Category Archives: News

New Music Mondays: Skillet, Underoath and More!

The second full week of the year brought with it a few more albums than the first. Four, to be exact, from four very different bands. From pop-metal to alt-rock to the earliest form of NWOBHM, we have it all for you this week. Let’s jump right into the new music, shall we?

Skillet: Dominion

Somehow on their 11th studio album now, Christian pop-metal band Skillet have been pumping out a steady stream of great music for over a decade now. Despite the stigma around being a Christian rock band, I have always been a fan of them, since I first hear ‘Monster’ back in the day.

For those of you who are familiar with the band, it’s no Awake, but it’s also an improvement on Victorious. For fans of the band, it is exactly what you would expect. catchy duelling vocals from John Cooper and Jen Ledger, steady verses and huge, soaring choruses. Highlights include the opener, both singles (‘Standing in the Storm’ and piano ballad ‘Refuge’) and ‘Beyond Incredible’. It’s US radio-rock through and through, but it’s damn catchy and I’ll find myself jamming with this for mobths to come. 7.5/10

Underoath: Voyeurist

Genre-hoppers Underoath are back with their ninth studio album and first since 2018. I have to admit that I’ve never quite ‘got’ them. This album definitely changed my opinion. The opening track, ‘Cycle’ (featuring the ever confusing Ghostmane), and ‘Take a Breath’ are all definitely highlights to me. Heck, even tracks like ‘Thorn’ appear to embrace the changes to the scene Spiritbox are bringing in. There are lesser quality tracks too, like the boring ‘(No Oasis)’ and the overly long-titled third track, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. A heavy, alt/industrial metal album from a band I have clearly slept on until now. It won’t be for everyone, but damn do the heavy parts go in HARD and it’s overall a great listen. 8.5/10

Blood Red Shoes: GHOSTS ON TAPE

The English alt-rock duo have made quite the name for themselves over the last decade, with their last three albums all charting around the 50 mark in the UK. I haven’t heard much of their previous stuff, but the quality of this should push them to even greater heights.

From the awesome slow-build of the opener (though it didn’t go anywhere) through wonderfully 80s tracks like ‘MURDER ME’ and ‘I AM NOT YOU’ to the suitably epic closer, it’s a great alt/indie album. Not all of it is perfect, but overall it’s a damn enjoyable 40 minutes of music! 7/10

Magnum: The Monster Roars

You should check out our Iron Maiden Review. You know you want to!

22 studio albums across nearly four and a half decades. Clearly Magnum are doing something right. A band that I respect the hell out of without listening to a great deal of their stuff. This album once again proves that I should listen to them more.

While not nearly as heavy as I imagine they were considered in their day, the album is old-school metal through and through. It all has a very epic feel to it thanks to the keys being so prevalent, and it makes every chorus when the distortion kicks in feel that much bigger and heavier. Highlights include ‘Remember’, ‘No Steppin’ Stones’ and ‘Your Blood is Violence’. 8/10

And there we have it, another week of fantastic rock music! As always you can keep up to date on all of our work from our Facebook here. Until next week!

New Music Mondays: Twin Atlantic!

Guess who’s back! The first content from us of 2022 and of course it’s the fan favourite, New Music Mondays! We couldn’t leave this behind in 2021, especially when there are so many more amazing albums slated to be released in the next 12 months.

So, what lucky singular album and artist gets to say they were the first band for NMM 2022? check them out below…

Twin Atlantic: Transparency

Scottish alt-rock band Twin Atlantic have been going a lot longer than I imagine anyone but their die-hard fans realised. Now on their sixth studio album, the band have been going solid for nearly 15 years. While I have only ever heard a couple of tracks by them, namely the banger that is 2014’s ‘Heart and Soul’, I would say I’m a fan of the band, even if I know very little from them. They always felt a little too far under Biffy Clyro’s shadow for me to give much time to it, unfortunately.

This was not what I was expecting.

Leaning a lot heavier into the alt side of things, it feels more like a pop album than a rock one. It’s closer to the KoL/Imagine Dragons style of US pop-‘rock’ than anything I have heard from the band before. The tracks themselves aren’t actually that bad, but it was such a shock to the system expecting something a fair bit different to what I got. Tracks like ‘One Man Army’ and ‘Dance Like your Mother’ stand out as rock/early 2000s British pop mashups, like a heavier Scissor Sisters. In fact, the latter track is by far the highlight of the album, what a bop.

Not a bad album at all, and if you’re into your alt/indie rock it’s definitely worth a listen. 6.5/10

And there we have it folks! Just one this week but it definitely starts to ramp up again towards the end of the month. And it was a pretty decent album to kick things back off with, too! Until next week!

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New Music Mondays: Assimilate!

I did warn everyone that New Music Mondays would become drastically shorter as we got closer to the New Year. Even I wasn’t expecting it this fast, though! One album, and it’s one I’ve reviewed already as recently as Friday. However, it’s a damn good album, so I may as well talk about it again!

Assimilate: Suffer in Silence

A damn good second album from UK based alt-metal band Assimilate. It’s full of catchy hooks, huge riffs and even huger breakdowns. If you’re a fan of the genre, metalcore or just heavier music as a whole I would highly suggest checking it out. I’ve even gone as far as to link one of the tracks below so you don’t have to search very far! Check out the full album review here for something more in-depth.

So yeah, not much else to say really. Check out the album, and keep up to date as usual on all of our content from our Facebook here. See y’all next week!

New Music Mondays: Volbeat, Devin Townsend and More!

As we get closer and closer to the end of the year, we are finding less and less albums coming out. However, there is still some life in 2021 rock music. This week is the last big one before Christmas hits us. Four new metal albums (sorry rock fans) were put out and we’re here to check out all of them and let you know what we thought!

Volbeat: Servant of the Mind

One of the most promising metal bands of the last few years, Volbeat have never seemed to be given the opportunity they deserve over here. However as much as I loved Seal the Deal…, the band definitely seemed to plateau with Outlaw Gentlemen…. The band have promised this to be heavier than their last release, going back to their roots. From the more recent singles they at least do make that happen. This is the last big album of the year I wanted to review in depth so you’ll have to wait for an overall score, but I can at least tell you it’s better than Rewind, Replay, Rebound!

Devin Townsend: The Puzzle AND Snuggles

That’s right, the Strapping Young Lad alum has treated us to not just one but TWO albums this week. Both are very different albums, though. Snuggles is a seemingly never-ending soundscape of relaxing, almost ethereal-sounding 40 minutes. All the tracks run together perfectly and almost feel like one of those CDs you used to be able to buy if you struggled to fall asleep.

The Puzzle is a messier, slightly heavier affair. Neither were anywhere near what I had expected going into them, though. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Devin’s work to begin with but I at least appreciate tracks like ‘Hyperdrive!’ and ‘Daddy’. Both are actual tracks, not just a collection of sounds. I appreciate the attempt at taking bedroom-pop in a more rock/experimental direction, but I found very little redeeming in either album at all. It was a chore to listen to what I did, honestly. I’ll rate both together and give it a frankly generous 2/10

Of Mice and Men: Echo

Despite a turbulent last few years for Of Mice and Men, the band returned with their seventh studio album this last week. Despite having seen them at a festival a few years ago, I still know next to nothing about the band besides the odd passing song that a friend may have liked. But, coming into this almost completely blind, I have to say I was pretty impressed with this album. It’s nothing ground-breaking, simply good metalcore music. Highlights include the lead single, ‘Obsolete’, ‘Pulling Teeth’ and the albums title track. 7/10

And there we have it, the last big week of rock releases of 2021. We will still keep up with New Music Mondays, of course, as there are still a few albums yet to be released, but it’s rather slow for a few weeks!

Did you enjoy this article? Check out more weeks from our NMM collection here.

Jack J Hutchinson Announces New Album & Tour!

London based singer and guitarist Jack J Hutchinson has just today announced his long awaited new album. Titled The Hammer Falls, it is scheduled for a February 4th release. An eight date headlining tour has also been announce to coincide with it!

The album, which we first heard about back at Rockin’ the Bowl (read the full interview here) features previously released tracks ‘Call of the Wild’ and ‘Straight to Hell’. Speaking on the album, Jack said “It’s my most personal record to date, but it touches on wider themes such as mortality and loss which affect us all.” muses Jack reflecting upon a period of time which was challenging for all walks of life, “It’s hard hitting, rammed with heavy riffs and guitar solos, but with lyrics and melodies that will hopefully touch and move people. It’s a banger, the songs are fun to play and have gone down very well on tour!

The tour begins in London at the famous O2 in Islington before travelling the length of the UK and even Scotland. It also contains a stop off at Planet Rock’s fantastic Winter’s End festival. Jack J Hutchinson and his band are fantastic live and it will not be a tour to be missed! Check out the full tour from the poster below and make sure to get your tickets!

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New Music Mondays: Black Label Society, Lordi and More!

Over ten weeks in now and you guys are still enjoying it so it looks like this series will continue on! It looks to be becoming more sparse as we approach the end of the year, with not many bands wanting to release albums so close to Christmas and New Years. However, there are still a bit of new music coming out, with four huge albums being released last Friday. Without further adue, let’s check them out!

Black Label Society: Doom Crew Inc.

Ozzy’s part-time axe-man has established himself as an equally great frontman over the last 20 years or so that Black Label Society have been a thing. Now onto their 11th studio album, the band aren’t letting up at all! It’s an hour of stomping, heavy biker metal, and I love it. It’s maybe the best Zakk Wylde has sounded vocally, and there could be an argument made that soloing is up there with some of his best too. A band long and unfortunately overshadowed because of Ozzy, this new music deserves to push them to a higher status in the rock world. Whether it does or not is another story. Highlights include the opener, ”You Made Me Want to Live’ and the emotion filled closing track. 8/10

Lordi: Lordiversity – Superflytrap

Definitely one of the weirder albums I’ve covered here so far, Finnish heavy metal band Lordi put out a disco album last week. Yep, you heard me right. Let’s get weird. I have no idea why it happened, all I know is that I love it. I cannot even find words to describe it, I just urge you to check it out down below, then find the whole album. If anything should win Christmas #1 outside of Gypsy Pistoleros, it’s Macho Freak. It’s like slightly heavier ABBA. I’ll be listening to this album a lot of the rest of the year, and you should too! 9/10.

Cynic: Ascension Codes

Prog-metal band Cynic returned with their fourth studio album and first new music since 2014, Ascension Codes. While I understand the importance of the bands first release, Focus, to the prog-metal genre as a whole, I have to say that personally, I don’t get it. It’s the same with this album. Don’t get me wrong, they are all clearly very accomplished musicians, but there was nothing here that really interested me. Lead single ‘Mythical Serpents’ was about the best of the bunch, with the other single being a close second. Neither held my attention that long, sadly. For such an interesting genre usually, it didn’t captivate me at all here. A shame. 4/10

Hypocrisy: Worship

While being the winners of album artwork of the year (seriously, it’s a thing of beauty), Swedish death metal band Hypocrisy also put out an album that’s good enough to live up to it. From the HUGE opening barrage of the title track through the awesome ‘Dead World’ all the way to the closing track, ‘God of the Underground’, it’s a class in how to do death metal damn well. From start to finish, this was another awesome album, and my favourite death metal album of the year hands down. 8.5/10

New Music Mondays: The Darkness, Exodus and More!

Another week, another six new rock albums to sink our teeth into. let’s not waste any time, let’s get into it.

The Darkness: Motorheart

One of the biggest British rock bands of the early 2000s, while The Darkness may not be at their peak in terms of popularity these days, they are still on a run of form quality wise. Now onto their seventh studio album, the band are seeming like they are on a run of form if their previous release and the singles are any indicator. I intend to review this in full, however, so I shall leave the score out until that is done…

Exodus: Persona Non Grata

Bay-area thrash legends Exodus are often regarded alongside Testament as the forgotten extra members of the Big Four. It’s a fair assessment, given how good their musical output has been, even in this century. Blood In Blood Out was a fantastic and triumphant return from Zetro and their others recently were also great. This new album was no different. It’s a punch in the face from the very first note of the opening and title track and I love it. It’s thrash at its absolute best and I’d put it up against any other of the older thrash bands’ 2000s albums, and maybe even a lot of their albums in general. Highlights include the title track, ‘The Beatings Will Continue’ and ‘Lunatic-Liar-Lord’. 8.5/10

Converge: Bloodmoon I

Hardcore punk band Converge have gone a bit of a different direction with their latest release after adding Chelsea Wolfe to it. It’s definitely got some heavy parts and elements to it, but the more open cleaner parts on tracks like ‘Scorpion’s Sting’ and the opening track give it a real atmospheric feel to it. Add that to the fact that Chelsea has brought so much to the sound here, she’s been used perfectly, and we have the workings of a really good album. Oh, and ‘Coil’ is another massive highlight on the album. I had heard nothing about this band before today but I have come away damn impressed. I can’t wait for part 2! 8/10

Deap Vally: Marriage

Changing direction rather abruptly into female-led punk music, Deap Vally released their fourth album this last Friday, too. Another band that I hadn’t listened to before this, they were another band that rather impressed me. It’s not the sort of thing I typically listen to as I feel like it all sounds like a Runaways rip-off, but there was something about this that at least felt a little fresh. Parts of it even felt like it had pretty heavy Dorothy or White Stripes vibes to it, both fantastic modern artists. Highlights are the opening track and ‘Tsunami’. 7.5/10

Me And That Man: New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 2

And now to change it up even more again, we have a dark country/folk album from the man behind the extreme metal band Behemoth. Me and That Man have been going for a while now as an interesting solo project for Nergal, and this album is just as out their and fun as the last. It’s an interesting album for sure, with somehow just as many Satan references as his main project. ‘All Hope Has Gone’ is a particular highlight as it gets to show off Garry Holt and Blaze Bayley in much different genres as they are used to doing, and it shows both have tremendous ranges. The same can be said for ‘Goodbye’ with Alissa White-Gluz and the legendary Devin Townsend. It’s so impressive hearing Alissa actually sing after only hearing her with Arch Enemy, she’s got a cracking clean voice. 8.5/10

Mirrors: The Ego’s Weight

Last but certainly not least we get metalcore/hardcore band Mirrors with their debut album. I had checked out a couple of singles from these guys already after their album announcement email, and tracks like ‘Beneath the Sand’ and ‘Purple Static’ are awesome, as are album tracks like ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Automata’. It’s a good album and a very good debut overall. I look forward to hearing more from these guys! 7/10

And there we have it, a VERY good week for new music, if I do say so myself. Check back next week when we will have another awesome few albums out!

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New Music Mondays: IDLES, L.A. Guns and More!

An interesting week of New Music Mondays this week, with nothing MASSIVE being released but a lot of truly solid bands putting out new albums still. Six bands and six albums in total, ranging from rock to death metal. Without further ado, let’s get on with it!

IDLES: CRAWLER

Indie/alt rock band IDLES return with their fourth studio album this week, CRAWLER. Considering the last one peaked at #1 in the UK, safe to say the expectations were pretty high for their follow-up. I can’t say I’d listened to them at all really up until now, but I definitely enjoyed a fair amount of what I heard. Tracks like ‘The Wheel’ and ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ reminded me of old-school, Ramones era punk stuff, while lead single ‘The Beachland Ballroom’ and ‘Progress’ shows off their more pop side. It definitely got a little boring for me by the end due to their limited range and sound, but it was okay to stick on in the background and tune into when something good happened! 7/10

L.A. Guns: Checkered Past

Former G’n’R founder Tracii Guns returns with his glam metal band, L.A. Guns, and their third new album in three years, Checkered Past (yes, it’s actually spelt that way, I hate it too). The singles have a surprising amount of country twang to them but they definitely let things get a little heavier with their album tracks. It’s a fun album overall, just not necessarily the sort of style I was expecting from the band. Highlights include ‘Get Along’, ‘Bad Luck Charm’ and ‘That Ain’t Why’. 7.5/10

Emigrate: THH PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY

Rammstein axe-man Richard Kruspe brought his industrial side project back for a fourth album this last week. It’s weird, but of course it was going to be. I mean heck, the second track is a metal cover of Willie Nelson’s ‘Always on my Mind’ with his Rammstein friend Till Lindemann, so that alone should give you a scale of the weirdness. In all though, it’s a damn enjoyable album. ‘FREEZE MY MIND’ is another great track on the album, as is ‘HYOTHETICAL’. 7/10

They Might Be Giants: BOOK

There are a lot of capitalised album titles this week… just saying. Now, onto the least rock band we have covered so far… I loved this album. ‘Rock’ duo TMBG released their 22nd album last week and is a 40+ minutes of bouncy, feel good music, even if the lyrics usually aren’t. ‘I Broke my Own Rule’, ‘I Can’t Remember the Dream’ and ‘Super Cool’ are all great tracks if you are into this sort of music. If not, stay tuned for the heavier stuff next, but if you are, you’ll be glad to know I’m giving it a solid 7.5/10

Unleashed: No Sign of Life

Picking up the pace immediately are Swedish death metal titans Unleashed. Now 14 albums deep into their career the band have long since perfected their sound so this was more of the same. If you like this band or death/thrash metal at all, you’ll love this. Highlights include opening track, lead single ‘Where Can You Flee?’ and the track below. 7.5/10

Silent Planet: Iridescent

Last but not least this week we get American metalcore band Silent Planet and their fourth studio album, Iridescent. Coming into this completely blind my first impression was that it’s a lot heavier than most metalcore bands I am familiar with these days. It struck me as more of a hardcore album outside of the clean vocals. It was okay, I guess. I wouldn’t say it was anything special either, though. All the tracks were just kind of there, and very little (if anything) stood out to me. ‘Panopticon’ was maybe the best among them and showcases what this album is about the best, so check it out if you’re interested and see if you enjoy it more than me. If not…. 4.5/10

And there we have it. As I said before, it’s not been the biggest week ever in music and we have a couple of bigger weeks coming up before the end of the year, but it was pretty solid with most albums being at least enjoyable. Good but not ground-breaking, but that’s all one can really ask for!

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Gypsy Pistoleros Gunning For Christmas #1

Yes, you heard that right. Sleaze-flamenco favourites Gypsy Pistoleros are trying for the converted UK Christmas number one slot this year with their cover of Ricky Martin’s ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’. Backed by the Guru of XMas Hits Jon Morter (responsible for the Rage Against the X Factor campaign back in 2009) and with the campaign well under way (with a little help from the guys at Hard Rock Hell) it has a real chance of gaining some real steam and a chance of winning it back for the rock crowd for the first time since Rage Against the Machine over a decade ago!

Not only that, but all proceeds from the track go towards the amazing Shelter charity.

The track itself is awesome (if you haven’t listened to it already above); a great new take on a classic original song. We love it and would personally love to see it get as much plays as possible, so stream the hell out of it, buy it and keep on this site to watch it on YouTube over and over! Just imagine how amazing it would be if not just a rock band, but a smaller one part of the NWOCR scene get’s this much mainstream media attention!

The track is up for pre-order now and is fully released on the 17th of December, so what are you waiting for? Get to it!

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New Music Mondays: Bullet for my Valentine, Radiohead and More!

A slightly tamer week than last week with less than half the amount of new albums released, but that doesn’t mean the quality is any less! Four albums spanning metalcore to rock, there is a lot to be excited about here. Join us in checking it out!

Bullet for my Valentine: Bullet for my Valentine

A band with more ups and downs than most, Bullet for my Valentine return to their heavier sound with their latest, self-titled record. Their seventh studio effort may bring back a lot of former fans as it is a lot closer to their debut album’s sound than their last couple have been. It’s heavy, it’s awesome, and you’re going to have to wait for a full review as there was no way I wasn’t going to check this out in full as a long-term fan!

Radiohead: KID A MNESIA

I just want to say right out of the gate… I’m not at all a fan of Radiohead. I don’t get it, it bores me. So if I offend anyone with these next few sentences, I’m sorry. But… it’s over two hours of boring nothingness. Like honestly the first 15 minutes I checked out felt like a joke, it was just repetitive, boring noise and barely present, terrible vocals. What was with the horns on ‘The National Anthem’? It sounded like bad experimental jazz, like that song from the show Preacher. And this thing is THREE DISCS and THIRTY FOUR TRACKS. I’m sorry but what the fuck?! I checked out a variety of tracks from each of the discs and none of it got any better. The one below is one of the very few tolerable tracks across the whole album. 2/10

Portrayal of Guilt: CHRISTFUCKER

Hardcore punk band Portrayal of Guilt are probably one of the heaviest bands we’ve covered on this series so far, as you probably could have guessed by the album title. The third album by the trio, after releasing their second only back in January, they definitely have a pretty distinct sound to them. This is another album that definitely isn’t going to be for everyone, and was even a bit much for me, but there was some good stuff in here at least, the odd riff and awesome vocal line. However, for the most part it was a terribly produced mess. ‘Fall From Grace’ in particular stands out as both a showcase of what the album is good at and terrible at, all compressed into just two-and-a-half minutes. If you’re a fan of brutal music, this may appeal to you, but if it scares you, I’d probably recommend skipping it. 3/10

Neptune Rain: Chaos and Light, Extended Edition

Originally an EP released as Neptune Rain‘s debut last year, it got extended into an album this last week with a further few tracks. It’s awesome, and one of the best debuts I have heard in a good long while. You can find our full review of it here.

And there we have it. A pretty quiet week thanks to a couple more delays, but still a pretty decent week depending on what sort of music you like!

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