Soon after our recent mega feature with Belgian metalcore act MARK MY WAY and their crushing new album ”Thin The Herd”, we’re back with a special follow-up, presenting top 10 bands and artists that shaped them as a band. Make sure to bookmark and save this amazing listen for later and have a good read below.
𝑇𝑜𝑝 𝑖𝑛𝑓𝑙𝑢𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑠
Opeth is a band that I’ve slowly grown into, but of which I’ve eventually become a big fan. From a guitarist’s perspective, they always present such fine leads and solos that it’s tempting to rewind the song and enjoy them again. These guys surely influenced my music taste, reflecting in Thin The Herd. In fact, every band member should be mentioned for his musical dexterity.
Listening to Opeth, I feel that the guys behind it really connect musically and that they’ve discovered how to convey a certain state of peace through their music. We also strive for all of us to be on the same page when it comes to creating music. Another remarkable feature that I love is that they succeed in reinventing themselves on every new album.
Mastodon is one of those bands that just keeps on delivering. From the early days until now, they have been relevant and have been releasing a ton of great music. Throughout their evolution, Mastodon has remained very creative, always releasing refined and amazingly well produced material.
On top of that, Brent Hinde’s unbelievable guitar solos never fail to send the addictive shiver down my spine. Guys like him inspire us to create more technical and captivating solos. No question about Mastodons legacy, as they’ve had a major influence on a younger generation of musicians worldwide.
When I put on a Gojira song, I know I’m up for a sublime experience. Firstly, these guys are absolute masters of their instrument. Mario Duplantier is rightfully considered one of the best drummers of this era and I find brother Joe Duplantier to be equally ground-breaking in terms of metal vocals and guitar. Besides, all 4 Frenchmen know very well how to apply their crazy technical skills in the most inventive way, making their music sound both brutal and uplifting.
This is what makes Gojira unique and undeniably part of an elite group of pioneers. For years, they have been a constant value in my life. Seeing them do their thing is a huge motivation for all us to keep perfecting our skill, which we really tried to prove on Thin The Herd.
Behemoth is a band that really re-shaped my taste in music. I think Behemoth really influenced me with their ability to embrace a darker sound. They are amazing at creating a captivating atmosphere and transmitting those feelings of darkness, which are not necessarily bad feelings.
A song like At the Gates from ‘Thin The Herd’ is one where we also really went for creating an atmosphere. We want the instruments to play an equally important role in telling the story as the lyrics. And I think that’s something I really started enjoying when I discovered Behemoth by listening to their cd The Satanist. This really pushed me more into the darker side of metal/hardcore.
Power Trip’s ‘Nightmare Logic’ really made me love speed again. Their trashy crossover style and high energy songs always get me going. On Thin The Herd, there are definitely some of the fastest songs we’ve ever written. Just full pedal to the metal. Take Vae Victis for an example. Just some unapologetic riffing. We all love some of the trash greats, but the way Power Trip incorporates it with some amazing fast-paced hardcore-like breaks really does the trick for us.
In my opinion Arkangel is one of the most extreme bands around. And in so many ways. They really took edgemetal to a whole new level. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to experience it all first-hand but that’s my impression when I listen to those old bands. They sound harsher and grab you by the throat. I get the same feeling when I read the lyrics. Also, the straightforward riffing really does it for me. They have some kind of contagious cruelty or viciousness in their sound. This is also something we wanted to create more in our newer songs and you can surely say that Arkangel played a big part in that.
Bands like Liar put H8000 edgemetal on the global map. Influenced by the spirit of hardcore and their technical riffing, Liar created this whole new sound that is essential for modern metalcore and influenced a lot of bands from and around our area. It makes me proud to hail from the same region as them. Invictus is a real masterpiece to me. It’s over 20 years old now but it still slays. As we wanted to get more technical with our new album, Liar surely was a great inspiration.
The album that really got me into Nick Cave, was Skeleton Tree. I think I discovered this beautifully dark album at a right period in my life. Its dark, ambient, deep lyrics spoke to me immediately. Especially on this album, you hear Nick’s raw emotions that were caused by the death of his son. After reading a lot about Nick, I was intrigued with the way he manages to cope with this great loss. Mourning just got another dimension and is very representative in his music.
His latest album Ghosteen was, once again, a very heart touching album that can get me on a kind of trip only the darker metal albums can. And you have to admit, he just looks like the king of rock ‘n roll and has this kind of charisma that I fell in love with. He’s a living legend. Listening to storytellers like him pushes our band to tell captivating stories as well.
The first band that opened doors to another kind of ‘dark music’, was Joy Division. Unknown Pleasures will personally always remain one of my all-time favorite albums. The way it got recorded, Ian Curtis’ lyrics, the iconic album cover. It all makes sense to me.
Ian Curtis as an individual was also a guy with a lot of struggles at an early age. In some kind of way, I could easily relate to his lyrics or quotes. If you haven’t watched the movie ‘Control’, I really recommend you to do so. It illustrates very well how they were kind of pioneers in their own way of creating dark but danceable new wave, you could also call it early punk if you ask me. It was very inspiring to see how darkness can be used in music in so many different ways.
The band Amenra is something unique. First of all, its roots are local to us and they have managed to work their way up to the top of Doom metal. Something very remarkable about the band is that they take you on a trip with every record or show. These are the best live performances you could ever see. It’s conceptional.
Amenra embodies pain, anxiety, death in a dark but beautiful way. Their Church of Ra collective is also one of the most dedicated fan bases you can find and at the shows that community feeling is very tangible. Amenra manages to do something with your emotions you can’t explain to anyone who hasn’t been to one of their live performances. I only understood the concept once I saw them live. We really admire bands that are capable of working out a total concept around themselves. They are more than a band. They’re a movement.