2017: Discoveries In Music, Part II
A recent signing of the always-reliable Riff Rock Records, UK two-piece Tuskar may be kids - at the moment, they can't drink legally in the States - but their musical knowledge belies their years. Recalling genre stalwarts like High On Fire and Conan, their debut EP Arianrhod not only sounds massive, but lays the groundwork for Tuskar to make a name for themselves in a crowded genre. Vocalist/drummer Tyler Hodges has a bellowing roar well-suited for epics like "Where Strides The Colossus", and guitarist Tom Dimmock fills the spectrum with enough churning riffs and dialed-in distortion that the bass guitar isn't missed. Expect good things from Tuskar in the very near future.
It's tough to go wrong opening a record with a Godfather sample. Crime loves heavy metal, goddammit, and they're going to tell you all about it. Checking all the legendary influence boxes - Venom, Bathory, Motorhead, Mercyful Fate, you know the drill - these two Chileans quickly establish their place within the South American scene with great songwriting and production to match. They probably wrote two albums in the time it took to read this, so go grab First Crime from Shadow Kingdom and get into it.
Rising from the ashes of the underrated Barn Burner, Dead Quiet do an interesting blend of sludgy doom and Seventies prog/rock, the latter becoming much more prominent on new album Grand Rites with the addition of keyboardist Justin Hagberg (ex-3 Inches Of Blood). While this most recent effort is seeing a release through Artoffact Records, it wouldn't be surprising to see Dead Quiet get snapped up by a 'name' label in 2018. The talent level is undeniable, and the layered, memorable songs can go toe-to-toe with anything Witchcraft, Graveyard or even Mastodon is doing at the moment. Dead Quiet is Canada's best kept secret, but hopefully not for long.