mixtape: underrated

There are a lot of bands who set standards, broke boundries and otherwise pushed music forward, especially in the rock and metal communities, who by all accounts are waaaaaaay underrated for the efforts they put forth. Most casual fans might only know them in passing, if at all, yet their contributions help define huge parts of genres even if they remained out of the public’s eye. It is easy to point to At the Gates (Slayer’s evil riffing meets Iron Maiden’s harmonized guitar work) or Entombed (Motorhead’s bluesish sludge meets Death’s brutal assault) as being forefather’s to huge elements of the modern scene but could you say the same for Anacrusis if you had to? After posting the video for 1993’s Sound the Alarm it started quite the discussion between friends about some of the more overachieving yet either unknown or significantly under appreciated bands in the genre. Special thanks to Panicbutton Bob, Ytse Jim, Suzy P and a few others for their contributions to the list

Something Real” Anacrusis from (1991: the now cliche sing-scream vocalization was the staple of their repertoire long before it was even a thought in many band’s minds, as was the highly progressive writing in a much more extreme setting than most prog bands would have attempted)
Veil of MayaCynic from Focus (1993: another sing-scream pioneer that leaned very heavy on the prog-extreme metal combination, and the very early voice processing is now the overused pop autotune technique
that is destroying music)
ElementVision of Disorder from self-titled (1996: metalcore just wouldn’t be the same without them, between the brutal combination of metal riffing and hardcore breakdowns and that intense sing-scream undulation that became a cliche’d cornerstone of the burgeoning genre a few years later)
Anvil ChandelierDisembodied from the Debalarie (1997: early metalcore and relatively unknown compared to Coalesce or some of their east coast counterparts but without their inspiration much of the later scene would have missed how hardcore became quite evil)
Into the PitTestament from the New Order (1988: never quite the titans that Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer became, they also never stopped progressing in positive ways and influencing the underground, from the scream-sing of 1994’s Low to the all-star thrash revitalization of 1999’s the Gathering)
Infernal MachineSam Black Church from self-titled (1993 the languished in relative obscurity in a still to explode New England scene they don’t get the credit that other bands get for both breaking that scene and for the quirky and oft-chaotic writing they did that bands are still ripping off)
ScreamangerTherapy? from Troublegum (1994: Underachiving for being a major label band and constantly overshadowed by competing trends the off-kilter punks from Belfast outlasted and outperformed in many cases their contemporaries and left an indelible mark on so many scenes)
SlugOnly Living Witness from Prone Mortal Form (1993: given the success of Helmet, influence of Quicksand and MTV’s love of the Unsane video for “Scrape” one would have thought a band like Only Living Witness would break out, but they never quite did, even if their influence on the New England scene was undeniable, just ask Overcast and it’s offshoots)
the Dungeons are CallingSavatage from the Dungeons are Calling (1985: they never quite broke through the way Queensryche did or gain the respect of Dream Theater but what they did accomplish was a uniquely diverse career that served as an inspiration for so many melodic thrash, power and prog bands despite being essentially a commercial failure before the advent of the “side project” T.S.O.)
the Cry of MankindMy Dying Bride from the Angel and the Dark River (1996: although I wanted something off an earlier record this was a turning point for the symphonic doom of these Brits who are too under-credited for what they helped redefine in several parallel genres)
a Shogun Named MarcusClutch Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes & Undeniable Truths (1993: For being on major labels for many years and touring with some of the titans, these guys fly under so many people’s radar despite the far reaching influences they have one so many bands and the amazing talent they display in their musical diversity)

Can you think of a few more? Leave the in the comments!

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About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny: https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/about-thedmouse/
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3 Responses to mixtape: underrated

  1. YtseJim says:

    Clutch! A band I’m only ‘now’ really getting into 15 years after their mainstream (and I use that word loosely) success.

    • thedoormouse says:

      better late than never… jean-paul is an awesome drummer and they navigate grooves sooooo well, it’s a shame more people just haven’t figured them out yet.

  2. Cari says:

    better late than never… jean-paul is an awesome drummer and they navigate grooves sooooo well, it’s a shame more people just haven’t figured them out yet.
    +1

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