"6 Bands You May Not Know, But Should" - January 16th, 2020 Edition

1. L’Homme Absurde (Moscow, Russia)

Album: Belong (Independent)

Release Date: January 17th, 2020

Genre: Atmospheric/Post Black

Contemporaries: White Ward, Sleeping Ancient, Karg, Tombs

Moscow’s L’Homme Absurde have been quite prolific in their brief lifespan. The independently released Belong represents L’Homme Absurde’s third full-length release in only five years of existence; and the Russian quartet have summarily hit all the marks on this eight-song effort. Captivating and fascinating, Belong is gorgeously atmospheric and melodic while simultaneously as coarse and piercing as a cold winter’s wind. Expertly produced and sonically gratifying, L’Homme Absurde’s Belong is strikingly spellbinding. Don’t miss out. Rating: 9 / 10

2. Frogg (Stamford, CT, USA)

Album: A Reptilian Dystopia EP (Independent)

Release Date: January 17th, 2020

Genre: Technical/Progressive Death

Contemporaries: Obscura, Equipoise, Caecus, Aronious, Sutrah

Blasting off from their Stamford, Connecticut launching pad, newcomers Frogg may be wet behind the ears, so to speak, but if their sound, production, and talent were all attributes in a role-playing game, they would all be completely maxed out. A Reptilian Dystopia is some masterful shit, ladies and not-so-gentlemen. Dynamic, potent, and elaborate, Frogg’s debut EP is one that should put this (assumedly) one-man project squarely on the international metal map. All four songs are wholly pleasurable, so just sit back, press play on track one, and let this supreme EP rip until its resplendent end! Rating: 9.75 / 10

3. Haunt (Fresno, CA, USA)

Album: Mind Freeze (Shadow Kingdom Records)

Release Date: January 10th, 2020


Contemporaries: Night Demon, Skull Fist, Cauldron, Enforcer

The New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal has been building for the past few years, and with the recent influx of acts fully buying into the influences of traditional, old-school metal, the wave shows no signs of breaking anytime soon. To wit, Fresno, California’s Haunt have been quite busy in their four years of known existence, putting out three full-length albums since 2018. The latest, Mind Freeze, features another nine original compositions from the California quartet that are replete with 80’s nostalgia and persuasion. Although the gimmick stales a bit by the end of the album, Haunt’s Mind Freeze is still a fun listen regardless. Some of the choicest cuts include “Light the Beacon”, “Hearts on Fire”, “Fight or Flight”, and “Have No Fear”. Rating: 8.25 / 10

4. Rat King (Seattle, WA, USA)

Album: Vicious Inhumanity (Within the Mind Records)

Release Date: January 17th, 2020

Genre: Experimental Sludge and Grindcore

Contemporaries: Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer, Like Rats, These Beasts

After four years of rumination and metamorphization, Seattle’s Rat King have returned with their second full-length, Vicious Inhumanity, and although the trio’s earlier works saw them tagged with a stoner sound, on this latest effort, nothing could be further from the truth. While still “experimental” in their particular, peculiar blending of sludge and grind – and touches of Latin influence, as well – Rat King seem to have shed the psychedelic, stoner leanings in preference of a rawer, more rough-hewn approach, and the end result are nine tracks of sludge-grind splendiferousness. Upon first listen, don’t miss “Matanza”, “Soledad”, “In Quiet Sleep”, or “Chanchito”, but honestly, the whole album is damn fine. Pretty damn fine, indeed. Rating: 8.75 / 10

5. Macabre Demise (Landshut, Germany, EUR)

Album: Awakening (Rebirth the Metal Productions)

Release Date: January 17th, 2020

Genre: Deathgrind

Contemporaries: Skinless, Aborted, Benighted, Limbsplitter

The one-man band that is Germany’s Macabre Demise have been going at it now for over a decade, yet they are still relatively unknown on the international stage; but their latest release, Awakening, might finally break this solid solo act. Brutal, punitive, and accomplished, Macabre Demise’s Awakening is smartly produced, well thought-out, and crafted and composed with a polish that only years of experience can achieve. An admirable and august effort, all around. Rating: 8.75 / 10

6. War Dogs (Elche, Spain, EUR)

Album: Die by My Sword (Fighter Records)

Release Date: January 9th, 2020

Genre: Speed/Power

Contemporaries: Blizzard Hunter, Witchunter, Ambush, Toxikull

Fresh on the Spanish metal scene, War Dogs are bringing speed sensibilities back to power metal on their debut full-length, Die by My Sword. Newcomers, yes, but this quintet have a sound that is experienced, albeit a scant raw and unrefined. Still, given time, this act could really blow some minds, as they possess oodles of promise and potential. Strong vocals, riffs, and rhythms abound and rise to the fore on this ten-track release, even if the mixing and production need some cleaning up. Finer details aside, though, War Dogs’ Die by My Sword is a strong start to be sure, and definitely worth your time for a listen or two. Rating: 8 / 10

That wraps up this first edition of “6 Bands” for the new year, thank you for reading, and of course, please be sure to visit the bands on the web if you’ve enjoyed anything you’ve read or heard here today. Until next time, stay metal, always! \m/


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