Tag Archives: deathcore

New Music Mondays: Limp Bizkit, Black Veil Brides, Mastadon and More!

I hope you’re ready for the madness. TEN new albums were released this past weekend. No delays or anything, just ten rock and metal albums that were gifted us. And, as usual, it’s my job to go through them and let you know how good they are. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Limp Bizkit: Still Sucks

It’s finally here! After YEARS of teasing and at least one other working title (Stampede of the Disco Elephants), the mighty Bizkit have finally released a new album after a decade. You all know I’ll be reviewing this one in full ASAP so I shan’t do much of it here, but if the rest of the album is anything like Dad Vibes, it’ll be awesome.

Black Veil Brides: The Phantom Tomorrow

I have a very love/hate relationship with this band, in that I hate how much I love a few of their tracks. The band generally are fairly meh, in my opinion, but who can’t love ‘In the End’ or ‘Knives and Pens’. I tried to go into this album with an open mind though, and I have to admit I was actually pleasantly surprised. Yes, they have gone a lot more pop-metal than their first couple of records, but that sort of sound is VERY in right now. Plus, there is still some great riffs in here, showing how underrated Jinxx is as a guitarist. Tracks like ‘Scarlet Riot’ and ‘The Wicked One’ are particular highlights, while some of the other tracks are a little too built-around-just-the-chorus for me. 7/10.

Mastadon: Hushed and Grim

Another band I have struggled to get into over the years outside of a few tracks, this is the first attempt at a full album since The Hunter. I unfortunately have to say that after a rocky start, the album doesn’t pick up too much. I know that over their now eight studio albums they have proven themselves to be incredible ‘musicians musicians’, but it just bores me a little. There are some great riffs through most of this, but the vocals do and always have let it down in my ears. Still, I can appreciate their talent and how they are still at the point they are at all these years later. If you want to check out any, go for ‘Pushing the Tides’. 5/10.

Jerry Cantrell: Brighten

Alice in Chains main man Jerry Cantrell returns to solo work for the first time in almost two decades with his latest release. Is it too easy to just say ‘for fans of AIC’? It has a little more of a country swagger to it than his usual grunge sound, and honestly his voice suits it just as well. It’s a country rock album that just so happens to have a non-country voice fronting it, and it’s awesome. If anyone is a fan of either AIC or stuff like Brothers Osbourne or Cadillac Three, you’ll love this. It’s probably a good job I’m not doing a full review of this album as I would gush all over it! 9/10.

Bad Wolves: Dear Monsters

Bad Wolves return with their first new music since their sour split with former singer Tommy Vext with their new singer, Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz. Unfortunately, and maybe it’s just due to the recentness of the change, it doesn’t improve on their music at all. It never sits well with me when a band are WAY more famous for a cover they do than any of their original music, but (I’m sorry to anyone this offends), I can kinda see why. None of it is inherently bad by any stretch, but it suffers from the same issue as BVB, it’s music written around a radio-friendly chorus, meaning that none of the rest of the track matters that much so is just bland. If you’re into big vocal hooks and not much else, you may enjoy it! 4.5/10

Whitechapel: Kin

Whitechapel have been around for a while now, becoming one of the premier Deathcore bans these days. There has been a lot of hype around their latest release in the leadup, and I can see why. The band have matured and evolved their sound with each of their eight albums, and this release feels like the pinnacle of that evolution. All you have to listen to is ‘Orphan’ to hear the bands range and incredible writing and musicianship. It’s a fantastic listen for any fans of heavy music, said track and the album in general. Other highlights include ‘Lost Boy’ and ‘History is Silent’. 8/10

The War On Drugs: I Don’t Live Here Anymore

Alt/indie band The War on Drugs have been hitting us with their 80s nostalgia style of music for well over a decade now, and it continues with their fifth studio album. Sounding like a combination of Bryan Adams and modern day Kings of Leon. The sort of style/genre does bore me after a while, especially when the whole album is pretty damn slow, but as individual tracks they’re not bad. Not something I would go out of my way to listen to, but great background music! ‘Harmonia’s Dream’ is a particular highlight for me. 5/10

John 5: Sinner

Rob Zombie/ex Marylin Manson axe-man returns with another solo album that shows off just how wasted he is playing industrial music. Yes, he is damn good at playing simple, heavy, power-chord driven riffs, but damn is he a fantastic lead guitarist too that he simply cannot show off in those projects. This album shows that off to a tee right away, too. Just check out the first full length track on the album from down below and tell me it’s not a technical masterclass. I know a fair few people wouldn’t be able to get past the almost solely instrumental album, and it does get a tad repetitive for me by the end, but damn if it isn’t impressive and one of his best albums to date. 7/10

Running Wild: Blood on Blood

German heavy metal ban Running Wild have been going for an impressive 45 years at this point, releasing their 17th studio album this past week. Those facts alone, alongside the fact that they are pretty much the original pirate metal band, should immediately tell you how this album sounds. It all sounds like the last 30 years of Judas Priest, not that that is a bad thing! It’s good old fashioned metal and, outside of the style being done to death long ago, it’s still a really enjoyable listen. Highlights include the opening track and ‘Diamonds and Pearls’. 6.5/10

Small Town Syndrome: It Only Gets Worse

The newest band on our list are Grand Rapids’ newest emerging punk/alt rock trio Small Town Sindrome. I actually managed to have a sit down with an exclusive early access copy of the album and do a full review of it, which you can find here. As you can tell, I loved it, and gave it a solid 8/10, so I would urge anyone into the genre to check it out!

And there we have it folks, a rather mixed bag of quality for this weeks MASSIVE New Music Mondays. Some was awesome, matching some of the best albums of the year in terms of quality, and then some that were more of average quality. Still, I would happily listen to any of the albums again and most likely will in the next few weeks!

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Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood: Part Two of Ice Nine Kill’s Magnum Opus? Or the Continuation of Pushing Horror-Metal into the Mainstream?

Ice Nine Kills have been around for over two decades now, but as frontman Spencer Charnas so lovingly puts it at one point during this album ‘when The Silver Scream came out I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically’. I can’t help but agree, their previous album was amazing and definitely the best work they have ever done. It’s like they heard Avenged Sevenfold’s ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ and said “hey, let’s make a whole album like this!”. And, to put it simply, it works. Even my girlfriend, who isn’t all too into music this heavy, LOVES them, due to their catchy choruses and movie-based songs. This has been maybe my most anticipated album of this year, especially given how great every single has been, so I apologise in advance if I gush about this band all over the review!

After a brief intro track explaining the story of the album, its title track opens quietly, building a creepy yet beautiful atmosphere from the very beginning as Spencer’s low vocals ring out over a piano. We get a first chorus like this, catchy lyrically brilliant (it’s gonna be a trend, I assure you). Aaaand just as you start to get comfortable and forget who you’re listening to, you’re slapped in the face by a duel high and low scream and the whole band coming in with a fast, heavy riff. Said heaviness doesn’t stop the track from maintaining its catchy vocal hooks, though, but it does lead to one of the more interesting breakdown callouts I’ve heard in a good while with “how’s this for an establishing shot?” Said callout comes at the end of an awesome isolated, harmonised vocal part, the duel vocals being an incredible highlight of the whole album, be it cleans or screams. Oh, and there’s an awesome guitar solo nestled in the track too towards the end. What more could you possibly want from a song but heaviness, catchiness, and impressive skill. Starting us off with a bang, and it doesn’t look to stop any time soon…

Cabin Fever-inspired ‘Rash Desision’ opens on a pretty metalcore riff, Spencer’s vocals building in over the top alongside the drums, it sounding quite calming. Then, again, it suddenly bursts into the heaviness thanks to a high scream from Ricky Armellino and a crushing riff from the rest of the band. The verse stays heavy but pretty bouncy, and the ‘bang bang bang’ part is insane, catchy when chanted and it would go down so well live. It all leads to a quick yet clean vocalled, very catchy chorus, the instrument dropouts sounding awesome in time with the vocal melody. The chanting/choir part after the second chorus sounds awesome and SUPER menacing, one of the best uses of the trope in rock and metal for a long while.  We then get a final chorus and pre to end things on a high, heavy note!

My favourite track over the last few months, the Childs Play-inspired ‘Assault and Batteries’ is up next. Opening with a mock news article and Chucky’s briefly sung threats, it then explodes into the most frantic, chaotic track on the album… and it’s fucking glorious. From the clean, quick verse to the brutal screams of the pre and one of the very few times I approve of a kids choir being used in a rock song (because it’s actually creepy here), the first parts of this song are amazing. Then we reach one of the craziest choruses of the album, one that Spencer all but raps and still it has been ear wormed into my head for over a month. It’s crazy good. The second chorus gives way to a half-speed, extremely catchy bridge before some chanting leads us into one of the most interesting and heavy breakdowns I’ve heard in a long while. Not a band to let a section get old, the breakdown gives way to more incredible growls before a surprisingly awesome guitar solo rips through the track. Dan Sugarman may have only joined the band a couple of years ago, but he has already shown how incredibly talented he is and how well he fits in with tracks like this. The song is then finished off by a HUGE double chorus before a comical yet emphatic ‘fuck you!’ is growled to close it out. Playlisted. That’s all I have left to say.

Somehow the Hitchcock classic based ‘The Shower Scene’ is the ballad of the album. It opens much like the first song, with Spencer’s clean vocals over a piano. However, unlike ‘Horrorwood’, it stays clean vocalled for the vast majority of its time. Speaking of the vocals, every part of them is catchy as hell, be it the verse, bridge, or chorus, every melody is fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, it still gets a little heavy, the second part of the second verse, the bridge, and the breakdown are all pretty heavy, but not nearly as most of the rest of the album. The breakdown even manages to include the signature violin stabs from the movie, them fitting in perfectly and almost making me want to watch the scene with this song playing alongside it. Another amazing song.

Next up we get a run of the other three pre-released singles of the album. ‘Funeral Derrangements’ slaps you in the face with brutalness from the very beginning, the heavy screams and huge chuggy riffing almost relentless from start to finish. However, it still lets up for the now-signature clean, infectiously catchy chorus. I truly believe Spencer could write an ear-worm out of anything these days. However the track also has my first (very minor) issue with the album, the breakdown doesn’t quite go hard enough. After such an awesome call-out as a screamed ‘gods wrath lies beneath this soil’ to just continue with the stripped back, spacious breakdown that they had been doing instead of giving everything felt a tiny bit disappointing. But still, what a track!

‘Rainy Day’ (based on the iconic Resi Evil franchise) is one of the least INK-ish songs on the album. It feels more like a Bring me the Horizon track, but if Bring Me were as heavy still as their fans wanted them to be. Despite the simplicity and radio-friendly nature of the main riff and structure and the almost entirely clean vocals, it is a damn good track. Its vocals will be stuck in your head for days to come and the rest is just heavy goodness that all combines into another easily playlisted song. Meanwhile ‘Hip to Be Scared’ is one of the more insane tracks on the album, to contrast. Based around the trials of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, the track features plenty of nods to the movie, be it certain lines from it or even switching the instrumental to ‘Hip to be Square’ and recreating their own version of Christian Bale’s iconic monologue in the middle. It’s fantastic stuff and somehow makes the track even better, especially when watching the video too. Outside of that it’s still pretty damn heavy and features another chorus that’ll be stuck in your head for days. Playlisted!

‘Take Your Pick’ is insane. And you may be thinking “of course it is Joe, Corpsegrinder’s on it”, but honestly I’ve done a few songs featuring the Cannable Corpse frontman recently and none are this crazy. It’s essentially a 3+ minute sprint of an extreme metal song about My Bloody Valentine… and STILL, Spencer found a way to make my girlfriend love it. If some of you are reading this and thinking the last few tracks were maybe a tad too heavy, this one may not be for you, but I loved it. It’s crazy, crazy heavy, and features the return of the ‘scared lady voice’ from ‘Your Number’s Up’, what’s not to love?

‘The Box’, ‘F.L.Y.’ and ‘Wurst Vacation’ are three more phenomenal horror-metal songs, but I don’t feel like they bring much new to the table (aside from the guests on the first two). The Hellraiser-based first track is another example of the harmonies and backing vocals adding so much to the track, there being something constantly going on around Spencer’s lead lines, adding depth and heavy evilness to the entire song. The chorus is another example of one of the best, catchiest on the album, too, and on any other album, this would be one of the biggest songs. It really goes to show just how high quality this album is. ‘F.L.Y.’ is somehow the weakest track on the album in my opinion, but it is still by no way bad. It opens and very much centers around the massively catchy, clean chorus, but outside of that and more chanted vocals at the end of each verse part, there isn’t too much going on to write about here. It’s a solid radio-metal track about a fantastic film, I just don’t have much to say about it! Finally, I admire the Hostel-inspired latter track for leaning fully into silly territory, having the topic be a movie filmed in Germany so the band goes full-on Rammstein. ‘Ein Zwei Drei Die’ gave me a good chuckle, as did the clear Till Linderman-esque lower, German-accented vocals that pop up throughout the verse. It’s industrial metal with a huge pop-metal chorus, and it’s fucking awesome.

‘Ex-Mørtis’ is another track that I wouldn’t have expected from the band, it not sounding like their usual style. It opens on a Manson/John 5 style guitar riff, more industrial influence but now turning more towards Rob Zombie instead of Rammstein. It also somehow sees Spencer at his sassiest, between the ‘Goddamn!’ and ‘May God have fucking mercy!’ parts there is a lot of attitude here. Then again, it’s based on the Evil Dead, so it kind of has to have attitude. Also, the ‘zombie’ voice cutting through with ‘singing’ has somehow managed to make me laugh each time I hear it, despite it being so catchy because it’s just ridiculous. Oh, and did I also forget to mention that this is somehow the catchiest track on the album? Much like ‘Shower Scene’, every vocal line and melody is somehow catchy as anything and has been stuck in my head for days. And it still somehow fits in a pretty heavy breakdown in the middle of the chaos too. This is a strong contender for one of the best songs the band has ever done, and if anything is going to push them to the top where they deserve it’s this. Playlisted!

The final track, ‘Farwell II Flesh’, is inspired by the Candyman franchise. It starts quite like the opener, Spencer’s voice sounding almost beautiful over the top of the simple piano melody. The atmosphere built here is fantastic though, with the double-tracked vocals and subtle strings that build the track perfectly. The band manage to wait over a minute before exploding in with the huge distorted guitar chords and big drums to fill out the sound of an almost anthemic chorus.  The second verse gets a little heavier with some screams, but it again fits the track perfectly. It gets even heavier in there, with Sugarman even playing a pitch-shifted version of ‘Flight of the Bumblebees’ at one point, even more chaotic awesomeness. The rest of the song is catchy, arena-filling greatness, and an awesome way to finish off an album, with heaviness but also stuff you can sing along to.

Overall: This was downright insanity in the best way. I loved it. Every song was packed to the brim with awesome riffs, heavy breakdowns, brutal screams, and harmonies yet somehow some of the biggest, catchiest choruses in any genre today. The band captured lightning in a bottle with their previous album, but this one has refined and built on that idea perfectly. I honestly think it has what it takes to push them into the mainstream and superstardom, and it is one of the best albums I have ever heard. I surely cannot deduct have a point for the ‘Funeral Derangements’ breakdown, so….

The Score: 10/10

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