Tag Archives: nu metal

The Top 10 Most Underrated Guitarists

Guitarists are some of the most respected people in rock music. However, there are some that don’t get the credit they deserve. Whether it’s them being more on the unknown side or being associated with bands not universally liked, it has meant that some guitarists don’t always get the praise they should do. So, we thought we’d do a lost of ten of the most underrated guitarists of the rock world. Check it out down below and let us know if you agree!

10: Wes Boreland

Starting out with a slightly more obvious one. I have seen praise for the guy, just nowhere near as much as there should be. Yes, the riffs he writes for Limp Bizkit aren’t the most technical of things. But damn if they aren’t all great. Just have a look at the video below and tell me that this isn’t damn impressive and entertaining. And that isn’t even mentioning his solo stuff, which is just as weird but just as damn impressive. The whole band get far too much hate considering how talented each individual member is.

Check out our review of Still Sucks here

9: Kirk Hammett

I thought I’d get the most hated on guitarist out of the way early. Whether it’s him using too much wah, having to live up to Dave Mustaine or just generally being a part of the worlds most-cool-to-hate metal band, poor Kirk drew the short straw for sure. But the man is far too heavily criticised. He has written some of the best solos in metal history. From the likes of ‘The Unforgiven’, ‘Fade to Black’, ‘One’ and even more recently with stuff like ‘Judas Kiss’, all have been great. Yes, he likes to use the wah peddle a lot, but it does give him his own distinctive sound and honestly it works perfectly. While not being one of the core songwriters of the band, his contributions to the biggest band in metal are still legendary, and he deserves a lot more credit for them.

8: Myles Kennedy

Do I need to say any more than that solo in ‘Blackbird’? The rhythm guitarist of Alter Bridge often gets overshadowed by arguably one of the best guitarists of the current era in Mark Tremonti, but to sleep on Myles is a big mistake. His blues playing is off the charts and makes for a really interesting writing style when it comes to their hard rock/metal music. And he’s show plenty of versatility too, playing with Slash live at most of their shows as well as releasing two completely different solo albums. The man is insanely talented and not talked about enough when talking about great guitarists.

Check out our review of The Ides of March here

7: Mick Mars

While Motley Crue are another band that are rather unjustly hated on, it can be said that they are not nearly as talented as Metallica. However, Mars is definitely the most talented member of the glam band. I mean heck, just listen to the intro of ‘Live Wire’ and tell me he isn’t fantastic. While he isn’t hated on anywhere near as much as some of the others on this list, he simply isn’t talked about at all, which is a real shame.

6: Michael Paget

A more modern guitarist now, and one from a rather intriguing band. Exploding onto the scene in the early 2000s with some blistering riffs and solos, Bullet for my Valentine were touted as the next big thing. However, after a couple of dud albums (and a couple of great ones) they have cooled off dramatically. However, what has never changed is Page’s incredible playing. Whether it’s the punchy riffs and breakdowns of ‘Scream Aim Fire’ or ‘Knives’ or his amazing soloing on ‘Alone’, ‘Army of Noise’ or their iconic ‘Tears Don’t Fall’, the guy is a massively underappreciated technical player. If only the band hadn’t taken a hit in popularity, he may have had the respect he so sorely deserves.

Check out our review of Bullet For My Valentine here

5: Phil Demmel

Joining Machine Head after the questionable Nu-Metal days of the band was always going to be a hard thing, but to say Demmel made the most of it is a massive understatement. While 2003s Through the Ashes of Empires was already written by the time Demmel joined the band, he sure put on one hell of a performance in the studio. And from there he went to feature on a run of albums that is hard to rival in terms of quality. The praise heaped on The Blackening speaks for itself while Unto the Locust is a worthy follow-up from a songwriting perspective. Meanwhile, Bloodstone and Diamonds remains my favourite album the band have put out, a versatile, underrated gem (pun intended). And I haven’t even mentioned his early work with Vio-lence yet! A true underrated guitar god. The whole track below is a guitarist’s wet dream.

4: The Trivium Guys

Okay so a slight wildcard entry here as it’s a twofer, but it’s hard to say just the one of the Floridian metal titans. Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu complement each-others playing styles perfectly at this point, and Triviums albums prove that. Just go and listen to any of their last three albums, or any of their albums at all in fact, and tell me that they are not both incredible players. We all know The Crusade set them back in popularity in a lot of the fans eyes (I don’t know why, it’s a great album) so much like Bullet they are simply not as popular as they should be. But their guitar work on In The Court of the Dragon alone is some of the best I have heard, and the fact that no one is talking about it is why they make it onto this list.

Check out our review of Court of the Dragon here.

3: Dan Sugarman

The most relative newcomer on this list. He makes it so high up due to the fact that a lot of people I talk to don’t know of him. I have raved that much about Ice Nine Kills recently that I shall spare you another lecture, but their newest guitarist is VERY good. Just check out this video of him shredding to Assault and Batteries. The guy isn’t currently playing live with them but I can already tell he’ll knock it out of the park, if his studio stuff is anything to go by. Everyone go out and listen to Horrorwood now, you won’t be disappointed.

Check out our review of Welcome to Horrorwood here

2: Mick Thomson

Not even being the most appreciated guitarist in your own band must be hard. While Jim Root is a phenomenal guitarist and songwriter who definitely deserves all the praise he gets, his bandmate often gets overlooked. However, just listen to his solo on ‘Psychosocial’ or that BEAST of a riff to open ‘Surfacing’ and you will understand just how good he is. For a guy who seems to be the least appreciated out of EIGHT other band members, he is far too good to not get any credit. The video below of him recording some of the stuff for their 2008 album speaks for itself.

1: Jake Pitts

Yes, I know, but before you go hear me out. Yes, Black Veil Brides get a LOT of hate online, and for some parts rightfully so. The band are forever-pandering radio rock, trying to appeal still to this day to the disenfranchised teenagers of the world, the ones who hate mummy and daddy especially much. However, beneath all the edgy lyrics and makeup is a damn good guitarist, and one who is almost wasted in BVB. Jake and Jinx are both fantastic rhythm players, but Jake’s soloing in the likes of the video below is fantastic. It really goes to show why the band get as much hate as they do. It certainly isn’t because they write bad music. It’s a real shame because it makes the rest of the band underrated, hence why Jake is at the top of our list!

And there we have it, our list of the top ten most underrated guitarists in rock. Did we miss any? I imagine we missed a bunch and can’t wait to be told about it! You can do so on our Facebook here or our Instagram here. And do let us know if you enjoyed this list and want to see more. I enjoyed the hell out of writing and researching this and if you want more I’ll gladly make it a regular feature! Heck, I’ll even do video ones, if you really want…

New Music Mondays: Papa Roach, Jack White and More!

A slightly nicer week this week (for me, at least), with only six albums being released. And as always with new music Mondays join us as we go through them and tell you how great we think they are!

Papa Roach: Ego Trip

The singles from this album have had me both hyped for and dreading the release of the nu-metal legends’ 11th album. After hearing it, I was right to be apprehensive. This wasn’t great.

Now, I do have to admit, I haven’t been a fan of this band much past 2004s Getting Away With Murder, but I have liked the odd song here and there. It was pretty much the same feeling with this entire album. The opener, ‘Kill the Noise’, is classic Papa Roach and is awesome. Then you have tracks like ‘Unglued’ and ‘Cut the Line’ that are also great. But then a fair few of the songs sound like they are trying to be something they are not, taking style and sound from other bands. ‘Stand Up’ and ‘Bloodline’ sound like they are trying to capitalise on the recent popularity of rap-rock/metal artists like FEVER 333 and Ghostmane, while the vocal melody in ‘Liar’ feels ripped straight from Panic! At The Disco or Ice Nine Kills. And don’t even get me started on Swerve. I have been vocal in my dislike of the track since it’s release and I do believe it is the worst thing Jason Aalon Butler has ever been a part of.

So, overall not too impressed, I must say. 4/10

Jack White: Fear of the Dawn

The former half of White Stripes’ fourth solo album and first of two this year was released last week. It’s just as weird and fun as you would imagine it being. ‘Taking Me Back’ and ‘What’s The Trick?’ take me back to the good old White Stripes days while tracks like the title one are surprisingly heavy. It’s not all amazing, but it sure is all interesting. White has always been a fun, underrated songwriter, and that is on full display here. The album will definitely make it into my rotation for the next couple of weeks! 7/10

Cole Swindell: Stereotype

Country finally returns to Overtone with Cole Swindell’s fourth album. It’s definitely on the slower, not-rock side of country music, but there is enough good stuff here for it to be enjoyable. His duet with Lainey Wilson is fantastic and ‘Down to the Bar’ is good fun. Unfortunately the tracks with guests are by far the best tracks on the album. The rest isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong, but it’s all rather slow and… well… serious. I’m not after a comedy album or anything but at least give me something that sounds like you enjoyed writing and recording it, Cole. It was good but a depressing, kinda boring slog of an album. 5/10

Destruction: Diabolical

One of the ‘big 4’ of Germany, Destruction just released their whopping 15th studio album. Now, I’m a pretty big fan of thrash, but I do admit there is a large gap in my knowledge when it comes to Germany. I know Kreator, and that’s about it. Clearly I am going to have to change that, because this was awesome! You can tell they are a band that have been doing this for a while, everything is so polished and crisp, even for a thrash album. ‘No Faith in Humanity’, ‘Hope Dies Last’ and ‘Ghost From the Past’ are all massive highlights. My only slight issue is the same one I have with most thrash albums these days: it’s 13 tracks of straight thrash. The reason I like Metallica and Megadeth as much is because they would mix up the tempos and arrangements and keep the album interesting. 90% of thrash bands however, including Destruction apparently, just go hard from start to finish. It’s good, but took a little too long for me. 7.5/10

Short Stack: Maybe There’s No Heaven

The Aussie pop-punk rockers returned with their fourth album this last week. It has a very modern sound to it, combining pretty apparent influences from Linkin Park into the typical punk sound, while still having some harsh vocals thrown in for good measure. But, having said that, there are still traditionally pop-punk tracks too, like ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Sunshine’. Both styles are pretty great. The whole album is a damn strong offering and quite easily the best, most enjoyable album I’ve listened to this week. The band have a new fan in me, I shall definitely be checking out their old stuff! 8.5/10

If you like pop punk, check out this review!

Incite: Wake up Dead

The groove/thrash/hardcore metallers rose to fame quite early on as frontman Richie is the step-son of metal legend Max Cavalera. Now on their sixth studio album, though, the band have carved out their own path thanks to their awesome writing and musicianship.

All of that is on full display here. The album goes hard from start to finish with fantastic, heavy riff after riff. The vocals keep up with it too, delivering an onslaught of harshness and fantastic lyrics. Tracks like ‘Deadbeat’, ‘Built to Destroy’ and the family reunion track ‘War Soup’ are all massive highlights and all make the playlist. If you’re into you’re heavy, faster music give this a listen, you won’t be disappointed! 8/10

Some good stuff this week, though a little disappointed by the bigger names, surprisingly. Join us as always next week for the eventual release of Fozzy’s new album! Find it from our Facebook when it’s out from our link here.

For All We’ve Left Behind: Are Black Lakes The Future of Metal?

Black Lakes are a Welsh melodic metal band that has been around for a few years, slowly releasing a steady stream of singles. Said singles have now been combined to form their debut album. Oh, and said album comes out a week today! I am not at all familiar with this band but love the genre of them so am excited to check this out!

After a brief Linkin Park-style intro track with lots of synth and programmed drums, ‘Avarice’ explodes in with a MASSIVE guitar riff backed by some heavy drums. It stays fast and heavy through the verse, the vocals fitting perfectly over the top. The voice actually reminds me a bit of Chester’s, it definitely has that early 2000s metal twang to it like the likes of Rev Theory and Burn Halo. It heads into a huge chorus full of catchy vocals and great harmonies. It’s easily one of the better choruses I’ve heard from any band this year so far. That, and the riff coming out of it is fantastic.

We head into an awesome build-up out of the second chorus, reminding me very much of the modern revival of nu-metal. It builds into a huge breakdown riff and we get some fantastic screaming over the top, fitting the heaviness well. It drops down again before building into a massive final chorus to draw an awesome track to a close. Easily playlisted, this was great stuff!

‘Dissident’ opens quieter with an awesome, Egyptian-style riff. Very Ra. It gets heavy for the main riff and then drops back down for a great, catchy riff. It says Egyptian-y, stays Ra-y, and stays very early 2000s metal. It’s great. The chorus is another amazing one and I somehow even love this track more than the previous one. I LOVE this style of music and I am so glad it’s making a bit of a comeback recently. The bridge is pretty enjoyable too but there isn’t a great deal to it. Not that it matters, because it leads to another great chorus and riff to finish us off. Another great track and the band go two for two on the playlist so far!

Check out our review of a similar band, Dead Romantic, here.

‘Fragments’ is another slow starter, building into a fantastic, technical, heavy riff. The drums are a big highlight here, not just in the intro and verse but actually throughout the entire album. A given trend in this album by this point, the chorus is excellent, catchy, and anthemic. Their capturing of the early 2000s nu and industrial metal sound is great, and they honestly do it a lot better than a lot of bands around in that era, too. The breakdown after the second chorus is amazing, building perfectly into the stripped-back first final chorus. I honestly cannot praise this album or band enough, fantastic stuff so far!

‘Verity in Flames’ feels like the closest thing we’ll get to a ballad on the album, a plodding, slower pace and lacking the heavy riffs of the others. It all builds to a MASSIVE chorus each time though, and they are another highlight of the album. Some bands have all the talent in the world but cannot write a catchy chorus to save their lives. These guys have that talent down to a tee, like a metal RHCP in that department. The harsh vocals in the bridge were also an awesome touch, adding heaviness to the lighter track in a great way. Another that makes the playlist!

The solo at the start of ‘The Divide’ was a great touch and sounded awesome over the top of the rest of the heavy instrumentation. The double-tracked vocals throughout the track also added so much depth and awesomeness to the song, making it somehow even catchier. It all combines together to make another fantastic song. However, much like the following tracks, ‘Landslide’ and ‘Ghost of our Memories’, I find myself struggling to say stuff without repeating myself or coming across as a fangirl. Both are slower tracks much like ‘Verity…’, and both give off heavy ‘Bittersweet Memories’ vibes to me. I’d say that’s a pretty big compliment. The duelling vocals in the verses for the latter track are fantastic too and the emotion displayed throughout make the track a real highlight of the album.

The same could be said for the final three tracks of the album. The final track was an interesting slower piece, but generally, the three were just more great tracks that have the same awesome qualities that the previous tracks did. Heck, this is that solid of an album that I don’t even mind the slowest track being the closing one this time! A great run of tracks for an honestly flawless album.

Overall: If you couldn’t tell already, I loved this. The style is right up my street and the band pulled it off masterfully. It’s hard to believe it’s the band’s first LP, even if they have been going for a few years now. I can see HUGE things to come in their future if they keep up the quality that has been demonstrated here, and they definitely have a new fan in me!

The Score: 8.5/10

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STILL SUCKS: How does one of metal’s longest anticipated album hold up?

It’s finally here. The album that has been teased and in the works for 8ish years, formerly titled Stampede of the Disco Elephants, is finally released in its full form a decade after Limp Bizkit’s last album. It has somehow remained one of the most anticipated album releases in rock for years now, and not just by me, so let’s see if it lives up to the lofty expectations!

‘Out of Style’s lyrics perfectly encapsulate what I’m sure the band and their fans were worried about before the album’s release, that they wouldn’t be all that relevant anymore. As soon as Wes Borland’s insane, heavy riff comes in though all of that is immediately forgotten, reminding everyone how good the band can be. Fred Durst actually sings the first verse on the album which was pretty shocking, especially when the instrumentation dropped down to a quieter, slower part, but it still sounded good. Then the riff kicks back in for the massively catchy chorus and it feels like we’re back in 2000 again. A great little guitar-led bridge part leads to a second verse that reminds me of the middle part of ‘Eat you Alive’, easily one of LB’s most underrated tracks. Said part leads to another chorus before it finishes off with a stripped-back half with just drums and vocals before the rest of the band joins in for the last half. A good start to the album and while maybe not the biggest impact they could have made after a decade away, it still hit well!

Wes’ criminally underrated guitar work continues with ‘Dirty Rotten Bizkit’ and another AWESOME, heavy opening riff. It’s clear just how inspirational the band is, as said riff easily could have sat nicely on any Skindred album. The rest of the track is classic Bizkit, and it’s glorious. Heavy guitaring, ridiculous lyrics, a HUGE chorus, and some surprisingly great rapping from a white guy in his 50s. I’m not gonna say anything more about this track other than CHECK IT OUT, no matter who you are, it’s good. It made out Track of the Week on Instagram and also made it into our best of the year playlist, which you can find here.

The track that renewed the hype for new music, ‘Dad Vibes’ is just as ridiculous no matter how many times I hear it. It has no right to be good, the lyrics are terrible and it’s basically nothing but the rapping and another infectiously good guitar riff… but I love it. ‘So damn clean he a mop’ and ‘Dad so sweet that his nickname candy’ are unironically some of my favourite lyrics of the year. For a band that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is great. And the Eminem-esque ‘la la’ bit in the middle is also awesome. Playlisted!

Now I understand that the next track may not be for everyone, but I loved ‘Turn it Up, Bitch’. There’s not much nu-metal about it, it’s a lot more of just a hip-hop track, but damn if it isn’t catchy as anything. Wes isn’t even in the track at all, it’s just an infectiously good, repeating bassline and the same drumbeat behind it, with Freddy D spitting some ridiculous yet pretty great and catchy lyrics over the top of it all. Heck, even the lady’s voice they put in before the first chorus fit and it worked with the song perfectly. Another fantastic song.

Next up we get the first dud of the album, ‘Don’t Change’. Now, I am one of the seemingly very few people who don’t mind the band’s cover of ‘Behind Blue Eyes’, and I am not against a good ballad or cover, but this wasn’t great. In fact, no, it’s not terrible, but it isn’t what I want from Limp Bizkit. As I said before, I understand the band has gotten on a bit and may want to mature as songwriters, but after ten years of waiting, I don’t want to hear Fred Durst sing over an acoustic guitar. I want crazy, bouncy metal riffs and some ridiculous rapping. It unfortunately immediately holts the momentum of a so far amazing album, and isn’t as good as the original INXS version.

‘You Bring out the Worst in Me’, however, is a quick return to form. Reminding me of something like ‘Stuck’ or ‘Nookie’ in its arrangement of soft verse and a heavy chorus, it makes ‘You Bring Out…’s chorus VERY heavy. It starts slow but the bassline is a particular highlight throughout the verses, Sam Rivers being another example of an underrated player. The choruses are also the first time we hear Durst scream on the album, showing that he very much still has it 20 years later! We even get an awesome (if basic) guitar solo in here from Wes, the slowness and feeling fitting the song perfectly. Another fantastic, classic style LB song.

‘Love the Hate’ might as well be an interlude, it being two minutes of spoken word between Fred and someone else. I couldn’t quite tell who the other person was and Google was no help other than suggesting Fred was playing both roles, so I’ll leave it up to interpretation. The track is hilarious though, the entire track being the same riff from the instruments while the voices just slag off the band. The fact that the word ‘Fredache’ was invented just for this song makes me happier than it should and is just one example of the kind of stupid yet rather entertaining humour contained within the track. I won’t be going back to it much, but it’s at least entertaining!

‘Barnacle’ somehow transports me back to the 90s more than any other track so far. Is it just me who gets major Nirvana vibes from the song? Even Soil at times too, which is at least closer to the band’s usual sound! The screamed chorus was pretty good and catchy, but outside of that, this sounds pretty basic and messy. It’s punk AF but not one of the stronger points on the album. Speaking of not strong points, a second acoustic song made its way onto the album in the form of ‘Empty Hole’. It’s somehow exactly the same as the first one, while also being worse. LB is not the sort of band for acoustic ballads, as much as they keep trying. The members should do solo projects if they want to do this boring stuff, and just do fun rapping/heavy stuff with Bizkit, in my opinion.

‘Pill Popper’ at least gets things back off to the heaviness again, but reminds me a lot of ‘Barnacle’. It’s another punk-feeling track. However, the riff for the chorus is one of the best and heaviness on the album, and something I HAVE to see live. The verses are pretty entertaining, focusing around the drumbeat for Durst to rap over, but the chorus is definitely where it is at with this track. The breakdown at the end is pretty sweet too, and heavy as anything.

‘Snacky Poo’ is an odd one, because the track is four minutes but the actual song is only two, with the rest taken up by a mock interview between Durst and Borland. The track itself is a straight-up rap song, and not especially a good one, and the interview doesn’t even come across as that funny or entertaining at all. An odd addition to an album that has been VERY front-loaded, unfortunately.

Unfortunately (but unsurprisingly at this point), the closing track ‘Goodbye’ isn’t really that great of a Limp Bizkit track, either. I worded that very carefully; as it IS a good track… if it was written by Justin Timberlake. However, this is Limp Fuckin’ Bizkit, not a pop band. It somehow feels the most out of place on the album, even though there have now been three acoustic tracks on here. It was an okay song, but so different that it felt like a different band. And y’all know me, I clamour for bands to mix it up through their records, but this was ridiculous. Man, this album really fizzled out halfway through, what a shame.

Overall: This was one of the most mixed bag albums I have ever heard, from a quality but also genre perspective. There were some fantastic, old-school Limp Bizkit tracks on here like ‘Dirty Rotten Bizkit’, ‘You Bring Out…’, and even ‘Turn it Up, Bitch’, but there were too many acoustic tracks and meh ones holding it back from being all-round awesome. It’s such a shame too because I was PUMPED when I listened to the first half of the album. Did it live up to the expectations and hype? Probably not, but it wasn’t a bad album by any stretch.

The Score: 7/10

Did you enjoy our review? Why don’t you check out our reaction of the track ‘Dad Vibes’ from our Instagram here.

Unstable: Tetrarch’s journey to bring nu-metal back to the mainstream

Atlantan metallers Tetrarch return with their first new album in 4 years, ‘Unstable’, now boasting a shiny Napalm Records stamp on it too. Fitting nicely into, and pretty much spearheading, the Nu-Metal revival of recent years, the band has blown up recently after their debut album ‘Freak’ back in 2017. The hype for the follow-up, ‘Unstable’, has been massive and I for one have been onboard. I loved the first album and love nu-metal in general, so I’m excited to get onto this and review it. I’ve also somehow only heard one of the singles off it so far, so it will be nice to get mostly a brand-new listen. Join me in checking it out!

The album’s lead single, ‘I’m Not Right’ starts the album off strong and with a very nu-metal sound. Fading in with some distorted, distant vocals and guitars, the vocals sounding like Johnathon Davis and the lyrics being suitably edgy. It soon explodes into a huge, heavy riff, a sign of great things to come, I’m sure. The guitars, coupled with the electronic sounds behind them, reminds me a lot of Static X’s old material. The similarities continue with Static X as Josh Fore’s vocals give off a lot of Wayne vibes. It all builds up nicely into a heavy, but also very catchy chorus – the vocals being just about clean enough for the crowd to sing along to live. The second verse has an incredible couple of lines where the vocals go full-on screaming and it sounds HEAVY, but unfortunately it doesn’t last all that long. I still cannot get over just how good the chorus is as the whole song sounds like the perfect blend of Static’s heaviness and Korn’s catchiness. We get a build-up after the chorus into a massive breakdown thanks to the harsh vocals working so well over the top. It then builds up into a huge final chorus and it’s taken me this long to realise the vocals here also sound a little like Chester Bennington’s. A massive, heavy outro takes us out in style and I could spend all day talking about this track. It easily makes the playlist!

Next up is another single, ‘Negative Noise’ which I’ve heard before. We get some brief feedback before the song builds up into a great riff. Look, I’m not going to lie, I definitely see the similarities between the verse’s riff and melody and Slipknot’s ‘Heretic Anthem’ like everyone online is pointing out but it still sounds killer so I’ll happily lay off them for it after pointing it out. It stays just as heavy and blisteringly quick throughout the verse. It almost feels like a thrash song. The vocals clear up a little in the chorus but the tempo remains about the same throughout. As a result, while it is still a good chorus, it isn’t quite as catchy as the previous song. We get a similar bridge out of the second chorus before we even get a great little guitar solo which is something all too rare in nu-metal. However, as good as Diamond does here, it’s just a tad too short for my liking. It again hits us with another final chorus and a quicker outro to finish things off. I am on the fence as to whether to put it into the playlist or not. It’s a damn good song but the similarity to Slipknot does make me feel like I’ve heard it all before. Check out the Overtone Spotify playlist to see if I changed my mind by the end of this review.

The album’s title track is next. It opens pretty heavy again but it’s slower than the previous song, retaining a lot more of the early nu-metal sound. I initially got heavily reminded of ‘Trash’ by Korn when first listening, but after listening to it I now have no idea why – they’re pretty different sonically. Despite that, for some reason I still can’t shake the comparison. The harsh vocals in the pre-section are pretty great and the chorus gives off more early Linkin Park vibes again. However, as much as I like the chorus, for some reason the final lines don’t sit right with me. They feel a little too basic and juvenile. I mean, that is pretty much the point of nu-metal at this point: angsty, borderline cringy lyrics, but this felt just a tad over the edge. Still, it builds up to a massive, heavy breakdown which is one of the highlights of the album for me so far. It’s another great song, but I can see why this wasn’t selected to be a single.

Another single on the album is ‘You Never Listen’. It opens on a stripped-back version of the chorus which is again hugely catchy and gives off lots of LP vibes. It then explodes into a pretty heavy but still slower riff, making it clear why this was single-worthy. Even the verses are pretty simple and slower and  the vocal melodies give off slight Shinedown vibes. There isn’t much to talk about with this song. It’s the most radio-friendly song on the album so far and I am all for it. It’s the closest thing to a nu-metal ballad I think we’re going to get, even with the Static X-style heavier section in the middle, and I’m going to have that chorus stuck in my head for the rest of the day now! Playlisted!

‘Sick of You’ opens on another heavy industrial metal riff – one that carries on in one form or another through the verses too. The chorus is pretty great and the lyrics are some of the best I have heard from this album so far; they’re catchy and easy to sing along to. There isn’t much more I can say about this song; it’s pretty basic again, but we get another fantastic solo from Diamond Rowe which is even better than the previous one. She wouldn’t at all sound out of place on a thrash album. Another good song overall, but the solo was definitely the highlight for me.

‘Take A Look Inside’ blew all of my expectations out of the water. It is easily the heaviest song on the album by a large margin and it’s insane. From the fast riff and sick double bass pedal work of the intro to the slow, sludgy, crushing breakdown after the second chorus, this was definitely on the heavy top end of the genre. The track still manages to squeeze in a slower, clean-vocalled, very catchy chorus in there too. This may be my favourite song on the album, maybe even my favourite song by the band as a whole, and it has definitely made the Overtone playlist! Check this out if you are in any way into heavy music.

‘Stitch Me Up’ again channels their heavy Korn influences but it doesn’t stand out all that much on this album. It’s good but it feels like the most “fillery” song on the album so far. The style is similar to other tracks on the album, but it doesn’t quite reach that level. It is, unfortunately, the same sort of criticism I can give to the album’s final single, ‘Addicted’, and the following song of the album, ‘Pushed Down’. They’re all good songs but they’re nothing different to other tracks on the album at this point. Nu/industrial metal is so hard to vary drastically between tracks – so much so that I’ll be the first to admit I’ll skip the occasional track on a generic nu-metal album. It can fall into the trap of producing the same sound which, for some, won’t be an issue, but it makes the album more difficult to review. 

The final song on the album, ‘Trust Me’, mixes things up a little. It’s the slowest and calmest song on the album. The verses are mainly just drums and vocals with quieter guitar notes ringing out in the back. The only time it gets even remotely heavy is in the chorus and even then it’s just big, distorted chords to give the song some depth. I have to admit though, I loved this. It’s an interesting choice for a closer I’ll admit, but it’s something completely different to the album both in sound and feel. It’s slow, moody and subdued, and never quite hits that huge gear I kept expecting it to – it never dropped. Another highlight of the album, even if it doesn’t quite make the playlist cut.

Overall: I loved this. Being a big fan of nu-metal (heck, I grew up and got into music in the back half of it) this is the type of music I’ve been waiting to make a comeback for a good decade now and I’m so glad these guys are at the forefront. They have gone from strength to strength as a band and I can honestly say that I believe this is better than their first album – which is saying a lot. With all the press coverage they are currently receiving, it wouldn’t be suprised if they were the next breakout megastars.

Score: 8/10

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