Reader submissions: Bands from all over the world actually care what we think?

When I started Meat Mead Metal last year, I didn’t know what would really happen. I didn’t know if people would read it or even care, and I didn’t plan to whore it out all over the place because I didn’t want to be obnoxious. I wanted the thing to grow organically and gradually. I’m pretty damn happy with how things have gone.

Here we are, 1.5 years after launch, and we’re getting ready to unveil our Top 40 albums of 2012, beginning Monday, Dec. 17. I’m really excited to have compiled the list (and I’m still battling with myself a bit over some of the rankings) and having a chance to get some comments from the bands listed near the top. You can read those from Dec. 24 through Dec. 31, taking a break on 12/25 for Christmas. It’s a landmark series for the site, and I can’t wait to get it going.

Even more astonishing to me than the increased readership this year, the retweets and Facebook posts by various labels and bands directed to my work, and now again being featured on a band’s main site, is the submissions from readers with links to their own groups’ recordings. It might sound silly, but I was flattered to get so many unsolicited submissions yet a little angry with myself that I didn’t get to a lot of them. Well, I didn’t ignore any of you and I listened to everything sent my way (at least I think I did), and today I want to present a few of the recordings I liked the most. I am making a promise to myself and you, the readers, that I will pay greater attention to this area next year so that bands looking for some honest feedback to their work, and a way to get their name out to more people, can be done through us. So thanks to everyone who sent me their music. I’m flattered you think that much of my opinion.

serpentsFirst up is Denver-based, filthy doom crushers In the Company of Serpents, a band that is a rock-n-roll-punished brand of grit that reminds of High on Fire, Motorhead, and Black Sabbath. The music is riff-fueled and roughed up, which gives the songs a proper sense of grime, and the two-headed beast of Grant Netzorg (guitars and vocals) and Joseph Weller Myer do an excellent job bringing the thunder and storming madness to the five cuts found on their self-titled debut. After a fitting, smoking intro, the band tramples into the bad-ass, bluesy “Dirtnap”; the melodic, crunch-filled “Immolation,” that will burn you down; slow-driving, molten lava-filled “Malice”; and epic closer “Canto III Inferno,” a punishing song that also gets dressed in drone, trancey fog, and howled vocals. This is a killer effort from a band that, after a little more seasoning, will be ready to sign up with in indie metal label. They also sound like they’d be excellent to hear if you were in your backyard burning a bunch of shit or trying to find something that’ll help you blow off some steam from the week. Remember them. I know I will.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy or download their album, go here:

tomeTriple-headed doom-sludge band Tome hail from Ireland, and their “MMXII” demo is a one-two gut punch that’ll leave you heaving for air. The music is lo-fi and super muddy, and the vocals are practically buried underneath 10,000 pounds of rock. The two songs “In Fire and Ash” and “Void Cantation” basically act like one piece, with “In Fire” having more of the growling and Sabbath-style affinities, while  “Void” is built more on noise and ear-piercing instrumental madness. It’s a really hellish, dark experience, and it’s worth tracking down if you like truly roughed-up, abrasive doom. It can be downloaded from their Bandcamp site (find the link below), and they actually sold out of their original running of green cassettes. Into the Void picked up from there and put it out on blue, and it’ll serve you well if you feel like being crushed to death in under 20 minutes. I could see Southern Lord, in their current mind frame, potentially being interested in this band down the road.

For more on the band, go here:

To download the album, go here:

To buy the cassette go here:

promiscuityIf ever there was a band born and bred to be signed by Hell’s Headbangers Records, it is Israel’s Promiscuity, a black-n-roll band that blends charred death metal and thrash along with sweet leads and riffs most American bands forgot how to play years ago, and it all makes for one hell of a great time. Their music makes me think of the glory days of the first wave of black metal and bands such as Venom and Hellhammer, but they also make me sink a bit into “Wolverine Blues”-era Entombed. Of all the readers submissions that landed in my inbox, this was the one I had the most fun hearing, and I’ve gone back again and again. “Infernal Rock n Roll” kicks off with a sample of “Rock Around the Clock” that wraps and snaps, only to have these three guys – Butcher, Werewolf, and Dekapitator — rush in for the assault. “Crime and Punishment” also is a blast and gives you one hell of a kick in the ass; while “Gybenhinnom” is a little dirtier and nastier, but it still has rock-solid chops and incredibly fun guitar work that will sound great with a cold beer. Or a hundred. Metal can be a little too serious sometimes and often forgets to be fun. Promiscuity solve that problem a hundred-fold. Great stuff.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

eyes ofSwedish duo Walls of the Eyeless are an ambitious, aggressive group to put it lightly. Their music can be compared, roughly, to Cult of Luna and Altar of Plagues, and they certainly give you no time to rest during their music. Their songs are constructed of a ton of different parts, and if you’re not paying close attention, you can lose your place in a hurry. That’s the one criticism I have of the band’s music is that they have a little too much going on. You don’t get a chance to really know what these guys are about because they change things up so much, but they certainly show a ton of promise. Opener “The Hands” has one of the better guitar riffs I’ve heard anywhere in metal all year. Fresh and inventive work, and that grabbed my attention right away. That’s a major strength throughout this “Through Emptiness” demo. “Do We Belong Here” has some classical guitar work and ambiance; “Wall of the Eyeless” has thick growls, more solid guitar work, and suddenly a proggy section that soars into space. Closer “The Rain Song” is heavy, yet melodic, takes on a primitive feel, then thrashes sort of like early Prong. Good stuff, and with some self-editing and focus, they could be scary.

For more on the band, go here:

To get the album, go here:

Or here: