Unleash The Archers – Apex

Crafting a great power metal album is a difficult thing. The genre is so steeped in thrills and adrenaline, it can be easy to create something too over-the-top and annoying. Writing the catchiest chorus, playing the fastest solo, and singing the highest notes aren’t going to mean anything if the music doesn’t have depth and meaning. Great power metal albums like Nightfall in Middle Earth, Land of the Free, The Metal Opera, and, more recently, Noble Beast employ subtly when necessary. They have memorable choruses and great riffs but also moments of real emotion. While less serious bands like Primal Fear, Dragonforce, and Sabaton have their proper place and legitimate enjoyment factor, they will never be remembered in the same way.

Abrams – Morning

Watching a band unfold is one of the greatest pleasures in this world. When a debut album, or even several initial albums, only act as setups for future growth, any enjoyment you’d usually get from a great is magnified. The band’s history and how far they’ve come acts as a kind of lens, magnifying already present excellence in the light of how far the band have come to get here. Abrams’ third release, Morning, has such a lens. While their debut full length album, Lust. Love. Loss., was definitely a good release, it also lacked a unique signature to set Abrams above the progressive stoner fold. With Morning however, they have catapulted their song writing and personal touch, making the album not only great within its own right but also a landmark in the band’s narrative.

Grind My Gears – Teething

Look at any poster for a good grind show and it usually tells you exactly what you’re getting from the night in question. Often literally telling you exactly who the band is because you can’t read their logo, where they’re from and which particular flask of filth they sip from. Madrid’s Teething don’t have one of those unreadable logos and they’re marked down as simply “HM-2 grindcore”. Doing exactly that, these Spaniards have entered the world of full length grind releases with a record so typically HM-2 that it goes full circle into being fresh again. Pull up a seat and unfuck your earholes in preparation for some violent Spanish storytelling.

Always Riled Up: War On Women and Making Festivals Safer

We have countless examples from (the original) Woodstock to Glastonbury that sexual assault is an ongoing problem at our shows and festivals. Every year there is at least one reported rape or sexual assault at a major music festival in the U.S. Europe has become concerned enough with the issue that Sweden, as a nation, are proposing new laws and in the UK promoters are actively working to get not only their festivals but their artists on board with calling out this behavior. With a new festival season around the world looming, promoters, artists, and allies are taking it upon themselves to speak out and up to attempt to educate concert-goers about this issue in a renewed effort to stem, and eventually turn, the tide of sexual violence (among other things) in our shared show spaces.