Perhaps one of the touchiest subjects in all of music is the decision of when an artist or band should call it quits and throw in the towel“especially if they’re one of your favorites or an incredibly revered act. Some artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald or Willie Nelson, have the capacity to be great late into their lives; others perhaps not so much (at the risk of offending someone, I’ll let you think of your own here). In some instances, such as the case with Isis, they decide to call it a day before many fans were really ready or it seemed sensible to do so. Many people, including myself, were shocked and a bit saddened by the news that Isis decided to break with a fantastically crafted goodbye letter to everyone via their blog. But this wasn’t actually the end of Isis, not completely anyway.
Not long after their May 18th announcement, Isis announced the dates of their farewell tour, released information about the series of live EPs that would come a year later, and alluded to other plans that would would be announced in the future. Not too long ago now these plans came to fruition when Isis revealed the details for their upcoming collection, Temporal, which will be released on November 6th. This is a collection of rarities, unreleased remixes and each of the band’s music videos“not just a “best of” release.
Classic is a term used by people in the arts to define the highest standard of works; something that has withstood the test of time, something that has been inserted into the cultural canon. If we’re talking literature, we could use the Iliad or Odyssey as an example, or perhaps something more modern like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These works undoubtedly shaped their medium since brought into existence. But what about classics in the world of metal specifically? Compared to most art forms, metal is still in its infancy, being somewhere around 40 years old now. Are there really any works that can be universally regarded as groundbreaking and genre-defining?
Starting with the obvious, Black Sabbath‘s early albums have to be considered since they’re widely regarded as the forefathers of metal. What about their contemporaries and bands that came shortly after? Surely Motí¶rhead, Iron Maiden and others deserve consideration. For posterity, let’s just take the landmark works, Overkill and The Number of the Beast respectively. If we include Judas Priest, which of their works should be included? One approach would be the early work, something more landmark for less studied fans, but on the other hand Painkiller is one of the best metal albums of all time and quite a bit more aggressive than the band’s early material, making this a tough decision. The list of bands and albums goes on and on. (more…)
As mentioned a few weeks ago in my “OurStage Metal Veterans” post, Sioum are a band that are definitely deserving of a much deeper look. Born from “northern wastes of Illinois,” Sioum have crafted a blend of sounds all their own, based mostly in progressive, ambient and metal styles. Think of the most soundscape-based metal you can. Perhaps some obscure black metal, or some post metal in the vein of Isis. Now imagine taking that a step further, and you might be in Sioum’s ballpark. But, before you race to any conclusions, that’s not all Sioum does (if that were the case, why would they be featured in a Metal Monday post?).
As you likely already know, OurStage is a music discovery platform serving all sorts of great musical artists. Sometimes, though, there are bands that people should know about but, for whatever reason, don’t. Here are five awesome metal bands to put on your radar. They’re not OurStage bands (yet) but could very well be future superstars.