Figured this would be fun. I decided to go to the The Archives and click on the random band button to see what it'd give me. Lets discuss the first ten bands that it gave me:
Lord Ayphos - Brazilian death metal band that released one demo in '05 and have since split up. What a shame! I was expecting this to be mediocre, but it's actually pretty damn cool. Sounds very Brazilian, and nearly like a more melodic Torture Squad (basically meaning their music has less crunch in the guitar tone.) Here, 'melodic' refers to how their riffs only have a slight sombre edge to them - they never lose the unadulterated power of Brazilian thrash. You know what nasty Brazilian metal sounds like. If you're tired of all the Vulcano, Sarcofago and Precambrian Sep. you always listen to, put this shit on.
Darknation - Thrash metal from France with an element of heavy metal to it. Pretty boring to me, though I think it's just the slick production that kills it the most. Actually upon closer inspection, this is a traditional heavy metal album with a pseudo thrash guitar sound. Poppy, hooky choruses and flashy (but brief) leads pop up regularly in a fashion similar to Wilson's half face in Home Improvement - awkward and not necessarily welcome, but still kinda amusing (just like the show itself.) Eh, pretty middle-of-the-road and just not my type of thrash/heavy fusion.
The Eternal - Gothic/doom metal is what it says on their page. They're also...Australian? Is this gonna work? Can't you only be a good goth/doom band if you're European or Type O? Let's see what we have here. *begins playing songs* Well this sucks a lot less than you might anticipate, and it's really not what I think of when I think 'gothic doom'. Actually it's a pretty ambiguous label to me; I think of no particular band when I hear the term. Not My Dying Bride, or Type O, or Paradise Lost or Katatonia. I actually think it's a fusion that has a lot more room for outside influence than other genres, and I think The Eternal have done it in a way I've never heard. Some parts of their music are almost powerful, but others are just sort of there. Check them out though. It's really so middle-of-the-road I have no clue what to even say.
Evok'hate - A now defunct French deathcore band. After checking them out, it's a damn good thing they disbanded. Holy shit is this annoying. Being French and all, you'd think they could go for an exotic twist. They didn't. Apparently they thought it'd be fun to throw Animosity, Darkest Hour and oh I don't know maybe a post-grunge influence (who knows, I don't care enough to know) in a blender and ape the concoction until it was polished enough to sell in the U.S. I think I've heard everything this band has done before from other bands without even paying much attention to the other bands. Shallow and predictable and just dull as a 180 degree angle. Sounds considerably metalcore for deathcore too, which means it's that much worse. Geez, this makes me hope I don't get another French band.
Greatdayforup - Is it a great day for up? I think it's a great day for being surprised, because fuck me with an eggplant; this rocks! This is seriously like Kansas doing a rendition on stoner rock with all but the barest traces of heavy metal. If I read that description, I'd never check this band out, but shit, I dig this! Totally unexpected fusion of rock and traditional heavy metal from different eras between the mid 70's and early 90's that is both fun and engaging in a deeper way. Hard music to describe, but all stoner rock fanatics and heavy metal aficionados would likely be delighted here. I can even see old guys still obsessed with Leftoverture really getting into this. Kansas had about two good songs, tops, but shit, what a nice surprise!
Killin' Kind - Italian heavy metal with a debut called Metal Rage?! My word, I can hear it already. But I always double check my work, so let's check to see if my psychic powers are still nice 'n acute. *plays "New Killing Breed"* Well, the guitar tone has some beef at least. *continues* Fuck, that shitty strumming shit at the 20 second mark reminds me of shitty bands. *keeps going* Hmm, I think they just pulled out some cool shit @ the 1 min. mark. Let's see now....well, the rest of the song isn't too bad. A bit cheesy at times, but still fun and surprisingly tasteful. Let's check out "Standing in the Shadow." Hmm, kinda like the rest of what I've heard. It's actually not too bad methinks. Sounds pretty good tonight at least!
Guttural Intoxication - Before I even click to re-investigate, I'll bet this band is either South American or Bob Macabre's twenty trillionth project. Let's see. Oop, nope! They're still from good 'ol fucking Pennsylvania, though, so I'm sure they hang out with Bob and drink Coors and stuff. The band's profile pic shows that it's a duo made up of a Johnny and an Ian. Johnny looks a lot like a dude from high school I knew if he was trying to pull of a depressed punk Randy Blythe tough guy look. Ian, on the other had could only have been the child Shaniqua Johnson gave birth to after getting knocked up by Terrance Hobbs on the Effigy tour or something, because shit! Just go have a look. They're also clearly pissed (figuratively and literally) as they stand giving the tall finger salute to the camera from behind a mountain of empty liquor bottles. I can't fucking wait to hear this! *plays* Well I guess they make sure they're plastered for every recording session, because this shit is lazy as fuck. Maybe two or three times they stumble upon a cool nanosecond-long riff, but I was hoping for some sweet Colombian-styled brutal death reminding me of Carnal or Melting Flesh. It's about as tasteless as the Bombay Gin whose bottle they put in front of Spirits Peak.
Von Raeven - I think anything with 'Von' in it sucks. Von Dutch, Von the band, even Kat Von Dutch got ugly. So what do we have here? Well, it's obscure. It's from 1984, it's Belgian (I love Belgian brews, my hopes are now up!) and there are no reviews! I also can't find anything from them floating around anywhere. And I keep getting search results for some Norwegians called Von Raven. I'll try to hunt it down in the future, and maybe you can even look yourself. Metal archaeology is fun, c'mon! All we have to tide us over is this short bio from some quarter-assed official/tribute site with a wall of blue basalt as a background: "Hardly anything seems to be known about this strangely monikered band from the Burst / Aalst area. They most likely started out in the summer of 1983 and their line-up consisted of Werner ? (vocals & bass), Danny ? & Guido ? (guitars) and Morek ? (drums). All members had been in other bands prior to VON RAEVEN, although I have no clue as to which ones exactly. By early 1984 they had recorded a demo, which turned out to include a couple of hard rock tunes, while the remaining ones were more in the heavy metal vein. Their first live gig was set for April 15th 1984."
Hellblazer - The grinding German one, not the almost-nonexistent Turkish one. Think I heard of these guys years ago in like a March 2004 Metal Maniacs issue, but totally forgot about them until now. Weird, seeing as I can't seem to easily find anything about them right now. In my sleepy stupor, maybe I'll just say fuck it for now and hand this one over to Nok for Always Unprotected or something. I'm tired and want to finish this shit already. My loud keyboard is annoying me, so not being able to ramble on is awesome!
Holy Cross - Fuck, coming back to this days later, I can't recall which one it gave me, but since the Brazilian one has "power' and 'neoclassical' prefixes, I know it's really not gonna be my thing. Instead, we'll just go with the heavy/power one from France. Lets jam some stuff from Under the Flag, their sole full-length. Whoa, guess I chose wisely. It's not amazing, but I know it's better than the other one. These guys actually have some balls and chops they serve their shit on, despite sounding a lot like later era Iced Earth and not being exactly what I would want from this style. Anyway, three out of five stars, I'm done, and I'm headed for the waterbed. Lata!