Killswitch Engage

Lybica – Lybica Review

Lybica – Lybica Review

“First and foremost, and this should come as no surprise to any of you… but this wins Cover o’ the Year for me. Hands down, no competition. Sure, you’ve got your Eliran Kantors, your Travis Smiths, and your Necrolords. And that’s all fine and dandy. But here, we have a proud, majestic cat with its tongue out, as if to say, “I’m here, world… and I shall blep.” It’s only fitting, then, that Lybica, the South Floridian instrumental band featuring Killswitch Engage’s Justin Foley and members of Gravel Kings, would name themselves after the African wildcat species often referenced as the godfather to the modern-day domesticated cat.” Cats in the belfry.

Ghost in the Ruins – Return to Ash Review

Ghost in the Ruins – Return to Ash Review

Ghost in the Ruins is a metalcore band from North Carolina, born from the ashes of Further the Fall, debut full-length Return to Ash making a wrecking ball to eardrums everywhere. Taking cues from the glory days of metalcore, expect galloping breakdowns, dueling melodic axe work, and vicious vocals galore.” Children of the core.

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.

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

“Well, the promo claimed Clepsydra to be symphonic progressive metal, which did not fill me with hope. Thankfully, this claim was wrong. It’s not very symphonic; it just overuses keyboards a lot. It admittedly has that in common with actual symphonic bands, but at least the synths in Synthetic are more earnest in their synthetic sound rather than trying and failing to imitate an actual orchestra. Nor is this record very progressive at all; most of the songs have a basic verse-chorus structure and rely on direct hooks of a pretty tried and true style. The style in question is more along the lines of metalcore and melodic death, winding up somewhere in between Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and In Flames, just with a lot more keyboards.” Corephobia.

Viscera – Obsidian Review

Viscera – Obsidian Review

“In Hollywood, there’s a phenomenon called ‘twin films.’ Sometimes movies released around the same time have an uncannily similar plot, even though they’ve been in production around the same time and couldn’t have copied one another. A few well-known examples include Armageddon and Deep Impact, Antz and A Bug’s Life, and The Prestige and The Illusionist. Now, considering the frequency of release and inherent similarities, this isn’t really a thing in metal, but it still gave me pause when I noticed I was about to go through the second Unique Leader techy deathcore release with wav format tracks in just a handful of weeks.” Guts check.

Neaera – Neaera Review

Neaera – Neaera Review

“No matter how hard you try, you can never really escape your past. By day I’m the kvltest of the kvlt, blasting the blakkened fukkin death while wearing a shirt that depicts Jesus getting flogged by a horde of goat demons. But when I curl up at night with my plesiosaurus plush, I know at heart I’m still the same mid-aughts core kid who got his start in the metal world with Killswitch Engage and their ilk. Even today, when the promo teat runs dry, sometimes I find myself returning to where it all began: core.” Damn core kids!

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

“Metalcore. Deathcore. The ever nebulous ‘melodic metal.’ These are tags that discomfit discerning metalheads like myself. In those rare moments where I experience the excitement for a new release in these genres, as I did with Russia’s Quiescency, the worst case is that my anticipation overinflates. Since the band announced Message for Lamb roughly forever ago, my expectations for their debut record swiftly reached an unreasonable altitude. Alas, what goes up must come down.” Lamb stewed.

Killswitch Engage – Atonement Review

Killswitch Engage – Atonement Review

“All in all, they’ve done a pretty remarkable job of defying AMG‘s Law of Diminishing Records, and yet that very fact made me a bit apprehensive of Atonement. Wouldn’t it be just my luck to score reviewing rights to such a renowned and personally beloved[1. I’ll admit that I’ve cooled on Killswitch and metalcore in general over the years, but they were integral to my dive into the depths ov metal nonetheless, and I say thank ya.] act only for it to be their Cold Lake?” Atone for what?

Through the Noise – Dualism Review

Through the Noise – Dualism Review

“This is sure to come as a surprise, what with the kvlt as fvck album art and all, but Through the Noise are about as trve as Santa. With their accessible angst and envelope-friendly chuggatry, these Swedes crabwalk the thick, downtuned line between nü-metal and metalcore, and by all rights, Dualism should have been inflicted upon a n00b. However, there have been far too many 4.0’s awarded as ov late, and I would be remiss to turn down an opportunity to bring you bastards crashing back down to reality, so we are here.” Punishment is due.

Ketos – First Strike Review

Ketos – First Strike Review

“With that technicolor cover and macho album title, First Strike makes its presence and intentions clear from the get go. Or so you’d think, but you’d be wrong—this is a melodic thrash metal band we’re talking about here. If you never liked and never will like, uh, “melodic thrash metal,” Ketos won’t change your mind on the subject and you can feel free to scroll right down to the comments and tell everybody to listen to some vomit-inducing folk-power-black album on bandcamp. It’s your loss, since First Strike is a great example of “melodic thrash metal” passing both the taste test and sniff test—it’s a good album from a band with some serious chops.” Keto friendly.