The two SUMAC albums from Aaron Turner & Nick (of BAPTISTS) have done an alright job of filling that void.
Babymetal is great
Let’s keep the japanese thought train going with this speed jazz metal song from Japan based guitar weirdo Marty Friedman with Jørgen Munkeby from Norweigian fusion Black jazz lunatics Shining. It’s a neat song because it is super duper fast heavy but also has the corniest smooth jazz interlude.
Couple more for ya:
There are few metal bands going right now I like more than Thou. Just some good old fashioned left-anarchist doom and gloom.
RAGANA are way underloved. Sorta black metal, sorta hardcore. According to their bio:
RAGANA has existed since autumn 2011 when maria and nicole met in olympia, wa. they currently live in oakland, ca. their interests as a band include pacific northwest forests, early cat power, and the total destruction of capitalism.
I just now realized they had an album come out last month. They rule.
We aren’t going to talk about awesome heavy music from Japan without mentioning Envy. I will not let that pass. Tetsuya Fukagawa is one of my favorite vocalist.
While we are on progressive hardcore, everyone should at least give Circle Takes the Square a try at some point.
These bands both tend toward much longer songs. Envy is kinda odd in how much they use major scales for their aggressive music.
Also, Thou is hella sick.
So fun story about how I learned about Sigh. I was never huge into black metal (still not) so I never got exposed to them through that. I actually got tickets to see Zimmers Hole when they were on tour with Sigh and Unexpect. Then Zimmers Hole dropped from the tour, and I decided to go anyway (why waste the tickets?). Best decision I’ve ever made.
It was the most insane show I’ve ever seen. I’d never heard of Unexpect before that show, but holy shit were they incredible live. Their bass player got so into it that he fell off the stage at one point; didn’t miss a note. Their video for Unfed Pendulum actually captures it pretty well (minus the fall):
Then Sigh took the stage. I was not ready for Sigh. Here’s how I described it at the time: “The drummer and guitarist look like fairly run of the mill guys, someone you’d pass on the street and not look at twice. Their bass player dresses like he’s in an old school thrash band. The keyboard player/singer/multi-instrumentalist guy was dressed like Dracula. The female vocalist was wearing a leather bikini top, leather miniskirt, at least one studded belt, and platform boots. Then she got the saxophone, and shit got weird.”
YESS! SIGH ARE SO FUCKING WEIRD! Dr. Micannibal (the saxophonist) has moved on from leather biki to angel wings and white lingeri while drinking theater blood out of a flaming goblet during the show. Sigh is so fucking incredible!
Let’s talk about The Human Abstract for a second.
I’m a sucker for clean vocals. I’m especially a sucker for continuous lead guitar riffing. Why would you chug chords when you can solo constantly?
Digital Veil is one of my all-time top 10 albums. Top to bottom excellence.
I would like to present evidence nr 34 out of 120 on why Dillinger Escape Plan is the best band ever.
I’m still having a hard time coming to terms that they are calling it quits after this tour. In a way it seems like the perfect punch line to what an incredible cosmic joke their whole career has been. To think that a group of such musical skill would get together and not only consistently put out amazing music, constantly reinvent themselves over their 16 + year career, but on top of that also just channeling an utterly nihilistic and downright antagonistic energy and authenticity that has and forever will be un-fucking-touched.
And then they just stop. leave on top, without a single dip in quality after posting a work rate that is just unheard of nowadays. It almost feels like a band like that shouldn’t exist, but they did and they fucking destroyed on everything they did. It will be a sad day the night they finally take a last bow and go off stage this year.
I haven’t listened to much Sigh, but I used to listen to their current guitar player You Oshima’s solo project Kadenzza a lot.
He does everything on the albums, as far as I know. Very talented individual.
He’s a fantastic musician. Here’s a quote Mirai Kawashima on his importance to the band as well as why they got rid of their former guitarist. It’s an… interesting story:
In most genres aside from metal the guitar solo has almost become a lost art. The guitar playing on this has really stepped up to the next level. Was this influenced by having guys like Matt Heafy around?
Mirai: The reason is very simple. We hired the new guitarist who can play the guitar way better than the old one. Unfortunately we had to fire the guitarist during the recording of Graveward because it became obvious that he was losing his passion on music. He started chasing a preadolescent underground idol who has only 10 fans or so and now he spends all his money and time on that crap. It was a tough decision for us to fire somebody we had worked with together for more than 20 years, but we had no other way. We were lucky enough to have been able to find the new guitarist, You Oshima. He released two albums as Kadenzza on Holy Records from France. He definitely brought us the higher level in the guitar playing.
First of all, I hadn’t heard of Kronos, and they are great.
However, I think the Norse would like a word with you.
They are amazing! Can’t wait for the split with Cheerleader Concubine.
Everyone should check out BROJOB
It’s not strictly metal, but I wanted to share some thoughts on the passing of Chris Cornell.
Grunge was my bridge to metal. The first songs I ever learned to play on guitar were Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” and “Heart Shaped Box”. I had a phase where I listened to Alice in Chains almost exclusively. I never would have made the jump to the music I love without grunge, and Chris Cornell was a cornerstone of grunge.
I didn’t really appreciate Chris Cornell until I heard Audioslave for the first time. I still love their first album. I was fortunate enough to see Soundgarden open for Nine Inch Nails in July 2014. Even from the lawn, he had an undeniable presence. Despite not being the biggest Soundgarden fan, I couldn’t help but enjoy their set. He had a singular voice, even in a sea of imitators. It’s a hell of a loss, and he will be missed.
Leprous announcing their new album made me think back to how great their last album, The Congregation, was.
I saw Chthonic at Paganfest tour a while ago and they absolutely ruled. Can’t recommend them enough to people.
This reminds me a lot of Dredg. A little bit of a harder edge than Dredg, but the vocals really sound similar to me.
I haven’t really listened to much metal lately, but Oranssi Pazuzu, anyone?
This thread’s got some nice variety. Saw a few of the bands I used to listen to posted here like Baroness, Kvelertak, Gojira, Kadenzza, and Cthonic. Even a shoutout to Perturbator, ha.