A Huge week for new music this week. 12 new albums for us to check out, and a bunch of it is what I grew up on, metalcore! Don’t worry though, there’s some punk and southern and heavier stuff, too. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Bleed From Within: Shrine
Bleed From Within are Scottish. I hope I’m not the only one who’s mind has not been blown by that fact. As you can tell I’m not too familiar with this band aside knowing their general metalcore sound after checking them out when they were announced as BFMV’s support a couple of years ago. The great god Wikipedia tells me this is their sixth album, so I’m going to feel even more stupid if I love it and have waited this long to check them out…
I love it. Damn. Opening heavy with ‘I Am Damnation’ and ‘Sovereign’, the band pack in huge riffs and amazing growls but combat them well with catchy, cleaner choruses. It’s a lot like early Parkway Drive or Architects, it’s great. ‘Levitate’ opens with slow build and a similar violin line to Machine Head’s ‘Now We Die’ before launching into disgusting post-nu-metal heaviness. The chorus is HUGE though and SO catchy. Oh, and the guitar solo is sick. I’ve not gushed over one track on NMM for a while so expect it to be track of the week this week on our Instagram! However, having said that, both ‘Flesh and Stone’ and ‘Stand Down’ are strong contenders, too. All the singles, and every track on this album really, is phenomenal. 9/10
GWAR: The New Dark Ages
Okay, confession time. I never quite got into Gwar. But, having said that, I never saw them live. I’ve heard how good of a show they put on and it would probably win me over, but on track they never did much for me.
So, imagine my surprise when I found myself really enjoying them on this album. I definitely don’t want to speak ill of anyone no longer with us, but clearly my issue lay with Dave Brockie’s vocals. Sawborg Destructo and Blothar do a better job with the vocals and make it all feel much more polished. Don’t worry, it still has the silliness of Green Jelly, filled with plenty of immature lyrics, but it’s a little groovier and less thrash-punk, which also helped my enjoyment. Tracks like the opener and ‘Berserker Mode’ are great both musically and lyrically, and they’ve made me want to check out more of the bands back catalogue now to see if I’ve been wrong all along! 7/10
Crobot: Feel This
Everyones (at least in terms of bands wanting to tour with them) favourite upcoming hard/groove rock band, Crobot put out album number four last week. I got into them hard when their last album, 2019’s Motherbrain, was released, so have been excited for this for a while.
Bursting right in with ‘Electrified’, the band hit hard with energy and purpose, and keep that feeling going through much of the album. The infectious grooves and vocals in this track, ‘Better Times’ and ‘Livin’ On the Streets’ are awesome. However, it’s the slower tracks that are the real highlight here. ‘Set you Free’ is a powerful, beautiful ballad while the wonderfully (early) Shinedown-esque ‘Golden’ is another massive highlight of the album. They build on the foundations of Motherbrain amazingly and somehow top it. It’s a shame they aren’t over here more often because the NWOCR scene would snap them up in a heartbeat! 9/10
Drive-By Truckers: Welcome 2 Club XIII
My ocd hates that title. However, I like the album! It’s like darker, heavier Lou Reed, but also adds some country, southern and blues to the punk. Tracks like the title one and ‘Every Single Storied Flameout’ were fun, uptempo tracks while the opener and ‘Shake and Pine’ were more atmospheric, slower ones. Both sides had a lot of upside to them and make for a damn well-rounded album. It’s chilled out and another one I’d happily put on on a long drive or in the background to relax to. 6.5/10
Memphis May Fire: Remade In Misery
The Texan metalcore band go hard on their seventh album. Tracks like the opener, ‘Somebody’ and ‘Death Inside’ are all great. But, they picked a bad week to finally release the album. Yes, I know between the nine (too many) singles that the fans have heard almost the entire album already, but Bleed From Within showed them up a fair bit this week, in my opinion. Having said that, though, the two previously unheard tracks are okay too. Shame the slow one closes the album. I can’t wait for that trend to end. 7/10
More metalcore (I told you it was a big week for it), this time from Australia. These guys take a different approach to the sub-genre, immediately catching my interest more than MMF. It feels more atmospheric, more like Monuments or Grey Haven than BFMV. ‘The Hellfire Club’ is a great opener and really sets the tone for the rest of the album. Tracks like ‘Leather Wings’ and ‘Casanova’ were also highlights of a good album. With their sound and their talent, I assumed the band had been together a fair bit longer than 2016. They have a big future if they keep putting stuff out of this quality. 7/10
Artificial Brain: Self-Titled
A heavy death metal band with such low growls that I could barely even tell if they were there half the time. Either the mix is terrible or the vocals are pointless. Either way in all fairness, the mix is bad. It sounds like the whole band have used the Spinal Tap/Death Magnetic technique of just turn everything up to 11, making it an incomprehensible wall of sound. The band have three albums out and all sound like this. I think it’s time to get a new mixer, boys. Especially since the actual musicianship is fine. 3/10
Sergeant Thunderhoof: This Sceptred Veil
The darkest thing to ever come out of Somerset, the groove/doom rock band put out their third (or fifth (can two songs count as an album if long enough? Spotify says yes…) album last week. The band sound like a mixture of The Sword, Queens of the Stone Age, Tool and Red Fang. It’s pretty awesome. Also the proggier element to it is great, a few of the tracks going 8+ minutes and really drawing you into the band’s world. I can’t even pick a highlight as this definitely seems like the sort of album you listen to all the way through. 7/10
Out of Service: The Ground Beneath Me
More dark, moody music, this time from the US. A heavier indie/alt-rock band, the album sets a perfect tone and, much like the previous one on this list, prompts a full listen to truly experience it. It’s again hard to pick singular highlights due to this, but the lead single ‘A Moment Trapped in Time’ featuring the awesome Emery is great, as is the more pop-punk ‘The Fall’. The album channels so many different styles and influences, it’s a pleasure to listen through just to hear them all. The band have a new fan in me and I shall definitely be checking out their previous two albums! 7/10
Somnus Throne: Nemesis Lately
An album that I cannot help but compare to the Thunderwolf one due to their similar styles, Somnus feel like they are having slightly more fun with it. Plus the band seem to lean even heavier into the prog side of the sub-genre, the album only being six tracks but clocking in at a whopping 42-minutes. The band are even more like The Sword, awesome, ch0nky riffs included, and I love it. ‘Lacque Bones’ and ‘Rubber Tramp’ are particular highlights, even if they are very similar tracks. 7.5/10
We don’t get nearly enough thrash through this site, so I’m so pumped whenever I get to cover some. My inner thrash-head comes out, like the kid from Metal Lords. This album was good. It’s actually pretty hard to do thrash wrong if you’re good musicians, which these guys definitely are. Tracks like ‘Only War’ and ‘Belligerent and Hostile’ are some of the best new thrash tracks I’ve heard in a while. It’s a good album from start to finish, and another band that have a new fan in me! 7.5/10
Pardon my French, but quelle putain de semaine fantastique pour la musique rock. Metalcore owned the week with three awesome releases, but country hard rock and stoner rock was represented really well too. There are a couple of albums that will be up there for album of the year come December, I’m sure!
Check back here again next week for another packed week!