Friday, August 19, 2011

New Discoveries: Scar of the Sun and Amorphead

I really feel for a lot of bands. There are thousands out there, working their asses off and doing all they can to get the sound out. I generally avoid Facebook or ReverbNation as I find both can be overwhelming for the web-impatient antisocial person that I am. Even this little blog, though, draws a lot of band follows on Twitter. True, most drop off after a day or two if not followed back but I do my best to check out some tracks by anyone who follows me. Two international acts that have made a great first impression just this week are Greece's Scar of the Sun and Italy's Amorphead.

While Amorphead may share a more similar name, it's Scar of the Sun that sounds like Amorphis to me - or, more specifically - what I wish Amorphis sounded like at this point. Their debut album, A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies, is a spectacular, atmospheric, highly melodic - yet still distinctly metallic - accomplishment. Frankly, there isn't a lot out there that I've heard that sounds much like Scar of the Sun. It's not a menacing, sinister metal nor is it overblown and grandiose. It's slightly gothic, driving, synthesizer-heavy rock with plenty of guitars and, when you least expect it, a death metal guest vocal (courtesy of Dark Tranquility's Mikael Stanne)

While Scar of the Sun's site lists a June 2011 US release date for A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies, doesn't appear to carry the record but the band's shop site ships internationally. Looks like I'm going to have to have this one come across the ocean.

Amorphead is just simple, blistering straight-up metal and their EP, Chaos Expression, is a magnificent half-hour that, no, breaks no new ground whatsoever but, nonetheless, is exactly what I like to hear:

Chaos Expression is available on iTunes and Amazon in download form and a CD is available from Casket Music UK (though I found the label site to be a nightmare to navigate). I anxiously await a full-length effort from these guys on a label that will do them justice.

On a final note, I hope you're listening, Century Media. Both bands piqued my interest. Both were sampled on Spotify. And both sold me an album on the same day.

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