Singled Out is our weekly column to round-up 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. Read past entries here, and go on ahead below to get Singled Out!
Caligula’s Horse – “Firelight”
I’ve been waiting for this album for a long time and from my review, you can tell that I wasn’t disappointed. “Firelight” is a good example of why: how can you resist the sweet leads and the overall feeling of health and vigor? The clip does a lot to accentuate these qualities, with its verdant atmosphere. The track itself is obviously brilliant, opening with amazing vocal harmonies and the signature Jim Grey touch. The lead which feeds into it reminds us a bit of certain parts of the previous album but by the time the drums join, we can feel the groove which is wholly new and fresh.
Add to this the amazing bass and you have the smiling inducing treat that is “Firelight”. Will there ever be a track by these guys that I don’t like? I don’t know but this one is definitely at the top of my list. It features a clearer and more straightforward approach to their music that is all over Bloom and should get you excited. Oh by the way, the album is already out so go buy it right now wherever music is sold digitally. Tell them Eden sent you.
Good Tiger – “All Her Own Teeth”
Back again to bring another dosage of their unique twist on modern progressive metal, super group Good Tiger really pulls no punches this time: catchy riffs and energetic drums fire away under Elliot Coleman’s crooning voice. It’s a strong combination, for sure, and it shows that when these guys go, they go. The Safety Fire-esque guitars (courtesy of that band’s former guitarist, Dez Nagel) perfectly mix enrapturing melodies, punchy rhythmic work, and an almost-ethereal sense of atmosphere into a fusion that brings the best of all three together, combining the earthy, rhythmic side of the genre together with its heady spaciness to bring the listener a one-two punch that hits home in all the right ways.
Mono – “Death In Reverse”
The Ocean and Mono are releasing a split EP called Transcendental, and if those words alone aren’t enough to get you unbelievably hyped, I don’t even know what to tell you. The progressive/post-metal The Ocean already released their half, called “The Quiet Observer,” for streaming a couple of weeks ago, and it’s humongous and amazing and something you seriously need to listen to right this second if you haven’t already. In fact, it’s so great and epic that it actually makes it a very difficult act to follow, even for a veteran band such as Mono, who are certainly no strangers to creating epic soundscapes. And “Death In Reverse” is nothing if not that. It’s 11 minutes of what Mono has always done brilliantly in its guitar and string-filled build that comes to a crash midway and resolves into a beautiful piano-led melancholic meditation. And yet, it can’t help but feel just like that — another good Mono track that would feel completely in line with the rest of Mono’s catalog. It actually sounds like it could have come from the sessions for The Last Dawn/Rays of Darkness, which is fine because it was my favorite album from last year! But when placed side-by-side to “The Quiet Observer,” which feels like a demonstrative and bold new path for The Ocean, Mono’s contribution sounds more like a holding pattern than a taste of what could come next. On its own however, “Death In Reverse” is a more than solid track and one that fans of the Japanese standard-bearers of emotional orchestral rock will certainly want to pick up when the split is released by Pelagic Records October 23rd.
Intronaut – “Digital Gerrymandering”
Get ready ladies and gentlemen because this track is where the album gets really Intronaut. From the nearly chugged riff of the opening to the creepy, lingering vocals, this entire track reeks of the darkness and introspection characteristic of what this band is all about. The bass also shines through in the beginning, adding to the breakneck of the tremolo picked guitars and main lead. Quickly however, we are entitled to the true endearing quality of the track: the verse in the middle over those drum fills and the emotion drenched vocals giving way to the crying guitar in the background. In general, this track tells you a lot about this album: the flawless transitions, the way everything meshes together, the simply expert job Devin Townsend did on the mix. And above all, Intronaut’s signature vocals which have never sounded so good before. Lastly, the slight saxophone in the background, so humble and yet adding another layer to the musical wizardry already happening. All of this to say: this track is brilliant and this album is amazing. Get hyped.
No Sin Evades His Gaze – “Preacher”
UK-based technical deathcore/djent band No Sin Evades His Gaze made a splash last year with their extremely solid debut album Age of Sedation, and they’re already back with a strong follow-up. Their new single, “Preacher”, follows along the lines established with their debut, with insanely groovy chugs, catchy riffs and choruses, Randy Blythe-esque screaming and clean vocals to top it off. The band are at their strongest when they’re dropping sick grooves, and this song is basically a vehicle for the sickest grooves tied together with the cool chorus. It’s a good indication for their future material, as it seems like they’re not out of things to say and can continue in the direction they started off in on their first release. This makes me excited to hear what they’ll come up with next!
Protest the Hero – “Ragged Tooth”
I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t wake up yesterday morning expecting to hear new Protest the Hero material for quite some time, so when the band announced last night that they had a new track available for download right friggin’ now, there was a whole lot of flailing to be had. “Ragged Tooth” is the first in a six song subscription series entitled Pacific Myth – an interesting new avenue facilitated by Bandcamp that the Canadian metalcore act have chosen to explore. More on that next week, however. The long and the short of it is that ya gotta dish some cash in order to hear this tune – but boy howdy is it worth it.
Sounding very much like a Volition b-side, “Ragged Tooth” delivers exactly what you’d expect from any leading single for a Protest release. The track kicks off with an energetic hook that quickly falters and gives way for some of the softest spoken vocals Rody Walker has ever mustered. The calm doesn’t last, however – the song quickly explodes into an anthematic, power metal-infused chorus, featuring soaring guitar and vocals. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Protest tune without some growls, some screeches, and at least a dash of Luke Hoskin’s noodling, all of which take their turn in the spotlight before the track tapers off into a finish reminiscent of “Animal Bones”. Though we’ll have to wait another month for the next in the series of release, if the all-encompassing “Ragged Tooth” is any indication, the band’s plan to release music as they make it has their skill set showcased in top form.
Skindred – “Volume”
Say what you will about Skindred but they’re a band who have branding and signature sound down to an art form. I mean, you already know what this track is like, just from their name, and yet, you’re going to press play. Why? Because they’re fun and it’s kind of unbelievable that they’re still sticking to their guns and just doing their thing. And you know what, they do their thing really well: the chorus is huge and engaging, the groove on the verses is hip-movement inducing and the entire thing just screams of a party. Obviously the entire thing is produced flawlessly, from music to trippy/party video. What’s there to say? You can see the c-part coming from a mile away but you still bang your head, you know this is silly but it makes you want to bounce, drink and have a good time. Mission accomplished Skindred. Mission accomplished.