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Portugal's THE FIRSTBORN Does World Music-Tinged Metal Right

Phrases like "meditative heaviness" and "a calm decimation" come to mind.

Phrases like "meditative heaviness" and "a calm decimation" come to mind.

Welcome back to Bandcamp Buried Treasure! I hope your week is going well, or well enough that you're still holding it together in hopes this weekend will rule. At the very least you can use this article as your last bastion of sanity… because I'm totally doing that too. We're in this crazy world together! Obviously you know the rules of the article by now, I'd hope:

  • I hunt down awesome artists on Bandcamp that have their album up for Buy It Now/Free Download and give them a write up. I'm not explicitly telling you to download the album for free since I'm a big supporter of buying your music, but I like the option for my readership to be there.
  • The goal is to introduce you to smaller bands or obscure side-projects you might not have heard of. Anything to expand your musical horizons by just a little bit each week!
  • And of course, for there to be a conversation about similar bands or bands you think I should be covering. I check the comments section!

Like I've been saying, I switched the format up a bit with two new sections, titled "The Basic Idea" and "Why I Love It." The former is a short news-style lead that paints a vivid picture of what you're about to hear to get you interested and help you understand a little why I chose the record, while the latter serves simply as a review piece.

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So let's space out, rock out and get deep on some jams by The Firstborn!

The-Firstborn-Lions-Among-MenThe Basic Idea

The Firstborn are genuinely hard to define- one minute they're ending universes with skull-caving heaviness and the next they're plucking a sitar and sitting on a lush drone groove. If you're looking for something that non-cheekily combines world music and metal music without stepping too far in either direction, then this is where you belong.

Why I Love It
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I had to point out the fact that this isn't some gimmick in the previous section because it's so easy for a heavier band to throw in a sitar or bouzouki and claim they're an ethnic-based metal band. It's one thing to pepper your music with these instruments, but it's something entirely different to really get the recipe down and cook it just right.

Lions Among Men is engulfing, in a word. Put on a good set of headphones and really concentrate on the music. The thing that amazes me the most about The Firstborn is that the music is absolutely heavy, but it has a very meditative quality to it. The riffs aren't the main focus and one instrument never dominates the music. It's about the flow of all the instruments acting as one to guide you along the body of work from beginning to end without disrupting your concentration. Each song has a distinctive quality to it that separates it from the rest, but The Firstborn achieve an amazingly unbreakable flow from song to song on Lions Among Men. It's an album that takes patience and the willingness to step into something new, and when you do you'll thank yourself for it.

If I'm going to be blunt about things, Lions Among Men is easily one of the cooler finds I have ever had on this article. I genuinely hope you all enjoy this!

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