Stepping away from traditional reviews (due to the fact that I haven’t felt strongly enough about a release in the past week to warrant writing about it), I’ve decided to do something a little bit different. Taking a tour of our ninth state of the Union, I’m going to share some NH metal bands that need recognition. In this series, which there will be multiple instances of, we will dive into mostly underground metal music that has recently released from groups within our state! This week, we will begin with music released (and releasing) in 2021, but we will eventually jump back to cover a lot of music that came out last year as well. But for now, let’s jump in with some new music!
Aetheric Existence – H O R R I F I C A (Symphonic Blackened Death Metal)
While lacking a distinct location on the New Hampshire map, the duo bring to the table a surprisingly stellar blend of black and death metal with heavy, and fairly accurate, Carach Angren worship. Note, the similarity to those veterans is not a bad one; while that Dutch group may be beloved, this group’s second full-length is leaps and bounds stronger than recent music by their major influence. Aside from being a pretty hefty release at 74 minutes, each cut is well written, produced and performed. Additionally, the programmed drums work really well against the natural synthesizers, whose textures provide a wonderful gothic backdrop for the metal on top of it, and guitars, whose intense tremolos and gritty riffs horrify and brutalize alike. This style is nowhere near my favorite under the genre umbrella, but Aetheric Existence pull of an extremely mature release for an independent group, and is definitely a release to watch this year.
Hollow Colossus – “Wielding A Tyrant’s Sceptre” (Progressive Metal/Metalcore)
Hailing from upstate in Lebanon, progressive metalcore four piece Hollow Colossus have yet to release a full-length. “Wielding A Tyrant’s Sceptre” is the most recent single from the group, and hopefully it isn’t the last. I would probably not listen to this style in my free time, but for the most part, the performances are emotive, sound great and are well constructed. The cut begins with a great thundering deathcore section, and this translates into a chugging modern progressive metalcore section, before breaking into the catchy hook that the track has to offer, which is guaranteed to make you groove. The clean vocal performances can sometimes get too James LaBrie or Claudio Sanchez for my liking, but the guitars soar through simple but effective riffs and solos throughout the song. The fake drums also sound good here and fit the niche that the band is trying to fill.
Tomb of Anubis – Overshadowed By A False Deity EP (Brutal Death Metal)
Unflesh – Inhumation (Technical Death Metal)