Opening the album with paying due respect to Hammerheart-era Bathory, Malokarpatan take their time to tell you their stories – and such dark and grimy stories, they are. The longer-form songs build up to smooth, galloping leads or choruses; they keep taking twists and turns as the story unfolds with the use of interludes varying from synths to acoustic passages. But at the heart of it all lies the signature “dark heavy metal” riffage of the band.
Necromantia are one of the more curious and immediately striking bands in black metal. The Hellenic BM scene was, outside of a couple outliers in the Scandinavian countries (eg Dissection, Immortal etc), the most traditional heavy metal of the bunch – after all, it is why RiG has a big ‘ol primer on the scene. Of the big bands, Necromantia is perhaps the most musically “traditional metal” of the bunch, while also being musically one of the more radical bands of their brood.
From time to time we see a new band emerging from the dark, ancient corridors of the past, through the cobwebs and mildew, carrying a torch enkindled by the flames of bygone times. Disregarding the evolution of trends and habits over time, these bands go all the way back to the origins for inspiration. Interested more in the roots of the black metal tree than young branches, Hellehond, a new band from the Netherlands, are here to pay their tribute to the spirit of old school.
Flamekeeper is the natural result of the journey from Italy to Sweden for Marco S., the main person behind occult black/death metal band Demonomancy and also The Devil’s Mark Studio. Carrying Mediterranean influences like Necromantia with him, he arrived at the epic metal masterpiece, Hammerheart by Bathory. The debut effort of Flamekeeper is an approach to that Hammerheart sound that is rooted more in black metal in spirit, yet with plenty of clean heavy metal sounding sections.
There is virtue in simplicity. While some modern extreme metal acts try to push the boundaries of the sub-genres (which mostly results in unimpressive ways for me); Avenger, the sole member of Front Beast, pursues the simplicity of the old. Active in many different projects ranging from traditional occult doom to black/thrash to grind or death metal, Avenger focuses his efforts for Front Beast on paying tributes to the forefathers of black metal like Bathory, Venom, or Hellhammer. Shadows is the latest output of this black/thrash/heavy metal act and it stays on the path Front Beast has always consistently been walking on for the past 20 years.
Germany. The country where young people into heavy metal, beer, and Satan in 80s took heavy and thrash metal they listened into its logical extreme and laid foundation to what came after: speedy black/thrash metal attack. To this day the country is still a hotbed for similar hybrid sounds with plenty young bands still playing traditional speed or heavy metal touched by more extreme kinds of metal. Diabolic Night have been one of the most promising of these young bands with their pre-debut material and here they have their first full-length effort to build upon the demos.
Even today, despite having known it for most of my years as a metalhead, there’s an enduring brilliance about The Somberlain that endures the test of time.
The Voice of American Power Metal: An Interview and Career Retrospective with Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin
The world has changed a lot in the past 40 years. Empires rose and fell, cultural icons appeared and disappeared, music trends come and gone. The same is true for personal musical tastes. I’ve known people 20 years ago who grew out of metal as they say, or “evolved” musically.
There is a person who evolved as well this last 40 years without succumbing to trends, without looking for the ephemeral and forgettable success. The man who stayed true to the music and the people who are following him. That man is the Tyrant, and this is his story through his music.
Here at Ride into Glory we provide strong support to upcoming underground bands and artists. We try to highlight high quality new releases and promising debuting artists as often as we can.
The land of extreme metal is vast and without a guiding path it is easy to get lost in the endless sea of new releases and bands. Especially if you are only interested in the sounds that could be Into the Coven (meaning, extreme metal with a prevalent traditional metal structure underneath), finding upcoming artists might look like a daunting task. We thought that highlighting some contemporary bands who have yet to release their debut full-length albums might help readers find a new artist to follow, revisit a band whose first demo they heard a while ago, or just collect the young and new bands they are familiar with in one place.