In March of this year I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural World Metal Congress. While I was there I was among metalheads from all over the world interested in what could be done to promote and continue the longevity of the metal genre over the coming years. At the core of this meeting of metal minds was inclusion, particularly of bands from countries that do not get the proper attention they deserve.
Starting this June, we will be running a weekly feature on different global metal bands to expand our reader’s knowledge and give the bands themselves a chance to be heard by audiences that might otherwise miss out on the incredible music they are producing. To give you a taste of what you can look forward to, here are just some of the bands we will be featuring:
Afreet is a virtual metal band comprised of member duo Yousef Shah and Sulleiman Omar. Both are former members of the late Afghan metal band District Unknown. Afreet was conceived in the style of a virtual band; the instrumentals and vocals are all abstract stories told in another world by different voices. Afreet is the story of a solitary character searching a warped dimension (The Timeless Plane) for meaning and purpose. In this search, the solitary character encounters the Afreet: powerful spirits whose moral duality is concealed from both the solitary character and the listener. The Afreet have the power to both deceive and righteously guide the solitary character on his journey to enlightenment. Afreet’s debut EP is the story of the solitary character’s tumultuous initial arrival in The Timeless Plane, a traumatic event wrought with fear and confusion as the character struggles to understand the existence of these spirits and their world.
APPEARANCE OF NOTHING
Precision and prog metal: the two go hand in hand — especially in Switzerland, home to clockwork and quality craftsmanship. True to the Swiss spirit, Appearance Of Nothing are stepping right into the tradition of outstanding and unique metal, Made In Switzerland (ever heard of Coroner, Eluveitie, or perhaps Celtic Frost?). Honing their skills together since 2004, the band around founding members Marc Petralito (piano, hammond, synths) and Omar Cuna (bass & vocals), along with shredders Manuel Meinen & Albert Ibrahimaj and drummer Ronnie Wolf, have always felt true to Prog with a capital letter — think Opeth, Dream Theater, or Symphony X.The new single “Storm” is the first song from the next, 4th, studio album for the Swiss prog metallers.
The four-piece band combines traditional Mongolian instruments with modern American hard rock to create their own style of music they call “hunnu rock,” which derives from “HU,” the Mongolian root word for human beings. This unique sound blends heavy rock elements with traditional Mongolian guttural throat singing, accentuated by lyrics reflecting old Mongolian war cries and poetry. The HU became an online sensation when they released music videos for “Wolf Totem” and “Yuve Yuve Yu” in December 2018, racking up a combined 24 million views to date. They, re-released the singles on March 29, generating incredible global recognition across the globe. The track, “Wolf Totem” reachedTop 5 on the iTunes Rock Chartand was featured as the #1 song on 19 different charts, while “Yuve Yuve Yu”reached #2 on 11 different charts across the globe. In April, the band were offered Official Mongolian Ambassador to the World by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mongolia, whilst he congratulated them on their success. The HU also celebrate their signing to E7M (Eleven Seven Music) – home toMötley Crüe, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and Nothing More.
The band MOTANKA was created in 2015 in Lutsk by four musicians: Victor Verba (Zhalnin) — vocals, dulcimer, keyboard; Anatolii Zhalnin — guitar; Sergii Khodorchuk — bass-guitar, ocarina; Dmytro Diachenko — drums, throat singing. In 2018, they took second place in the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle, and were signed to Napalm Records. The band plays in the genre called “mystic metal” and uses traditional Ukrainian instruments — dulcimer and ocarina. By combining ethnic motives, metal music and modern electro-sounds MOTANKA reminds listeners the ancient times and shows different rituals from the past. The atmosphere of their performance is mystical, the music sends people to some kind of “trance”. The name MOTANKA comes from the traditional Ukrainian knitting doll motanka that ancient Ukrainians used for protection and for communication with ancestors. Their first album is due out this summer.
THE TENGGER CAVALRY
Tengger Cavalry, or “the army of sky god”, is not only a Billboard-featured metal band, but also a symbol of nomadic warrior spirit that connects fans from all over the world. With a mix of throat singing, Mongolian fiddle and Central Asian instruments, the band performed a sold out concert at Carnegie Hall and featured in CNN, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The band has also recorded soundtracks for video games such as Civilization 6, Age of Empires 4, and Doom 4.
Zygnema is India’s premier Heavy/Thrash Groove metal band who have earned the title of ‘peoples favourite band’ since the time of their existence and India’s only metal act that flawlessly packs venue’s on any given day. Zygnema has scooped up a bunch of awards for both their albums and have embarked their presence nationally and globally. The band continues to dominate and put out music that will only take them a step higher and leave the audience amazed. The band is fired up to set their foot in Europe and let all the European countries know what Zygnema’s music is capable of doing. After conquering massive stages at Wacken Open Air, Inferno Metal Festival, Osna Metal Fest & more, the band managed to leave a great impression on the Europeans thus resulting in a growing fan base mainly in countries like Germany, Norway, Sweden etc. This tour is called REFORM,REBIRTH TOUR 2019. Reform, Rebirth is a track from Zygnema’s second full length album titled ‘What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete’. Zygnema hadn’t stepped out of the Asian Sub continent since 2015 and this tour was much needed for the band to Re-align to its original motive and intent, which is going global. Zygnema wants to do justice and promote both their albums on this tour cause Europe and Europeans believe, encourage and appreciate metal music from around the world.
We do hope you check back when ‘The Full Metal Profile’ goes live, because we can guarantee you will not only be surprised by the music on offer, but will likely become fans of many of these incredible bands. Want to learn more about the World Metal Congress? Check out our editorial!
Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – UK Editor
Erik De’Viking is a London based freelance music journalist. His musical interests include music in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.