It’s been nine months since the previous such post and my list of bands to look into more someday has grown to over one hundred names. Granted, a few of them I know are good, so they’re the ones you’ll be seeing mentioned in this post, but they’re still on the list because I usually only listened to their songs on-line a few times. In fact, it’s quite hard for me to remember more than a few of them at a time without checking, usually getting stuck on the first particularly good one I stumble into when I happen to try to go through a few of them and adding it to the mental list of the last few I got stuck on in the same way until another one “overwrites” it in my mind a few weeks later.
If you’re wondering how come I stumble into all these bands, it’s still largely by keeping an eye on the Female Symphonic Metal and Power of Female Fronted Metal Facebook groups, the latter being the proper splinter group, the one I mentioned in the previous “New Finds” post apparently only being an attempt by some other member which never got far. In some cases, I can find some of them on my own, by following related links on YouTube or even by checking out ads, but these make up only a small portion, so I do recommend joining those groups and making your own selections if you’re interested in the genre.
Let me start with Seed of Sadness, which didn’t release much so far, but which nevertheless shows much promise, largely thanks to Stellaria’s powerful and memorable voice. I’m going to put a link to Remnant of a Dying Smile here, but if you click it you’ll see it’s in a playlist containing all five songs on their self-titled EP and I do recommend that you listen to all of it because that’s very good stuff and it won’t take too long either. If you want, you can also download it all, as it’s essentially a demo that the band is freely releasing.
Next comes ShadowIcon, which released their first and, so far, only full album, Empire in Ruins, back in 2011. I have to admit that I didn’t look into them particularly thoroughly and didn’t even try to find and listen to all the songs on the album, but End of Days clearly convinced me that they deserve much attention. It’s possible that the album as a whole isn’t quite at this level, since it wasn’t too hard to pick the best song out of those I did listen to, but those other ones were good as well, so they’re definitely a band to keep an eye on.
Last but definitely not least in this group of bands I’m adding here simply because I’m very pleasantly surprised by how good they can sound is Analgesia. They’ve been around since 2006, so they have far more material than the others, but they’re from Morocco, which explains why very few ever heard of them in Europe. A few of their older songs are quite harsh, their lyrics often reflect a far from perfect grasp of English, occasionally coupled with quite questionable views, and their male vocals leave something to be desired, but the songs based on the outstanding pairing between the music composed by “mastermind” Ahmed Zine and Youssra Atmen’s voice, occasionally aided by choirs as well, make it easy to overlook the problems noticed in the others. Try checking out Amphion, Four Candles for Five Corners or, for a change of pace, Tell Me.
Moving on to, shall we say, special interests, I have to mention a Romanian band called The Hourglass. Despite recognizing Alma Vomastek’s obvious vocal qualities, the first songs I heard initially made me dismiss them, but then out of nowhere came Away, which marks the first time they were able to make use of a professional studio, and it changed everything. If this is how they can actually sound when poor equipment doesn’t get in their way, there should quite clearly be a place for them out there. They are trying to make it more or less on their own, however, so the release of their first actual album at the moment depends on the success of their Indiegogo campaign to fund it.
On a different note, some time ago I happened to click an ad for a band called Angelic Foe. Considering the obvious similarities in sound, I wasn’t surprised when I eventually learned that it’s the side project of Arcana‘s lead vocalist, Annmari Thim, so that should give you an idea about what to expect. It’s not something I’d regularly listen to, but there are certain moments when this type of songs seem to fit particularly well and I actually had Out Lilith on repeat for some time after I first bumped into them, so I’d recommend listening to that first.
And while I’m at songs I wouldn’t regularly listen to, I have just these days stumbled into BrunuhVille, who I gather is well known to those interested in that type of music. Since, with very few exceptions, we’re talking about entirely instrumental pieces, I need to be in a very particular mood to pay much attention to it, so it’s not impossible that this isn’t the first time I bump into this, but simply the first time I don’t dismiss the music as soon as I see someone mentioning it. Either way, while The Eternal Forest seems to be by far the most popular piece there, after listening to a few songs selected almost entirely randomly I’d point you towards Vampire Tales (Blood, Love and Dust) even before that, if you think you may be in the mood for something like this.
But this is long enough already, so I’d better stop here. I’m sure there will be a part five in this series of posts at some point, but that will require actually going though more of my list or just happening to stumble into yet more great acts. At this rate, the latter is perhaps the more probable option, so that post may come sooner rather than later, but until then I leave you to enjoy what I posted above, if any of it also happens to match your particular tastes.