A few months ago in my “journey to metal” post, I highlighted my favorite metal bands. The four I listed are of the more extreme metal variety, being death metal, technical death metal, or some other label that really doesn’t matter because they rule. I’m not really big on sub-genre labels, because all that does is segregate fans into groups and enables the shit-talkers. You either like metal or you don’t, it’s pretty much that simple. There can be some value in having these sub-genres though, but only if you are the casual metal listener, or really just can’t get into all the growling/screaming. For those of you that can’t appreciate the vocal styling of the bands I have written about, I present some bands that are still metal as fuck, but a little more presentable in mixed company.
First up is a band that I got into a few years back, Protest the Hero. From what I had read, the band was classified as “Progressive Metal,” which was exciting because I am a fan of Progressive Rock (bands such as Coheed & Cambria which I have written about in the past). The major difference here is the vocal styling and the somewhat erratic musical progression. Rody Walker has an operatic voice at times, but can still scream with the best of them. Their earlier albums (“Fortress” was the first that I heard) had a harder sound with less clean vocals. Their last album “Scurrilous” was nearly all clean vocals, and is probably more approachable for non-metal listeners. Next week their new album “Volition” drops, after having been independently created with the help of a huge crowdfunding campaign. A few singles have been released thus far, this one being my favorite:
Today I found a stream of the full album, you can check that out here.
Another band that is a little less extreme falls under the “Thrash” label. Warbringer is a band that I have been listening to since the beginning of the “Re-Thrash” movement of the mid 00s. Their first album was only so-so, but their second started to catch me, and by the time their third album “Worlds Torn Asunder” released I was hooked. Warbringer do thrash right, just like grandpa used to do in the 80s. If you enjoy old Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, or any other old school thrash bands, this is a band that will give you that same feel but with updated recordings. The lyrical subject matter is on par with the greats, but the band sets itself apart with its own personality and also sprinkles other metal influences into their songs. Vocals are raspy but not unintelligible. They are set to release their newest album next week as well, entitled “IV: Empires Collapse.” They have only released one single, and it was some time ago, but still will give you a taste of things to come:
If you enjoyed that, another good re-thrash band is Havok. Look em up.