The Metaphor is a blackened thrash metal band from Beijing, People’s Republic of China. The quartet around singer and guitarist Wu Shuo who is also active in the stoner metal band Never Before and the pagan black metal outfit Martyrdom just released a brand new four track EP entitled “The City Of Pathos, A Saint Of Shame“. The Metaphor sounds a little bit like the band HEXFIRE I have recently reviewed but has been around since 2006 already. Fans of other harsh Chinese thrash metal bands such as the legends Suffocated should also try the band out while those who like more melodic stuff like Overload or more Punk driven acts like Explosicum might not entirely appreciate The Metaphor's style. The band from Beijing is clearly influenced by several American thrash metal bands such as Dark Angel, Morbid Saint and Slayer but adds a slightly darker twist to the genre. If you take a look at the stunning cover artwork, you get to know what to expect from a musical point of view as well. By the way, I would like to have a poster of that great artwork.
This atmospheric approach is supported by a balanced mixture of slow and menacing blackened doom metal moments and blistering blackened thrash metal parts. The band certainly knows how to build up dark atmospheres.
An interesting aspect is that band leader Wu Shuo is actually Catholic and even though he is not the most devout Christian, the band’s lyrics are all clearly inspired by spiritual and sometimes also mythological or philosophical thoughts. This detail definitely makes the band stand out among others but it won’t change the fact that the band will remain a collective of underground musicians who simply live their passion and won’t make but rather lose the money they put into this. The final result sounds though honest and passionate and I sincerely want to encourage the band to continue.
The most surprising thing about this short record is definitely the cover of Nirvana's worldwide hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which now becomes “Smells Like Death Spirit”. Apart from the catchy opening riff and the lyrics, the song has become something completely different and unique. It’s a darkly diversified killer song with depressively slow moments and crunching up-tempo parts building up a lot of gripping negative energy that almost hits the seven minute mark. The original has been covered many times but never as original as here. This is not only the best cover version of the track but also the highlight of this gripping underground EP.
Give this band a few spins on their website if you’re intrigued by my review or if you like atmospheric thrash metal, give these guys fair chance and spread their name: http://site.douban.com/themetaphor/
Originally written for The Metal Observer