Monstrously Metal And Unsigned

As the months progress I grow more and more frustrated with two genres of music in particular: pop punk and metal. Bands of the aforementioned genres have a rather pernicious tendency to be generically platitudinous, always to my utmost disappointment.

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A much required addition to the column.

As the months progress I grow more and more frustrated with two genres of music in particular: pop punk and metal. Bands of the aforementioned genres have a rather pernicious tendency to be generically platitudinous, always to my utmost disappointment. However, there have been some bright spots, or, should I say, bright for metal, in general. You are, regrettably, quite a depressing bunch; but, insipid reader, do not be discouraged: they may lack in cheer factor, but with some accomplished musicians being featured, do not be deterred from reading this special additional edition to the column. As ever, you can contact me with suggestions, feedback or chat up lines at: sam.agini@ultimate-guitar.com and my MySpace. My big idea for the coming months can be found at the end of the article, and if you feel that you can contribute, get in touch.

On a side note, I remind you all that I cannot be held responsible for any signs of plagiarism on behalf of the bands featured. If there is something obvious, provide me with the information, and I'll make sure to run a huge big news bulletin on UG denigrating the band in question!

First and foremost, meet Dystrophy, representing New Brunswick, and, on a greater scale, New Jersey, in this special edition of the column. Dystrophy, belying the definition of dystrophy, presents a cacophony of accomplished metal, underlying a debt to the progenitors of the thrash metal genre.

Experiencing the (safe) passage of a convoy is a monumental experience, and one that I shall long treasure. I don't enjoy the thought of the military police putting a stop to traffic, but from a first person view, i.e. from the convoy itself, the power of the state can only be feared and marvelled. Upon listening to Dystrophy, I was not only struck by the musicianship of the band, but also by the sheer level of intensity. It almost compares to the convoy, on a lesser scale, of course. In any case, there is plenty of guitar work-out from the Peter Duo. Peter Lloyd and Peter Brown constitute this duo, and give a fascinating account of their skills, particularly during the time span of My Own Master, a bipolar track of both containment and vented fury. The Dystrophy success story continues with the scavenger hunt of a song, Solitude. There are not many metal bands that can hold a candle to the intensity of the chorus in Solitude, and it is, indisputably, the epitome of what an Unsigned Artist should aim for.

Nobody is quite sure what the quest is for with Dystrophy, but with rhythm section: Matt Thomson (drums) and Greg Bueno (Vocals/Bass) holding fort admirably, there is no shortage of fire power to Dystrophy's mosh pit.

Rating: 8
Being stuck in the middle of Derby and Nottingham does not help Fall to Flames' assault on metal. For one thing, being considered as an out-of-town band hardly ties the band down to a scene. Most bands eventually wish to break out of a scene onto bigger and better things, whatever those things might be. The local scene is the building block towards where the grass is always greener. Without it, music would not be quite the same; in fact, this column would probably not exist without local scenes worldwide.

When considering Septemberthe third month of my National ServiceI cannot help but wish that I had heard of Fall to Flames before it began-September that is. It may be the song with the least number of plays on Fall to Flames' myspace page, but it is, in this critic's view, the strongest song in the band's repertoire, which ranges from death metal to subtler, more melodic sections. Andy Creasey, Michael Watt, Paul Nauen, Daniel Jennings and Finn Mauger quite tangibly share an understanding as musicians, yet at times, they lack the accomplishment and class of more experienced recording bands. There is a certain creative fecundity to the band, but this does not neutralise the volatility of its floating around on cold waters, much like an ice floe. In any case, the sheer brutality of Andy Creasey's introductory scream on Taste of Blood pretty much proves that the band is not floating aimlessly. The words of counsel I have to offer are straightforward: upload some more songs for us.

Rating: 7.5
Mandatory encompasses a level of professionalism unrivalled by the band's contemporaries. Even the briefest of glances at Mandatory's myspace page serves as first class evidence of this. For one thing, the band's EPConcept of Chaosis readily available for free download. The download includes four songs, straight out of Austria, lyrics, and album artwork. Image is paramount to success in metal, and the music industry as a whole, so it comes as no surprise that Mandatory's image is seamlessly reflective of the band's sound.

Main, vocalist and front man extraordinaire, marches his way through the EP, his voice fomenting the equivalent of a fusillade of metal. His diversity is absolutely categorical to maintaining a continuous volatility to Mandatory's sound, perhaps something that you won't find in Metallica's Death Magnetic. You would, of course, find it in Master of Puppets, and that's not to say that Mandatory can compare to Master of Puppets, but it does seem to have the same sort of nacre-entombed edge that modern day major label bands lack. Whether it be listening Fault 13, or Majestic 12, Mandatory is Mandatory listening for modern day metal-heads.

Rating: 7.5
In Virtue is included against my better instincts. Providing the article with a pinch of power metal, In Virtue will be both adored and despised. Yes, the instrumentation is as OTT as you could ever hope for, and with Dreamwalkers including a synth style guitar solo that could be straight out of an arcade version of a Lord of the Rings video game, you can't fault the band's guts.

With a website oozing with merch, music and stunning photography, In Virtue is a prototype fishing rodCorrine Rex's eternally dramatic warbling voice might just be the best thing to happen to me in the past couple of weeksand the bait works rather well. In any case, In Virtue, having met at Sonoma State University in 2004, and recording music ever since, have set themselves a goal to create a distinctive sound. I'm not quite sure if that has yet been accomplished, but it is a nascent project that could catapult the self-proclaimed best band in the world (just listen to Heather in the UK)--a statement in jest, or of intent? Regardless of that, I like In Virtue and Heather in The UK is a fantastically well-crafted song. Played acoustically, it is a showcase of the band's orphic euphoniousness. In short, it's melodic stuff, ladies and gentlemen. Do not overlook this band.

Rating: 8

In closing, I would yet again like to thank the readers for inspiring this article. It has been a long time coming. I have been considering what other special editions of the column I could provide you with and my immediate thoughts have rested with a scene article. That is, I'm going to cover a scene in a specific place. Naturally, the problem is that I will not be able to visit the scene, but I feel that I can still offer something. So if you belong to a scene that you think is special, why not create a scene myspace. Send the link to me, and make sure there is a list of the scene's bands on the page. I also want links to the bands' web pages. Keep suggesting bands and ideas for future columns. Until the birth of October's article, which I'll be writing sometime in the following week, enjoy the metal.

Samuel Agini (ss311) 2008 @ Ultimate-Guitar.com

66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rockinsk8r91
    high five to anyone who has a decent vocabulary but still had to google platitudinous to know what it meant.
    gr1170
    GOD DAMNIT find some metal bands that dont scream (or scream/growl like the guy in in virtue)
    Les Gibson
    What does "platitudinous" mean? I like your highly literate and slightly annoying writing style
    rokr258
    i dont know how may of you guys are into metalcore, but theres a good new band from sweden that unsigned called the seven year itch. theyre not the best ever but definitely worth checking out
    Prince of Rinse
    There are always people that are completely deaf that constantly rate bands that are complete shit.
    rokr258
    and there arent that many metal bands that have been halfway decent without screaming. metallica and dream theater to name a few. also trivium's matt heafy is a good melodic singer
    skatergood
    There's a real good metal band called S.T.D (Surviving To Die) and they're in lewes delaware. they sing about cool stuff like war and death but they also write stuff like they have a song called "Shit" and another called "Sodium Pentathol". Some good metal.
    HavokStrife
    All of these bands are....horrible... I mean, they all REALLY need new singers... the singer we threw out of our band is pretty much easily better than all of those... which is pretty sad. But hey, it's gore metal, it's gotta rank high on UG's lists! :/
    CombatRaptor
    OMG thanks ultimate guitar! You get me into bands ive never heard of! You guys HAVE to check out 'Mandatory'. They are AMAZING!
    Pontius
    I'm so sick of hearing the same sounds over and over again from generic "metal" bands...they all aspire to be As I Lay Dying or something I guess. If you're into a new sound, check out Eluveitie. They're a folk metal band, and their major instruments are a hurdy gurdy and bagpipes on top of the old standards. Or give Gwen Stacy, Blessed Is He, Walls of Jericho, Still Beating, iwrestledabearonce (youtube the song "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon, it's hilarious...just ignore the annoying intro), Martyr AD, Job for a Cowboy, and Suicide Silence a listen.
    banman
    Tortiss wrote: huevos wrote: banman wrote: There's a reason they're unsigned and/or not popular or mainstream. Because they suck. Yes! A bands popularity and their label status is what makes them good! Mass Appeal=/=Universal Truth On topic, Dystrophy isn't bad at all. Better production would help them a lot. Especially on the drums. No he's just saying that they suck. If they were good they'd be might be signed. I'm not saying that unsigned bands can't be good. I'm just saying these ones suck.
    Thank you Tortiss. That's exactly what i was trying to say. To reiterate, they're still unsigned because they're not good. But all bands are unsigned at a point. Then they are found, because they are good.
    ShreddyKickflip
    inthewake819 wrote: Didn't work...so if you're too fat & lazy, just go die
    does work. you're too fat and lazy to realize that.
    Emenius Sleepus
    gr1170 wrote: GOD DAMNIT find some metal bands that dont scream (or scream/growl like the guy in in virtue)
    Solitude Aeternus Mourn Tyr Fates Warning Witchcraft Warning kthx
    idle_tooth
    rokr258 wrote: Pontius wrote: I'm so sick of hearing the same sounds over and over again from generic "metal" bands...they all aspire to be As I Lay Dying or something I guess. If you're into a new sound, check out Eluveitie. They're a folk metal band, and their major instruments are a hurdy gurdy and bagpipes on top of the old standards. Or give Gwen Stacy, Blessed Is He, Walls of Jericho, Still Beating, iwrestledabearonce (youtube the song "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon, it's hilarious...just ignore the annoying intro), Martyr AD, Job for a Cowboy, and Suicide Silence a listen. job for a cowboy SUCKS.
    indeed +150
    feparanoid
    Gone Fishing See You in a Year and The Way It Should Be by Gwen Stacy are definitely worth checking out
    gr1170
    Emenius Sleepus wrote: gr1170 wrote: GOD DAMNIT find some metal bands that dont scream (or scream/growl like the guy in in virtue) Solitude Aeternus Mourn Tyr Fates Warning Witchcraft Warning kthx
    mind providing links for warning and mourn, there were several on myspace sorry for over reacting, i just get angered with all these newer metal bands always having some screaming somewhere, i realize there are still bands out there but it seems to go anywhere they need screaming and i cant stand most of it, note the word most, i dont discount all bands with screaming
    rokr258
    inthewake819 wrote: I gave all the bands listed an honest listen and I just wasn't that impressed, Mandatory was pretty cool though...Now I'm not one to ***** myself out there, but if anyone out there wants to hear some melodic/somewhat progressive metal check out "In The Wake" from Pittsburgh, PA. http://www.myspace.com/inthewake819 Or if you're too fat & lazy to copy & paste the link, click
    you guys aren't bad. its almost like a combination of old/good a7X and BFMV
    Cafas
    Cormorant are awesome. It's cool to see them mentioned in one way or another here.
    jrandmb
    rokr258 wrote: Pontius wrote: I'm so sick of hearing the same sounds over and over again from generic "metal" bands...they all aspire to be As I Lay Dying or something I guess. If you're into a new sound, check out Eluveitie. They're a folk metal band, and their major instruments are a hurdy gurdy and bagpipes on top of the old standards. Or give Gwen Stacy, Blessed Is He, Walls of Jericho, Still Beating, iwrestledabearonce (youtube the song "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon, it's hilarious...just ignore the annoying intro), Martyr AD, Job for a Cowboy, and Suicide Silence a listen. job for a cowboy SUCKS.
    I agree, also i thought they were deathcore? deathcore is not metal.
    Scourge441
    Pontius wrote: I'm so sick of hearing the same sounds over and over again from generic "metal" bands...they all aspire to be As I Lay Dying or something I guess. If you're into a new sound, check out Eluveitie. They're a folk metal band, and their major instruments are a hurdy gurdy and bagpipes on top of the old standards. Or give Gwen Stacy, Blessed Is He, Walls of Jericho, Still Beating, iwrestledabearonce (youtube the song "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon, it's hilarious...just ignore the annoying intro), Martyr AD, Job for a Cowboy, and Suicide Silence a listen.
    You complain about metal starting to sound the same and then list Suicide Silence and Job For A Cowboy as bands to check out? Please let this be sarcasm.
    Daveofbodom
    I Gave Them All A Wee Listen, I Thought Mandatory Were No Bad Like. Im Starting Up My Own Wee Band Soon, We Already Have 8 originals organised due to the other guitarist writing on guitar pro and me never putting my guitar down and always coming up with new riffs prepare for us sometime in the next coule of months \m/\m/\m/
    shreddymurphy
    Pontius wrote: I'm so sick of hearing the same sounds over and over again from generic "metal" bands...they all aspire to be As I Lay Dying or something I guess. If you're into a new sound, check out Eluveitie. They're a folk metal band, and their major instruments are a hurdy gurdy and bagpipes on top of the old standards. Or give Gwen Stacy, Blessed Is He, Walls of Jericho, Still Beating, iwrestledabearonce (youtube the song "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon, it's hilarious...just ignore the annoying intro), Martyr AD, Job for a Cowboy, and Suicide Silence a listen.
    iwrestledabearonce is dog shit man. I hope you are joking.
    jmh886
    myspace.com/periphery this band will be signed soon as they get a singer. i have a feeling they will be huge. check em out.
    Celticknife
    Jesus christ this comment box is dreadful. Thrash is NOT the pinnacle of metal, let alone music kids, infact it is one of the most creatively lacking genres in the history of music.
    Tortiss
    huevos wrote: banman wrote: There's a reason they're unsigned and/or not popular or mainstream. Because they suck. Yes! A bands popularity and their label status is what makes them good! Mass Appeal=/=Universal Truth On topic, Dystrophy isn't bad at all. Better production would help them a lot. Especially on the drums.
    No he's just saying that they suck. If they were good they'd be might be signed. I'm not saying that unsigned bands can't be good. I'm just saying these ones suck.
    riff machine
    children of bodom have to be one of the best black metal bands out there by miles...and any metal to be hounest...i dont think people understand how much skill is needed to play metal thats y not many ppl are into it.
    Eklund
    I found Mandatory quite enjoyable, actually. If you guys want some heavy, riffing death metal with high quality and skilled musicians, check out Evocation. http://www.myspace.com/swedenevocation The first song on there, Silence Sleep, is from their upcoming album Dead Calm Chaos, which will be release the last day this month. Feed The Fire is my personal favourite from their last album.
    Celticknife
    In Virtue is decent, but the bassist, Matt Solis has now joined a Bay Area band called Cormorant who are quite frankly one of the best new metal bands to surface in a long, long time.
    vivaladavid
    Celticknife : In Virtue is decent, but the bassist, Matt Solis has now joined a Bay Area band called Cormorant who are quite frankly one of the best new metal bands to surface in a long, long time.
    Cormorant > sex
    AXE187
    thanks for nothing on the cormorant recommendation..... that sounded like people who have never played in a band before jamming.
    sowhat360
    i'd say the best recent metal band that i've heard in awhile is protest the hero. i don't like barking black metal though so my likes are a little bit limited. i'm sure someone has some kind of sub-genre they'd put them in but they're metal.
    _ChewY_
    i believe the sub-genre for protest the hero is called "mathcore"
    fr33t0m
    Metal heads are a depressing bunch? Thank god none of the ones I know are.
    SilverSpurs616
    It's a shame that the really good metal bands don't get mentioned in this articles. Check out Prince of Fochriw (www.myspace.com/princeoffochriw)
    huevos
    banman wrote: There's a reason they're unsigned and/or not popular or mainstream. Because they suck.
    Yes! A bands popularity and their label status is what makes them good! Mass Appeal=/=Universal Truth On topic, Dystrophy isn't bad at all. Better production would help them a lot. Especially on the drums.