Even though I’m still not checking any groups, last night I found myself stumbling into a new band that’s about to release a first album later this month, and looking up its vocalists led me to two others. Since neither seem to have new material released since they joined, what I can post from those two other bands are songs recorded with other vocalists, so you can’t say that there’s a direct connection between the three bands included in this post, but I suddenly found myself with exactly three actual new finds and maybe just enough time on-line to listen to some of the songs and load the others, so if I can add another post to this series, albeit still a rushed one, this is what I’m doing.
That new band is Nocturna, and they’re with that label that doesn’t seem to allow their artists to have their own pages on music or video sites, but with exactly two songs, New Evil and Daughters of the Night, posted by the label so far, it makes things very simple for me when it comes to the picks. And I like this format with two operatic female vocalists that can join their voices and keep pushing the song forward, so they seem promising enough even if I’d say that, at least in these two songs, there’s nothing memorable in the composition as a whole and the instrumental part may even leave something to be desired.
With one of Nocturna’s vocalists also listed as a member of Angelize, this was my second find. Of course, with no new material seeming to have been released since she joined them, what I listened to may not say much about their current sound, assuming they’ll even remain active, especially since many years seem to pass between their albums and there were notable changes in the past as well. First they fortunately got rid of the growls I heard in the couple of older songs they posted but still only had male vocals, such as on City of Innocence, and then they added female vocals, such as on Gone. The overall impression remains that it’s quite an amateurish effort, that they’re trying to do too many things at once with the sound, the instruments tripping over each other and occasionally a section not seeming to fit the rest of the song at all and scratching my ears, plus that the recording quality is clearly not professional, but there are improvements, albeit slow ones, and the vocals also required plenty of them at the time of their last releases, so maybe the next ones, if there will be any, will be more memorable.
As for Nocturna’s other vocalist, she’s also a member of Septum, which was formed in Cuba but then apparently became an international project. They seem to mean to release something new soon, but I couldn’t find anything already released in their current format, so I have no idea how they’re going to sound and can just pick two songs out of the few older ones I listened to, those being The One You Loved and Quiet… Listen!. The recording quality is again a problem, but the songs themselves can be all right for a band at that stage and I actually expect them to be much better in their current format. I may well be proven wrong, of course, and I most probably won’t remember to check for myself, but it remains to be seen.
In the previous post from this series, I mentioned hoping to remember a band I wanted to include even though it had split up. Well, I didn’t remember it, but that was actually the second such band I knew I wanted to add in such a post, and it didn’t take me long to find two more to add to the one I’ve known for quite a while that I wanted to include. So this post contains three bands that aren’t just not new finds, but not even active anymore, yet I consider them to deserve to be mentioned, likely more so than quite a number of those I have included in such posts so far.
I’ll start with Victorians, who seem to have struggled to continue for quite a while before finally giving up for good, so material that was supposed to be on a second album exists, but only the first seems to have been released. And since I checked the list of tracks on that first album in a few different places and couldn’t find the one I initially picked, I’ll go with Descent of Your Destiny as first pick, just to be sure, and at least I also clearly remember listening to this one way back when I first heard of them. As for the second pick, that’s SteamHeart. I’m not as pleased with some of their other songs, but that’s mainly a matter of personal preferences, the sound showing confidence. They knew what style they wanted to approach, had the skills for it and should have released more, if only they’d have managed to stay together.
Next is DamageScape, which seems to have been a side project of the vocalist of Collibus to begin with, and that band is still active and even released new songs recently. But, to return to DamageScape, only a few songs were released under this name and, with one video, for Damage, and just one other song, Refrain, having a studio version officially posted somewhere, my picks are obvious. Interestingly, it’s this second one that I remember having listened to before, but maybe that’s because I like it more. But they’re both solid, powerful songs, showing the experience of the band members.
As for the third band, that’s Astray Path and I’m assuming that they split up because I’m not seeing any activity for the past five and a half years, but I also didn’t see any posts actually specifying that they split up and there are no pages for them on either The Metal Archives or Spirit of Metal, maybe because they list their genre as Gothic Rock. They do seem to have released at least three albums while they were active, but only a few songs are officially posted and I’ll go with Alone and Insomnia as my picks. Can’t find anything to not like in the others I listened to either, so it’s a pity they didn’t continue… And that they didn’t become much better known while they were active.
This wasn’t the plan for this week, but since I was able to spend much more time on-line, I decided to add another post in this series now. And I also removed a band from the list even if it’s still active, because I initially meant to include it in this post, but then found that I couldn’t really justify doing so, and they’re not in the least new, so it’s not a case of seeing a certain potential and waiting to see how they’ll develop. On the other hand, as I was going through others, I found a band that did split up but which I do mean to include, so I’m hoping I’ll remember, because I had already picked three for this post and I’ll leave it at that for now.
With nothing connecting the bands in this post, I’ll go alphabetically, starting with A Sound of Thunder. With their latest full album, released just under a year ago, otherwise being a “best of” but including what I gather is one actual new song, Explorer, that will be my first pick, and at 13:42 it’s quite an epic and sounds pretty much as you’d expect for something of the sort. As for the older song, selected so it won’t also be on that album, I’ll go with The Night Witch.
The second band is Eternal Silence, and they typically insist on also using male vocals, which in my opinion doesn’t work out, but they also have some songs where that’s not the case, so my picks will be out of those, the recent one being Glide in the Air, which is nice enough, while the older one is the quite lovely December Demise. I sure wish they’d focus on such songs much more, because they can do a good job with them.
As for the third band, that’s Scardust. With their most recent album being released on October 30, 2020, they wouldn’t quite fit this idea of posting bands with new material released within the past year, but I’ll “cheat” a little while also making things simpler for myself, so for the purpose of picking a recent song I just checked the two they posted videos for less than a year ago, even if they’re from that album, and will go with Mist. As for the older song, I’ll go with Sands of Time. Unfortunately, other songs I listened to aren’t at this level, but from these you should be able to see what they can do.
Been putting it off for a while, since I could get away with other non-personal posts, but now even though I could do so again this week, I guess it’s time for another post in this series, even if I still don’t have any actual new finds. But that’s unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, since I stopped checking groups or any other sources and don’t see myself getting back to doing that, and there are a lot of bands waiting on the list, so I’ll keep going through them, mainly looking for those with new releases within the past year. However, I’m also starting to look at those that have split up, at least according to Encyclopaedia Metallum, removing just one so far but eventually meaning to only leave the few I really want to include in such posts. Of course, bands may get back together, and if I remove them I won’t check again to know of that, but it likely won’t be such a great loss either way, and I can definitely use ways to cut down that list.
The first band in this post, Kingfisher Sky, is also the one I wanted to include the most. I find myself really liking King of Thieves, and being rather annoyed right now that I have to also listen to what I picked from the other bands in order to write this post instead of just keeping this one on repeat for a while. And the pick from their recent EP, Rain on Your Parade, is quite nice as well. Admittedly, these two songs may not exactly be representative of their others, but again, my picks don’t aim to be anything other than simply songs that I like, and I see myself stuck at least on King of Thieves for a while. I wonder if that wasn’t the case when I first stumbled into them as well.
The second band, Arion, also has some good songs, but a different sound and it’s also rather unusual for these posts, because it doesn’t have female vocals. Or at least the band itself doesn’t, though they do have guest female vocalists on a few songs, including Bloodline… Though you can’t really notice it. It does, however, remain my pick from their recent album, mainly for the message in the lyrics. On the other hand, there are no female vocals on the older song I picked, Unforgivable, but I actually quite like the sound, it has a similar message, and I must also give a nod to title of the album it’s from, Life Is Not Beautiful. Ain’t that a fact, even if so many who can’t or won’t use reason more than to try to rationalize their basic instincts insist on claiming otherwise.
As for the third band, that’s Seraphic and I hesitated about including them, but with their most recent album being released last October and the song I picked from it, Midnight, being posted exactly one year ago, I went with it after all. I must, however, mention that other songs sound better overall, but they also include growls, so I picked this one because it doesn’t, even if something about the vocals makes me wince. The older Fire and Ice actually sounds somewhat better from that point of view.
This will be a particularly rushed addition to this series, but while I still haven’t returned to checking any groups or other sources, and still doubt I will in the foreseeable future, so I still don’t have any actual new finds, I did at least get back to only including bands with recent releases. And I do have a couple of more recent finds that actually are new bands that I keep wanting to include but still can’t because they only have, or at least only officially posted, a single song, so I’m hoping that a second one will appear soon enough and it’ll be at least as good as the first. But, until that happens, I still have plenty of those that were added to the list quite some time ago to go through, and three more are in this post.
Sort of to get it out of the way, I’ll start with Mastercastle, and the reason why I rather want to get it out of the way is that I’m not sure I want to include it in such a post, and was considering removing it from the list at first. However, while they’ve been around for quite some time and their older releases likely wouldn’t have caused me to add them in the first place, their last full album, released in 2017, marks an improvement that is likely the reason why I added them back when I did, by far the most notable example of that improvement being Space of Variations. And that improvement is also noticeable in their recent release, Who Cares for the Moon, so maybe they’ll continue on this path.
Next is Eleine, which is a band that I likely meant to include in such a post so many times that I was certain I already had. One of the reasons why I kept deciding against it is likely embarrassingly shallow, and I’m referring to the fact that I’m very much put off by how their lead vocalist chooses to look. But she has a good voice and vocal lines, and I like the choruses in general. On the other hand, the other parts of their songs tend to sound harsher, and most unfortunately include growls, which is a much stronger and definitely entirely justifiable reason to keep skipping over them. But now I no longer did, and my pick out of their recent songs, Memoriam, shows what they’re capable of. And I’ll go with Devotion for the second pick, as it’s a song that even starts with male vocals and some growls, but I find even those growls tolerable, showing that they can be all right even if they insist on sticking to this sort of sound. I’d much rather they didn’t, of course.
As for the third band, that’s Metalite and the name is definitely appropriate when it comes to their sound, which is indeed “lite” but nevertheless all right to just listen to. What I found rather interesting, however, is that they seem to use that sound to tackle serious matters. Not particularly deeply, if you look at the lyrics, but they quite clearly seem to make a point of it, and have done so all along, my two picks, the recent Peacekeepers and the older Purpose of Life, being good examples of this.