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!
Bury Tomorrow – “Earthbound”
Seeing as I recently proclaimed the death of metalcore, it’s amusing that I would be the one to write this entry. But, so it goes. Bury Tomorrow is a name I’ve heard a few times but not one with which I am exceptionally familiar. That’s OK though, seeing as I’ve heard this track about a million times, specifically back when I was listening to Misery Signals on the regular. All the basic elements are present here: scratchy, “harsh” vocals for most of the track, clean vocals for the emotional passages/chorus and guitar/drums interaction that sets a groove without challenging the ear too much. The semi-break down near the obvious two thirds mark is passable and inoffensive and the whole thing enjoy a decent production value. There’s honestly no one element that pops out to the ear, the entire thing moving as one, slightly beige colored unit.
So, yeah. Metalcore is dead. As we said on the podcast, if this is what new bands in the genre are making, there’s really not much left to say here. I saw every single part of this track coming and while none of it was offensive or especially bad, the whole thing will be forgotten in about five minutes (probably the interval of time it will take me to press play on the new August Burns Red). Nothing new from the western front, business as usual, nothing to see here. Next.
Full of Hell – “Halogen Bulb”
It is human impulse to enjoy blast beats, and that, is a scientific fact. Luckily for all humans everywhere, Full Of Hell is more than happy to deliver the blast beat heavy goodness with their newest slab of grindcore, “Halogen Bulb.” Stylistically, the band has taken a slightly odd curve, beginning their career focusing far more heavily on their grindcore/powerviolence aspect, before steadily allowing more of their noise influence to seep through. If this new single proves to be any sort of indicator, it would appear that Full of Hell is once again embracing their more grindcore oriented roots, as there isn’t a single dissonant screech of power electronics to be heard anywhere. Only time will tell, however, and knowing Full of Hell, at least one song on this record will prove to be a full of assault of harsh noise.
Haunted Shores – “Harrison Fjord”
Haunted Shores has been on Misha Mansoor and Mark Holcomb’s back burners for quite a bit, which is completely understandable, what with their main band being Periphery and all. However, this week saw the duo returning to those haunted shores and releasing the Viscera EP, which is where our next single “Harrison Fjord” hails from! “Harrison Fjord” actually feels like a Periphery track without vocals. It makes sense seeing as it was first demoed on Haunted Shore’s MySpace all the way back in 2010 when Periphery was probably flowing heavily through everything Misha wrote. The things that set it apart from a Periphery track are what make it special, though. Black metal drums and guitar parts pop in periodically to remind you that you’re listening to a Haunted Shores track. There’s great dual guitar interplay in this track that really highlights how Mark and Misha balance each other out as songwriters and the song is an overall enjoyable listen with a punchy, in your face mix. It feels familiar, but like it’s an alternate reality take on a sound that we all know. I will say that it would probably sound even better with vocals, but I know I’m probably in the minority on that one.
Pomegranate Tiger – “Boundless”
Pomegranate Tiger have a sure winner on their hands with the title track of their upcoming album. “Boundless,” as a follow-up to the first single “Cyclic,” better encapsulates the sound offered in their sophomore album. Beginning with a tasteful repeated lead lick interspersed with some dissonant chords, the song degenerates into a furious polyrhythmic chugfest of palm mutes overlaid by a similar lead that brought us in. The song remains stylish throughout, with the familiar chugs making a return again and again, while the frenzied fretwork builds around it.
Pomegranate Tiger’s Boundless is due out on December 11th, 2015.
SikTh – “Philistine Philosophies”
Sikth are back! After almost a decade of absence, the band that is essentially the progenitor of all modern metal have returned, and it’s like they never even left. Pin’s crazy riffing, Mikee’s frantic vocals and Justin’s cleans, it’s all back! This is probably one of the most exciting reunions in metal. The tones are crushing and well-produced without having the life taken out of them by over-production. This song is one of the best examples of the musical movement that Sikth almost single-handedly created, with the heavy, technical verse and clean, melodic chorus, tempo changes and all kinds of shenanigans. Oddly, in some ways it feels like the genre has moved on yet Sikth have stayed exactly where they were, which is both great but also kind of lacking in a way as so many bands imitated their style and built on it, whereas this is the raw, original example. Sometimes that’s not a negative though, as the purity and polish of the sound is also desirable, as no one else does it quite like Sitkh. All in all, stellar single, and what’s most important is that there is going to be more Sikth. We are living in a great time!
Yellow Eyes – “Sick With Bloom”
Way back in 2013, I discovered Yellow Eyes‘ sophomore album “Hammer of Night” while perusing various blogs for quality black metal. There wasn’t much I remembered about the NYC trio (except that, oddly enough) other than their standard but solid approach to atmospheric BM. Well, fifteen minutes before I wrote this post, I stumbled upon the title track from the band’s upcoming third album Sick with Bloom, and the email reciept for my vinyl pre-order should be a footnote for why I’m stoked to hear the remaining five tracks. Yellow Eyes are still treading familiar, murky waters; the nocturnal field recordings and familiar Cascadian chords should make any Wolves In the Throne Room fan wet. Yet, something about their approach is continuing to grab my attention. It may be the way that their riffs evolve overtime while maintaining the same atmosphere, or it could be just how fucking well-written and performed every aspect of the song is. And let’s face it, not every band is going to pull a Blut Aus Nord and drop a three album industrial BM suite; sometimes you just need the tried-and-true presented as earnestly as possible. “Sick with Bloom” is a shining example of this approach and an excellent prologue, and atmospheric BM fans should be yearning for the rest of the story.