Forgotten Gems 2

author PP date 21/12/09

Forgotten Gems is a series of feature articles on focusing on releases in our massive review database that the staff feels have either been forgotten as the years have gone by, or they were never given the recognition they deserve in the first place. Whichever the case, one of the following will likely happen: you'll either discover a fantastic small band that you never knew of, that could use all of your support (if they're still around), or alternatively you'll re-discover one of the albums you thought was great a few years back but now have completely forgotten it exists. Last time we checked out excellent releases by Since By Man, Tigers Jaw and Polar Bear Club. This time we're headed to metal, progressive, and outright classic territory.

Who doesn't love the feeling of discovering a band you've never heard of and realizing that they might just become your favorite band of all time? Be sure not to miss these.....

Anterior - This Age Of Silence

You know the years after Darkest Hour's seminal "Undoing Ruin" and the All That Remains classic "The Fall Of Ideals"? The years where the scene spewed out a thousand metalcore bands to your left, and when you turned right, you'd be facing another couple of thousand similar sounding bands, none of them particularly noteworthy? Yeah, I don't blame you if you started getting tired of the genre, we all did. That's why Anterior's "This Age Of Silence" was released at a very unfortunate time in music history, because this amazing piece of metalcore was drowned in a sea of look-and-sound-alikes and never caught on as a result. But if you listen to fantastic tracks like "The Silent Divide", "Dead Divine", "Days Of Deliverance" and "Scar City", you'll quickly notice that when it comes to songs, Anterior wipe the floor with all the clone bands despite sounding incredibly similar to All That Remains themselves. The riffs are blinding - think Darkest Hour at their best - and tightly executed, the choruses are memorable, and the screams have received just enough production to make it sound awesome but not overly polished. Not to even mention that breakdowns simply don't exist here. A criminally underrated release that could've been a classic had it been on a bigger label.

For the fans of: All That Remains, Darkest Hour

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Bear Vs Shark - Terrorhawk

Bear Vs Shark announced their break up precisely four years ago from today. They were the heart of Equal Vision records, a quirky band that defined what the label was all about. Only a few months prior to the breakup, the band had released their sophomore album "Terrorhawk", an explosive piece of post-hardcore that took its inspirations from the erratic unpredictability of At The Drive-In and the subtle aggression of Fugazi's indie-hardcore. Since then post-hardcore has changed drastically, but for me, this release stands as one of the best products from a genre that since has seen a similar over-saturation effect as metalcore described above. It's one of those albums where you can hear how volatile peace is between the band members, which manifests in indescribable passion and anger in every department of their sound. At times compact and in-your-face, at times spaciously destructive, Bear Vs Shark is one of the key bands in post-hardcore that have largely been forgotten, and never really discovered in many European countries where 'scene' didn't exist before only a couple of years ago.

For the fans of: At The Drive-In, Fugazi

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Bokor - Anomia I

These Swedish guys are almost certainly a completely unknown name to 99.9% of you readers, which is a shame, because it's extremely rare to meet a band who's able to craft such ingenious song structures that toy with your intelligence as if you were a toddler instead of a grown, thinking individual. Mixing together Tool-inspired progressive rock and a grunge vocalist may not sound like the best idea on paper, but wait to see how the band translates that into practice on "Anomia I". We're talking back-chilling passages, tempo changes, and moments where you can't but wonder if the people behind the music are genius. Not just instrumentally, but also on a larger scale because these songs are as catchy as they are complex. You can expect to spend weeks just awing the band's brilliant vocalist who sounds like Eddie Vedder and Maynard James Keenan combined.

For the fans of: Tool, Korea, Deftones, Soundgarden

Read the full review!

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