Soooooooo much new music this week! In fact judging by the TAGS I just had to copy/paste this might even be the biggest MTIFOYTW so far. All the usual record label suspects have upped their game and dropped some monsters upon us. Let us feast.
Polaris – VAGABOND [Official Music Video]
Criminal as it might be I never really got into Polaris – they just slipped me by, like my hopes and dreams. That’s why I’m writing these articles. But not only does this video LOOK beautiful it SOUNDS fucking beautiful too. I soooo want to be at the party at the end of the video (Oh God Lockdown be over NOW!). Music videos have become short film-making – and I don’t mean the kind where the plumber meets the Bratty Sis. And to keep up the music has to be equally exemplary. This is just that. And now to search their back catalogue. Long overdue by the sounds of it. [9/10]
For fans of : People who haven’t yet discovered Polaris
KATAKLYSM – Defiant (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Brutal Death Metal meets director with a solid vision. What makes YT such a great medium is we get the visuals the song intended alongside the audio and it just makes everything more luscious. And that skank at 1:52 just oozes filthy metal as the visuals twist us uncomfortably. “This is gonna hurt!” screams Maurizio Iacono, and I believe him. I love the idea of him delivering the lyrics into the WWII radio set, and although the video is a little cheaper than Polaris the impact is the same. Open up your orifices for Kataklysm. [8/10]
For fans of : Brutal Death Metal and people who do not yet have PTSD but it was always on their bucket list
TETRARCH – Negative Noise (Official Video)
And now Napalm Records drop another master class in metal on our unsuspecting ocular organs. This sounds so fresh and full of life despite being drenched in a post-nu metal retro vibe. The vocal delivery is on point and the mid-8 at 2:38 just slams like old school Korn or Slipknot. In fact the song is pretty Slipknot all over. Diamond Rowe‘s creative solo abuses the pitch-shifter in all the ways it likes to be used and the overall mix punches you the spleen from start to finish. Put this in you. [9/10]
For fans of : Creativity and new twists on old themes done like they should be
HELLOWEEN – Skyfall (Single Edit)
“Coz we all live in Futureworld!” screamed my younger self many years ago. Then Helloween went all “let’s be pink bubbles and weird” and I lost interest. But now they’re back with all the melody and drive of the Keeper of the Seven Keys albums. This is a welcome reunion of them with me. And that middle is just class, especially with the dual vocal duties. It even has the overly-reverbed late-80s sound! Not sure about the “pout towards the camera” or “arms around my bro” visuals but I’ll forgive some cheese in my Helloween burger. Look it’s not (and never will be) “Futureworld” or “We Got the Right” but it’s enough to remind me of years gone by and what I felt hearing that amazing live album they dropped in 1989. Fuck that was so long ago. [7/10] – and that’s mainly for the nostalgia.
But if you want to hear their modern legacy in all it’s “we love you” glory check out this incredible version of “We Got The Right” by Soulspell Metal Opera and remind yourself what this owes to their back catalogue : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi0eBfzPpps. If I’m honest this had more impact with me.
For fans of : Helloween. And – let’s face it – Iron Maiden 🙂
PALAYE ROYALE – Nightmares In Paradise
And now for something completely different. I love me the oddball and this is very much it : It’s got 6/8 Manson vibes all over it and the mix is incredible. the chorus delivers exactly as it should and the groove gets the head nodding in the special way it secretly wants to. Especially when driving. Even the utterly over-the-top distortion is really, really well woven into the soundscape. Straight to the Playlist [8/10]
For fans of : MM and the more far-out shit I write up in these articles.
CROWN MAGNETAR – DECIPHERING [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]
Wait.. what…. ? Is this an ACTUAL Slam Worldwide video and not just a visualizer? Why SW you are really spoiling us. Many, many tattoos – check. Breeeeee – check. Overly expensive guitars playing only the lowest strings – check. Holding the mic incorrectly to make the sound guy has a bad day – check. Synchronized breakdown moshing – check. Mmmm…. Slam-y. This is actually a good mix and I can clearly hear the guitars for once. And the drums sound like they should do – many and often. Not bad SW. You win this round. Rematch next week? I’m free 4-5 on Tuesday? Maybe a quick latte and GM-free spinach ciabatta? [6/10]
For fans of : Watching the breeeeeee happen before their very eyes
What Haunts You – Impersona (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Another Dreambound find and glad I am of it too. As-yet-small Portland Post-Hardcore band delivering a great track, sound and performance. The lyrics are well crafted without being cliche and the vocals sound as good as just about anyone in the scene right now. Utterly impressed me and not what I was expecting at all. Go check them out. [7/10]
For fans of : ( And this is lifted straight form their Facebook ) : Underoath, Saosin, and Circa Survive
AVIANA – Oblivion (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
There’s such a great choice of proper metal out this week and I wasn’t going to include this originally but a second listen made me change my mind. If you overlook the lyrics and the monotone scream (which is great, just a little unemotional for my tastes) then there’s some great riffs in here. And some filthy breakdowns. All you really want. Ignore the rest. It’s nothing new but it does have redeeming features. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree. [6/10]
For fans of : The above mentioned things I didn’t like about it
Any Given Sin – “The Way I Say Goodbye”
I thought I’d add something a little different this week. Just to spice it up. A little post-grunge hard-rock. Dude’s got a voice and the band’s got pacing. And – if you know what I mean – there are special notes all over the place. So that’s me all in. This kind of music lives and dies on it’s front-man and Vic Ritchie is all of that and more. There’s Alter-Bridge levels of professionalism in there. Awesome. [8/10]
For fans of : Singing along when driving
GENGHIS TRON – Dream Weapon (Official Music Video)
Look I’m not even sure if this is strictly “metal” and its from January but it popped up on my suggestions this week and I’ve been hammering it ever since. So here it is. My offering unto you. I won’t say much – just give it a spin and see what you think 🙂
ELVENKING – The Moon And Magic (2021)
Ah, Folk Metal! Yes.. Indeed. Why is everyone stroking trees? #metoo. Look this is one of the sub-genres I barely “understand”. It all sounds cool, but I can’t take it seriously. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome for someone who appreciates this kind of metal. It’s all played well, the mix is great and the solo is the usual impressively twiddling run of harmonies. So my score is just for me – if you’re into Folk Metal and that “swing your flagons left and right in time with the beat vibe” then this might be for you. TBH I bet it all sounds amazing live. Remember that? [6/10]
For fans of : Seriously, let me know. I need to get into this genre. Is this good?
WODE – Burn In Many Mirrors (Full Album) 20 Buck Spin
Now this I can get behind. I love the dissonance, the blast-beats and the obvious Opeth inspiration. Wode Really surprised me here. Track 2, “Serpents Coil” is especially 6/8 catchy. And I love the eerie tone of the intro to “Fire in the Hills”. It doesn’t get too repetitive and my short attention span was never distracted. Is it black-metal? I don’t think so. It’s definitely progressive, whatever it is, and if that word alone makes your trousers feel slightly fuller, than give this a go. [8/10]
For fans of : Opeth and bleak metal with a progressive swing
Afterglow – Lost
Dreambound are doing some fucking sterling work bringing new music to my listening holes. And this is the latest addition to a playlist I’ve created just for that source of melodic Metalcore. This is the Spiritbox-done-right type of metal I really enjoy chowing down on. An album can sometimes have just 1 or 2 great tracks on it but Dreambound is basically one continuous album generator of single-class material. [8/10]
For fans of : Anything else on Dreambound I’ve featured so far
RED FANG – Arrows (Official Music Video)
“David, do you think Kiss would spend their entire video budget on a sword?”
“And that’s why they’re idiots.”
For fans of : Proper, filthy, beer-swilling, fuzz-soaked metal
Crossfaith – RedZone
Synths, pounding beats, screaming, a clean-chorus that actually sounds like a chorus. And a breakdown at 2:30 that’s all the skank. Yesh Pleash! [8/10]
For fans of : Pulsing Metalcore with some electronica
The Anix – My Eyes
Second to last – you know what that means. The oddball one. And this hasn’t left my playlist since I first heard it. There’s southern guitars drizzled lovingly over some heavy breakbeat drums pushing this monster along. The chorus soars and the vocals sound as polished as one could hope for. This is something very different for The Anix and the first time they’d appear on a list like this but I seriously cannot get this out of my head. I played it over and over. I don’t even know what to call it, genre-wise. But I don’t care. [10/10]
For fans of : Great songwriting and atmosphere
Dordeduh – Descânt [Official Lyric Video]
Oh God… what? I have no idea what the (Apparently) Romanian is saying… But I love it! This sounds bleak and menacing and consider me “Enchanted”. It’s something very, very different in the progressive genre and that’s such a treat. the mix is a crystal clear as a mountain lake and the guitars sound like two barely restrained demons chugging away the discordant, odd-time rhythms all over the place. Just after the Iron Curtain fell in ’90/’91 we found all the Eastern-European prog bands who had been just doing their thing and everyone was like “wow! this is different!” and that’s exactly what it reminds me of. I remember walking the markets in Gdansk in 1993 picking up cassette after cassette of amazing material and the tingle of new music has been re-tingled right here. [10/10]
Digression : As a side – and this took me forever to remember – here’s the track that made me sit up first in 1993 and shell out what I think was 35p for a full cassette. Wilki – Glorya. Just listen to that solo and riff! I fucking love this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKEMmdy3yAo
For fans of : Prog metal. Plain and simple.
I totally expected this week – around Easter – to be poor but fuck me was I wrong. Two masterpieces and a whole slew of other great things to fill us up until next week. See ya then.