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!
After the Burial – “Lost In the Static”
Before the tragic and all too sudden passing of After the Burial‘s Justin Lowe (R.I.P.) the band had recorded a brand new album that they were gearing up to share with the world. The first single, entitled “Lost in the Static,” has just been released and is kicking the asses off my ears. It’s on the ignorant open note chug side of the spectrum, but that just means it’s stupidly heavy and you can mosh to it. It has great melodic leads as well that are signature After the Burial, so there’s a little bit of something for every fan of the band on display here. It’s also worth mentioning that Anthony sounds nastier than he ever has before. It’s odd to think that Justin Lowe won’t be performing on After the Burial records after this upcoming one, but I’m glad we’re at least getting to hear the last thing he ever worked on and poured himself into. If this track is any indicator, his swan song will be a great one.
Barren Womb – “White Raven”
Barren Womb are a band that I’ve been told to listen to several times now and frankly, I don’t know why. I mean, nothing here is especially offensive but I find this kind of “death n’ roll” antic to be quite boring, mostly because it’s just rock n’ roll with a few screams thrown in. Why do we need that? Obviously, the band record whatever they feel like but I don’t understand what people find in these type of track. The lyrics are derivative (“every little thing is going to be alright, every little thing is going to be OK”. Is that ironic or something?), so are the guitar parts, combining equal parts surf-rock and Elvis like leads.
So, my question here is: why? Rock n’ roll pretty much did all of these things already so I really can’t see the point of re-iterating on them. I suppose this might be cool driving music or a segue in a low budget movie. That’s about it.
Dark Orbit – “Flying Intact”
A Dark Orbit are the best tech band on Basick Records. Don’t agree? Fuck off. Set Murdock aside and yeah, this is the best the label has on display. “Floating Intact” is a goliath of a tune, from it’s opening twinkles of Fellsilent to the stacked grooves that Black Tongue should be envious of. The opening minutes judder along with Chad Kopper’s vocals binding the syncopated groove into one neat little package. Kopper’s vocals are tremendous. Really coarse and gripping, compared to what’s on display everywhere else in this diluted scene. They match with the simplistic but atmospheric as hell vibe that A Dark Orbit conjure up. Keep the fucking djent tag clear from this one because it doesn’t belong.
Our Oceans – “What If”
Instrumental progressive metal band Exivious have been somewhat dormant since the release of 2013’s Liminal, but it turns out that Tymon Kruidenier and friends had something up their sleeves all the while. “What If”, the first piece of music released under the new moniker of Our Oceans, continues in the tradition of spacelike progressive rock, but with the added bonus of Kruidenier’s lovely singing voice making for a surprisingly vocal driven song. It would be unfair right off the bat to dismiss Our Oceans as simply ‘Exivious with vocals’ despite the two having three out of four members in common, and as it turns out the comparison is not all that apt after all; “What If” is a lot less complex but a lot more cohesive that Exivious’ sprawling arrangements, and a downright calming listen overall.
Skindred – “Sound the Sirens”
Here’s a band that knows exactly what it’s doing. Like the previous single, and indeed their entire career, this track oozes pure fun. From the EDM-like buildup in the beginning to the eventual drop (accompanied by, of course, a siren), the moves are planned out, played out and obvious. And yet, and yet you’re dancing in your chair. Honestly, has Skindred cast some sort of spell on my legs? That’s the only way that I can explain how contagious and bouncy this rhythm is.
This might be an issue for a much longer post but Skindred are quite fascinating. Is it their larger than life production that makes their sound so enjoyable? Maybe, but I think it’s more than that: you can find genuinely interesting ideas in their music, even if they all fall into the “fun” category. Just go to two minutes and ten seconds and listen to that breakdown; the delay on the vocals, the thick riff, the tonal play on the backing vocals. Sure, it’s not as intelligent or complicated as we like to have some of our other bands but it gets the god damn job done and that’s more than can be said about a lot of “younger”, more “original” bands. I’m excited for this album and you should be too.
Thirteen Bled Promises – “Biblephagy Slender Phytobezoars”
Madrid’s Thirteen Bled Promises have never popped up on my radar before. Chalk that up to me favoring Barcelona over Madrid. Well, I am the first (last) person to admit when I’ve been in the wrong. New album track “Biblephagy Slender Phytobezoars” is ridiculously titled but is a straight up ass-ripper. If Wormed dropped the ball and decided to play straight up tech death with bass drops, this would be the end product. There’s all sorts of guitar wankery on display (bass too, clank clank) but it all serves the general purpose of keeping the ball rolling into the next crushing passage or half tempo meltdown. Gorod’s new album is great but I prefer this in all honesty. It’s a bit more grounded, even when things get nice and cinematic near the end. Also, there are aliens, wizards and babes. Alien wizard babes.
Twelve Foot Ninja – “One Arm Killing”
Music should elicit strong emotions but sometimes you come across something that is just fine. It’s fine. That’s all you have to say about it, since no part stands out as particularly offensive or pleasing. This is the case with Twelve Foot Ninja‘s new single, “One Hand Killing”, supposedly hailing from a second album, as yes unnamed and due “sometime in 2016”. Like much of their music, the execution is satisfactory and while it’s not something to write home about, it’s not especially bad.
The ideas however are where the single really fails. Nearly every single passage on this single (and there are plenty, as the track is a bit too long for this type of music) has been done before. Not only that, but it has been done in exactly the same fashion and arrangement: from the Limp Bizkit beginning, to the Faith No More chorus, every single idea on this track has been accomplished before. Throw in dubious guitar tones, an overall scattered structure and you get something which is fine. It’s fine. But nothing more. Except for that clap track. That clap track is terrible. Hopefully the band have plenty of time until “sometime in 2016” to double down on the writing/recording phase and elevate it from the state it’s in right now.