Northlane – Alien

Northlane have been rising through the progressive metalcore ranks with each album they’ve released since 2011. Once they acquired multi-faceted frontman Marcus Bridge in 2015, it seemed the band were destined for new heights. With two studio albums and a live LP dropping since then, the band appeared to be…

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Editors’ Picks – August 2019

It’s been one year since we first had the idea to invite a staff member to participate in this column. On this occasion (which, of course, doesn’t actually mean anything beyond my brain’s love for round numbers) I’d like to take a brief look with you behind the scenes and…

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Release Day Roundup – 8/2/19

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

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EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Stellar Circuits and the Dusk of “Nocturnal Visitor”

The progressive metal that Stellar Circuits play is in the vein of acts such as Tesseract and Karnivool: atmospheric, expansive, punchily produced, often moving at a sombre mid-tempo.  If you’ve been following them since their 2015 self-titled debut, you’ll note that they used to go with a leaner sound, with less emphasis…

Hey! Listen to Thornhill!

Thornhill are a young band aiming, and succeeding, in striking that precarious balance between throwback and their own unique sound, producing an enjoyable EP titled Butterfly. This is basically djent a la Northlane, early Karnivool or TesseracT, by which we mean progressive metal with emphasis on melody, soaring mostly-clean vocals and the thick, and the metallic tone on the guitars which gave the genre its name. You’ll find nothing that will shock you on this album but it’s really well made, from production to songwriting to execution, tapping into the stores of thrilling groove that, at the end of the day, created one of the most popular modern metal genres. 

Hey! Listen to Blame!

Ukraine’s Blame might only be in their infancy, but that hasn’t stopped them from releasing one of the most impressive slabs of punishing, grove-driven technical death metal in recent memory. Almanac is the second of two EPs which constitute the band’s entire discography to date, although it comes off like…

Polaris – The Mortal Coil

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.

The Celtic Connection – Serenity Came Calling Debut “Tenebris” Music Video

We’re a wee country, Scotland. We like to think we’re world beaters at anything we try our hand at. Doesn’t matter whether it’s football, politics or metal, it’s not in our people’s nature to half ass anything. Last week we got to hear brand new music from one of the country’s more elusive acts and today, we give you the brand new, still warm to the touch it’s that hot off the press music video from Serenity Came Calling. Newbies should head over the jump for crushing yet silky tones a la Northlane and bruising metalcore a la Wage War. No half measures.

Hey! Listen to Deference!

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.

73 – Herman Li of Dragonforce

This week we have a super exciting guest! I’d try to slowroll it, but obviously from the episode title you can guess that it’s Herman Li of Dragonforce. We discuss a variety of topics, including the upcoming Dragonforce album Reaching Into Infinity, success, haters, creativity, Babymetal, video games and more. Herman was a great guest! Also Eden and I discuss some news after the interview. Chuck Berry’s passing and the way the coverage has handled his problematic legacy, a bunch of new music, and Earth’s Hibernaculum and Machine Head’s The Blackening turning 10 years old. The new music includes Somnium Vox, Bloodshot Dawn, Entheos (not that one), Witherfall, Northlane, Emmure, Gorod, Enslaved, Solstafir, Beyond Creation (kind of). We also continue last week’s discussion on how the mentality focusing on new music sometimes makes us overlook albums, in this case Metallica’s latest. In our cool people section we discuss Netflix’s Marvel’s Iron Fist and Better off Ted.