7 underrated rock bands you need to hear
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The world of rock music is a very scary and confusing place. It’s a world full of moshpits, stage diving, walls of death and crowd-surfing. But still, almost everyone has heard of the giants of rock and metal, from AC/DC to Metallica to Bullet for My Valentine. But sometimes we need to celebrate the underbelly of the music world: those talented bands that are nowhere near as big as they deserve to be. To try and rectify some of that injustice, here’s a list of some of the most underrated artists in rock/metal music today. Massive Australia’s biggest hard rock heroes are the criminally under-appreciated Massive. The Melbourne four-piece channels the sound of national treasures AC/DC to create a rebellious, anthemic, groovy sound that is guaranteed to get heads nodding and toes tapping all around the world. Massive gained the attention of some of the British underground metal community when their debut album – 2014’s Full Throttle – was released as a free CD released with an issue of Metal Hammer. For a record that good to be given away for nothing to metalheads is borderline insanity, but with Massive’s second album – Destination Somewhere – dropping in April, we’ll soon be able to tell whether the promotion paid off. Wilderun With their sophomore album Sleep at the Edge of the Earth getting a slot on my list of the best albums of 2015, I just had to include Wilderun here. The Boston-based quartet is easily one of the most musically diverse bands I’ve heard in a very long time, being able to fuse folk rock and technical death metal to generate a truly unique sound. Experimenting with instruments such as dulcimers, autoharps and acoustic guitars, Wilderun represent a true meeting of the old and new. Their burial deep within the underground of the American music scene is most likely a result of the fact that folk music – especially folk metal – just isn’t anywhere near as popular in the States as it is in Europe. And that’s a discrimination they are doing their absolute best to dissolve. Messenger Hailing from London, progressive psychedelic/folk rockers Messenger won over fans and critics alike in 2014 with their debut album, Illusory Blues. The record demonstrated that you don’t have to be heavy metal shredders to be progressive, as Messenger rock out unique riffs using almost entirely acoustic and clean electric guitars. The calming vocals combined with gentle percussion create a truly enrapturing and tranquil experience, with some moments of hard rock thrown to appease the naysayers. With a second album coming out in April, Messenger are a band you’d better keep a keen eye on in the near-future. Dendera Often touted as one of the most entertaining heavy metal bands in the south of the UK, Portsmouth’s Dendera has rocked with many big names over the last five years: Evile, Sepultura, Fozzy, Anvil, Skindred and Alestorm just to name a few. Not to mention their upcoming shows supporting thrash titans Exodus and Lost Society, along with headlining the Southampton Annihilation Festival. Since 2013’s The Killing Floor, the band has been blending modern thrash metal musicianship with grand, NWOBHM-style melodic vocals. It is an unmistakably English combination previously embodied by groups like Xentrix, Reign of Fury and Savage Messiah.
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