Groove Metal

Leach – Lovely Light of Life Review

Leach – Lovely Light of Life Review

“In one of my very first reviews after being officially added to the Angry Metal Guy staff, my plan to preemptively punish myself with metalcore was foiled by my inability to not like metalcore. Well, “metalcore” may be a bit of a misleading label when it comes to Leach, because 2019’s Hymns for the Hollow found them employing a sound that reminded me a lot of the groovy melodic death/thrash style currently employed by their fellow Swedes in The Crown and The Haunted. That “core” label probably gets leveled at these guys because their songs tend to have more of a commercial tinge and because vocalist Markus Wikander uses hardcore shouts that can veer into “screamy” territory at times. Long story short: Hymns of the Hollow won me over with its simple-but-effective formula. But follow-up Lovely Light of Life is finding me two years older and two years wiser, and there’s no way I’ll fall for Leach‘s charms again. Right?” Love, hate, and metalcore.

Crawling Manifest – Radical Absolution Review

Crawling Manifest – Radical Absolution Review

“I hate to admit it, but I laughed when I first saw the name Crawling Manifest. I immediately had images of babies presenting documentation of the dangerous cargo held within their diapers as they crawl from one location to another pop into my head, and once I saw those images, they were impossible to unsee. My apologies to the band for this, but the strange mind does what the strange mind will do. Radical Absolution is the sophomore record from these Maryland thrashers, coming by way of self-release.” The Manifest is destiny.

Bushido Code – The Ronin Review

Bushido Code – The Ronin Review

“I’m a sucker for odd combos. Purple and yellow for an action movie poster instead of the boring and overused red-blue scheme? Sign me the fuck up. A crossover that’s actually also a convertible? I think that’s fucking stupid but sign me the fuck up anyway. So when I saw that Pennsylvania/North Carolina quintet Bushido Code‘s debut The Ronin came with the thrash metal tag, artwork that looks like a cross between Overwatch concept art and West Coast style graffiti, and stitched together with Japanese samurai themes which may or may not extend somewhat beyond pure aesthetics, I felt compelled to cover it.” Lone Wolf and club.

Pathfinders – Ares Vallis Review

Pathfinders – Ares Vallis Review

Pathfinders’ sound is a robotic casing of groove metal which houses a metalcore rover that it uses to explore expansive concepts of the infinite. The metalcore tag can be a poisonous one in these parts, so let’s be clear straight off the bat: Pathfinders is more Killswitch Engage and less Zao. More djent and less prog. This is your high-school chewing-gum metalcore, back when Linkin Park seemed edgy. This will be deal-breaker for some, and if you are one of those folks who can’t stand the sound, I bid you farewell and Godspeed as you take the escape pod on your journey to the next review.” Explore-core.

Ravened – From the Depths Review

Ravened – From the Depths Review

“Rather curiously, the promo material spends quite of bit of time telling me not about Ravened, but about bands that various bandmembers’ relatives — two fathers and an uncle — were in. Since I don’t understand the relevance of that (my failing, I’m sure), I’m going to focus instead on the record and hope that Ravened can step out of the shadow both of their older male relatives and of the various influences they cite.” Blood deep.

Onslaught – Generation Antichrist Review

Onslaught – Generation Antichrist Review

“When I selected the promo for Onslaught‘s Generation Antichrist, I initially thought that I was grabbing the latest platter from a relatively modern thrash outfit. But there was something about the British band’s logo that gave me the nagging feeling that I had seen it before. And then it came to me: Onslaught is a band that I’ve often seen listed on those “Best Thrash Albums of All Time” lists. No, not the “Top 10 Thrash Albums of All Time” lists, but the “Top 50 or Top 100 Thrash Albums of All Time” lists.” Generations clash.

Saints of Death – Ascend to the Throne Review

Saints of Death – Ascend to the Throne Review

“Come on, groove metal. I know you can do it. Elitists tend to treat you as the secondary antagonist of metal’s story, behind only to nu-metal, but between genre founders Pantera and the best bits of Machine Head’s discography, there’s still a lot of potential in this particular sound. Hell, I’ve even enjoyed the occasional DevilDriver when craving musical fast-food, which seems to be considered a heinous crime amongst some.” Groove you wrong.