I just saw high on fire, they were great, in Oakland. Totally sold me, though their style isn't my first choice, but they were really good. Great attitude/energy, and a very solid 3 piece. That guitar player has a really great presence and the band played with huge respect for the audience, the respect was two way. Absolutely unrelenting attack on the groove, like pitbulls they just wont' let go until they were done, drained, then they walked off stage.
Om is the bass player from sleep, om is the first band I've heard in years that actually made me buy all their cds. A two piece, bass and drums. About as heavy as it gets, very intellectual, that guy knows his stuff, not a fake, very complicated material though. I missed their last shows in this area, I think they are doing a new cd, not sure, hopefully there will be a tour soon. I almost got to se them but had a really bad injury that made it impossible to stand for that long listening to anything, drag.
Having now seen high on fire, and heard most of om, it's easy to see why they had to part ways, very rare that the new projects are actually as good or better by the two core members who split, but I'd say that's the case here. Lucky for us they both decided to pursue their muses after leaving sleep.
Mammatus plays all too infrequently, but is a really great band, I saw them last year I think it was, they were excellent.
Since these bands don't tour a lot, go to songkick.com and add them to your profile, then you'll get emailed when they are touring in your area. I missed them too often until I did that, too hard to track them any other way.
Recently saw yob, who had never impressed me that much in their recorded work, but live they were amazing, slipped between most of the current underground genres with ease, amazing stuff.
Cy Thoth's radio show, Firebunker, every thursday 2 to 6 pm pacific time on kfjc.org streams, I try not to miss it. Kfjc is getting more and more heavy shows. He always asks the musical and esoteric question, how heavy do you actually want to get today?
I stumbled onto the new stuff listening to streaming black metal, there was one guy out there somewhere who streamed really excellent stuff, but then he vanished, and no other streams were as good, but that was my first inkling that something new was going on, plus being amazed to hear that something good musically was actually coming out of norway, sung in norwegian.
I think the genres are more for the fans than the bands, to me when any of these bands rips it up live it's just music, and the best thing I've seen or heard in this decade in any genre of music. Well, except for roky erickson, who was heavy before heavy existed, in ways most people are lucky to just dream about.
The new underground metal is the only music I've heard in a while that actually rocks, is heavy, and totally original.
Hair metal was just a commercial phase based out of LA, they had, literally, stupid 'how to be a heavy metal guitar/singer etc' classes, was all show, no substance. Just male versions of valley girl airheads.
I'd basically given up on metal since metallica released their very well titled 'load', which is about the most accurate title for a release, though it's missing the last two words. But looking back on it, and listening to the new crop, they are going for it even more than before, I see no compromise. Well, there were a few good ones that had some moments before, Brujeria from Mexico, Sepultura from Brazil.
If you live in the sf bay area, check out Aquarius Records on Valencia, it's basically dedicated to underground metal of all sorts, and they have a computer listening station so you can check out tracks. Amazing record store, continuing a tradition of excellence and the cutting edge ongoing for now at least 30 plus years, maybe more if they were around in the 60s, don't know.
Yes I'd be happy if they'd drop the overly growly style, I actually want to hear what they have to say, but bands like om and mammatus are clear so it's not all the styles that do that.
Meshuga is a bit too cold and technical for my taste, I was turned on to them by a norwegian black/death metaller currently living in sweden I met online in a totally non related context, they were his favorite though so I thought I'd check them out. Math metal is it called? not my thing, need the groove, and the above bands all deliver that big time.
Major regret being out of touch with this music for most of the early 2000s, would have been great to see sleep, early high on fire, om, neurosis, mammatus, all happening here in my back yard.
Normally I hate music hiking, but I'v had a few moments with some of the above sources, om/mammatus watching the sun set over the pacific in point reyes comes to mind, but I'm leaving that stuff behind now, want to hear what nature has to say, birds, all that stuff.