Visual Kei, Lobster Metal and Chilean Thrash - METALLUM MILITIA Returns

Visual Kei, Lobster Metal and Chilean Thrash - METALLUM MILITIA Returns

- By Alexander Jones

Guest columnist Alexander Jones of Undeath explores extreme music's great unknown and braves the "Random" button of Encyclopaedia Metallum to uncover metal's next hidden gem.

For the latest installment of the Knotfest monthly column, Metallum Militia, our extreme music frontiersman Alexander Jones of NY death metal outfit Undeath again hits the "Random" button of Encyclopaedia Metallum with cautious optimism. 

The game of chance thus far has afforded some interesting highlights with extreme music's most niche corners being explored. For this month's edition, Jones features entries from Tokyo, Japan, Orange County, California and Santiago, Chile with a field that spans from thrash to grind to symphonic power metal - how's that for diversity!

Check the current edition Metallum Militia with Undeath's Alexander Jones below. 

Country of origin: Japan
Location: Tokyo
Status: Active
Formed in: 2002
Genre: Symphonic Power Metal
Themes: Astronomy, Fantasy
Current label: Repentless Records
Years active: 2002-2017, 2018-present

Welcome back for another edition, Metallumers (“Militiamen” felt a little too politically charged/gendered)! We’ve got a doozy of a first band for you this week – Tokyo’s Ancient Myth, who have been slugging it out (delicately and with great finesse I’m sure) in the symphonic power metal arena since the beginning of this century. These guys kind of ride the line between the European power metal theatrics we know and “love” and the visual kei excess of their native countrymen, all with kind of a Corpse Bride-meets-steampunk-convention aesthetic bent. Look, if you’re already keyed into this kind of shit, you probably don’t need some Upstate New York hick like me to tell you about this band because your bedroom is almost certainly already a shrine to them, and if album titles like “ASTROLABE IN YOUR HEART” and “ABERRATION: ‘AG’” don’t pique your interest you’re already checked out. I would say if you own at least one pair of goggles, Ancient Myth might just be your new favorite band.

Country of origin: United States
Location: Fullerton, California
Status: Active
Formed in: 2022
Genre: Grindcore
Themes: N/A
Current label: Unsigned/independent
Years active: 2022-present

Chalk it up to blind ignorance, but I wasn’t aware that Orange County was lobster country. As a born-and-bred East Coast lifer I sort of innately associate those gooey, delicious bugs with the brackish waters of New England, not Steven Seagal’s birthplace (thanks, Wikipedia). Alas, here’s LOBSTER SLAUGHTER, a one-man grindcore act (naturally) dedicated to, for whatever inexplicable reason, killing Lobsters. Or is it lobsters killing people? No concrete answers to be found there, unfortunately, but you still get pretty much exactly what you’d expect with this band – programmed blast beats, pitch-shifted vocals and a single demo that clocks in at under ten minutes. I’m not convinced that Lobster Slaughter is going to revolutionize the wild and wacky world of bedroom grindcore, nor am I convinced that they want to, but I do know one thing with absolute certainty: I’m hungry now.

Country of origin: Chile
Location: Santiago
Status: Active
Formed in: 2007
Genre: Thrash Metal (early); Death/Thrash/Black Metal (later)
Themes: Satan, Ritual, Sacrifice
Current label: Dark Descent Records
Years active: 2007-present
ADDITIONAL NOTES: The band's name was taken from the Destruction song of the same name.

Now we’re talking. Chileans and extreme metal are like peanut butter and chocolate – it’s always just a flawless combination. The history of metal in South America is a rich and storied one that’s bursting at the proverbial seams with fantastic bands, but Chile specifically has always been the nexus of metal supremacy to this column author. Invincible Force are certainly no exception, and the brand of death-thrash they play is about as vicious and relentless as you’d expect considering they spawned from the same country as bands like Pentagram Chile, Atomic Aggressor and Torturer. They’ve got an album called “SATAN REBELLION METAL” for fuck’s sake. You need this band in your life, assuming you aren’t a wimp, or even worse, a poser.

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