Despite the stereotype of a metalhead being this untamable wild beast of a human, a good portion of us like some seriously un-metal music. Hell, some of us even make some seriously un-metal music. So let’s dive into the electronica, retro-rock, and post-rock projects from current and past members of bands like the Dillinger Escape Plan, Soilwork, At The Gates, Scar Symmetry and Isis!
Earlier this year, The Black Queen put out its 1980s-influenced electro-pop masterpiece Fever Daydream, and it’s one of the catchiest records of 2016! The Black Queen consists of metal vocalist Greg Puciato (the Dillinger Escape Plan, Killer Be Killed) and trippy electronica wizard Joshua Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv, Nine Inch Nails).
If Deep Purple had formed in 1992 and had some slight power-metal leanings, I imagine they’d sound a lot like Spiritual Beggars. The group consists of guitarist Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, ex-Carcass), bassist Sharlee D'Angelo (Arch Enemy, Mercyful Fate), keyboardist Per Wilberg (ex-Opeth), drummer Ludwig Witt (Grand Magus, ex-Shining, and vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-Firewind).
Nightingale is the goth-influenced rock project of metal multi-instrumentalist Dan Swanö (Witherscape, ex-Edge Of Sanity, ex-Bloodbath) that was initially started as a solo outing in 1994. Swanö was then joined by his brother Dag (ex-Pan.Thy.Monium) in 1996, who plays guitars and keyboards, with a second expansion in 2000 that consisted of Erik Oskarsson (ex-Godsend) on bass and Tom Björn (Memory Garden, ex-Memento Mori) on drums.
The Night Flight Orchestra is… disco rock? That's the closest explanation one can give for this hard-rocking, straight-out-of-1975 group. The band has been around since 2012 and consists of vocalist Björn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork, ex-Darkane), Sharlee D'Angelo (Arch Enemy, Mercyful Fate), guitarist David Andersson (Mean Streak, Soilwork), drummer Jonas Källsbäck (Mean Streak, ex-Axia) and keyboardist Richard Larsson.
Anders Björler (At The Gates, ex-the Haunted) put out one absolutely mesmerizing solo jazz album titled Antikythera in 2013 and a demo for a follow-up in 2015, which he really needs to complete and get out into the world. Joining Björler (the only official member of the instrumental group) on Antikythera was drummer Morgan Ågren (Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects), bassist Dick Lövgren (Meshuggah), additional guitarist Carl Svensson, pianist Peter Wiberg,and saxophonist Anders Gabrielson.
Aside from a few guest musicians and additional help here and there, Christian Älvestam's 2012 solo EP was written and played entirely by the man himself. Despite the Enigma-tinged radio rock you just heard above (and won't stop singing all day), you might know Älvestam as the vocalist of such metal acts as Solution .45, Svavelvinter, Miseration or as the former vocalist of Scar Symmetry.
Palms is a hazy, slow-moving post-rock project that began in 2011 and steps right up to the lines of getting heavy without ever exploding into full-on fury. The band is fronted by Chino Moreno (Deftones) and has three-fifths of the legendary post-metal band Isis, including bassist Jeff Caxide, drummer Aaron Harris and guitarist Bryant Meyer.