7. Black Breath- Heavy Breathing
Black Breath isn't like other Swedish death-influenced grind/hardcore (e.g. Trap Them, Nails, The Secret, Early Graves, etc.). First of all, there's no grind whatsoever- it's all hardcore. Second, while the other bands merely take influence from bands like Dismember and Entombed in their riffs, Black Breath clearly rip those bands off.
Here's Black Breath's songwriting strategy: lay down a nice d-beat hardcore song and then put some Entombed riffs in. On some of the songs like "I Am Beyond" and "Virus," the riffs are more subtle. The buzzsaw sound is present, but the band is merely riding the riff and for all intents and purposes, you're listening to a hardcore song. Then there's songs like "Black Sin (Spit on the Cross" and "Escape from Death" where the riffs are definitely not subtle and aside from the fact that the frontman is doing hardcore shouts and there's some d-beat drumming, you're listening to an Entombed song. No doubt about it.
Now, I'm sure I just made this band sound completely unoriginal. Well, fuck that. They may not be the most original band on the market, but the way that they are organizing their clever rip-off scheme is original. Plus, it's a fun record.
Recommended songs: "Black Sin," "Escape from Death," "Wewhocannotbenamed"
6. Melechesh- The Epigenesis
I'm not gonna lie, I don't really know how to describe this band's sound. Black metal? Sort of, but not exactly. Melodic black metal? A lot of people have said that, but I don't really see how. Then again, I don't really listen to melodic black metal.
Okay, so let's go with melodic black metal, then. Well, Melechesh is from the Middle East, and supposedly they have some folk influence. Well, aside from the two boring Nile-esque instrumental tracks, I don't really see the folk. But honestly, it's a shame that I don't know how to describe the sound of this album. It's sorta thrashy, I guess, and at times a bit death-metal-ish, too... And unlike most black metal, the production on this album is amazing. And that's not just in regards to other black metal- this album's production is actually really damn good
Look- just listen to it. Okay? At least to one song. Do me a favor, because I have no idea whatsoever how to describe these guys. NO! Fuck that- you'll be doing yourself a favor by listening to them
EDIT: I've got it. It's avant-garde black metal. When the foundation is clearly black metal, but it's a pretty big deviation from the standard black metal sound (e.g. Cobalt). That being said, however, I don't know of any other bands that sound quite like Melechesh. I think that's where the real problem lies...
Recommended songs: "Sacred Geometry," "The Magicians and The Drones," "Defeating the Giants," "Negative Theology"
5. Landmine Marathon- Sovereign Descent
This is another band whose sound I cannot describe very well. I'm gonna try to make this quick, though: modern-day death/grind with heavy Bolt Thrower influence and female vocals.
Anyways, this album is pretty awesome. It sounds like nothing else I've heard before (established above) and is just a maniacal assault on the ears. There's a bunch of different influences, too. Ironically, the two most popular songs on the album, "Exist" and "Shadows Fed To Tyrants," are by far the weakest in my opinion. In fact, the second half of the album is much, much better than the first half with the possible exception of the third song, "Cruel Policy." That song is simply amazing, probably one of my top five songs this year if I made a list (and maybe I should...
Recommended songs: "Cruel Policy," "Justify The Suffering," "Steadfast Hate," "Chained by The Same Fate"
*I get a lot of albums from my brother's iTunes. Oftentimes, I think iTunes screws up the transfer process. Up until tonight, I was not aware that there were nine tracks on this album. So excuse me*