This is a joint posting with the ever ‘delightful’ head of Sixsixsix Music, Steve Thomas-Green, who I’ve spent many an hour discussing bands with over the last few weeks. We hit upon the idea of doing a joint blog post, each of us scouring our collective internets for FIVE countries not normally know as much for their metal, and finding another FIVE bands that are flying the flag for their respective lands. Naturally, the consumate metalheads we are decided to try and out-obscure each other. We’ve come up with a pretty select bunch of ‘where the fuck?’ places and acts that are pretty much excellent examples of how metal transcends borders, time zones, cultures and social classes. Let the games begin…

My first example is Nepal. Now, Nepal is home to some of the world’s biggest mountains, and therefore some of the world’s most epic, invisible orange inducing scenery. I did a bit of a spotlight on this area recently, so its a quick recap. My highlighted band is Maowli, who as far as I can find have literally ONE song available as a split with Pakistan’s Foreskin. But it is one minute and thirteen seconds of Converge skullfucking Hatebreed with a clawhammer. They say crossover thrash, I say razorblades at dawn. Split with Foreskin is available on Bandcamp as a free download right here.

Staying in this area of the world is Pakistan. I’m picking Multinational Corporations, who are a sick as fuck deathgrind troupe. Their 2014 release ‘Jamat-al-Maut’ is a gurgling, vicious attack on the senses. They rail against all the usual cliches of grindcore, namely religion, wage slavery and, you’ve guessed it, corporations, but there’s a raw spirit here that appeals to me greatly. Plus, they come from a part of the world that is as close to nuclear attack from their neighbours as is currently possible. I’d be pissed too. Free download of the EP is on their Bandcamp, and you can also get a tape release through Grindfather Records in the UK and Extreme Terror in Holland.

Hurtling towards the other side of the world is Peru. An oft forgotten South American country in the world of metal, what with all the brutal stuff coming from Brazil generally. But Peru have Infection, whose ‘Necrokindergarden’ album I reviewed way back when I still reviewed for Spirit of Metal forum. It is a thick, solid death metal record without the super shiny polish of modern tech death, yet not that sludgy ‘OLD SKOOL’ style either. Its in the vein of Monstrosity or Cannibal Corpse, and its executed well. Released when death metal was starting to feel a bit stagnant again, it was refreshingly straightforward. They’ve released a new album this year, which I look forward to finding and hearing. Hear ‘Necrokindergarden’ here.

Fourth on our list is back to Asia and to China where we have Deep Mountains. They have a debut record coming out PEST Productions some point this year according to their Facebook page, and their music is epic, atmospheric and, in parts, fucking beautiful. My personal favourite track is ‘Odes to the Pines’ but you can probably take your pick. They feel like a rainy day in a forest. It is fucking glorious. Deep Mountains are probably my favourite of these five discoveries, as their music touches me somewhere deep.

Finally I go to war torn, totally fucked Iraq for a slice of fantastic depressive black metal in Xathrites. Considering their homeland is currently in the depths of more war and religious genocide, it feels almost appropriate to be listening to some seriously nihilistic shit. ‘My Last Day Story‘ is what you’re looking for here, and it’s available on their Facebook page as a YouTube stream of the full record. It’s a morbid but fascinating, hypnotic listen, enhanced by mournful piano lines in the right places. Atmospheric and dark.

This has been a great journey. Hopefully these bands will now get a little bit more coverage and a little bit more exposure. I look forward to what Steve picks as his ‘five from five’. Given the conversations and recommendations we’ve been throwing at each other, they should be dynamite. Rock and fucking roll.

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