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10 Current Artists That Effortlessly Blend Metal With Other Genres

Posted by on November 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm

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Blending different genres in music is one of the most difficult things to pull off. There are so many elements to take into account, that it can sometimes become a real mess.

Luckily, the ten artists on this list don't fall into that category. Their brave attempts at merging metal with other musical styles should serve as a stark reminder to those who tend to play it safe, that music can continue to evolve if there are forward thinking musicians at the helm.

Some of these artists' musical core is one of rock solid metal, while others use elements of the genre to a lesser (but by no means less effective) extent. Like your music of the smorgasbord variety? Get your peepers on these ten trendsetters then.

10. Chelsea Wolfe (Metal, Folk, Noise Rock)

California based singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe has had dark elements in her sound since her first release in 2009, but on her last record particularly, she incorporated metal to a greater extent than ever before.

The empty but visceral Abyss saw the gothic performer venture further into her psyche to produce an album of sheer dread and despair – themes that have never been too detached from the metal genre. It also doesn't hurt when you have backing musicians of the caliber of those featured here, including (among others) experimental instrumentalists Russian Circles, who provide a deep ocean of soundscapes for Wolfe to swim in.

Heavy delights include the depressing spellbinder "Dragged Out", the hypnotic mourner "Grey Days", and one of 2015's best tracks, the incoming tsunami "Iron Moon"all evidence that this folk rocker can get heavy with the best of them.

Who knows if she will continue along this cold metallic path, but if she does, there's no doubt that this detached crooner will be a worthy contender in the metal scene. Forget Wolf Alice – Chelsea is the true leader of the pack.

9. Astronoid (Metal, Shoegaze, Dream Pop)

Very rarely does music manage to be as beautiful as it is blistering, but dream-pop thrashers Astronoid look to change all that. Their sound is one that soars for the heavens, but gets there through the unconventional means of finger peeling thrash metal.

On paper it shouldn't work, but in reality, it's a match made in heaven…and hell. With only one album to their name so far in the form of Air, the Boston five-piece are already on to something quite unique. The album is a seamless combination of earthy tones and airy atmospherics, not to mention a healthy dose of melodic guitar chords and clean vocal harmonies. Check out album highlight "Up And Atom" if you like your thrash of a more upbeat nature.

If this genre-defying group continue on from this blissful LP in the same manner, metal may have a new name to add to its eclectic artist archive.

8. No Spill Blood (Metal, Electronica)

Electronica has come a long way since its formation, with equipment now able to emulate guitars synthetically. One of the biggest receivers of this technological advancement are Dublin, Ireland's No Spill Blood.

Their insane cauldron of influences include metal, electronica, prog and more, with their debut album Heavy Electricity showing just how heavy things can get even without the use of an electric guitar. The record is practically buzzing with frenetic energy from start to finish, with the band reaching particular moments of enlightenment on the walloping opener "White Out", the Blade Runner-esque speeder "Now II" and the prog-goth titan "Harsh Route".

From horror movie scores to the outer edges of stoner rock, this outside of the box group take a variety of sounds and run them through their synthesizers to create astounding and inventive results.

7. Babymetal (Metal, J-Pop)

Japan's Babymetal are not going to be a favorite among all metal fans, but even the naysayers would have to admit that the group's merging of heavy metal and J-pop is as seamless as it gets.

Like most modern pop music it's annoyingly catchy, but like most modern metal it's also incredibly impactful. This clash of dynamics and styles works wonders for the three-piece, and while their first record was a success, their second was a full on aural assault.

Entitled Metal Resistance, it delves deeper into metal's generous sub-genre pool, adding djent, groove, thrash and more into their already bizarre sound. With tracks like the metal/electro free-for-all "Awadama Fever" and the downtuned ass-kicker "KARATE", Japan's new metal sensations have a tough task following up on their sophomore LP.

For being such an acquired taste, it's incredible how large this idol group's following is. If they can keep delivering the goods like they have been doing, that following is certain to grow.

6. Wand (Metal, Psychedelia)

Goliath riffs and trippy vocals are the order of the day for this space bound trio from California. They are largely indebted to the psychedelic rock sound of the 60's, as well as to the heavy metal sound of the 70's.

They definitely subscribe to their influences' quick-fire way of putting out music, releasing three albums in just one year. It was with 2015's Golem however, where they really cranked the volume dials up. While their psychedelic sound is still intact, they chose to inject some roaring heavy metal qualities into the record, delivering an album of monstrous proportions in the process.

Arguably, the ultimate success on the album when it comes to effortless merging sits with the monolithic structure "Planet Golem". The track epitomizes everything that the group are striving for – weighty and dense music that is somehow light and deft at the same time. They achieve it too. for every doom-ridden note that peppers "Cave In", there's the beautifully delicate vocal melodies of "Flesh Tour" to counter it.

Ever wondered what the missing link between The Beatles and Black Sabbath would sound like? Well you've found it with Wand.

More genre-bending artists on the next page

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COMMENTS

  • Geoffrey Shaw

    I was uncertain about Deafheaven after Sunbather, but New Bermuda was a fantastic album. I think it speaks to the way black metal has changed, too. From Satanic worship to the exploration around pain, it's good to see the genre's growing and breathing.

    • Metal_Resistance

      Satanic worship? Are you having a laugh?

      • Dance for Nihilism

        Only during the infant sacrifices.

        • Metal_Resistance

          Good job most of the black metal I like is groups that disavow that sort of thing. Slechtvalk is a good band, got a new album coming soon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_WMhcBF2QM

          • Gorgalrl

            That was pretty damn good. Tasteful use of cleans, too.

          • Metal_Resistance

            Glad you liked it!

      • Geoffrey Shaw

        Even if it was just a couple of teenagers screwing around, I think it still counts.

        • Metal_Resistance

          Sorry, not sure what you mean.

          • Geoffrey Shaw

            Oh, it's a reference to Mayhem and the origins of second generation of black metal. Euronymous had called himself a Theistic Satanist and was promoting Satanic themes in the music. Some people claim that he was not a Satanist, and that he was just a teenager who wanted to be edgy. But in either case, black metal as we know it today was influenced by the concept of Satanic worship.

          • Metal_Resistance

            Yeah, well I wouldn't want to listen to music done by someone who was influenced by theistic satanism. Fortunately most black metal isn't.

          • Steven Cannon

            INFLUENCED maybe, but the TRUE originators of the scene will tell you that Satanism was NOT something they were heavily into… They rejected, for instance, the LaVeyanism version of Satanism (Anton LaVey, founder of the Church Of Satan in the late 60's), due to the fact LaVey seemed to take the thing that made a small, select group of people "different," or "special" away from them by saying things like "even the most ordinary housewife could be a satanist" and things like that. What the Norwegians failed to realise was that in the 60's, LaVey was caught up in the movement of all this hippy, flower power peace and love counter-culture, which had gained TREMENDOUS influence over the U.S. He was simply trying to provide an alternative to that.

            But even Varg Vikernes (who some may ridicule altogether, although take note that with the many black metal interviews I've done, many MANY members of old school black metal band agreed with a lot of what Vikernes SAID, despite the fact the book "Lords Of Chaos" makes Varg out to be a total liar 100% of the time) said that many members of the true black metal scene hated the visions of satanism… It simply was not their way. Just like they tried to create a more "mutated strain" of death or even extreme metal, if you will, they tried to come up with original ideology for their way of life… Thus it's one of the reasons why Euronymous tried to incorporate ideologies of Communism ("Albania is the future," Euronymous was known to say), because he thought ideologies from Communism were "extreme;" of course, the rest of the guys thought this was nonsense…

            Do yer homework…

          • Geoffrey Shaw

            First off, do you need a new keyboard? Yours appears to be randomly capitalizing words.

            Second off, I was unable to find any transcript quoting Euronymous saying "Albania is the future". However, I was able to find interviews where Euronymous promoted communist states due to their perceived brutality (a remark he makes several times) and is quoted saying "The world can go to hell. We want back the old Stalinist dictatorship, there its was gray, misery and evil."

            http://surrealdocuments.blogspot.com/2008/04/euronymous-as-kafka.html

            Finally, thanks for the explanation into LaVey Satanism. But cursory research indicates to me that it had very little to do with any Satanic beliefs held by various black metal musicians. Research turned up, in contrast, several excellent opinion pieces shedding light into the Satanist beliefs and even the relationship between black metal and Satanism.

            http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2017/01/26/the-devils-roots-satanism-in-black-metal/

            http://www.invisibleoranges.com/the-new-satanism/

            https://encyclopediasatanica.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/heavy-metal-music-and-satan/

            I did my homework, and provided sources into my opinions. Next time you should include your sources too.

          • Steven Cannon

            Sources… Here's a few…

            "Albania is the future," he would muse to anyone listening – Lords Of Chaos, page 74…

            Isahn actually says this in the Lords Of Chaos book page 220: "Many people turned against LaVey, and wanted it (satanism) to be more extreme. I can also understand that, because for many people it was also about not being like everyone else. When LaVey says that the simplest housewife can be a satanist, which it seems like he does in the Satanic Bible, I guess some were terrified that he had views that would take the special thing they had away from them."

            Obviously, there were many differing themes on Satanism in black metal. Still, say what you want about the Lords Of Chaos book, but when I asked many black metal members in interviews questions that the book raised about Varg Vikernes, ALL of them supported and agreed with Varg. Remember, the book tries to make Varg out to be a liar and "the bad guy," however many of Varg's statements and actions are verified by people like Tchort from Green Carnation/Carpathian Forest, Hellhammer, Necrobutcher and Blasphemer themselves from Mayhem. (Green Carnation interview, issue #42, Vibrations Of Doom Magazine, Mayhem interview, issue #26, Vibrations Of Doom Magazine.)

            Finally, Varg Vikernes himself talking about Satanism… Things he said really surprised me, like "The church of satan was shit." "The media, for some reason, wanted to promote the church of satan and present it as THE black metal thing." "Not a single one in that scene thought very highly of the Church Of Satan." "What we did was use satanic imagery as a provocation and a means of contempt."

    • Gorgalrl

      Agreed, but I still find most of it to be a little over the top. Surely a change in themes is welcome as the genre breaks away from usual satanic or paganvikingnorsk arsk it's-cold-as-fuck mentality, but then I read Deafhaeaven's lyrics and I can't help but recall the diary entries of a schoolgirl. Black metal lyricists seem largely (of course there are exceptions) unable to tone stuff down a bit.

      • Geoffrey Shaw

        I agree that the lyricism in black metal is a bit of a weaker area for the genre. Some people like Pelle/Dead I can forgive though, poor guy was not quite in his right mind.

        I enjoy the lyrics that Aaron Weaver writes for Wolves in the Throne Room. Especially Two Hunters, which had a simple but interesting story. But yeah, in general it seems like a cold shower and a hot cup of coffee would help these guys turn down the purple prose a bit.

  • Oxox

    Maximum the Hormone:

    And they have broken up but i love Mad Capsule Markets particular style of mixing in electronic/Digital Hardcore stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfy2MbVqrWI

    The bassist from Mad Capsule Markets, Takeshi Ueda, is already connected to this list since he composed Gimme Chocolatte!! and Awadama Fever for BABYMETAL.
    He also has a new band called AA= that also mixes genres and is quite good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVAn9OpkjDA

    • Metal_Resistance

      I'll second that! As Babymetal's rumoured 'paid representative' (unfortunately not true) on here, I have to say Maximum The Hormone are the best band ever, closely followed of course by Babymetal, who in turn are followed very closely by Mutant Monster, Wire, SOAD and Gojira.

  • stuff & thing

    saxophone = jazz. duh!

  • Metal_Resistance

    Prodigy are not metal, nor are Ghost. Who the fuck wrote this list?

    • Slade

      Sorry, the guy who likes Babymetal doesn't get to call what's metal and what's not.

      • chthonic

        It has "metal" in their name so they must be metal.

      • Metal_Resistance

        see post below

        edit – see post above

      • Randumo

        You should honestly read the title of the article. Regardless of whether or not you think Babymetal is a metal band, they do blend metal music & j-pop. The title says nothing about what type of artist they have to be.

      • Riley 1066

        Downvote

    • Necro

      Dont take it in the strict sense then? Prodigy are heavier than lots of actual "metal bands" and the raw groove is definitely there.

      • Metal_Resistance

        That's true. I've seen them live and they are certainly that.

      • Steven Cannon

        You don't have to have guitars to be HEAVY and AGGRESSIVE… Front Line Assembly, Suicide Commando, Velvet Acid Christ, Wumpscut, hell these are all industrial bands and though some of them use guitars NOW, many carved out their careers by pure electronic mayhem (fuck, Suicide Commando created fucking downright EVIL albums that crush you with such malevolent weight… Go listen to the album "Mindstrip" by Suicide Commando… With songs like 'Jesus Wept,' 'Raise Your God' and 'Hell Raiser,' these could rival anything lyric wise that any black metal band could come up with… Not only that, Raise Your God is pure fucking violent evil…

  • Frank

    This list is dumb.
    Diablo Swing Orchestra – Opera / Big Band Metal
    Ephel Duath – Jazz Metal
    Akphaezya – Jazzy Metal
    Pin-Up Went Down – Funk Metal
    Maximum the Hormone – A bit of everything Metal
    Black Kirin – Weird Asian Metal
    Gonin-Ish – More weird asian Metal
    Haggard – Weird opera / classical metal
    …hell I guess Skindred deserves a little shout out if you like some metal reggae.
    Trepallium – I guess…big band metal…?

    • altdoom

      Diablo Swing Orchestra <3

    • Matt Cook

      "This list is dumb. Here's my dumb list."

      • Frank

        Formatting is poor agreed.
        This article was also poorly researched.

      • Monster0us

        Typical 'I'm too l33t for your musical taste' response :D

    • Strevehn

      The fact the original list doesnt include DSO is just insane. And they are releasing a new CD this month (with house, kletzmer, country, disco, some black metal, etc etc)

      • cffndncr

        At no point did they say the list was definitive. They didn't say these were the 10 best. Hell, they even ask for other suggestions in the very last line of the article.

        The fact that you think your suggestion deserves to be on some arbitrary list of 10 bands is just insane.

        • Strevehn

          Nah its not.

          • cffndncr

            Perfect reply – relevant, well thought out, eloquent…

          • Strevehn

            Hey thanks man

    • neun Arme

      Frank, if you like Pin-Up Went Down, check the singer's new project: öOoOoOoOoOo, it's great.

      • Frank

        Dude ! Thank you.

        • neun Arme

          You're welcome.

    • Trenchanting

      Thanks for Trepallium.

    • Maximum the Hormone? Why that? It's Metalcore. Doesn't fit in that kind of list.

      • Metal_Resistance

        Well for a kick off they are mixing metal with other genres, which is the topic of the article, and secondly they are the best band in the world, ever. Also they are the best metal band in the world, ever. So I think that qualifies them. Metal core? I don't thinks so. They don't fit into subgenres like that.

        • Gunner

          Best band in the world? Possibly. At least they're one of the best bands in the world. They are also genre defying, but if I had to put them into a genre I'd say Hardcore Punk with their latest album being Metal, Metalcore (the good minority of Metalcore) and Hardcore.

    • gudnikristinn

      This is not a top ten list. Its just a list with some of the more popular fusion artists.

    • TreyP

      Therion- Opera/Metal with progressive rock influences. Plus they are writing an entire metal opera at the moment.

    • Grand Old Drummer

      Came down to the comments to suggest Ephel Duath as well. The Painter's Palette is in my all-time, top ten albums list for sure.

    • Porst

      "This list is worthless without everything I personally like!" -Every list article commenter ever

    • Steven Cannon

      Saw a video from Maximum The Hormone, where they're playing in a school of all things in front of a bunch of Japanese schoolkids… Cool, but to this day I STILL don't know what the hell I saw… :)

  • tmj1234

    I'm sorry, but how could you miss a band like Twelve Foot Ninja in this list?

  • Plop

    Ghost is just a bland copy of Black Sabbath, where is the effort ? Because they wear make up and call themselves with unusual surnames ?

    • Metal_Resistance

      There's a whole genre of metal (Doom) that copies Black Sabbath but I've never considered Ghost to be part of it.

      • Steven Cannon

        Personally, I like Ghost… As I stated before, most of what I hear in the very first Ghost record are elements of the catchier vibes the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Movement had going on. And while the Encyclopedia Metallum doesn't consider bands like China Doll and Energy "metal enough," they are still decidedly and inherently NWOBHM… I think personally bands get left out (not to jump track here) of the E.M. because they're not "aggressive enough," while still adding bands that are "melodic metal" when ALL I hear is refined, guitar influenced AOR or pop music…

    • Monster0us

      Yeah, nobody in metal ever copied Sabbath

  • Adam Winn

    "Effortless" is the key qualifier in the article's title. There are tons of bands that combine multiple styles, whereas relatively few do it in a way that feels natural or effortless.

    Consider replacing a guitar in a metal song with a hurdy gurdy compared to writing a song with the hurdy gurdy in mind for that part. One results in weird crap whereas the other sounds like folk metal. Take it a step further to differentiate the normal from the effortless.

  • Dark Self

    All prostitutes to me. There are a lot of Avant Garde band out there that really blend genres…

    Those listed in this shitty are prostitutes, pure and simple….

    S

    • Lucas Kurkowiak

      Come on, bring your band names!

  • joseph glessner

    Wand sounds like a Kylesa rip off.

  • Mayhem

    No Alcest? If there are anyone who will blend metal with shoegaze and do it correctly, it's Alcest.

    • Steven Cannon

      Surprised no one mentioned Agalloch, since they were before Alcest… Still, the "shoegaze" (Which I'd rather refer to as post-rock, but that's just me) has been in force with this band as early as 1999… Though "The Mantle" incorporated it a bit more, which was 2002 I believe…

  • Johnny

    I can't believe that Wand made this list. I didn't think they were that popular. I also don't understand how any of Devin's other earlier works didn't make it into the list.

  • Odious

    They are from Egypt.

  • Trenchanting

    If I may I'd like to add Panzerballet (jazz/metal) Nine Treasures (Mongolian Folk/Metal) and The Algorithm (electronic/metal) to the list.

  • Monster0us

    Porcupine Tree

  • Nicolas Caiveau

    Xe-None : Metal/Euro Dance
    Impurezza : Metal/Flamenco
    Skindred : Metal/Reggae

    • Steve Dennis

      Have an upvote for Skindred :)

    • Ganondox

      I prefer Breed77 for flamenco metal.

      • Nicolas Caiveau

        Didn't know this one. I'm gonna listen to it right now, thanks :)

  • iiixf

    This list is most probably made only for folks who need their minds broadened with stuff on how their "metal" band incorporates other genres into their output or how artists/performers from other genres take this or that from "metal" ("metal" folks should – that's just my opinion, not an expectation – already know of other groups/artists extending their metal sound or adding it to their own). Sadly, the great Swedish band, Pan-Thy-Monium is missing from this list. Also, anyone interested, or beginning their interest in Astronoid just because they read about a new cool band on Metal Injection (or Sucks) should check out their earlier releases on the band's bandcamp (https://astronoid.bandcamp.com).

    • Steven Cannon

      Ah yeah, forgot about Pan-Thy-Monium… You know, I REALLY miss that Khaos and Konfusion album so much, I was ever delighted when a Russian band popped up on the Solitude Productions label that brought the flutes back into stoner/doom/death metal… That band is Evoke Thy Lords… If you miss Pan-Thy-Monium, you might like Evoke Thy Lords. I would suggest checking out their "Drunken Tales" album first, then maybe going back to their debut (which is more doom/death oriented with female vocals). The latest "Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms In Your Cellar" (NO, I'm not making that up, that's their actual album title) is a bit more stoner rock oriented, but it's still them with the flutes and the doom and the death metal thing…

  • BroadwayJoeFYVM

    No love for Candiria?

  • Gorgalrl

    For Astronoid, I get the dream pop and metal, but thrash? Sometimes people just forget power metal exists, and all the fast parts in this song are clearly influenced by Dragonforce's brand of caffeinated europower. There's nothing "thrash" about this track. If you want upbeat thrash, check out Finland's Hevein. They've got clean choruses and add a symphonic touch, all while remaining quite thrashy:

  • Eduardo Robles Coello

    where the fuck is the gay ass looking gene simmons to shut his egostastical face up for good? fuck that piece of fucking living shit.

  • Eduardo Robles Coello

    deafheaven is shitty vocals great instrumentation LOL

  • Eduardo Robles Coello

    feeling the vibes of wand fucking ay mane

  • Kochiha

    What about Ulver?

  • Elsa Sunsyn

    Skuggsjá

    Skuggsjá

    Skuggsjá

    Skuggsjá

  • Steve Dennis

    Needs more DSO and Twelve Foot Ninja. The Algorithm and Igorrr if we want to get more french.

  • Iwein Denayer

    SOLEFALD
    SOLEFALD
    SOLEFALD

    YOU FORGOT SOLEFALD.

  • noCore
  • TreyP

    Wouldn't the entirety of symphonic and folk metal fit this category?

  • cuntgrinder

    What a bunch of untalented hacks (less Babyru Mataru!)!

  • ttt

    im listening to electronic music mostly but i really like bands like Om, Temple Of The Smoke, Esben and the Witch, Herbcraft, The Oscillation, Beak, Suuns and mentioned Chelsea Wolfe. Maybe not all of them are rough enough to call it metal but if you like psychedelic guitar music with some electronic you will be more than satisfied with their music

  • Рензо Ноорландер

    Where the fuck is The Dillinger Escape Plan!?

  • Crinn

    thing that sucks is that theres only one band from that list thats actually worth a damn haha

  • 50-Ft-Robot

    Vector of Underground; their album entitled Original is well named.

  • Porst

    I'd also like to throw down some love for Genghis Tron – pioneers of "cybergrind", aka electronic grindcore.

  • Riv3th3ad

    There's always Torque Order. Hard to explain the genre. Electro metal industrial.

  • Gunner

    Nice list. I'd also add in Alestorm (Pirate Folk/Metal, Booze Metal) and Eluviette (Folk/Metal)

  • Izumi Reina

    I'm pretty sure replacing Deafheaven with Alcest would do wonders. While I do like Deafheaven a bit, since Alcest is still putting out music and they're considered the pioneers of the blackgaze feel, it'd make a bit more sense to put them on the list. And they transition far better between their genres, and somehow are less talked about than Deafheaven… You know what, I'm going to stop there since I found my reason.

  • Lüke Hellwÿck

    Senser?

  • Ganondox

    Ghost, really? What about Deftones, Faith No More, Godflesh, Breed77, Ministry, System of a Down, Paradise Lost, Napalm Death, Nightwish, Type-O Negative, Diablo String Orchestra, Skindred, even Metallica? All of those more deserve a spot in this list than Ghost, which was just blatantly shoe-horned in.

  • Steven Cannon

    …I'd like to take a moment to say I agree with some of the inclusions on this list… However, with Ghost, I would also like to suggest that their first album especially incorporated a LOT of the catchier elements of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement within their style(s). Still, I'd like to add some bands that were even MORE ahead of their time than these more recent inclusions, and a brief comment as to WHY they were important..

    VOIVOD – albums for inclusion "Killing Technology," Dimension Hatross," "Angel Rat."

    Voivod can be widely considered one of the first heavy metal acts to embrace what is now considered post rock… Back then, of course, with the debut of "Killing Technology" in 1986, there was no post-rock label, but blending sci-fi thematics and lyrics with a somewhat utilizing the guitar to perform what most synthesizers do nowadays (provide "landscapes," or ambient atmospheres) proved that Voivod, after two ripping thrashy affairs, had the balls to go above and beyond the limitations of the metal genre.

    FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY – album for inclusion "Tactical Neural Implant"

    Industrial music was always said to be based on electronics. Bullshit. Industrial music was named after the band Einsturzende Neubauten, who used actual working man's tools in their recordings AND their stage shows. After all "E.N." is German for "collapsing buildings" (This is another band that probably should be mentioned). Front Line Assembly was one of those industrial purists that enraged their fans by incorporating metal styled guitars into their set. Their music had always been hardline aggressive, but now with the incorporation of guitars, the thrashy guitar work lent itself to a whole new direction of heaviness. More noted for doing this, however (and more popular, which is why I left them out) is the band Ministry, with "The Land Of Rape And Honey" back in 1988, but one band that defies description and NEVER GETS MENTIONED…?

    MALHAVOC – Albums for inclusion "The Shrine" EP, "The Release," Premeditated Murder," and of course "Get Down."

    Hailing from Canada, Malhavoc has never really received the attention they deserved… "The Shrine" EP, released in 1988, is coming on the scene about the same time as Ministry's first foray into metal meets industrial… The argument ensues: Who was first? Malhavoc had four demos in the early to mid 80's, ending up with the "Age Of The Dark Renaissance" demo in 1986… Some releases of the Shrine EP have this tacked on, and the result is heavy thrashy guitars and distorted and overdriven vocal work; yes, the very template for industrial meets metal. So were they the first???

    Their most recent release: Unknown to me, as I haven't heard it. Still, the 1994 album "Get Down" incorporated a little bit of freestyle "rhyming" (I hesitate to call it rap at this point), adding another twist to the already aggressive and twisted sound… You should see their live stuff…

    INNER THOUGHT – albums for inclusion "Worldly Separation" and "Perspectives."

    Another Canadian demon exorcising free form art and creativity… "Worldly Separation" came first, and it is featuring the mighty Bobby Sadzak, who longtime thrashers will remember for
    carving out malevolent sickness as the TRUE band known as Slaughter. "Worldly Separation" came out on two continents in 1993, and was truly ahead of it's time. While black metal was in it's infancy, Bobby was utilizing not only death metal vocals, but blackened ones as well, and pre-programmed drums… It was thrashy, death and black all at the same time… However, by the time "Perspectives" rolled around, the formula was basically the same, while also adding female vocals and on track 6, a somewhat Jamaican type of "toasting" set of vocals. All this was inlaid over pre-programmed drums that gave the mechanical, cold feeling not unheard of in Mayhem's attempt at industrial on their "Grand Declaration Of War" album. A kick ass group that sadly only lasted for two albums…

    ABDULLAH – albums for inclusion "Abdullah" and "Graveyard Poetry"

    Stoner rock and doom metal need no introduction to these readers… Suffice it to say, the debut album "Abdullah" incoporates many elements of doom metal on their tracks. What REALLY makes Abdullah stand out, however, is their abundantly CLEAN sounding guitar work while still retaining an oppressive heaviness you 99% of the time DO NOT find in such an album. It's a stark contrast that also pushes the stoner rock and melodic 70's rock vibe to the forefront of what they do… Still, many bands within the "stoner rock " genre, marketed to death and heavily promoted as such by labels like Man's Ruin, Meteor City Records and now Small Stone, got tired of the genre tag being lazily applied and switched gears entirely… Fast forward to 2002 and Abdullah were one of those… "Graveyard Poetry" still had the signature doomy heaviness, but cuts like 'Medicine Man' and 'Pantheistic' showed a tendency toward heavy, emotionally charged cuts and a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal atmosphere that could have easily competed with anything that came out of Britain from 1979 – 1984… Still, more was to be heard, as the CD's final cut 'They, The Tyrants' showcased the emotionally charged vocals of Jeff Shirilla doing vicious and skull breaking black metal in the vocal and instrumentation department… These two records are alone and defining enough to prove no one else in the world sounds quite like them… And on that note, my last entry…

    SONS OF OTIS – albums for inclusion "Spacejumbofudge," "Temple Ball" and "Songs For Worship."

    When we speak of stoner rock, everyone knows the legacy Man's Ruin left behind… Shit, all you have to do is understand that the popular group Queens Of The Stone Age got their first recording, a seven inch split with another band, on Man's Ruin. One of the most original bands on this label, once again going back to the frozen tundras of Canada, was Sons Of Otis. Their debut release "Spacejumbofudge" proved that space wasn't always a beautiful and calm place. Stars exploding, violent cosmic catastrophes and the angry, harsh but clean "yelled" vocals of Ken make for an angry and extremely bottom heavy ride… The bass on this album is un-fucking believable, and I don't mean like Magic Mike on a rappin' tip either… The bass guitars and leads are ALL plugged into Orange amplification, bringing the dirtiest fuzz to an already angry universe. And they have an actual drummer, who is probably overtly distorted and run through the same Orange Amplification S.O.S. depends on. "TempleBall" wasn't quite as angry, and by the time "Songs For Worship" had rolled around, the anger gave it's way to free form jams and some more, dare I say, "liquidity" on the instrumentation… Still, all you need to know about Sons Of Otis: Angry, spacey, psychedelic, stoner/doom of the heaviest order, and one of my favorite press quotes from an Italian magazine: "Listening to Sons Of Otis is like fucking 1000 women at once…"