Since it is evident that this pandemic is taking it’s sweet time to come to a close, and does not know how to read the room when it comes to overstaying their welcome, I’ve started this new series in hopes of spreading rock’n’roll cheer into your lives. The artists/bands in every list will consist of carefully handpicked musicians from the hundreds of submissions I get — with no limitations on what kind of rock music, the country they originate from or the topics written about, all that matters is that I think they embody the spirit of 𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘬 ‘𝘯’ 𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭 and the uniting power within it.
The purpose of this series is to provide a “coffee break” (aka Fika) in your hectic lives, that will allow you to sit back, relax, and remember that with good music (and coffee) the world ain’t that bad.
Tigers on Opium
First on the list is Portland-based stoner-fuzz rock band, Tigers on Opium. This band is a three-piece fuzztastic group that I find to bring back the 90s alternative nostalgia with their sludgy melodies fuzed by crunchy distorted guitars. The band will be releasing their single “Dark Electric” on the 11th of December (2020). This release will also coincide with the announcement of their cassette pre-order for their upcoming EP titled “503.420.6669.vol ” that will be released through Forbidden Place Record and it will be released in early 2021.
Next, we have Vailixi, who are anItalian four-piece space-craze group that takes their listeners on an enchanting metal-dominated-galactic trip with their head banging worthy tunes. Once a former metalcore band, the group has since expanded their sound to a fuzzier-psychedelic feel that compliments their astrological thematics. The band recently dropped their debut album titled “A Trip To Venus” which features 8 planet titled tracks that are 100% self-produced. Every song is jam-packed with fuzzy guitar riffs and melodic hooks.
It wouldn’t be a Miss Mephisto list without a Swedish band, so next on the list is Evermore. They are a heavy metal band from Karlskrona, Sweden. The Swedish band shares strong influences from the great heavy metal icons like Helloween, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Avantasia, Hammerfall, Edguy and Stratovarius , as well as drawing tones from metal groups Pantera, Children of Bodom, Slayer and Megadeth.
Evermore released their first EP “Northern Cross” back in September of 2020 which consisted of three tracks; By Death Reborn, Call of the Wild and The Northern Cross. The EP is filled with anthem belters and catchy riffs. The EP pays great homage to 80s Hair Metal, while keeping it fresh with its darker and heavier moments that I think highlights the groups abilities to bring back Heavy Metal to the mainstream. The Swedes plan on releasing a full length titled “Court of the Tyrant King” in late 2020 which will include the tracks on the EP as well as four additional tracks.
Up next is the dynamic trio hailing all the way from Auckland, New Zealand, Capital Theatre. Throughout these turbulent times, the band has spent time tucked away in rock’n’roll quarantine and have been preparing their debut album, that is set to be released in November of 2020. Since then, theband has recently released their belter of a single “Force to Fight”, which provides evidence that the last 6 months they’ve spent in the studio with Guns N’ Roses producer Mike Clink, is going to pay off with their debut album. The kiwis prepare to launch into scene with music that tackles the topics of epic battles and mythology. The ten track album “Force to Fight” promise high energy rock tunes energy to tell the tale of a hero’s journey, and I personally can’t wait.
Then we have Death Metal band, that is also from the vast lands of Auckland, New Zealand, Soul Void. The group brings three hellraising tracks in their debut EP ‘Temple of Sin’ to the table, that I think are not worth missing out on. The EP is notably mixed and mastered by Lewis ‘Lewcifer’ Noke Edwards (Imprisoned, King Parrot), thus making the EP “Temple of Sin” nothing short of pure raw and aggressive death metal that we all know and love. The EP is to the point with no gimmicks or try-hard energy, it will get you headbanging instantly.
From the legendary brutal town of Bergen, Norway, hails the 5-piece metal band, Tessia. Two years ago, Tessia, released their debut record “Burn the Sky” which is a 32 minute musical journey that takes the listener through the relentless Bergen landscape of deep forests woven within the Norwegian mountainsides. The heavy, but melodic, tunes discuss the themes of weathered storms, Norwegian folktale and so much more. Tessia’s music is great for fans of Nightwish and Lacuna Coil.
Last, but certainly not least, I present to you American heavy metal group, Direlands and their debut EP “The Cave of Fear”. Produced in the heart of the pandemic, The Cave of Fear is filled with 20 minutes of pure doom-sludgy-metal goodness. Channeling energy from the greats, like Goatsnake, Bongzilla and Cult of Luna, Direlands skillfully muddles the line between heavy metal and sludge with its heavy riffs and stunning clean vocals.
if you want to be featured in the next “Bands to Keep an Eye On” submit your music here
Don’t forget to wash your hands, wear a mask & stay safe.
Until next time Interwebs! 🕸
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