Homonymous Face-Offs

A band name is not always a unique characteristic. Sometimes, it’s just that it’s a rather common word, other times, it’s just a cool-sounding word, and some other times still it’s a bunch of independent underground acts that pick the same name not knowing others already used it. Sometimes, it can lead to confusion, and in extreme cases to legal procedures, but most of the times the bands simply decide to coexist and share the same name. Funnily enough, I’ve discovered more than one band trying to access another one’s page, just because it had the same name, so there is some benefit to this after all. Biologists would call that “Vavilovian mimicry”, or at least something very similar to it that hasn’t been described yet.

Here, I just wanted to show some homonymic entities and briefly describe them both. In most cases, both bands are good, even if they are often quite dissimilar. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the battlegrounds. Hopefully you will learn of many bands worth your time!

Acrania — Mexico vs. UK

Right. I know I just said that most of the times both are good, but here the clear winner is Mexico’s Acrania. I’m simply not a huge deathcore fan, and the way the Mexican twin uses latin jazz into progressive death metal is just absolutely wonderful. Check out my review of their latest album, Fearless.

Alkymist — Canada vs. Denmark

We have a doom metal face-off of Alkymists; preferably disputed on Hans Island, between Canada and Denmark. The two are at pretty even forces, here. I prefer the compositions of Montreal’s Alkymist, but, you know me, I despise programmed drums in most instances, and that’s where their Danish competitor makes points. While I’m personally less drawn to their compositions (which are still very decent!), their overall sound feels much more alive. Go Denmark!

Anomalie — Austria vs. Canada

Atmospheric black metal vs. nu-jazz. That’s a pretty unfair challenge, isn’t it? Fortunately, the two bands excel in their respective genre, and so I highly recommend you give a listen to both of these amazing acts! Check out my review of Canadian Anomalie’s Métrolope.

Aphelion — Canada x 3 vs. USA

A four-way free-for-all between three Canadian and one American Aphelions. Wow, I guess that’s a really cool name. I’m sure there are more examples out there, but these are the four I actually listened to. Beyond just the name, they all share an uncanny similar taste for progressive or technical death metal. As for which is the winner, for me it would have to be Mississauga’s one, because of just how ridiculously technical their album Primordial Era is. PS: don’t name your band “Aphelion”.

Being — USA vs. UK

Being – II: Nyx on iTunes.

Given, there are probably a billion other bands named “Being” out there. These two are the only two that I know, however, and I think they’re both worth checking out. The American one made big waves during the late djent era. The latter didn’t make such waves, but quietly released two EPs of nice atmospheric blackened doom metal. I’ve got to give this face-off to Florida’s Being, though, because I followed the project since their first demos and EPs in my early adulthood and the album has made itself a kind of a place within me. Check out both, though!

Cyclamen — France vs. Japan

While both bands have been around for approximately the same amount of time, we can’t hide the fact that the Japanese progressive metal project has been on the lips of more people. However, the French post-hardcore unit is not something to sleep on either! As it stands, I’d be more willing to give the upper hands to them rather than the more popular Japanese act. Indeed, while they have released some absolutely fantastic albums, I’m more than disappointed of the more recent releases of Japan’s Cyclamen…

Daeva — Russia vs. USA

While Russia’s Daeva released a pretty cool progressive metalcore/djent EP, back in 2017, Philadephia’s has churned out an absolutely monstrous one! Their blackened death metal is pretty amazing and slightly ridiculous. So, yeah, States win!

Decipher — Luxembourg vs. Singapore

We like the Luxemburger Decipher. We even premiered a track for their latest album! But they have strong competition from the Singapore market! Granted, both bands play a drastically different genre of music; the Europeans play melodic progressive death metal while the Asians play alternative post-hardcore. Honestly, both are great at what they do, no need to fight here.

Doggo — USa vs. USA

Whether you find it funny or cringy, at least two bands have chosen Doggo as their name. The Texas one plays instrumental progressive metal, while the Washington state one goes for math rock. I have to say I preferred Texas Doggo’s previous EP, which was more post-metal sounding, to their more recent OG God one. However, I need to declare Seattle’s Doggo the winner of this face-off, with their punkish math rock attitude and characteristic sound. Please make more music!

Entheos — Canada vs. USA

Here, it’s really about what you like the most: the progressive, blackened post-metal of Québec or the technical death metal of the States, because both are amazingly good at what they do. Everybody knows the American supergroup involving members from Animosity, The Faceless, Animals as Leaders, and more, but few know of their independent homonym. In fact, I stumbled upon them while looking for American Entheos’ bandcamp page, and decided to give it a spin anyway. It was with their album Ototeman, and I thought “Yeah, this isn’t bad!” So I stuck with them, Le Zahir is an improvement on their already impressive sound, but I’ve got to say that it’s even more impressive to listen to live (which I had the chance to witness). The bass on the record is just too quiet for the music’s sake, but I can’t encourage you enough to give sometime to Canadian Entheos. I’ll give them the win, just because I’m vouching for the underdog!

Heron — Canada vs. USA

Another Canadian-American battle! This time, with Herons. We have two radically differing opponents: the Vancouver quartet plays sludgy post-metal and the Warren, Pennsylvania one instrumental post-rock. For real, both are quite good! The sludge purveyors play abrasive and unforgiving, if a bit repetitive songs, while the shoegazers have a certain knack for harmony and song progression. Different strokes, similar quality: draw!

Human — Italy vs. UK

Human is such a common and important word that there must be more Human-named bands out there, but these are the two that I’ve got, and they’re also quite different. Italy’s humans play technical death metal while UK’s ones are into experimental jazz! Contemplating Soliloquy is really good, but wow! that Fractured Lands album is just so good! It’s quite minimalistic and contemplative; a very rewarding experience!

Kitsune — Canada vs. USA

British Columbia vs. Florida, both post-hardcore, and both amazingly good. While writing this, I have to listen to songs from each album to be sure my memory is not missing out, and while I was playing “Faceless”, on Braver, I felt the irrepressible urge to listen to the whole album again. Swancore as a subgenre can be good or bad, but these Canadian fellas are achingly good at what they do! Like, Florida’s foxes are really good too, but they are no match for how exquisite their Canadian duelists are! Point: Canada!

Modulus — USA vs. USA

Wow. I just realized that Minnesota’s Modulus is the solo project of Mitch Schooler, now bassist for amazing death metal band Sunless! That’s amazing, because I never knew that, and I’ve been on board with both bands! Anyways, the project is a brain-melting mathematical assault of instrumental progressive metal. The other contender is a technical death metal band so old you can only listen to it on their Myspace page! They released a demo, Prototype, and disbanded, which sucks, but their material was very promising and intense. At this point, I doubt either will release new music, but I can certainly hope both will.

Morrow — UK vs. USA

I’ve talked about both Morrow and Morrow on the blog before, and both are more than worth some minutes of your time. The British are into hardcore while the Colonists are into atmospheric black metal, and both play their cards right. The punx play with a cello, which is nice and pretty rare in the genre, while the official Morrow are still very young and display high promises through their art. Check out both!

Ni — Austria vs. France

I’ve been a long time adorator of France’s wild and eccentric avant-prog band Ni, and more recently deceived by the similar-named Austrian avant-prog band Ni. It turned out that the Austrian piggybackers also proved to be capable experimenters, and their album Dedoda was great and a lot of fun to listen to. However, it doesn’t suffice to take French Ni’s place at the top of the pedestal. Nevertheless, both bands are amazing, and I want to hear more from both! Keep it up, yous!

Palm — Japan vs. USA

Two very different countries; two very different Palms. Pennsylvania’s Palm explores an off-centre indie pop close to experimental math rock and jazz, and their last album, Rock Island, is just purely fantastic! On the other hand, Osaka’s Palm will soon release To Live Is to Die, to Die Is to Live, an abrasive and relentless grinding hardcore album that is at least just as great as Palm’s indie jazz-pop but in a completely different scene. Praise both, with both hands, palms to the sky.

Systems — USA vs. USA

These are two bands I’ve liked for quite some time now. I remember finding Terrasomnium through a guitar forum, and it was amazing! Their very own way of writing music really puts them apart, in the progressive death metal realm. Moreover, this was Chaney Crabb’s (of the aforementioned Entheos) former band, it seems she’s not lucky with band name exclusivity! So, when I wanted to find their bandcamp page again I stumbled upon Ghost Medicine instead, and, surprise! it’s just as great of an album—although radically different. Both share a progressive approach to music, but, where the former applies it to death metal, the latter does so on post-hardcore. Ghost Medicine is a single, forty-minute track in eight parts, and it’s an absolute beast! Once again it’s a draw: these are two amazing releases!

Yugen — Australia vs. Italy vs. USA

Yugen, or Yūgen, is an important concept of Japanese philosophy. As such, it has become a rather popular name. It also helps that it sounds pretty cool. So, we find ourselves at a three-way crossroads between Australia, Italy, and the States. First off, Australia’s Yugen created a rather interesting instrumental technical death metal EP, Stillness Disturbed, with some use of overtone singing, which is praise worthy by itself. Italy’s Yūgen is a mind-blowing avant-garde progressive rock band with a sizeable body of work behind them, and which is near perfect. Finally, Tennessee’s Yugen, for their part, play a rather generic brand of metalcore, complete with all the djent vocabulary. Clear winner: Italy.

Zaar — France vs. Germany

Zaar, or Zār, is the name of a demon from Eastern Africa. Corresponding to this, the two bands here play winding, subversive music with the power to possess one’s mind. France’s Zaar released a self-titled album via Cuneiform Records—and, if that’s not a seal of quality, I don’t know what is—, and Germany’s one released Abkehr independently on bandcamp and on vinyl. Both are instrumental bands: the one leaning into progressive rock and avant-prog territory while the other delves into mathcore and grindcore. Both are amazing and deserve to be listened to carefully. Let’s not make France and Germany wage war, love them both equally.

Final Words

Here you go, I hope you found a couple interesting bands here! I know many more bands share names, but those are the ones on which I willed to focus. This was fun to write, and it was a good excuse to make me listen to bands I hadn’t listened to in a while! Hopefully you find similar joy in this exercise, and please add more homonymous bands in the comments!

On August 21 2018, this entry was posted.