Back in the primordial days of this here blog, we attempted something called “AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeo.” The basic idea was to select a bunch of unsigned bands and give them the collective review treatment to find the most worthy buried gems. It was our humble effort to remind folks that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal.
After several years of self-righteous elitism where we largely overlooked unsigned acts, it’s high time we make amends. And so we’re bringing AMGs Unsigned Band Rodeo back from the dustbins of history with a fresh paint job and a butt-load of new reviewers! Every other month we will pluck a band from metallic obscurity, review the holy Bejesus out of them and leave them to the mercy of you, the fickle masses. At year’s end we will crown the best in show and shower them with accolades, cheap beer and day old sushi. Now that you know the score, welcome to the Rodeo, mofos!
When we decided to resurrect AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeo, the goal was to find quality bands without label support and introduce them to the AMG readers. Along the way we came across enough interesting, talented acts to remind us just how much good music is out there deserving attention, from metal fans and labels. While the plan was to feature 2 bands every other month, time constraints limited us to just five features for 2017. We hope to make the Rodeo a more common feature at AMG so we’ll be scouring the filthy underbelly of the metal scene for quality acts to poke, prod and dissect. Run and hide all you like, but AMG always finds out.
And that leads us to the crowning of the undisputed Rodeo Champion for 2017.
Sar Isatum exploded out of the Rocky Mountains in 2017 with a rather striking debut by the name of Shurpu. These young chaps learned well from masters like Watain, Emperor and Dimmu Borgir, forging a cold, menacing black metal assault with doom accents and just enough symphonics to give everything a grandiose feel. Where Sar Isatum really succeeds is keeping the music heavy yet still fairly accessible. Tracks like “Black Gate” don’t require an advanced degree in Quorthon Mechanics to appreciate, and the band rips along like seasoned pros throughout.
On the strength of Shurpu, we expect Sar Isatum to be signed very soon, but until that happens they can bask in the warm glow of their title as AMG Unsigned Band Rodeo Champion for 2017.
Check out their Bandcamp page and watch these cats closely going forward. Sometimes really good stuff comes in unsigned packages.