Avant-garde Metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

Avant-garde metal, experimental metal, or art metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music characterised by the use of innovative, avant-garde elements, large-scale experimentation, and the use of non-standard sounds, instruments, and song structures.

The term avant-garde metal refers to bands and musicians who "incorporate new and innovative elements in metal, who break conventions, tear down walls, violate borders." The genre has also been described as "the art of creating deep and strange atmospheres by experimenting with new instruments and sounds, strange vocals, unconventional song structures, rhythms and harmonies, unusual lyrics or uncommon artwork" or alternatively, "progressive, psychedelic, surrealistic, phantasmagoric, expressionistic, dissonant or extravagant interpretations of extreme metal."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avant-garde_metal

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Bosh66
  • siLLy puPPy (leader)


avant-garde metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

SIGH Imaginary Sonicscape Album Cover Imaginary Sonicscape
SIGH
4.48 | 28 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
KAYO DOT Hubardo Album Cover Hubardo
KAYO DOT
4.49 | 20 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ARCTURUS The Sham Mirrors Album Cover The Sham Mirrors
ARCTURUS
4.33 | 55 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
GUAPO Black Oni Album Cover Black Oni
GUAPO
4.64 | 5 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
KAYO DOT Choirs Of The Eye Album Cover Choirs Of The Eye
KAYO DOT
4.24 | 54 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ARCTURUS La Masquerade Infernale Album Cover La Masquerade Infernale
ARCTURUS
4.21 | 42 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM Of Natural History Album Cover Of Natural History
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM
4.21 | 37 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious Album Cover Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious
DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA
4.20 | 26 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Leaving Your Body Map Album Cover Leaving Your Body Map
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL
4.16 | 50 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Bath Album Cover Bath
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL
4.15 | 56 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CELTIC FROST Into the Pandemonium Album Cover Into the Pandemonium
CELTIC FROST
4.17 | 31 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SHINING Blackjazz Album Cover Blackjazz
SHINING
4.19 | 22 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

avant-garde metal online videos

avant-garde metal New Releases

.. Album Cover
Pike 275 - Dreamthread
Album
BUCKETHEAD
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Epic Loon OST
Album
PRYAPISME
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Molekh
Demo
MOLEKH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Geometria
Album
THY CATAFALQUE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Deeper Underground
Album
KEKAL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
HyperCut
Album
HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Avatar Country
Album
AVATAR
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Helian
Split
JUTE GYTE
Buy this album from MMA partners

avant-garde metal Music Reviews

BUCKETHEAD Pike 275 - Dreamthread

Album · 2018 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
.

B U C K E T H E A D ~ Pike 275 - Dreamthread

2nd album of 2018

EIGHT tracks that clock in at 29:41

All instruments played by the chicken lover himself

After several years of a seemingly endless output of material with the years 2014-15 having found 178 Pikes alone, 2018 has been quite the surprise as we enter in the month of August and B U C K E T H E A D is only releasing his 2nd PIKE of the year titled DREAMTHREAD.

The main reason for this absence of new music has been due to a heavy touring schedule finding BH at a coop near you which i found myself viewing the chicken lover in a live setting for the very first time in lovely Berkeley, CA.

I was beginning to wonder if the folks at KFC tired of the blasphemous use of their greasy grub packaging donning BH’s head for so long and put a lock on the coop and stealing his guitar. Lo and behold the eclectic one is back just in case you missed a new album every day :o

The opener “Hypnagogia” by definition is the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep such as in the phrase “hypnagogic state of consciousness” and BH gently lulls out the perfect sleepytime nightie night night music. Much like the mellow PIKEs of the past, this one somnambulistically meanders on placidly with a gentle rhythm, background ambience and delicately strummed guitar strings.

And then the true surprise! Just when i thought this was going to be one of those mellow only PIKEs, “Thread 1” becomes one of those shapeshifters starting out with a heavy metal thunder and then alternating between weird electronica and free form rock that mixes it up with energetic metal outbursts. Yeah, this is the BUCKETHEAD that i was waiting for! Nice Jedi mind trick with the opener! This track is pretty much all over the place and i love it!

“Thread 2” changes the mood to a slower metal piece but then erupts into a guitar solo and electronica frenzy. Another shapeshifter as it ventures into funk and then thrash metal and there’s really no need to continue track by track since the “Thread” series jumps all over the place ranging from the hypnagogic dreaminess of the opener to funk metal to thrash metal to hyperactive jittery electronic freakiness. Guitar riffs are aplenty as are solos. Rhythms, timbres, dynamics and tempos shapeshift with no rhyme or reason.

This is my favorite type of BUCKETHEAD album but i have to admit it’s not adding anything new to his overall collective of styles on his PIKE series. He’s simply recycling all his tricks and trinkets that he’s always relied on. The tracks are all performed brilliantly and the production is totally cool. I love listening to this even if it’s not breaking any new ground and great to finally see a second BH PIKE emerge from the egg factory.

PRYAPISME Epic Loon OST

Album · 2018 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
PRYAPISME makes a surprise return only one year after their previous “Diabolicus Felinae Pandemonium,” in the form of a full album instead of a short EP like those that filled the five year gap between “Diabolicus” and “Hyperblast Super-Collider.” France’s best known genre bending maniacs bring forth their fourth full-length release EPIC LOON OST which serves as yet another testament to their love of old school Nintendo games, archaic VHS tapes, disco and metal all wrapped in a warped sense of humor regarding their favorite furry mascot, their Russian gray kitty cat. So expect another playful romp into their fantasy world that teeters on the edge of a psychotic breakdown! I mean just look at some of the track titles. “For The Smile Of A Child With A Dolphin T-Shirt” and “The Best Vacuum Cleaners Were Produced During The Cenozoic Era!”

EPIC LOON OST is a whopping double album of material clocking in at the 78 minute mark and serves as the soundtrack for the video game of the same name that narrates the adventures of four aliens who invade pastiches of 80s and 90s cult movies. While the video game manufacturer set obvious parameters to shape their warped fantasy world to their liking, they gave PRYAPISME the green light to derive as much inspiration as they wished to stuff in as many disparate ideas as they possibly could. Once again this true disciple from the Mr Bungle universe cranks out their usual-by-now unusual mix of avant-garde metal, brostep, chiptune and Raymond Scott inspired cartoon music in playful psychotic glee.

The soundtrack consists of 29 individual tracks with many playing out at under the minute mark and a scant few making it over four minutes. Although genetically related to PRYAPISME’s previous output, it’s obvious that this one was tamped down to serve a purpose rather than stretching out to infinity and beyond. While i can appreciate the music to this larger video game universe, i’m afraid i’m missing out on the context for which these tracks were created and for anyone aware of modern day video game music which can be epic in scope, much of the purpose is obfuscated although a general feel can be evoked.

While there is much to love on EPIC LOON OST, point blank this album is waaaaay too long for a single listening session. The bouncy and bombastic cyber metal laced with all kinds of prog rock, glitch, electronic accoutrements in instrumental fashion delivers the usual PRYAPISME schizoid charm, EPIC LOON OST seems to be too much of a good thing with many tracks being merely OK. Such is the case with many soundtracks for me. While perfectly constructed for coinciding with the visuals they were designed to merge with, as a sonic experience only some of them aren’t blockbusters in their own right. This is another pleasant slice of the PRYAPISME universe but not as cool as their previous albums but probably isn’t supposed to be either.

FABULAE DRAMATIS Solar Time's Fables

Album · 2017 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Fabulae Dramatis are a multi-national, Belgium-based avant-garde/progressive metal band formed in 2011. Their theme is story-telling through lyrics the myths and and beliefs of world cultures. Fabulae Dramatis was founded by Colombian-born Isabel Restropo when she recruited Hamlet of Transport Aerian and Colombian-born guitarist Daniel Dias to work on some material she had originally written while performing in a metal band in Honduras. Along with a host of guests, they released their debut album "Om" in 2012. Five years later, with a six-piece band in place, the sophomore album "Solar Time's Fables" was released.

With a bigger budget and two producers, the sound of the new album was seen as improved over the first. In my opinion, the album's sound quality is terrific. In fact, such quality is necessary to capture the charm of Fabulae Dramatis' music. Metal at heart, the band explore well beyond the traditional confines of a metal album by incorporating various instruments such as sitar, harmonium, saxophone, and djembe. But that's only part of what makes the band's songs and music special. On this album, there are four lead vocalists: Wesley Beernaert (growls and clean vocals), Isabel Restropo (classical/operatic vocals), Isadora Cortina (classical/operatic vocals and harsh vocals), and Hamlet (clean and harsh vocals). With each vocalist providing two different vocal styles, the songs benefit with a variety of voices and vocal expression. So, with a triad of diverse vocals, diverse instrumentation, and heavy metal, Fabulae Dramatis have established themselves as a band doing things differently. One could also point out some hints of Hamlet's prog noir style emerging here and there.

The first four tracks, showcase the band's metal side but with their other two talents strongly represented, particularly in the vocals. "Agni's Dynasty (Fire I)" was the first single and has a video on YouTube. For me, these first four tracks are an excellent welcome to the band and brings me back to the growled vocal style that I really got into the previous year. From "Sirius Wind" we take the first of many steps outside of metal. Clean guitar and saxophone are joined by bass and drums and then Isabel's vocals. There's almost a Renaissance (the band) feel to the song yet in an eerie and mysterious tone.

"Coatlicue Serpent Skirt (Earth)" opens with a suggestion of something different yet again but after 55 seconds the guitar leads us into another metal rocker with soaring vocals. Then there's "Nok Terracottas (Mud)", a short but once again haunting track with Isabel's beautiful voice and her whispers, "Sculptured figures talk". The song is a second diversion and although it is short, it is welcomed.

"Forest" is an instrumental track which is soothing and interesting. We get to hear Isabel's sitar playing on here. This is followed by "Roble Para El Corazon (Wood)" with an accordion intro and a kind of southern European serenade that becomes a bit more metal as the song progresses but still the melody of that accordion keeps its place. "Smoke for the Clouds (Anhuiran's Water)" reminds us that the band is very capable of being a melodic death metal band when they are up for it.

The final track "Barren (Gravel)" features some excellent vocals by Hamlet plus a duet by both classically trained women. It is slow, mournful, and powerful.

"Solar Time's Fables" has a terrific balance of metal and exotic sounds. Each song is created with some connection to an old myth or story, and as I mentioned above, having the variety of vocals on this album really adds to the freshness and intrigue. Unfortunately, "Om" is not easy to find on CD, but the download is available. I've been enjoying "Solar Time's Fables" for the last few weeks now and the album continues to captivate me.

MOLEKH Molekh

Demo · 2018 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
One of many young metal bands emerging from the shadows of the underground, MOLEKH made an appearance on Wisteria Records’ behemoth of a compilation “Metal Madness Vol. 1” and was one of the bands that appealed to me the most. The band formed in Dublin, Ireland but judging from the names of the band members, they all seem to be of Polish descent. In January 2018, they released their very first demo available on Bandcamp ( https://molekh.bandcamp.com/releases ) which offers a short taste of three tracks not offered on the Metal Madness comp.

The name MOLEKH is a variation of Moloch, Molech, Milcom or Malcam which is a biblical name of a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice, so you know you’re in for some extreme brutal and gory metal with this one. Likewise their three track titles are associated with gods, mythology and occult themes such as “Tophet” which refers a location where child sacrifice rituals took place. Nice cheery subject matter, eh? Well this is fucking metal in all it’s full glory here.

While the MOLEKH demo is a mere 14 minutes and 17 seconds long, it’s quite the beast of extremities. The overall sound is a polished hybridization of black and death metal glazed over with psychedelic atmospheres and avant-garde angular riffs. On the death metal side of the equation, the music is a fast and furious romp with heavy percussive drive and a steady stream of death metal gusto complete with tortured growling vocals.

On the black metal side, they takes the avant-garde weirdness of Deathspell Omega by utilizing dissonant angular riffing that display an off-kilter counterpoint to the steady rhythmic drive that is fueled by an energetic hyperdrive percussion that displays blastbeats that provide the scaffolding to let the guitar riffs buzz all over the place around them.

MOLEKH deliver a mature sonic feast of bombast as they find a midway point between the chaotic swirls of angular jangly guitar riffing and an accessible head banging groove. The production offers a nice mix of different vocal parts that actually do evoke a sacrificial vibe in the air. While the psychedelic aspects are minimal, the overall effect is quite trippy as the lead growls, guitar, bass and drums all have uniquely separate roles that create a greater sum of the parts. This is a band to look out for.

SMOHALLA Résilience

Album · 2011 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Wriggling sonic worms rippling through the undulating waves of the cosmos.

What are they putting in those macaroons? France has always been a nation that has taken the arts to places no one thought possible and that’s not only true in the kitchen with French food registering high on the yum-o-meter but in the 21st century, this is the nation that has been killin’ it in the extreme metal market all across the board but especially in the cross-pollinating fertile possibilities of black metal and beyond. Emerging somewhere from the Normandy region a band called SMOHALLA formed in 2006 and presented a new strange form of metal that gives credence to a new subgenre that could be penned “psychedelic metal” since despite it’s black metal connections, takes the listener into the far reaches of the space rock continuum and just happens to add a touch of metal gusto in fully adrenalized fashion. The band got their name from a 19th century Native American prophet from the Northwest region of the USA and the name means “dreamer” in the indigenous Sahaptin language. And what a perfect name for this band that exemplifies the most surreal of soundscapes that simulate the dream state more than anything remotely traditional compositionally speaking.

After two EPs the band that consists of Slo who handles the guitar work, percussion and vocals, Camille Giraudeau who handles bass and A.L. who conjures up the electronic wizardry and programming, finally released their first full length album RÉSILIENCE in 2011 and takes their space cadet ride presented on the first two releases goes for the jugular. Once again SMOHALLA boldly goes where no other metal band had gone before and created a bizarre concoction of dark ambient, operatic classical, progressive black metal and trip hop, only they take it to even stranger world as if the multiverse is collapsing on itself and various genres of sound are battling it out to dominate the successor of the throne. Seriously folks, music does not get more bizarre or surreal than this experimental and psychedelic sonic feast of avant-garde run amok. Imagine musical constructs that flow more like clouds slowly in the sky with subtle variations deviating from what preceded in a never changing structured yet formless march through time. That’s exactly what SMOHALLA deliver and on RÉSILIENCE they take these attributes to even more extremes.

Musically speaking, SMOHALLA develop small melodic riffs that blossom into an infinite number of variations that take form. Much like second wave black metal that utilized a simple riff that in the case of SMOHALLA seems mostly derived from Western classical sources but as the repetitive blockchain of riffage oscillates into the future, liberties are taken to differentiate the time signatures, dynamics, instrumentation and focus which at any time can bleed into another totally unrelated musical motif. While similar to the previous EPs, RÉSILIENCE is more relentless in its brutal attack and layering of styles over each other to create an extremely busy and surreal effect. One of the main elements includes progressive and tremolo picked angular black metal riffing which sometimes exhibits angry and raspy vocalizations and also employs clean Enslaved like vocals on their most progressive 21st century releases with similar chord progresses that are funneled through the schizoid grinder and given a healthy dose of acid blotter for good measure. The other major player is the atmospheric bombastic accoutrements that echo an epic soundtrack of clashing worlds while subdued choral utterances struggle to break through the caustic din.

The whole album flows with a trip hop sort of backbeat and even feels like it flagellates like a paramecium in a petri dish as the rhythmic pulses undulate like waves and exhibit the same unpredictability that the ocean does as it pummels the coast. Dream states come to mind when half baked ideas sputter into nothingness and suddenly drift off into completely new territory but not in a startling way but more in a connective way that creates bridges between randomness. Very strange stuff on this one and one that is perfect for those who crave totally tripped out metal that takes the listener on one of the farthest reaches of surrealistic sonic journeys. This is one of those albums that i can never quite grasp. It’s like wrestling a giant jellyfish in a bathtub and never knowing what’s really within reach. It’s just tangible enough to grasp rhythmic patterns and melodic embryos yet somehow leapfrogging counterpoints distract and disorient all reality. If you want WEIRD metal, then look no further than SMOHALLA. This will surely be too bizarre for most but recommended for those who crave the most intense WTF experiences possible.

avant-garde metal movie reviews

No avant-garde metal movie reviews posted yet.

Artists with Avant-garde Metal release(s)

avant-garde metal Index

Member Zone

Username:
Password:
Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Cybernetic Memories Deathcore
COBRA CYPHER
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Sound of Steel Neoclassical metal
EXMORTUS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Ember Atmospheric Black Metal
TRAUTONIST
Buy this album from MMA partners
Okeanos Pagan Black Metal
FIRTAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Passage Melodic Black Metal
OUBLIETTE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Megadeth - Lying In State
MEGADETH
Tupan· 20 days ago
Megadeth - Super Collider
MEGADETH
Tupan· 20 days ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online