These posts are written by: Bill Fetty

A Hellion Rises in Central America: Hirax Comes To Guatemala

For nearly 35 years Hirax have been plying their trade of sinister thrash metal with rotating lineups, and now, for the first time in their long career, they visited Guatemala. When considering the most metal-starved fanbases in the world, this small Central American nation is rarely recognized but this is a place where the fans are the embodiment of fanatics, gobbling up every note of music from other countries that comes in front of them.

Comeback Kid – Outsider

The thing about old hardcore bands is that they kind of never really die. There is inevitably some festival or other, especially these days, that will invite X or Y legendary hardcore band to get the kids to circle pit and stage-dive one more time all while pointing to the sky and shouting along unintelligibly to, usually, lyrics about how important it is to stand on your own two feet, rise above some aspect or another of society, and be true to yourself. There is a reason for this, though, and it’s because of a certain timelessness to the cliches that present themselves in what we think of when we call something “hardcore”.

White Moth Black Butterfly – Atone

When TesseracT’s Daniel Tompkins decided to explore his own pet project by joining forces with Skyharbor’s Keshav Dhar and Randy Slaugh to create White Moth Black Butterfly, it began as a modest attempt to explore some ideas that diverged from the type of rock for which his main band is most known. 2013’s One Thousand Wings (here’s what we had to say about “Certainty” from that album) was a sonic departure, to be sure, but it still maintained something of a kinship with its flagship influences. As with anything that we’ve come to understand about Tompkins, he will expound upon ideas over time and so the re-emergence of this project in 2017 means we should expect a few new twists, turns, and embellishments on the sound he helped to create several years ago.

TRACK PREMIERE: Get “Lost” in Lifelink’s Melodic Metalcore Goodness

Lifelink comes to us courtesy of Philadelphia record label, Innerstrength, having honed their particular take on metallic hardcore on their second release, Love Lost. The EP heavily features the guitar talents of Josh Brown and Kamran Oskouie, some might even say it relies on them. The track we’re premiering here, “Lost”, shows roots similar to those of Architects, Volumes, and Novelists, with some nicely worked exchanges from Brown and Oskouie as they switch from mid-tempo moshes to trading off leads amidst Dillinger-esque chords. Meanwhile vocalist, Luke Blanchard, stays firmly in the pocket between a growl and a yell which might belie the range he has developed since the band’s last release, Nothing, that came out in 2015.

Portrait – Burn the World

While death and black metal are seeing amazing leaps forward in talent, production, and ability for the denizens of the traditional metal world what we’re seeing from bands such as Enforcer, dawnbringer, Sumerlands, Eternal Champion, and Striker must seem like manna from heaven… or hell, depending upon your preference. One band that has been plugging away at this style, beginning as a bit of a Mercyful Fate worship act and evolving with each new release is Sweden’s Portrait (the band name derives from Diamond’s first solo album, Fatal Portrait). On their latest offering, Burn the World, we see a band who is getting comfortable with their own take on the venerable speed riffs, blazing solos, and soaring vocals of trad metal creating an addictive blend for fans.