Tag Archives: feature

King Kraken: ‘We fit in every little genre which is great!’

Wales’ own King Kraken sat down to chat to us ahead of the release of their new album, talking about the recording and writing process as well as their plans for the future. Check it out below!

Check out our review of the album here.

So firstly, how would you describe your sound?

Yeah, it’s a bit of a difficult thing to describe to be honest. There’s so many different influences in there that it’s difficult to nail down one sound. Like the second song on the album, the middle part, is something completely different to the rest of the song. I don’t think we’re just one genre of music.

We sort of drift between everything to do with rock and… we’ve been told thrash, which I don’t really agree with. There’s just elements of different genres in there and it’s difficult to pinpoint what we are I suppose. We fit in every little genre which is great!

I suppose the main way we sound is a heavier version of Clutch, Mastadon, Black Stone Cherry, a mix of all of three!

What was it like to write and record the new album?

We came out of the dreaded lockdowns and said, right, we need to get back on it. Because we live so far apart from eachother we couldn’t actually get together during lockdowns. We had lost of different bits of songs we’d written and used them as building blocks to start off the album. We’re really picky writers and we just tear everything apart so it’s quite a long writing process. It always works out for the best! It was an enjoyable process and we had vision of just getting it done. We had a date that we wanted to get it done by and we did it. It just kinda flowed to be honest.

I imagine there’s not a full story to the album? I saw you’d written a couple of tracks a bit ago?

Yeah, the last two tracks of the album are off an EP that was actually recorded just before Covid became a thing. And there is one other track that we basically finished before lockdown. Then the rest were after the long gap really. I think one of them only got finished about a week before we went into the studio!

That was ‘Green Terror’ that was! That was the last track we wrote for the album. Mad!

I assume you have a bit of a tour pensilled in off the back of the album?

There’s lots of stuff that we can’t actually talk about at the moment, but yeah, we’ve obviously got Call of the Wild, Wildfire fest in Scotland. I really want to go to Europe this year, I really hope we can pull something off there! We did Ibiza last year and that was awesome, a wicked experience. Even if it was a bit of a nightmare getting out there!

But yeah, there’s lots of stuff going on in the background. The beginning of ’23 has just been mental. Every day we’ve been doing something. I’m not used to this! The amount of interviews we’ve had to do is mad. It’s just been so many Zoom calls, we’ve been loving it! We wouldn’t have it any other way really, it’s been a hell of a ride. Ever since the album was announced in October everything’s been really cool.

What do you think to the music scene at the minute?

The Welsh music scene is absolutely kicking off at the moment. The Welsh bands are taking off and it’s amazing to watch the bands that were the next stage up jumping up another step. Those Damn Crows, for example. They’re selling out all over the UK and we love it. We’re so proud of them!

I don’t think the scene as a whole as recovered. There’s still a lot of venues that have gone under, there aren’t as many places that we can play. But it’s definitely getting better. Especially here in Wales. Covid seems to have done Wales an enormous amount of good to be honest, there are so many bands coming out of here.

But the weird thing is we have a bigger following in England than we do in Wales! It may be because we played our biggest gigs, Hammerfest last year on the main stage for example. It’s getting there, slowly.

What’s it like being added to the NWOCR scene?

It’s a bit mental isn’t it? None of us really actually like that genre so it’s kinda funny really. But being incorporated into a scene is cool as it means we get gigs in that scene. And I don’t think we’re any more out of place in that scene than we are in the metal thing either.

I think that because we have the ability to cross genres we have that ability to be on different bills wit all sorts of genres. We love that!

Have you got any plans for the next few years?

There’s definitely… play Download, play Bloodstock, play all the big festivals. We’re getting better slots and it’s just about working your way up the levels. I think this album has definitely got us off of the toilet circuit so to speak.

As for album two, we’ve definitely talked about it. We haven’t got any songs written for it yet because we really want to focus on this album. We put a lot into this album. For the next year it’ll probably be a split between touring for this album and writing for the next. Maybe not next year but the year after. It would definitely be nice to capitalise on everything with this album!

The Top Albums of 2022

This was the hardest thing I’ve had to do for Overtone so far. 448 albums we’ve covered on New Music Mondays over the last year, so trying to whittle it down to just the best 50 seemed like an impossible task. So, if anyone is offended by this list, I’m sorry, but it is all personal preference from us here at Overtone. The three of us voted, arranged it accordingly, and here it is. 50 of the top albums of 2022, let’s just get into it!

Unfortunately we are going to have to skip the honourable mentions or this list would be twice as long. But trust me when I say there were SO MANY other albums we wanted to include on here. Aside for the new Slash album. And Machine Gun Kelly’s latest album. Yeah, fuck those albums.

50: Nickelback – Get Rollin’

I know, I know, the cojones on me, right? Starting off with the world’s most hated band (aside for maybe Coldplay or Imagine Dragons). But, hear me out… it’s a really good album.

You know what you’re getting with Nickelback, don’t get me wrong, but this album is the band at their Nickelbacky best. From the heavier opening couple of tracks to ALL THE BALLADS, ever track is pretty great. Is it as good as it could have been? Probably not. But that doesn’t stop this from being a damn good album and my favourite by them since Dark Horse. A fitting start to the list, in my not-so-humble opinion, hence why it got an 8/10 from us. Check it out if you don’t believe me and try and tell me otherwise!

Listen to: San Quentin, Skinny Little Missy, Does Heaven Even Know You’re Missing?.

49: Elles Bailey – Shining in the Half Light

The Queen of modern blues rock, Elles Bailey returned this year with her new album and maybe her best work to date. A lot of this list is pretty heavy, so it’s nice to write about one of the most relaxed albums we covered this year. There’s a reason it’s getting heaps of praise from other journalists, too, it’s awesome. If you’re a fan of the slower, stripped back , old-school style of rock, this is definitely for you!

We gave it a 9/10, and it’s easy to see why!

Listen to: Who’s That, The Game, Cheats and Liars.

48: Patient Sixty-Seven – Wishful Thinking

Three albums in and already some metalcore… that tracks. The Australian outfit have gained quite the cult following as of late due to being really quite good at social media. However, this debut album is also excellent. It feels like classic early metalcore, with plenty of heavy riffs, growls and breakdowns. However there is that awesome Sleeping with Sirens-style clean melody at points throughout too that hook in even the most anti-metal of people.

8.5/10 seems pretty apt for this album, and I cannot wait to hear where they go from here. Hopefully it’s over to the UK soon so I can see it live!

Check out our review of the album here.

Listen to: Scattered, Fatebringer, Wayfarer.

47: Demi Lovato – Holy Fvck

Charlotte: This is the album I didn’t know I needed. It’s raw, powerful and unconditionally honest. Demi Lovato shifts her pop era aside for heavy riffs (thank you Nita Strauss) and powerhouse vocals (which Demi always had but the rock genre highlights this even more so). Demi is honest about her experiences and calls out anyone attempting to diminish or silence her voice. The album’s mix is astonishing – the sound engineering is incredible and makes me appreciate it even more. I’m also in love with her special features – thank you for bringing these collaborations into existence. Long may this era continue.

Demi Lovato – EAT ME Ft Royal & the Serpent

Listen to: SKIN OF MY TEETH, 29, CITY OF ANGELS.

46: Amongst Liars – Self-Titled

The heavy, dark indie rock music continues with Amongst Liars’ amazing debut album. Riffs and catchy melodies abound, this is excellent from start to finish. Like I said in my review, it was one of the few albums on NMM that I listened to from start to finish immediately, and I have done so multiple times since. It grabs hold of your attention and holds it by the balls for the entire 40+ minute runtime. There are plenty of standout tracks on here but there isn’t a bad track on the album. We gave it an 8/10 but I’mma bump that up to an 8.5!

Listen to: Reign, Burn the Vision, Black Days.

45: Tough On Fridays – The Encore you Didn’t Ask For

One of the most recent albums released on this list, this was damn impressive when I checked it out. Considering I’d never heard of the band before, they blew me away and made me a massive new fan. The band’s unique blend of pop-punk, indie and hard rock made for a ridiculously enjoyable listen. There are plenty of good tracks on here that I’ve listened to a lot since first checking them out. This band deserve to be a lot bigger than they are. We gave it a very deserving 9/10 and it definitely deserves being on this list!

Listen to: Overboard!, Sink or Swim, The Awakening.

44: Dynazty – Final Advent

The perfect blend of power metal and AOR I didn’t know I needed until I first heard this album. It’s heavy, catchy, anthemic but somehow has a slight Sleaze edge to it all too that I cannot get enough of. Every member of the band is insanely talented, too. The vocals sore powerfully across an impressive range while the soloing is some of the best and smoothest I’ve ever heard, especially from a modern band. Max gave them a 9/10 and I can’t disagree, it’s an amazing album!

Listen to: Advent, The White, Yours.

43: Cage Fight – Self-Titled

This is how you debut as a heavy band. It’s brutal throughout and such an impressive display of talent and songwriting. Their brand of thrash/hardcore/beatdown/whatever the hell else is mixed in here is a lot of fun and infectiously heavy. If you’re a fan of the heavier side of metal you’ll love this just like I did. There isn’t much along the way of dynamics and highs and lows, but if you like being punched in the face for 40+ minutes straight, this is the album for you! we gave it a 9/10 so you’ve gotta check it out!

Listen to: Killer, Make A Decision, Respect Ends.

42: RXPTRS – Living Without Death’s Permission

A band that have exploded over the last six months or so after the release of this album, and it’s hard to argue otherwise, it is very good. Walking the line perfectly between metalcore and hard rock, Simon and the gang broach some really deep topics as they slap us in the face with heavy riffs and amazing melodies. It’s a unique style and one that is clearly going to get them far over the next few years. It’s the perfect mix of modern and old-school, and got a very deserving 9/10 from us!

Check out our interview with Simon here.

Listen to: Collapse, Burning Pages, Rock Bottom (Is a Stepping Stone).

41: Black Mirrors – Tomorrow Will be Without Us

The message behind this album is phenomenal, and has kept me coming back to it again and again since its release. Addressing the state of the world and how we are ruining it is always a deep talking point, but to handle it so well across a 10-track album is damn impressive. The folky ‘Ode to my Unborn Child’ has me going back again and again as it’s so emotional, leaving me covered in goose bumps. Meanwhile their usual brand of grungy stoner rock is on full display across the rest of the album, showing off their fantastic range and songwriting skill.

This is a really good album that deserves to be higher, but the sheer quality of this years releases made that impossible. Still, we gave it a huge 9/10 and a spot on this list!

Also check out our interview with the band here.

Listen to: Hateful Hate, I’ll Kill You, Snake Oil, Ode to my Unborn Child.

The Top 50 Albums of 2022 – Part 3

30: Frank Turner – FTHC

A guy who has been making fantastic music for over a decade and a half, Frank Turner also happens to be my favourite lyricist of all time. He has such a way with words, be it positive or negative he always finds the perfect ways to express his emotions. Heck, just look at ‘Haven’t been Doing so Well’ or the tear-jerking ‘A Wave Across a Bay’ to see what I mean.

This is one of the most heartfelt albums I’ve heard in years and details exactly how Frank has felt since he last spoke about his life. It’s deep, fun and hugely catchy throughout. We gave this a very deserving 8.5/10 in our review so if you like stuff on the punkier side, check this out!

Listen to: Haven’t Been Doing so Well, A Wave Across a Bay, The Gathering.

29: Oceans Ate Alaska – Disparity

Max: Oceans Ate Alaska were a band that made more exploratory music and music genres in ways that I had never encountered before. With the return of their original singer, there is so much that I love there and Chris Turners drums are phenomenal as they always have been. It’s a great metalcore album that is heavier than most and is a real return to form for a band that should be much bigger than they are.

Check out our review of the album, where we gave it and 8.5/10.

Listen to: Paradigm, Sol, Plague Speech.

28: Horizon Ignited – Towards the Dying Lands

A band that I discovered through the release of this album and New Music Mondays, and have loved them ever since. It’s another, like most on this list, that I wish I could put higher, as it deserves to be showcased as much as possible.

For just the bands second album, this was phenomenal. I’ve since been back and checked out their debut and this builds on it so well, adding fun new layers and plenty of amazing melodies. This is melodic death metal at its very best in 2022, and there are plenty of tracks on this album to prove that. We gave it a 9/10 and for clearly very good reason. Check this out, right now. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and give this a spin!

Listen to: Towards the Dying Lands, Aching Wings, Beyond Your Reach.

27: He is Legend – ENDLESS HALLWAY

It’s Alice in Chains, Gojira, Metallica and Nickelback all rolled into one. It’s fucking awesome. Having never heard of this band before, I can safely ask the question ‘what sad rock was I living under all this time?’. The band have been around for a good while now, but having checked out their older stuff, I couldn’t get into it quite as much as this. The opening four/five tracks alone are perfection for this album and blend together so many different styles perfectly. They’re heavy, fuzzy and arena-filling all rolled into one.

This got a whopping 9.5/10 from us, which it fully deserved, but I (Joe) was also the only one to check it out, so it didn’t score as high overall. Plus, it’s a little niche, I guess! But damn, if you like any of the bands mentioned above, you’ll love this!

Listen to: THE PROWLER, LIFELESS LEMONADE, RETURN TO THE GARDEN.

26: Electric Callboy – Tekkno

This album has such a strange feeling to me. I adore the singles. ‘We Got the Moves’, ‘Pump It’, ‘Spaceman’ and ‘Hurrikan’ are all some of the best tracks released in the last 18 months (and ‘Fuckboi’ was also released too). However, that’s exactly the issue. The first single off the album came out in September of 2021, a full year before the release of the album. And, said singles make up half of the album. So, honestly, I felt a little burnt out by the time the album was released, and not too many of the album tracks did much to change that. ‘Tekkno Train’ is okay, as is ‘Arrow of Love’, but the others felt a little serious and dark, contrasting strangely with the comedy singles.

We still gave it a 9/10, but that was mainly on how good the four main singles were. It’s a damn good album, but hearing it all through for the first time it’d probably come across as much better than a years worth of anticipation.

Listen to: Pump It, We Got the Moves, Hurrikan.

25: Chez Kane – Powerzone

The glammest thing I’ve heard in years, and it’s so fucking good. This is one of the best AOR albums I’ve heard in so long, and it’s going to catapult Chez to the very top of the rock world in no time at all. It’s catchy, poppy and just the right amount of rock and heavy. I’m honestly finding it hard to find words to say about this album aside for the fact that if you loved the booze soaked sunset strip sound of the 80s, the Rock of Ages tone, you’ll LOVE this. She’s already set to take over the NWOCR scene in 2023, but this deserves mainstream exposure, as it’s so damn accessible. it got another very deserving 9/10 from us!

Listen to: I Just want You, I’m Ready (For your Love), Love Gone Wild.

24: Ibaraki – Rashomon

Would it even be an end-of-the-year-best list without Matt Heafy on it? For the last two years the latest Trivium albums have ranked #1 and #2 respectively for me, and now he ends up on our list for the third straight year! Yes, Ibaraki is not quite as high as those, but that’s in part due to the death/black metal genre not appealing to me as much as metalcore, and part due to the sheer number of incredible albums this year.

However, even if you aren’t a fan of the extreme side of metal, I’d recommend checking this out. It’s not all insanely heavy, and when it gets there it feels like it’s certainly earned. Just check out ‘Ronin’ below, a plodding, slow track for the most part, but Gerard Way screams his lungs out midway through in what my be his best, most surprising vocal performance ever. It’s dark, melancolic yet wonderfully addictive to listen to, as is the rest of the album. Matt does an amazing job, but honestly the guests are the true highlights. It got a very deserving 9/10 from us!

Listen to: Ronin, Jigoku Dayu, Akumu.

23: Fit for an Autopsy – Oh What the Future Holds

Max: This album is angry and raw and there is nothing to not love about that. I have always loved the intensity of this band and their last album is still on of my favourites of all time so this really scratched the itch that I had for more.

We didn’t actually cover this one on our site at the time of release, but upon reflection it’s easily an 8.5/10!

Listen to: Pandora, In Shadows, Savages.

22: Coldrain – Nonnegative

I am absolutely gutted this didn’t make it any higher on our list. It’s so good! It was higher for a good chunk of the year, but dropped down when starting to get stuff ready for this list. That shouldn’t dull your opinion of this album at all, though, it’s amazing. From the soaring vocals to harsh screams and ch0nky riffs, it has everything you’d want from metalcore/modern nu metal and does it all perfectly. It’s only this far down because, for some reason, I haven’t listened to it as much as I feel like I should have. But damn, this thing is packed full of AMAZING tracks.

It got an 8.5/10 from us and it’s hard not to push it up to a 9 to be honest!

Listen to: Cut Me, CALLING, PARADISE (Kill the Silence).

21: Motionless in White – Scoring the End of the World

Max: So growing up, this was one of my favourite bands and I have loved seeing them get better and improve over the years and this album might well be their biggest improvement yet. There are so many fantastic things going on here that I don’t have enough time to say them all but to keep it short and sweet, the vocals destroy me in every good way and there is so much there everyone will find that they love. It got an 8.5/10 from us!

Listen to: Werewolf, Porcelain, Slaughterhouse.

James of She Burns Red: ‘A bit all over the place, in a good way!’

We had the chance to sit down with James of the amazing She Burns Red after their set at Winter Rocks Festival a couple of weeks ago (read our review of the festival here). Check it out as we talk about the set and what they have planned for the next year!

So, how was the gig?

Really good, I really enjoyed it! Really fun! Always love playing Sheffield, we’ve done it a few times now. We did HRH Sleaze and then we played here last year on the Saturday. It was just good fun, I just love playing music!

And how would you describe your sound?

So we’re a wee bit punky and a wee bit grungy and a wee bit heavy… I don’t know man! A bit Wildhearts and Therapy and a bit all over the place, in a good way!

What’s it like being a part of this scene at the minute? It seems like the NWOCR genre is encapsulating a bit of everything nowadays!

Yeah, I mean because the New Wave of Classic Rock is a fanpage on Facebook, if they like a band then you’ll be included in it, it doesn’t matter what you sound like. ‘Oh, you should check out this band, they’re great’ and suddenly you’re part of that scene. Whether you like it or not, and I don’t mean that in a bad way! It’s almost like this creation of this scene out of nowhere. It’s really good though because people are coming to gigs, and after Covid especially which we were all a bit worried about. But no, it’s been an amazing thing to be part of.

I mean you think about the grunge scene; there were load of bands that sounded fuck all like each other. Like The Gets and Pearl Jam and all these bands, nothing like each other. But they all kinda worked together. And it’s the same here. It means that we can play with bands like South of Salem or Twister or Ward XVI or Massive Wagons, all these that sound different but all fit together.

You’ve released a couple of singles this year, right?

Yes, our next single is also due I think the start of next year. We’re actually in the studio from Monday to record the next part of the album. Finishing that around January/February time. Releasing it hopefully May or June.

So I assume it’ll be touring for the rest of the year after that?

I really fuckin’ hope so! The stage we’re at at the minute is we’re doing a lot of support tours, because there’s less financial risk involved. However, if things start to spike by the summer, fingers crossed.

Any surprises from the new music? Anything a departure from what you’ve put out so far?

Not really. As we said earlier, there’s a few songs that are a bit punky, a few that are more grungy, some melodic stuff in there too. So nothing out of the ordinary. If you’re familiar with our stuff you’ll know what to expect.

We’ve kinda got our sound harnessed. And that’s what’s really good, is that we did our EP and that kinda took us one direction, but then we managed to harness our sound and go in a different one. We’ve got everything going at the minute and it’s working really well.

And do you have a dream tour line-up you’d love to be a part of?

Fuck man, I’d love to support Danko Jones, they’re one of my favourite bands. That’d be amazing! They just get on with it on stage, play three songs and then ‘hey, we’re Danko Jones’ and then bam, loads more music. I love them. To the extent that this year on Spotify, 4/5 top tracks were Danko Jones.

We also love the South of Salem guys, it’s so great to be playing with them. I’m sure some people would say like Aerosmith or Metallica or something, but for me it’s Danko Jones and South of Salem, that’s who I’d want!

Did you enjoy the interview? Check out video interviews from our YouTube channel here.

Bombs for Breakfast and Sick Of The Riot rock the Thomas Leaper!

That’s right, we’re going to review our own gigs. And what? Also, yes, it was at a Wetherspoons. Everything about this paragraph is insane. The awesome Bombs for Breakfast and Sick of the Riot; let’s get on with the review!

Sick of the Riot took the stage to a pretty packed room and played an incredible set of punk chaos. For just the two of them, a drummer and then a vocalist/guitarist, they pack one hell of a punch and really fill out the sound live. Whether it was rocking anti-establishment anthems against our former prime minister or an amazing cover of ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, it all sounded awesome. It gave me both Dead Kennedys and Smashing Pumpkins vibes, given the vocals. And I even found myself enjoying the slower stuff as much, if not more than the higher tempo tracks. The dynamics were refreshing from a punk band, and it kept me entertained throughout.

Check out our last live review here.

After a brief break to change over, Bombs for Breakfast took to the stage and blew the crowd away. These guys were super polished and professional, even for a pop-punk band, and it made for one hell of an impressive show. Even after some technical difficulties, the band rose to the occasion, used a different amp and rocked the place. There wasn’t a particular highlight as every track sounded awesome.

It was also nice to see the friendship between the two bands, with both bringing the frontman of the other band on to perform a song with them. The bands were clearly enjoying it and, because of that, so did the crowd.

And there we have it, not only our latest live review but our last show of the year! It’s been a blast, and both bands gave it their all here, putting on a fantastic night for the fans. Both deserve to be much bigger than they are and fingers crossed they both have an amazing 2023. Hopefully we can see them again soon!

Did you enjoy our review? Check out our Instagram here for more!

Dallas Dwight of The LA Maybe: ‘They’re rock fans, so we feel right at home!’

We were at Winter Rocks Festival last weekend (check out our review of the weekend here) and had the pleasure of chatting to Dallas of the amazing LA Maybe. Unfortunately the video and audio quality both suck as we were shooting in the smoking area, so I’ve painstakingly typed it all out, just for you! Check it out below!

So this is the first stop of the tour, right?

First stop of the tour, yeah. It was our first time out here at Call of the Wild earlier this year, did a little run then and now we’re back out! We’ll be here for most of December.

And have you seen any differences in playing here as opposed to the US?

Yeah, people seem to like us more over here! So we like it over here, we’ve had a blast. As far as rock fans, they’re rock fans, so we feel right at home!

And how did the whole UK shows comes about? I Know Raz (UPSTGD) got in touch?

Raz just discovered our album and then contacted us and we just kinda went from there. That would have probably been right before the album came out in 2021, so we were talking to him for about a year setting up that first time, and now we’re back. And it’s going really well!

And you guys just put out a single, right?

‘Down to Fight’, yeah! It came out when we were on the Kiss Cruise which was Octoberish. It’s gone well so far, the video was a lot of fun to make. It was crazy, we got to chainsaw through a couch on fire and all sort of stuff. We’re really happy with how it’s turned out.

And is it the start of another album or?

We’re gonna do singles, and it’ll lead up to an album! All the singles will be on the album and it started with this one! Probably be the end of next year for sure. We’re excited about that too!

Have you got much else planned for next year?

Yeah, we’ll be at home, hiding away money and figuring out where to spend it. Back here maybe or a tour at home. Fortunately in music there’s a lot of places your money can go these days. I don’t know if we’re going to come back here next year, it’d be awesome but I don’t think it’s on the cards, so to speak. But in 2024 I’m sure we’ll be back!

And you’ve started up a podcast, right?

We did, earlier this year! It’s called Your New Favourite Band. We’ve been highlighting bands we like as well as recap what we’ve been doing like the Kiss Cruise and stuff.

Oh yeah, how did that come about?

The Kiss Cruise, we actually won the contest for it! On there with Sebastien Bach and a bunch of other great names. It was super fun. A real once in a lifetime experience. Hopefully not just once though!

And speaking of, do you have a dream tour lineup you’d want to be a part of?

I mean I’ve always loved Guns N’Roses so that’d be fun! But then I don’t know how many years they have left in them. But that’d be a dream for sure! But also all the younger bands we’ve been playing with would be awesome. Dirty Honey, Black Crows, that’d be good. Any and all people!

And finally, what’s it like being adopted into the NWOCR scene?

Yeah, it’s really nice! It’s really vibrant over here. It feels really good to be back over here and be a part of this whole family of it all. It’s a lot of the same people which is all good.

Did you enjoy the interview? Check out more from our Instagram here.

Credit to the wonderful Mark Ellis for the photo.

Winter Rocks 2022: The Big Bad Review

We spent two days at Sheffield’s amazing Corporation for a weekend filled with great rock music. The wonderful people at UPSTGD not only put it all on but invited us along to enjoy the festivities and tell you all how great it was! Join us as we review Winter Rocks!

Opening up the stage on the Friday we have the awesome Shadow Smile. I’d see the name around a fair bit this year but hadn’t had the chance to check out their stuff. I came away a huge fan and with a tee shirt to prove it! The heavy, borderline metalcore band opened the stage up in style and proved to be a tough act to follow. Whether it was their older material or their newest single, the crowd ate every bit of it up. It was surprising too. Given that it was a NWOCR event, the crowd loved the heavier-than-usual day.

Next up were Birmingham’s own Endscape. Just before they put out their much anticipated new single and EP, the guys play a blinder of a set to almost bring the year to a close. Just Shadow Smile, the crowd lapped up everything the band gave them and were clear fans of the band going into the event. The bands fuzzy, heavy, electronic-based sound translated surprisingly well to the small venue. It’s an odd choice to fit into the NWOCR and UPSTGD scene, but the crowd loved it and the band looked to enjoy themselves too! Another band I’ll be checking out more of in the future!

Having driven all the way down from Scotland for the event, She Burns Red took to the stage amid a sea of their fans. It was clear they were clear crowd favourites from the get go. Ripping through their impressive back catalogue, the band’s talent and effortless charisma held everyone in the palm of their hands throughout. Their sound was so interesting too. Whether it was hard rock, punk, grunge or metal, it never got boring and was constantly awesome to hear. Another amazing set from a band that should be on the up and up with their next release!

Sub-headlining the event were good friends of the company, the theatrical metal juggernauts Ward XVI. This being the last stop on the bands much heralded Metamorphosis tour, they put their all into it and it really showed. From the set to the outfits, everything was on point, and their stage-show was the best I’d seem them put on. From the props to the very real chainsaw, their now trademark huge Mother character walking the crowd and now having her cut open live on stage too, this was the perfect horror show masterpiece. How the band can coordinate all of this, and come up with it all, as well as write their excellent music is honestly incredible.

And the show really doesn’t take away from how good the music is, either. From the riffs to the great drumming and Psychoberrie’s amazing vocals, everything sounded top notch. I cannot wait to see where the bands story and stage show go from their third album, and I’m so glad I got to see them one more time on this tour!

Check out our review of the last time we saw them here.

Closing out the night were the band everyone was here to see, the unstoppable goth powerhouses, South of Salem. We at Overtone have seen them at various festivals over the last 13 months, but this is a very different band to the one that graced the stage at Hard Rock Hell or Call of the Wild. There was a definite air of confidence and assurance to them now. They were still very thankful to be there, but knew they deserved it and knew everyone there loved them.

And for good reason too, they were fantastic. The band ripped through an hour of some of their best tracks, from ‘Let us Prey’ to ‘Pretty Little Nightmare’ to the always crowd-favourite ‘Cold Day in Hell’. They were polished, professional, and played perfectly to the adoring fans. This is how you close out a day at a festival. These guys are rightfully going to be massive, and sooner rather than later.

The Top 50 Albums of 2022 – Part 5

10: Dayseeker – Dark Sun

Max: Much like the Bad Omens album, Dark Sun is a lot of fun and there wasn’t a bad thing that I could say about this album. It should be noted that there is a lot of emotion going on through the album and that is never a bad thing. In my opinion this really made the album this good in my eyes as there was so much that I was able to connect with.

Max struggled to decide on a rating for this one when doing our review so we’ve gone for the middle ground of 9.5/10!

Listen to: Without Me, Crying While You’re Dancing, Dreamstate.

9: Palisades – Reaching Hypocritical

Joe: The last and highest ranking new-nu-metal album to make the list, and it definitely deserves such the high placement. This album came out of nowhere for me. I’d heard the band name before but had never really checked them out. This blew me away. From the heavy riffs and breakdowns to the soaring, catchy vocals, this had everything I love all rolled into one. It’s been some of my most listened to music for the latter half of the year since its release. It’s a real slab of amazing metalcore/nu metal goodness. We gave it a massive 9/10 when covering it on New Music Monday, and for very good reason!

Listen to: My Consequences, Your Misery, Better.

8: Alter Bridge – Pawns & Kings

Joe: Alter Bridge were one of my favourite bands as a teenager, much like another band a little later on this list. Much like said other band, too (more on them later), their last couple of albums haven’t inspired me. The Last Hero was okay but Walk the Sky lacked anything really memorable at all. So, after pretty decent solo releases from Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti over the last year or so, I was worried about another lacklustre album.

But damn, this is an amazing album. This felt like the Alter Bridge of old, the perfect blend of Blackbird and Fortress. Myles vocals and melodies were on top form and the riffs… the riffs… they were incredible. It feels like the band were on top creative form and on the same page for the first time in a while, and it most certainly paid off. Whether it’s metal or slower, more ballad-driven rock, this album knocks it out of the park with both. I gave it a 9/10 in my review for a very good reason, and I stand by that today!

Listen to: This is War, Silver Tongue, Stay.

7: Bad Omens – THE DEATH OF PIECE OF MIND

Max: This album has become super popular over the recent months and rightfully so because there is so much to love and enjoy here from the horrific screams in ‘Artificial Suicide’ to the beautiful cleans in ‘Just Pretend’ this album is a very easy listen and should be enjoyed by all.

This is another one that Max and Joe didn’t see eye to eye on, as you can tell by Joe’s review. However, Joe has officially agreed that he is old and that it is a pretty decent album all things considered. 9/10

Listen to: Nowhere to go, Like a Villain, THE DEATH OF PIECE OF MIND.

6: The New Roses – Sweet Poison

Joe: My favourite new band of the last few years, of course they were going to end up high on this list. I’ve raved about the band to anyone who’d listen since 2017, but that doesn’t mean this is a bias placement. It is a damn solid hard rock album, combining sleaze, classic and southern rock together perfectly.

From the foot-stomping hard rock tracks of the singles to the slower, ballady tracks like ‘All I Ever Needed’ and ‘True Love’, it has a bit of everything. There isn’t a bad track on this album, and I can attest to the fact that it translates somehow even better in a live setting, too. Tracks that I didn’t initially gravitate to, such as ‘The Lion in You’, have become some of my favourite tracks since seeing them at Winter Rocks Festival.

It’s very quickly become maybe my favourite album the band have put out, and that’s quite the task! I gave it a 9.5/10 in my review and I fully stand by that, though it may even be a 10!

Listen to: The Usual Suspects, Dead of Night, The Veins of This Town.

5: Zeal & Ardor – Self-Titled

Joe: What perfect chaos this album is. From folky, spiritual rock to straight up black metal, it has a bit of everything. And Manuel does it all masterfully. It’s hard not to praise it without mentioning individual songs, which I have done below, but I didn’t even manage to go into that much detail in my review, as it was for New Music Monday. However, every track on the album is special and, while I definitely have highlight tracks, there isn’t a bad one on it. The heavier or folkier the tracks the better, and ‘I Caught You’ is one of my favourite tracks of the entire year. It fully deserves the 9/10 score I gave it!

Listen to: Run, Bow, I Caught You.

4: Everette – Kings of the Dairy Queen Parking Lot – Side B

Joe: For a band that I only discovered in the summer ahead of The Long Road festival, they have become one of my favourite and most listened to bands of the year. A large part has been down to this new album, too. The duo have some of the best country songwriting skills I have heard in years, and work so well together. Whether it’s them having fun with an upbeat track or playing something slower and more emotional, they do it all with such style, swagger and polish that it’s hard not to love.

I have only fallen in love with the album since I reviewed it, and I cannot stop listening to it. Heck, there’s a reason half of it has ended up on my top 30 tracks on Spotify. There isn’t a dud on the album. I fully stand by my top marks of 10/10.

Listen to: Gonna be a Problem, Shunk as Drit, She Got That From Me.

3: Lorna Shore – Pain Remains

Max: So this is one of the highest albums on the list and rightfully so, the entire bands is doing so much throughout this album and it all just works. From the sheer emotion and pain to the filthy intensity and screams that the band is known for makes this an album that as soon as you find your footing in this genre you will absolutely love. There is definitely good reason as to why this band has become the face of deathcore for a lot of people. This got a 10/10 and rightfully so!

Listen to: Pain Remains I, II, and III, in that order.

2: Halestorm – Back From the Dead

Joe: Back from the dead indeed. Four years after the awesome Vicious, Lzzy Hale and Co. returned with their fifth album and frankly blew the doors off the place. This is another album that’s grown on me more with every listen, like just about all of their albums. There is a lot of fantastic stuff on her. I like that, unlike a lot of bands at this sort of time in their careers, Halestorm have only gotten heavier, and the result is almost groove metal.

I gave this 8.5/10 when I reviewed it and I very much stand by that! However, we have two scores on the review, one from myself and one from Charlotte, which averages out a massive… 9.25/10

Listen to: Back From the Dead, Wicked Ways, I Come First.

1: Shinedown – Planet Zero

Joe: I’ve had an up and down history with Shinedown. In my late teens they were my favourite band, with their debut through Amaryllis being perfect. However, Threat to Surviv felt flat to me, a hollow attempt to appeal to a wider audience, and ATTENTION ATTENTION put an even sourer taste in my mouth.

So, imagine my surprise and happiness that just a few years later, their new album is Overtone’s top of the entire year. It is fully, fully deserved, though. From the return to their rockier sound to the semi-concept style of the album and the amazing message behind it all, it really is a phenomenal album. It has all the hallmarks of the original style of the band yet still blends together the more pop-rock approach they’ve taken recently at times too. It’s up there with some of the very best they’ve ever released, and I’d argue maybe IS the best thing they’ve ever released. The band have somehow come into their own even more and are ready to take over the world.

After listening to this album a lot since its release, I’m bumping it up to a huge 9.5/10. Check out the full review here.

Listen to: America Burning, Dead Don’t Die, Hope.

And there we have it ladies and germs, our top 50 albums of 2022. Do you agree? Did we miss any? Either way, please feel free to let us know on our socials here.

Black Mirrors: ‘If we continue to behave like we are doing now we might disappear!’

We had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with rising leaders of the new grunge movement, Black Mirrors. Having already reviewed their most recent album (which you can find here) we were excited to talk to them about it! Check it out below!

Firstly, how would you describe your sound?

I would say it’s a mixture of a lot of different things. Like we love music from the 90s but in the 90s a lot of different genres just appeared. Look at bands like Nirvana, Radiohead, Soundgarden. Even bands from the stoner sound like Queens of the Stone Age. Rage Against the Machine as well! A lot of great bands just appeared at that time, and I’d say our style is influenced by all of these bands. Bands from the early 90s which we really really love.

And the album just came out, it seems to be going down well?

Yeah, we’re having some very positive feedback on it, it’s really cool to hear!

And what was the writing/recording process like? Did you get caught out in Covid?

Yeah. It was pretty special for us because we did everything remotely with our producer, since he wasn’t allowed to come to Europe, and we couldn’t go to the US. So we did everything remotely through Zoom and stream. And yeah, we actually wrote the songs during the lockdown because… we didn’t do anything else! So we thought yeah, let’s be creative. The best things we can do is music, you know. So we started to write songs. I started to write songs as well which is pretty different to the first record because most of the ideas came from Pierre.

So basically for this one I added some ideas, we worked on it with Pierre and we started to work on the songs with our producer with a dual acoustic/lead guitar and vocals. Then with the whole band and then in the studio together.

And is there a theme running through the album? Or is it more a story per track?

We didn’t think about it as like, let’s do a project like The Wall, like a rock opera. But the thing is it’s true that after a while it was kind of obvious that the album was about how we just change and destroy the earth. How we’re leaving this planet and how humans are just destroying everything. That’s why we chose this title. It has different levels of meanings. The first one is very obvious, like at some point we’ll all be dead, so let’s do something nice between now and that time.

But you could also think about it like all the human beings; if we continue to behave like we are doing now we might disappear.

And the last way is that looking at not just human beings but all the living things on the planet, we are just one. One big thing. And it’s something that we should start to understand as people, to be like we share the same thing and the same energy, and we should fight for all the living beings, not just ourselves.

I imagine it’s quite cathartic to work through some of these issues through song?

Yeah, it’s something that you want to do as an artist, I guess. It’s our own reflection, our own vision on how it is now. A song like ‘Ode to my Unborn Child’ is really really deep for me and personal. It’s the most personal song I’ve ever wrote. It was like, we are now at an age where we’re thinking if we want kids or not. The whole thing was like, do we want kids on this world? It’s a world that I’m angry at, and I’m angry at myself too to be part of this world and this system. It’s a bit difficult and I’m struggling to live with that, daily. So it’s like, do I want any kids to feel the same thing that I do. So this song was almost a mourning process for me.

I imagine you’re doing a tour off the back of the album?

Yeah! Nothing is announced yet because we’re waiting for a good opportunity. The thing is this post-Covid situation is kind of tricky, it’s not that easy, especially compared to three years before. But yeah, we have something on the way and we’ll announce it in the next few weeks.

Have you had an issues setting up the tour?

Well, we can definitely feel that it’s different than before lockdown. Especially with ticket sales; now people are waiting till the last minute to buy the ticket. Or you have to pick between a lot of shows that you want to go to.

Also, the price of gas. It’s really expensive now. If you tour with a van or a bus it’s a big, big difference. Multiplied by two even, now. It definitely effects bands like us!

Did you enjoy our interview? Check out more from our Instagram here.

The New Roses: ‘There’s a whole bunch of stuff in there that I wouldn’t have come up with myself!’

Hard/classic rock band The New Roses put out their much-acclaimed new album, Sweet Poison, last month (check out our review of it here). We managed to sit down with frontman Timmy Rough to talk all about it, from the writing process to their touring plans. Check it out below!

You just put out the new album. What was it like to record it?

Yeah. So, every song on the record actually came to life during the lockdowns. The very first song sounded really terrible because we were dealing with all the frustration, it was really sad stuff. Nobody felt anything listening to them. We didn’t feel like making an album back then, all the material just made it worse.

So, I wrote a song called ‘The Usual Suspects’ and after that everyone was really engaged and really wanted to do something. We had the right motivation and vibe for the record. After that I wrote maybe 60 songs and we took the time and hooked it down to the last 11 songs that were lasting. Then we took all them and recorded them.

And what about those other 49 songs? Do you think they’ll ever see the light of day?

Yeah, maybe! You know a lot of them are just shit because for every good song I write I write maybe two or three shitty songs. But a couple of them are really good! They were a little too close to the new record though and we don’t want that. Maybe we’ll take them out when there’s enough space between the new stuff and the Nothing But Wild record and we can just blend them in, I guess.

You said last time we talked that it was the first time you’d written with the rest of the band. How was that compared to writing on your own?

It was way more fun. Still, the initial ideas come from me but this time everybody participated a lot more than we used to do it. Maybe that’s maybe because we had a bit more time; we could try things out and go back and forth a little. I guess you hear that on the record, everybody’s input. There’s a whole bunch of stuff in there that I wouldn’t have come up with myself!

Is there a main inspiration or sound to the album?

We recorded at the same studio that we recorded all our other records in, so it’s just a little improvement but the same foundation of our sound. Every record we make we’re scratching stuff away, carving it away. You try to distil it down to a point where there’s just 100% necessary stuff. This record is really the most we’ve done that. It’s pretty much exactly what we play live. It was much easier to bring those songs to the stage this time because most of the songs are just two guitars, two vocals, bass and drums.

The other inspiration, the main topic, was not to bitch. Not to complain or take the victim role. We wanted to stand up for ourselves, stand up for our audience and give them a good time and demonstrate some strength and some faith. That was the main goal for the record.

Have you got any highlights or stories from making the album?

You know at first it was very difficult because we couldn’t get into the rehearsal room together. We always had to send tracks around and everybody recorded their stuff at home. We’d always meet in Skype or Zoom meetings and talk about the recordings. At first it was really weird because the songs were coming to life but we weren’t playing together. But when it finally did it was really weird. We all knew the songs so well, but we’d never played them together. But when it happened, and fortunately it did happen before we went to the studio, so in the end we recorded in the studio like we used to do.

That was very fortunate for us, we were afraid we would have to record and create the whole record without even once being together. But that didn’t happen. So, when we finally got together it felt really energetic and really cool to get the stuff recorded together.

And I assume you have a big tour planned off the back of it? There are some UK dates, right?

Yes sir! It’s gonna be December. London on the 1st, Cardiff on the 2nd and Sheffield on the 3rd. Winter Rocks festival is the Sheffield date. I’m really looking forward to it, it’s been a long time. I think late in the Covid year we did a festival in the UK, we did Call of the Wild, so it’s been too long! It’s gonna be fantastic!

And I assume there’ll be a bit more of an expansive tour coming in the new year?

Yeah! So, at the moment we’re on the German tour and we’re playing all our important German cities. Then after that we’re in the UK. Early next year we’ll be in France and then we’ll kinda see how winter goes and see how the Covid thing is gonna be. As soon as we’ve got a bit better of a vision we’re gonna be all over the place!

I imagine there’ll still be a hint of writing going on, too?

Hell yeah, that’s what I do. I’ve got my notebook, my scratch book with me. I keep on collecting stuff right away. It’s what I always do. When touring is done I’ll take everything out and lock myself up in a small room and I go through everything I wrote down and start making songs out of that nonesense!