Hey everybody, it’s Shjon Thomas and Ryan Mattheu from The Deadstation! We’re a dystopian progressive metal band based out of Boston, MA. The awesome guys at Heavy Blog have given us the opportunity to write another article on whatever we wanted… so we put on our thinking caps and tried our hardest to narrow down the infinite possibilities to ONE idea.
We decided to list five bands that are, in our humble opinion, the FIVE MOST IMPORTANT bands in metal right now. These bands are the ones who are shaping metal music of the future, by kicking major ass in the present.
We have to reiterate though that this is just our opinion, and that we are not stating it as fact in any way! Everybody will have their own opinion on this subject, and they are all just as valid as ours.
In fact, why don’t you post YOUR list in the comment section below! We love to hear about what bands people are digging these days.
If you’re interested in checking out The Deadstation, you can download our free EP “Episode 01” here. It was mastered by the one and only Jens Bogren (Devin Townsend, Opeth, Katatonia)!
So anyways… here we go!
At #5, we decided to go with Polish technical death metal band Decapitated. We were introduced to these fine fellows around 2006/2007, when our vocalist/drummer Greg Murphy witnessed their classic song ‘Spheres of Madness’ live and had his face completely melted off. He quickly went out and purchased their album Nihility, and by the end of that summer, we all pretty much owned their entire discography!
Although their first three albums lean more towards death metal, Organic Hallucinosis and their most recent release Carnival is Forever have more of Pantera-meets-Meshuggah vibe to them, which might be due to lineup changes and the more natural production they’ve started using.
But… what makes these guys one of the most important metal bands right now? In our opinion, they are truly one of the most intense live bands in the extreme scene today, and they have an incredible blend of energy and technique. In 2010, they headlined Summer Slaughter in the US and totally dominated the stage. Their technical chops fit right up there with the supporting bands, yet they also put on a very entertaining and mesmerizing show. Many of the younger techy bands today tend to focus on their playing rather than physicality, or the other way around. It’s very difficult to get a balance of both. Decapitated though, they have a certain energy and badassness to their performance that really gets the crowd going, while still ripping on their instruments. (Check out their guitar playing and drumming specifically). So in a way, you get the best of both worlds in one concert.
Decapitated puts on a Grade A extreme concert experience in our opinion, and seeing them live will hopefully be enough to convince you! If you’re anything like us, you might even walk away with a rejuvenated appreciation for European metal as well. We really hope that more younger bands will take a page out of their book about how to find the balance between skill and energy.
4. Protest the Hero
The #4 spot belongs to Canadian prog/math metal band Protest The Hero. We suspect that this band is pretty well known on Heavy Blog is Heavy, so we won’t bore you with details you already know!
In our opinion, vocalist Rody Walker has been setting trends in a BIG way on their last two albums Fortress and Scurrilous. Anybody who is familiar with the band can trace the progression of Rody’s vocal style over the course of their career so far. On their debut Kezia, he used a more standard pseudo-poppy clean vocal style, which was mixed with screaming. We love that album too, of course, but he was about to evolve into something much more unique in the coming years.
Somewhere along the line, Rody started incorporating influence from old-school vocal masters like Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and Russell Allen (Symphony X). He started using vibrato and falsetto more, while also exploring the extremes of his vocal range. What makes this amazing though, is that he is utilizing these elements while still retaining his own unique tone, expression, and badassness. Protest the Hero is not turning into a cheesy power-prog band… they are evolving into an even more unique version of themselves, and that is key.
What makes this band very important right now though, is that this type of vocal sound — 80s metal technique filtered through modern influence/style — is now catching on with other bands as well. Periphery’s latest album features a vocal sound that is very Rody-esque to our ears. There’s also a band named Corelia that has been grabbing people’s attention, who also feature a similar style. If you look across the metal genre now, professional and unprofessional, there are more and more young singers that are pushing themselves to reach higher levels of vocal technique.
This is all a very good thing and we hope it catches on even more. Whether Rody is really responsible for this budding trend, or it’s just our imagination, we are really excited to see how it progresses. Over the last 10 years, metal has been largely dominated by extreme vocal styles, and we think it’d be great to see a resurgence of great clean vocals in the future.