With so many high profiles bands putting out albums in 2016 it’s easy to let some of the smaller guys slip out from under you. As part of my annual efforts in featuring 10 awesome underground bands, I bring you a collection of outstanding talent I’ve been praising all year. Don’t be surprised to find some of these on my top of 2016 list, they’re that good!
Without a doubt, Astronoid has been the band I dropped in every music conversation I had this year. Personally knowing the talented members of the band, I knew Air would be something special, but it wound up being the debut masterpiece I never saw coming. Containing former/current members of Vattnet Viskar, who you may be familiar with, Astronoid effortlessly shows their craft in building multilayered melodies, entertaining song structures, and unique sounds that both embrace and defy the metal genre in a way I can only affectionally refer to as 'the most romantic release of the year'.
Car Bomb have been a staple in the NY math scene for over a decade, but they have completely outdone themselves with their latest album, Meta. Brutally chaotic and mathematically fucked, this album is the best thing that ever happened to my ADD. Seriously, how do they come up with this shit!?
Demon John sees Spylacopa take a very somber direction from where the band originated, and I personally love the result. Now a one man band, you can hear John Lamachia (Candiria) pour his heart into every song as if it was his last. Although on the sad side, it’s a beautiful and very poetic ride.
From the "mean" streets of NYC comes Infinity Shred, a band wildly curious in genre bending towards the future. A more recent find, but I'm already hooked to their combo of synthwave, post rock, progstrumental, shoe gaze and metal. You’ll find yourself captivated with every track on their album in a ‘ponder the meaning of life’ kind of vibe. It’s great music to live your life to, and provides a soundtrack to your day.
NYC’s Hogwasche is the answer to the post-90’s industrial metal scene, in the best way possible. Combining inspiration from both mainstream and genre elite bands alike, they set themselves up for limitless possibilities in a constantly over looked sub-genre. Their debut album,MBM, is a terrific example of what a band should be in 2016, a group of guys making music they want to hear, because no one else does.
UK's Conjurer is my kind of heavy, way fucking dark heavy! Low tuned soul crushing riffs, beside earth moving elephant marching parts, it'll get you amped and going in no time.
Hailing from The Netherlands, one of the calmest places on earth, Teethgrinder might be the most brutally aggressive thing to happen in the green capital. If you’re into nasty, gut ripping, relentless grind, then Teethgrinder is the fist in the face you're looking for today!
I sort of have no idea how to explain Husbandry, but that’s what makes them so intriguing to me. Combining a strange mix of sounds in a way that sounds off kilter and haunting at times, really gives the band their own identity in a time where that seems almost impossible.
The first time I ever saw Coagula, I loudly exclaimed “FUCK YES!” after their first song, and their debut Vile Sacrament EP is finally here to commemorate the sentiment all over again. This Boston based HM2 crust death extravaganza throws the genre back to the days where pitting with your metal vest on was a rite of passage, not a fucking fashion show. It’s gross, in your face, and tons of fun.
From Dublin, Ireland comes EORÐESLAJYR, the most eerie band on this list. With hints of industrial sounds, choir ambiance, melancholic melody, and loads of interesting soundscape, their album, Haxan, plays out like a music bed to a horror film you’re watching inside a cave. I can imagine how mesmerizing this would be live.
If you love blackened thrash as much as I do, then NY’s Pyrolatrous is your new jam! It’s everything you want from this kind of music, including an unapologetic organic recording with none of the fake pro-tools polish. Just real dudes, playing real riffs. The way bands like Aura Noir intended.