Another big week for new music, with plenty of metal and country for us to dive into!
Periphery: Periphery V: Djent is Not a Genre
…It’s a state of mind. The godfathers of Djent denouncing their own identifier was a bold move, but it has definitely gotten people talking so has clearly paid off. They’re a band that have always lay on the… well… periphery of my listening; I have friends who are big fans (guitarists, no surprise there) but I haven’t ever found something to get me into them personally.
I have to admit, some of this came close to changing my mind. While ‘Wildfire’ didn’t do a whole lot for me, ‘Atropos’ was kinda great. The dynamics in the track were a lot of fun and kept it constantly interesting and building. I’m also one of the seemingly few people who love Spencer Sotelo’s vocals so tracks like ‘Wax Wings’ and ‘Thanks Nobuo’. Heck, I know a lot of die-hard fans are complaining back ‘Silhouette’, but honestly it was one of my favourite tracks on the album. It felt like an uplifting Linkin Park-style track, and it was beautiful.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all for me. There were definitely tracks that simply didn’t do anything to keep me interested or entertained. However, this was definitely the most I’ve found myself enjoying Periphery. 7.5/10
Suicide Silence: Remember… You Must Die
Last year’s deathcore revival seems to be continuing head at full steam into this year, and genre OGs Suicide Silence carry their torch close to their chest still with this amazing offering. The aggression, speed and heaviness of their early albums is just as prevalent here as they deliver 40-minutes of pure anger. ‘Capable of Violence’ is my favourite on the album, packed full of brutal riffs and screams. However, tracks like ‘Kill Forever’ and ‘Alter of Self’ are also amazing tracks.
Considering I’m still dipping my toes into the super heavy stuff, I really enjoyed this. I need to go back and give their older stuff another listen! 8/10
Meet Me @ the Alter: Past // Present // Future
The most bubblegum pop-punk to ever be. In fact, punk is an overestimation. It’s generic pop rock; think old Avril or whatever MGK and that ilk are putting out on mainstream radio these days.
It’s fine. For the genre being played there is nothing wrong with it, they’re good at writing and playing it. It’s just such a bland, overplayed, overproduced style of music that it bored me to tears. I hate the over pronunciation of the ‘pop-punk voice’ throughout, and honestly the lyrics for tracks like ‘Kool’, ‘Need Me’ and ‘It’s Over for Me’ made me cringe almost out of my skin.
Look, if you like this, that’s all good. I’m sure there are more than a few people out there who thing this is the best thing since sliced bread. As I said before, the band themselves are all talented. The style itself now just bores the fuck out of me. And just watch the video below, it’s so very cringe. 2.5/10
Nanowar of Steel: Dislike to False Metal
We’ve already covered this awesome album. Find our full review here!
The Cold Stares: Voices
The sixth album by the hard rock Indiana natives is full of chunky, swaggering blues riffs and lots of catchy vocals. Opener ‘Nothing But the Blues’ is a fantastic track and the perfect way to introduce anyone to the band. ‘Lights Out’ is a riff-filled belter. Tracks like ‘It’s Heavy’ and the title one are massive highlights too. However, don’t let that take away from the rest of the album. There isn’t a bad track on it, and it’s arranged perfectly too. I listened to it all through in one sitting and it didn’t at all feel like 13 tracks at nearly 45-minutes. It’s some of the best blues I’ve heard in so long. 9/10
Matt Andersen: The Big Bottle of Joy
Country-soul-blues boy Matt Andersen is back with his ninth studio album. I fucking love it. Regardless of the lyrical content, music like this just puts a smile on my face. From the bluesy riffs to the keys/organ filling out the sound to the gospel choir call-and-response vocals, it’s all so good. GET IT IN MY VEINS. It’s clear how talented Matt is as a songwriter and player too, as the songs are masterfully crafted and his blues guitar solos are phenomenal. The rest of the band are up there too in terms of talent, with everyone playing their parts perfectly.
Tracks like ‘Let it Slide’, ‘What’s on my Mind’ and ‘Aurora’ are massive highlights of an album full of them. If you’re into the slower, more relaxed stuff this is definitely for you. I’m going to be having this on a lot over the coming months, whenever I want something easy listening on. 8.5/10
This slab of hard rock has so many different elements blended together. A basis of early 2000s radio rock (think Shinedown or Shaman’s Harvest) but with some more attitude, a splash of hip-hop influence and even a touch of Imagine Dragons. Opener and lead single ‘Full Disclosure’ is clear highlight of the album, and a very good choice of placement. Tracks like ‘New Way to Hate’, ‘Hollywood Minute’ and the title track are all amazing too. The latter in particular featuring rapper Ekoh was a great blend of genres that will do well in the current rock climate.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. The same formula throughout got a little boring after the title track. They did slow down a little in a couple of tracks in the back end of the album, but said tracks ended up sounding more like modern day MGK or You Me At Six which didn’t didn’t do much for me. And, for whatever reason, a few tracks just felt like they were missing something. I know that sounds super vague and hypocritical being a musician myself and not being able to be specific, but I can’t put my finger on it at all. A few of the tracks just lack that ‘it’ that the singles do.
However, overall, there is still a lot more positives than negatives. It’s insane that this is the band’s sixth album and this is the first I’m hearing of them. They definitely have a new fan in me! 8/10
The Swedish band are described as ‘epic doom metal’ which has to be one of the coolest things ever. The description is pretty apt, too. Sounding like a mixture of Celtic Frost and Dream Theater, it was definitely epic and doomy. Due to the style, it’s hard to pick a highlight track or two from the album. Especially at only seven tracks and over 45-minutes. But it feels more like an experience, something you should shut yourself in a dark room and sit down and just listen to through from start to finish. So, that was exactly what I did, and it was excellent. These guys are at the top of their game from a technical and songwriting standpoint, and my god would I loved to see this whole album live. 7.5/10
The War And Treaty: Lover’s Game
The blues/country rock husband and wife duo released their fourth album this last Friday. It opens very strong on ‘Lover’s Game’, a fantastic up-tempo blues number. It slows up for a bit after. If fact, it never really picks up to the same pace again. Not that that’s an issue. Both Michael and Tanya have some of the best voices in the entire business at the minute, and it’s on full display on tracks like ‘That’s How Love is Made’ and ‘Dumb Luck’. It’s mighty impressive, and so great to listen to.
Having said that, as phenomenal as the rest of the album is from a vocal and songwriting standpoint, it would have been nice to have more of a rock track in amongst the other nine songs. I still loved it and marvelled at the soulfulness of it all, but I’m a sucker for a good up-tempo blues number, as seen in my Matt Andersen review! 8/10, but a rock song would have put it much higher!
For the Fallen Dreams: Self-Titled
Somehow this metalcore band have put out seven albums and been completely off my radar until now. It’s a shame too, as these guys are fantastic. From the heavy opener of ‘RE-Animate’ to slower tracks like ‘Without You’, it’s got plenty of great tracks and variety. There’s also a hip-hop element to tracks like ‘What If’ and ‘Testify’, adding a great element to it and sounding a little Linkin Park at times.
It’s another solid album without a bad track on it and plenty of highlights, including the tracks mentioned above and the wonderfully heavy ‘Sulfate’. It’s a very modern metalcore sound, reminding me a lot of Bad Omens or Patient Sixty-Seven. 7.5/10, good stuff!