There are so many bands in the world today. Thanks to the joys of streaming platforms such as Bandcamp, Spotify and even Youtube, there are millions upon millions of songs available at the touch of your fingertips. My 10 bands to look out for in 2020 will most likely display some familiar names to some but are certainly all worth a mention.
Ice Nine Kills
I stumbled across ICE NINE KILLS (otherwise known merely as INK) around Halloween as they featured on a Spotify Halloween playlist. To my surprise I was very impressed indeed. They utilise a blend of metal, punk and melodic elements with influences from cinema, literature and theatre. They originally released their album The Silver Scream in 2018 however they released The Silver Scream (FINAL CUT) in digital format around Halloween in 2019 whereas the physical release was available on pre-order due for release this month. What is the difference between the releases? The original release contains 13 Horror film inspired tracks such as The American Nightmare (a nod to the Freddy Kruger fear-filled Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise) and Thank God It’s Friday (Jason Voorhees slasher sensation Friday the 13th). The FINAL CUT version features an additional six tracks of which some are acoustic and there is also a cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
INK themselves have been around for the best part of a decade but I feel that their fanbase will grow significantly off the back of this release. INK are confirmed for this years Slam Dunk Festival.
I discovered DIAMOND BLACK when they supported CELLAR DARLING on their UK tour on the back of their This is the Sound album in 2018. I was thoroughly impressed with the musicianship and how tight the band played to say they had only released one single at this point in time – Sorrow. This is no surprise when one finds out that DIAMONS BLACK’s guitarist is none other than Ben Christo who is also the guitarist for THE SISTERS OF MERCY.
They released a second single titled Ghost in the Glass in 2018 to wide acclaim. Last year they released their third single The Scarlet after confirming they signed a worldwide deal with Cargo/Livewire records with a full album due in the Spring of 2020.
How would one describe DIAMOND BLACK? A Dark blend of powerful riffs, electronica and harmonic choruses.
Italy’s TEMPERANCE have recently signed with Napalm Records and are due to release their new album Viridian on the 24th January 2020. Their previous release Of Jupiter and Moons was my introduction to the band courtesy of a friend and instantly fell in love with the band from that point. TEMPERANCE features a beautifully balanced harmony of vocalists (three in total!), epic symphonic pieces and quality musicianship hands down. A class act live and they are due to hit UK shores supporting Tarja in March.
CRIMSON SUN hail from the south of Finland and were founded in 2001. They are renowned for amazing live performances, catchy songs and sensational vocals from Sini Seppälä. After hearing their latest single Essence of Creation I was intrigued to hear more. They are due to release their second album this month.
JATALA are a new, fresh and exciting metal band from Helsinki and only formed last year!
The band take their name from vocalist Jasse Jatala who set up the group after coming second on The Voice of Finland. Their debut single The Knife is well worth a listen and signs of an album release are on the horizon.
Find JATALA on Facebook.
Birmingham’s DAKESIS are due to release their third album this year that was successfully crowdfunded and exceeded the initial goals. They are due to have their album launch at The Asylum in Birmingham in March with special guests due to be announced shortly for this momentous gig. DAKESIS keep going from strength to strength and if their previous releases are anything to go by, we are all certainly in for a treat.
LOVEBITES are a Japanese Heavy Metal band and are due to release their third album Electric Pentagram this month. After a successful support slot with DRAGONFORCE last November, they have certainly increased their fanbase. To describe their sound, one could state a blend of RAGE, IRON MAIDEN and even DRAGONFORCE.
VICTORIUS have given us Dinosaur Warfare and are now striking us with Space Ninjas from Hell! The German metal band have emerged from the ruins of the realms of the dinosaurs and have allied with an evil ninja clan to form the most over the top Power Metal band you can imagine. Expect Shinobi, Dragons and Samurai inspired song strikes! VICTORIUS advise we need to grab our shuriken’s and jump onto our astral laser sharks! This latest release is due out worldwide now.
ALMANAC is Victor Smolski’s (former guitarist of RAGE) latest project. It is where he continues to push the realms and boundaries of heavy metal and classical music with multiple lead vocalists. It is in a similar vein to that of the RAGE side project LINGUA MORTIS ORCHESTRA (LMO). Latest single release The Predator shows just how good Victor Smolski is as a guitar player and is a good insight of album number three Rush of Death, which is due out in March.
MAGNUM have been around since the early 70’s and one could argue that I should be mentioning more up and coming bands. However, MAGNUM are one of those classic group of musicians that deliver by constantly touring and recording new albums rather than take the stance of a classic act and just performing classic songs. We can also be thankful that because of acts like Magnum that we have bands like AVANTASIA and AYREON in existence today. Latest single Where are you Eden? is an instant classic and is from the upcoming release The Serpent Rings.
Words: Martin White