Instrumental bands never really had a fair shake in metal. We’ve moved from the guitar histrionics of the 80s and 90s (Satriani and Vai maintaining a steady popularity, though your own mileage may vary) to ultra-technical progression with the likes of Animals as Leaders and Scale the Summit. But the majority of press, accolades, and recognition always seem to heavily favor bands with vocals, which is more than a little ironic considering so much of vocals in extreme metal is often unintelligible without a lyrics sheet.
I’ve always been partial to instrumental bands who skirt the mainstream trends of the genre, focusing on melding genres and structures in an effort to put the emphasis on composition over technicality. Stinking Lizaveta have been leading the charge when it comes to this brand of music for over 20 years, and new record Journey to the Underworld continues charting new ground for striking, adventurous music. Continue reading