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A Few New Musical Discoveries

23 November, 2010

When I started this blog, I always intended to write about music on a fairly regular basis, but I’ve been a bit lax on that front lately. Rather than do any album or gig reviews though, I thought I’d do a quick round up of the bands and artists I’ve discovered lately (i.e. in the last few months to a year). Bear in mind that I have fairly eclectic taste and that even if you don’t like one artist (a black or folk metal band, for example), you might like one of the others (I listen to a smattering of indie and acoustic singer-songwriter type stuff too).

Les Discrets: I’m starting off with a band I listened to just this morning. Les Discrets are a French band with a sound somewhere between post-rock, indie and doom metal. There are hints of Kwoon (another French post-rock band) and Katatonia (a Scandinavian doom metal band and one of my favourites) but I’d say Les Discrets are more accessible than either. Worth a listen if you’re looking for something a bit downbeat and like rock/indie/metal of any stripe.

Amberian Dawn: I have to admit that, for all my love of symphonic, female-vocaled metal in the past, I’ve burnt out on it over the last couple of years. The success of bands like Nightwish and Within Temptation meant that there was an absolute glut of the stuff, most of it derivative and bland. I won’t try to suggest that Amberian Dawn are doing anything particularly new with the genre, but their singer is excellent – better by far than the singers of most similar bands around at the moment, I’d say – and the music in general very high quality. Less sentimental than Nightwish, catchier than pretty much every other symphonic metal band I’ve heard recently and I’ve just discovered they have a new album out.

Novembers Doom: Given my love of doom metal, I’m not sure how I’ve managed to miss Novembers Doom. They’ve been going since 1989 and have a fair few albums out. Not only that, but the albums I’ve listened to so far have all been consistently good and their newest one is excellent. Their music is somewhere between death and doom metal, not as slow and crushing as bands like My Dying Bride but heavier than Katatonia or Draconian, and with perhaps a touch of Opeth in there too. They’re perhaps closest to Swallow the Sun’s faster-paced songs, although I’ve got to admit that I prefer Novembers Doom. In short, if you like metal of any sort, I really recommend trying out ‘Into Night’s Requiem Infernal’, which is their newest album.

Patrick Wolf: Finally, because I promised something non-metal, there’s Patrick Wolf. I’m not going to attempt to compare him to any other artists because indie (or whatever you want to call it) isn’t my strong point. Still, Wolf’s music isn’t like anything else I’ve come across: it’s a mix of electronica, folk and indie. Frequently melancholy but also really catchy at times, there’s something very, very English about Wolf and the subjects he sings about.

Right, that’s it for my round-up of recent musical discoveries. I now need to find a way to turn off Novembers Doom. I started listening to them whilst writing this post and they’re just… so… good…


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