Djent

Infected Rain – TIME Review

Infected Rain – TIME Review

““Progressive” is one of the most flippantly applied adjectives we have for genres today. “Modern” is equally abused, so one can imagine the clanging of alarm bells when the promo sheet for Moldova’s Infected Rain described the band as “modern progressive metal.” But I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, even if said book devolves into the Buttgate of late January. Plus vocalist Elena Cataraga goes by the stage name Lena Scissorhands, which means I get to write the word scissorhands a lot in this review, a tiny joy I never thought I’d experience.” Touchy slicey.

Silent Planet – Superbloom Review

Silent Planet – Superbloom Review

Silent Planet, named after the first installment of C.S. Lewis’ creatively titled Space trilogy, has always been a lyrical triumph and the pinnacle of metalcore consistency throughout the quartet’s four-album run. With the relentless vulnerability and desperation of The Night God Slept and Everything Was Sound, the regality of When the End Began, and the experimental textures of Iridescent, you could always expect technicality and atmosphere balanced throughout.” Where silence is golden.

Of Virtue – Omen Review

Of Virtue – Omen Review

“If I’m being brutally honest, I follow Michigan collective Of Virtue in the vain hopes they reclaim their former glory, and to express my disappointment whenever they fail to reach that. I get that it’s not fair to have low expectations, but as the saying goes, how the mighty have fallen. While they used to be aligned with a progressive edge and heart-wrenching melodic hardcore foundation not unlike Misery Signals or Counterparts, 2019’s What Defines You featured a sound that can only be defined by its devolution. What can we expect from Omen? Realistic expectations are a virtue.

TesseracT – War of Being Review

TesseracT – War of Being Review

“There’s promoting an album, and then there’s the campaign surrounding War of Being. Aside from the usual—social media updates, music videos, etc.—there is a literal game associated with this album that you can download for a fiver on Steam and that was created solely based on its sci-fi odyssey concept. Lead singer Daniel Tompkins is also lead director and designer of the eponymous game, alongside a host of developers, and is apparently a huge gaming nerd himself. Kudos I guess, for combining two things he’s passionate about. Bassist Amos Williams is writing a novel about it too. But a game or a novel—however good can’t compensate for flaws in the music.” Core wars.

Artificial Sun – The Giants Collapse Review

Artificial Sun – The Giants Collapse Review

Artificial Sun is a quartet from Athens, Greece, picking up where its previous short-lived incarnation Trigger left off, sporting a fusion of groove and metalcore with their debut The Giants Collapse. Expect bouncy riffs, technical leads, energetic drumming, vitriolic and soothing vocals, and nice moments of experimentation to go down slow.” Fake sun and old djent.

Dusk – Spectrums Review

Dusk – Spectrums Review

“How I came to pen this review is kind of a funny story. Upon entering our promo pit and undergoing de-lousing, this record was tagged as death doom. Whether that was an honest mistake or something more nefarious is an ongoing discussion. The advance material does tout a guest spot by Jaani Peuhu, briefly a member of death doom luminaries Swallow the Sun (more on that later), but Steel has also openly admitted he sometimes lays promo traps for unsuspecting writers to unwittingly claim metalcore. Spectrums, the debut full-length by Saudi one-man band Dusk, has nary a hint of death doom. I’ll give you one guess what it is.” Traps in the glooming.

Elyose – Déviante Review

Elyose – Déviante Review

“Why do we find ourselves in the midst of a nu renaissance where bands like The Offering throw down like it’s ’03 and genres like slam can shamelessly quote groove under the guise of gore? Well, it seems that some also grew up to incorporate their first loves into their art. Elyose, an act of that breed, urges you to embrace your inner jumpdafuckup with a French language tour-de-force of alt-rock meets gothy vibes with nu and industrial accouterments on Déviante.” What’s olde is nu.

Mask of Prospero – Hiraeth Review

Mask of Prospero – Hiraeth Review

According to the promo, “Hiraeth” is a Welsh description of pain: “…a mixture of longing, referring to the sense of homesickness tinged with grief and sorrow over the loss. A yearning for that which has passed.” Mask of Prospero channel this grief into their sophomore effort Hiraeth, crisp metalcore weaponized with progressive metal to a complex and atmospheric degree.” The misery shows.

Source of Rage – Witness the Mess Review

Source of Rage – Witness the Mess Review

“Uh oh. The dreaded phrase, that cursed moniker. Boasting hooks, riffs, breakdowns, what could possibly go wrong?? Yes, Source of Rage is “modern metal.” I feel dread coursing through my veins. But hey, when the Promo Gods shrug their broad shoulders and a Metalville release Witness the Mess topples from an almighty schlong, you don’t question (1) why modern metal is tucked in the divine crotch somewhere, or (2) why modern metal gives the Promo Gods such a hard-on. The gods work in mysterious ways. Glory fuckin’ be.” Witness the modern age.

Minipony – Ajna Review

Minipony – Ajna Review

I’ve listened to a lot of metal. I’ve listened to a lot of very average metal. I’ve listened to some pretty bad metal. Despite all this, I was simply unprepared for Ajna. You see, Ajna is on another level entirely. True story: “Because of Ajna, I could not complete the train journey to work this week. It was halfway through my 5th listen when something cracked. “Why would the Boss Ape force this upon me?” I mused. “Is this a test of my loyalty?” If so, it was a stern examination. The pointless sound effects; the bizarre vocals; the bite-sized, jittery riffs; these all congealed into a force that simply overwhelmed my brain. I could no longer compute, and the only response was to laugh. So, I did. I howled and cackled and coughed up my coffee.” Small horse, big confusion.