Tag Archives: alt metal

New Music Mondays: Halestorm, Three Days Grace and Much More!

An absolutely HUGE week for New Music Mondays. 12 massive albums from some of the biggest names in rock and metal all out on the same day. I don’t know what it was about May 6th, but I’ve been waiting for it for a while. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Halestorm: Back From the Dead

Back from the dead indeed. After four years the band returned with their follow-up to 2018’s Vicious. The two singles from the album were both fantastic, setting the scene for the rest of it perfectly. However, you are going to have to wait just a little longer for my review and score, as there is no way I’m NOT doing this in depth! It should be on the site and socials within a couple of days, so keep an eye out!

Three Days Grace: EXPLOSIONS

One of the leaders of the affectionately dubbed ‘butt-rock’ sub-genre, Three Days Grace have been around over two decades at this point and show no sign of slowing down. I have to admit, I haven’t really actively listened to this band since One-X all the way back in 2006. So, it was nice to find myself rather pleasantly surprised by this album!

All the elements of butt-rock are here, the basic, heavy guitar riffs, the electronic melodies to help build the track and the edgy lyrical content. However, it is clear it is being written by a band that know exactly what they are doing, and do it exceptionally well. While the opener and lead single was a little too edgy for me, tracks like ‘I Am The Weapon’ and ‘No Tomorrow’ are just as good as anything else they’ve put out. Even the slower tracks like ‘Lifetime’ and ‘Redemption’ are fantastic, even if they are pretty depressing lyrically. Still, the emotion is definitely there, in every track. It’s made me want to check out the albums from them I’ve missed and I’ll definitely be listening to this a lot in the coming weeks! 7/10

Simple Plan: Harder Than it Looks

The Canadian pop-punkers have done a lot more than just ‘What’s New Scooby Do?’. The band have had some amazing, huge tracks over their now six album career. Their latest looks to continue that trend, being packed with huge, catchy, arena-filling choruses and vocal lines… and not a great deal else. Don’t get me wrong, the instrumentation is fine, but there isn’t really any of it that I would consider memorable. It’s a usual issue with pop punk, but it’s more prevalent in more anthemic bands like these or Good Charlotte. Still, tracks like the opener and ‘Million Pictures of You’ are good fun and highlights of a fairly standard, samey album. 6.5/10

Fozzy: Boombox

Another album I have to do an in-depth review of I’m afraid, as I have been a Jericho fan for as long as I can remember. Still though, from what I’ve heard so far, it’s going to be pretty good, and certainly better than their last couple of albums!

Silverstein: Misery Made Me

The pop-punk/emo/post hardcore(?) band hit double digits on their discography last week. This sort of music was never really my thing as a kid, in fact I actively avoided most ’emo’ music aside the odd AFI song. So, because of that, I know the band by name only. However, I did enjoy this album. The band managed to put together some interesting different styles throughout. I didn’t think the opening track was that heavy at all and leant heavily into pop-punk so it had me wondering where the post hardcore was. Then the heavy second track came in and I understood a lot more.

Tracks like ‘Ultraviolet’, ‘It’s Over’ and ‘Slow Motion’ also perfectly blend these two styles. The tracks have some awesome catchiness blended with the heaviness too. I’m actually pissed at myself for not giving this band a chance sooner, I’ll definitely be checking them out more! It’s an effortless style of arena-heavy-rock that bands like Asking Alexandria and BVB have tried to varying degrees of success recently. Awesome stuff! 8.5/10

Ibaraki: Rashomon

Trivium frontman and all-round metal legend Matt Heafy finally put out his solo album last week. This is said album. Oh, and it’s death/black metal, so I have been even more excited! Opening on a seven-and-a-half minute death epic for an essentially debut album is a ballsy move, but Heafy pulls it off masterfully. Insane riffs and a harsher scream than I have heard him use in a while, as well as still some of his powerful cleans, start the album off strong.

Then there’s the all out assault of ‘Ibaraki-Doji’ and the darkly beautiful black metal slow build of ‘Jigoku Dayu’, both of which are massive highlights. Oh, and Behemoth’s own Nergal also makes an appearance on the awesome ‘Akumu’, another highlight. There is also guest appearances from the legendary Ihsahn of Emperor and even My Chemical Romance Frontman Gerard Way. Oh, and yes, you guessed it, both tracks are also awesome. Especially the latter, which sees the usually clean vocalist scream his fucking lungs out. I honestly didn’t think he had it in him, that was awesome. Heafy does a good job of managing to make it sound not too much like Trivium, but still have that recognisable edge to it. While I wouldn’t put it quite up there with Court of the Dragon, it is still an insanely strong album. 9/10

Otoboke Beaver: Super Champon

I don’t understand how these girls have over 100k monthly listeners. Then again, the punk scene is and always has been weird. I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t make it through the whole album. I couldn’t. The vocals were barely in tune and the lyrics were SO VERY REPETITIVE. For a guy who complains about the Killers’s magnum opus ‘Mr Brightside’ being ‘lazy’ for having the same verse twice, this band make them look like J.R. Tolkien. I don’t get it, it sounds awful. If you like it please let me know on our socials what I’m missing, because this was not good. 2/10

Depressed Mode: Decade of Silence

The doom metallers returned after… well… a decade of silence (13 years, to be exact). I’ve already reviewed this very good album, so you can check out what I had to say, alongside my score, here.

Terror: Pain Into Power

This is the first ‘beatdown hardcore’ band I believe we have (at least knowingly) covered here at Overtone. While I feel like I have heard the term somewhere before, it doesn’t sound like my sort of thing so I suspect this will be a review of my first time listening to a whole new sub-genre today, rare these days.

It’s alright. Better than I expected it to be, given the name of the subgenre. It wasn’t anything special but there were a few good riffs, like the one at the end of ‘Boundless Contempt’. And it didn’t overstay its welcome either, being just 18-minutes spread across ten songs. Even the lyrics weren’t terrible. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever listened to but I’ll happily listen to it again. 6/10

Puppy: Pure Evil

This was somehow a more doom version of Smashing Pumpkins. The intro track made me think the album was going to be pretty slow and heavy, but then ‘The Kiss’ flipped it all on its head. It’s an interesting blend of styles: doom/stoner, metal, grunge and even some desert rock. I enjoyed it a fair bit, with ‘Spellbound’ being my particular album highlight. 6/10

I Am The Night: While the Gods Are Sleeping

It’s black metal. That alone should tell you exactly what to expect. I’ve really tried, guys. I’ve been doing NMM for over seven months now and have since listened to a fair amount of black metal. It’s the only sub-genre that does absolutely nothing for me. The musicians in this band are clearly very good at what they do, and the vocalist has one hell of a scream on him, but the actual songs kinda bore me. This is what people think of when they use phrases like ‘all metal just sounds the same’ and ‘you can’t tell what they’re saying’ and you know what, they’re absolutely right. I am the Night are a solid band and probably a great black metal band, bit it isn’t for me. 3/10

Stand Atlantic: f.e.a.r.

I nearly didn’t cover this. Then I remembered I covered Avril Lavigne in one of these and realised I kind of had to. It is still guitar based, even if it is more pop than rock. It reminds me very much of the likes of Olivia Rodrigo or Gayle in its melody, just with slightly more guitars. It isn’t a bad thing and is certainly catchy. It’s simply very basic catchiness and the lyrics are not really my sort of thing. It’s clearly inspired by modern female pop and punk (like AS IT IS) alongside the likes of Avril and P!no. It simply doesn’t quite live up to those influences. Tracks like ‘Deathwish’ and ‘Don’t Talk’ are pretty decent though and definite highlights. 5.5/10

Suffer in Silence: A Solid Sophomore Album From Assimilate?

Assimilate was a band I had no familiarity with before receiving an early copy of their album to review by a good friend of ours. So, I am going into this completely blind, other than the fact that I know Jon usually sends us pretty decent stuff. After checking out the first track just to get an idea, it seems they are definitely metal, probably closer to metalcore or alt-metal. If you’re into that sort of style, check this out with me! 

Assimilate’s Official Facebook

The opening track, ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’, is an odd one for me. It is, for all intents and purposes, an intro track. It’s a minute-and-a-half in length and serves as a slow build of guitars and vocals. However, the second half features a steady drumbeat, some admittedly awesome keys, and then harsh vocals and distorted guitars. It would have been a great track in of its own but stops massively abruptly after that first heavy part and heads into something completely different for the start of the next track. It feels like it doesn’t know if it wants to be an intro track or a fully-fledged song, so does half of both. It’s good but odd.

The opening riff for ‘Limerence’ is awesome and heavy as anything. The vocals soon come in over the top, swapping between powerful harsh screams and nu/industrial metal style cleans. The chorus is more open and pretty catchy, especially with the awesome high harmonies on the vocals. The drums are still working overtime to keep it heavy throughout, though, which is awesome. Heck, even the clean parts of the verses are massively catchy. I’m loving this so far! The short bridge/breakdown is pretty decent, the harsh vocals coming in over the top. We then get a final, huge chorus to take us home. This was great, and makes the playlist!

‘Parasites’ momentarily slows things down a little with a rather beautiful clean guitar riff to open it. The heaviness picks up a little with some chuggy, distorted guitars coming in behind the riff. The clean vocals also join for the verse. It then heads into a fantastic, heavy chorus, the vocals staying catchy and memorable even when they head into screams. The guitar riff behind it all is maybe the best bit though, it’s such a good riff!

We then get an even catchier second chorus afterwards, reminding me a lot of the track before with the high clean vocals and even higher harmonies. The breakdown riff coming out of it is awesome and the callout isn’t half bad for it either. We then get a double clean chorus before a slow, AWESOME breakdown takes us home in fantastic, heavy style. I LOVED this, the musicianship and songwriting was amazing. Playlisted!

‘Blood Hands’ has a great riff running through it but follows a very similar structure to ‘Limerence’, even down to the alternating clean and harsh vocals in the verses. There was a pretty nice little guitar solo in it, though. The album’s title track feels a little different, the opening riff giving off ‘Limerence’ vibes but the structure of it being a lot closer to ‘Parasites’. Both are good, catchy songs, but I’m starting to see a bit of a pattern. That definitely isn’t a bad thing, especially for a debut album, it just means I have less to talk about with them!

‘Deathwish’ starts going harder than any of the tracks before, it giving off more of a thrash vibe than anything else with quick guitars and powerful, harsh vocals. It still provides another very catchy, radio-friendly chorus though, and maybe my favourite one on the album. The breakdown is another awesome one, too. The exact same praise and analysis can be given to ‘Incisions’ and ‘Nihilist’. The intro of ‘Nihilist’ is a definite highlight though, heading straight into a HEAVY guitar riff and screams. Good Stuff!

The clean verse in ‘Amnesia’ was a nice touch and made the heavier pre more impactful. We still get a clean chorus afterwards, though at this point I feel like a heavier one might have been a better call, mixing it up a little bit. It’s a good chorus, though, and there’s enough heaviness throughout the track still to carry it.

Then there is the final track, the 7-minute epic ‘Everything Ends’. It feels similar in structure and feel to the likes of Bullet’s ‘The End’ and Pantera’s ‘Cemetery Gates’, slow through the verses but with some huge, distorted parts in there too. The extended stripped-back part in the middle added some great dynamics to the track and built up perfectly back into another epic final double chorus. The final minute being a beautiful, slowly fading soundscape of synth and piano was a perfect way to close it too, harkening back to the opener. A great track to sign off with!

Overall: This was great! A fantastic blend of heavy riffs, screamed vocals, and massive, catchy cleaner choruses. The band has definitely found a new fan in me and I cannot wait to hopefully see them live locally in the new year! I’m excited to see where they go from here!

The Score: 7.5/10

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