In case you haven’t been following, Singled Out is our new weekly column to round-up all of the singles and new tracks from the past week dropped by bands we cover. Consider this our weekly mix to help keep you all on top of the latest releases from across the metallic and progressive spectrums. We’ve got an awful lot of new music to cover this week from all over the place, so let’s forego the whole introductory setup today and just get to it. Let’s get singled out!
The Black Dahlia Murder – “Receipt”
Everybody’s favorite melodic death metal boys The Black Dahlia Murder are releasing their seventh full-length album on September 18, entitled Abysmal, and while already giving us a taste of the album in the form of “Vlad, Son of the Dragon,” Revolver premiered yet another new track earlier this week. “Receipt” is classic Black Dahlia, albeit with a few new tricks; a soft violin opens the track, leading it into its flesh-searing main riff, which ought to be great fuel for the pit. Add in a crushingly catchy chorus and an incredible Ryan Knight solo, and you’ve got all the things that make The Black Dahlia Murder one of modern metals most beloved poster children. Don’t worry about keeping your “Receipt” for this one; this is one band that never fails to deliver an exceptional and satisfying product, and it seems Abysmal is going to be no different.
Bring Me The Horizon – “Throne”
We saw this coming, but now foregoing any apparent links with the scene the spawned them, Bring Me The Horizon have gone full blown radio rock on new single “Throne.” This Meteora soundalike is grating and unforgettable. Did I say unforgettable? I meant unforgivable. Bland, processed and lacking in any real feeling, I can’t believe the change from Sempiternal to this, let alone from the days of “Pray For Plagues.” Before anyone gets uppity, I fully understand that a band’s sound will change and develop over the years (exception that proves the rule – Slayer) but this is really, really boring.
Over here in the UK, Radio One casuals should lube up and prepare for this to be forcibly inserted into any free orifice, because this is going to be played until it’s being whistled by builders and office workers nationwide. The processed vocals are irritating to the point of no return and the music really could have been lifted from the B-sides of any of the last few Linkin Park records. There is nothing new or of note here, unless you deem it worthy of mention that Oli Sykes has now turned into an AutoTune advocate. Expect a new sponsorship announcement in the next few days. An exciting band for teens and people who like their metal with no sharp sides or sour taste, “Throne” is the equivalent of eating old, dry Corn Flakes for breakfast.
Bullet For My Valentine – “Army of Noise”
Bullet For My Valentine are back, hell yeah! Said no one ever. After an absence that was majorly unnoticed, the Welsh thrashers are back with a pretty straight forward nu-thrash tune. If this was an example of how to write ascending and descending thrash riffs (as well as channeling Dave Mustaine through not just riffs but leadwork too) then this would be awesome. However, it is an actual song from a real band that continue to fight for any real recognition outside of the UK (their upcoming C-town tour in the UK doesn’t bode too well for their status over here either). The lyrics are duff and the vocal hooks are predictable and one dimensional. It’s a real struggle to find any positives here to be honest, and I’m really trying. The previous single “No Way Out” has one quality that makes it a touch more bearable than this cut; it’s about thirty seconds shorter. Dust off your tremolo arm and divebomb this album straight into the bargain bin.
Chelsea Wolfe – “Grey Days”
Chelsea Wolfe has always been an interesting artist to say the least, constantly mixing the neo-folk style of bands such as Sun Kil Moon with slight hints of doom and black metal to create thoroughly haunting results. “Grey Days” is the fourth track to be released from her upcoming album Abyss (out 8/7 on Sargent House), and it only continues to expand on what we’ve already heard, playing more on the subtle progressions of both styles to create a dark, lush track. The song begins with a repetitious drum beat covered by a thick synth bass, laying down a base for the rest of the track to grow off of. From there, the song grows as Chelsea Wolfe begins to sing, accompanied by a violin melody and a simple, steady chord progression. Finally, the song explodes into a beautiful climax before once again settling into it’s groove and fading. Chelsea Wolfe has always been a daring and interesting artist and, based on all we’ve heard from Abyss so far, should cement her place as one of heavy rock’s leading ladies of doom and gloom.
Fear Factory – “Dielectric”
Back again with their signature combination of electronics and crushing semi-industrial death metal, this track is easily the heaviest of the singles released in anticipation of Fear Factory’s new album, Genexus. Pulling in their typical combination of Gothenburg-melodeath-esque soaring choruses and murderously heavy riffing, the band is at their best here when they just let loose with chuggy riffs that defy all logic in their strength. These guys have always derived their power from their combination of simple-yet-catchy writing and cyber-metal synths, and it’s definitely no different here: this is, without a doubt, vintage Fear Factory. As a band that has found a specific niche and stuck with it, they’ve done a fantastic job of exploring and diversifying their sound, while remaining true to what made them stick out in the first place, and that second half is certainly the case here. If you’re hungry for a new fill of Fear Factory tracks (which of course you are, why wouldn’t anyone be?), Genexus drops in mid-August.
King Conquer – “Deathbed”
Do you want exactly what modern deathcore trends sound like? Good. King Conquer certainly doesn’t fuck around here, aiming straight for the head with their sledgehammer grooves and crushing drumbeats. As the genre has moved squarely towards downtempo beatdown territory in the past year or so, so has King Conquer followed this trend. They’re never a band that’s really played it anything other than safe, and that shows here in this new single: although the writing is good, and the vocals stand out in their great performance, there’s really nothing here to differentiate them from the pack. Yes, there’s something to be said for taking the current trend and doing it super well, but King Conquer… doesn’t. They just sound like every other deathcore band that went along with the big trend. Yes, the breakdowns hit hard, and yes, those who enjoy this modern incarnation of the genre will probably enjoy this, but there’s absolutely nothing new or outstanding introduced in this track. Listen to it, or don’t. Your life won’t change either way.
Myrkur – “Skøgen Skulle Dø”
Even if NPR had not revealed that “Skøgen Skulle Dø” is the opening track to Myrkur’s upcoming debut full-length M, allowing the track to unfold very clearly solidifies this composition as a tool by which Amalie Bruun firmly sets the tone for the unraveling of her musical intentions. Previously, lead singles “Hævnen” and “Onde Børn” have clearly indicated that Ulver is one of Bruun’s favorite bands, with plenty of nods to Bergtatt and Nattens Madrigal, albeit with more thick, crunchy riffing. While this remains true with “Skøgen Skulle Dø,” the final installment in Ulver’s Trilogie – Kveldssanger – has a much louder voice and adds to the tracks’ expansive nature. “Skøgen Skulle Dø” opens with a gorgeous chorus of Bruun’s multi-tracked vocals echoing within lush reverb before foreboding guitars, drums and strings set a truly mournful stage. As the guitars tighten into tremolos, Bruun’s ambient vocals soar back into the clearing above the frosted trees, with her impressive range making for a worthy musical addition rather than stock vocal ambience. Suddenly, however, the forest receives a chilling, devious air, as droning, chaotic noise consumes the mix and allows Bruun’s vocals to crumble into echoing gasps, whispers and moans, constantly building as the track hurdles toward a dark thicket ahead. While we now that the roaring assault of “Hævnen” is what awaits the listener next in the track listing, “Skøgen Skulle Dø” remains effective as singular piece with tidbits of everything that Bruun has to offer under her Myrkur name. Her project’s self-titled EP provided intrigue, and based upon these three primer tracks, M will prove that this initial sign of interest was warranted and will be greatly rewarded.
Nile – “Call To Destruction”
Nile’s new single is certainly a call that will have me enacting destruction on fools in the pit. Fast-paced, crushing, and vehement beyond belief, this new track is all that Nile fans had probably hoped for: blast beats aplenty, powerful rhythmic groovage, venom-spitting vocals, and, of course, searing guitar solos. Nile, with their highly technical approach to death metal, are at the top of their game here. Every riff is solidly on point, the vocals are furious (with fittingly irate lyrics portraying the destruction of Ancient Egyptian culture by radical Islamic groups like ISIS), and George Kollias’s drumming, as always, fantastically accompanies everything else, while simultaneously driving the track forward. The band’s typically raw and gritty production style fits this song like a glove. If this says anything about the album’s quality, it’s that we can all expect another Nile album. And really, who doesn’t want that?
Shai Halud – “Colder Than the Cold World”
Shai Hulud’s brand of heavily hardcore-influenced metalcore strikes again, this time with a solid punch almost exclusively from the hardcore side. Short (52 seconds, to be exact), and incredibly snappy, this track strikes with an intense blast of hxc energy and then leaves as quickly as it came. Energetic, furious riffing and frenetic drumbeats make this a memorable minute, and although this track is extremely short, it’s a well-written stomp through a different side of Shai Hulud’s sound.
If Shai Hulud’s new album continues in a similar vein to this track, it’ll be a divisive release among the fanbase, for sure: nobody has really expected the band to put out an album that is almost exclusively hardcore, and “Colder Than The Cold World” is, for all intents and purposes, a hardcore track. What is comforting, though, is the fact that the band clearly has good songwriting chops when it comes to this genre, and for them, a release like this could gain them an incredibly solid foothold where they had none before. This is certainly an album to watch out for, both in these social aspects, and also because, based on this single, this could just be a really damn good album.
Stray From The Path – “First World Problem Child”
“SHUT THE FUCK UP!”, bellows Stray From The Path frontman Drew York on the latest single from upcoming release Subliminal Criminals. Who he is addressing is ambiguous but I’m sure he has his reasons. “First World Problem Child” is an enjoyable romp through the band’s well noted affinity for Rage Against The Machine. It does have a stacked set of riffs to make up the verse and chorus; the second bar in 5/4 really propels the verse groove for me, a neat trick but nothing too divergent from the path well trodden by the Long Islanders. Just as this song starts to trickle towards the same old, same old, along comes a surprisingly aggro cameo from Sam Carter of Architects. Lending his newfound throaty vocals to this track he definitely gives it a big push for being one of the shoutalong anthems of the year. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album to be honest. “Outbreak” was a strong first single and their back catalogue of Sumerian releases have always been interesting enough, although predictable. Strong production from the doctor of heavy Will Putney is another reason not to ignore this one.
Uneven Structure – “Funambule”
Okay, can I start off by gushing a bit? My French darlings in Uneven Structure are so goddamn talented. I’ve devoured everything they’ve put out so far (which doesn’t mean too much, since they’ve only put out one album and one EP), and I’m so incredibly excited to see what comes from their new album, La Partition. I expect nothing less than greatness, and this new track just affirms these expectations. Their stylings as a juggernaut of djent (djuggernaut?) remain as powerful as ever here: on this song, they smash through grooves that can only be described as ‘oceanic’, both in terms of the sheer pressure contained within and in their fluidity.
As always, the band’s command of atmosphere remains incredibly solid here; the background synth work and melodic, droned-out, often-arpeggiated leads add a sense of weight and ethereal beauty to their earthy groovage. This track has me practically salivating for more tastes of La Partition, and this is probably going to be in a heavy repeat cycle for me for at least a month now. One last time: fuck, I’m so excited for this album. This is easily the strongest single track that Uneven Structure has put out to date, and if this is a quality consistent across the album, there’s nothing that will be able to stop them from taking the metal world by storm.