FACE YOUR UNDERGROUND XXI
BELGIAN METAL SAMPLER
01 Reject The Sickness – We All Burn
02 Valkyre – Buried Alive (ft. Liv Kristine)
03 Cuttermess – The Madness
04 Behind Bars – Predator
05 Cult Of Scarecrow – Sacrosanct Men
06 Noord – Prophet
07 Soul Collector – Live After Death
08 Our Common Sense – Abyss
09 One Zillion Decibels – Deep
10 Catalyst – Sustainable Dignity
11 Steegmoord – Breaking My Chains
12 October Changes – The Dark Paradise
13 Waves Of Decay – F.I.N.E.
14 Myotis – Salvation
15 Splendidula – Void
16 Wound Collector – Execution In Chaos
17 Sartramus – Sudden Fear
18 Mordkaul – Dress Code: Blood
Face Your Underground, a concept in the Belgian underground scene. The first compilation sampler dates from 2003. Now in 2021 they are up to volume 21 and 22, still with a variety of delicious underground gems in the most diverse styles that Belgian Metal cherishes.
Reject the Sickness opens this 21st volume with “We all burn“; a fresh fierce mix of melodic death and furious metalcore on a bed of groovy darkness. It’s immediatly a slap in the face and longs to the days of massive moshpits and windmilling.
Valkyre taps with “Buried Alive” from the symphonic metal vessel. On this track the vocals are perceived by the Norwegian angel Liv Kristine. Their sound is drenched in melody and flirts with power metal and fantasy. In their own words they play steampunk, which really covers the load. If you dig bands as Nightwish, Kamelot and Therion you should really give them a try. You won’t regret it.
The great thing about samplers is the diversity. Cuttermess treats us on cutting riffs, dynamic grooves, driving basses and tearing vocals all cast in a raw razor-sharp crossover of hardcore and thrash metal with a straightforward, no-nonsense DIY punk feel.This makes me happy, they have my blessing!
Behind Bars plays noble hard-hitting hardcore mixed with groove/thrash metal with a great heavy sound and full of energy. This is a real powerhouse which must be a massive liveband. Really looking forward to see them somewhere on a stage.
The pace is going down with Cult of Scarecrow, but the intensity does not diminish. Their doom is on an intravenous drip of old school thrash/heavy metal. It’s all very severe with a very dark sound.
Than we have Noord. Progressive modern metal with lots of influences from the metal spectrum and a lot of groove. “Prophet” never really jumps out of control, which breaks the spell and disrupt the flow..
Soul Collector plays by own saying Vampire metal, which can be described as solid punching gothic metal with harsh female vocals. So don’t expect a soprano, but a rather angry woman’s voice. Also the frivolity that’s often present in the gothic metal has made place for sinister darkness which of course explains the Vampire style.
Our Common Sense goes deeper in the depths of the underground with massive groovy psychedelic post-metal. The band find its foundation in sludge and stoner. The walls of sound is solid and full of raw emotion that penetrates to the core.
Next up a solid portion of rock by One Zillion Decibels. Catchy, easy in the ear and even radio-friendly. IMO an outstanding outsider between all the other metallic tunes.
With Catalyst back to the metal and more specific to the progressive melodic death. The clean vocals are the weakest link, which brings the whole down a bit in their powerfull sound.
Steegmoord grabs you right by the throat. A very dark mix of progressive stoner and melodic thrash is what they serve. It’s after the 4 and a half minutes that you think, hey what are the lyrics about? That’s the moment you realise “Breaking my Chains” is an instrumental. The song is very straight-forward and ends very sci-fi, leaving you longing for more work from this band.
October Changes serves us a thorough fusion of industrial and gothic metal equipped with the necessary electronics and a symphonic touch. Besides the dark character it still is very catchy, which makes it a caress for the ear.
Waves of Decay flourishes with some sturdy thrash-influenced power metal. Musically this band is really solid, but I’m not really fond of the vocals. They sound a bit forced which makes it all not really comfortable in the ear. Still fans of bands like Iced Earth and Symphony X should really check this out.
Myotis is a real power house. Melodic progressive metal with a lethal hardcore injection. A lot of anger is packed into their tight sound.
Splendidula surprises us with a blend of industrial and sludge on a bed of doom. The whole is very heavy with lot of atmosphere which results in a cold dark anxious sound. The filthy depressive grunts are in contrast with the angelic female vocals, still they complement each other to perfection.
Wound Collector stands for straight forward death metal w/ a saxophone. What?! A saxophone, yes a saxaphone, and hell it sounds fabulous. In fact it’s a real asset to the sound. If you like your Death Metal brutal and progressive and don’t mind a small step outside the box, you are on the right place with this fine combo. But also if you dig bands as Morbid Angel, Deicide and Suffocation you’re on the right adress. Looking forward to see this one live on a stage.
Sartramus plays their death metal more Gothenburg style. Wonderfully tight with a solid sound. “Sudden Fear” is an awesome precursor that makes you long for more. Defenitly food for At The Gates fans.
The honour to close the 21st edtion is reserved for Mordkaul. A real bomb to end with, which also certainly makes you think of At the Gates and associates. From second one the Gothenburg style grabs you by the balls and it’s impossible to keep your head still on this “Dresscode: Blood”. Referring to the saying, FYU saved the best for last.
More info: facebook.com/fyusampler