When it comes to discovering new music, my two main passions are bands from countries not normally associated with Metal, and also bands that are so new, they’ve only just released their 1st demo and they don’t even have a following yet. I’ll be following those guidelines for this column, Into The Unknown, which will feature once a month on the Somber Lane.
I once discovered a really good Black Metal band from the Pakistan / Afghanistan border. But creating music was outlawed in their area. And eventually, the fear of being caught sent the band off-grid and I was asked to remove the YouTube video I’d made for them. So I’ll dedicate this month’s feature to them.
This month: Bands From Countries Not Normally Associated With Metal.
Kashgar – Kyrgyzstan
Whatever you expect a band from Kyrgyzstan to sound like, forget about it… if I didn’t know any different, this could easily be from Germany or even the US, such is the Western feel to it.
They describe themselves as “Proper Metal”, and as they flirt along the outskirts of so many differing styles, I’ll happily go along with their description. If you delve a little deeper, well, it’s a mish-mash of Progressive, a merest hint of Gothic, a bit of Shoegaze, passages of Black Metal and other blast based genres. And whatever direction they head in, everything is underpinned by Warg’s inventive basslines…
This isn’t what I was expecting at all, but it’s still very worthy of further investigation.
Sublind – Luxembourg
I visited Luxembourg in the summer of 1985. I remember finding a bar which let people play their own tapes… I also remember taking some photos in a (huge) forest / gardens in the middle of the city with a bridge running through it… and that’s just about your lot from my memories as a drunken 18 year old.
What I’m offering up today from Luxembourg is some prime beer soaked 80s Thrash Metal. It’s the type of retro Thrash that brings the memories flooding back to the most alcohol induced time of my life. I’m a real sucker for this kind of authentic 80s sound right now and I hope the band get around to issuing a follow-up to 2014’s Thrashing Delirium.
Im Nebel – Georgia
I’ve been involved in the Underground scene for almost 22 years and I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a band from Georgia. So here’s a band who’ve woken from a long silence with their 1st release, a single, since their 2008 debut album.
Their debut album is a mix of Proggy meets Symphonic keyboard led Black Metal. As you’d have hoped, the new single is a lot more mature in direction and execution, with the Symphonic edge coming to the fore and the guitar leads dominating centre stage…
If they release their 2nd album and the quality is the same as the single, then they could become a strong player in the far East of Europe and beyond.
Aravt – Mongolia
My knowledge of the Mongolian scene starts and ends with (the amazing) Nine Treasures. And they actually reside in China now. Surprisingly, the core of Aravt’s sound is actually Melodic Death. And from that base, they add keyboards and a smattering of Mongolian Folk.
The more I play their music, the more I get addicted to it, especially festival friendly “hey hey hey” of Дайны гал, which would sit nicely alongside a few European Pagan acts. And the mournful Oriental feel of Нүүдлийн дайчид, which is the most Far East flavoured track I’ve heard from the band.
This could possibly turn out to me my best find of the year so far…
Nightmare A.D. – Cambodia
Although based in Cambodia, the singer, Mike Priest, comes from Singapore and the other members come from Philippines, New Zealand the USA.
Of all the bands I’ve chosen for this feature, Nightmare A.D. probably have the most international experience, mainly due to the bands Mike Priest has been in, including Impiety, they’re also the most polished, sound wise.
Musically, it’s Hardcore tinged Thrash and it rattles along with a Punk-ish attitude… and quite a bit of melody. So it’s easy to latch onto, despite the raw energy the band are firing out. You can get the band’s debut EP via Bandcamp as a Name Your Price and it’s a really impressive way to end todays foray into the unknown…