June 7, 2018

Not metal enough for Encyclopedia Metallum

By Calen Henry. The Metal Archives has notoriously strict moderation of what is and isn't metal. So, despite being an essential resource for metalheads, it paints a somewhat incomplete picture of metal as a whole. Some bands get blacklisted early in their career
By Calen Henry.

The Metal Archives is a fantastic and very comprehensive resource for all fans of metal. But they do have a notoriously strict moderation of what is and isn't metal. Some bands get blacklisted early in their career then change styles and are still out. Others do the opposite and stay in. Some genres seem to be simply disliked. Whatever the specific reasons, here are some excellent and definitely maybe metal bands who are not listed on Encyclopedia Metallum.

Artwork by John Dyer Baizley.

I love Kvelertak. This roundup was partly so I could talk about them, even though they're hardly unknown. They play this great mix of blistering black metal and sleazy honky-tonk barroom rock (complete with bluesy piano) and feature three guitarists. Only their first record is on Bandcamp but it set the template for the sound they still employ; stomping rock riffs, blazing tremolos and glorious scream-along choruses, in Norwegian, of course. Honestly if Kvelertak aren't metal I don't even know which way is up.

Artwork by Mark Facey.

In contrast to the proliferation of bands adding progressive elements to metal, giving us things like "progressive atmospheric technical depressive blackened deathdoomgaze" Dreadnought play blackened prog rock. They write long complex songs featuring keyboards, flute, saxophone, and beautiful vocal harmonies but also tremolo picking, blast beats, and shrieking vocals. Their albums are an elemental cycle, Lifewoven is earth, Bridging Realms is aether and A Wake in Sacred Waves is water. Each one is stunning but their newest brings everything they do together in the most spectacular package. Their older albums are Name You Price so, really, get them all.

Artwork by Andrew Saltmarsh.

Toehider is Mike Mills solo progressive metal project. It's utterly fantastic. It sounds like Protest the Hero but none of the songs are serious, as evidenced by the latest album name. Topics range from knocking over a cabinet at an estate sale to ruminations the nature of ghosts and existential ponderings of humans versus eggs.

Though the topics are ridiculous the music is anything but. Mills is a jaw droppingly talented musician. Many full bands could never hope to do what he does by himself. The vocals, riffs, solos, and composition are all meticulous and excellent, spanning through almost all styles of melodic progressive metal from the edge of prog rock to extended range chugging.

1 comment:
  1. AnonymousJune 11, 2018

    I don't get the curator of EN. He seems okay to present every swinging dick that calls themselves a metal band with one cassette no one heard and there are dozens of Post Hardcore, Prog Metal, Metal and Deathcore bands that aren't allowed. Metal is something you can tell when you hear it. Most of the claptrap in the database haven't been heard by anyone than their mothers.