The emerging, the unknown and the underrated: part 2

The emerging, the unknown and the underrated: part 2

We’re finally back with the long awaited part 2 of our insanely popular series: “The emerging, the unknown and the underrated”! Of course, all of that is a lie, except for the title of this series and the fact we’re back. But long awaited? Nope, not really, it’s not even been a week since part 1. Also nobody actually reached out to ask when part 2 was coming. And insanely popular? Of course it’s not insanely popular, what do you think? We’re talking about a niche of a niche here. Don’t worry, we’re not sad about it. This one’s for you, that lonely internet traveler that somehow made his way to this page and feels like listening to some new music nobody else is listening to.

What we have on display for you today is extremely diverse. The only rule: monthly listeners on Spotify must be under 1000. A stupid rule, we know, but that way, somewhere down the road, we can break that rule and be hailed as the true rebels we are. We hope you’ll find something you like!

#1 Atsuko Chiba
With only 364 monthly listeners on Spotify at the time of writing, we really should wonder what’s wrong with the music industry. What Atsuka Chiba did with their latest release ‘Trace’ definitely deserves more recognition. It’s that weird blend between Mogwai and The Mars Volta none of us wanted but got anyway. Have a listen, it’s actually very catchy, dreamy and fun.
FFO: Mogwai, The Mars Volta, At the Drive-In, Tame Impala

#2 Obsidian Tide
This one came recently on our radar, but took us by storm. With their debut ‘Pillars of Creation’ they demonstrate they can hang with the legends of the genre. What genre, you ask? The official nametag is probably “Progressive Death Metal”, but the clean vocals and exotic elements throughout their debut give this a distinct ethereal atmosphere. With 840 monthly listeners on Spotify, they deserved their place on this list.
FFO: Opeth, Ne Obliviscaris, Tool, Soen

#3 Counterfist
With 743 monthly listeners on Spotify the forgotten Counterfist is an easy entry on our list. These guys released ‘Vertical Mile’ in 2008. An album that we’ve returned to again and again. Upon first time listening you'll definitely notice similarities with Tool, but don't be mistaken: somewhere in there is a diamond in the rough. We’ll have to admit, at times it’s eerily similar. Still, for some reason this band struck us as more than a Tool-clone. The production is rough, but they make up for it with excellent songwriting. It's raw and energetic with hints to grunge (they’re also from Seattle). It's what Tool would've been if they didn't go all spiritual and atmospheric. We feel like it's a totally underappreciated record, despite its flaws.
FFO: Tool, Alice in Chains, Rishloo, Deftones

#4 Godthrymm
With 709 monthly listeners on Spotify, it’s safe to say Godthrymm’s 2020 debut album ‘Reflections’ is flying under the radar. This actually surprises us, because this line-up consists of former members of My Dying Bride and Solstice, both no unknown acts within the doom-genre. Furthermore it surprises because the album itself is a mind-blower, especially for true fans of the genre. This album is a love letter to doom, incorporating all the best elements of the genre and adding a fresh element here and there.
FFO: Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Pallbearer

#5 Binary Code
Their 2020 release ‘Memento Mori’ was met with mixed reactions. And while we mostly get where that came from, we’re here politely asking for another chance for this band. Some of the reactions to the album included “boring” and “incohesive”. While the album wasn’t the most explorative or “out there”, we did find some deep emotional layers beneath the surface of this record. It’s an album that takes some time and patience, but once you get to the core of it, you’ll find a thing of beauty. For those who are afraid of taking the risk of losing a whopping 51 minutes of their lives, the track ‘Unborn’ will happily serve as a taste-check. At the very least that would add one monthly listener to their total of 460. Mission accomplished!
FFO: Katatonia, Gojira

#6 Temnein
Melodic death metal from France! The band started more than 10 years ago and released a new album in 2020: ‘Tales: Of Humanity And Greed’. With an album like that and 426 monthly listeners on Spotify, this one couldn’t be missing from this list. Don’t expect any clean vocals, it’s all growly here. The melodic guitar work on the album is just outstanding. 52 minutes of tasty death metal, what are you waiting for?
FFO: Opeth, Wilderun, In Flames

#7 Anywhere
Anywhere is a psychedelic rock/folk music project from Los Angeles, California, founded by Christian Eric Beaulieu. Anywhere has featured a revolving door of musicians, including Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Mike Watt, Krist Novoselic, Dale Crover and Jonathan Hischke. With a line-up like that, it’s weird this project has only 692 monthly listeners on Spotify. The first album also pops in and out of existence from time to time on Spotify, but don’t worry, we liked the second one (Anywhere II, 2018) the most anyway. It’s just a fun experience with a ton of nice instrumental passages.
FFO: Omar Rodríguez-López, The Mars Volta (Maybe Nick Drake, Bert Jansch and the likes?)

#8 Seven Impale
Eclectic jazz-infused prog rock / metal from Norway. They often tend to go pretty heavy, so metalheads will possibly like this. And then there’s the jazzheads (is that a thing?), they should like this too. Classic prog rock fans will find a whole lot to chew on here as well. It’s sad that a band with such wide variety of influences has only about 538 monthly listeners on Spotify. This band is basically everything you want your prog band to be: eclectic, technically outstanding and unique. Enjoy!
FFO: Thank You Scientist, Frank Zappa, King Crimson, Soft Machine