Counterfeit Culture – Deathwish (Review)

Counterfeit CultureCounterfeit Culture are a US metalcore band and this is their latest EP.

Counterfeit Culture mix melodic hardcore with heavier metalcore, and have produced an EP that may be short, but is not without impact. Continue reading

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Moments – Outlast (Review)

MomentsMoments are a Belgian hardcore band and this is their latest EP.

Energetic and dynamic, Moments manage to mix elements of both the old and new schools of hardcore, blended with a bit of modern metal, of course. Continue reading

August Burns Red – Found in Far Away Places (Review)

August Burns RedAugust Burns Red are from the US and this is their seventh album. They play Modern Hardcore.

I haven’t encountered August Burns Red since their 2011 album Leveler, and it seems that they continue to produce quality music that combines elements of Hardcore, Melodic Hardcore and Metalcore into a user-friendly package.

The band somehow manage to be heavy and accessible at the same time, while crucially displaying their own personality and charisma. No matter what they do, they retain their own identity throughout the 53 minutes on offer here and take the listener on a comprehensive journey that shames most of their one-dimensional peers.

The album opens with a bang and the singer’s vocals sound angrier and gruffer than ever. It’s an instant reminder of why August Burns Red are still relevant and exciting in a music scene where a lot of similar bands are shedding their heavier roots for more radio-friendly climes.

One thing I love about this band is how they combine heaviness and melody in such an appealing way. This style of music is usually rife with generic pap, cliché deliveries and boring, done-to-death repetition and I’m always amazed and impressed when bands playing this style manage to avoid all of these, as August Burns Red do on Found in Far Away Places.

The songs have a lot of recognisable elements that mark them out as subtly different from the masses of bands playing this style. I think the crux of it is that the riffs, breakdowns, melodies, leads, etc. here are just that much better than the norm; August Burns Red are just plain better than most bands of this ilk. Couple that with the fact that they have little moments of experimentalism and interesting ideas, as well as a lot of personality and charisma, and you can easily see why they are leaders and not followers.

After this many releases the band totally know what they’re doing and still have that essential passion for the music which appears completely undimmed. The songwriting is tight and focused without seeming forced or staid.

Top marks for a band who are not afraid to be themselves, try new things and above all remain heavy and relevant. August Burns Red have returned and I for one could not be happier.

Climates – Body Clocks (Review)

ClimatesClimates are from the UK and play Hardcore.

This is melodic Hardcore mixed with a bit of Metalcore for good measure.

The vocals are a mixture of screams and cleans, alternated in the usual style for a band like this. The screams are passionate and the cleans well performed. I like the fact that they’re not high enough in the mix to dominate everything, which gives the music the chance to take centre stage.

The songs are enjoyable cuts of lean Metalcore with good energy. They’re the kind of band that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the old Trustkill roster back in this style of music’s heyday, which is a pretty big compliment really.

Angular riffs are thrown out quite frequently and it’s good to see the band not always taking the easy route by using tired or recycled riffs. Instead, they offer up their own take on the genre and some of the riffs are atypical and quite inventive; some even having a bit of a Mathcore twist to them.

There’s a good amount of diversity on display on Body Clocks and the band are confident enough to explore quite a few interesting ideas in the songs. More power to them for this.

This is a quality release from a band who are not only sounding very good in the here and now but are also showing massive potential for the future if they continue to embrace their personality and stamp their identity on their music even more.

A recommended listen. Play loud and get swept away in the pit.