We’re at a point where a hot shit, flavour of the month band can become old hat moments after they are touted as the next big thing. It’s so easy to lose track of who’s who, what’s hot and not and generally what the hell is happening in music and it’s always gonna be impossible to hear everything good out there. That’s where Heavy Blog, and others like us, come in. We have our core features focusing on specific genres—what’s up Grind My Gears fans?!—but today I’m lumping together bands who’s only similarity is their shared suffix. They’re all “core” in some form or another. To make things more digestible, I’ve even added a strapline for each, covering their sound in one fantastically humorous sentence. Please, enjoy and rock responsibly.
Sounds like: An anime style showdown of the feuding gangs of Slipknot Community College and Knocked Loose High (probably fan fiction)
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California’s devthbed (kvlt as fuck) might have less likes than your buddy’s new alt-left meme page but have a sound that should sneak up on the unsuspecting core fiend. On the back of a less than welcome nu-metal revival, the bottom five fret riffs and electronic samples present might be a touch on the nose for some, but they probably never liked nu-metal like we did. This one is for us, the 23-27 year olds who wanted their scratchy riffs to have more body, their clean vocals to haunt rather than irritate. Debut EP the atlas is the nu-metalcore sound to make 2017 feel just enough like 2003 again.
The nu-metal influences of Knocked Loose’s Laugh Tracks are a lot more prominent on this but the hardcore attitude and beatdown heavy nature of the Warped Tour favourites also figures in. It’s not gonna open pits as big but it’s definitely on the right path. Kids moving away from Sworn In et al will find a happy place in the devilishly moreish metal of devthbed because it’s unfiltered as hell. There’s no political themes or grandiose ideas, just fun and heavy songs. The fact that they can pull all of these comparisons – and more, peep “the wanderer” for some sweet The End homage – and keep it from sounding like an angry kid with two left hands trying to play Spineshank on an eight string is commendable. Keep it classy, Cali kids.
Justice for the Damned
Sounds like: Thy Art Is Murder taking style advice from Devildriver but more core and less shit lip piercings (and country)
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OK, I loved the first couple of Devildriver albums. I loved the almost melodeath elements they threw into what was effectively the last stretch of NWOAHM. If you don’t know what the acronym is then you’re not going to enjoy Justice for the Damned as much me. The Fafara connection only really stretches as far as the vocal delivery and the vicious stomp of many of the tracks through these young Australians brief but brutal discography. It’s modern metalcore, sure, but it’s a lot nastier than everyone else out there doing it. Musically, they’re channeling Chimaira and The Haunted just as much as they smack of The vocals are one of the biggest turn ons, straying far from the toilet bowl and taking on a grittiness somewhere between Fafara and Jamey Jasta.
The Aussies are not quite as fresh to the fold as devthbed above but 2017 will be their breakthrough year with the massive heft of Dragged Through The Dirt. Being pulled onto tours with their countries biggest metal export Thy Art Is Murder is only going to blow up their new fanbase and it’s wholly deserved too. Songs like “Please Don’t Leave Me” and “It Will Always Be My Fault” are ready to cut venues in half, right down the middle line between crowd killing and metal appreciation. Get on either side and fucking bang your head because Justice For The Damned have the good shit for sure.
Sounds like: An apocalyptic machine uprising led by the discarded instruments and equipment of Converge and Korn (inevitable isn’t it)
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Now. I know that some of you may be screaming “Fuck you cunt, I already own the Vein windbreaker. Have you even stage dived at one of their shows?”. Understandable. The Boston natives have but a few years in the business of making noise for kids who like hurting themselves gravely at live shows. These fans are fast apporaching a cult status too. I’d seen the name floated around before and on several friend’s bands flyers but hadn’t really given them the attention they deserved until seeing their live set at TIHC. Now, I’ve been in pits with five people and been in walls of death with several thousand at once, but a Vein show looks way more rowdy than anything I’ve experienced. That’s not all the charm of these guys. The fans aren’t in it just for the front flips.
I love Converge, Full of Hell and Korn. The last one might not fit but I love them anyway. Vein definitely belong on shows with the likes of the first two, but their wacky wizard of a guitarist and his whammy-delay-loop onslaught reminds me of the weird noises Head and Munky showed me when I was a pup; and we all remember our first love fondly. The beating around the head that you’ll get upon sampling their sparse yet sexually arousing blasts of crude hardcore and grind seems to amplify in a live setting but still carries enough menace to leave me wincing before I’ve even hit play. Mathcore, hardcore, grindcore; even OG metalcore – Vein cover all the ground. They’re going to be one of the bands that you’re gonna want to shout about loud and proud, making sure everyone knows that you heard them before they started supporting mega acts. They might not go that way. Who knows. I just know that these guys are one of the most exciting bands that not enough people have heard yet. Utterly terrifying and harmfully addictive noise.