Tag Archives: punk

New Music Mondays: Metallica, Overkill and More!

A huge week for new music thanks to the main band. The fact that anyone has put out an album the same day as Metallica is insane, but there is plenty to sink our teeth into and some really great stuff at that. Check it out with us!

Metallica: 72 Seasons

Arguably the biggest band of all time, and easily one of my favourites. I had to give this my full attention, so read the full review here.

Overkill: Scorched

The 20th album from the thrash legends picks up right from where 2019s Wings of War left off. The opening title track really highlights the band’s sound not just over the last decade but over their whole careers, and is an excellent place to start. They have easily been one of the most consistent thrash bands around alongside Exodus. ‘Goin’ Home’ is jam packed with great riff after great riff and has one of my favourite guitar solos on the album. It’s also amazing how well Blitz has looked after his vocals over all these years, sounding up there with the likes of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford these days. The drumming is the real unsung hero of the album though, Jason does an incredible job.

‘Wicked Place’ and ‘Harder They Fall’ are two more highlights of an honestly stacked album. I’ve been a fan of the band for a while but honestly haven’t really given them the credit they clearly deserve. This is excellent, and proves they are still one of the best thrash bands around today. 9/10

LA Guns: Black Diamonds

Tracii Guns’ post GnR project are back with their 14th studio album. I remember checking out their last one when it came out, giving it a 7.5/10 (check it out here). Much like their previous album, it doesn’t really have the glam/Sleaze metal feel to it that the band were known for back in the day. It still has some AOR tones but feels like a lot more modern, like more recent Bullet Boys or even (and I’m sure some hate me making the comparison) Chinese Democracy.

Still, tracks like the slower ballad ‘Diamonds’, the blusey ‘Shame’ and the faster, more old school ‘Lowlife’ are all highlights of the album. Overall, I think I enjoyed it more than their last one. I simply don’t think it was arranged very well. The opener didn’t land for me, but some of the later songs were amazing. It’s a fun album with plenty of good rock songs throughout and one I’ll happily listen to again. 8/10

Despite the Reverence: Stress of Evolution

Max: So this was one of those bands that I had never heard of before and I’m always ready to find another fantastic band much like I did when I first heard Sleep Token. This band only disappointed in one regard; why do they only have 91 monthly listeners on Spotify? The guitars and bass all had this very constant and moving feel throughout which allowed for so much energy to be carried through the album. The drums were great and I really need to start learning drums again because there are so many things that drummers like this do which just astound me with how effortlessly they seem to be yet brilliant they are. And then the vocals, I could understand the cleans taking a bit of time for people to get used to but I loved them and then the screams felt almost like older Parkway Drive, so they were awesome. This has to be an 8/10

Penny Rich: If Everyone’s An Expert, What’s Left to be Learnt?

I wasn’t coming into this album expecting such riffs. Right from the offset with ‘Spirals’ it’s one sludgy, pretty heavy riff after the other. Meanwhile, the vocals and overall vibe gave off heavy Dead Kennedy’s vibes. Considering this was described to me as indie I was very pleasantly surprised, it’s like a dark punk sort of feel. Tracks like ‘SPA’ and ‘Downfall’ are also great. I love the energy to it all, and their talent helps a bunch too. 7.5/10, a good album!

Fruit Bats: A River Running to your Heart

Having caught a bit of these at The Long Road last year (check out the review here) I was excited to check out this album! Honestly, it’s the perfect album to just chuck on and chill to, too. It’s very stripped back, pop/indie centric Americana, and it’s a lot of fun. The vocals reminded me a lot of Billy Corgan at times, fitting in surprisingly well over the chilled out instrumentation. It also had a slight Mothers Milk RHCP vibe to it. ‘See the World by Night’ was probably my favourite track on the album, but there really isn’t a bad track on it really. It did get slightly repetitive by the halfway mark, but that’s more personal preference than anything I think. 7.5/10

Alase: A Matter of Time

Max: Firstly, and I know this doesn’t affect the music but it should be said, the album art is brilliant. In terms of the actual music, it was really really good. It was really fun to listening to and there are many points where the music swells and it leaves you floating but then the screams ground you again and make you feel so much energy. This is only amplified by the drums and guitars which really demonstrate all of this. The quality of the recording also really helps with this as it was very good and was definitely done with the overall goal of the album in mind. 8/10

Jesus Piece: …So Unknown

Max: Right, definitely a change of pace from the previous two albums. But, it fully carries on the trend of this week having great albums. There is so much intensity and energy throughout the songs. I can imagine just how mental this band would be live. The bass really deserves some recognition because its all too easy for it to become buried in the rest of the music but this band clearly loves it and does a lot of work to make sure that it can be heard and it’s an important part of each song. The drums are very good and there are so many changes in pace and blast beats that I can’t fathom ever playing something like this. The vocals are amazing and feel like a cross between Knocked Loose, Kublai Khan TX and Alpha Wolf so they really deserve some praise. A very well deserved 9/10

Mike Miz: Only Human

The debut album of this upbeat Americana artist is fantastic. ‘Hand of the Sculptor’ is the perfect opener, feeling like an upbeat mixture between country and New Orleans-infused blues/soul rock. It’s follower ‘Only Human’ instead gives off heavy Fleetwood Mac vibes. It’s also got a fantastic chorus to it. ‘Six Ways from Sundays’ has an albums jazz infusion to the blues rock. The second half of the album, while it falls off in terms of pace, it doesn’t let up in terms of quality. ‘You Make me Feel’ is like an early 2000s pop ballad that I could easily hear filling the radio stations back then. And album closer ‘Tail Lights’ rocks it back up perfectly. A very good feel-good album, even despite the lyrics at times. 8.5/10

Syncolima: Wavelengths

Another album we did a full review of a couple of months back now. It was awesome! Check it out here.

White Rose Motor Oil: The Gift of Poison

First of all, these guys need way more listens than they have. So stop reading this right now and go check out the band and this album in particular.

Back? Okay, let’s continue.

This was awesome. It’s like dark Americana, having a pop-country twang to it. Opener ‘Ain’t no Saint’ hooked me in immediately with the incredible writing, catchy hooks and amazing lyricism, and it only continued to hit thr mark with all three from there. ‘Red Light’ is another amazing track while songs like ‘Hateland’ and ‘Blood Left to Bleed’ are also Hugh highlights. Honestly though, the whole album is amazing, there isn’t a bad track on it. I would say it’s the perfect album to put on and chill out to, but given the dark, sometimes heavier themes, that may not be entirely true! Either way, the band have a new huge fan in me! 9/10

The Waiting: A Bold New Step for Dark Punk?

Blak29 are back with their second album and first in nearly seven years. Featuring members of Danzig, 69 Eyes and Type O Negative, they have plenty of experience and expertise. Let’s see if they can pull it off, shall we?

Opening the album on a simple drum beat, a punk riff soon builds in over the top of ‘Blackout’. The highlight of it is actually the subtle keys in the back, giving it a great driving force and adding a layer of menace to it. The punk vibe continues through the verse as the great vocals come in over the top. The chorus is simple yet massively catchy. It’d go down fantastically live. It’s also very easy to hear the Danzig connections, it’s definitely in that similar, Misfits style. Not much else to say about the track but it was definitely awesome. A great way to open the album!

‘Destroyer’ opens on a VERY punk bass and drum line. It’s very clearly a tribute, their own take on The Kinks’ ‘All Day and All of the Night’, and it’s done in a fantastically fun way. Heck, the over-the-top spoken word at the start is amazing, giving off big ‘Time Warp’ vibes. The gang vocals for the choruses was a nice touch, making it even catchier, and the lead guitar lines in between were also good. The whole track is a lot of fun and easily makes our playlist!

A heavier, sludgier feel runs through ‘Waiting for the Sun to go Down’, feeling more like a Rob Zombie track than anything else. The darker sound fit the mood of the track and lyrics perfectly. The slower chorus was great, definitely marking this as a metal track rather than a punk one. I can’t get over how good the multiple vocals sound on the choruses, it making everything sound massive every time. The vocals in general are a massive highlight on this track, sounding a little Layne Staley as well as Rob. I LOVED this. It’s another huge highlight of the album and another to easily make the playlist.

‘Go Go Little One’ picks back up the pace and punk edge again, feeling almost Wildhearts in its delivery. The bouncy, upbeatness was a nice, fun change of pace again. The album does a great job of keeping the listener on their toes, mixing up plenty of different styles so as not to get bored and bogged down with a lot of the same. The track is just as good as the others so far, catchy and very entertaining!

‘End of Days’ is a dark, plodding and subdued punky number. It’s heavily bass led and builds into a huge chorus with some massive distorted guitars. It gives off Wednesday 13 vibes as well as the usual Danzig ones. Meanwhile ‘Of Love Of Hate Of Pain’ is much like ‘Go Go…’ in it’s faster punk approach. ‘Bleeding Love’ is somewhere in the middle of the two, having a heavy, sludgy feel to it and reminding me a little of some of The Cult’s heavier stuff. I think it’s some of the vocal inflections, they sound very Ian Astbury!

The album’s title track is the most out there track so far, giving off even more Cult vibes as it’s a slow, stripped back song. A simple beat, bassline and guitar line accentuate the vocals well. It leads to some catchy, powerful vocals and an awesome guitar solo in the middle. The wah was done perfectly and it builds amazingly into a final chorus. This is another track that easily makes our playlist!

Check out something similar here.

‘Don’t Mind the Pain’ brings back the dark punk energy and sounds possibly the closest to Danzig that I’ve heard so far. It’s probably due to more awesome backing vocals in the chorus, making everything sound so powerful. It’s a great, catchy track on an album full of them!

‘I’m Screaming But Nobody’s Here’ is the ballad of the album, but almost takes a turn into folk/Americana music. It’s slow and epic, building through some distorted guitar here and there but generally staying stripped back. Honestly I thought it would explode into a big heavy rock song throughout but it never did. I actually really like that it stayed simple, being completely different to the rest of the album and again feeling fresh. What a great track! It almost felt like it should have been the closing track, as as good as ‘Long Cool Woman’ is as a track, it felt similar to some of the others. Still, both are good songs and the closer feels like it pulls together elements of every other track, rounding things out nicely.

Overall: This was awesome! Considering I hadn’t heard of the band before, they definitely have a new fan in me! It modernised an old sound perfectly and there really wasn’t a back track on the album. Hopefully the band tour the UK soon as I’d love to see them!

The Score: 8.5/10

New Music Mondays: Iggy Pop, Anti-Flag and More!

We’re back! Now that the holidays are done with and out of the way, bands are starting to put out music again, and we have a whole new 12 months to look at! And for some reason, though there aren’t many releases in this first week of the year, it’s quite a punky one! Let’s check it out!

Iggy Pop: Every Loser

This impressed the hell out of me. I know he is affectionately dubbed the ‘Godfather of Punk’, but the man is like three million years old at this point (give or take a couple of months) so to hear that he can still go this hard is fantastic. ‘Frenzy’ is an angry punk masterpiece while single ‘Strung Out Johnny’ feels more of a new-wave track.

That’s how the album goes, there’s a surprising amount of depth. Tracks like ‘Neo-Punk’ and ‘Modern Day Ripoff’ are straight up punk while tracks like ‘The Regency’, ‘Morning Show’ and ‘All the Way Down’ are slower, more reflective tracks. It’s an incredibly well written album over all and full of great tracks from both sides. I’m hard pressed to find anything wrong with it, even the interludes are fun and felt fitting. 7.5/10

Check out more punk here.


I’ve been a fan of this band for years, ever since that song was on the Shaun White games. The band also have one of the most consistent back catalogue’s of anyone, with everything from their debut to recent releases being stellar.

They keep up the streak with this one. They have always been some of the best lyricists in the game, and this is up their with their last album in terms of flawless anti-establishment sentiment. Going after the government and the worst parts of modern society’s way of thinking is something I can 100% get behind, and it is done masterfully here.

Plus, nearly every track featuring a different guest artist gave it all a different feel to it and most really added a lot to the tracks. Even the track with Rise Against’s Tim Mcllrath, ‘THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES’, has grown on me a lot listening to the album since I first heard it as a single. The track is very Rise Against, which is cool. The band have seemed to attempt to adopt the style of the guest’s music into their sound for each track, which is both interesting and insanely impressive.

It’s hard to pick out a highlight here as every track is really great. If you’re in any way a punk fan you’ll love this just like I did. These guys don’t get nearly enough credit as being solidly one of the best things in the rock scene for over two decades now. Everyone reading this, check out the album immediately, it’s fantastic. 9/10

Beautiful Death: Finis

So, this was a weird one for us. Acoustic instrumental stuff isn’t usually our vibe here at Overtone. However, this was all so dark and ominous, it was essentially atmospheric black metal without the distortion and extreme vocals. I put this on a fair bit in the background over the weekend and honestly love it. It’d work so perfectly as a soundtrack to a movie or game, especially an epic or horror. I don’t have too much to say about this given that it’s all pretty similar, but it is all great! 7/10

And there we have it, everything from the first week of the year! Check out some of last weeks from our Instagram here.

New Music Mondays: Green King, Adam Warner and More!

The last of these before the holidays, it’s only a short one this week. However, there is still some great new music released, so let’s look at it!

Green King: Hidden Beyond Time

Firstly, this is a damn good debut album. Surprisingly enough, this won’t be the first time I’m saying that this week, either.

This is a great combination of heavy metal sounds. There’s a lot of NWOBHM in there, some sludgy stoner/doom stuff, and a LOT of early Metallica thrash. His voice reminds me a lot of a young Hetfield. But then the riffing, while a bit more upbeat, remind me of a combination of Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Tracks like ‘Gates of Annihilation’ and ‘Steel and Ice’ are definite highlights, but it’s also just a strong album overall. If you’re going to listen to them, check out the whole album. At only 7/8 tracks and just over half an hour long, you have no excuse!

If you’re a fan of any of the bands or genres I’ve named above you need to check this out, you won’t be disappointed. 8/10.

Adam Warner: What We’re Known For

Time for some country now, which seems rare in winter. Adam‘s third album is his most ambitious yet, and looks set to catapult him to new heights. His country/blues swagger is on full display on tracks like the title one, ‘Catchin’ Hell’ and ‘Got Started’, while tracks like ‘Split a Beer’ and ‘Like Daddy Did’ shows off his slower, balladier side. And of course single ‘Reason to Redneck’ is a massive highlight, being infectiously catchy and surprisingly well written given the lyrics. Also, of course his cover of the Charlie Daniels Band’s incredible ‘Long Haired Country Boy’ is amazing, too.

Check out more country content here.

Unlike a lot of country albums these days, too, it’s incredibly well structured and balanced. It’s not overly long, just 12 tracks and 35-minutes. And there’s a pretty decent ratio (and spread out too) of ballads and rockier tracks. This is one of the better country albums that I’ve reviewed by far, and I’ll be listening to this a lot over the next few months! 9/10

Highway Queen: Bitter Soul

Another great debut album this week. Opening straight into the foot-stomping, hard rock anthem ‘Hey!’, it sets the tone and pace right from the offset. From the dark heaviness of ‘Get on Your Knees’ and ‘?’ to the more AOR-leaning, melodic ‘Here I Am’, the band clearly have a lot of talent and wear their inspiration on their sleeves. There’s some fantastic riffs and a lot of amazing melodic vocals throughout the entire album, and it’s one hell of a debut. The title track and the slow, epic closing track ‘Own Will’ are also massive highlights to a great album. 8/10, the band have a new big fan in me!

Bloodclot: Souls

The heaviest band to close out the year, how fitting. It’s a great thrash album and VERY Slayer. The opening and title track of the album could be ripped straight off South of Heaven and I love it. However, it does also have some awesome Gojira like riffs thrown in there for good measure, too. ‘Unhinged’ is just over a minute of thrash awesomeness and ‘Infectious’ was a more hardcore punk track, and a lot of fun. Plus, their cover of Bad Brains’ ‘How Low Can Punk Get’ is awesome and fun too! A great follow-up to their debut and I’d highly recommend them for anyone into the faster stuff! 7.5/10.

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!

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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!

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New Music Mondays: NOFX, Hammers of Misfortune and More!

Here we are. The last month of 2022. What an insane year it’s been for new music. However, while most bands are winding down for the holidays, there are still a few putting out stuff for us to check out. Let’s look at it!

NOFX: Double Album

At least this is better than their last album. Slightly. And heck, at least it wasn’t an ACTUAL double album, just ten tracks across 27-minutes. Some of it was pretty good. Other tracks… ouch.

The album opens strong enough with ‘Darby Crashing Your Party’ and ‘My Favourite Enemy’. Neither of them quite measure up to peak NOFX, but they’re not bad punk tracks. Plus I have to say, the bass is awesome in both! However, then we reached ‘Don’t Count on Me’ and it’s confused straddling of comedy and depression. A couple of lines got a dry chuckle out of me, but the overall feel and presentation of the song is honest and kinda pretty sad. It feels like Mike on his last legs and, given that the band are calling it quits soon, it just makes the track even more depressing. And not in a good way.

‘Johanna Constant Teen’ was a fun, short burst of punk awesomeness, but honestly the rest of the album from here felt like average at best. Nothing stood out, just as it did something would put me off the track again. I get writing from the heart and all that, but these are tales of a not fun few years being played off as fun, upbeat punk songs. Someone give Mike a call, make sure he’s okay. 4/10

Hammers of Misfortune: Overtaker

I have to admit, it’s odd hearing an extreme metal band with clean vocals. Unfortunately, it results in this sounding pretty messy overall. I’m not sure if my headphones are on the way out, but the production sounded horrible for me. I struggled to hear the vocals, and it felt like everything else was turned up as loud as it possibly could be. As a result, this was a wall of noise, so much so that it was hard to pick out a highlight.

Despite that, at least the band members were clearly talented. There were some fun riffs and, much like other extreme metal bands, the drummer works their ass off to keep the insane pace and kept their beats and fills interesting throughout. There was some fun lead guitar work too on tracks like the title one, which also had a pretty good ominous feel to it at times. It was probably my highlight of the album. There was just so much going on all at once most of the time that it was hard to get through in one sitting. 3.5/10. Sorry, this wasn’t for me.

White Lung: Premonition

I must be in a bad mood this weekend, because this isn’t my sort of thing either. Again, the band were clearly talented, especially the guitarist for some of those prog/math riffs. Everyone else did a good job at their chosen parts, too. It just didn’t do anything for me. Say what you want about me being some easily industry-led shill, but I do like a catchy, anthemic chorus. There wasn’t really one here. It’s like ambient black metal, but without the black metal part. It’s ambient punk/indie rock.

Again, there is nothing wrong with this album. If you’re a technical musician or like that sort of sound you’ll find something to love here. The slower tracks like ‘Under Glass’ were closer to highlights for me. 4.5/10

Destroyer 666: Never Surrender

The Australian thrash/death band are back with their sixth studio album. Being a fan of this band from my later thrash-kid days, it’s nice to hear they’ve very much still got it. This somehow channels early works from Slayer, Death and Venom, blending them all together into one brutal offering. Tracks like the title one, ‘Guillotine’ and the epic closing track, ‘Batavia’s Graveyard’, are all big personal highlights. It’s just a good, classically heavy album, and the band has an extraordinary talent for writing songs. 7.5/10, good stuff!

Check out some more thrashy stuff here.

Despite Exile: Wound

These guys have quietly released one of the best melodic deathcore albums of the year this week. Having never heard of them before this list, they very much have a new fan in me. Whether it’s the balls-to-the-wall aggression of tracks like ‘Sceptre’ or slightly slower epics like the utterly fantastic ‘A Pale Glimmer of Light’, this album is awesome from start to finish. If you’re into the heavier stuff at all, check this out, you will not be disappointed. 8.5/10

Obvurt: Triumph Beyond Adversity

This is straight up death metal, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a group of insanely talented individuals coming together to make fast, very angry music. If you’re a fan of the genre you’ll know what to expect. Heck, it’s VERY At the Gates, even down to the odd stripped-back, odd, jazzy interlude in the middle of a couple of the tracks. Of course single ‘Invisible Enemy’ is a highlight, but so is the slower, proggy ‘Life and Death’. It shows the band has some depth to their songwriting and that slow build opener is awesome. The whole album is worth a listen, though, but it’s maybe not the best jumping off point for someone looking to get heavy. 7.5/10

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New Music Mondays: Polyphia, Palaye Royale and More!

While no absolutely massive bands released anything this week, it still saw the release of a lot of great new music! From instrumental metal to country and a lot in between, check this out, it’s got something for everyone!

Polyphia: Remember That You Will Die

I mean, it’s Polyphia, what can I really say? It’s another 40-minute masterclass from the modern day guitar god himself Tim Henson. Of course, it’s fucking awesome.

The first track is a jazz metal masterpiece, complete with horns that make it all sound somehow even better. The guitar tones in the track (and throughout the whole album for that matter) are unbelievable, so good. Lead single ‘Playing God’ is next up and a mind-bending display of the guitarists’ skill at slapping and tapping. I even love ‘ABC’, the first track to feature vocals by the band, and from a pop singer none the less. She sounds good and surprisingly doesn’t overshadow a single member of the band.

I was going to say, probably controversially, that the band could benefit at this point from having vocalists on more of their tracks. Then I heard the MGK-like ‘Memento Mori’ and ‘Fuck Around and Find Out’. Both were with meh rap/R&B vocalists that DID pull the focus away from the band, and for their own mediocre performances. Even the Chino Moreno track was meh. I feel like vocals could work awesomely, but these weren’t necessarily the right ones to pick, not to my ears anyway. Oh well, at least Steve Vai joins them to shred for the awesome closing track.

Slightly up and down but, if I’m honest, far more up than down. 7.5/10

Palaye Royale: Fever Dream

The new-wave emo/punk pop band return with their fourth album last week. I never quite got the appeal of this band or the wider sound they are a part of, and this album did nothing to change that. They remind me a lot of the incredibly overrated Maneskin, it’s a similar sort of pop music with just enough edge to it to venture into the rock sphere. A lot of it is more indie than anything, and for an American, Remington slips into a British accent a few times, weirdly. I fully see why people would like this sort of thing, it’s definitely a popular style these days, but it’s definitely not for me.

Also, it suffers from the country issue in that it’s bloated. 15 tracks is a lot to digest, especially when they’re mainly pretty similar. There are a couple of saving grace tracks, though. I’d heard ‘Paranoid’ when it was released last year and it’s at least a good, anthemic pop-rock track. Then there’s the MCR-esque ‘Fever Dream’. Easily the best track on the album, this wouldn’t feel out of place on The Black Parade. If you’re going to try any track on this album, let it be this one. But yeah, overall, not really my cup of tea. 4/10

Darkthrone: Astral Fortress

The gods of black metal return with their whopping 19th studio album, and it’s just as crazy and experimental as ever. Just a year after the release of Eternal Hails……, the band continue on with the doom influence just as much as the black metal sound. Heck, it opens on a dark, eight-minute epic reminiscent of early Candlemass, this is a far cry from early Darkthrone. It picks up around the mid-point into more familiar territory, but the epicness sets it apart for all the right reasons.

The same can be said throughout the rest of the album. Between the doom, punk and old-school heavy metal, there are a lot of different styles blended in with the typical Darkthrone sound. I honestly struggled to pick a highlight too, as it was all so different and enjoyable in its own way. I think my favourite track was ‘Stalagmite Necklace’, though. Clearly this is how you get me into black metal, by blending it with other genres I like. 7/10

Lainey Wilson: Bell Bottom Country

The fourth album by the country singer-songwriter is just as fun as her previous ones. It’s honestly nice to hear this kind of older style, more Dolly Parton or rock/blues inspired, is getting so popular in amongst all the stadium and bro country. Tracks like ‘Road Runner’, ‘Hold My Halo’ and ‘Grease’ honestly wouldn’t look out of place on a Cadillac Three album, but also is the sort of sound I wish Miley Cyrus had (and still will eventually) evolved into. Then you have more Drake White-esque acoustic country ballads that make up the other half of the album.

However, even though these slower tracks probably make up the majority, I never found myself getting bored like on other slower country albums. Lainey is a tremendous lyricist, it keeping me entertained throughout alongside her catchy melodies and great playing. This is a really good country album and one I’ll be listening to a fair amount for the rest of the year! 7.5/10

Fit for a King: The Hell we Create

THIS IS HOW YOU DO MODERN METALCORE. Anyone who keeps up with this series regularly knows that I’ve done a fair bit of the old-school heavy hitters of the metalcore world, and all are either trying to play catch-up with mainstream metal trends or get lost in the shuffle trying to recapture their old magic. This does neither of these things.

It’s unapologetically heavy, the low screams being some of the best I’ve heard in a while. But it balances it perfectly with some fantastic, catchy, pop-punk like cleans. ‘End (The Other Side’ is an amazing single and a great example of what I’m getting at, incorporating both perfectly. Then you have tracks like ‘Reaper’ which, in my opinion, are the exact sound that Parkway Drive should have stayed at, it’s better than anything on their latest album. Tracks like ‘Sink Below’, ‘What You Left Behind’, and the full-on deathcore track ‘Eyes Roll Back’ are all massive highlights on an album filled to the brim with them. This is peak metalcore in 2022, and for anyone into the subgenre, check this album out. Now. 9/10

Dead Cross: II

The Mike Patton/Dave Lombardo supergroup released their second hardcore punk album. It still blows my mind to hear how many different styles Patton can pull off vocally, and this is definitely a fun departure from his Faith No More stuff. While it’s not my sort of music, I can certainly appreciate the effort and desire to do something different and push the envelope. ‘Animal Espionage’ was a lot of fun, as was the duelling vocals on various different tracks. It’s like I was transported back to the 80s underground scene with the experimentation and heaviness. 6.5/10

Massive Wagons: Triggered

Baz and the boys got angry with this one. Between ‘Fuck the Haters’, ‘Generation Prime’ and ‘A.S.S.H.O.L.E’ they are calling out everyone they can, and I love it. It’s a good contrast to their clean-cut punk-classic rock style. Wagons address plenty about the state of the world in their own comedic, attitude-filled style, including COVID and the current world culture. The title track is maybe my favourite on the album, but there isn’t really a bad track on the album. All the other tracks previously named are definite highlights, too. It’s fun, funny and a very catchy album. It’s the lovechild of Wildhearts and (ironically given they are touring together) Ugly Kid Joe and I enjoyed it a lot. 7.5/10

Check out our interview with Baz from Call of the Wild here.

Fire From the Gods: Soul Revolution

The blend of styles here was fun, but I have to say I think each different style has been done better recently by other bands. Even though vocalist AJ is from American/Jamaican decent, it gives off both Bob Vylan and Bloodwood vibes than anything else. The opening and title track is a great song, but then the following track, the lead single of the album, ‘S.O.S’, is maybe my least favourite on the album. It’s a very up and down album, with some definite highlights but some clear lower points too, for me. Tracks like ‘Double Edged Sword’ and ‘The Message’ were also highlights. If anything, the more rasta-inspired tracks were the best ones. It’s okay but felt a little one note at times. 5.5/10.

Show me the Body: Trouble the Water

I have no idea how to feel about this. The Suicidal Tendencies aspect of it was awesome, and a couple of the riffs were great, though not nearly focused on enough. The vocals grew on me more and more throughout, too. His cadence and emotion in every delivery, be it clean or harsher, was amazing. At times it felt like I was listening to The Ramones or Joy Division, and then it’d drop into something dark and heavy and remind me who it was. I grew up on the Tony Hawks games and this somehow feels like every single band on that mushed together into a single entity. ‘Food From Plate’, ‘We Came to Play’ and ‘Using It’ were personal favourites of mine. A good album that really grew on me by the end. I’ll definitely be listening to this more. 7/10

Shape of Water: Amor Fati

The Muse of the NWOCR scene, Shape of Water have gotten quite a bit of momentum behind them ahead of this release. I’m not hugely familiar with them bar a song or two, so I’m excited to check out a full album.

Though the opening track, ‘Starchild’, is epic and slow-building and everything I typically love in rock music, something about it didn’t quite click with it. After that though, it heads more into Weezer or even Heaven’s Basement direction, which I wasn’t expecting much of. There’s still some epicness, like in single ‘The Snoot’, but it’s more pop punky rock than anything else. It’s definitely good and there is plenty to like on the album, it’s just not something I thought the NWOCR movement would go for, sound wise. Then again it does have hints of Zeppelin (or at least Wolfmother) in amongst the Weezer and Muse.

I can see this band going VERY far in the next few years. They’re unique for sure, while still being familiar enough for mainstream audiences to latch onto. This will definitely taker a couple more listens to appreciate fully, but I already love it. 8/10

New Music Mondays: Weezer, The Rasmus and More!

Not a huge week for new music this week, but it’s brimming with potential. Weezer’s third season, The Rasmus’ post-Eurovision album and some great lighter rock. Not to mention a bit of metal sprinkled in for good measure. Let’s get into this!

Weezer: SZNZ: Autumn

Joe: Weezer are 1/2 so far this year for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of Spring but Summer was pretty good. This third entry falls more towards the former than the latter. There is almost nothing here that held my attention. I’d like to stress again, like I did with the last one three months ago, that I respect Weezer for trying something different. It’s a cool idea, but outside of the odd mention of autumn, there isn’t much to differentiate this to the previous albums or their other music.

The band had a real opportunity here to go completely out of their box and hop genres to really give a feel of different seasons, making them all sound completely different. I’d have loved it if we got something bordering on Misfits or even Wednesday 13. Instead, outside of the strings on ‘Taste Like Pain’, it’s just another soft rock/pop punk Weezer album. At this point it feels like another failed experiment from Rivers. I’d much rather he take the time to make one good, short album a year or two than pump out multiple sub-par albums a year. 3.5/10, the worst Weezer album I’ve reviewed so far.

The Rasmus: Rise

Joe: The Finnish alt rock band unfortunately didn’t do amazingly well at this year’s Eurovision, despite Jezebel being a bop. The track makes it onto this, the bands 10th studio album. It’s a fairly decent album. There’s nothing bad about it, it’s all inoffensive pop-rock. There’s a decent guitar riff running through ‘Rise’ and the chorus is huge and mega catchy. It’s definitely another highlight of the album. Outside of ‘Written in Blood’ the rest of the seven tracks are on the slower side, but they’re still good. It’ll probably grow on me more with another listen or two, but I feel like this would be better as individual tracks for me, than an album to listen to in full. 6/10

Editors: EBM

Joe: The alt/indie rock Brummies brought us their seventh album on Friday. It’s pretty darn good, too. I thought the band were lighter than this, but this was quite a heavy album for an indie band. It has a fair amount of industrial elements to it that I can get down with. Like a weird middle ground between Genesis and Ministry.

It’s difficult to pick highlight tracks as, to be honest, the songs blended together quite a bit for me. However, as an album as a whole it was enjoyable, and definitely a good one to stick on on a long drive or in the background. 6.5/10

BAND-MAID: Unleash

Joe: The Japanese female hard rock/metal band released their eighth studio album last week, just a year and a half removed from their last release. The band show off their insane talent right from the instrumental opening track, and it only gets more impressive from there. While I have no idea what is being said half of the time, the vocals in ‘Balance’ are almost as impressive as the never-ending stream of fantastic riffs. The chorus is huge and very catchy, and the whole track as a whole is a highlight of the album.

The heavy riffs and female-Japanese vocals will of course draw comparisons to Babymetal, but I would definitely say these are the superior band. While Babymetal come out with some great music and the session players are incredible, the passion for this sort of music from Band-Maid is hard to ignore. They put their all into this music and it shows in their recordings.

The album’s big single, ‘Sense’, is a suitably epic affair, the vocals soaring and being catchy as hell over the top of the heavy riffs and insane lead guitar. It’s another huge plus of the album. The rest of the album is equally great though, and I would recommend any metal fan check this out. Or any musician, for that matter, as the instrumentation is insanely good. This’ll be up there for album of the year, for sure. 8.5/10

Kelsea Ballerini: SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Joe: The first country-pop artist we’ve spotlighted for a little while, Kelsea returns with her fourth album and yet again shows that she is far too successful and talented for someone under 30. To have this many streams over the first weekend of the album being out is insane, and it’s clear that Kelsea is a HUGE name in the genre nowadays.

The album itself definitely leans heavily on both the country and pop elements. It reminds me a lot of Taylor Swift’s Fearless, and I’m glad that after a few albums Kelsea is still keeping the country sound strong, unlike the latter artist. It’s hard to pick a definitive highlight or two as the whole album is pretty similar and all high quality. You’re not going to have a bad time listening to this album, it’s simple, fun and has some pretty good, emotional lyrics tucked away in it.

My only issue is that, for the third straight mainstream country album I’ve checked out on these, it’s far too bloated. I get that more tracks to stream means more money, but 15 track is too long for an album. Especially when I have to listen to it all in one weekend… And also, why is the whole SHOUTING ALBUM AND SONG TITLES thing leaking out of metal into other genres? I confess, I am getting distracted…

8/10 a damn good country pop album.

The Wonder Years: The Hum Goes on Forever

Joe: I’m struggling to find the words to describe how this sounds. It’s like all the edges of pop-punk have been sanded down. It’s smooth, soft. It reminds me a fair bit of Gaslight Anthem, with just a little bit of the attitude of Gerard Way in the vocals.

The biggest single, ‘Oldest Daughter’, was pretty catchy, but outside of the vocals there wasn’t much memorable about it. The same could be said for ‘Low Tide’. That was pretty much the story of the whole album for me, if I’m honest. It’s heavy pop rock with a slight punk twang. None of it is bad, but it was majorly forgettable for me. I know a lot of people love this band, including a few of my friends, and I can definitely understand why. But this album at the very least wasn’t much for me. 4.5/10

Stratovarius: Survive

Joe: My god, the riffs. That, and the guitaring as a whole, was a huge plus on this album for me. Whether it was the punchy, thrashy chugging, the more folk-inspired playing or the insane leads, Matias Kupiainen is clearly a massively underrated guitarist. There’s even a bit of modern edge to his playing, I heard bits of Syn/Zakky from Avenged Sevenfold in parts of the bridges and solos.

I’d have LOVED this as a young teenager, and I’m so mad at myself that this is the first time I’m hearing them. They’re power metal, but also have quite a bit of an Iron Maiden edge to them with the chugging, big riffs and folk tinge.

Check out more power metal here.

As for the songs themselves, they’re fantastic. Check out the first three tracks on the album and try to tell me otherwise. Then there are songs like ‘Frozen in Time’ and ‘Breakaway’ which are two more major highlights on an overall awesome album. If you’re into power metal, NWOBHM or even prog, you’ll love this. 8.5/10


Joe: Why the hell did I think this was pop punk? I must have gotten my wires crossed in my research. I was, as you can imagine, VERY confused when messy, experimental hardcore came on in my car on the way to work over the weekend while I prepared to write this up.

In the nicest possible way, I don’t get this at all. Noise rock/metal has never been my sort of thing to begin with, and this album didn’t do much to change my mind. Even the more prog ‘Lost Grip’ lost my interest pretty quick. The vocals are pretty meh and, as I’d stated before, the instrumentation seems messy. If you like it, more power to you, but this isn’t for me. 3/10

The Comet is Coming: Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam

Joe: When I read experimental jazz rock I was quite excited to get into it. However, I’m not sure I get it. I’m partial to a good instrumental band or two and these guys are clearly talented musicians. However, I wouldn’t say there is much rock in here, to start with. It sounds more like soft House or Dubstep with some horns over the top. Every time they sound like they are adding some Prodigy-like elements, they slow right down instead of dropping.

It seems more like something God would listen to in the Preacher series. 3/10 I dont get it, I’m sorry.

Venom Inc.: There’s Only Black

Joe: I’m in two minds with this. It’s definitely a good album, but it also feels like a shell of what Venom once was. It’s a mixture between thrash and NWOBHM rather than the massive force of nature that started black metal. The more extreme riffs were fun, but it didn’t still feel much like Venom to me. Tracks like ‘Infinitum’ and ‘Don’t Feed me Your Lies’ are good, but the album as a whole is nothing to write home about, in this humble writer’s opinion. 5/10, distinctly average.

Maddie & Tae: Through the Madness, Vol. 2

Joe: More country pop, this time from a duo and their second release of 2022. And yes, while it’s a point of contention what classes as an EP these days, 8-tracks in my head is an album, so I’m covering it.

It’s a good album. The two Womens’ voices blend together perfectly the harmonies being catchy and a huge highlight of the album. Of course, the big single, ‘Every Night and Every Morning’, is great, as is the closing track. It’s again hard to find talking points for it as, much like Kelsea, the tracks are fairly similar, and all good. It does, however, have the advantage of being 20-minutes and seven tracks shorter than Kelsea’s, which is a definite bonus. Check this out if you’re into country or americana at all, you’re sure to not be disappointed. 8/10, gonna have to check out Vol. 1 now!

Sports Team: Gulp!

Joe: I’ve been waiting for this album for months at this point. It has been pushed back multiple times and I’m shocked it’s finally out.

Needless to say, it doesn’t particularly live up to the hype I have since put on it. It’s nice to hear a bit of good ‘ol English punk again, tinged with alt rock and plenty of Billy Idol inspiration. And, as a whole, it’s not bad by any means. It simply unfortunately suffers from the same issue a few of the albums have this week in that none of the tracks really stand out to me. I’m sure a bigger fan of the genre would love this, but for me I’d have rather just had a straight up punk album. The pop edge to it is what bores me with it, I think. Tracks like ‘The Game’ and ‘Unstuck’ at least stood out to me as highlights just for being the more punk tracks on the album. 5.5/10, not bad but nothing special or ground-breaking.

Razor: Cycle of Contempt

Max: Here’s a band that I have never heard of. Razor have come out with a new album full of aggression and fun. It’s a fairly easy listen but that’s not to say that it is a bad album. Whilst I found a lot of the songs quite similar to each other, especially when it comes to the drums, and there were some very odd vocals most apparent in the fifth track “crossed”, there were other parts that were very enjoyable. The solo’s that occasionally appear and the constant intensity and rhythm throughout is very nice and really kept the energy up in all of the songs, even when there were parts that I didn’t find myself enjoying as much. I would very much like to hear a bit more experimentation from the band and some different drums as I think that is the part that let them down the most. However, overall, I found myself enjoying the album and listened to it a couple of times once I had written my notes on it. Overall, I would say it is a solid 6/10. Areas to improve on but altogether quite good a fun the whole way through.

STRÖM: Self-Titled

Max: This is a hard one for me. I can’t say that I am a massive ACDC fan (that isn’t to say I dislike them, I just have never found it overlapping with any music I have been in to at the time), and this band definitely reminds me of them. Throughout the entire album, their influences remain very, very clear. This is not wholly a bad thing as it is good fun to be reminded of music from when I was younger, especially with the little bits of The Darkness that seems to come creeping through.

However, it is slightly disappointing that a group of very clearly talented musicians didn’t experiment as much as I would have like them to. It felt to me as though some of the most interesting parts of the album came from the songs that felt more organic and original, the song ‘Ta Mig Tillbaks’ especially. With all of this considered though I feel like it would be unfair to give them a low rating for this album as they played everything very well. I would say it’s a 6.5/10 and I really hope that they find their own notch to slip in to with their future work as the talent in this band is brimming at the seams and just seems like it is waiting to get out and do more.

Kaine: After Extinction

Max: Considering the low number of monthly listeners across multiple platforms, it is almost upsetting to hear how good this band is. It is clear that they are working to constantly improve their music but everything that they have is really good fun. There are some solid riffs and the drums are so on point it really shows other bands just how to do it. With all this being said there are points where I feel like there is something missing. This might just be due to the mix of the songs not being the best, but I really wish underneath some of their solos/more melodic riff they can’t have the other guitars and the drum fully going. This is clearly something that they understand as they seemed to fix these issues as I wrote it.

Their song ‘Protesting for Profit’ has some really fun groves that got me hooked on the entire album and I think this is the album that I listened to the most this week. I genuinely can’t wait for them to release more music and I hope they are able to amas a following more befitting of the talent of all of the musicians and the time that clearly goes into their music. I can’t help but give this album a 7.5/10 as the only real downsides are the like of a cohesive sound at some points in the album and the mix not nearly being as good as the music itself.

Kings of Mercia: Self-Titled

Max: First things first, and something not really relevant to the review, I love the album art. However, I can’t quite say I enjoyed the album as much as the art. I found myself trying to blot out the vocals at multiple points as I really didn’t enjoy them. This was quite a let-down as the instruments were all really good fun and when the speed of the vocals picked up again they weren’t too bad.

Unfortunately, a lot of this album was on the slower side in the vocals department. There are a couple of points where the vocals are a bit more aggressive which sounded great so I found myself wondering if they would ever do a super aggressive song. All in all, I can’t find much to say about this album other than the fact it really wasn’t for me. I hope they can release some more music where they experiment with some other styles but until then, I doubt I will find myself listening to them much. 5/10

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New Music Mondays: Muse, Machine Head and Much More!

We have a fun addition to New Music Mondays this week. Our newest team member Max has given me a hand in writing this, as I was away for the weekend. Give him some love as he saved my ass and did a great job! I’ve covered a few of them and he’s done a few, and if I had any more thoughts on an album I added them on too!

It’s another week another list! A fun set of albums have been released this week so join me in exploring them all.

Muse: Will of the People

Max: So where to begin? This is Muse’s 10th album if you don’t include the two live albums and the anniversary version of Origin of Symmetry. I must say that it is my favourite since the resistance. There are so many things to say about this album and I wish I had more time for it, from the amazing grooves in the bass to the solos spaced throughout. However, Matt’s voice is utterly outstanding.

If you only have time for a couple of songs I highly recommend ‘Ghosts (How Can I Move On)’ which is a beautiful piano led song which gives me chills every time I listen to it, ‘You Make Me Feel Like It’s Halloween’ which has a brilliant groovy and feel to it which makes me want to get up and move each time and then ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ which is definitely more inline with some of Muse’s heavier music. All in all, a great album and an easy 8.5/10.

Machine Head: Øf KingdØm and CrØwn

Max: Machine Head are back, and they want you to know what they’re about again. It has been four years since Catharsis, their last album. It’s clear in that time that they have been working hard on perfecting their art . All I can say is wow. It is heavier, it is intense, and it is brilliant. From ‘Slaughter the Martyr’; their ten and a half minute opening song is kickass from the slow intro to the filthy riffs and the solos. There is so much in this song to digest however there is more to get through. ‘Become The Firestorm’ and ‘No Gods, No Masters’ are must listens and as potentially controversial as this might be, I think this album is better than Burn My Eyes, their seminal first album. This is a 9/10 but if you rate it higher there is no contest because this is a phenomenal album.

Joe: As a HUGE fan of Machine Head, especially their output from Ashes, Catharsis and a couple of singles afterwards were a pretty big let down. I enjoyed last year’s EP, though (all of which ended up on this album). My god does this build on that perfectly. Right from opening on a 10-minute heavy epic with a good three minutes of slow-build to start, I knew the Machine Fuckin’ Head I knew were back. I’ve seen a fair few journalists comparing this to The Blackening. While I think that’s a bit of a stretch, it’s definitely a step back in the right direction. I agree with Max on all of his highlight tracks, and would also like to add the venomous ‘Rotten’. 9/10

Embrace: How to Be a Person Like Other People

Joe: The Yorkshiran rock band released their eighth studio album last week. While I was sceptical it would make it onto this list at all with the slow piano intro, it build into a cracking, stadium-filling ballad in ‘Death is Not the End’. While the rest of the album was still good, it’s in a similar style to the opening track and never quite reached the same lofty heights. It’s a blend of British and US indie rock which was perfect for a background listen or a long car journey, but I found it not holding my attention too well when listened to intently. If you’re into indie you’ll enjoy this a lot more than I did,. I feel like I’d ‘get’ this a lot more if I saw it live. For now, it gets a 5/10 from me!

Excuses Excuses: Listen Up

We’ve covered this already last week, and you can find the review and score here.

Sigh: Shiki

Max: The Japanese cult black metal band Sigh are back also after four years. For a first venture into this band, Shiki is a great place to start. It is a difficult listen if you are new to black metal, but their somewhat eclectic mix of styles can be a saving grace if you find the raw and intense vocals a little hard. This is not the best album ever made but I think it is a must listen for anyone wanting to explore more music and expand their genres.

I found it difficult to pick out which songs were the best in the album. But, after a couple more listens, the strange, almost jazz-break in the second track of the album, ‘Kuroi Kage’, just sticks with me even now. Its one for all to explore if they feel brave enough to which brings me to give this a solid 7.5/10 and I am excited for what might come next.

Joe: What has this company done to me? I loved this. I’ve somehow gotten pretty into the more epic side of extreme metal, and I kinda like it. Whether it was the balls to the wall track above or the more up and down ‘Mayonaka No Kaii’ there was a lot I enjoyed here. I do however agree with Max in that it’s a 7.5/10. Good stuff!

Brymir: Voices In The Sky

Max: The Finnish metal band are here with another packed album. It’s difficult to say what their plan for this album was as it felt to cross many layers. All in the band pushed their art to the next level with each song feeling quite different from the next. This being said I would not say this is the best album on the list. It was constantly punchy and energetic, and I found myself listening to it in the background through out the day but I truly struggled to find one song that was the best.

With all this said, however, I do think everyone should check it out. I am excited to see if they explore a but more of the melodic/death metal side that they can clearly do. I’m going to have to give this an 8/10 but that could change once I’ve got to grips more with this band who were completely new to me.

Manifest: The Sinking

Max: Here’s a band that I doubt many of you have heard of before. This is the bands fifth album, and it is a hard one. Whilst some of you may question me on this considering I liked Sigh, I really could not get past the Stian’s vocals and there was not much for me in the album. I implore you to check it out for yourself but I struggled to get past the fourth track so there is not much more to say. It is a 5/10 for me.

Joe: The mixing on this was pretty meh. It felt like a punch in the face, but that may have been the intention. However, I didn’t mind this aside for that. The elements are there of a good album, it just needs a fair amount of polish. It reminded me of a more biker Hatebreed, the same aggression and speed but with some catchy choruses thrown in at times. However, the cleans aren’t all that great, and the extreme vocals could be little stronger. I preferred when they stuck to the hardcore stuff as opposed to jumping to black metal or their slower stuff. 5/10

Lacrimas Profundere: How to Shroud Yourself with Night

We’ve got a review coming out of this album in the coming days. It was delayed due to being ask to react to some of their singles. While you wait, check out our reaction to their latest single, ‘To Disappear In You’, below. And check back in a couple of days for the link to the review!

Dynazty: Final Advent

Max: This one definitely ends the list on a high. Its hard to say exactly what this album makes me feel because wow its good, exceptionally good. They are top of their field, all the members of this band. There is so much pure and lovable energy in this band, and you can see how much they love making music. Each of the songs remind me of why I do this and how much I love music. There is one song that everyone needs to hear: ‘Yours’. Its an utterly beautiful songs and the chorus with its great hook and amazing vocals hits me somewhere deep. Its is a top song of the year so far for me and I am definitely going to try and see them live some time soon. It’s great to be surprised by music no matter what you hear, and this album hit in all the right places so I can’t see any reason to not listen to it because I really do think its inviting enough for everyone 9/10.

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