Another year draws to a close and here we are again, telling you about yet another superlative release from the one, the only, Holy Roar Records. For those who aren’t aware, we are paid handsomely by the label to cover their releases; I myself am writing this from an unnamed Pacific island which I have made my home, thanks to all the gold that they have bestowed upon me. Money is no object to me and I’m richer than all of you so suck it. Nah. They don’t. And I’m not. We have dedicated a feature to this specific label because like us, they don’t believe in dull, insipid music and as such do not release any. This edition of the HR-Files will get a bit dirty, a bit rough around the edges and definitely doesn’t belong in the ‘dull’ category. Playing vibrant and vicious metal from the UK, never afraid to toy with conventional metal sounds, we present you Watchcries and Wraith.
Chicago progressive quintet Paper Hero released their Colorless Aquarium EP in July of 2016. Filled with slick riffs courtesy of guitarists Maru Martinez and Brycen Doby, rhythmic drum and bass with Tristan Zemtseff and Austin Ramsey (respectively), and soaring vocal melodies and metalcore-reminiscent growls from vocalist Giovanni Franceschi (with a…
Last year, we told you to listen to Path of Might not once but twice. They had this heaviness about them that’s rare even within their stoner/sludge sub-genres; both releases were chock full of riffs and sheer awesomeness. Well, rejoice! Path of Might are back/still around and this time, they…
The “jam” is one of those musical devices that walks a delicately drawn fine line. On one side are classics like Can’s “Halleluwah” or The Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray,” both of which are defined by an embrace of improvisation, interplay and gradual evolution that keep the song fresh throughout a roughly 20-minute run time. But on the other side, you have endless journeys of gratuitous musical masturbation that create a significant imbalance of enjoyment between the players and their audience. Walking this line is obviously difficult; though defined by higher tier musicianship, an effective jam band can’t venerate their abilities as musicians at the expense of songcraft, particularly in terms of defining the genres and styles from which the extended composition is being drawn out of. All of this makes it that much more impressive that Mother Engine have not only mastered the “jam” formula, but excelled at replicating that equation fourfold on their third full-length outing Hangar, which we’re stoked to be able to premiere for you in full.
Anyone else remember the good ol’ days of mathcore and grindcore on Myspace circa 2008? Chaotic hardcore, grindcore, and deathcore blended in a menagerie of inaccessible weirdness. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Psyopus, See You Next Tuesday, and The Number Twelve Looks Like You were among some of the highlights. They just don’t make metal like that much anymore, and what’s troubling is that only one of those five bands will be active come 2017 — No. 12 — and they’ve broken up once before already.
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.
Modern hardcore, in its most traditional strain, stems directly from the likes of Black Flag but exists now through a twisted evolution that people like me have attempted to label with absurd titles like emoviolence, powerviolence, and any number of “-core” affixed descriptors. However, one of the main common themes that can be found when listening to or discovering newer variants is a critical nucleus consisting of compact, ferociously brief songs that maintain a rapidfire pace just shy of grind, at least to these ears. Sometimes these include (extremely) brief breakdowns or mid-tempo breathers before flying off the handle again in a manic explosion of righteous vengeance and furious anger.
One band that hits all of those elements and goes hard as fuck on their new EP is Entry out of Los Angeles, CA.
A little while ago, Scottish atmospheric miscreants Falloch released This Island, Our Funeral on Candlelight Records. The record was a doozy, with our very own editorial darling Scott Murphy reviewing it and finding plenty to praise but enough to criticise also. By the end of the record, the black metal tag was long since painted over, with post-metal, folk and gaze sounds becoming more prominent. Fast forward to right this very second. Falloch have brushed the dust off their shoulders and blown out the candle on the last record with a refreshed lineup and delicately tinkered new sound. After sitting on Prospice for nearly a year they are finally ready to unload seven tracks of gorgeous, atmospheric music upon the world. Head on over the jump to hear the first track from the album, “Fata Morgana.”
I’m not sure if this disclaimer is even necessary anymore, but just in case: NYN, an excellent death metal project all on its own is also the brain child of Noyan Tokgözoğlu, one of our chief editors and a good friend of mine. Regardless, as with previous releases, I am recommending new music from NYN based on its merit; I truly believe that the project upcoming album, Entropy: Of Chaos and Salt, is huge step up in the project’s history and is an amazing album of technical music. Don’t believe me? What about if I told that none other than Tom Geldschläger (ex-Obscura, Fountainhead) not as an album contributor but as a full fledged member of the project? And what if I added Jimmy Pitts (Scholomance, Pitts Minnemann Project) on keyboards, lending the entire album a veneer of elegance and pomposity? I bet you’re interested now. Head on down below for even more details.
It’s been a minute since our last Holy Roar Records File and even longer since I wrote one. It’s only appropriate that the post is dusted off and brought back for this. Somehow, I hadn’t covered Employed To Serve in this feature before but that HAD to change for one reason; The Warmth Of A Dying Sun releases today and is a bona fide game changer in hardcore and heavy music. You can throw Code Orange at me all you want, Employed To Serve are thee band at the forefront of genre smashing heavy music. As always, make your own damn mind up about but if you feel like you need convincing then read ahead. There will be bountiful amounts of hyperbole and fruity language – oh, and a track by track breakdown from EtS’s very own Justine Jones. Tight.