CHVRCHES – Lies
I wanted to add something with no guitars so decided on this. Another Scottish band, this one chose to pull on our more depressive strings in 2013 with an emotional slab of heavy Synthwave well ahead of it’s time. Synthwave is making inroads into metal right now anyway – just listen to the 2021 releases from the singles-orientated bands. Northlane, Spiritbox and Vola actively embrace the sound and there will be the inevitable clones to follow. But Chvrches were doing that 8 years ago. Those chorus chords are powerful and filthy – they sound metal just without the guitars. Don’t let the sweet voice of singer Lauren Mayberry mistake you into lullaby. This is aggressive and emotionally charged music.
MICK GORDON – The Only Thing They Fear is You
Now let me be absolutely clear. This is metal as fuck. Fucker-er in fact. When Mick Gordon was asked to do the OST for the Doom reboot in 2016 he didn’t know much about metal. He went out an bought an 8- and 9-string and made noises with them that defied all god-fearing scripture of what should be allowed. And it kicked serious fucking ass. Then he returned for the Doom Eternal OST in 2020 and dropped The Only Thing They Fear is You on us and the metal/gamer community collectively came in it’s loose-fitting sweat-pants. There has been no singular simultaneous explosion of fan-jizz onto unsuspecting keyboards since The Fappening. And it’s all for a GAME! Listening to ‘Cultist Base‘ or ‘Super Gore Nest‘ gives you the sort of metal trouser arousal that is illegal in several states. Mick Gordon you sick, filthy, sexy genius.
ARCANE ROOTS – Landslide
Another English band. We English make some of the best alternative music in the world – I gotta be proud of that – and three-piece Arcane Roots is a shining example of the diversity in our musical heritage. I could have picked “Off the Floor” or “Curtains” or something from their much heavier first album but “Landslide” has it all. Arcane Roots mix electronica and heavy rock guitar under the painfully emotional vocals of singer/guitarist Andrew Groves. It sounds massive and intimate at the same time. I get chills listening to this. My only complaint is that it ends too soon. This was just a single, but listen to their masterpiece album, Melancholia Hymns, if you want more. And you will.
THE PINEAPPLE THIEF – Nothing at Best
Any prog-metallers reading this will probably know the UK’s The Pineapple Thief. They’ve been going for years and years as the love-child of singer/guitarist/songwriter Bruce Soord. They’ve been every shade of prog imaginable and on their 2010 album definitely added a metal edge to their sound. If you love Opeth and thus Steven Wilson and thus Porcupine Tree, then The Pineapple Thief will be the obvious next step. Currently having pulled legendary session drummer Gavin Harrison into their full-time lineup (that’s a big shift for a session drummer and marks how much he loves this band) TPT are continually releasing excellent modern prog-rock. Just be careful – if you happen to find a Pineapple Thief fan at a bar, don’t ask them anything about how much they love the band or you will be there for hours. Because it will probably be me. And man, I can talk…
Thanks for taking the time to go through these with me. They wont all be to everyone’s taste. But they’re all worthy of your attention. I hope you’ve taken at least one away with you. Let me know if you have, or if you want a few more, or if I should just shut the fuck up. But this is the music outside of metal that I also Worship. In fact I carefully chose the tracks closest to metal I could – in case of backlash – but my taste goes so very much wider. It’s nature’s mandate to diversify. And have some fun with 🙂