Musical surprises come in various forms and sometimes even within the most cliched tropes, bands manage to escape mimicking their peers with creativity and the will to truly express themselves through pre-defined methods. Here we look at three songs outside the metal universe that attempt such concepts with varying degrees of success.
Secret Shame – “Dark”
A chorus drenched melody in the Phrygian Dominant mode opens this Post-Punk song as two layers synths form the basis while the guitar floats on top and plays typical Middle Eastern melodies. The band use this base for the vocalist to soar on top. A great voice that lets emotion take over with a strong vibrato that isn’t quite pitch perfect but seeks to entice the listener into ecstasy with some great catchy melodies. The rhythm guitars only exist to add more punch to the overall sound but the song does not suffer from this. The song works in short cycles that seek to build tension and explode in mini climaxes before the synth introduces a melody and the vocals hold on to longer notes and concluding the song perfectly. A great start for what should be a powerful modern Post-Punk album that will be released in September.
The Fierce and the Dead – “Truck”
Starting off as a basic rock song but with a taste for unconventional motifs within the melodies. The band eschew vocals to escape pop arrangements and allow their progressive spirit to further reveal throughout the song. Various ideas sneak in through the gaps of the stop-start rhythms. Eventually after a few ideas have been exploited as the band counters each of these ideas against the primary melody as a bouncing point towards other melodies, the band introduces a clean guitar melody that works with the distorted guitars to reach towards a climax that asserts its place at the top before slowly ending the song. A good song that works very well outside the box but the melodies could have been given much more time to develop as at times it feels more like a pastiche of ideas than a song.
Annapurna – “Fat Tire”
Very modern Math rock that relies on complex rhythms, constant time changes, melodies coming in randomly and going. It represents what Metal has become but here it actually works because it doesn’t seek to shock the listener or to make them dance through the syncopated rhythms. It takes the modern Metalcore style and decides to make a relaxed song to listen to while doing something else. Due to the random nature of the arrangements it has no memorability but it does manage to reconcile two opposite states of mind, serenity and hyperactivity. A truly curious yet enjoyable listen.