We list our top -core adjacent releases of 2024 so far, then wrap-up the best of June including some noise rock, grind, metalcore, screamo, mathcore and even djent!

9 days ago

Mixing it up a little bit this month. First we list off our top RTTC-adjacent releases of 2024 so far, then keep scrolling for a wrap-up of our top picks from June, including some noise rock, grind, metalcore, screamo, mathcore and even djent. As always check out some of the best-of-the-rest at the bottom!



Trent’s Top RTTC Releases So Far:

JD’s Top RTTC Releases So Far:

Phil's Top RTTC Releases So Far:

The Wall of Death

Almanac Man - Terrain (noise rock)

There is no shortage of excellent noise rock being released these days, especially via Kansas City’s The Ghost is Clear Records, the very label that Denver’s Almanac Man is signed to (not to mention being co-owned by guitarist/vocalist Brian Dooley). While Almanac Man’s style is firmly rooted in the down-tuned, odd-metered noise rock, they add an off-kilter sense of melody, both vocally and instrumentally, that sets them apart from their equally raucous peers.

From opener “Lotusland”, it’s clear that this isn’t your alcoholic Gen X father’s 90s noise rock. The duel vocals of Brian Dooley and drummer Scott Picco often resemble the throaty howls reminiscent of Pile’s Rick Maguire, Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye, or the disgraced vocalist of a certain noise rock band that shall not be named, but the frequent harmonies between the two vocalists add a droning, hypnotic character that juxtaposes with the dissonant and rhythmically disjointed music. 

Much of that disjointedness comes from dramatic shifts in meter and rhythm, often propelled by the restless drumming of Picco. “Lotusland”, for example, moves through a cycle of sudden changes that can sometimes be jarring, such as the sudden tempo shift a third of the way through the song. On the other hand, “Grief Pool” starts with moody tension-building by way of off-kilter, tom-heavy drum patterns and subtlely played dissonant guitar arpeggios. It then fluidly builds to the tension’s release as the drums open space up with a more straightforward (albeit, odd-metered) full-kit pattern, and the guitars follow suit by holding out notes that ascend melodically.

With the constantly shifting rhythms and meters, the songs on Terrain rarely “groove”, but that style works well for Almanac Man’s unique take on noise rock. What better way to portray the uneasiness and anxiety of the music found on Terrain than by keeping the listener constantly off balance?

-JD

R U N - True Heaviness is Time (metalcore, post-black metal)

Metalcore has essentially turned into an umbrella genre, broad enough where two people can say they’re a fan of the genre, yet not have any bands in common that they listen to. It’s not that it’s become hard to define, it’s generally always been some sort of blend of hardcore and metal, but the fact is there’s also so many styles of those two ingredients that the whole picture gets muddied quickly. In the case of R U N, a band rapidly moving upwards among my favourite modern groups in the genre, it’s the particular choice of metal that they’re blending with hardcore that makes them so compelling. 

Emerging in 2020 with the release of their debut EP For You Will Never Find Peace Within Your Quiet, their fusion of metalcore with post-metal instrumentation immediately captivated me as a fan of both of those genres. It was like the metalcore version of Ulcerate. Now with their follow-up EP True Heaviness Is Time, these young Aussies have taken a unique route of bringing a brighter blackgaze or post-black approach to their sound and it has really served as that little something extra that they needed. Aiding them along the way across this 23-minute release are some great guest features from the vocalist of fellow Aussies The Amity Affliction and Trophy Eyes. I’ve seen the term “post-metalcore” thrown around for some reason when referring to alt-metal bands with metalcore influences, but it really should be reserved for bands like R U N. 

Now of course the fusion of hardcore and black metal is far from new, with groups like Svalbard and Oathbreaker among others flying that torch for years, yet it’s still a stretch to call most of those releases metalcore. RUN on the other hand aren’t afraid to start a song like “Autumn” with panic chords, and employ a fair number of breakdowns and melodic riffs. It’s closer to the groove-laden approach to blackgaze of Numenorean, but more grounded in the characteristics of metalcore. To give a shoutout to another excellent June release I didn’t have time to cover here, it’s not too unlike the new album from Illyria, a band who has gone through a number of lineup changes but has really come together with their progressive metalcore influenced blackgaze sound. 

Where this EP really shines is how they make the most out of an element prominent to both -core and blackgaze sounds, emotion. I mentioned them earlier, but parts of the closer “One Way Out” are very reminiscent of Svalbard, especially as the soaring melodies combine with impassioned vocals. The desperation, pain, longing, with the briefest hint of hope, it’s really one of the best album closers of the year so far, on one of the most memorable and forward-thinking modern metalcore releases. 

-TB

The Crowdkillers

APES - Penitence (blackened grindcore)

If you like your music dirty, and I mean caked in mud kind of filthy, then you’re going to gorge yourself with the latest album from Quebec City’s APES. Penitence is a particularly nasty offering, full of old school hardcore attitude, grindcore abrasiveness and black metal atmospherics. If Napalm Death were to join forces with Regardes Les Hommes Tomber and create some kind of Brummie/Nantes supergroup, it could end up sounding something like this. 

Opening track “Coffin” is a statement of intent, hitting you with a wall of blistering blast beats and ferocious guitars. The harsh vocals of Alexandre Goulet act like an additional piece of instrumentation as they intersperse the noise with extra shards of brutality. There’s even a cameo from the talented Madi Watkins of Year Of The Knife, as she injects her own acid-larynxed-attack on proceedings.      

Whilst this first song stays firmly in the grind/hardcore arena, the black metal influences soon come sweeping through the album like a dark fog, enveloping each track with a melodic yet brooding aether. It’s extremely well executed, and the band have really honed their sound and tightened their performance in the 7 years since their last full length, Lightless. An extra guitarist could be part of the reason for their development, but a delicious mix from Andy Nelson and mastering by the hands of Will Putney infinitely help matters too. 

Third track “Shadow Walker” is a real highlight and showcases all the strings on APES decrepit, angular bow; leaning much more into melodic black metal territory but not relenting the aggression or intensity one iota. It’s a great example of how these genres can be fused together to create something truly unique.      

The albums’ penultimate, title track is another moment of excellence, as it kicks off with an almost spaghetti western guitar intro, before a barrage of double kick and high-pitched screams detonate and take everyone with them. The mid-section riff should send any mosh pit into a frenzy (my only grumble being that I want it to be longer), before a doom-laden finale.  

This is a band at the top of their game, hitting all the right notes and producing the best album of their career. That alone should be applauded, but the fact they have produced such alchemy with their now fully realised sound is even more reason for celebration.

Mirar - Mare (instrumental djent, thall, avant-garde)

Mirar is one of the best things to happen to djent in sometime, and the most interesting take at a sound that makes djent kids say “thall” outside of the Vildhjarta extended-universe. Their debut EP Mare is 30-minutes of screeching, string-bending terror. It feels almost like something made outside of time, pushing the limits of the sounds that can be created from a guitar through modern DAWs and guitar-interfaces, fused with elements of classical music. 

This two-man project from France first emerged in 2023, releasing 6 stand-alone singles across the year with little to no PR, allowing organic hype to slowly spread as it began being spread in Vildhjarta and djent related social media spheres. They flirted with some guest deathcore vocals on a couple of these singles, but opted for an all instrumental approach here. Unique to this EP emerged an odd danciness to some of their grooves, the more upbeat moments such as the opening of  “Rose Bonbon” in particular is an example of this. Some of the riffs in “Hestehov” even sound vaguely dubstep inspired with its otherworldly tones like the metal equivalent to bass-drops, and divebombing bends into bassy down-tuned oblivion. Wouldn’t be surprised if these elements were inspired by Mick Gordon’s DOOM soundtrack. 

Beyond the earth-shattering heaviness, dissonance and eerie atmospheres, unfortunately their writing can start to feel a little riff-salady and monotonous, and you pretty well get the gist of it after one track. But as someone who’s been steeped in this sub-genre since its origins, I can’t help but to feel impressed and wowed as they’ve shaken things up in a style that’s increasingly felt stagnated. 

-TB

Terry Green - PROVISIONAL LIVING (screamo, post-hardcore)

Terry Green is one of Ontario’s lesser-known, but finest screamo/skramz exports. The group has been around for a decade now, with their gem of a debut coming back in 2017. They’ve been mostly quiet since, playing a handful of shows over the years often with local friends in Respire, but have finally emerged with their second album Provisional Living that lives up to the hype brought forward from their debut. 

Musically, their style is more subdued and patient than 2024 standouts such as Frail Body, operating in a space closer to the post-hardcore influenced State Faults or Demersal. They have a knack for using post-rock style build-ups, repetitions of a riff or chord progression while gradually either upping the tempo or adding in additional elements. They do so in a manner that doesn’t feel tedious or overly stretched out, but it still sucks you in and gets you amped up like a bass drop at an EDM rave when it finally kicks in. The start of “Safety” is a notable example of this, but I’ve noticed them using this song-writing tool throughout their discography. This lends itself to another quality of this record, which is simply how dynamic it is. Every song feels like it has at least one moment of a ‘shift’, where things either calm down or speed up, or get contemplative or chaotic, making for an engaging listening experience start to finish.

On the whole this thing feels grounded much more in the realm of “rock” than metal or hardcore, even sporting some southern swagger throughout with sludgy riffs and sun-kissed guitar twangs. Terry Green have delivered another standout screamo release in a year that is rapidly becoming defined by them. Provisional Living is out now on the greatest screamo label going, Zegema Beach Records. 

-TB

The God Awful Truth - All That Dark & All That Cold (mathcore)

This write-up will be expanded on in an article to come soon, but I had to include some love for it here. In a year that has been oddly quiet on the mathcore front, one of the most promising newer bands in the scene delivered a standout for 2024 with their sophomore LP All That Dark & All That Cold. The God Awful Truth feel very authentically “mathcore”, with clear influences from the likes of older Dillinger and Daughters. It’s heavy, rough around the edges, and finds a smart balance between complex and memorable. Sometimes as this music gets more technical and abrasive, that element of ‘fun’ can get buried in the weeds. TGAT however haven’t sacrificed on that front. There’s upbeat punky two-steppable riffs, and shit that just makes you want to throwdown in the pit, even sprinkling in a bit of Every Time I Die energy when they aren’t experimenting with Frontierer’s space laser program. The vocalist also continues to be a standout here, with his deranged and esoteric delivery ranging from heaviness of The Red Chord to the unsettling weirdness of Chat Pile. If you’re a fan of mathcore or the type of metalcore you sometimes have to differentiate as “metallic hardcore” you should move this to the top of your listening queue.

The Circle Pit (Best of the Rest)

Darko US - Starfire (hyper-deathcore, metalcore)

Foreign Hands - What’s Left Unsaid (melodic metalcore, post-hardcore) [more coverage on this coming soon] 

Illyria - Wanderlust (progressive metalcore, blackgaze)

Psychic Graveyard - Wilting (noise rock, post-punk)

Umbra Vitae - Light of Death (death metal, deathcore) 

Immortal Disfigurement - King (symphonic deathcore) 

Missing Link - Watch Me Bleed (beatdown hardcore)

Bad Breeding - Contempt (hardcore punk)

Stand Still - Steps Ascending (melodic hardcore, emo)

Lagrimas - A Life Destruction (screamo, neo-crust)

Human Garbage - Valley’s Most Hated (hardcore punk, beatdown)

Candy - It’s Inside You (industrial metalcore) 

Flagman - Tastes Incredible (funk metal, avant-garde metal, mathcore)

Heavy Blog

Published 9 days ago