Let’s take a minute to pat ourselves on the back and acknowledge we’ve made it to the homestretch of 2020, only 7 more days of this insufferable year and then we can go into 2021 with a more positive mindset of things like VACCINES and NEW MUSIC. Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with the former, but luckily I have a fantastic list of bands that can provide you with the latter – So, please, grab a fresh cup of coffee, sit back, relax and enjoy!
The first band I want to bring your attention to is the Canadian psychedelic-haze group Highland Eyeway. It brings me a lot of joy to share this group because not only are they from neck of the woods (Vancouver, BC) but Highland Eyeway delivers some of the most solid Acid Rock tunes I’ve heard in long a time (Finally a Vancouver band to be proud of). Their latest track “Yost” emanates these great 90s nostalgic vibes with its distorted guitars and iridescent melodies. Although, at the moment, there are only a handful of singles and one EP for your streaming pleasure,, the BC based label, Divine Bovine Records, will be releasing Highland Eyeway’s new ‘Spirit Wrangler EP’ in early 2021.. So there’s something to look forward to in the New Year!
Next on the list is a group that will definitely lift your spirits, American Viking-Pirate-Metal extrodonaires, Æther Realm. Ten years ago, from the depths of North Carolina emerged this incredibly riveting Melodic Death Metal band that takes on the tales of American Vikings. In 2013, the four-piece released their debut album “One Chosen by the Gods, followed by their sophomore album “Tarot” in 2017. Since then the group has set sail on this super fun heavy metal journey of Folklore, Vikings and even hillbillies. In May of 2020 Æther Realm released their third album “Redneck Vikings From Hell” which is what instantly captured my attention. This record has every thing from pure heavy death metal tracks, melodically gripping riffs, astronomical orchestra moments and BANJO riffs… This album is incredibly fun and epic. It’s been on instant repeat while I work out.
If you’re not new here, you’re probably very aware of my incessant obsession with Swedish metal bands, so to no surprise, next up is Blackened Folk Metal group Bergsvriden from Sweden. Bergsvriden was founded back in 2013 by Anton “Trollmania” Torsås with the hopes of creating the most brutal darkened folk metal band in the modern scene (which, in my opinion, they have accomplished successfully). Using nostalgic 90s “TRVE” (I am using that word, not them) black metal vibes, Bergsvriden plays the melancholic, yet heavy, melodies that all black metal fans know and love. Moreover, also like 90s black metal wave, the band writes in their native tongue (Swedish in this case) and pulls intense inspiration from the horrifying aspects of Scandinavian folklore. The great thing about Bergsvriden’s music is that although it is brutal and truthful to the second wave of Black Metal, the production quality is impeccable, making the listening experience amazing. It’s also important to note that all releases by the band (which has so far been one EP and two albums) have been released completely independently, adding to that “Trve” image. If you, like me, love the second wave of black metal but wished it didn’t sound like it was recorded on fisher price gear, then this is the band for you.
Next up is a four-piece hybrid punk-metal band from Örebro, Sweden called Gravson. In the band’s first year together they have already released two EPs, with their second release, “Lilith” being a product of 2020. Drawing on Nordic folklore and mythology, the four-piece (William, Martin, Rickard and Victor) creates a boisterous listening experience that remains true to the incredible heavy music scene of Sweden. All songs are in Swedish which I find makes the music all the better and true to the genre.
Moving away from the animated and harsh forests of Sweden and tales of Vikings, we are now stepping into the world of American post-hardcore group, Dearbones. This choice may be a bit of a wild-card to my listeners, cause this genre of post-hardcore (dare I say emo?) is not my area of expertise or something I give a regular listen to, but there’s something so mesmerizing about the way the Dearbones draws on the listener’s emotions with their introspective lyrics mixed with their heavy sound. Again, not my area of expertise, but I do think this is something you would hear at Warped Tour, and I’m not saying that to be petty. The band released their first EP “ The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” back in 2018, which is 32 minutes of incredible captivating and nostalgic sound (a-la Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown) that gets you incredibly hyped yet reminiscent on feelings you’ve tried to suppress.. Definitely a group worth keeping an eye on, if you like that heavy, but not “cookie monster” sound (thank you to the incredible twitter follower that suggested less “Cookie Monster” music).
Hand of Kalliach
Next up is Scottish Husband-and-Wife duo, Hand of Kalliach. The couple uses Gaelic and Celtic overtones that can be normally heard in traditional Scottish Folk Music and blend it with Epic Metal sounds. Hand of Kalliach recently releasd their debut EP “Shade Beyond” and has been nominated for Band of the Month on Metal Mehem Radio in the UK. The EP has an incredible range of folk and epic metal production. The use of distorted guitars and incredible growls performed by the husband, balanced with the orchastric softness in the background and the wife’s almost faerie-like vocals is an enchanting listening experience.
Ending this list on a heavy rock’n’roll note with the band hailing all the way from heeelll-sinki, Finland. STUD is a true pioneer when it comes to sweet rock and roll in Finland, as it was founded back in 1986! After a few successful tours and creating a solid following, the band called it quits and reformed a whopping 25 years to only come back stronger and better than ever. STUD’s 201 come-back was with nothing short of vengeance and proved that they were ready to take the scene internationally and started to create music in English. This move had clearly clearly paid off, because in November of 2020 STUD released their newest full-length “War of Power”, which was mastered by Svante Forsbäck who’s worked with bands like Rammstein, Volbeat and Candlemass. The album “War of Power” is filled astronomical heavy metal chaos in the best way possible, it’s 43 minutes of pure fun and nostalgic metal vibes that are so hard to resist.
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Until next time Interwebs!🕸
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