Australian metalcore scene has been in a bit of a sorry state these last couple of years. The once burgeoning scene that gave us the likes of Parkway Drive, I Killed the Prom Queen and The Amity Affliction (when they were still good), has produced markedly less world class acts over the past half-decade or so. Maybe it’s just because I got older, but contemporary pack-leaders Northlane and In Hearts Wake—while fine for what they are—seem to lack the spark and excitement of those bands who emerged in the genre’s heyday during the mid-to-late 2000s. Maybe it’s also because the local scene has seen a pivot toward the more extreme realms of deathcore, with bands like Thy Art is Murder and Aversions Crown proving the country’s most remarkable exports of the modern era. Yet The Mortal Coil only goes to show that there’s still plenty of mileage left in the supposedly well-worn Aussie metalcore tank.
Some music comes to you as rain into your sun-parched throat as you traverse a desert. Such is the vitality that music can bring into our lives. Some songs are as necessary to some people’s lives, if not sanity, that it reminds us why we love the art form. In…
Sometimes bands and promoters feel the need to cram their press-releases with ridiculous and nonsensical claims about being “counterculture mercenaries” who dish out “stomping alpha-wolf brutality”; how they are the “sonic equivalent of Christopher Nolan, David Fincher and John Carpenter making a Hammer Horror style movie together, set inside an…
Due to the way we’ve decided to divide up the time zones, correspondence with an international audience from the humble southern continent of Australia often feels akin to looking into the past. Yet, despite this perceived futurism, Australian culture often trails its American and European counterparts by some distance. So it is that, while the northern thrash revival has come and (more-or-less) gone, the Australian metal scene is currently experiencing the biggest genre boom it has undergone since thrash metal originally emerged in the mid ‘80s. Back then, we brought our own quality acts to the fold, most notably in the form(s) of Mortal Sin and Hobbs Angel of Death, and the Allegiance in the ’90s. Yet, while the style had effectively remained dormant since then, the last five-to-ten years have seen an explosion in the amount of world-class thrash metal bands to have emerged from these southern shores.
Lifelink comes to us courtesy of Philadelphia record label, Innerstrength, having honed their particular take on metallic hardcore on their second release, Love Lost. The EP heavily features the guitar talents of Josh Brown and Kamran Oskouie, some might even say it relies on them. The track we’re premiering here, “Lost”, shows roots similar to those of Architects, Volumes, and Novelists, with some nicely worked exchanges from Brown and Oskouie as they switch from mid-tempo moshes to trading off leads amidst Dillinger-esque chords. Meanwhile vocalist, Luke Blanchard, stays firmly in the pocket between a growl and a yell which might belie the range he has developed since the band’s last release, Nothing, that came out in 2015.
Sydney’s Polaris have quickly become one of Australian’s most promising acts. The melodic metalcore crew certainly aren’t reinventing any wheels, but the sheer vigour and precision songwriting they bring to those templates previously laid down by the likes of Architects and Periphery render them entirely refreshing nonetheless. The band have just announced their debut, full-length album, The Mortal Coil, which is set to be released in November, and if the two singles they’ve release off the album so far are anything to go by, it’s going to be an absolute rager.
Being the death metal fanatic that I am, sometimes it’s good to take a step outside the now standardized brootal circle of releases I gobble up with glee and appreciate the varied, sometimes less thoroughly bludgeoning aspects of metal. When I find myself in this state of mind, I tend to revert to one of my surefire staples to give me a boost: metalcore. It seems like every time I write one of these I am singing the praises of some band or another in this most maligned of subgenres. But hey, everyone could a little metalcore in their life (he said sheepishly), and today I’d like to honor this most hallowed tradition by spreading the virtues of Skies In Motion and their debut album Life Lessons. If you’re a fan of either metalcore or melodic hardcore, put this band on your radar. There’s plenty to enjoy here.
During the mid-2000s, the UK hardcore and metal scene underwent a re-energisation of sorts due to the emergence of several bands who have since spearheaded the genres to modern popularity. Bands like Enter Shikari and Bring Me the Horizon resonated with mainstream crowds since their inceptions and have since established themselves as global institutions. On the other hand, Architects instantly occupied the forefront of an underground charge and, over the years, have also crossed over into popular realms. However, bubbling underneath the surface was (and still is) a whole scene of innovative, vital artists whose records define the country’s musical output at its finest, with albums that will undoubtedly stand the test of time among aficionados of heavy music. One such act is Devil Sold His Soul who, in this writer’s humble opinion, are one of the best bands the UK has ever birthed.
Another day, another metalcore recommendation from the fertile grounds of the United Kingdom. This scene has no shortage of solid metalcore acts, but in a genre filled with dime-a-dozen chopped up pseudo-djenters, it can be a bit difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Borders, hailing from Lincoln, are definitely on the right side of the metalcore coin. Approaching the music with a fresh intensity that a lot of metalcore seems to be shying away from, their new EP Diagnosed adds a fresh jolt of heavy energy to the genre, and makes them stand out as a band worth paying attention to.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a progressive metalcore kick as of late. Having a very particular and rarely reached sweet spot when it comes to metalcore, 2017 has proven a welcome surprise for the subgenre as several releases have been able to find that rarified zone technical skill, engaging songwriting, and total headbang-ability. So here we are, back at it again with another effective salvo of metalcore jams, this time from Southampton, UK metalcore destroyers Deference. Their second EP, False Awakening, incorporates many of the elements that make metalcore great, and points to a very promising future for the young quintet.