The years have been certainly eventful globally since the last Destrage full-length, 2019’s The Chosen One (Metal Blade). Somewhat eventful.
Following on from two initial releases (including the particularly realised for the time Hikari), Oceans Ate Alaska in 2017 were a young band who had quickly shown huge levels of promise for bigger things to come. So, the fact the band had not followed up quickly (global pandemic of course not helping matters) feels somewhat surprising considering the momentum that was behind them. Continue reading
Whilst being long-term veterans and a pinnacle force of Swedish melodic death metal, recent years have shown to be quite a turning point for Soilwork. 2019’s Verkligheten was arguably both the band’s strongest album for some time and their most well-received.Continue reading
In the two (plus!) decades since their inception, it seems that Tasmanian death metallers Psycroptic have simultaneously had their plaudits and yet also feel like an underrated act, especially considering their ascent in their recent albums. Whilst 2003’s The Scepter of the Ancients was an early career high point, it wasn’t until 2015’s self titled effort (and first on current label Prosthetic) where they began to show themselves again amongst the upper echelon of bands in their field. If this was an arguable statement previously, Divine Council is the album that makes it a certainty.
Openly born from adverse circumstances, Seattle’s Opponent is the brainchild of guitarist and vocalist Andy Maier. Following the news of Maier’s father’s cancer diagnosis, Maier set the precedent to make Opponent a full-time endeavour and set work on their sophomore full-length Sentinel (Solid State Records), a title which knowing the circumstances offers arguably two contrasting meanings. Whichever is meant, the album itself is one that is meant to deliver a positive, uplifting message.Continue reading
After a brief hiatus from the overarching conceptual narrative that their previous catalogue followed, 2018’s Vaxis- Act 1: Unheavenly Creatures saw Coheed & Cambria make a welcome return to The Armory Wars saga, commencing a new tale within the narrative, one to be told across a five-album span. A span that follows the titular and, currently, little-known character Vaxis, who at the point of Act 1 is unborn but an almost guiding hand to his parents Nia (Sister Spider) and Nostrand (Creature) in their escape. A welcome return with glorious results which means anticipation is rife again for the follow-up as the narrative continues on Vaxis II: A Window Of The Waking Mind (Roadrunner). Where Act 1 largely comprised of deceptively sprawling songs and hit a near eighty-minute mark, Vaxis II’s repertoire is generally more succinct with songs around the three-to-four-minute mark. Arguably a more commercial-friendly effort, that thought belies the still present depth within even shorter songs and the areas of innovation throughout which still feels unmistakably in character for the band, despite clear differences to its predecessor.
With almost nothing revealed about their identity, singer Elitha Treveniel is an enigmatic presence in the contemporary world where true mystery is hard to maintain. As the main songwriter/vocalist for Ianai, this project’s music is equally as cryptic in part as it transcends across multiple spectrums. If there is one thing clear about the album Sunir (Svart Records) however, is that it is a captivating and wonderful experience.
In UK underground metal circles, Harbinger is a name that seems to have been around for a considerable time. Regular gig-goers will more than likely have come across them (intentionally or not, as welcome as they are) on a festival or support slot at some point. Which makes it surprising that since their inception, only one full-length release has seen the light of day (in addition to a handful of EPs). Perhaps surprisingly in that respect (if not with their own lifespan), this mini-album follow-up to said full-length has shown considerable movement in their sound.
With very little in the way of recorded music released prior to this release but notably a swathe of well received and high profile support slots including recently with Rolo Tomassi; UK metallic hardcore outfit Heriot have forged a scintillating reputation in a short space of time. Now with the eagerly anticipated debut EP Profound Morality (Church Road Records), the band are showing that they are truly living up to expectation by delivering a short but sharp release which reveals surprising depth.
In the four years since their last album release, change has once again been a huge factor for Monuments, in terms of the band themselves and their peers around them. With the change of vocalist Andy Cizek replacing Chris Barretto and long-term guitarist Olly Steele leaving the fold, time has also seen the other bands equally noted for the young djent movement taking force largely move away from it. Monuments on previous efforts were one of the few that have remained fairly rigid in their sound (as strong as that sound and their output has been).