Miss May I – Shadows Inside (Review)

Miss May IMiss May I are a US metalcore band and this is their sixth album.

Harking back to the early 00s when the NWOAHM was arguably at its strongest, Miss May I are working their hardest to keep the sound and spirit of these times alive and well on Shadows Inside. I must say, it’s working. Continue reading

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From Eden to Exile – Modern Disdain (Review)

From Eden to ExileFrom Eden to Exile are a metal band from the UK and this is their debut album.

Now this I like. Playing modern, crushing, heavily aggressive metal with plenty of bite and attitude, From Eden to Exile impress as soon as you press play. Continue reading

Monument of a Memory – Catharsis (Review)

Monument of a MemoryMonument of a Memory are from the US and play modern metal. This is their second EP.

This is modern metalcore with plenty of aggression and heaviness. The foundation of NWOAHM is intact and added to by some heavier and faster parts, which is always nice to hear.

With a strong sound the band rip through Continue reading

Hollow Bones – Lionheart (Review)

Hollow BonesThis is the début album from this US hardcore/metal band.

Hollow Bones play modern metalcore, but with a little bit of a twist. Essentially the band take the tried-and-true NWOAHM metalcore template and put their spin on it through force of passion, a heightened emotive melodicism, and captivating female vocals.

The songs are enjoyably heavy slabs of metal with lots of tasty riffs. The guitars have Continue reading

Devildriver – Trust No One (Review)

DevildriverThis is the seventh album from this US metal band.

I’ve always enjoyed Devildriver’s combination of modern metal, melodic death metal, thrash metal, NWOAHM, classic metal, nu-metal and crushing groove metal. Sure, they’ve had their ups and downs over the years with some albums being noticeably stronger than others, but they’ve always had enough meat on their metal bones to make me happy to listen to them in some capacity or other.

This moves us onto Continue reading

Death Lullaby – Wormz (Review)

Death LullabyDeath Lullaby are a Canadian Metal band and this is their début album.

This is modern Metal/djent that takes no prisoners with its heavy assault.

Stylistically the band are somewhat of a crossbreed between djent and NWOAHM. This is to their benefit; djent by itself is a very easy sub-genre to do badly, but here the limitations of the style are made up for by the more Metal influences of the modern/NWOAHM elements. The end result is songs that still might be a bit too much for some naysayers of djent, but for me strikes the right balance.

Continue reading

Whitechapel – Our Endless War (Review)

WhitechapelThis is the fifth album from US Deathcore/Metal band Whitechapel.

Whitechapel have progressed over the years from their more Death Metal/Deathcore roots to something these days that is half Deathcore and half modern Metal, taking influence from the NWOAHM and djent styles and infusing them with a Deathcore aggression and heaviness.

They’ve generally slowed things down a bit too, emphasising catchiness and rhythm rather than speed and brutality, as was once the case, (although even back then they had a certain level of catchiness that was lacking in their peers). Due to their background though they’re more than capable of speeding up when they need to, adding that extra edge to the delivery, and I’m pleased that the blast beats haven’t been totally dropped from their repertoire.

As mentioned above, there’s more of a djent influence on their albums of late, and this is still true on Our Endless War. I’ve stated in the past that djent is a very easy style to be mediocre at, and I’ve said the same about Deathcore too; it’s a testament to Whitechapel’s ability that they take the strengths from one and use it to offset the weaknesses of the other. The result is music that blurs the line between both, taking the best aspects and combining them with the aforementioned NWOAHM parts to create memorable songs that pound and smash their way through the playing time.

Although Whitechapel are mainly about the chunky grooves and heavy riffs, the included melodies and leads should not be discounted or dismissed. These frequently provide a more emotive hook for the listener and add a lot to the songs in comparison to the more obvious rhythm guitars. This side of the band also serves to remind that when they’re not unleashing huge breakdowns and the like, Whitechapel can really play.

The singer’s clipped growls are still deep and roaring, and he shows a nice rhythmic awareness a lot of the time that fits in well with what the music is doing. Occasionally he slips into the even deeper deathgrowls of old, and it’s a joy to hear.

For me, this album is definitely a grower. For all of the immediacy of a band like this, it takes time for the rhythms and melodies to properly infiltrate your brain. When they do you’ll find that the band have produced a surprisingly memorable and enjoyable album.

Highly recommended.

Product of Hate – Buried in Violence (Review)

Product of HateThis is the début album from US Metal band Product of Hate.

Product of Hate play modern Metal that incorporates elements of Thrash Metal and Metalcore into its makeup. This equates to some noticeable influences from the classic style, notably Kreator and Testament, as well as the more modern Metalcore style that was made so popular by the NWOAHM bands of the 00s. More European aspects appear sometimes too, reminding me of some of Darkane’s work on occasion.

Reading the above though it’s important to realise a few things; this is no retro-loving crap-fest; this is darker and harder than a lot of the more commercial bands playing a similar style; there are no radio-friendly unit shifters with sparkling clean vocals here – Product of Hate go in for the kill with all the aggression that they can muster.

Buried in Violence is a bit rough around the edges, but I think that’s the intent. You could easily imagine the busy riffs and even busier solos encased in a solid gold, ultra-polished production, but this is not the case; they have a large sound that suits the style, but it’s grittier and more earthy than most. This allows the band to get their hands dirty and focus on tearing things up with their assault.

The songs are quite catchy and memorable without being overly so; the band sound like they have tried to pen real songs that they are passionate about rather than one-dimensional sing-along, throwaway hits. This is all down to perspective, of course, and I can easily imagine Product of Hate getting written off by some as being just another Metalcore band with nothing to offer. This is a disservice I feel, but a somewhat inevitable one; it’s a shame as there are more than enough bands peddling the more commercial side of this kind of music, whereas Product of Hate are offering something a bit harder and more aggressive than most. Sure, it’s not Death Metal and it definitely exists on the more commercial side of the Metal spectrum, (relatively speaking, when compared to the more extreme end of Metal), but this is not the kind of thing you’ll hear on the radio any time soon.

Ultimately, Buried in Violence shows a band who clearly love their Metal and gathers together a collection of Metal anthems that just want to Thrash out and give the listener a good tune and a good bashing at the same time.

Oh, there’s also an Ozzy Osbourne cover.

Can’t complain about that.