10 year old girl, playing Slayer. Her little sister, screaming her head off. So much fun, had by all.
Band: The Polish Ambassador
Album: Pushing Through the Pavement
This isn't really our usual type of find, but I've found myself listening to The Polish Ambassador a lot lately when I'm trying to chill out for the evening, potentially with a cocktail in hand and a few friends over. I guess you could call this funky, indie-infused, dance-lite, trip-hop? There is a ton of diversity throughout Pushing Through the Pavement, no doubt due to the plethora of guests appearing and adding their own flavor to each song. There's no way around it, so I might as well admit it, I feel like I'm throwing some sort of high class cocktail party whenever I have this piping through the house's sound system. I feel so damn cool, and that's really the biggest appeal of this album--it's really cool.
Eyal Levi (producer of albums by The Black Dahlia Murder, I Killed the Prom Queen, and Whitechapel) of the Audiohammer Studios is offering up a rare opportunity. He is working with Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter and Andy Marsh of Thy Art is Murder to give free seminars on "Metal Drum Programming" and "Composing Metal Melodies and Harmonies" over at this location.
While the seminars are free to watch for all, if you pay for the latter seminar, you can have your song critiqued by Eyal and Ryan Clark. That sounds like a pretty solid opportunity. The drum programming seminar is July 24th, and the seminar with Ryan is Friday, July 25th.
Band: To The Wind
Album: Block Out The Sun & Sleep
Melodic hardcore has recently been eclipsed (pun intended) by other styles of hardcore lately, but it's hard to argue against a really effective album. Seattle, WA group To The Wind are more than happy to oblige in that regard. The band's third album came out yesterday, and it's honestly all you could ever want from melodic hardcore. The music is equal parts soothing and abrasive; the lyrics are relatable and uplifting, and the songs are both memorable and heavy. The album occasionally slows things down, but it's the furious numbers that really shine. "Growing Numb", "Trapped" and 21" are all excellent exercises, in both senses of the word. Good luck not wanting to get up and incite a circle pit around your desk while jamming this album. You've been warned. To The Wind has definitely released a solid third album, one that will surely appeal to fans of Counterparts, While She Sleeps, or The Ghost Inside.
Album: Letters to No One
I love my running playlists to be utterly and devastatingly heavy. Sometimes this means I eschew songwriting in favor of sheer volume. Some days I just need some First Blood or The Acacia Strain, ok? Illuminator are quickly making their way into my running playlists because they are, very much, utterly and devastatingly heavy. Reminding me of a mix of Impending Doom and A Plea for Purging (minus most of the clean singing), there are breakdowns to spare on this album. Your blood will be pumping from album start to finish. This is aggressive music for aggressive people. Get your pump on!
If you want some dancing robot action, along with some ass-slapping, check out Basement Jaxx's video for "Never Say Never".
Band: Sailor's Grave
Album: Hopeless Path
Now and then it feels good to get back to basics, right? If you want to get in touch with the style of metalcore that used to reign with early It Dies Today, Unearth, As I Lay Dying, or If Hope Dies then crank up Sailor's Grave. You won't find any cheesy synth lines or bass drops here. It's all straight ahead metalcore riffing and hardcore inspired breakdowns. There's no cliched clean singing either; it's all harsh vocals, but not so unintelligible that you are turned off. I mention IDT and AILD above because there are a LOT of elements on this album that remind me of the first albums from both of those bands. If Sailor's Grave could travel back in time to the early 2000's, they would no doubt be stalwarts of the metalcore scene. As it is, they're a great reminder of why we all loved this genre.
It Prevails have a new album coming out soon (Perdition). Check out the song "Glimpse" from it below.
Album: La Dernière Renaissance
Oestre's style of metal operates at an odd crossroads that shouldn't on its face, really work. However, it does. This isn't really djent or metalcore or prog or industrial or tribal, but a mish-mash of all of them. Vocally and structurally, a number of songs resemble Meshuggah, but the grooves are a bit more tribal in nature, bringing to mind Soulfly from time to time. But then there's the electronic flourishes that bolt on an industrial (and prog) edge. And, not to be forgotten, you can rock the flip out when listening to Oestre. There are some heavy moments. It's pretty amazing to hear all of these different elements come together so well.
Check out "Suicide; Stigma" off of The Color Morale's upcoming album, Hold On Pain Ends.
Album: Djent Is Dead
A lot of people probably think that djent should be dead, but in the case of this album, it most definitely is not. However, similar to yesterday's find, Budosh trend toward the heavier end of the spectrum. On Djent Is Dead the focus is more on rapid fire riffing and staccato guitar playing. You will have your prerequisite number of progressions that form the bedrock of the songs, but they are often very sharp and tight instead of the more "wide" sound you get when riffs are allowed to linger. What this does is give the album a very surgical and precise feel, one that will try to drill itself a hole right through your ear holes.
Album: Polydirectional Lines
Something that you don't hear a lot in the djent realm is a sound that is truly menacing. The sub-genre seems to be focused on what types of grooves and riffs can be shoehorned into the progressive metal template in a specifically polyrhythmic nature. Zmerna manages to do this, but they do so in such a way that they sound unnervingly evil. The majority of the song "Crystalline" you'll be buffeted by edgy, meaty, growling riffs that kick you around like a well-worn soccer ball. If you want some dark djent with a huge sound, Zmerna are right up your alley.
Post-rock with a post-metal edge? Don't mind if I do! Hailing from Poland, Frondibus have put together a seven track album that spans the gamut of what you'll find in the post-(whatever) realms. You have the epic grandeur that doesn't resort to just using twinkly guitars splashed between waves of Russian Circles levels of post-metal volume. All the while, the idea of putting together songs (and not just movements) isn't lost. I never really felt like Frondibus was doing what they were doing simply for the sake of showing off, despite the fact that they have some talents to show off.
The young teen/pre-teen metal band Unlocking the Truth have locked themselves in with Sony for at least two albums for $1.8 million. There are some caveats, though... The band will receive 16 to 17 percent royalties on sales, but must sell at least 250,000 copies before they get the full $1.8 million (they'll get $60,000 before any albums are released).