Under the Radar Metal Bands That Are Pushing Boundaries

10/22/2013
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(Radio.com) Most genres of music have territorial fans, but few are as "I heard of them before you" as metal. Both an admirable yet irritating trait, metal fans have a keen ability to latch onto even the most grainy, basement-recorded, three-song EP because it features the drummer of That One Band and the vocalist of Those One Dudes. Therefore, the definition of "under the radar" has to be played pretty fast and loose as every metal fan will have their own idea of who is the biggest and best, and it often has little to do with album sales or arena shows.

But no matter your taste, these five bands have developed a taste for the extreme and not only turned into something that is all their own, but also made it appealing for fans across the world, and that is no easy task.

1. Ghost B.C.: Founded in 2008 and known as Ghost B.C. here in the States for copyright reasons, Ghost is a Swedish heavy metal band that has brought spooky musical and theatrical elements to mainstream music that in this age of trendy indie pop. With a macabre look in mind, all band members dress in hooded robes and face paint while lead singer Papa Emeritus dons the dressage of gothic Roman Catholic Cardinal complete with full skull-face (pictured above).

But what is most impressive for a band that exists in the Internet age is that none of the band member's real names have ever been publicly disclosed, though they have recently revealed an upcoming EP with Dave Grohl. It would be easiest to compare this band to the classics Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult but I'll let you judge for yourself. Check out their (censored, and you'll see why) video for the song "Year Zero," complete with ladies stripping and chants of "Hail Satan!"

2. Power Trip: Tough guy hardcore has been around as long as I have. An impressive act here and there have combined circle pits and gang vocals with elements of Metallica-type thrash, but none in recent years have pushed that hybrid to the brink quite like Dallas, Texas' Power Trip. Like Ghost, this band first got trip-py in 2008 and slowly slipped EPs and singles out into the heavy metal ether, but their 2013 full length Manifest Decimation is what is really causing fans to sit up and pay attention. While the band definitely identifies with the 'play fast, blast hard' philosophy (after all, they are cohorts of L.A. thrash-punk band Trash Talk) dissident echoes and riffs keep you on your toes as you find yourself giving this band way more than one listen.

3. Deafheaven: The equivalent of a black metal black sheep, San Francisco's Deafheaven often seems too metal for shoegaze fans and too post-rock for black metal fanatics. But no matter which side of the line you are on, it's hard to disagree that this band is a) heavy and b) good at it. Formed in February of 2010, George Clarke and Kerry McCoy had a record deal by year's end with Deathwish Inc., the label that was founded by Jacob Bannon, lead singer of legendary hardcore act Converge. After beefing up their line-up in 2013, the band's sophomore effort Sunbather is an enigmatic record that is in many instances sonically overwhelming in a good way. As you listen to the title track, don't be afraid to embrace the shadows created by the music's bleak notes and Clarke's painfully taut vocals. See who else made the list.

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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