Tag Archives: thrash

New Music Mondays: State Champs, Misery Index and More!

A slightly slower week this week, with no absolutely massive releases or a huge amount of albums out. But still, there was some great new music from the rock and metal world released this week, with six new albums out. Let’s check them out!

STATE CHAMPS: Kings of the New Age

New Yorkian pop-punkers State Champs put out their fourth album last Friday. I have to admit I know the name and have probably heard a track or two, but I never really got much into the modern wave of pop-punk.

However, having said that, this is a pretty damn good album. It’s a little heavier than traditional pop punk, but I also thinks it adds a more anthemic feel to it all. It’s arena pop-punk, and I am shocked it’s taken me this long to listen to it. Obviously the singles are all amazing, but there isn’t a bad track on the album really. I need to check out more from this band and genre ASAP, I think! 8/10

Misery Index: Complete Control

The Maryland based death metal band put out a DAMN heavy death metal album last week. And it’s great. Before Overtone I would never have even attempted to listen to this album, but it’s opened my eyes to a lot of fantastic death metal, this included. The riffs are brutal, crushing awesomeness and the gang vocals means that a few of the tracks are even pretty catchy. Just check out ‘Infiltrators’, it perfectly encapsulates the bands sound and attitude in just two short minutes. Great stuff! 8/10

Cage Fight: Self-Titled

The new band seem to go by so many different labels, be it punk, thrash, metalcore. Either the latter or metalic hardcore is probably the closest to their sound. Either way, it’s fucking fantastic. From the first track of the album I was hooked, and I stayed hooked throughout. I love that we are starting to get more and more female screamers these days as they are showing they can do it just as good as the guys. I also have to gush over just as smooth the transitions between the tracks are. At times I didn’t realise a new song had started until like 30 seconds in. It’s the sign of a great album as it flows perfectly. I was going to say the first X amount of tracks were fantastic, but honestly it just kept rolling with great track after great track! This is a ridiculously strong debut album and they have found a new fan in me! Not a bad track on the album and damn, I need to see them live soon! 9/10

Moon Tooth: Phototroph

The Prog Metallers have been around for a decade now, constantly wowing audiences with their talent and songwriting skill. That continues with Phototroph. Their new music may be their best yet. The guitaring in the opener and ‘Deathwish Blues’ is a technical masterclass, combining both lead and rhythm together perfectly. There are times even the vocals somehow sounds both completely separate from the instrumentation but also the perfect accompaniment. ‘O My Isle’ may be my favourite of the bunch, combining light, catchy sounds with a pretty heavy riff. Another band that I need to check out more of! 8.5/10

Visions of Atlantis: Pirates

It’s like if Nightwish and Alestorm had a lovechild. Symphonic metal about pirates is something I never knew I needed until now, and yet also I’m surprised there isn’t more of. All of it is great, but ‘Master the Hurricane’ is on a level of its own. Unquestionably epic from the string-heavy opening to the massive closing riff, it is how you do symphonic/power metal at its very best. A highlight on an album that also includes the likes of ‘Wild Elysium ‘ is an impressive feat and should hopefully set Visions of Atlantis up to be the next big thing in the sub-genre. 7.5/10

Check out our Powerwolf review here.

Morgue Supplier: Inevitability

If anyone was here last week, you know what’s coming here. It’s death metal. What more do you expect. Granted, this had slightly more groove to it than the typical blast beat and ‘AHHHHH’, but it still didn’t do a great deal for me. As such, I don’t feel qualified to give scores to death metal, as I am just not going to like it enough to give it a good rating, no matter how good at the sub-genre the band is. I’mma give it a 4/10 and hope that works!

Thrasherwolf: ‘every time I’d be greeted with the “James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine’s illegitimate love child” thing!’

Thrasherwolf are, if you couldn’t have guessed it, a thrash band from the UK. The band have been tearing through the underground scene the last couple of years and created a real buzz around themselves, with their debut album definitely helping! We managed to sit down with them just after Derby ALTFEST to talk about the gig, their music and their future!

How was Derby ALTFEST?

Derby ALTFEST was a fantastic event and the crowd were absolutely mental, we had the absolute pleasure to open the event and even though we were the openers there was still a really decent crowd waiting for us. Even got the pleasure of going up on stage with Devestator and doing backing vocals with our Tri-fecta brother Liam from Hellfekted on Devestators cover of “Venom’s – Countess Bathory”! Such a brilliant festival and Liam Barlow our manager and head of Unearthed Music as well as Harry Warren from Beyond Your Design both did a bang up job making sure it all went ahead and all went off without a hitch, for that they both deserve a massive round of a applause. Its only going to get bigger and better next year so people would be fools to miss it!

What’s it been like getting back to gigging after so long being away from it? 

Its honestly been such a relief to get back gigging, shaking off the rust has been an arduous task and having a tour come up sooner than we could shake all the rust off was tough but ultimately one of the best things we have ever done. The Tri-fecta tour forced us to be good, forced us to pull out the big guns and really get tight! There was certainly no more rust after that tour let me tell you! Lockdown may have hurt gigging opportunities but what it really did was give bands the opportunity (whether they’d taken it or not) to work on their online social presence which has only helped us in the long run especially upon our gigging return knowing we had a strong a loyal fan base through our social media coming through into gigs and seeing them in person.

How would you describe your sound?

We’ve been told we sound like quite a few bands that strangely enough could or even could not be called influences, for instance there are times people tell us we sound like a British Kreator whilst the most recent one described us as a dead ringer for venom! Then at most London gigs, every time I’d be greeted with the “James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine’s illegitimate love child” thing which is more than flattering haha
Overall I’d say our sound Is technically old school thrash with modern thrash cross over elements, we deal in all types of Thrash but doesn’t mean we wont be heading in a particular direction later on.

What was it like releasing an album over lockdown and not being able to tour it?

Strangely enough as a band just starting out releasing an album over lockdown was more of a blessing rather than hindrance as it gave us the time to be able to focus on the finer details such as building our online presence on our socials and the careful planning of the PR campaign we had set in place while working with “Imperative PR and MetalMoose/MetalCoffeePR” both of which were a big help in helping us really spread the word about the new album. Not being able to have an album release show or tour it did suck though.

Was the album written and recorded pre-lockdown?

The album itself was written in parts a number of years ago and recorded the year just before Covid hit, I tend to write a lot more than I really should, we currently have 40+ new song guides from which to pick our next few albums from… won’t stop me writing even more though! We were lucky to have everything pretty much ready before the world went to shit.

Are you working on new material yet or still just savouring finally playing the album?

Album 2 is already in the works to be recorded and TRUST ME its gonna be mad! Gonna take everything we are good at and everything people loved from the second album and just times that by a hundred!

If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?

We are already collaborating with the artists we love in Hellfekted and Blacklist, the other members of the Tri-fecta. Other than our Tri-fecta brothers the ultimate dream would be collabing or touring with Kreator. The Ultimate thrash gods!

If you could have written one song, what would it be?

If I could have picked a song I wish was written by us it would be Kreator’s ‘Enemy of God’, love that song to death…I definitely wouldn’t have written the son anywhere near as good though. Kreator are god tier!

Anything to plug? Website, socials, future gigs etc?

We’d love to give shout-outs to the legends that are our management Unearthed Music and the legend that is Liam Barlow as well as our Tri-fecta brothers, all the guys from Hellfketed and Blacklist and also give huge shout-outs to the other bands we have loved sharing the stage with: Devastator, Beyond Your Design, Enquire Within, Dethonator, Detoxen, Bangover, 1000 Scars and so many more. Thank you everyone we have ever worked with who have helped us on the way. Other than that we’d like to ask everyone reading to please like our Facebook and Insta pages and please follow us on Spotify and Bandcamp and help yourself to the tasty merch we have on there as well as keep up with the exciting new merch we have coming! Join our pack today and see you at Thrashchester!

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Arrows in Words from the Sky: Can Robb Flynn and friends regain the fans’ favour after a turbulent few years?

Machine Head has put out some of my favourite music of this millennium, having an almost unmatched run of form in their album output between Through the Ashes of Empires and Bloodstone and Diamonds. However, since the latter album, they have dropped rather dramatically in quality, with 2018s Catharsis being widely shunned by fans due to the change in style and lyric writing. This has also carried over into their singles; from 2016 to now I have found myself cringing at at least a couple of the lyrics in each of them (especially ‘Do or Die’s attempt at calling out his own fanbase) and gone is the epic-lengthed, modern thrash feel of it all, instead stripping back and becoming more basic and lighter, favouring commercial success over quality. However, having not checked out their new EP before this review, I have seen a LOT of people saying it is their best work since The Blackening. A HUGE statement to make, given the quality of Locust and Bloodstone, as well as Blackening itself. I had little hopes for this EP when it was announced and had pretty much given up on Machine Head since Phil Demmel wasn’t allowed to write anymore so left, but these statements have at least piqued my interest. I shall waffle no more; let’s get into the review!

I guess it could be considered the lead single from the EP as it is the one getting pushed the hardest on social media, but ‘Become the Firestorm’ opens it up. Straight away we get a huge drum roll as the guitars slide down into a crazy fast riff reminiscent of ‘In Comes the Flood’. Robb’s powerful scream is immediately present too, the one thing that I can still praise the man to no end for, his voice is fantastic and perfect for this sort of music. It stays pretty heavy and fast throughout the verse, a pretty decent guitar riff and blisteringly quick drums fill out the sound pretty well behind Robb’s surprisingly not cringy lyrics, even if they are a little cliché. We get some pretty interesting backing vocals in the chorus, being a lot more highlighted than they used to be, and Robb’s repeated line makes it pretty catchy. Not the best chorus they have done by a long stretch, but not bad! We get a sick trebled guitar riff coming out of the second chorus as the song slows down, a great bridge that could lead to either a breakdown or guitar solo. It’s the first one. We get an awesome slow breakdown, having an almost nu-metal feel to it with the high notes mixed in there. Robb’s vocals are present throughout most of it, only adding to the heaviness. However, it does lack a little of the emotion that I feel like he used to be so good at injecting into them. Coming out of the breakdown we get a great harmonised guitar riff/solo, showing off their Iron Maiden influence that they like to do pretty often. It then suddenly speeds up into a blistering solo from both Robb and Wacław Kiełtyka, this definitely giving off the Blackening vibes that I have so far not heard. Both guys did fantastically, it being the highlight of the song by far as the music changed just enough multiple times behind the soloing to keep it interesting and give them something new to work with. We get a final double chorus to close things out, a rather needless key change coming out of nowhere for the second half of it. However, it didn’t take too much away from a pretty decent track overall. Playlisted!

‘Rotten’ opens on another big few notes before dropping back down for just a massive-sounding guitar riff and vocals for the verse. It builds pretty perfectly throughout the verse, the lyrics being dark but fitting to the mood, all leading to it dropping out for the last line and sounding awesome. We’re then hit by a surprisingly steady but still heavy riff for a few seconds before it speeds up a fair bit for a brief chorus. It’s again pretty catchy, even if it is simple and far too short in this writer’s humble opinion. It almost gives off punk vibes instead of metal. We get a great little bass solo riff for a bar or two coming out the second chorus before in comes a HEAVY slow guitar riff and maybe one of Robb’s best growls to date, low and powerful. I loved it. It stays crazy heavy with the slow breakdown riff and some heavy screams from Robb before his cleaner singing voice comes in for the second half, sounding great and adding some nice dynamics into it. Another guitar solo comes a little sudden and out of nowhere, but is still pretty quick and technical, again fitting the music behind it pretty well. It wasn’t quite as good as the previous song’s I don’t think, though. We get a nice return of the riff to act as an outro/final chorus, going on a little too long in my opinion, but then again it does fade out so it makes sense, I guess. It’s at least pretty slow and heavy, reminding me of the Davidian outro in that respect. While not as good as the first song, it was still good and I’ll definitely be listening to it again in the coming weeks.

The title track and closing track of the EP is a ballad. Just wanted to put that out there before we got any further with this. Make of that what you will, Machine Head has done some great softer, slower songs before, but they’re usually at least coupled with either some heaviness or so basic that it’s just Robb with some simple backing behind him. This is not that, for the most part. Robb’s vocals come in pretty quick over a nice, clean guitar riff, but his vocals have some pretty interesting, VERY nu-metal/post-grunge effects over the top that I don’t think was necessarily needed. It drops into a pretty nice, distorted guitar riff for the second verse, the effect being taken off the vocals and making it sound a lot better. Robb’s cleans sound better than ever, too. The chorus is kind of nothing, there isn’t too much to it and there is little variation between it and the verses, to the point where I struggled to distinguish the two parts before the song title line being sung. However, the use of backing vocals and harmonies through this are fantastic, adding an epic feel to it all and making me want to hear if they can pull it off live. The pretty heavy riff after the second chorus was fantastic, especially with the whispered vocals and all of the harmonics from the guitars. The lower whispered/growled vocals that join in were awesome too, giving it an almost evil, demonic feel to it, maybe my favourite part of the song. We get a slower, very fitting guitar solo after the breakdown, it being filled with emotion and maybe my favourite on the album, it had a little bit of everything. That crazy low scream from Wacław is back afterward, blowing my mind again as we head into another breakdown. This is heavier than I was expecting from a ballad. However, just as I type that, the song drops out to just clean vocals and a very simple guitar riff, turning light faster than a Poppy song. It turns out it is part of a dynamic double chorus, the second half being distorted guitars again before the clean opening riff takes us home again. This was fantastic, and just this song alone deserves a fair amount of the praise it has been given. Easily playlisted.

Overall: I fall somewhere in the middle with this EP. It was definitely better than anything since Bloodstone, but I wouldn’t put it up there with The Blackening by any stretch. The first two songs felt like a band unsure, trying to find themselves again after a couple of failed style changes and the fans wanting them to stick to the same formula. They were good but felt a tad forced at times. However, that closer was a banger and honestly one of the best slower songs the band has ever produced. I’m interested to see where the band goes from here, as if they build on this for a full-length album in the future, I feel like I’d definitely enjoy it. Just please, Robb, no more rapping or posturing, you’re better than that.

The Score: 6.5/10

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