Saturday, 13 February 2016

Top 5 Anti-Love Songs

Top 5 Anti-Love Songs

It's nearly Valentine's Day, so most music blogs will probably have some nice love songs to celebrate at the moment. But I'm single and bitter, so here's my top 5 angry, grumpy and miserable anti-love songs, in no particular order:

Slipknot - Everything Ends
Slipknot have always been a pretty angry band, but their second album, Iowa, is an explosion of uncontrollable rage, none of the songs more so than Everyhthing Ends. The song is about how singer Corey was affected after being treated pretty badly and eventually left by his girlfriend, but unlike other songs about similar stuff, it has some of the best-written  lyrics there are on this theme, before a chorus that sounds like it's about to rip your face off and throw it across the room. 

Parkway Drive - Romance Is Dead
It's a classic from Parkway's legendary debut, Killing With A Smile, but people often assume wrongly what the lyrics of Romance Is Dead are about. Rather than being from a personal point of view, it's written about how many people only think about themselves in a relationship and, in the words of vocalist Winston, "wouldn't know love if it crossed your fucking chest." As well as the lyrics it's also a great song sound wise, with a breakdown perfect for when it's Valentine's Day and you're on your own and bitter. Grrr.  

Thy Art Is Murder - Whore To A Chainsaw
Well, the name of this one pretty much tells you all you need to know. All deathcore is pretty hateful, but this song, and the rest of the EP, take that to another level. From Thy Art's infamously brutal and slightly unhinged Infinite Death, this is pretty much the perfect anti-love song for a lonely Valentine's Day. 

Bullet For My Valentine - Hand Of Blood
What better way to get revenge on someone who left who than killing them? (Not really, don't go around killing people. Seriously.) Even though they're not usually thought of as a particularly nasty band, Hand of Blood, from Bullet's first album the Poison is about killing someone after they dump you, but then regretting it straight after. Most of the album was about Matt's girlfriend leaving him, but I had to pick Hand of Blood for this list, because nothing is more anti-love than killing your ex. 

Ice Nine Kills - Finding Emo (Family Unities)
Ice Nine Kills are a pretty well-known band in metalcore at the moment, but their first screamo/post-hardcore album, Last Chance to Make Amends is much less famous, even though it's some of their best work. Most of the other songs on this list are angry and bitter, but Finding Emo is more of a calmer, sad sound for the most part. It's not as much anti-love as the other songs on this list, but it's still a great song for if you're more sad than bitter this Valentine's Day. 

Monday, 8 February 2016

New Music Monday

New Music Monday: Before I Go

It's always great to support your local bands, so this week I'm gonna be talking about a band from near me, Before I Go. These guys are a progressive metalcore band from Essex in the UK, and I have to say they're one of the best local bands here going. Their sound makes good use of both heavy riffs and intricate lead sections without the overuse of breakdowns that you hear in a lot of core bands these days. Another thing I like is how raw the vocals sound; a lot of the time vocals tend to get overproduced, but with these guys you get dirty, ugly sounding screams, and I love it.

Their debut EP, I Can Feel You In My Skin, only came out on the 1st of February, and after a short intro gets off to a great start in Bahamut. Immediately we hear the intense shredding guitars, which find a perfect balance between melody and heavyness, with one section in the middle where there's just pure, crushing riffs and growled vocals. After an interlude, which to be honest wasn't really needed after only one song, we get the even heavier Get The Fuck Up, starting off slow before exploding with the heaviest riff of the EP. This is then followed by one of the most melodic guitar parts, which makes a great contrast before another tasty riffy bit. Simple Amphibian is a similar kind of feel to the last song, but with a bit less melody and more focus on the prog side of their sound. The intro of the next song, freedom, reminded me a lot of Dispossesion by Northlane, with a bass riff starting the song off. After that the song was one of the more melodic, nicer ones in the EP, leading up to the next song, Shots Fired, which I guarantee will make you punch the person nearest you. After a short build up and a pause with some distant shouts, you're hit with an amazing riff, with more intense heavyness all the way through, and an amazing ending with the vocalist sounding as raw and crazy as ever.

FFO: Northlane, After The Burial

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Product of Hate - Buried In Violence Review

Product of Hate - Buried In Violence Review

On Friday groove metal band Product of Hate dropped their debut album, Buried In Violence, and right from the first song, Kill. You. Now., that they mean business. Straight away my ears were attacked by a brutal riff and some seriously intense vocals. It reminded me a lot of Machine Head, with a similar shouty-clean style to Rob Flynn. One thing I noticed about this and the other songs was the jaw-dropping guitar solos - there's a lot less solos in metal than there used to be, and its nice to hear the guitarist shredding it up every so often. Annihilation and As Your Kingdom Falls follow a similar kind of sound, with pounding riffs from start to finish, and again I definitely heard a lot of Machine Head influence in the cleans. The next song, Blood Coated Concrete, has what's probably the best riff on the album, before it gives us a taste of the band's more melodic side, which they are just as amazing at as the more riffy stuff. Monster also has a great riff. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's an absolute Monster of a riff. (I'm sorry.) The title track starts off a bit differently, with the bass starting off, before the guitar comes in, and then finally the vocals and high-speed drumming comes in. But one of the problems about this album is that all the songs pretty much follow the same structure; this one's a bit faster, there's some slower ones, but not a lot of difference between the songs. Vindicare, an interlude track, slows things down a bit, before Nemesis destroys all the nice-ness with some more tasty riffs. Revolution of Destruction goes in more of a thrashy direction, and has some more melodic cleans, that we haven't really heard since the start of the album. After Unholy Manipulartor, another one full to the brim with savage riffs, we finally hear that slower, more melodic sound that Blood Coated Concrete gave us a tiny teaser of on the final track, Perry Mason. The slowed-down melodies are a nice way to end the album and calm down after all the heavy-ness. I would've liked to here a bit more of this sound, because although we all love a nice riff, it's better (in my opinion at least) to have a bit more of a variety, and slow it down sometimes. That was probably this album's only negative; that most of the songs followed the same formula and weren't very different. Apart from that, a great album!

Score - 8/10

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Bury Tomorrow - Earthbound Review

Bury Tomorrow - Earthbound Review

Yesterday English metalcore band Bury Tomorrow dropped their 4th album, Earthbound, the first album from my list of 10 albums to look forward to this year. It's safe to say that this is maybe their best album yet, and will put the in a great position ready for their massive upcoming tour supporting Parkway Drive. 

The Eternal is a great, no-nonsense opener for the album, with blistering riffs getting the album off to a nice heavy start. The next two songs, Last Light and Earthbound, take a more melodic direction, which is just as good as, if not better than, the heavier opener. Both songs have a massive chorus which will sound even better live, and the catchy guitar hook from the title track has been stuck in my head since I first heard the song. The next song, The Burden, takes on a bit of a heavier sound again, with crushing riffs and intense drumming building up to another massive clean-sung chorus, which again will definitely be great live. Cemetery has a bit more of a simple approach, which is enjoyable but I have to say this song isn't really up to the bar that most of the other songs set. However, it still has some good moments; towards the end it gets going a bit more, and the guitarist finally gets to show what he can do for the first time this song. Restless and Cold proves that Cemetery was just a small blip, with slow verses that build up well before hitting you with another intense chorus, before a huge breakdown, although the breakdown was a little short to be as heavy as the band intended. 301 is another fast paced, aggressive one, with yet another big chorus. But this is overshadowed by the guest vocals in the track - the vocals are just awful, and the lyrics are ridiculously cringy. I have no idea who let him on this album, but it was obviously a mistake. The 3rd single, Memories, is another more melodic one, and this what Bury Tomorrow do best. I have to be honest, the clean choruses were starting to get a bit repetitive, but Memories reminds you of just how amazing they can be, and this song also has some of the best guitar work in metalcore right now. The final two tracks aren't particularly outstanding, there's some nice riffs and melodies in both, and For Us has the best breakdown on the album, but they're mostly a bit formulaic. Overall, Earthbound is definitely a great album, with a good mixture of heavy riffs and melodies, but there are a couple of songs which are essentially just fillers, and aren't exactly going to set the world on fire. 

Score - 8/10

Monday, 25 January 2016

New Music Monday

New Music Monday: Ambleside

Some melodic hardcore from down under for you guys today. Ambleside have one EP out so far, released last year, as well as one single from this year's EP, all of which are some of the best in their genre. On New Tide, their 2015 EP, the simplicity is what makes it best; the guitars switch easily between clean and distorted parts with mostly shouted vocals while still keeping a fairily upbeat feel most of the time. This means that when at the end of the song Retrospect there's a slower, more feels-y bit you really feel it, even if we have heard that kind of lyrics before. Overall a great band, definitely going places soon, especially after having supported established bands like Counterparts and Dream On Dreamer!

FFO: Counterparts, Hellions

Monday, 18 January 2016

Is Nu Metal Coming Back?

Is Nu Metal Coming Back?

Older readers might remember the good ol' days of Nu Metal in the late 90s and early 00s, when it seemed like everyone was headbanging to Limp Bizkit while wearing the baggiest trousers they could find. But then as soon as it appeared, it went away, and suddenly was the most uncool thing around. Most of the bands changed their sound, like Linkin Park or Deftones, or were just forgotten. 

But now, more than 10 years after it died, nu metal looks like it could be returning - Emmure have been making nu metal-influenced music for a while now, and other bands like Attila (who I wrote about here) are starting to catch on. There's even nu metalcore now, which is bands like Sworn In and Issues. Established bands are also starting to join in - Crushed from Parkway Drive's Ire has a definite nu metal feel going on, and Suicide Silence have hinted that their next album could have some nu metal influence.

So what are some good newer bands with bringing back nu metal? Here's 3 of the best:

The Japanese Crossfaith have been around for a while, but have only become famous in the last couple of years. Their mix of EDM and metalcore obviously takes influence from the days when nu metal bands like Linkin Park also used a DJ, except they have even more electronic sounds, so that you don't know whether to dance or mosh.

Stray From The Path
Stray have been around for a while as well ,but it's only the last 2 albums where they've started to take on a more nu metal-inspired sound. As well as a truckload of Rage Against the Machine influence, they're adding nu-metal styled riffs (in songs like Badge & a Bullet or Outbreak) and also starting to have vocals which are kinda like rapping mixed withg screaming. (Sounds weird but it works.)

Of all the fusion genres out there, djent and grime is the last one you'd expect. But that's what Hacktivist play, and it works brilliantly. Their rapping mixed with heavy power chord riffs definitely has a very nu metal vibe, but at the same time their style is something completely new and unique. Definitely one of the best new bands out there right now.

Monday, 11 January 2016

New Music Monday

New Music Monday: The One Hundred

These guys are one of the most unique bands out there at the moment. Their music is a mix of metalcore, grime and EDM which is sort of like Enter Shikari, but even better. ES are the only band I've ever heard that you could compare The One Hundred to; it's great to hear a band like them in a sea of others doing the same thing everyone else has been doing for years.

Their 2014 EP Subculture, their only release so far, is one of my favourite releases in the last couple of years. Vocalist Jacob can easily switch between rapping, singing and screaming, being equally great at all 3, while the electronics work together perfectly with the more riffy guitar-based sections. Some of the songs, in particular Downfall, are more on the EDM and rap side of things - Downfall includes a few bursts of all-out dubstep - while some of their songs are closer to their metal influences, such as Breed, which has some nice riffs and great growled vocals. These guys definitely look like they're going to make it big: they're completely different from the other bands out there at the moment, and when they get a full-length album out could be going on to some big things. They've already played at Download Festival last Summer, incredible for a band who haven't released a full-length album yet, which shows that they really mean business.

FFO: Enter Shikari, Hacktivist, Crossfaith