Hello! It’s Lotty here. Happy new year to you all. I hope you all had a great Christmas, for me it was fairly chilled. Now to move forward and kick those post Christmas blues, here are a selection of bands that I think you should be looking out for in 2020.
Imagine MOONSORROW, ENSIFERUM and a touch of AMON AMARTH then you get the sounds of AEPHANEMER. Their latest album Prokopton made it to my top ten in 2019 as I was blown away by their mix of Melodic Death and Black Metal creating bombastic melodies. 2019 also saw them being signed to Napalm Records and their presence on the metal scene growing larger. They are most definitely future icons in Melodic Death and ones to look out for this year.
The Outlaw Orchestra
“Country and Western through a marshal” is a befitting description for the sounds of THE OUTLAW ORCHESTRA. These words come from lead vocalist/guitarist David Roux when I spoke with them at NozFest 2019. When listening to the bands of NozFest back to back, they were one of the bands that stood out. I was hooked to their brilliant, bluegrass sounding rock when I first heard See You In Hell. Their fun frolics within their music and live shows made them a great go to band when I needed to put a smile on my face. Give them a whirl and they could be your go to band too.
Read my interview with the band here.
Those Damn Crows
I first saw THOSE DAMN CROWS at NozFest 2019; I was blown away by their strong sound and powerful stage presence. Their sound provides that hint of nostalgia that got me into rock bands to begin with and they have their own modern twist. Their booming sound means they are destined for great things and I would recommend catching them on tour now whilst they are still playing smaller venues. They are due to release a new album very soon but in the meantime, take a gander at their back catalogue.
BLACKBRIAR were an off chance discovery when browsing YouTube, the song I came across was Snow White & Rose Red. This song made my number one single last year due to the drama and intensity the melody portrayed across. Even when listening to it now, it still sends chills throughout. This same power is heard throughout their brand new EP Our Mortal Remains and in their back catalogue. Some great examples of their haunting work can be heard in songs Cry Of A Banshee, I’d Rather Burn and Mortal Remains. It can be more than safe to say that these guys are future icons of Gothic Metal.
Snow White Blood
SNOW WHITE BLOOD singer Ulli Perhonen collaborated with BLACKBRIAR in Snow White & Rose Red and in turn led me to discovering SNOW WHITE BLOOD. I really enjoy their dramatic Symphonic Metal sounds and Ulli Perhonen’s versatile vocal range. I hear hints of metal sirens Simone Simmons (EPICA) and Emmanuelle Zoldan (SIRENIA) when I hear Ulli’s voice. The haunting sounds from their EP Once Upon A Fearytale are well worth checking out and if you like what you hear, check out their crowdfunding campaign for their upcoming album. These guys are highly recommended if you like bands such as EPICA and SIRENIA. Also if you’re a fan of Symphonic Metal in general.
STOP, STOP! were another NozFest discovery and they were one of the bands that stook out. I was taken by their fun stage antics and catchy music. Their single The Last Call made my top ten singles in 2019 and the rest of their songs give that morale boost we all need to get through uncertain times. Their passion to give us a great rock show with a nostalgic feel is infectious and they pull out all the stops to ensure new fans walk away from each show. If you’re looking for a great time, give STOP, STOP! a whirl.
I first caught French Hard Rock act BLACKRAIN when they were the main support for KISSIN’ DYNAMITE. I was taken with their wild stage antics and stadium rock sound. Hard Rock giants MÖTLEY CRÜE and AIRBOURNE come to mind when listening to the energy fuelled sounds of this Hard Rock quartet. They released their album Dying Breed last year and it’s a portfolio of fantastic rock songs. These exhilarating melodies contain MÖTLEY CRÜE-esque vocal work, finger-blistering guitar riffs and that party ambience that most Hard Rock fans love. These will sure to become Stadium Anthems one day, another band to keep your eyes and ears out for.
SPYDER BYTE were a great discovery last year. I first caught them live at The Joiners on a JodieBowie Rock Night and was really taken with their eighties sounding rock sound. Their infectious energy when performing on stage passed through to the crowds that night. Their latest album New Blood was released last September and it’s an explosive album of great hard rock. When listening to the band, THE TREATMENT and GRAVE DIGGER come to mind. Highly recommended if you love old school Hard Rock.
MAJESTICA are a Power Metal trio formed by SABATON guitarist Tommy Johansson. In MAJESTICA, he provides the striking vocal work as well as his excellent guitar skills. The heroic songs on their album Above The Sky went down well with fans and critics alike. The song that caught my attention was Rising Tide, after one listen I was hooked. Night Call Girl and The Rat Pack were other personal favourites on the album. I look forward to seeing more of them this year.
OBSIDIAN TIDE are one of the most intriguing bands I have come across. I reviewed their debut album Pillars Of Creation and the unusual twists in their Prog Metal sound gave them a place in my honourable mentions for Top Albums of 2019. With their music, you have no idea what’s to come around the corner and this keeps the listener well alert. I won’t go into too much detail on what to keep an eye out for in their sounds, you will have to listen to their sounds to find out more.
Tribe Of Ghosts
Last band on the list were a late discovery before 2019 was out. TRIBE OF GHOSTS are a creation from ex-KING LEVIATHAN members Adam Sedgewick and Rob Kuhler through their mutual love for soundscapes, loud screaming and (in their words) too much reverb. Their debut EP 1 is a gripping masterpiece that will have you glued to your seats. It is vital their sounds has your undivided attention when listening to the contents of their mesmerising work. One of the best aspects of their music is the ability to keep you on your toes, this is what is recommended of you when looking out for this Atmospheric quartet.
Read my review of their EP here. Also stay tuned for an interview with the band to come soon.
Find TRIBE OF GHOSTS on Facebook.
This is my list of bands, who would you have added to your list? I look forward to hearing some of your choices. Look forward to giving you more content and letting you know about the music we come across this year.