Inspired by my last post and my discussions with Steve from Sixsixsix Music, I’ve spent the last week on a bit of an odyssey, a journey of musical discovery.  I’ve found a few diamonds in amongst the chaff. It’s a sad state of affairs where within every 10 bands you listen to, you’re lucky if there’s more than one that you think is a bit special. One flaw with the profliferation of the internet as it pertains to heavy metal is that anyone with a guitar and a drum machine can make metal. Fortunately there are also many bands who, for lack of promotion or due to their global location, remain undiscovered gems. It is the task of people like me to find them and spread the word, so that they can make something of their efforts.

This week, I have been all over the world. From Romanian tech death to Chilean thrash, from Chinese black metal to Brazilian raw death, from Canada ambient black metal to Ukrainian blackened doom. It has turned out that ignorance is not bliss, for I am now much happier having heard these bands.Hopefully I can bring them to some people’s awareness.

I’m starting out the gate with a Romanian band called Code Red. Released last September, their ‘Dominions of Our Deceitful Beliefs’ record is a maelstrom of punishing technical death metal. They’ve got a much better approach than many tech death bands who assault with musicianship and forget the songs. Stream it here, its fucking heavy.

Second up is Chilean thrashers Armies and their demo ‘Slave of Torment‘. From what I can gather, this is only a new band, yet ‘Slave of Torment’ feels familiar. Like an old friend. A horrible, serial killing old friend. Raw, South American and black as night, this thrashing attack is laser guided directly for every major artery.

Returning to Romania is Bucovina, a band who take the slowly-getting-tired model of European folk metal, and inject some serious melody into it. Last year’s ‘Sub Stele’ is a grand prayer to the majesty of Romanian folklore and nature. It is uplifting but not overly, never falling into a parody of itself. They remind me of a more bleak Turisas. Listen and buy here.

North Black are a Russian black metal band who appear to have been around for almost a decade now, and their newest demo is available to stream via their bandcamp. It is an ominous piece of music, buzzing black metal riffing underpinned by relentless double bass and haunting atmospherics in the background. A shoe in for next winter’s essential listening.

Next is Neige et Noirceur, black metal from Canada and more specifically, Quebec. Now, Quebec has produced some fine black metal over the years, and ‘L’Abime Des Jours, L’Ecume Des Nuits‘ is nothing but. A slow, swelling intro builds the mood, before spiralling strngs appear and lead us into a thick, buzzing black metal fire. The murk is pierced by screams that sound like they’re being forced from the dead. I really like this one; it encapsulates the atmosphere and spell binding ferocity of black metal at its darkest.

I’m leaving it there just now, as I have enough to fill another post which I will hopefully have time to put together quite soon. Meanwhile, seek out and enjoy these killer bands

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