Archive for the ‘Core Category

The End Of Grace – Infinite Shadows Of Memories

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 9th May 2017 by Pieni

The End Of Grace
“Infinite Shadows Of Memories”
metalcore
Released: 10th May 2017
by Illumnirec

18268551_1450111981677758_1613674322985679302_n_zpsrjrhlus2

Where I come from there’s a saying that goes something like “who awaits always achieves”. And then someone twisted it, creating a new and pretty negative version, that says “who awaits gets desperate”. The latter translated my state of mind in the recent past regarding a full-length record by The End Of Grace, which I’ve been waiting for since the band got together. But it’s finally here and I’m living the original version of the saying, as waiting for “Infinite Shadows Of Memories” totally paid off. Between the two EPs “Lost In Transition” and “Unity”, there had already been an evolution in the songwriting, its features emboldened; but “Infinite…” is more than an upgrade of said features, it’s a new path straying away from the traditional metalcore they’ve begun with.

The crystal-clear clean tones have been replaced by somber, deep ones, still contrasting perfectly with Kriss’ growls; the focus on breakdowns is water under the bridge, the main priority now based on the musicality and not on sounding tougher than leather – even if they do sound relentless nevertheless. It’s just a whole new level of melody, more mature.

The ominous catchiness of “Life On The Line”, the yearning of the title-track, the collision of opposites of “Breathe”, the daring “Ride The Dark”… This record is a rollercoaster of emotions and shows TEoG pushing the proverbial envelope with their music. Hell, a whole stack of envelopes! It’s not even clear what it should be called anymore, but whether you go for “blues-core, deathcore or metalcore” (quoting the upbeat “We Really Don’t Know Yo”), this is The End Of Grace.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Advertisements

The Charm The Fury – The Sick, Dumb & Happy

Posted in 'Core, Alternative, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 15th March 2017 by mickbirchy

The Charm The Fury

The Sick, Dumb & Happy

Metalcore, Groove Metal

Released: 17 March 2017

via Nuclear Blast

This is an album that I have been particularly excited for. I first caught wind of The Charm The Fury a few years ago via an article in Metal Hammer magazine.  I looked them up and I was really blown away by them.  I hadn’t heard anything like them before.  I would go on to discover a lot of bands in with this sound and I do have The Charm The Fury to thank for that. Their first album A Shade of My Former Self was an exciting bold record with a lot of passion and intensity. It was genuine smash of an album. So, I’ve really been getting into their new album The Sick, Dumb and Happy. They have made some interesting stylistic choices with this album to keep things fresh without losing their core appeal.

This album is more of a groove metal album then metalcore.  The gritty riffs the, groovy bass lines and more of an appealing tone. It fits them it really does. I think every member of the band carries their weight very well on this album. The sound is massive and all of the songs have the potential to be crowd pleasers.  From the old school sound of “Down on the Ropes” to the more modern sounding, “Weaponized”. They hit the mark nearly perfectly.  The production is bold and really gives a firm punch when the tunes get going. On this album the band feel way more palatable. These are songs more likely to get airplay in more mainstream and that’s really not a problem. They sound great doing it and I would say that these songs deserve the attention.

This is a major step in the right direction for The Charm The Fury. It’s really nice to see a band evolve like this.  It proves you can make your songs appealing to a wider audience without selling out.  They have just made a natural step forward with their music. There’s really not much else to say if you want a great album with a fun sound with some truly pump-up choruses, the look no further that this album.

5/5

Mick Birchall

EARTHBREAKER – Voice of the Voiceless

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 11th January 2017 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

EARTH BREAKER
Voice of the Voiceless
Hardcore/Metal/’Ullcore
Self-Released: November 2016

a2784817356_16

Hull – Otherwise known as the City of Culture – has a lot going on for it, especially in the music scene, which is where a promising young band known as Earthbreaker are currently making makes and lots of noise. Having only been around for just over a year, this melodic metal quintet have already made their presence felt – and heard – in North England.

Voice of the Voiceless opens straight up with the powerful and memorable track The Vipers Nest, which features an energetic and tenacious breakdown and some bestial vocal work. Family follows up almost seductively, with its overwhelming assault of guitars and differing and unique vocal sounds.

Misanthropy is a melodic track which is as catchy as the common cold but that doesn’t stop it from being heavier than an elephant’s arse. The guitars are heavy-duty, paving a path of broken bones whilst the rhythm sections lay down the gritty foundations. Whereas Deathwish brings a more emotive but just as unyielding sound to Voice of the Voiceless.

The EP finishes on Psychosis, with its enchanting dance between the guitars, bass and drums, making it a good track to finish on.

Voice of the Voiceless demonstrates Earthbreaker‘s well-founded sound in a way that leaves the listener wanting more and shows that this young quintet can go toe-to-toe in the pit with some of the heavy hitters on the scene.

4.5/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Exist Immortal – Breathe

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 17th December 2016 by Pieni

Exist Immortal
“Breathe”
progressive metalcore
Released: 3rd November 2016
Via Primordial Records

v600_ei_breathearthd

So, progressive metalcore is a thing, eh? Not sure why these labels still surprise me… A more common one is “experimental metal”, but then again, “Breathe” goes beyond common, making the fancy “progressive metalcore” somewhat more fitting.

This is their second full-length record, and even if “Darkness Of An Age” shaped what they sound like now, “Breathe” exhales (pun intended) a refinement that the debut lacked. Refinement and maturity, as their eagerness in thinking outside the box took them just far enough. For instance, the fooling-around with the tempo in “Saviour” is never too daring; the weeping guitars in “In Hindsight” are never too grieving, the same way the brutality in “Invisible Lines” isn’t too callous. The songwriting was carefully laid out in order to sound exquisite but not weird. There’s also a purpose behind every breakdown of “Follow Alone” and the bluesy hints of the title-track aren’t random, so no matter how elaborate and sophisticated the melodies turn out (the ominosity of “Release” is quite stunning, by the way), they will flow easily through both the most demanding and the more straight-forward ear-drums. But it’s still a piece that I would especially recommend to those with a taste for modern aggression.

4,5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

The End Of Grace – Unity

Posted in 'Core, CD with tags , , , , , on 3rd June 2016 by Pieni

The End Of Grace
“Unity” [EP]
metalcore
Released: 3rd June 2016
Via Ilumnirec

 photo unity_zpsgfrwjfi9.jpg

If you know The End Of Grace and have been following their story, you may find this title a bit ironic, given the recent major line-up change in the band. I see it the other way around, a tribute to what makes us one and not what divides us (check the words on the artwork – they’re not exactly random). First of all, the departure of 3/5 of the band had nothing to do with falling outs – it’s just life and its usual way of forcing people to make hard choices; they may not partake in the songwriting and performance anymore but they’ll always be a part of TEoG. And then there’s founder Jimmy Bergman’s passion for this project, which will keep it alive no matter what – a true unity with music.

Now that you have my two pennies on the title, let’s go for what really matters. When I’ve last spoken to the boys (interview here) they told me there would be more breakdowns They weren’t fooling around! All songs are much richer in that department, making them sound heavier, thicker. Well, all except the ballad “Fighting For Another Day” (I still smile at the term “ballad” when Kriss Clark is busting up his throat to growl like that, but there’s no other thing to call such bleeding melody) – this one has its own heaviness and there’s no need for extra breakdowns for that.

There’s also more riffs/more elaborate guitar structure, more meaningful lyrics and a better complicity between the aforementioned growls of Kriss and the clean tones of Johan. I had the chance to see “The End Of Grace” (yes, they named a song after themselves) in concert (report here) and witness how such briskness works live. Well let me tell you that “If You Fall”, “Never Break” and “Trigger” will cause the same restless effect. This is what metalcore is all about.

It’s been already three years since the release of “Lost In Transition” but it seems like yesterday, as those songs keep rolling on my playlists. I’m pretty certain the same will happen with “Unity”.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hatebreed – The Concrete Confessional

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 31st May 2016 by mickbirchy

Hatebreed
The Concrete Confessional
Hardcore Punk
Released: 13 May 2016
via Nuclear Blast Records

No matter how far away I get from heavy metal I always find that there are a few bands that drag me right back to headbanging and shouting until I have no voice.  Hatebreed are one of those bands.  No matter how long it is since I last listed to the genre, they always give me the one thing that I always look for in music in general.  Passion, integrity and kick ass music. The music of Hatebreed and I go way back now, I think their music is so ingrained into my psyche that I can’t actually turn my head when they bring out new material.  However, there is only one question to answer in this review.  Is this album, The Concrete Confessional better than their previous album The Divinity of Purpose.  The last album was so good and really cemented me as a true Hatebreed fan.

Well I’ll give it this…. There is certainly a more intense, almost overly aggressive, vibe to this. I mean all of Hatebreed’s albums are intense and in your face.  The Concrete Confessional however, is sharper and feels more direct. For the most part Jamey Jasta is quite creative with his wordplay and the language used in his albums.  Here there is more of a direct approach as if Hatebreed are directing their aggression right at the listener.  Some may think that this is antagonising and abrupt.  I think it’s a pretty bold way to get your point across.  Being that this is a very opinionated band, why hold back your though with metaphor and imagery when you can just say how you’re feeling right there and then. The album deals with heavy issues like social injustice, police brutality and drug abuse, so why hold back?

The music is just as direct.  With sharp consistent note changes and tight production the music stands as a way to punctuate the heavy subjects of the lyrics. Though I do feel that something is lost with this album.  I’m not finding it nearly as catchy or musically interesting as the previous records.  Nothing really sticks in your head at all, as if Hatebreed are laying it on a little too thick.  Think of the Hatebreed songs that you know, “Everybody Bleeds Now”, “Destroy Everything”, “In Ashes They Shall Reap” or even newer songs like “Honor Never Dies”, “Indivisible” or “Dead Man Breathing”.  They sticks in your mind because the music was creative and the lyrics catchy.  This album seems to be void of that, barring say a couple of songs “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” being a great example.  Even that only has one phrase though.  What I’m saying is I don’t think there’s a good compromise between the message they’re trying to deliver and the creativity needed to make compelling music.

Is this a good album? Yes absolutely, without question.  Is it Hatebreed? Yes, again it’s exactly what they wanted to give us.  Is it as good as The Divinity of Purpose, Perseverance or The Rise Of Brutality? No, I don’t think so.  The album is too far removed from what made those albums great. However, I’ll pose another question.  Was The Concrete Confessional meant to be a fun heavy metal album or was it meant to make you feel uncomfortable with the way you’re living?… Sure the band may say something in a press statement, but what a band says in interview and what they say on the record itself aren’t always the same thing.

4/5

Mick Birchall

To The Rats And Wolves – Neverland

Posted in 'Core, Alternative, CD with tags , , , , , on 23rd February 2016 by Pieni

To The Rats And Wolves
“Neverland”
Trancecore
Release: 19th February 2016
Via Nuclear Blast Records

 photo yy_zpsqq0yy8e2.jpg

I’m not surprised that trancecore is a thing, as anything goes nowadays. What I’m surprised is that To The Rats And Wolves is included in that category as electro-pop-core is way more accurate. Their homeland Germany is a country where you have a rave in one corner of the block and a metal gig in the other (yes, kids, it’s a hyperbole) and it is said that many go to the former after the latter is finished. Nothing against it, open-mindedness is something to be treasured. I’m just not sure if it’s a good idea to merge both, no matter how out-of-the-box the concept might be.

Especially when only the trance is shaping the songs, while the hardcore is pretty much repeating itself in every track – similar cranking riffs, predictable breakdowns… It’s in the electronics that you’ll hear different patterns defining different melodies (and not exactly outstanding ones). When it comes to vocals, even though the growls and screams assume a big role, it’s the pop-ish clean tones that always take lead in the choruses. So eventually you feel like this is not a real fusion but just the addition of some elements of one genre into the basic structure of another. The opener “Suburban Romance” is the most balanced track, followed by “Schoolyard Warfare”, but the majority of the album heads towards the dancefloor – especially “Wild At Heart” and “Kill The DJ”. And then there’s the ballad “Ghosts” which… Well, it’s a ballad. ‘Nuff said.

On the other hand, the nature of “Neverland” is so mainstream that it may actually cause some fuss. I still think it lacks substance.

2/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino