The often maligned modern melodic death metal genre is chock full of pretenders to the throne. Numbers have tried to emulate the sound and success of the kings but have fallen to the side of the road, bloody, battered and (somehow) bullishly ready to have another stab. This makes for an abundance of records that can be thrown into the bargain bin instead of stuck up on “albums to listen to before you die” lists. Enter Karybdis, a London five piece sharpening the tools of their trade with their sophomore record Samsara. Do they have the chops and the gall to take on the melodeath monarchy? Not quite, I’m afraid.
It’s amazing how much ground Emperor covered over the course of just four albums. From helping to pioneer black metal to introducing symphonics and progressive elements to the BM formula, there really aren’t many more important bands within the Norweigan scene, or even the genre as a whole. Back-to-Back classics In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk may be two of the best introductory black metal albums, as they make the harshest parts of the genre accessible without losing an ounce of immaculate songwriting prowess. We now welcome you to a different form of introduction, exploring six bands that have taken influence from Emperor, added their own unique, bold twists and churned out records that more than capably carry the torch onward into a world of textured symphonics and atmosphere. Head past the jump to enter our inaugural black metal FFO; there couldn’t be a better band to commence the frost and torment.
Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We randomly select two of the participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post brought staff members Scott Murphy and Karlo Doroc together to peruse each other’s tastes:
What’s up Heavy Bloggers? You guys like progressive metal, yeah? Of course you do. What you might not be expecting/desiring is a progressive metal post from yours truly. Yep, no grind or sludge in sight on this fine day! What I do have for you is yet another fantastic band from St. Louis, Missouri (seriously, what is up with the water in that place?). The Gorge are lurking in the dimly lit corner of Prog Street and Metal Avenue and if you stop by them, you might catch something. Something infectiously catchy, groovy and something that will surely leave you itching for more. Please don’t just take my word for it though.