Killswitch Engage

Counterparts – You’re Not You Anymore [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Counterparts – You’re Not You Anymore [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“An old teacher once told me that the best poetry conveys a sense of longing. I would argue the best music does the same thing. Perhaps that’s what first drew me to Canadian melodic hardcore quintet Counterparts about four years ago, when life was growing difficult and the only solace was a long jog through the woods while listening to the group’s 2010 debut Prophets.” Fear and longing at AMG.

Threat Signal – Disconnect Review

Threat Signal – Disconnect Review

“Five years ago, another metal blog referred to As I Lay Dying’s Awakened as “the world’s first retro-metalcore album.” While that same not-to-be-named blog was also recently guilty of authoring one of the most idiotic self-serving shitposts I’ve ever read, in the case of Awakened they were actually right. With its melodic Gothenburg riffs, gang vocals, soaring clean choruses, and pummeling breakdowns, the record hearkened back to mid-00s metalcore at a time when the rest of the scene was too busy being balls deep in whatever Periphery was doing.” Old core, new core. At this point, what does it matter?

Hollow – Home Is Not Where the Heart Is Review

Hollow – Home Is Not Where the Heart Is Review

“A funny thing happened to metalcore in the last six years or so. After the Killswitch Engages and As I Lay Dyings of the world spent years churning out Gothenburg riffs and tough-guy breakdowns like cheap beers at a frat party, metalcore bands finally listened to Periphery and started latching on to this new thing called ‘djent.'” Metalcore through the ages.

Zao – The Well-Intentioned Virus Review

Zao – The Well-Intentioned Virus Review

“Pennsylvania’s Zao needs no further introduction. One of metalcore’s pioneering bands influenced a huge swath of groups, mainstream and underground, with their chaotic riffing, pummeling rhythms, honest, heart-wrenching lyrics and venomous screaming of Dan Weyandt. And while the band endured quite the past, Zao continue to walk to the beat of their own drum while inviting the fans to come along.” December sucks for new releases, until it doesn’t.

Awaiting Downfall – Distant Call Review

Awaiting Downfall – Distant Call Review

“Sometimes it’s almost impossible not to look back on the past and ask ‘what if?’ As in ‘what if I’d actually taken those piano lessons in middle school and learned to play an instrument?’ or ‘what if I’d actually talked to that cute girl in my sophomore English class and didn’t end up as a single guy in my mid-twenties eating Chinese takeout on my couch while wearing a faded Morbid Angel shirt with the sleeves cut off?’ With debut Distant Call, German thrashy metalcore quartet Awaiting Downfall aim to answer their own versions of this question: what if Trivium didn’t go full Metallicore with The Crusade and instead tried to remake Ember to Inferno?” The implications are staggering!

Aktaion – The Parade of Nature Review

Aktaion – The Parade of Nature Review

“Here at AMG, one of my biggest challenges (besides suppressing my gag reflex when cleaning out the office refrigerator) is trying to keep my reviews to a tidy length. Between describing a band’s sound and influences, elaborating on the various songs, bitching about the production, and writing shitty and superfluous opening paragraphs, it can be hard to squeeze all my thoughts into only 700 or so words. Fortunately Aktaion’s sophomore outing The Parade of Nature is the rare record which can be accurately described in a single term: Gojira-core.” That’s better than gorilla-core at least.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Amaranthe – Massive Addictive

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Amaranthe – Massive Addictive

“To say that I’ve had an ongoing “love/hate” relationship with Amaranthe would be a far too forgiving description of my feelings towards Sweden’s very own ’90s pop-commodity-metal band’s first two albums. I even took a moment last year to openly admit that I had spent far too much time and energy hating Amaranthe, and that frankly I couldn’t cope with listening to another one of their records. I have to admit, this was partially a lie: I actually have been listening to the band’s new record far more than I’d like to admit publicly.” We messed up.

Zombies Ate My Girlfriend – Retrocide Review

Zombies Ate My Girlfriend – Retrocide Review

“I never got into the modern zombie craze. Maybe I just had too much of it when I was younger: in high school I played the Gamecube Resident Evil reboots with religious fervor and watched more George A. Romero movies than was probably healthy…thus, you can imagine my sentiments when assigned a promo from a South African band called Zombies Ate My Girlfriend. Not only is that moniker absolutely terrible, it blatantly panders to a trend that was stale two years ago – a trend that I never gave a shit about in the first place. However, as I learned with Calm Hatchery, a bad moniker doesn’t always equate to bad music.” Terrible name, terrible cover, but it’s the music that counts, you elitist snobs!

Sylosis – Dormant Heart Review

Sylosis – Dormant Heart Review

Sylosis have been one of the few bands bridging ‘popular,’ festival-headlining, metal with self-proclaimed high-brow or underground metal in recent years. You’re just as likely to encounter flat-cap toting hipster types as you are long-haired, neck-bearded ‘purists’ in the crowds of one of their gigs.” The state of modern metalcore isn’t great, but these blokes look to change all that, or distance themselves from it.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Trials – In the Shadow of Swords

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Trials – In the Shadow of Swords

Thrash ain’t doin’ well in 2013. I mean, if you’re really into retro-thrash, there are a bevy of bands that have been producing records that will make your tight pants and oversized shoes excited, but that’s getting pretty stale For the most part, modern thrash metal has basically gone the way of the dodo—serious attempts at thrashing our socks off with groove and cranky screams have fallen deep underground. I blame metalcore. One of the things that’s started happening is that every time someone hears a thrash band that has a slightly screamy vocalist, they say “wow, that’s pretty corey,” which leads to bands that probably don’t deserve it getting called core, especially if there are clean vocals. There are major examples of this (God Forbid) and minor ones, too. Some might be fair, but many are not.