Among Phantoms – Memories/Catastrophes (Review)

Among Phantoms - Memories CatastrophesAmong Phantoms are a hardcore band from Denmark and this is their debut album.

This is a modern brand of hardcore, with elements of metalcore that can be heard, alongside a healthy rock influence. Continue reading “Among Phantoms – Memories/Catastrophes (Review)”

Alpha Wolf – A Quiet Place to Die (Review)

Alpha Wolf - A Quiet Place to DieAlpha Wolf are an Australian metalcore band and this is their second album.

Here we have a 36-minute chunk of modern heaviness. This is the heaviest of metalcore, so much so that it borders on deathcore in places. Mixed in with this are aspects of djent and nu-metal, as well as modern hardcore/metal elements in general. Continue reading “Alpha Wolf – A Quiet Place to Die (Review)”

Daggers – Neon Noir Erotica (Review)

Daggers - Neon Noir EroticaDaggers are a French hardcore band and this is their fourth album.

Daggers’ music is a mix of punk, hardcore, and noise rock, all of which comes together into 35 minutes of engaging, individual music. Continue reading “Daggers – Neon Noir Erotica (Review)”

Birds in Row – We Already Lost the World (Review)

Birds in RowBirds in Row are a French post-hardcore band and this is their second album.

Birds in Row play a form of post-hardcore that blends abrasive hardcore and punk influences, with angular noise/post-rock and experimental elements to form music that’s highly textured and filled with strong emotions. Continue reading “Birds in Row – We Already Lost the World (Review)”

Celeste – Infidèle(s)

CelesteCeleste are a French blackened doom/sludge/hardcore metal band and this is their sixth album.

The artwork of Celeste albums has always been very striking and atypical, but I think they’ve outdone themselves this time. Continue reading “Celeste – Infidèle(s)”

Eye Sea Black – Stigma (Review)

Eye Sea BlackEye Sea Black are an Italian metal band and this is their debut EP.

Specialising in its own brand of stylish and sharp aggression, Stigma is almost 20 minutes of modern extreme metal that hits the spot quite nicely. Continue reading “Eye Sea Black – Stigma (Review)”

Skies in Motion – Life Lessons (Review)

Skies in MotionSkies in Motion are a UK modern hardcore/metal band and this is their debut album.

Combining raging intensity with heartfelt emotion, this is modern metalcore played with passion and skill. Continue reading “Skies in Motion – Life Lessons (Review)”

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.