New Music Mondays: Arch Enemy, Hollywood Undead and More!

Some great new music in both the rock and metal worlds this week. Let’s waste no time, let’s look at some!

Arch Enemy: Deceivers

For a band that contains the guitar god Jeff Loomis, Arch Enemy definitely don’t get a lot of praise. Yes, I know their more recent stuff after Alissa joined isn’t a lot of peoples favourite stuff by the band but honestly, the singles for this album have been great and if they are anything to go by, it should be fantastic.

I can confirm it is indeed, in my opinion, fantastic. Alissa has one of the most effortlessly powerful screams in the game today, and the introduction of more cleans to their sound adds a great commercial range to the band. It’s (almost) radio-friendly death metal, which is a damn impressive genre if I do say so myself. And while Loomis doesn’t have a huge amount of writing credit for the album, his lead and rhythm playing is incredible and shows that he is stuill very much at the top of his game.

‘Handshake With Hell’ is an amazing single and the perfect way to open the album. ‘Deceiver, Deceiver’ is a good balls-to-the-wall follow-up but it’s the stadium-filling ‘In the Eye of the Storm’ and ‘House of Mirrors’ that are the real highlights of the album. This heavier take on European power metal that bands like these and Parkway Drive are doing these days is controversial but, in this writers humble opinion, amazing. The whole album is great and a really good jumping off point for anyone who wants to get into the heavier side of metal. 9/10

Hollywood Undead: Hotel Kalifornia

What a 180. I never got Hollywood Undead even back in the day, but then I don’t think I was their target audience. But then again I’m a fan of RATM, Fever 333, Hyro The Hero, Linkin Park etc, so I don’t really know why this didn’t click for me. I think it’s more the 2edgy4U lyrics, it comes across as rather cringy.

It wasn’t quite as bad as some of their older stuff. There were hits of decent riffs in the likes of ‘CHAOS’ and ‘Alone at the Top’ (by far the saving grace of the album), and there are plenty of big choruses. But then there are tracks like ‘Ruin My Life’ and ‘Trap God’ that are just terrible. If you are a fan of the band I am sorry for most likely offending you, but I found this hard to get even halfway through this album. I’m going to leave it here otherwise I’ll continue to be negative. 3/10

The Goo Goo Dolls: Chaos In Bloom

Yes, they’ve done more than ‘Iris’. This was actually a pretty good album. A combination of Matchbox Twenty, the slower Aerosmith tracks and a surprising amount of Britpop. Tracks like ‘War’ and ‘Going Crazy’ were personal highlights for me, but the whole album was decent. Don’t go in expecting much more than slower, ballady pop-rock, but if that’s your thing than it’s a good album for just relax to or have on while you’re doing other things! 6.5/10

The Halo Effect: Days of the Lost

In Flames in everything but name alone, The Halo Effect’s debut album is okay. I have to admit that I never quite ‘got’ In Flames outside of a track or two, and this didn’t do much for me either. Everyone is clearly very good at what they do but nothing gripped me or stood out to me at all. It’s all pretty samey and that sound just doesn’t make me want to listen to more. The closest thing to a track I enjoyed here was ‘A Truth Worth Dying For’, and that’s probably because it’s basically a Trivium song. Sorry guys, I feel like I’m going to catch some flack for this. 4/10

Check out some more death metal here.

Boris: Heavy Rocks

The Japanese experimental band put out their third Heavy Rocks album in which they explore the rock and metal genre. It’s weird. Like as an experimental art piece I get it, especially if they are constantly exploring different genres. However, I cannot envision myself listening to this much more after this review. Tracks like the early-Nirvana-inspired ‘My Name is Blank’ and the almost Black Metal ‘Question 1’ are as close to highlights as the album has. None of it is bad, it just feels like exactly what it is, a group of people deciding “lets make a rock album, that could be cool!”, instead of wanting to write the genre their entire lives, like most in rock have. 4.5/10

Thee Oh Sees/Osees: A Foul Form

The alt/punk rock band put out a lot of music under various different incarnations of the band name, though it would always be similar. Somehow, while always writing music within the rock genre, this channelled as lot of the same energies as the previous album for me. I’m not quite into the experimental side of rock as some people so if you love this, I can understand why. However, this is not for me. At least it’s a short album, as I’d gotten bored by the fourth track and it changed very little in the final six tracks. 3.5/10

Pale Waves: Unwanted

Leaning harder into the pop elements over the rock or indie ones of their sound, I almost didn’t cover this album. Then I remembered I’ve already done the likes of Avril Lavigne and Stand Atlantic so I might as well! And, to tell you the truth, this album is better than half the others this week. The slow build of ‘The Hard Way’ won me over, and tracks like ‘Alone’ and ‘Only Problem’ are other great highlights of the album. It’s just catchy, inoffensive pop-rock, and it was enjoyable to listen to. Yes, I’m going to score this higher than Halo Effect, and I’d also probably put it above most In Flames albums too. Sue me. 7/10

Norma Jean: Deathrattle Sing for Me

Time for some of the dirtiest metalcore I’ve ever heard. It grew on me more and more the more I listened. I pretty much had a breakdown face for a full 53-minutes. ‘Spearmint Revolt’ is one of the best metalcore tracks I’ve heard period, never mind just this year. That riff is CH0NKY. ‘Aria Obscura’ is also packed full of great, heavy riffs while having a more radio-friendly edge. But honestly, this whole album is worth a listen. Even if you’re not typically into heavy stuff and screaming, there’s enough commercial edge to ease you in. 8.5/10

Seventh Storm: Maledictus

A more thrashy version of pirate metal, like a heavier, more serious Alestorm. I fucking love it. Right from the offset, this had me hooked (pun intended) and I loved it from start to finish. And, it’s another example of an utterly fantastic debut album, something that has happened a lot in recent weeks. It’s somehow an amagamation of bands like Alestorm, Machine Head, Amon Amarth, Disturbed and even some Behemoth in the riffs. It’s a fantastic blend of styles and really has something for everyone. The opener and ‘The Reckoning’ are personal favourites of mine, but again the whole album is fantastic. The only thing that could possibly put people off is the song lengths but honestly, the band does so much per track it’s easy to get lost and not realise seven minutes have been and gone. 8.5/10

Carrion Vael: Abhorrent Obsessions

The melodeath band round out this week’s New Music Mondays with a brutal album. It’s heavier than a lot in the genre, definitely adding in a lot of extreme and blackened elements. Still, tracks like ‘The Devil in Me’ and ‘Disturbia’ are great. A good album for anyone who’s into quick, heavy music! 7/10