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.
Nowadays we are used to albums that try to recreate a particular style, scene or sound. We are also more or less used to bands that try to do their own thing, trying to find their own character to distinguish themselves from the flock of sheep, with mixed results. It’s not that often that we stumble upon a record that respects that old legacy, with obvious nods to certain bands, but still finding their own personality. I feel like Premature Burial would be one of those.
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.
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.
When we think of the past, we tend to focus on the brighter bits while ignoring the bad parts that characterized it. This feels truer than ever in a genre like metal, where the bulk of classic releases for all the main genres were released in the 80s/90s. For this reason, there is a desire for many bands to emulate the sounds of the past and to relive the glory days.
At some point between their debut full-length and today, Slovenian heavy metal band Vigilance had two ideas for their future career: get a new logo and add black metal into their sound. As much as I like their NWOBHM-worshipping, cleaner traditional metal debut; looking back now I can say that both those decisions are proven to be steps in the right direction.
In the 90s, only Sweden and possibly Finland competed in overall popularity to the Norsk scene. In the midst of the Norwegian popularity, another country in Southern Europe was forging its own take of Black Metal. This country was Greece.
The occult themes, heavy use of the purple, and tendency to get weird have always been prevalent in the heavy metal history of a specific country: Italy, the birthplace of “violet doom metal”. In the same era of Italian traditional doom metal, some other local bands, like Bulldozer or Necrodeath, were pushing the limits of the sound towards extremity, making a dent in the first wave black metal history. However, none of these bands had that “Italian weird occult” touch in their sound until a group of young people who were obsessed by necromancy set out to play music.
Evil comes in different shapes. In South America, the shape it assumed was mostly primitive, raw, and dirty until The World Is So Good That Who Made It Doesn’t Live Here was released. Finding an early interest in extreme metal in 80s, many South American bands experimented with filthy sounds that had not been quite discovered before their time. A record store that was already active before this particular kind of extreme metal rose, Cogumelo Records, became the meeting spot for a lot of early Brazilian first wave black, death, and thrash metal bands. The best example of the thrashy, primitive, aggressive sound of the region from that era would be the cult album, I.N.R.I., by Sarcófago.