ExitWounds – Visions

If there was a genre that’s been done to death in every possible way, it’s Metalcore. Talk about everything and the kitchen sink, the genre has become oversaturated in recent years with the same tired template of songs, sounds and ideas which are rip-offs from the genre’s heyday in the noughties. There are still bands like Architects and Killswitch Engage who continue to grow both their audience and their sound by bringing new ideas to the table even if the genre is no longer the musical hotbed it once was.

This brings us to ExitWounds’s new EP Visions (Sharptone Records).Continue reading

Saint[The]Sinner – Masquerades EP

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Since Kiefer Sutherland’s piercing, well, I was going to say eyes but let’s go with teeth, made rock chicks around the world swoon and crick their necks to be bitten, vampires and rock/metal have been more than bedfellows, with both aesthetics, lyrics, band names and even subgenres and scenes entwined. Cradle of Filth blew up by cleverly playing the vampire game (no, not ‘I Vant To Bite Your Finger’), Atreyu resurrected the spirit of the Old Ones in their ascension, Korn temporarily buried their career by associating themselves with the Queen of the Damned, even the hippest of the underground, Tribulation, danced with the children of the night earlier this year, Manowar penned one of their best songs (‘Each Dawn I Die’) in honour of the sleepless, and let us not forget Aiden, the dumb bastard black (formaldehyde) sheep of the flock…

And so Saint[The]Sinnerhave exhumed a classic, pale theme for their sprightly, theatrical pop-rock meets post-hardcore, and it’s a cape they wear well as, with a flourish, they swoop down on ‘Theatre Of Broken Dreams’ haunted house intro and sink their incisors into a vibrant, hurtling, fast paced metalcore lead off track to new EP Masquerades (self-released). As twin vocals trade-off, the throatier screams give way to an engaging, welcoming chorus and a pattern is set.

Keeping energy levels up throughout is one boon of Masquerades, a Premier League production is another, allowing the endearing and vigorous song-writing to flourish and (widow’s) peaks to peak. With the clean vocals adding an off-centre Panic! At The Disco feel to their arsenal, particularly on lead single ‘She’s A Vampire’, it’s a welcome addition to the heady mix of AFI, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold and Dommin that is sure to see the band on a steep upward trajectory their burgeoning and bloody talents deserve.

The camp horror theme is a cute touch, but don’t let it detract from the fact that the English South Coast crew have summoned forth a beastly set of strong, gratifying, grin-inducing tunes. Saint[The]Sinner have hit the mix right on the money; whether it’s clean or scream on the vocals, it’s all about being dramatic and leaving those hooks in you, as fangs lock into your flesh and notable melodies are injected like venom into the bloodstream in a way that reminds you that, you know what, sometimes this metal thing is about energy and fun, and each track sounds like it was a (monster’s) ball in the creating.

 

8.0/10

STEVE TOVEY

Beyond Dishonor – Generations EP

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Before you dismiss Beyond Dishonor as just another metalcore band, you need to look at exactly how far they have come without any record label or management help. Just a simple ‘google’ will show you that they played over 70 self-funded shows a year and that they have previously supported big names such as Whitechapel, Emmure and Chelsea Grin. Their hardworking attitude is something that many bands nowadays are lacking, and it is safe to say that their efforts have paid off in their latest release Generations (self-released).

Opening track ‘Heisenberg’ instantly proves that Beyond Dishonor have managed to nail all aspects of the metalcore genre; heavy music greats you from the first second of listening to it and the guitar riffs are very technical, which creates a unique pace for the song. Reese Dunlap’s vocals are extremely brutal and it would be interesting to hear how he manages to perform live.

‘What Clayton Bigsby Doesn’t Know’ is hard-hitting and furious, featuring angst-filled lyrics which merge perfectly with Reese’s vocals. The breakdown is anything but tame, appealing to head-bangers from all across the metal genre. Final track ‘God’s Greatest Gift’ is the perfect end to such a powerful EP but talent oozes out through every single song. The fast-paced and heavy riffs continue, making every song as impressive as the next. Despite only being six tracks long, this EP manages to showcase some of Beyond Dishonor’s greatest work and it proves exactly why you should give their music a try.

It really is hard to call Beyond Dishonor anything but talented, even if you are not a fan of metalcore music. Their hard work and effort shines through in Generations and it is easy to see exactly why they have previously supported or been on tour with so many popular bands.

 

8.5/10

Beyond Dishonor on Facebook

JULIA CONOPO

Surrender The Coast – Lost Souls (EP)

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If there is one thing these fair isles are good at as of late, its aggressive, no nonsense hardcore. The rise and impact of the likes of Gallows, Brotherhood Of The Lake and their metallic tinged brethren like While She Sleeps is well documented and needs not repeating; but it is clear that the last decade or so has seen an explosive outburst of such bands. Leicester’s own Surrender The Coast are the latest on the scene with their mini release, Lost Souls (Redfield Digital).

It is clear that these guys aren’t out to revolutionize the genre by any stretch; what this EP lacks in originality it more than makes up for in punch. This is full of energy and ferocity and should be tailor made mosh-pit fodder for sweatboxes all around; and there are plenty of hooks to grab you.

The stand out offerings are where the band takes their foot off the throttle a little; ‘Thrones’ begins with a doom metal sense of melancholy before it and the later number ‘Southpaw’ share a menacing, brooding tone and pace.

Far from a groundbreaking entity but this EP shows enough promise to put these guys on the radar, and on the road to greater things.

A strong start.

7.0/10

Surrender The Coast on Facebook

CHRIS TIPPELL

Year Of The Goat – The Key and the Gate

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It’s been two years since Swedish retro rockers Year of the Goat released their debut album, Angels’ Necropolis and the band is back with a new release, the three track The Key and the Gate EP (Napalm)

Fans of their debut will be pleased to know that their brand of Satan-themed retro pop-rock is still firmly in place, and this EP suggests the next album will be more of the same and up to the same standard.

Featuring a classic NWOBHM twin-guitar lead, the opening title track is very melodic and hook driven. Frontman Thomas Sabbathi’s smooth croons the catchy choruses, while there’s a host of infectious riffs and impressive solos. It’s fun but a bit lightweight. The seven-minute ‘Magic Mountains’ is a slower, blues-inspired classic rock number. Anyone who liked Graveyard’s Light’s Out release will enjoy its haunting power. Filled with classy solos, it’s a great track and easily the highlight of the EP. Closer ‘Non-Euclidean Calculus’ may sound promising, but in reality is little more than a glorified outro; a 70s prog style instrumental of atmospheric keyboards and moogs, it’s a long wind down from an enjoyable but not overly exciting EP.

6.0/10

Year Of The Goat on Facebook

DAN SWINHOE

Newsted – Heavy Metal Music

newstedheavymetalmusicoverFormer Metallica bassist Jason Newsted was gone from the public eye after his adventures with Voivod as he chose to focus on a career as a painter. In December 2012 he suddenly emerged from the shadows with a new band and a new EP in tow. Fast forward to the present day because Jason is about to release his first studio full length under the Newsted moniker. Continue reading