In 2015 I had the privilege of seeing some truly remarkable bands across the UK and some in Sweden when I covered my first festival abroad. Let’s move forward and kick the Christmas/New Years blues, here are some bands I think you should keep your eyes and ears peeled for in 2016.
The deep, dark, epic orchestral music and atmospheric sound effects followed by a piercing scream, some grand sounding riffs and thunderous drums was enough to draw me in and this was only the opening of a song. This had me blown away at the first listen. This was the work of Atmospheric Black Metal quintet STORMCAST and you’d be an absolute moron to miss them. Their atmospheric sound with aggressive elements is simply mind-blowing, their influences including ROTTING CHRIST and MOONSPELL are evident in this band’s sound.
Latest Release: Frame Of Mind (2014)
Another band brewing up a storm are Bristol based Melodic Metal troupe CONTROL THE STORM. After catching them at my local hotspot The Firehouse I have been hooked to their memorable melodies containing beautiful vocals, excellent riffs and wonderful work on the synthesisers. They have been likened as a British version of Finnish Symphonic Metal legends NIGHTWISH as there is that epic vibe about them. Catch them when they come to a venue near you.
Latest Release: Beast Inside (2015)
Four hairy men; like you expect in Metal but how grand and ballsy their sound is completes hits you out of the blue. WRETCHED SOUL hail from the historic Cantebury, UK and chaos follows them wherever they go. In terms of the kind of metal they produce that is a huge compliment. They describe their music as Blackened Heavy Metal that I can concur is accurate; they also state they have gained a solid reputation through their engaging live shows; again that is correct. They are the band every metal needs to listen to and see live, one of the best upcoming bands to date. They release a new album soon so all the more reason to keep a look out.
Latest Release: Veronica (2013)
This group of miscreants featured in my top ten albums for a solid reason; they showcase a rather unyielding sound that over the years has gained them many fans. Imagine if WHITE ZOMBIE and SEX PISTOLS had disturbingly conceived their own spawn of Satan, it would be baptised HELL PUPPETS and they will unleash your depraved doppelgangers and eat them for breakfast. Their debut album “Theatre Of Sin” is their lethal weapon that has been unleashed. Their next scheduled location for evil doings is The Underworld, Camden supporting EVIL SCARECROW. One definitely not to be missed.
Latest Release: Theatre Of Sin (2015)
Now some more Blackened Metal has caught my attention in the form of Bristol quartet MORDRAKE, I first set eyes upon them in Southampton where they performed an unforgettable set of doom, despair and some amazing metal. Their music contains everything on a metal heads check list including sludge yet melodic riffs, aggressive vocals and a lot of swishing hair. A band that great musically and great live definitely earn my respect. Influenced by the likes of PANTERA, CHILDREN OF BODUM and DIMMU BORGIR there can only be more doors opened for this band.
Latest Release: Unhallowed Chambers (2014)
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Time for some epic sounding Melodic Metal in the form of Berkshire based PRIMITAI. Their gallant melodies and excellent live presence are just two of the reasons why they are a band to look out for. Their music will make even the most tedious of tasks sound like a grand epic quest, they are the masterminds some true belters such as “The Cannibal” and “Scream When You See Us”. A new album will be presented this year so you’d be a fool to miss them.
Latest Release: Rise Again (2013)
Their latest album “Hurricane” made it to the second spot of my top ten albums of 2015, the amazingly, catchy antics from Hard Rock outfit THE JOKERS were a huge highlight of my year. Their acoustic masterpiece “Summertime” helps me smile and calm down in stressful situations. At the moment it is hard to pigeon hole exactly who they sound like, all I do know is that they have succeeded in producing some killer Hard Rock melodies that I hope to hear more of in 2016. With clear catchy riffs, amazing vocals and a feel good feeling, they ought to be the band on every music lover’s lips.
Latest release: Hurricane (2015)
Rounding off the article with more Hard Rock antics from the beautiful land of Sweden; first up in the ballsy, no nonsense antics of ADRENALINE RUSH. My first encounter with them was in their homeland at Vsby Rock Festival where they did more than engage the audience with their brilliant melodies, passionate stage presence and talented musicianship. Giving that they handpicked some of the best musicians from Sweden it is hardly surprising they are a talented bunch. It’s recommended you catch them next time they hit your local venue.
Latest Release: Adrenaline Rush (2014)
To round up the article completely is another Hard Rock act from Sweden, they are from the band REACH. This project was concocted by one of Sweden’s power duos; drummer Marcus Johnasson and string master Ludvig Turner on guitars, recruiting David Jones on bass and vocalist Alex Waghorn in the process this quartet are unstoppable. Catching them support fellow Swedes ECLIPSE in London has kept them on my music radar, influenced by some Hard Rock greats such as WHITESNAKE, JOURNEY and H.E.A.T REACH are ready to conquer.
Latest Release: Reach Out To Rock (2015)
Well those are the bands I think you should keep a look out for this year, who knows one of these bands could be right on your doorstep! I was able to find these bands by heading to the shows early and accepting friend’s invitations to local shows. SUPPORT THE SCENE, you never know who you might find.