So far, I've had the chance to properly listen to two of the ten CDs from the grab bag
I got earlier this week. Wow, what a contrast.
Rotting Christ's Sanctus Diabolos
is so far the surprise hit of this bunch. Slow chugging guitar riffs are backed by droning atmospheric keyboards; odd bits of Gregorian chant, spoken word sections (in English and Greek), and the occasional weird sampled sound effect add additional atmosphere. It's like the soundtrack to an occult horror movie, in the best possible way. Pity about the band name, but it could be worse. (Oh, it could be so much worse.)
Vampires Everywhere!'s Kiss the Sun Goodbye
is, musically, reasonably well-executed uptempo punk-inflected metal, with plenty of fist-in-the-air group choruses. Despite the band-name, the lyrical obsession with love and death, and the cover art, it's surprisingly un-gothy, except for the odd melodramatic keyboard flourish. What really kills this for me are the vocals: shrieky screaming alternating with auto-tuned clean vocals. WTF AUTO-TUNE IN HEAVY METAL??? WHY?? I'm clearly not the target audience for this, but I think I might actually find it reasonably pleasant background listening were it not for the constant use of auto-tune.
Interesting thing I've noticed about the way I evaluate heavy metal bands: if I love a band, it's probably because of the guitarist(s), but if I hate a band, it's probably because of the vocalist.