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

1. Symbolik (Stockton, California, USA)

Album: Emergence

Release Date: April 10th, 2020 (The Artisan Era)

Genre: Technical/Melodic Death

Contemporaries: Inferi, Vale of Pnath, The Zenith Passage, Singularity

Shredding and pummeling their way forward through the plague, Stockton, California’s Symbolik have entirely arrived with their aptly titled debut full-length, Emergence, available everywhere now from The Artisan Era. Fully representing heavy metal for the digital age, Symbolik’s devastatingly heavy compositions are nuanced melodically not only by the fantastic keyboards but also by the ripping, technical flourishes and leads. The outcome? Wickedly vicious melodic metal mayhem! Get this talented quintet in your ear holes now! Rating: 9.5 / 10

2. Like Rats (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Album: Death Monolith

Release Date: April 10th, 2020 (Hibernation Release)

Genre: Blackened Sludge

Contemporaries: Okkultokrati, Lord Mantis, Immortal Bird, Blind to Faith

Displaying aspects of many different genres all at once, Chicago’s Like Rats started out as a hardcore act, but quickly fused elements of the hardcore sound with heavy doses of blackened sludge to create their own fresh take on the emergent genre. Abrasive, vindictive, and pissed at the world, Like Rats have unleashed a new full-length album on the general public via Hibernation Release. Death Monolith is eight tracks worth of fury and blood served up cold and desiccated. Sometimes raw, sometimes frenzied, and always supported by the sludgy foundations, Death Monolith is an enjoyable listen all around. Check it out! Rating: 8.75 / 10

3. Blaze of Sorrow (Mantua, Italy, EUR)

Album: Absentia

Release Date: April 24th, 2020 (Eisenwald)

Genre: Atmospheric/Folk Black

Contemporaries: Aethyrick, The Ruins of Beverast, Fellwarden, October Falls

Returning with their sixth full-length effort is Mantua, Italy’s Blaze of Sorrow, who’ve skillfully combined modern black metal with atmospheric and folk airs since 2007. Mostly a two-man project for the bulk of their existence, Blaze of Sorrow took on two additional members just last year, and Absentia is the band’s first album to include a full lineup. Encompassing a myriad of feels and moods within each song, Absentia is brutally somber and poignantly woebegone. Bringing seven stirring compositions to bear on the masses, Absentia might just be the album that breaks this long-tenured project. Rating: 9.25 / 10

4. Order of Orias (Melbourne, Victoria, AUS)

Album: Ablaze

Release Date: April 30th, 2020 (WTC Productions)

Genre: Modern Black

Contemporaries: Immortal, Dark Funeral, Enshadowed, Nocturnes Mist, Arcada

Australia’s Order of Orias are not the newest act on the block, but their quota of renown is still in the process of being filled. However, with the April release of their sophomore full-length, Ablaze, what was once a faint ripple may soon become a full-on tsunami. Gestated in the Melbourne area, Order of Orias simultaneously exists with one foot in black metal’s past and the other in its future, by paying homage to their roots via cold, merciless compositions but still embracing modern production to improve clarity and effect, this rising act’s pros far outweigh their cons. With six tracks touching upon the entire range of black metal moods and methods, Ablaze is one of the best releases of 2020, across any genre. (Left) hands down. Rating: 10 / 10

5. Black Pestilence (Calgary, Alberta, CAN)

Album: Hail the Flesh

Release Date: May 1st, 2020 (Independent)

Genre: Blackened Thrash/Speed

Contemporaries: Toxic Holocaust, Deströyer 666, Bewitcher, Beyond Deth

Well-timed in release and aptly named, Black Pestilence have returned with another batch of self-declared “black metal n’ roll” cuts entitled Hail the Flesh, out now via independent release. Representing the sixth full-length studio album to issue from the Canadian blackened thrashers, Hail the Flesh is nine tasty tunes emphatically praising Satan and the self. Seasoned in poise and execution, Black Pestilence seems ready for a wider audience and to break free from relative obscurity, so don’t hesitate! Press play below and be the first of your friends to hear this pacey, aggressive shit! Rating: 9.25 / 10

6. Foretoken (Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA)

Album: Ruin

Release Date: May 1st, 2020 (Independent)

Genre: Melodic/Symphonic Death

Contemporaries: Wintersun, Ex Deo, Crepuscle, Atavistia

Epically melodic and frantically delivered is Ruin, the debut full-length from Virginia’s Foretoken. Featuring guest drums performed by none other than the infamous Hannes Grossmann (ex-Obscura, current Hate Eternal), the ambitious reach of Ruin seems to know no bounds. Although rougher around the edges than your common melodic/symphonic death, the added viciousness makes this respectable release even more palatable. As the first recording ever issued by Foretoken, Ruin makes for one hell of an introduction. Finely fizzing indeed. Rating: 8.75 / 10

Thank you for reading, everyone. Hopefully you’ve found some new bands to love. Until next time, stay metal. Always. \m/


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