There's a lot more to Hungary than a rich cultural history that dates back to Celtic times, incredible Renaissance and gothic architecture and the EU's ninth-largest city. In fact, this Central European country has quite a vibrant metal scene.
One such home-grown act is Perihelion whose latest album Agg translates as "very very old" in archaic Hungarian. Taking inspiration from the decline of humanity, the quartet paint death as the ultimate escape by fusing psychedelic rock, avant-garde and post-black metal into an atmospheric, hauntingly ethereal yet oddly comforting aural portrait.
Check out their single Erdő, premiered by Prog magazine here.
We caught up with the proggy quartet following the release of Agg, to find out which Hungarian metal acts we ought to be listening to.
Genre: Progressive metal
"One of the best example of how to represent Hungarian folk influences tastefully, by capturing the spirit and feelings behind folk songs and implementing them in their own way. They are very good songwriters as well."
Genre: Black metal
"They were an extremely raw and punishing cult black metal band with excellent songs and grooves. Those who were able to see them playing live also praise them for the thick atmosphere they created."
"Being one of the flag-bearers of the hungarian punk scene during the 80s they became iconic figures of the time. They were highly political, criticising the then current government who in exchange used them to demostrate how hard they will reteliate these kinds of initiatives."
"With their crushingly heavy live rituals they are a must see for fans of slow, spiritual and noisy doom metal music."
Isten Háta Mögött
Genre: Alternative metal
"One of the most defining bands in the 2000s alt-rock/progressive scene with stoner influences and a heavy emphasis on jamming. The hungarian lyrics of Tamás Pálinkás were also a key part in their music, it was very easy for a lot of people to resonate with them."
"A really one of a kind band, who have perfected their style for several years now. The thick wall of sound is complemented live with a very strong visual presence: the fourth integral member of the band uses old tape-projectors (lots of them) to create a unique atmosphere at every show."
"An honest, raw alternative band with catchy songs."
"A very creative and ever-evolving musical experiment from Tamás Kátay. Despite the uncountable different influences existing in his music there is an instantly recognizable vibe in Thy Catafalque. Tamás can capture the essence of folk music in a similarly intelligent way to how Æbsence does it."
Genre: Proto-black metal
"One of the worldwide pioneers of black metal. Not that they need further introduction, but Tormentor are the former band of Attila Csihar (The True Mayhem) - pure oldschool metal music. They are now active once again."
(also known as VHK or Galloping Coroners)
Genre: Shamanistic punk
"Another cult band from the early punk-era. They managed to invoke so much positive energy during their live shows that they were considered extremely dangerous by the goverment of the time. The improvisative, entrancing music of VHK even piqued the interest of legendary label Neurot recordings."
Perihelion's latest album Agg is available now.