The Mainstream’s Top Five ReverbNation Picks – Metal to Alternative
There’s so much great music floating around on ReverbNation that it is extremely hard to narrow the bands/performers/singer-songwriters available there to a “Top 5.” Being drawn to all things metal to alternative, I managed to pick out 5 bands that I either really fell in love with or really want to see get the exposure necessary to garner them more attention, and thusly, a better chance to better their craft. Okay, let’s get started:
3 Days From Dying: These metalheads from Chicago are the polar opposite (albeit within the same dimension of rock guitar) of fellow ReverbNation artist The Locals. While not quite as polished as some of the other metal acts on ReverbNation, their songwriting and technical skills, even if not quite as accomplished as some of their peers as well, are rock solid. Drawing from a host of metal influences and mashing them together to create some pretty great rockers, 3 Days From Dying make excellent use of both acoustic and electric guitars in standout tracks like “Every Day” and “WInter Tears.” Other tracks like “7th Day” thrash mightily, but suffer a bit from rather mundane vocals that are obviously James Hetfield influenced, but don’t quite deliver the weight. Overall though, 3 Days From Dying remain a band to watch.
KillDevil Theory: Slightly more accomplished, and definitely more eclectic, than 3 Days From Dying is KillDevil Theory from Tularosa, NM. Blurring the lines between rock, hard rock, and metal, KillDevil Theory boasts great vocals (by lead singer Deanna Crane), heavy riffs, and solid songwriting. Blazing straight up rock solos are everywhere and unique synth atmospherics abound. Together they make tracks like “Hysterium” and “Ambushed” sonic treats for the adventurous metal listener. With a unique sound, something rare these days amongst rock bands, KillDevil Theory has a really bright future.
Anaria: The still up and coming, yet musically accomplished, symphonic/operatic metal/metal band Anaria from Boston, has already opened for bands such as Sick Puppy and Lacuna Coil, and already have the ability necessary to headline their own tour once they get enough exposure. Their first major single, “Into The Flood” brings to mind the type of soaring transcendent power of genre pioneering Nightwish’s new single “Elan.” While they aren’t on Nightwish’s level quite yet, the potential is there, and Anaria is another great ReverbNation band to keep an eye (and ear) on.
Darker Still: Moving away from the metal genre, Darker Still from Ontario are a highly accomplished blues/rock/folk outfit with a full bodied and reverberant sound. Chunky guitar riffs, resonant drums, and solid bass lines dominate here. Singer Tony Bertucci’s rock/soul vocals are top notch and he manages to pull off every emotion from mischievous to heartbroken throughout their ReverbNation eight song sampling. “I Had It All” is the perfect blues/rock song. “Weak Threads” is the perfect outlaw/alt country song. It’s breezy riffs and rhythms are as soothing as they are catchy. There’s some really great progressions here. “Could There Be” is perhaps the collections best track. It’s packed with some beautiful harmonies, vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, and lyrics. It’s such a great song. This band is really something special. They are easily one of the best bands highlighting ReverbNation right now.
Sirsy: Easily one of the best bands featured on ReverbNation, Sirsy, from Albany, NY, which consists of Melanie Krammer (percussion, vocals) and guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Rich Libutti, is truly a powerhouse duo. Accomplished musicians with some of the most interesting and polished rock/soul/alternative/indie pop songs, none of which are flawed in any perceptible way, Sirsy is a real one of a kind band. There are plenty of male/female duos recording this type (or slightly more edgy) music currently, like the also great Whitehorse, but there is something that is above and beyond the norm where Sirsy’s music is concerned. Melanie Kramer’s powerful and soulful vocals are instantly recognizable within her genre, but are powerfully individual enough to make you pay more attention than you would any other average singer in her genre. The only singer I can compare her to, in terms of genre reinvigorating not necessarily range and strength, is Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard. That’s some spectacular company for Melanie. Sirsy’s standout single, which is also perhaps the most widely accessible, is “Killer.” It encapsulates everything great about Sirsy. Melanies vocals, tinged with a bit of soulful snark, are simply incredible. Rich LIbutti’s solid rock guitar work is impeccable. It’s simply astonishing the amount of sound these two produce on their own without a full band. The video is pretty grand as well. “Brave and Kind” takes the listener in a totally opposite direction. This quietly powerful song sung and performed with an equally quiet and powerful sincerity is simply nothing short of sublime. “I am blood/I am bone/I am not afraid” sings Melanie. They’re lyrics that might seem simplistic or even trite if sung by anyone else, but when sung by Melanie they take on the power of a mantra. Sirsy is the kind of band that only comes along once in a decade or so. There one of the few bands out there that you simply MUST be listening to.