In the past few years, I’ve came across a bunch of bands from Spain delivering a modern melodic death metal sound with a Swedish flavour. This Swedish approach on Spanish heavy metal mostly developed in the Basque Country area. I’ve been following some of these bands for years and just discovered a couple of them in the last few months. Even though we can’t claim this is the dominant metal movement in Spain, there are definitely a good number of bands here which are worth a listen. So let’s check ’em out!
The first act I want to highlight is Rise To Fall. I already spoke about this band on The Circle Pit a couple weeks ago, about the same time I decided to write this post. I’ve been following them for years now, from their debut “Restore The Balance” (re-released in 2010) to their latest album “Defying The Gods” (2012). Their style, very close to recent In Flames, will catch you with the exquisite creations of guitarists Hugo and Javi and the unique vocals of singer Dalay Tarda. They will be on tour in Ukraine and Russia very soon and are also largely appreciated in Japan. And, obviously, they’re greatly appreciated in their home country. But sadly they’ve hardly spread to the rest of Europe and North America. Check them out below or go get some more infos about them in our recent dedicated post here.
NoDrama is another band that deserves to be discussed. They’re definetly the “softer” band on this post since they’re more focused on a traditional rock sound, but the nordic melodeath influence is still strong on this band. So they end up delivering fast and energetic melodic metal, with a hard rock attitude and some small melodeath hints. The great voice of their vocalist pushes forward among with the amazing instrumentation delivered by the whole band behind him. Thier latest album, “The Patient”, came out in 2012 and had a good run in Spain and the surrounding European nations. In fact, NoDrama will be on tour around Germany in May! Check out the video for their song “The Bite” below!
The next band on our list is focused on more traditional melodic death metal, bringing it back to its real Swedish roots. Their name is The Descent and they’re from Bilbao, same town as Rise To Fall. Their latest album “Dimensional Matters” is an amazing melodeath statement and you can definetly hear it from songs like “Winter Hell” and the first single “The Day After”. They’re really amazing!
Hailing from Arrasate we have another Basque band, Darkness by Oath. Just like The Descent, they have an authentic take on melodic death metal. In fact, they’re probably the fastest and most extreme act on this post. They formed back in 2002 and have released three albums since: “Confidential World Of Lies” (2006), “Fear Yourself” (2009) and “Near Death Experience” (2012). The last two got them some exposure in the US, Canada and the rest of Europe. This gave them the opportunity to play festivals like Zabbaduschder Open Air (Germany), Barbarian Fest (Belgium), Revoltallo Festival, Girona Metalfest (Spain) and to share the stage with acts like Dark Tranquillity, God Dethroned, Warbringer, Neaera, One Man Army and the Undead Quartet, Haemorrhage, Angelus Apatrida, Kataplexia and many others. Give them a listen below!
We’re closing with Jotnar, a younger band recently signed by Coroner Records (same label of NoDrama and Rise To Fall). Their latest release, “Giant”, featured five tracks with an aggressive, modern take on melodic death metal. It was mixed and mastered at Perfect Fifth Studio in Canada. The band performed a lot of promotional shows in Spain, had some appearences in Swedish festivals, and even played at Slovenia’s MetalCamp 2012! You can discover them below with their lyric video for the song “Perfect Lie”.
It has to be underlined that most of the bands above are from Basque Country, a unique section of Spain. So, from a geographical point of view, it’s a well-defined and located movement. It gives these bands a strong identity, cohesion, mutual friendship and support making it a great example of what a local metal scene should be \m/