Below The Light #7 – Nerdier Than A Really Nerdy Thing

It’s the final Below The Light of 2020, but rather than scraping the barrel at this point, I’m mourning the stuff I had to leave out to fit this stuff in. So don’t worry that it’s too late to include these in your top 20, just wait a few months from when you realise something in this blog should have been in there, then lie and say it was all along.

This one has a largely grim mood to it, even finding a fairly morose power(ish) metal record, but ends in the most cheery black metal record of the year. And takes in something so nerdy, I think my glasses duplicate themselves and get stronger every time I listen to it.

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Below The Light #6 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Metal

In the penultimate round-up of stuff that seemed to fly under the radar in 2020, we’ve got the usual multinational selection you can use to help avoid the sickly feast of Christmas schmaltz you’re probably drowning with. So whether you want something grim, something heavy, something catchy, or something apocalyptically violent, there’s probably something you can use to drown out Mariah.

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Below The Light #5 – 2020 black metal special

2020 has been a cracking year for black metal, to the extent that lower profile gems aren’t just common enough to be littered throughout all the Below The Light columns so far – they are enough to form an entire column. So this is it.

Here’s a whistlestop tour of under-the-radar black metal from all across the globe, and in the entirely predictable wide range of interpretations – and that ends in a record whose geographic inspiration is very appropriate for an item called “The Googly“…

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Below The Light #4 – Enter The Drakum

Below The Light is back with a collection of stuff wot you might ‘ave gone done missed guv, innit. This one is, frankly, all over the shop, even by the standards of the first three of these.

We have something grim and Dutch, two somethings from southern Europe that sound far more northerly, something French and absurdly technical, something Swedish and brutal, and something Swedish and so camp the physical copy should come with a cravat (and the digital download come with a Kenneth Williams gif).

And then some stuff that’s just plain weird – but might be the best of the lot…

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Below The Light #3 – A night at the Operus

If there’s one thing I love, it’s spicy hummus. That’s not relevant to this column, but I’m going to need it for an overstretched analogy in a minute, so I thought I’d make it clear.

But another thing I love is shouting about albums I think are great that I don’t see enough love for, so I’m back with another selection of underappreciated gems from 2020. And this one is, even by the standards set so far, a fun one. Except for the first pick. That’s about as cheerful an Alan Bennett monologue on dropping your hummus on the kitchen floor, slipping in it, falling, breaking your glasses, and viewing that as a metaphor for your life. Or something…

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Below The Light #2 – For whom the bells toll

This installment of my rolling heavy metal ICYMI [Paul Rudd here, actor and certified young person… – Ed], we’re off to France (twice), Italy, Belgium, Australia, USA (if they promise not to mention politics, anyway), and even drizzly old Blighty. And even this edition’s Googly is proper good, so you had best read on.

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Below The Light #1 – No pace like Rome

In the first of a (potentially… if anyone reads them) regular column, I round up some under-the-radar heavy music. Full details of how it works are on the about this blog page, to save making this intro boring and long.

This edition features some filthy doom, catchy power metal, something really unusual from Azerbaijan, and something slow about Rome.

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