Metalcore wasn’t always the poppy, hair-flipping, Jonas Brothers-ass affair that it turned into during the early to mid 2000s. Metal and punk have always had an interesting dynamic and when the two cross over it has almost always resulted in compelling music. Black Flag showed their love for Black Sabbath on My War and the first thrash records of the early 80s are seriously indebted to hardcore punk and crust punk. In the 1990s, metalcore was one of the many punk-metal amalgams thriving. It combined the sludgy, downtuned, groovy metal of the day with the politics, angst, and breakdowns of hardcore punk. One of the originators of this fusion, Integrity, gained their popularity off their highly influential debut album, Those Who Fear Tomorrow, a thundering record that still holds up today. Unlike many of the bands in that early metalcore scene, Integrity hasn’t gone away since their legendary early release. On the contrary, the band is still firmly plugged into the current metal-punk world and makes some of the most interesting metalcore available. Their newest album, Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume, continues their long streak of successes.
That’s right it’s time again for your weekly dose of all things post hardcore, screamo, chaotic hardcore, and sass in this weeks Grind My Tears, the superior column to its cousin Grind My Tears. Last week introduced a new track from Texas’s own Lyed, once again celebrated the always wonderful Ostraca, and turned its gaze to the West Coast to put the spotlight on sass-revivers SeeYouSpaceCowboy. This week, however, will remain centralized on the (far superior) East Coast and some of the bands currently driving the scene there.
Icaria remembers to have fun and, thus, we are fortunate to have an exclusive stream of their upcoming debut album, Transcendent, here on Heavy Blog Is Heavy. This five-piece progressive metal outfit from Atlanta packs a serious punch with their flashy compositions, tight production, and relentless intensity. The band sounds like a cross between Periphery on their most recent poppier albums, Coheed and Cambria, and just a hint of shreddy power metal. It’s an absolute blast. There’s nothing mind-bending here and nothing that will change the face of progressive metal but that is not a bad thing. Icaria is making thoroughly enjoyable metal that has a lot of pop appeal but still maintains its musical integrity and complexity.
Before rocketing straight into the music it’s equally important to take a moment to admire the cover art for this release, which is wonderfully done by Grinwise, as it depicts a massive decapitated robot head floating ominously over a planetoid with it’s vast visage looking down upon an awed figure; which is exactly what it feels like when listening to the Arrival EP by Sekond Prime. While this debut EP certainly has a good head on its shoulders in terms of having its mind on synthwave, the body of work itself transforms into something else entirely as the songs roll out: that of a wholly unique sub-genre which can only be described as “spacewave.”