Modern Progressive Metal greats Monuments have released another lyric video for a new single from their forthcoming new album Phronesis, due out on October 5th via Century Media Records. Watch ‘Mirror Image’ now! The band will also be hitting the road to support the new album with a European tour, with openers Vola, Kadinja, and Atlas. All dates on sale now. Continue reading →
The notion of a band being a brotherhood opposed to just a collective is of course a common one, but it is one that especially rings true when it comes to young Metalcore outfit Oceans Ate Alaska. In interview cycles and the like, their tale was that of a group of school friends since a very young age, before coming together and making strong ripples with their brand of Prog-tinged Metalcore on their début Lost Isles (Fearless). Continue reading →
Most modern metalcore music comes from the US, which is not surprising as the genre was formed in the States. The UK has also recently upped its metalcore offerings, with the likes of While She Sleeps, Bury Tomorrow and Architects dominating the airwaves. One country that is not particularly well-known for its metalcore scene is France, but Paris-based quintet Novelistsare hoping to change this with their debut album Souvenirs (Arising Empires). They have been teasing their ever-growing fanbase with a variety of singles since 2013, but their newest release should satisfy both pre-existing fans and newcomers alike.
In a genre which is infamous for its unoriginality bands need to ensure that the first track resonates with both pre-existing fans and newcomers, and that is exactly what Novelists have achieved with ‘Inanimate’. The haunting piano melody fused with the almost djent-like riffs creates a distinctive yet engaging sound which certainly makes an impact. Although the song itself is only two minutes long it is hard to ignore the powerful technical guitar work, never mind Matt Gelsomino’s harrowing vocals.
The progressive nature of their songs definitely takes their sound to the next level. The ever-changing tempo of each song is anything but unorganised; instead it adds to the excitement as you are unsure of exactly where each track is heading. In a genre full of predictable riff-chorus-riff, it is genuinely exhilarating to hear such a fresh take on metal music as a whole.
Despite the heavy nature of the majority of Souvenirs, Matt and co. are able to show their softer side in the ambient-sounding track ‘5:12AM’. Versatility is a handy trait to possess in the music industry, and it is clear that Novelists are not afraid to try something different.
Novelists have managed to take the best parts from genres across the metal spectrum and fuse them together to create their own signature style: heavy breakdowns, eerie melodies, hardcore-esque vocals, synth beats and technical guitar riffs.
Since their inception in 2009, New York City’s The Things They Carried (either an obscure reference or a simply naff name, likely the latter) have been on a self-produced quest to push musical boundaries with their, self-proclaimed, “Nerd rock” hybrid of styles and oddity. With a début full length under their belts and some lineup changes (by now seemingly the staple characteristic of any metal act that delves in to the world of Prog), they appear to have found some stability, and a new EP which sees their vision come to some fruition.
Consisting of 5 tracks, two of which push the five-minute marker, Melancholia (Revival Records) is a fairly short sample for the unacquainted but one that packs a plethora of styles, twists and turns. Album opener ‘18G’, for example, proves a very dissonant number, which brings to minds the likes of Sikth and The Dillinger Escape Plan; veering from extreme pace and more melodic sung passages, and even deathcore breakdowns. The following ‘Nightingale’ then shows an almost folk like start with a clean guitar and vocal before it builds once again.
Proceedings only really begin to simplify on the mostly acoustic ‘Death Of The Nameless’, where its simplistic nature feels out-of-place and unnecessary. It also highlights the real shortcomings of Steve Schwartz’s vocals, which, as versatile as they prove, at times are pretty weak and lowest common denominator; here especially they are very limp.
What 3TC (as they are affectionately known by local fans) set out to do here is very bold, especially for a band that is still in relative stages of youth, and for the most part it comes off very well. At times there is a mind-boggling level of technique and abstract styles that somehow flow together seamlessly. Other times there are moments that show they still have some naivety and are still not quite the finished article. Certainly ones to keep an eye out for however.
Making waves (see what I did there…) following two introductory EP on Density Records, talented quintet Oceans Ate Alaska, from Birmingham, England, are a schizophrenic psychotic tick in musical guise. Dubbing themselves as progressive metalcore seems to undersell and mislead, as Lost Isles (Fearless) showcases a high degree of technical proficiency, spurting spasming rhythms of meticulous, systematic precision and understated melodic britcore (yes, I’m using that phrase and with no apologies – British metalcore sounds different to its American counterpart).
As if adamant to prove that under the sea lives all manner of chaotic life form, within 43 seconds of opening track ‘Blood Brothers’ (we’ll ignore the inevitable, ubiquitous, unnecessary “intro” track) we’ve been treated to convulsion of rhythmic battery alongside vocal paroxysms that spit out three different styles, screamo, death metal growl and sung, over three different riffs, before the song lurches off-kilter into yet more spasmodic sections.
The process of bursts of rapid-fire arrhythmic violence continues throughout, seeking to cuff the brain into submission with unyielding sonic ruptures, a tech metal death by a thousand guitar stabs, before Oceans Ate Alaska open up their sound on ‘Vultures and Sharks’ and start to truly display the potential within.
There are inevitable comparisons to Bring Me The Horizon, mainly in that James Harrison’s sung tones and the melody lines used are not a million miles away from Oli Sykes, but Oceans… are a different beast; there’s added Meshuggah and spice to their stylings. Fellow scribe Chris Tippell coined them BMTH meets The Contortionist and his radar is as tight as the intermittent punch that permeates ‘Over The Edge’ on his tech-prog-core.
It can be difficult setting out to try and differentiate yourselves from others, and Oceans Ate Alaska perhaps push things too far in setting their stall in the kitchen-sink side of headfuck music, though they can take credit from the fact that not only are they ploughing their own furrow, but they have the technical chops and ear for melody to make it happen for themselves. Lost Isles is a sensory overload that will make an impression on the ears and minds of those who like their discordance delivered as a staccato premeditated cudgelling, while with tunes like ‘Downsides’ in their arsenal, the band have the breadth to push into more melodic and conventional streams.
So, now they’ve consumed Alaska, it’ll be very interesting to see what they fancy making for dessert…
In a pretty short space of time since their inception, German progressive metaller’s Neberu have achieved an envious amount already. Sharing the stage with likeminded peers such as Monuments and Eskimo Callboy, plus signing to Famined Records and a debut album expected early next year; all whilst maintaining their boyish looks… the swine! Revisiting their debut EP Impulsions (Famined), as imperfect as it may be it is clear how and why these youngsters have ascended so far already.
Touting themselves as an experimental entity with a vast array of influences; Impulsions doesn’t give this air of breaking the mold at first, seeming to fall into the echelons of djent/metalcore influenced bands out there – a huge bulk sees the transition between harsh and clean vocals and the use of breakdowns that has become generic staples in such climes.
Over time however their hints of diversity begin to shine through. ‘Autoconstant’, for example, drops its pace halfway through for a dreamy, atmospheric passage of subtle ambient electronica before it erupts once again, while EP highlight ‘Alleviate’ even veers into a brief jazz interlude towards the end.
These are flashes however and the majority is still styles and sounds we have heard many a time; even vocally it sounds reminiscent to hordes of acts out there. Still this is a very formidable EP for such a young entity in a very crowded field and by building further on their diverse influences this quintet can become a significant presence in tech metal’s slightly stagnating waters.