done and reminds me of Psychotic Waltz except as a three-piece. For prog, it is raw since there are no keyboards, and it is great... it makes me think whether keyboards in prog-metal is really making the music better or holding it back, just because of how well done it is.

This band is not the most underground band on this list, but it took some digging for me to be able to find this album. This is a great thrash metal band that really puts a lot into the music and the lyrics, and Time Does Not Heal is by far my favorite release from this band. Though, I'd suggest listening to everything they've done because it is all good thrash metal anyways.

This band is pretty much like if Geoff Tate always sang in that Queen of The Reich falsetto and early Fates Warning (first 4 albums) mixed with early Queensryche as the musical element. There is great songwriting, musicianship and Screamer is simply an amazing band.

For some reason the link for what is probably one of the best songs I have ever heard doesn't seem to be working in terms of embedding videos, so here it is:
Zions Abyss are a Canadian band (Albertan to be specific) and when I first heard Scarred For Life (which is what the link above is for) I was blown away with how amazing it was. The rest of TALES is great, but Scarred For Life is a masterpiece that people would sell their souls just to be able to write something half as good as it. There were rumors (from the band) that they'd release their second album (which is still unreleased as far as I know), but that has yet to happen so TALES is the only album we get to hear for now.

Again I seem not to be able to embed a great song: (Last Rites).
The song I put the link up for could easily compete with Zions Abyss's Scarred For Life (as well as songs from the artists that I will put up after Empyria). Empyria are a British Columbia based progressive metal band that just amazes me with how well they can write songs. For those getting into the band I highly suggest that you start with the album A Long Road Home, which is re-recorded versions of previously released songs... it basically gives an overview of most of their career and the production on it is also the best in their career (in my opinion). For those really into the proggiest stuff, listen to the Lighter Side of Darkness parts I-IV (which is the video above).

Wicked Maraya released Cycles before changing their name to Maraya and releasing 2 more albums, and recently they have announced that they will be releasing Lifetime In Hell (unreleased album recorded before Cycles) with 2 brand new songs as bonus tracks (in the vein of Cycles).
The music is just amazing, to me it feels like a combination of 90s alternative, progressive metal and power metal. All I can really say is do yourself a favor and take a listen.

This is the debut from Etibicoke (Ontario) based prog-metal band In The Name and it is still one of my favorite albums ever. It feels like Rush, Psychotic Waltz, Fates Warning, Queensryche and 90s alternative music were blended together and turned to 11. The album sounds timeless and is really a step or 2 above every other prog band in history, and for that matter music in general. The music is amazing, the composing/songwriting is spectacular, the melodies are memorable, the lyrics are amazing and the singing is too amazing to accurately describe. This remains their only release under this name.

In The Name was originally called Kingsbane, who released a demo that was called the greatest prog-metal demo in history by Hard Rock Magazine and was released just about the time that Dream Theater broke it big with Images & Words. Because of the rise of grunge, aka the dominance of Nevermind, they were not able to get a major label contract. They changed their name to Seven Years and released another demo, eventually signing with a small label and changing their name to In The Name for their debut album. After the release of their Kingsbane/Seven Years demos by Stormspell Records in 2010, the band said that they were inspired to write new material in the vein of the Kingsbane demo. Sadly, nothing has happened since then and it seems as though one of the greatest bands I have ever had the pleasure of listening to will not be making a comeback that I am certain would have been as close to perfect as a band could get.
The music was powerful, moving, melodic, full of hooks, timeless, spectacular and probably the best music this world could ever hope to hear.
For those who do not like metal or rock, try taking a listen to Blinded by In The Name (still rock/metal but it has a sound that is so different from rock/metal), or Shame by In The Name (a beautiful acoustic ballad that mainstream music fans should love).

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