The emerging, the unknown and the underrated: part 6

The emerging, the unknown and the underrated: part 6

Welcome back. For those that don't know this series: it's quite simple. Allow me to explain. To be eligable to end up on this list, your band is either emerging, unknown or underrated. Basically meaning your band wasn't met with as much success as I think it should be met with. The point ofcourse not being to use your band as a laughing stock, but instead giving my followers some new bands to discover and to give back to the bands I personally have been enjoying. Win-win.

Also tradition to this series, is the fact that I reserve this introduction for a little music industry bashing. So keeping it short, here it goes: I'm quite frustrated with the state of the music industry and it appears that's not changing anytime soon, I am however convinced that every small push in the right direction helps. So here we are, well aware of how fucked we are, but still ENJOYING FUCKING GOOD MUSIC. Shoutout to all those underground / self-publishing wanna-be media outlets / people who fight for the good cause. And shoutout to those bands who just HAVE to make music because it's a passion, earning jack shit, but continuing anyway. You rock!

So here we go. Enjoy, my friends!

#1 Mobius Radio
This eccentric duo recently released their debut self-titled LP and it's basically everything I could've dreamed off. The album is conceptualized as a radio broadcast, vaguely reminding us of 2002's classic Songs for the Deaf. Stylistically it has nothing to do with Queens of the Stone Age. I'd rather compare them to the likes of Thank You Scientist or Closure in Moscow, but then again those don't really cut it either. Mobius Radio brings an exceptional blend of rock, folk, metal and EDM and that stew results in a fun sound that's uniquely their own. Hard to imagine what that sounds like? Why not give them a spin?
FFO: Thank You Scientist, Closure in Moscow, Toehider

#2 A Novelist
This is a very recent addition to the list of bands that I'm familiar with and they've been in heavy rotation since. I only listened to their latest album Folie (2019), but that album is so lush and full of technical ability that I didn't have the need yet to go back in their discography. A Novelist is a progressive death metal band that tends to go very techy combined with amazing vocal hooks and melodies. Special note: it would be a crime on my part if I didn't mention that the guitar playing absolutely steals the show here. I suggest you give this a good listen if you like your death metal of the groovy kind.
FFO: Between the Buried and Me, Protest the Hero, Cryptodira

#3 K'mono
Get your prog on! K'mono released their album "Mind out of Mind" earlier this year and it's exactly what you want your throwback prog to sound like: vintage with fun modern twists! It's obvious K'mono walks the same path as the legends from the 70's (most notably Yes and Genesis) but they dared to go further and added some spicy pop details to that well-established sound. Really fun and uplifting and at other times amazingly beautiful. It's just such a well-crafted album that will provide hours upon hours of delicious prog fun. Yummy!
FFO: Yes, Genesis, Pattern-seeking animals, anything Steven Wilson

#4 White Arms of Athena
Now, let me start by saying: this is such a weird band. In 2011 these guys put out an album called "Astrodrama", which was generally well received. You'll find some internet discussions mentioning them worshipping BTBAM's sound a bit too much. I for one don't really think of them as a band that copies the aforementioned. Taking inspiration, sure. Their debut is solid throughout. They often add some jazzy and bluesy styles to their melting pot of progressive death metal. Fast forward to 2014 and this band releases another album, self-titled. The style? Different. They've taken a more drawn-out approach, which focusses more on atmosphere. They've added a clear stoner influence to their style and went for more clean singing. This album is definitely a bit hit or miss, however, if you give it some time you'll definitely find something in there.
FFO: The Contortionist, Between the Buried and Me, A Novelist

#5 Rototypical
This is the solo project by Pat Savage and it's nothing short of ambitious. The man performed everything on the debut album of this project and the result is pretty earth-shattering. Expect everything from groovy riffs to some of the most creative guitarplaying you'll hear, clean singing, harsh vocals, you name it. At times I think the album could be condensed to under one hour (it's 1 hr 7 min), but then again I wouldn't want to be the guy that's responsible for cutting music from this album. Everything on here is meaningful and well thought out. I guess the guy single-handedly made a perfect progmetal record.
FFO: Native Construct, Between the Buried and Me, Haken

I've been listening to the only album this band has put out for quite a while now and I can't come up with many reasons why these guys apparently only deserve 5 monthly listeners on Spotify. Cruel world. I find their self-titled to be a meditative sort of metal, leaning more towards alt metal with amazing melodies. Oh yes, melody is the word for this album. They go so overboard with these soaring vocal arrangements that it becomes trance-inducing, think of the feelings you get when listening to post rock. Psychedelic in nature, but heavy at the same time.
FFO: REZN, Lesser Key, Circles

#7 Benthos
With this band you just have to start with their sophomore release "II". The backbone of Benthos are their rythmic sections, but taking you with the story are the vocal melodies. Much like Karnivool or A Perfect Circle, the song structures aren't necessarily the most complex, but it's through the sum of all the parts that you get this overall emotionally complex composition. The vocals complement the instrumentation so incredibly well. Sometimes the band goes off in some weird and unexpected directions, with heavy influences from death and progressive metal, which can be a breath of fresh air. For a band with such a focused style I find it incredibly hard to believe that this band already has all the success they deserve.
FFO: Between the Buried and Me, Karnivool, Circles