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Twelve Bands To Explore During Lockdown - Part 1

With over half of all humankind currently locked down due to a global crisis unlike any other, a lot of us are turning to music to help us get through the struggle. Music can offer the gift of escape, even if it's for just short while, turn your mind off and get lost in sound with music made by people going through exactly what you're going through right now, a reminder that we are all in this together, no one is facing this alone.


With that in mind Metal Saves wanted to present twelve bands you may not be too familiar with but would assuredly benefit from checking out whilst confined to your homes, hopefully, they can provide that much-needed distraction whilst you dig through their collections.

So, without further ado, here are the first six bands with back catalogues and new releases that you should consider exploring. We'll follow up with the remaining six in the coming days.

Melvins

While a recognisable name for some, there is a generation of music lovers that are unaware of just how significant this band is. Credited with contributing to the rise of both Grunge and Sludge to name but a few, the genre-spanning, ever-changing Melvins have laid the foundations and inspired a wealth of acts over the years.

Not content with applying their trade to just the genres they helped spawn, such as the aforementioned sludge and grunge, Melvins thrive on stretching their seemingly bottomless talent across Hardcore Punk, Experimental Metal and the overall alternative metal genre as well.


If that wasn't enough to suggest Melvins are one of the most seminal and distinct acts in modern rock and metal then take a look at some of their standout albums such as 2016's Basses Loaded, which is the band's twenty-first release. As impressive as that is, this is not the selling point of the album, that falls to the fact that it features everyone that had formerly been a member of Melvins over the previous decade.

The main theme of Basses Loaded as suggested by the title is a focus on the numerous bassists that have passed through the ranks of Melvins. Names such as Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross/OFF!) who marked his debut outing with the band on this release, alongside legendary Nirvana bass slinger Krist Novoselic who makes a guest appearance on the record. (Kurt Cobain was also known to be a fan of the band).

In 2017 Melvins released A Walk with Love and Death. A mammoth 23-track album that included material written and recorded as the score to a film by Jesse Nieminen, the next year Melvins made the unorthodox decision to add two bassists to their line up for the album Pinkus Abortion Technician. The sessions saw J.D. Pinkus return to the fold having previously featured on Hold It In and Basses Loaded.

Melvins are quite simply a band like no other and with a huge back catalogue, they have plenty on offer to get you through the weeks.

Albums to start with:

Houdini

Stoner Witch

Basses Loaded





Lordi

Best know for their gruesome, Hollywood monster outfits and their shocking triumphant performance on the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2006, Finland's monster shockers, Lordi have much more to offer than a one-hit-wonder.

Lordi didn't shy away after the international spotlight cast on them for their global TV appearance dimmed, instead, they continued to release music to a legion of newly won fans. Recently they dropped their latest release, Killection. A release with an interesting concept behind it, Lordi wanted to explore what they may have sounded like if they had been in business since the '70s, throughout the '80s and the '90s up until the present day, each decade having its impact on their sound.

The band set about recording tracks using both equipment and influences from each decade and put together their fictional greatest hits collection. All this was tied together with a backstory of hideous beasts being unleashed on an unsuspecting world due to a radio DJ playing the cursed tracks in the right order to perform a ritual.

Why not start with Killection and work your way through Lordi's extensive catalogue of horror-inspired rock?

Albums To Start With:

Killection

The Arockayplse

Get Heavy

TYR

Named after the Norse god of war, Tyr hail from the Faroe Islands and produce folk-metal that focuses on the subjects of Viking or Norse mythology and Faroese folklore.

The band have released eight albums to date and are currently signed to Metal Blade Records having previously been under Napalm Records in the past. Tyr don't sound like your typical folk-metal band, opting to include more power and progressive heavy metal elements into their work, think Powerwolf meets Turisas or Hammerfall.

If you've had your fill of bands such as Amon Amarth bringing a death metal flavour to Norse concepts then Tyr may be just for you, still heavy enough to get you moving but more accessible than some of their peers.

Albums To Start With:

Valkyrja

Hel

By Light Of The Northern Star



Vvilderness

Pronounced "Wilderness", Vvilderness is the brainchild of Hungarian musician Ferenc Kapiller. This project combines black metal, ambience and folk stylings to create a soundscape unique to Kapiller.

It's hard to listen to Vvilderness and not feel moved in some way or another, beautiful and seductive vocals make way for piercing black metal cries and ominous, foreboding walls of sound.

The constant force of nature is perfectly encapsulated in this sonic assault if being trapped within a cruel yet awe-inspiring forest landscape had a sound this would be it.


Albums To Start With:

Oblivion

Devour The Sun

Dark Waters





Ektomorf

Another band out of Hungary, Ektomorf have in the past suffered at the hands of undue prejudice at home surrounding founding member and frontman Zoltán Farkas' gipsy background. To combat this, Ektomorf focused more on an international career and touring outside of their native area.

The injustices inflicted on Farkas have helped shaped his lyrics, none more evident than on the excellent 'Outcast' or the crushingly heavy 'You Can't Control Me'.

Not only have the band had to endure disgraceful intolerance they have also never broken through on a major level, despite an extensive body of work dating back to the mid to late nineties and fine musicianship throughout.

A raw, uncompromising sound to rival Soulfly or early Sepultura, Ektomorf have always resided in the mid-card section at most major festivals. Deserving of more recognition we'd recommend a trip through their back catalogue, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you discover.

Albums To Start With:

Retribution

Fury

Outcast



Jungle Rot

Holding a torch for nineties classic death metal that raised them, Wisconsin based trio Jungle Rot began their career in 93 and following some Ep's, released their debut full-length effort 'Slaughter The Weak' in 98. More than twenty years on and they are still slinging groove-laden, old school death metal and igniting circle pits anywhere they hit the stage, inspired by pioneers Bolt Thrower and Sodom.

2015's release 'Order Will Prevail' and 2018's self-titled album gained a decent amount of attention and helped thrust the band under the nose of the wider metal community, helped by a relentless tour cycle, along the way they have gained the praise and collaboration efforts of metal legend Max Cavalera.

Albums To Start With:

Jungle Rot

Order Will Prevail

Kill On Command



And there you have it, the first half of this list and plenty for you to dig through, hopefully, there are some artists here you haven't heard of before or may not be too familiar with. Enjoy digging through these collections from the safety and comfort of your home and why not support those artists that are on Bandcamp if you have the means.

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