Hailing from Gaborone, Botswana, WRUST is a favorite underground metal band I only discovered two years ago. Their song “Hate Em All” off the 2013 album Intellectual Metamorphosis seems to be their flagship, but after listening to the whole album I came to appreciate their raw take on metal they offer up with songs like “Destiny of Fate”. “God of the Insane” is my favorite off this album hands down. In a few they interweave cultural elements which I thought tastefully done, such as on “Caress the Soul”. Listening to these guys is a nostalgic trip to late 90’s/early 2000’s house shows; and for those tired of the usual this band is it.
Batushka is said to be one guy in a chapel basement splicing together Eastern Orthodox choir segments to his personal creative freedoms on a portable 8 track. For those who appreciate dark metal with an over-arching ethereal orthodox chant to the mix, this will be sure to impress your rebellious Catholic girlfriend. When I listened to the song “Litourgiya”, I had flashbacks of great underworld flavorings such as Marduk and Plaag coming together in concerto to give a mash of the best. It’s not for everyone; indeed probably a minority, but that’s what makes it great. And no, your girlfriend’s mom doesn’t approve, which makes it worth gandering at.
Founded in 1990, Marduk is long-standing pillar of Swedish metal that has never been one to short themselves in terms of raw composition. Their searing vocals and slow, crushing guitar rhythms bring waves of head-banging majesty unlike any group you’ll listen to. Just pop in their La Grande Danse Macabre cassette into the boombox at a family gathering, and feel proud as your family’s Christian hatred burns in your direction. Då stannar dansen!
A staple of Norwegian metal stemming from the 90’s, Satyricon is a group that has pushed the era of blatant disregard for your parent’s music norms and carved out a sound that could be played anywhere from a friendly game of Monopoly to all out back-alley knife brawls. “Fuel for Hatred” is one of my top song choices to listen to, and the only reason I get through showers before the hot water runs out. Auditory caffeine to the max. If you’re looking for musikk that pumps you up, these are the guys. Få Energi!
Finding yourself bored while vacuuming and have no ambition to continue? Is the child screaming to no end? Did the dog just use the kitchen rug as a bathroom receptacle? With one simple application of Sabaton’s “The Last Stand” you’ll have found renewed vigor to blatantly disregard inconveniences such as appropriate music volumes at 3am and law enforcement asking you to politely keep it down as you chug a beer and fall into the wall while head-banging to Sabaton. If you manage to not go to jail, righteous fist-pumping and sword flinging moshpits are in your near future, human. After you feed the children and take out the garbage. Skå!
Øyvind Karlsen, Frank Rasmus, Tore Skoglund, Geir Karikoski, and Kai Somby: These the are the current band members of the legendary Norwegian Sami group that we know as Intrigue. Rhythmic, grooving, and with tastefully interwoven cultural touches to their music, this group captures a sound many of the U.S. classic rock lovers will immediately recognize and appreciate. Many to choose from, but the song “Lesjávri Lunttat” is my favorite. And I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I’ve been blasting this loud enough to earn an eviction notice. Worth it. Laulutanssi!
Batting closer to home in Arkansas, U.S., we have one of the first metal groups that got me into the genre. Established in 1989, The Living Sacrifice went on to change many angsty teen’s lives during the 90’s, mine included. Their earlier Hammering Process album is still my favorite, even after all the album releases they’ve done. Pure raw, raging guitar tone worth opening a beer to and vocals that’d startle the fur off your grandma’s cat. Great stuff. Their earlier music has a more death metal feel, while their later music shifted toward a board-shredding moniker. Either way this group has a respectable stack of songs worthy of blasting on the back patio to piss off your neighbor’s dog while you fire up the BBQ. Pröst!
I was going to put up a photo of the band members per usual, but this cover art from their album Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest is still my favorite of any metal band to date. It’s a solid visual representation of ZAO. This Parkersburg, West Virginia-founded group’s visceral compositional style hailing back to the 1996/97 era of local American metal will be appreciated by those a fan of the 90’s U.S. death metal era. Their arrangements are more fundamental but certainly not lacking. You’ll find yourself fist-pumping and head-banging while cooking Thanksgiving dinner for your relatives as they stare on wondering what in the everlasting tarnation’s in your water supply. Nothing’s wrong. In fact, nothing’s felt more fulfilling than pushing this album’s volume dial up until Aunt Betty’s hearing aids short-circuit. Need more input! Le Chiem!
Originally formed under the name Empires in 2010, this Ocala, FL. group signed onto Fearless Records in 2015 as Wage War. An onslaught of sound-barrier-splitting modern metal that’s worth punishing the eardrums to at higher-than-recommended volumes with the car windows rolled down as you drive through a quiet upper-class suburb. On a Sunday. And how! I find myself putting their Deadweight album on quite often, with notable songs such as “My Grave is Mine to Dig”. This isn’t the pre-2000 metal we dudes are used to, but I’d take pride blasting this knowing it’s rattling my neighbor’s cupboard dishes at 3am. And if you can’t enjoy those small pleasures in life, then what do you really have, right. Besides a possible eviction notice. Worth it. Die Musik macht frei!
I couldn’t think of a more fitting band photo for the Norwegian group Gothminister. One part Bladerunner, one part eye flavor, it’s the ocular meal we never knew we craved. The added bonus is that you offend scores of religious people unwittingly just by turning this music on. A stage production designed to visually and auditorily entertain, Gothminister puts on a superbly structured live show complete with skeleton pulpits and/or zombies. Preferably both. Formed in 1999, this group has seen successes including the Wave-Gotik-Treffen festival in Leipzig, Germany which brings in names such as Minuit Machine, VNV Nation, Combichrist, Nosferatu, and Clan of Xymox. Gejuig!