A decade back, Heart of a Cowardwere one of the rising stars in the UK metal scene, having just released their second album Severance. The band were looked on to be the next big thing when it came to metalcore, and when they followed that up with the highly acclaimed Deliverance, these previous assertions felt cemented in. Alongside their peers in Architects, Bury Tomorrow andWhile She Sleeps, the stage was set for Heart of a Coward to join the ranks part of this leading new class.
Most of the world is oblivious to the fact nuclear war is closer to reality now than it was during the Cold War. Thus the increasing need for music that taps into the subconscious to remind us of the grim future looming. 3TEETH’s fourth album “EndEx” (Century Media) has all the End Times anxiety you want. The Los Angeles-based band remains consistent in their sonic vision. They work off of industrial strength grooves to pump the lifeblood of their sound to these songs.
When legendary New York Hardcore band Earth Crisis temporarily went their separate ways in 2001 Freya was born, formed by three members of EC, bassist Ian Edwards, guitarist Eric Edwards and vocalist Karl Buechner. Named of course after the Norse goddess, Freya picked right up where Earth Crisis left off and have released a plethora of music over the last two decades, blending their Hardcore roots with a good dollop of Thrash Metal, while often using mythology as a basis for their lyrical content.
Well into a decade now, Seattle, Washington’s Great Falls have perhaps been an underrated entity, but they certainly are a special one. Their sound embraces the arena around noise rock and post-hardcore, and they have proven to be a strongly emotive force. Some changes in personnel and a previous EP release in Funny What Survives created high expectations about a long-awaited follow-up album, if not quite preparing anyone for how quite distressing it would prove to be.
A live album by New Model Army was not expected, but I’ll take it. They have pushed the boundaries of punk since 1980, and this album is another example of how they outgrew the punk label. How many punk bands bring an orchestra with them? New Model Army was never just a three-chord band bashing things out with youthful recklessness; thoughtful songwriting and darker dynamics have always been a part of who they are. This album makes perfect sense given the breadth of their work, as it’s not the first time strings have played a role in their songs.
Two band names, three studio albums, one EP, a live album, and a change of vocalists. A lot has happened in the last few years for Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. From beginning life as a side project for the former Motörhead guitarist, performing covers under the somewhat less than attention-grabbing moniker of Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band, the band announced a much-needed name change the following year and the improvement was both noticeable and immediate.
Swedish rockers Electric Boys had a bit of success in the late eighties and early nineties when their boisterous Funk Metal track “All Hips n’ Lips” caught the eye of MTV and their first two albums, Funk O Metal Carpet Ride and Groovus Maximus, caught the eye of the public. Things fizzled out in 1994 but they reunited fifteen years later and have been steadily releasing new material since.
Allow me to go out on a limb here: the bathroom floor of a frat house on a Saturday night/Sunday morning has less bacteria and filth than Thorn’s newest record. But don’t be fooled into thinking Evergloom (Transcending Obscurity Records) is solely reliant on gag-inducing landscapes. The collective is armed with an innate ability to devise structured songs that possess personality and conjure truly frightening thoughts.