I’m a big fan of rock and metal music and I completed a round-up review based around underground metal music several months ago. I decided to revisit the underground metal genre to revive the series. There is also a playlist at the bottom so you can check all the songs out together!
Review by Jane Howkins
Picture by Teen Mortgage
Teen Mortgage – Valley
Teen Mortgage are a band based out of Washington D.C., having quite a psychedelic sound to their music, as latest release Valley shows. The track has quite a slow tempo, with a low guitar melody running underneath the piece alongside the drums as a backbone, with little spidery guitar lines branching off every so often. The music implodes on the chorus in a great explosion of sound, with down-tuned guitar riffs providing a great ambience.
RYS – See Through
See Through is an instrumental track but don’t let that put you off, as it’s still well worth listening to! RYS is an incredible guitarist, with this song showing his skills off in style. It’s definitely a heavy metal song, but it also has a melodic bent, with his guitar solos working well to harmonise with the crashing riffs. The production quality also sounds amazing, so don’t miss out on this prog metal tune!
Pistols At Dawn – The Truth
Pistols At Dawn are a band that we’ve featured fairly recently elsewhere, so it’s great to be able to hear new music from them, this time in the form of The Truth. The song has quite a grungy feel, in part due to the vocal style, but it’s still heavy enough to be classed in the metal category as well. The song is surprisingly melodic on the verses, with the chorus having a catchy singalong quality to it too, sounding anthemic at times.
Drew Hunter – Family Ties
Family Ties is a little different from a lot of the songs on this list, as despite the metal elements, it also has something of an electronic modern rock sound to it, especially on the verses as they build up. The chorus contains a drum and bass style percussive beat, adding another unique element into the mix. Drew Hunter’s vocals sound amazingly soulful, with the electronic moments and what sounds like a violin working well with the riffs that appear later on.
nasmore – When Will I Learn
nasmore is another artist that we’ve featured before, so I was excited to be able to share his latest single with the world, titled When Will I Learn. It starts out with a melancholic synth melody before the guitar lines and huge percussion appear, with the verses having an eerie quality, due to the minimalist vibes and nasmore’s low vocals. The chorus changes things up more, with dual vocals combining together in a shower of emotion, alongside the chugging riffs.
Red Letter – Burn It Down
Burn It Down is one of the heavier songs on this list, sounding intense from the very start. Shouted vocals mix well with the extreme chugging riffs, having a huge amount of energy, designed to make you want to bang your head along to the music! Red Letter’s song is also very technically proficient, particularly with the guitars, and the singing on the chorus was a nice surprise, showing more stylistic range!
Violet Raymoor – Ігри в Алісу
Ігри в Алісу has more of a folky, symphonic metal sound, starting out with a steady beat and some electronic elements, before the riffs appear, surrounding by a piano and some folky instrumentation. It sounds amazingly epic, with the deep vocals showing an almost operatic style, particularly on the chorus. Violet Raymoor are from Kyiv and the song is sung in their native tongue, but don’t let that put you off, as it still sounds amazing throughout!
bandwithoutband – When Death Comes
German project bandwithoutband is actually a solo project from Marc, a multi-instrumentalist with a unique sound. When Death Comes contains huge chugging riffs, featuring some eerie synth melodies playing in the background. The vocals are quite harsh sounding, but they suit the creepy sludge metal style the song has, sounding very distinctive to me! The riffs fit the rhythm of the music well, with the little synth motifs providing a slightly different sound.
SLEEPSPIRIT – Reflections
Despite the static effects at the start, Reflections starts in quite a poppy manner, with a mainstream-esque beat mixing with some synths, alongside the autotuned vocals. However, SLEEPSPIRIT’s track changes rapidly on the chorus, turning into more of a post-hardcore song, although there are definitely still some metal elements in there too. It’s catchy, yet it also has a heavy sound, showing the best of both worlds!
Murnau – Primroses
Murnau are a two piece metal band based in Illinois, making their sound all the more impressive due to how huge it sounds for a duo! Primroses starts with a quiet yet eerie palm-muted guitar melody, progressing as the vocals appear. The lyrics are very melancholy, suiting the dark sound of the music well. The tension is slowly raised up until the riffs appear in a colossal amount of sound on the chorus, sounding very emotive, even during the quieter verses.
ALDÍS FJÓLA – Burn
ALDÍS FJÓLA is an Icelandic musician, an area we admittedly don’t hear much music from. Burn is quite a melodic song, featuring lots of little proggy guitar lines on the verses that mix with the percussion well, providing lots of texture to the music. The chorus is a little faster and sounds incredibly catchy, especially when mixed with the harmonious vocals. This was one of my favourite songs on the list.
Kyote Radio – The Crown Ft. Kyle Shutt
The Crown harks back to the glory days of classic rock and hard rock, sounding like something straight out of the 70s, due to the bluesy guitar licks that characterise the song. Kyote Radio have a cool sound here, with the raw vocals fitting the hard rock/metal style well. The song also features Kyle Shutt, showing another great talent. It’s a rather catchy piece of music, with the groovy guitar riffs only adding to this.
Abandon The Fall – Devours You
Devours You opens with some epic guitar riffs and a frantic rhythm, adding some post-hardcore and punk vibes to this anthemic song. The vocals are largely sung, but there is some screaming on the chorus, making the music sound even more intense. The percussion has a huge tribal quality to it, working well with the emotive feel of the rest of the music. Abandon The Fall are definitely ones to watch!