Bandcamp Power Metal Roundup #7

Below are a list of unsigned power metal bands. The fact these bands are not signed to any major or minor label is not that big of a deal in 2016. With the availability of bandcamp and other social and streaming media, bands can fund their own work and do all of the heavy lifting in terms of promotion. Labels, now, represent a wider net of contacts and resources that are sometimes unremarkable compared to independent outfits. I am sure that some of these independent acts will be welcomed by larger labels and given another shot in the wide world of heavy metal. What is presented below is a good look at current heavy metal that has yet to be given the shot they deserve.

Trauma Field could be polarizing for some people. Alright, most people. One the one hand, it is very emotional with dips and dives in terms of instrumentation and vocals. Add to this the harsh and spoken tracks on the release and one has a record that some people are going to raise an eyebrow over and others are going to fall in love with. It will not be for some people but for others… pure wonder. What can be said objectively about Changing Tides, is the production is top notch and suits the band’s vision of a surreal yet somber landscape of grief and beauty.

Our second unsigned band is from Slovenia and they may only be underrepresented since Metropolis of Dreams is only their first EP in what could be a growing catalog. Silent Pray has the love for slick European power metal but a gushing infatuation with arena rock hooks. Songs like “A Tale From The Underworld” resides somewhere between Helloween and Motley Crue. None of the elements are bad on their own and when put together, they are an odd but delightful mixture.

That cover. It’s majestic. Almost as majestic as the opening fanfare for this record. Holy shit, that cover is bright. Tanagra’s None of This is Real was released last year and this is the first time, I am hearing about it. This is an unsigned band from Portland whose debut album is well produced and confident vocals which soar like big fucking neon birds. If few things are going to convince you today, then make sure you listen to the band’s closing 12 minute track “The Path to Talmor,“ I’ll see you on the other side of wherever Talmor is. Also this band gets double points for naming their outfit after the island on Shantil III where Darmok and Jalad once faced the Beast and thus their feats were codified in the language of the Tamarians. Just saying. We all know where you are coming from.

WOooOOOOOo, damn, this is good. Unsigned Michigan power/thrash outfit which comes out of the gate like a bucking thunderhorse which shoots lightning from its eyes. That is totally a common phrase. One of the more impressive feats done seemingly without effort by this band is to combine fast and technical instrumentation on top of complimentary vocals which throwback to old aggressive power metal. If one was looking for a band following in the shadow of dozens of influences and are not afraid to throw up loyalty, then Blackgate is here for you.

This is fantastic. Avenguard is a one man instrumental act that has dedicated himself to the soundtracks of an imaginary epic action film. Where strings and horns would once be, now resides the sound of multilayered guitar and synth. For the scale in which Avenguard reaches versus the production that is available, there is a gap where the two do not meet. Guard the Gates, however, has enough charm for people like myself to love this type of music and dedication to a craft. This is like dungeon synth, just with guitar and the same fascination with fantasy.

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