Nearly twenty years into this twenty first century of ours, and retro is once again the chicest tone in town. Fuzzed, bluesy guitars, seventies licks and threads, and an aching earnestness for a sound of yesteryear is where the coolest of cats are chilling. And down such alleyways we find Belgian quartet Black Mirrors and their impressive full length debut Look Into The Black Mirror (Napalm). Continue reading
It’s been quite a transformation few years for new Artery Recordings signees Wildways. Hailing from western Russia and operating until just a few years ago under a different name, this metalcore prospect comes up big on the US debut Into The Wild. The current wave of modern metalcore, bands with the ability to be heavy, but fluid enough to genre bend and flow well. Everyone aspires to this style, and fewer can make it there own sound. Wildways has done this big time.
Tapping into that millennial angst is easy. Try doing for a generation that would rather Snapchat then make a real personal connection. The kids in Wildways know this, and since they are their own audience, this helps them connect on real level. No fantasies or fakery, but real songs about personal problems. Tracks meld metalcore, EDM, rap (in English and Russian!), punk rock, and even thrash on occasions, coming on like the Linkin Park meets Parkway Drive in a game of carnival bumpercars. Big songs, tuneful melodies, verbose wordplay, and plenty of feel-good moments are the hallmarks of this album.
Opener ‘Skins’ is one of the longer tracks on the album. It’s a kitchen-sink type affair musically, building from a whisper to an emo-core roar of major proportions. Alternating between singing, rapping and screaming, it just kills. They have been a band long enough that they grasp dynamic and tempo shifts and are not just trying to spaz out the listener with changes. Props.
‘3 Seconds To Go’ is a hyperactive song that sounds like what would happen if you had Dragonforce and asked them to write for Enter Shikari or Chiodos at gunpoint. Again, vocalist Toli impresses. There is some baddass keys/programming going on here too. ‘Faka Faka Yeah’ will have the Atilla loving kids losing their shit. I can see this crossing over easily to pop fans. It’s still pretty metal, even though I have no idea what the hell this song is about. The album definitely gets stronger as it goes on with the best tracks being ‘Slow Motion’, the single ‘Princess’ (with mystery female vocals), ‘Don’t Give Up Your Guns’ and ‘Illusions And Mirrors’.
Wildways have arrived and might be a good bet to be the next big thing. This is a good first step into a larger world, and we’ll be following along closely.
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