Theme Thursday: Fun and Quirky Metal

When the descriptors ‘avant-garde’, ‘cross-over’, or ‘experimental’ gets tossed onto a metal band many people tend to look away as thoughts of music that is too strange for their tastes comes to their minds.  And honestly, ya, sometimes that is often the case, but as always it is not de-facto.  So, as par for the course, I’m going to highlight some avant-garde bands that are some quality listens and have an experimental style that will appeal to those that don’t like anything too strange (to an extent, there will be a couple deeper cuts).  To take it a step further, the songs and bands in this collection will be more on an upbeat note leaning towards having fun with their music as they experiment with what can actually be done within the metal genre.  So, call ’em avant-garde, experimental, cross-over, or WTF metal, but don’t say that they didn’t make you smile.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Diablo Swing Orchestra

This Swedish band plays a brand of groove based metal accentuated with New Orleans swing, Italian opera, and cabaret.  They have 3 albums out (review for their latest coming very soon), each one of the filled to the brim with finely crafted tunes that will both make you want to grab you best gal and cut some rug and some that will make you feel like you’re in an Italian opera house.

Note: Not the actual band in the video below, just an extremely well made fan vid.


To Kontrust, what can be done to metal has no rules.  “Metal has to be brutal?” “Fuck that, we’re going to make it poppy as hell!”  “You can mix reggae, yodeling, and metal?”  “Well, fuck you, that’s why!”  Metal has to be angry!”  “Ha, look at how happy we are!!”  Listening to a Kontrust record is like listening to the sound of a metal purists heart being torn in two, and man do I love it.  Their music experiments more than a college freshman and partys harder than his frat brothers.

Stolen Babies

Taking some huge influence from the darker side of cabaret, California’s Stolen Babies have a style that is both terrifying and fun.  Their tunes have a hell of a groove and vocalist/accordion player Dominique Lenore Persi adds a nice bout of beauty to the songs with her sultry voice.  There Be Squabbles Ahead, their 2006 debut, is terrific listen and later this year fans will finally be graced with a follow-up record (Naught (October 16, 2012).


Until now, the bands featured here have been pretty tame, so time turn up the notch a bit with some deeper cuts.  If you ever wanted to know what 10 music genres would sound like being played simultaneously with extreme metal would sound like, here you go.  Canada’s Unexpect certainly delivers unexpected music and have been doing so since 1999.  Their latest, Fables of the Sleepless Empire, is one of their best records to date and is well worth looking into if you’re in need of some ‘challenging’ yet fun music.


Not to be confused with the suicidal depressive neo-nazi dipshit black metal band from Sweden boasting the same band name, Norway’s Shining started out as an acoustic jazz band and as they evolved they turned into this intense industrial metal mindfuck.  Use caution when listening, while the band is out there having tons of fun with their music, they do so recklessly and listening may cause seizures.  Tons of fun!!


Listening to Japan’s Sigh is akin to having your best nightmare come to life.  A band that pays no attention to boundaries many musical styles punctuate their album with NWOBHM, black metal, and classical music being the bands favorite go to realms.  If the Looney Tunes were to start a band, I bet they would sound something like Sigh.  Their latest release, In Somniphobia, is a beast of a record and one of my favorite albums released this year, listen to the whole thing here.

Mr. Bungle

To close out this list, let’s go with one of my all time favorite bands, Mr. Bungle.  In case you didn’t know, this was Mike Patton’s band before he joined up with Faith No More.  Fortunately, as part of his term of joining FNM, he also wanted to keep Mr. Bungle active.  Boy am I happy he did.  Each of their albums is completely different from each other ranging from funk laden clown metal to terrifying death metal tinged free jazz.  To pin a genre on Mr. Bungle is nigh impossible, but they do have metal in their hearts.

About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on August 30, 2012, in Metal Lists, Theme Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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