Another big week for rock music, from metalcore to sleaze. Check it all out down below!
Alter Bridge: Pawns & Kings
We’ve already reviewed this very good album. Check it out, alongside the score we gave it, here.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Return of the Dream Canteen
This fucking thing is 17 tracks and 75 minutes long. Why is it so SLOW. I used to be a HUGE fan of this band in my youth, from Mother’s Milk to I’m With You all being amazing. However, these last three albums now have not been good. Of those albums, the only track that really feels like the RHCP I grew up loving is ‘Dark Necessities’, and it’s a good few years old at this point.
I reviewed their last album earlier this year when it was release and didn’t score it too high, giving it a lowly 3.5/10 (you can read it here). I don’t even think this one gets that high. There was nothing on here that I remember as soon as I stopped listening to it, nothing about it was at all memorable. Just a collection of almost easy-listening tracks, with the odd good bassline or guitar work. Kedis’ lyrics were all over the place again and there was barely a vocal hook in sight. If it wasn’t for Overtone, I wouldn’t be checking this album out, which is a real shame. The band have slipped so far and even with Frusciante back, they cannot capture the magic they once had. 3/10
Lorna Shore: Pain Remains
Max: So, the deathcore greats are back with a new album and the first full length release since Will Ramos joined the band. This album really proves that they are the new faces of this entire genre. From the painful beauty of ‘Pain Remains I’, to the intensity of ‘In To The Earth’ and ‘Sun//Eater’, this album is genuinely amazing and is a game changing album for the genre. There is so much that makes this album stand about, from the aggressive precision of the drumming, the breakdowns and the solo’s all the way to Will’s vocals going from the ultra-low all the way to the pain filled yells in the bridge of ‘Pain Remains I’.
This band is phenomenal in so many ways. I may be biased to some level since this is one of my favourite bands and I have been looking forward to this album for quite a while and I did see them only a couple of weeks ago when they were on tour with While She Sleeps and Parkway Drive. However, I do believe that everyone should listen to this album and experience the beauty for themselves so they can understand why everyone is so enamoured by this band. Whether there is bias here or not I think this is one of the best albums in this genre, so it really does deserve the 10/10 rating. Now, hurry up and go listen to this album.
Skid Row: The Gang’s All Here
I’ve seen a lot of people gushing over this album already, it being their first in a while and with new singer, Erik Gronwall of H.E.A.T fame. Personally, I wouldn’t go as far as a lot have, but it’s not a bad album!
I somehow didn’t have time to check out the singles before this, but I actually thought the lead single ‘The Gang’s All Here’ was the weakest track on the album. Between that and the equally weak opening track, I was worried about this album to begin with, and thought I was missing what everyone else heard. However, ‘Not Dead Yet’ then began a fantastic run of tracks. In fact, with the exception of the average ‘Nowhere Fast’, the rest of the album is pretty great. Even the slower ‘October’s Song’ was good, Erik channelling his best Bach energy here. I’d put ‘Tear it Down’ and tracks 3-5 up there with some of the very best Skid Row songs, period. 8.5/10
We Came as Romans: Darkbloom
We Came as Romans obviously didn’t get the memo. Metalcore in 2022 is supposed to try and sound like Deep Blue, not Sempiternal. Then again, WCAR push it even further than BMTH ever have with their Linkin Park inspiration here. However, all jokes aside, this was a pretty decent album.
It feels like just about every metalcore band of my teens came out of the woodwork with a new album within the last year. As a result, I feel rather metalcore-d out. But, this felt just different and interesting enough to hold my attention, at least for most of it. Tracks like the opener and the brutal ‘Daggers’ are personal highlights, but the first 2/3rds of the album are definitely worth a listen. I have to admit, I got a tad bored after that. Definitely a good album, though, and the most I’ve enjoyed the band in a while. I must get back into these! 7.5/10
Sleeping with Sirens: Complete Collapse
This was heavier than I expected it to be at times. It was also… fine. The heavier tracks and parts were okay, and the poppier sections and tracks were okay. But nothing at all about this made me want to listen again. Even the guests (including two I’m a big fan of in Dorothy and Spencer Chamberlain) couldn’t really save the album or tracks they were on. Heck, ‘Us’ is a terrible track, with Dorothy very much feeling like she was phoning it in.
I remember not being into this band when they were first getting big a decade ago (mainly because of Quinn’s grating clean vocals), and this did little to nothing to change my mind. It was okay, but absolutely nothing to write home about. 5/10
Nothing More: SPIRITS
The vast majority of their descriptions say that Nothing More are a rock band. I got far more metal vibes from the band’s sixth album, from the heavy riffs, dark lyrics and a good few harsh, screamed vocals. Honestly, it all worked perfectly, and this was an awesome album. Right from the opener the band come across as pissed off and ready to take names (pun intended). It’s great fun and a real infectious level of energy. The vocals also reminded me of My Chemical Romance at times with the level of expression and cadence, which is never a bad thing.
I honestly can’t pick fault with a single track on this album. It reminds me of Coldrain and Palisades’ albums this year too: two bands that I knew of but hadn’t checked out really before but put out insanely good albums that are right up my alley, sound-wise. I NEED to check out more of their back catalogue, ASAP. 9/10
Boston Manor: Datura
Another album that surprised me with its heaviness, Boston Manor channelled their inner BMTH with their short fourth album. Emo pop is definitely the best way to describe it, as it feels like a dark blend of modern metal and indie. There are some good riffs and melodies in here, but ultimately it isn’t especially my sort of music. It’d be fantastic to see live I feel, but on track it felt a little more like background music. I’d not skip it if it came on, but I won’t go out of my way to listen to it again. 5/10