France

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2015 turned out to be a good year when it comes to metal and it was a particularly good year for death metal. The year end list contenders have more representation from death metal than the other styles. If Affliction Gate’s new EP ‘Dying Alone’ is any signs of things to come, then 2016 shouldn’t be any different from 2015. These Frenchmen already have a couple of EP’s and a full length to their credit. The upcoming addition to their solid discography continues the trend of unleashing well written old school death metal riffs.

Affliction Gate Dying Alone

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When promotional blurbs claim a band to be “extreme metal”, the sound usually draws influence from a variety of metal sub-genres, making it hard to nail them under one category. This was my expectation going into Otargos’s sixth full length, ‘Xeno Kaos’. However, in the case of these Frenchmen, the sound is actually a straight forward mix of black metal and death metal, leaning a bit more towards the death metal side when compared to the band’s previous releases. At a time when I’m growing tired of the entire war metal scene, Otargos come as a respite with their sharp riffs and industrial undercurrents.

Otargos Xeno Kaos

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Some bands play it like it’s the 80’s, while some bands adopt the 70’s aesthetics. Bands like Véhémence (not to be confused with the US based melodic death metal band,Vehemence) go down right medieval. This is not claiming that the people in dark ages played second wave black metal. Rather, the riffs on this record have a definitive flavour that one might describe as medieval sounding. This is not necessarily a fresh idea as black metal’s fascinations with Vikings and paganism is very well known. More often than not, black metal band photos features axes and swords, and are usually set in a forest background. This fascination with all things medieval is captured quite nicely on Véhémence’s debut, ‘Assiégé’.

Véhémence Assiege

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Glowsun are a three piece heavy psych band based out of Lille, France. They’re a recent addition to the Napalm Records roster.  Having released two full lengths filled with stoner vibes before, with their most recent album ‘Beyond the Wall of Time’, Glowsun are putting out some of the tightest stoner psych out there.

Glowsun Beynd the Wall of Time

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