A slightly slower week this week, with no absolutely massive releases or a huge amount of albums out. But still, there was some great new music from the rock and metal world released this week, with six new albums out. Let’s check them out!
STATE CHAMPS: Kings of the New Age
New Yorkian pop-punkers State Champs put out their fourth album last Friday. I have to admit I know the name and have probably heard a track or two, but I never really got much into the modern wave of pop-punk.
However, having said that, this is a pretty damn good album. It’s a little heavier than traditional pop punk, but I also thinks it adds a more anthemic feel to it all. It’s arena pop-punk, and I am shocked it’s taken me this long to listen to it. Obviously the singles are all amazing, but there isn’t a bad track on the album really. I need to check out more from this band and genre ASAP, I think! 8/10
Misery Index: Complete Control
The Maryland based death metal band put out a DAMN heavy death metal album last week. And it’s great. Before Overtone I would never have even attempted to listen to this album, but it’s opened my eyes to a lot of fantastic death metal, this included. The riffs are brutal, crushing awesomeness and the gang vocals means that a few of the tracks are even pretty catchy. Just check out ‘Infiltrators’, it perfectly encapsulates the bands sound and attitude in just two short minutes. Great stuff! 8/10
Cage Fight: Self-Titled
The new band seem to go by so many different labels, be it punk, thrash, metalcore. Either the latter or metalic hardcore is probably the closest to their sound. Either way, it’s fucking fantastic. From the first track of the album I was hooked, and I stayed hooked throughout. I love that we are starting to get more and more female screamers these days as they are showing they can do it just as good as the guys. I also have to gush over just as smooth the transitions between the tracks are. At times I didn’t realise a new song had started until like 30 seconds in. It’s the sign of a great album as it flows perfectly. I was going to say the first X amount of tracks were fantastic, but honestly it just kept rolling with great track after great track! This is a ridiculously strong debut album and they have found a new fan in me! Not a bad track on the album and damn, I need to see them live soon! 9/10
Moon Tooth: Phototroph
The Prog Metallers have been around for a decade now, constantly wowing audiences with their talent and songwriting skill. That continues with Phototroph. Their new music may be their best yet. The guitaring in the opener and ‘Deathwish Blues’ is a technical masterclass, combining both lead and rhythm together perfectly. There are times even the vocals somehow sounds both completely separate from the instrumentation but also the perfect accompaniment. ‘O My Isle’ may be my favourite of the bunch, combining light, catchy sounds with a pretty heavy riff. Another band that I need to check out more of! 8.5/10
Visions of Atlantis: Pirates
It’s like if Nightwish and Alestorm had a lovechild. Symphonic metal about pirates is something I never knew I needed until now, and yet also I’m surprised there isn’t more of. All of it is great, but ‘Master the Hurricane’ is on a level of its own. Unquestionably epic from the string-heavy opening to the massive closing riff, it is how you do symphonic/power metal at its very best. A highlight on an album that also includes the likes of ‘Wild Elysium ‘ is an impressive feat and should hopefully set Visions of Atlantis up to be the next big thing in the sub-genre. 7.5/10
Morgue Supplier: Inevitability
If anyone was here last week, you know what’s coming here. It’s death metal. What more do you expect. Granted, this had slightly more groove to it than the typical blast beat and ‘AHHHHH’, but it still didn’t do a great deal for me. As such, I don’t feel qualified to give scores to death metal, as I am just not going to like it enough to give it a good rating, no matter how good at the sub-genre the band is. I’mma give it a 4/10 and hope that works!
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
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
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
Depressed Mode are a Finnish doom/death/prog metal band. Formed in 2005 as a solo project of Ossy Salonen, the band released two albums in the few years after before going silent through the 2010s. However, the band returned this last week with their first album in over a decade, and titled it accordingly! I’m not particuarly familiar with the band so I’m excited to be checking it out!
‘Death Walks Among us’ opens on a beautiful orchestral piece. It builds and builds perfectly. But, at a minute-and-a-half before the guitars and drums come in, it may be just a tad long. The strings continuing on in the back is an excellent touch, made even better moments later when the lead guitar harmonises with it. It then heads into full-on doom metal for the verse, the low growls also bringing in the death element. Surprisingly though, there were some clean vocals in here too. Not many, but it broke things up a bit and added a catchy element to it all.
The chuggy, almost breakdown part afterwards was fantastic. The growls fit in well and the violins when they come back in. The cleans come back in for what I assume is the chorus before and it even leads to a pretty sweet guitar solo, even if it was a tad short. The final chorus with the duelling clean and harsh vocals was FANTASTIC and rounds out one hell of an opening track. This is everything I could possibly want out of the heavier side o metal. It was heavy, packed full of great riffs and great screams. But, to top it off, it has some great clean vocals and a real epic feel to it thanks to the strings. The easiest playlist I’ve done in a while!
‘Endless November’ starts off slow but still heavy. The clean vocals remain too, reminding me of Tobias Forge in their higher, harmonised delivery. A higher, more female-led symphonic metal vocal adds even more depth to it. It plays off the other clean perfectly. It has a very black/doom metal vibe about it all. And it benefits from being on the proggier side length wise too, as the pace doesn’t really pick up until a few minutes in, the harsh vocals not coming in until after that. They’re pretty far back in the mix though, almost treated like another instrument. The operatic female vocal takes the lead here in a big way, giving us an even catchier chorus than the previous tracks! The whole song is more like symphonic metal than anything else, doom being the next closest. It’s epic and a lot of fun, another great song!
‘Dissociation of the Extinguished Mind’ is another one with an epic opening, even having a pretty great guitar solo around the one minute mark. It stays slow for the verse and the growls return. There’s a great riff that comes in around the mid-point of the song, the lead guitar following the string accompaniment perfectly. There’s the odd vocal line and sound as well behind it, spoken word kinda style, and it really reminds me of Faith no More. The clean vocals afterwards added a nice change of pace, and again when they go back to them later, and around it are more heavy, growled verses. It fading out to a piano outro was also fantastic, adding an epic, creepy finale to things. Good stuff!
The piano continues on into the intro of ‘As the Light Dims’, and the violin over the top makes it all so beautiful. The guitars come in over the top, as do the female vocal lines. The dynamics of the track are fun, heading into some growls before dropping back down to the piano and female ‘ooo’s and ‘ahhh’s. It builds back up again with the Ghost-like clean vocals and huge distorted guitar chords. At one point all three vocal styles are duelling and it sounds AMAZING. The whole track is heavy, proggy greatness.
Unfortunately, this is where the album peaks for me. Don’t me wrong, the following five tracks are all awesome, and I will definitely be listening to them again a few times after this. Heck, the riff for ‘Serpents’ is my favourite on the whole album, and the track is a highlight for sure. And it was nice to have some more upbeat tracks again like ‘Eternal Darkness’. However, there are a lot of slower parts throughout the album. Anyone who visits this site reguarly knows that my patience for this type of music isn’t the best. It’s all fantastically written and awesome to listen to, but nine songs clocking in at over an hour is a little much for me all in one sitting!
Overall: As I’ve said, this was awesome. It was an epic, heavy, very well-written album full of everything you could ask for from the sub-genre. A fantastic return after well over a decade away!
The Score: 8/10
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Another week and some more fantastic new music in the world of rock and metal. From industrial to death to blues, there’s a bit of everything! Check it all out down below!
Industrial metal kings Rammstein return with their eighth studio album, and a rather quick successor to 2019s Untitled Album. The band are yet to release a bad album and, to no ones surprise, they keep that record alive with this new music. Whether it is the slow piano build of the title track or the straight up chugging of ‘Giftig’ or ‘OK’. All three tracks are highlights of the album, but honestly there isn’t a bad track on it.
It’s a slower album than I was expecting, though. I do like their mid-tempo stuff a lot, and it has resulted in a much more epic-feeling album, but it’s weird to only have three or four faster tracks on it. I imagine it’s because the band are maturing as songwriters more and more, as the previous album was slower than their early ones too. Also, the final track being ‘Adieu’ and containing various different other ways of saying goodbye, could the band be trying to tell us something…? Either way, a very good album that boarders more on power metal than industrial. 8/10
Ted Nugent: Detroit Muscle
A controversial figure these days due to his political leanings, Ted can at least still write some okay rock music when he wants to. I have to admit this is the first Nugent album I’ve listened to all the way through. I’m British and us over here tend to prefer Canada’s version, Bryan Adams, over Nugent or Bruce Springsteen.
The album’s fun, even if it is full of his usual rhetoric. It annoys me that ‘Come and Take it’ is so catchy, given that it’s very ‘Don’t Tread on Me’. Still, this isn’t the time or place to get political. This is a good blues album full of pretty decent guitar riffs, some catchy choruses and a few fun riffs. ‘American Campfire’ and ‘Alaska’ are definite highlights for me, but the album as a whole is enjoyable to listen to from start to finish. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and may have to check out some more of his stuff after this. 6.5/10
Watain: The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain
The Swedish black metal band have been going a lot longer than I thought they had been. Now seven albums in their first decade of music is a bit of a mystery to me. Though black metal has never really been on my radar, I did know about these guys due to a fair amount of hype surrounding them around The Wild Hunt, so I have at least checked out some of their stuff. Though this company has definitely opened my eyes more to the heavier side of metal, black metal still seems like an anomaly to me. I get and enjoy death metal a lot now, and even like a fair amount of extreme stuff. black metal simply seems to not have as much going on in it usually and gets a bit monotonous.
However, this album does a good job at trying to bridge the gap, for me. There’s more going on than your typical black metal album; between guitar solos, thrashier guitars and some fun dynamics it definitely has some death and extreme elements. I still wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to it and the whole 50 minutes in one sitting was a bit of a struggle, but I wouldn’t turn any of it off if it came on. I imagine this is very good for fans of the genre, if I enjoyed it. But I can’t give it more than 5.5/10
Paddy and the Rats: From Wasteland to Wonderland
The Hungarian Celtic punk band released their sixth album last week. First of all, it’s a lot of fun. It’s like all of Christopher Bowes’ projects blended together with a hint of Dropkick Murphys and Train. I have to admit it took me a couple of tracks to get into the vocals, and they’re still not quite as folky/piratey for my liking. However, don’t get me wrong, Paddy can definitely sing. Either way, it’s a very fun album, with tracks like ‘Ship Will Sail’, ‘Matadora’ And the album club-pop ‘Party Like a Pirate’. I love that this is the sort of direction this style of music is going, with Alestorm’s ‘Tortuga’ being another fantastic example. It’s all massively catchy album from start to finish and it’s insane that I haven’t heard of them before. Hopefully this pushes them to even greater heights, and they definitely have a new fan in me! 8.5/10
The Swedish glam metal band are six albums deep now, and show no signs of slowing down! Automation is a good album BUT I want to review it as a whole, given that I’m a Big fan of the band’s music and we are speaking to them later this month. So keep an eye out on our website and socials as it will be up in the next few days!
Reef: Shoot Me Your Ace
The British pop-rock band get a lot less praise and love than they deserve. There is a lot more to them than ‘Place Your Hands’, with tracks like ‘Naked’ and even newer stuff like ‘How I Got Over’ been criminally underrated songs. Aside from that they are still one of the nest live bands around today, with frontman Gary Stringer always being on top form.
Now that the gushing is out of the way, the band’s sixth album is also very good. From the dirty blues title track through to tracks more like ‘Place…’ like ‘Refugee’ and ‘Wolfman’ there is a lot to love here. It’s a fantastic album full of catchy choruses, sorting vocals and effortlessly fantastic guitar riffs. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that it’s another album that doesn’t have a great deal of variety on it. It’s 42-minutes of awesome, fun blues rock so it’s a lot harder to dislike it all being similar, but a ballad or something out there may have been nice in the middle! Still, I ended up saving half of these tracks so any number of them could end up on the playlist! Another fantastic entry from the band! 8/10
FES: With Regards From Home
A band that we are very familiar with, given that it was the first gig we went to as a company. Their debut album was finally released on Friday and we’ve already reviewed it! Check it out here.
If I Die Today: The Abyss In Silence
Firstly, the concept of this album is really cool. Having life, death, the five stages of grief and then Darkness as the track titles is a chilling way to start off the story. The music fits the tone perfectly too, the hardcore metal bordering on blackened death working well. For the most part the tracks fit the titles, too. However, I know that they’re a very heavy band, but a couple of the tracks, such as ‘Life’, ‘Autumn’ and ‘Darkness’, could have maybe done with being a little slower or stripped back to really get the message across. However, the riffs were fantastic throughout and the vocals changed between heavy growls and extreme, hopeless-filled shrieks and made it pretty interesting. The emotion and talent is definitely there and the concept is fantastic, I’m just being picky and again wishing for some more variety. 6.5/10
The Oklahoman death metal trio put out their first new album in six years last week. In fitting with the album’s artwork, it’s a trippy, heavy album. Pulling no punches, from the first note of ‘Minds of Dust’ to the closing one of ‘Le Petite Mort’ it is an all out assault. Tracks like ‘Bodies of Ash’ and ‘The Whip’ are personal highlights of an insane bunch. It’s definitely on the heavier side of death metal and will take me a bit of getting used to, but I’m sure after a few more listens I’ll love it. The instrumentation is off the charts, some of the riffs are incredible, and the growls are insanely low. If anyone’s into death metal check this out! 7/10
Extinction in Progress are an alternative death metal band from Finland. The band have released a couple of EPs, with the latest coming way back in 2015, but are finally putting out their debut album tomorrow. I have heard their singles off the album already and was impressed by them. I cannot wait to hear what they have to offer with the full release!
After an epic, almost power-metal intro, ‘Cold, Part 1’ rips into a thrash riff that reminds me a lot of late 2000s Machine Head. The vocals fit perfectly over the top, being hardcore-inspired screams before getting into low gutturals as the instrumentation gets pure black metal for the chorus. It drops down a bit for a lower bridge, the vocals being the death metal equivalent of a whisper. After a brief drop-out to just guitars it explodes into a HUGE riff. It also features some of the most disgusting vocals I’ve heard in a while. It’s fantastic. The added (albeit not too focused on) female vocals added a nice touch in the middle too, a beautiful reprise from the brutality for moments. They also all combine together to make for one hell of an epic conclusion. Awesome. Playlisted.
Part 2 of the track continues on the same energy and aggression, but at the same time is noticeably slower and sluggier in parts. How the band manage to pack the same anger into these parts is impressive. They go hard enough round them still to live up to their death metal label. The riff that kicks in in the middle had my face screwing up, it was fantastic, but doesn’t last nearly long enough before the band drop down to just clean guitars and actual whispers. However, the atmosphere generated is amazing and eerie, and it builds up slowly into a MASSIVE ending. Both parts are impressive and Cold in general is a masterpiece of black/death/any other metal. Check these out!
‘The Wedding’ jumps straight into the verse, the harsh vocals kicking in over a quick, technical riff. It again gets black metal AF in the chorus, a staple of the band so it seems, and a welcome one. The blast beats are insane. This track pulls no punches, going hard through the verses and choruses. It still manages to drop down to an awesome, slower clean riff. The dynamics the band put into their song keep it interesting and, as a newer fan of the genre, I definitely appreciate the tracks changing up and not being an all out assault. Still, it isn’t long before it explodes into the heaviness again, punching the listener in the face respectfully and repeatedly until the end. Great stuff!
‘The Loudest Silence’ opening on a quiet, clean intro was a fun little bit of irony. However, while it may not be the fastest track on the album by a fair margin, it is certainly still HEAVY. It carries the same energy as Gojira’s ‘Heaviest Matter in the Universe’; two tracks that explain exactly what you are going to be listening to. And also two tracks that throw every insane riff they have in their arsenal together. I love it.
And then what do they do? Make it jazzy in the middle and add a fucking sax. Horns in metal (especially death) is my weakness, and this was done perfectly. This even beats out that At the Gates track from last year that did a similar thing. As if I couldn’t have loved it any more. Safe to say this will be my favourite track on the album, another that easily makes the playlist!
‘Ashes’ opens on a bouncy as he’ll riff that almost sounded metalcore more than anything. Especially when it kicked in. It’s also a minute in before any vocals come in, another couple of amazing riffs being thrown in in between for good measure. I do have to say though that outside of these riffs nothing stood out to me too much about the track. I felt the same about ‘Feasting Upon a False God’, too, though the interlude track between the two, ‘Limbo’ was a great little atmospheric piece. It gave the listener a bit of breather and set the scene perfectly for the following track.
The next track is more of the same while the closing track, ‘Motherload’ goes massively black metal. It’s heavy, plodding and filled with extreme metal screams and growls. The guitars were a particular highlight too, setting a creepy, atmospheric atmosphere from start to finish. Between that and the dynamics shifting from stripped back, quite parts to heavy, double-bass-peddle filled highs, this is one hell of a conclusion to an album. It feels huge and massively epic. We live in a time when bands struggle to finish an album well (in my opinion), but Extinction in Progress nail it here! It also helps that the band go prog as fuck out of nowhere, the track clocking in at over 10 minutes. It’s prog done right too, ever changing and evolving to keep it interesting. If you check out any tracks from this album, make it this and the opener.
Overall: This was great! As a recent convert to death/black metal, this is one of the best things I have heard so far. The instrumentation is off the charts and the screams were damn impressive. And the ups and downs kept it constantly interesting, as well as adding plenty of feeling and atmosphere to it. I can’t wait to see where the band go from here, and hopefully it’s to the UK for a tour…
Welcome back to New Music Mondays, where we go over all of the new releases from the world of rock. Another eight albums or us this week, so let’s check them out!
Feeder were a band similar to The Darkness, exploding onto the scene in the early 2000s and capitalising on the mainstreams last few years of true love for rock music. Heck, they headlined Download Festival, for crying out loud. That’s big. Then, as quickly as they arrived, they seemed to disappear again. However, I can safely tell you that not only have they continued to make music, but it has been consistently pretty good.
Torpedo is no different. Tracks like ‘The Healing’ channel the bands inner Foo Fighters while the title track and ‘Magpie’ have a heaviness to them that I often forget that I oft forget they have. It’s a solid album all round, both from a heavier and lighter perspective. It shows that the band should never have dropped back down the pecking order, as this is one of the strongest overall albums of the year so far. Something I was not expecting to say today! 8/10
Cypress Hill: Back in Black
While technically not ‘rock’ by any means, Cypress Hill have always been in that scene, even before B-Real joined Prophets of Rage. However, this is by far the least rock I have heard them. I*t’s a straight up elate 90s rap record, tired themes and all. I’m a pretty big fan of that era of rap, and this band, but it was pretty underwhelming. 3/10
Sonic Youth: In/Out/In
If you thought the album title was weird, this album is only 5 tracks long but runs for 45 minutes. Ugh. I know it isn’t exactly new music, more a rarities album, but it is still a new release. Now, I don’t not like prog, when it’s done right and kept interesting. Rush are a perfect example, as are Dream Theater, two bands who constantly change things up in the songs and have the heaviness to appreciate too. But a 9-minute instrumental track to open the album that revolves around the same slow, boring chord progression throughout is not at all my thing. This is somehow worse than Grateful Dead. See how long you can subject yourself to down below and leave your scores in the comments! 2/10
Stabbing Westward: Chasing Ghosts
This is more like it! The industrial rock band’s fifth studio album and first since their 2016 reunion pulls no punches, opening on a fantastic, heavy, industrial guitar riff that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s a dark, heavy and everything I wish Nine Inch Nails would do for a full album. It’s definitely one hell of a return album with a good few highlights, including ‘Cold’, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Control Z’. If you’re a fan of industrial rock at all, you’ll love this. 7.5/10
Weezer: SZNZ: Spring
Firstly, how rude of Weezer put out an album on a Sunday instead of a Friday like the rest, making me work all weekend! Secondly, the band are no strangers to overtone, with their 2021 album getting a very respectable 7.5 from us. And, this is one of four albums the band are releasing this year, one for each season. It’s definitely an ambition plan!
I love the idea behind having four widely different feeling albums that fit with the season they are named after, but the light, happy, folky spring album didn’t do much for me. I’m definitely more a fan of Weezer’s heavier, rockier stuff over their more pop leaning, and there wasn’t much of that here. Single ‘A Little Bit of Love’ is a tune, though! 6/10
Agathodaimon: The Seven
The German black metal band go hard on their first album in nine years. However, while it’s pretty extreme at times, I was also pretty surprised to hear some clean vocals throughout. It was nice to hear a black metal band branch out and diversify a little throughout their album rather than just an all out assault on the ears. The heaviness is still there for sure, but so is the melody, and it helps this album a lot for me. The fact that there are catchy vocal lines and guitar solos is fantastic and definitely puts this above your average super-heavy album. And it still has plenty of epicness from the symphonic side of stuff. No matter your music tastes, check out ‘The Divine’, you won’t be disappointed! 8.5/10
Audio Karate: ¡Otra!
Bringing a more pop-punk flavour to NMM, Audio Karate returned with their fourth studio album last week. The album is at it’s best when it leans into the punk side over the pop, too. Tracks like ‘Segway’ and ‘She Looks Good’ channel almost Rancid or Distillers vibes, and sound a lot more appealing to me than the opening track or ‘Care Carelessly’. Generally there is more good than meh on the album, but the good stuff is surprisingly towards the latter stages of the album. The last three tracks on the album are easily the best on it. 6.5/10
Dark Funeral: We Are The Apocalypse
Swedish death metal band Dark Funeral put out their seventh album last week. It’s okay. It’s enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but in my limited foray into the sub-genre that I have experienced through this company it doesn’t sound like it is doing much different or too interesting. Tracks like ‘Nosferatu’ and ‘Leviathan’ are good, but didn’t do a lot to hold my interest. 6/10
And that’s all folks! As always keep up to date on our socials here and tune in next week for, depending on your tastes, Machine Gun Kelly and Placebo!
Eight more rock and metal albums graced the scene this week, from all over the world. A lot of it is from some amazing newer bands too, while a few of the older ones still holding down the fort. It’s an exciting week for new music, so let’s get right to it!
Scorpions: Rock Believer
The German hard rock/heavy metal group are the oldest band on this list by a fair stretch, and with the release of this double album it takes them up to a whopping 19. It’s long, over an hour spread across 16 tracks, but it proves the band very much still have it. The opening track, ‘Gas in the Tank’ outlines my sentiments perfectly. The album is full of highlights but standout tracks include ‘Peacemaker’, ‘Seventh Sun’ and ‘Call of the Wild’. 8/10
Bad Omens: THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND
Another band to hop on the capitalise the album title trend are American metalcore band Bad Omens. The bands third album, much like their previous two, is on the lighter end of the metalcore spectrum, clearly inspired by Sempiternal-era BMTH. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does leave the album with a feel of ‘this has been done before’. Not every album needs to be ground-breaking, but I was hoping to get something a little heavier when I read ‘metalcore’. What a diverse, wide-spread sub-genre it is these days. Still, tracks like the opener and ‘Like a Villain’ are definite highlights. 6.5/10
Avril Lavigne: Love Sux
While primarily pop music, Avril‘s first album or two were definitely pop-punk, and with a promise of going back to that style with this album (alongside a fairly promising lead single), I thought it was at least worth checking out. I can confirm it is at least pop-punk. Whether it’s good or not… I’m not sure. It definitely has the same energy and feel as Let Go, but the issue I have, much like some of the other older pop-punk bands’ most recent albums is exactly that. She’s going on 40 now, and writing music like you are still 18, alongside spelling things like ‘bois’ and ‘Sux’, feels cringy. Plus, both MGK and Blackbear ruin their respective tracks. But Mark Hoppus kills it on ‘All I Wanted’, it being the best track he’s done since before Blink-182’s reunion over a decade ago. Plus, after his recent health issues, it’s really heart-warming to hear him back in music again.
However, despite all of the negativity, I cannot help but enjoy the album. Avril has definitely retained the ability to write one hell of a pop-punk chorus, and I’m going to again have3 ‘Bite Me’ stuck in my head for days now. An up and down album, but I think I can settle on a solid 7.5/10
Elles Bailey: Shining in the Half Light
Blues/NWOCR forerunner Elles Bailey released her third album on Friday, and it’s really good. It’s a Dorothy, American pop-rock sound but with enough blues and country edginess and twang to add some grit and darkness to it. Heck, opening track ‘Cheats and Liars’ perfectly encapsulates the sound, I would say, and is a damn good intro to her as an artist. Honestly though, if you are into the slower blues style, this whole album is one big highlight. It’s steady, chilled and full of great vocals and lyrics. Oh, and the guitars are enough for me to geek out over so they must be good! I would happily and highly recommend this album to anyone. Give it a list, you won’t be disappointed! 9/10
The Cannibal Corpse frontman finally released his much anticipated debut album over the weekend. To put it simply, it’s about exactly what you’d expect. I have become a rather medium fan of George Fisher due to the sheer amount of awesome guest slots he’s done on awesome tracks by other bands over the last couple of years. However, this didn’t quite measure up to ‘Take Your Pick’ or ‘Parpaing’. That’s not to say it’s bad by any stretch, though. It’s death metal through and through, and damn good death metal at that. Tracks like ‘On Wings of Carnage’ and ‘Crimson Proof’ were definite highlights for me, having me headbanging along from start to finish. And, I have to add, what an album cover! 7.5/10
Black Lakes: For All We’ve Left Behind
An awesome Welsh alt metal band, we had the pleasure of reviewing this album last week before it was released. It was good. How good? Read our reviewof it to find out for yourself!
Blood Incarnation: Timewave Zero
What the fuck was that? Am I being pranked here? I was expecting some death metal, not 40 minutes of ambient sounds. This is Devin Townsend’s wet dream and not my sort of thing at all. 1/10, I’m sorry.
Just a Ride: Self-Titled
Another band we reviewed ahead of time (we are on FIRE this week) is the debut from NWOCR’s newest band, Just a Ride. It’s good, and if you want to find out the score, you’ll have to check out the review for yourself here.
Another fantastic week, with the smaller bands really bring it this time round! Black Lakes and Elles Bailey in particular put out fantastic albums that are up there in the running for top of the year so far. The British music scene is really thriving right now! As always stay tuned for next week’s NMM and for the big one… Stereophonics!
While not featuring as many big names as the previous couple of weeks, there are still plenty of bands here to sink your teeth into. And it’s definitely a week for the heavy fans out there! Let’s check out all the new music, shall we?
Gaining a lot of popularity over the last few years due to their blend of Indian folk music with a nu-metal sound, Bloodywood released their second album last week, a follow-up to 2017’s pop covers album Anti-Pop Vol. 1. I love their singles over the last couple of years and their covers were a lot o fun, so I’m excited to hear this!
It’s the perfect blend of heaviness, nu-metal inspired rapping, folk elements and occasional subtle comedy. Heck, opening track and lead single ‘Gaddaar’ perfectly encapsulates what the band and album are about, and it’s excellent. Then you have tracks like ‘Aaj’, ‘Dana-Dan’ and the wonderfully heavy ‘Bsdk.exe’ making the album full of highlights. Metal is in a really interesting, healthy place right now with all of these new bands trying to branch out their sound, and I think Bloodywood may take their place towards the front of the pack if this album is anything to go by. 8.5/10
The Birthday Massacre: Fascination
The goth rock band put out their ninth studio album last week, their first in a couple of years. I’ve never really gotten into the scene so have no reference point in terms of their old music. I have to admit, I don’t really get it. It’s like a slightly heavier HIM, and I could never get into HIM growing up either. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad by any stretch, but it’s all rather plodding and repetitive and a little boring. I guess the single ‘Dreams of You’, is a highlight and if you like this sort of music I’m sure you’d find many more as it’s a pretty samey album. But for me, I can’t give it much higher than a 4/10
Midnight Oil: RESIST
Continuing the strange modern tradition of capitalised album titles, the Australian rock band put out their 13th studio album last week. The second since their 2016 reunion, the band definitely give it their all. From the slow-build intro of ‘Rising Seas’ through soft rock tracks like ‘Tarkine’, ‘Nobody’s Child’ and ‘We Are Not Afraid’, the band show off a lot of talent across their 12 tracks. I feel hypocritical because this is also a slow album, but unlike the previous album on this list this one held my attention a lot more and was a LOT more enjoyable. It’s a good mixture of Billy Joel, David Bowie and Elton John and is a damn good album from a band that have been at the game a good long while! 7/10
Immolation: Acts of God
Aaaaand back onto the heaviness. The death metal band are on their 11th studio album and show no signs of slowing down. After a clean (but still menacing) start to the album with the opener, the almost title track bursts in with blisteringly quick drums and guitars and low growled vocals, and the album doesn’t let up from there. It’s a lesson in how to do death metal well, with some great riffs and fun dynamics to show that it isn’t just a wall of sound constantly. ‘An Act of God’ is a definite highlight and the opening riff of ‘Apostle’ is enough to make it onto the playlist on its own merit. A fun death metal album for anyone into that sort of music! 7/10
Sleepwulf: Sunbeams Curl
Psychedelic/doom/stoner rock/metal band Sleepwulf released their sophomore album last week. The band burst straight in with their interesting blend of sounds and styles and dark lyrical content immediately with the aptly titled ‘Satan is King’. It’s like desert rock blended with Black Sabbath and Kyuss. Think The Sword but with less riffs. It is massively enjoyable. It’s lighter than I was expecting but the songwriting is off the charts good. It’s an old-school sound modernised just enough to keep it interesting. Other highlights include ‘Sex Magic Manifestation’, ‘Man in the Mountain’ and ‘Bury Me Backwards’. 8/10
Gtarzee: Nine Tracks
We finish on some more rock. Finnish blues rock, to be exact, with Gtarzee’s debut album. It’s a damn enjoyable album at that, too. From the guitar showcase of the opening track to the opening vocals of ‘Jealousy’, the album starts awesomely. Brian Forth’s vocals sound awesome on the latter track, giving it much more of a glam sound. However, the guest vocalists here do draw attention to the fact that Gtarzee himself doesn’t have the best voice. Sometimes it works, like in another album highlight ‘Sunday Blues’, but other times it doesn’t fit with the music quite as well as Forth’s voice did. Still, it’s a fun album and well worth a listen if you get the chance! 6/10
And there we have it, a surprisingly strong week that I wasn’t expecting going in! Some great albums and as usual some strong metal. Next week, Scorpions!
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As we hit February and the dust settles on the new year we start to see more and more bands beginning to put out new music. This year is no exception. From nu-metal to pop punk, we have eight new albums to check out this week. Strap yourselves in, ladies and gents, it’s a long one!
14 albums for the nu-metal godfathers. Boy that makes me feel old. I would also argue the band are still yet to put out a bad album. Sure, Path of Totality didn’t knock it out of the park, but there was still good stuff on that album and the band have been on form with the three since. Fingers crossed their first new music in a couple of years is more of the same.
Requiem continues that excellence. From the heaviness and one of the best riffs Munky has written in years in ‘Forgotten’ through the emotion-filled and catchy ‘Let The Dark Do the Rest’, it is the best one-two punch the band have released to start an album in years. By the time it reaches its lead single the track is rather overshadowed. And honestly, that continues throughout the album. the lead single, ‘Start the Healing’, is the weakest track by a fair margin, and an odd choice for a single. The other eight tracks and 29-minutes are some of the best Korn have ever put out. If anything, there simply isn’t enough of it!
It feels like what the band were going for on Korn III but perfected. And Davis’ voice sounds as good as ever, as well as his lyrics being emotional and brooding as ever. Check this out, you won’t be disappointed! 8.5/10
Saxon: Carpe Diem
24 albums later and Saxon have no right still being this good. The band have been on fire in the last decade, with Sacrifice, Battering Ram and Thunderbolt being a great run of form. Just like Korn before, their new music doesn’t break that track record. The opening and title track is one of the best singles the band have ever released and tracks like ‘The Pilgrimage’ and ‘Super Nova’ being big highlights too. As usual the band straddle the line between NWOBHM and thrash superbly, and sound like a band easily 20 years younger than they are. Another must for metal fans. 8/10.
Rolo Tomassi: Where Myth Becomes Memory
A band that I have heard the name of a bunch but have never checked out before now. That’s right, you’re getting rare fresh reaction from me! Because of this I didn’t even look into what genre the band was or any of their previous material, I just dove right in. All iI know is that I think they’re kinda heavy.
It was definitely interesting. I’m not 100% sure I ‘get’ it, though. The single, ‘Cloaked’, was better than the frankly boring opening track, but I found myself simply wanting to move on through a lot of this. Don’t get me wrong, I see their appeal: they’re weird and extremely talented. But nothing stood out to me, nothing had me wanting to put it back and listen to it again. Given that these are all done on my opinion alone and I simply found it a confusing, semi-disjointed mess that felt like a less polished Spiritbox, I can’t score this any higher than 4/10. As I said, the talent was there, but it doesn’t do much for me!
AS IT IS: I WENT TO HELL AND BACK
Another band I hadn’t heard before now. Let’s hope they’re better than their cringy song titles and broken caps-lock imply.
It simultaneously both is and isn’t. While the instrumentation is your basic collection of pop-punks best power chords and little else and the lyrics sound like they were written by an ‘edgy’ 13-year-old after their first breakup, it is somehow some of the catchiest shit I have heard in a while. Tracks like ‘IDGAF’ and ‘ILY, HOW ARE YOU?’ have almost immediately become not-so-guilty pleasures of mine. It’s like how Busted should be these days. A band I will definitely be listening to an embarrassing amount in the next few weeks, and I don’t even care. 7.5/10
Jack J Hutchinson: The Hammer Falls
No stranger to our site, Jack‘s album is finally out as of last Friday! I shan’t say much given that we did an in-depth review of the albumhere, but it is definitely good! You’ll have to click the link to find out the score…
Venom Prison: Erebos
And we finally reach the heavy stuff. The Welsh death metal band released their fourth album last Friday and their first new music since 2020. It pulls no punches, being nearly 50-minutes of being repeatedly punched in the face in the best way. If this company has anything, it’s that I like death metal a lot more than I thought I did! ‘Judges of the Underworld’, ‘Nemesis’ and the surprising slower track ‘Pain of Oizys’ were all massive highlights, but honestly the whole album is great. While it may scare some off for obvious reasons, I would highly recommend if you like your heavy music. 8.5/10
This was a fucking experience. The only thing I can compare it to is when I listened to Igorrr’s Spirituality And Distortion for the first time. From the opening track into ‘Katabasis’ it is clear the playing ability is on another level, the drums and guitars are incredible. It is also how you do weird/chaotic right. It’s all over the place but it somehow all fits the mood and tone of the album. And it’s HEAVY , which always helps. I’m honestly finding it hard to pick out some highlights as it is all so good and interesting. Even if screaming and the heavy stuff isn’t your thing, try to push past it for this album, I promise you you will be blown away by it all. If nothing else, just check out the three part ‘Anabasis’. 8.5/10
Mass Worship: Portal Tombs
Our final album for this week is a ‘darkened metal’ one. It was pretty much exactly what I was expecting it to be. It’s death metal through and through and was by no means bad. I just simply think I’ve been that spoiled by variety this week that something so straight up didn’t catch my attention as much. Tracks like ‘Unholy Mass’ and ‘Scorched Earth’ are definite highlights, but not a lot left me wanting to go back in for a second listen. 5/10
And there we have it guys, another week of new music down. As always keep up to date on all of our content from our Facebook here and tune in next week for the almighty Slash!
Gomorran is a blackened death metal band from Finland. Only established in 2019, the band rolled into 2021 in a big way with the release of their first single. They didn’t stop there, releasing a second before finally releasing their first EP, this one, to close out the year. I hadn’t heard of them before we received their EP from our friends at Inverse records, so I am excited to check them out and see how much of a blackened death metal fan I am!
Intro track ‘Tavern’ starts us off slow, quietly, and rather beautifully. A simple acoustic guitar note begins, a chord progression building over the top and a simple yet perfect violin coming in over the top. It definitely gives off the vibe of it being in a medieval/dark ages sort of time. It gives the EP an immediate epic feel to it. The instruments build up more and more steadily throughout the nearly 2-minute track, it being a perfect setup for something heavier. The violin melody towards the end did give off some Game of Thrones vibes too, which is never an issue as that theme is incredible.
‘Black Plague’ then gets into more of what I was expecting, some evil-sounding guitar chords and the drums building up slowly and heavily over the top. The main riff soon kicks in and sounds heavy and menacing before the vocals come in over the top to add to that even more. The low growled scream is fantastic, and the drums immediately start to work overtime. However, what really catches my ear is the keys/synth in the back. They take the edge off the music a little bit and give it an almost mystical sound. It’s awesome. There’s a REALLY heavy bit around the 2-minute mark where the vocals get even lower and it’s awesome. The whole track is a collection of black metal guitaring, guttural vocals, and blast beats, and I am all for it. I’d love to see it live.
The band’s first single, ‘Sermon’ slows things down a little at first. The steadier pace if anything makes it even heavier, though. The drums drop out just before a minute in outside of a single cymbal and the guitars just hit simple chords, giving the powerful, crazy-good scream space to breath. It’s more of a chance to show off and impresses me massively. The track then kicks into high gear, everyone working overtime as they go into a speedy black metal part. It’s so evil and menacing sounding, setting an incredible tone throughout this EP so far. The track opens up again a little when the instruments go back to regular/half-time, and the vocals go a little Danny Filth. The main recurring riff is also insanely good. A fantastic track, and one that makes the playlist!
The band’s biggest song to date, ‘Hopeless Endeavour’, fades in and out with a guitar riff before the entire band slaps you in the face with a huge second one. The track doesn’t let up once, either, just powers through 4 minutes of massive riffs, quick beats, and a surprisingly catchy and open chorus. I can see why this is their biggest single, that chorus is awesome and the rest of it is crazy. Another track from Gomorran that easily makes the playlist!
‘Essaiah’ has a more plodding pace to it than the previous tracks. It’s a good thing after three tracks that were very full-on and in your face. I enjoyed this song but I have to admit it didn’t go anywhere that interesting. There’s some awesome guitar work in there, though.
However, the last track, ‘Hail Caesar’, really impressed me. Opening on an atmospheric note with a male choir. It definitely didn’t remind me of the Halo theme… A menacing guitar riff comes in over the top, the track slow-building perfectly. It soon heads into more black metal, quick drums and guitars and heavy, growled vocals. It stays at that level for most of the rest of the track but parts of it have a real epic feel to it and there are some chanted vocals around the middle that are awesome. Between those points and it being a longer track than the others, it gives off an even more epic feel to things and was definitely the right track to finish the EP on. Heck, the entire extended outro part which faded into the choir again was amazing. Awesome stuff from Gomorran.
Overall: This was great. Not being as used to the genre and heaviness as I should be, I enjoyed this a hell of a lot more than I thought I would. It was crazy heavy, crazy good and everyone involved is crazy talented. I can see big things for Gomorran in the future if they keep on putting out stuff like this!
The Score: 8/10
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