Highlights from Underground Metal shows and releases

May 27, 2014 by Seriah Azkath

I am Seriah, host of "The Last Exit for the Lost," back for my second column here on Underground Metal and similar musical forms.

We start off with Inviolate, a band from Atlanta, Georgia. They have a unique sound, while not being unfamiliar sounding. They are metal, with a touch of electronics running through. They describe themselves as a mix of Disturbed, Celldweller, Static X, In Flames, and Lacuna Coil, and yes, that is pretty accurate.

Kadria and Inviolate. Photo provided.Kadria and Inviolate. Photo provided.Their vocalist, Kadria, is the only real member of the band, and she gathers together members of her local music scene to play live shows. It seems to work well. She did start out as a full band, but it slowly evolved into what it is. Kadria has a rather unique voice, very different from the throngs of female vocalists out there today, and she does some belly dancing while performing. She is a very driven individual, and it shows in their music and performances.

They have two releases out thus far: a four-song album in 2007, which is good, and shows a lot of promise, and an exceptional seven-song CD in 2012 called "Feast of Ashes." They played The Haunt last May, and are returning this coming Saturday, May 31st,  to play at Ivan’s in Cortland. You can check out some clips and interview from their Haunt show, and you can check out their music video for "Condemned," or visit them on the web at inviolate1.com. You don’t want to miss them at Ivan’s, where they will be playing with Sanjuro Fields (who I talked about last column), Mole and the Level Ants, and House of O'Brian. Doors open at 9pm, and it's only $5 to get in.

Now we move a little south to Orlanda, Florida. Meka-Nism have been around in different forms since 2006, and in their current incarnation since 2010. They released their debut four-song EP in 2013, called "The Dance at the End of the World." It’s hard to describe their sound. There are so many influences here, they really don’t sound like anyone else, nor do they fit into any particular category. They play Metal, but even that is not by any means a full description. The opening cut, "Tyranny Reigns," is quite aggressive. "Bring the Sun Back" (you can watch the music video) is an uplifting, slower piece that increases in intensity and as it moves.

The title track is my favorite on here, and starts off very somber, and builds. Rather beautiful and powerful, and it really picks up at the end. "Rise" is the final track on the CD and is more rocky and uplifting, which really is a theme. Meka-Nism is a very positive five-piece band, in the sense of being a light in the darkness. Their vocalist Meka has a very stunning visual presence on stage, as well. You can see what I mean in the video above, or at their web site, www.meka-nism.com. We also conducted an interview with them on The Last Exit for the Lost back in January.

Do you miss the more intense old-school Industrial Metal, like Ministry, old Nine Inch Nails, Bile, etc? Well, then, hERETICS iN tHE lAB are for you. Loud, abrasive, noisy, with some dark melody here and there, it’s not pretty music, but it’s damned good. I would compare this Norfolk, Virginia group to Downward Spiral era Nine Inch Nails, honestly. "Suture" is the second CD from hERETICS iN tHE lAB, which is really just one guy, H3. As with Inviolate's Kadria, H3 collects local musicians to play live with him. Unlike Kadria, who also collects musicians to play on her CD’s, H3 does almost all of the recording himself, aside from a couple of guest appearances. You can listen to an interview we did on The Last Exit this month with H3, visit their web site at hereticsinthelab.com, and check out their excellent video for "Slipped."  

And finally for this time around, Subrosa. This band blew me away on first listen. Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, Subrosa are rightfully carving a name for themselves, building a strong cult following (which helped them replace a bunch of stolen equipment late last year). Thus far they have five releases, starting in 2006 with "The Worm has Turned." Their sound has evolved over time, with the songs getting longer and more majestic, but staying sludgy and dark. Doom laden, sometimes beautiful, sometimes abrasive, they weave their way through sonic soundscapes in interesting ways.

Rebecca Vernon plays guitar and shares vocal duties with cofounder Sarah Pendleton, who also plays electric violin. Also on vocals and electric violin is Kim Pack. Rounding out the lineup, you have Christian Creek on bass and Andy Patterson on drums. You can hear a distinct progression between their debut and second release, "Strega," which came out in 2008. Aside from the expected improvement in production, the song writing matures a bit. "Trapped in Ice," a three-song EP, follows in 2009.

In 2011, Subrosa released "No Help for the Mighty Ones," and again, there is a progression on all fronts. This takes them closer to their current direction, more hypnotic and ominous. A bigger sound overall. The songs get a bit longer. And that brings us to the latest release, "More Constant than the Gods." Six epic songs, and an even bigger sound. Doomier. Darker. More Somber. Just mesmerizing at times. The opening track alone is over 14 minutes long. They remind me at times of an obscure band from the early '90s called The God Machine, but other than that, they don’t really sound like anyone.  They will be playing in Buffalo at The Tralf Music Hall, Friday, August 8th, along with Boris and Atlas Moth. You can visit their web site at subrosa.cc, and you can listen to an interview with them on The Last Exit from back in November of last year.

That’s all for now! Tune in to "The Last Exit for the Lost" on 93.5FM, WVBR, every Saturday night around midnight till 6am Sunday morning to hear music like this and much more every week. June is our 20th anniversary on the air, and it should be an interesting month. You can also check out past shows anytime at our web site, www.thelastexit.org. Thanks for reading.



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