Have you ever noticed how some bands have a few songs that are different from the rest of the band’s catalog? Songs that are really awesome, but are unnoticed because non-fans of the band aren’t interested enough to dig for them? Well, thankfully you have me, and I can point such songs out to you. Here we go!

Trivium – Shogun

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5qB1kTmUZA]

Most people know Trivium as Metallica wannabes or an above average metal band. Those people probably didn’t listen to their 2008 album Shogun closely enough. This album is a love letter to progressive metal, thrash, and classic heavy metal. The most interesting track in the album is without doubt the title track, which is a 10+ minute progressive epic, with an Opeth-like interlude with acoustic guitars, a great buildup and a fitting release to that buildup. Listen to this song, and it might change your opinion of the band.

Winds of Plague – Approach the Podium

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIc8-lpybWs]

Much like Trivium, Winds of Plague is also a band that is hated by a lot of people. They have the whole bro-core thing going on, and their songs have terrible breakdowns. Or at least that’s what you would think. Their 2009 release, The Great Stone War is barely even deathcore at times, it’s quite progressive, it’s epic and intricate. “Approach the Podium” is probably a track that most skip, because it begins with what most would consider a bad breakdown. The song becomes quite interesting after that though. It’s very symphonic and progressive. The buildup near the end is very baroque and epic, and the ending breakdown is perfectly set up. It’s not for everyone, but if you can get past its shortcomings the song feels like the audio equivalent of watching The Lord of The Rings.

After the Burial – Engulfed

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvR8FpNiCvo]

After the Burial’s debut album is definitely underrated. Yes, the production is terrible but the songs are incredible, and the vocals are very unique. Fans of the band are probably already familiar with classics like “A Steady Decline”, “Fingers Like Daggers”, and the title track. However, “Engulfed” is very under-appreciated. If you like Ometh (which if you haven’t listened to, you should do so immediately), this song is basically the prequel to Ometh. It is crazily melodic, the lyrics are feel-good-fuck-you, and the breakdowns are among the best of the band. Of course, just like Ometh, the solos are very good too. And the shrieking vocals add a lot to the song.

Maximum the Hormone – Tsume Tsume Tsume

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LatlOcmhXVE]

First of all, if you don’t know who Maximum the Hormone are, go check them out right now. Done? Good. Now, you might have realized that they play a mix of pop-rock-ska-numetal-core. Well, this song has death metal riffs. It’s their craziest, fastest, heaviest song. And of course, it has a super catchy chorus. Most people don’t know about this song because it’s in an EP as opposed to a full album. It’s not a great entry point for newcomers, but in my opinion it’s their best song.

Pain of Salvation – To The End

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mHfhMNBb2o]

Well, arguably everything that Pain of Salvation do is crazy and different in a way, but this song is quite unique and easy to miss. Fans of crazy progressive metal with a lot of stop-gos and similar spazzy elements will love this one. It’s got an odd time signature main riff that’s also offbeat, there are dueling vocals, a smooth jazz break, everything one can ask from a prog song. Words aren’t enough for this song, you should just listen to this.

That’s all for the first installation of this idea. I’ll probably do more of these, but I would also like to hear recommendations/suggestions in the comments. Hope you enjoyed it!

– N

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