Yes, this is yet another post in this series that will seem awfully rushed, and it is when it comes to the actual writing, but I’ve spent a few hours over the past couple of days working on it, the problem being that most of that time was spent trying to decide on a second pick for one of the bands, since I didn’t make it easy for myself. But at least I finally did pick, so I can get on it and actually write something instead of just listening. And I’ll start by pointing out that, once again, none of the bands are actual new finds, but all of them do have new material.
I’ll start with Blackbriar, and with Arms of the Ocean, which is that song that I finally settled on after taking far too long to decide. It was obviously much easier with the newer song, My Soul’s Demise, but I then ended up going through everything else and finding that I had a similar pretty good opinion about several songs, but something also bothered me about pretty much all of them as well and nothing really stood out as great. But, while thinking about it when I was no longer at the computer, I gradually realized that Arms of the Ocean stuck better in my mind, and in the end it may be the better song overall. Either way, the vocals do seem too weak for the genre, and this may be what kept making me skip over them so far, despite knowing the band for quite a number of years and having thought about including them in such a post before, probably on at least a few different occasions. But that’s weak in the sense of not powerful, not in the sense of poor, in fact quite the opposite, and their sound is adapted to these vocals, resulting in a package that doesn’t only work quite well, but also stands out, is memorable. And now that they also signed with Nuclear Blast, they may even finally get an entry on Metal Archives, where they have apparently been blacklisted, whitelisted, and then blacklisted again. I wonder how much that weakness of the vocals has to do with that as well. But, again, far from being a flaw, if you listen to them for a while, those vocals become their defining trait and what will stick in your mind.
The second band is Autumn Bride, and the two picks are H.EART.H and The Path. The sound may be a little angrier than I’d like, but at least in case of H.EART.H that’s entirely understandable, considering the all too current and necessary message, and the particularly notable, powerful vocals fit this sort of sound. This is a solid, confident, powerful performance, so I hope they’ll keep doing what they do well.
As for the third band, that’s Beyond God, and Memories is probably what made me put them on the list in the first place. The other songs that I listened to aren’t at that level, and this also applies to the second pick, Coronation, which I only selected because I want to at least stick to my own rules and also pick a recent song, and at least this one doesn’t have growls and angry drums, though the meaning that I gather from the lyrics would otherwise make me really want to avoid promoting that sort of mindset. But I do remember Memories, and in fact it seemed so familiar when I listened to it again that I checked to see whether it’s not a cover, because I doubt that I had listened to it very recently, so it means that it left a good impression and I kept waiting for them to return to this level before including them in such a post… And now I guess that I decided to stop waiting and do it anyway.