Metalcore

Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon Review

Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon Review

“I can already smell the death metal purists, like Ferrous, shitting their pants reading this review. At the same time, I can feel the metalcore chin-strappers cringing, knowing that yours truly is probably gonna shit all over this new album. The worst part is that if I didn’t have even an inkling of respect for Heafy and co., no one would get a review. But, even after I ran the yellowed Silence in the Snow through my snowblower, Roadrunner Records still sent me the In the Court of the Dragon promo personally.” Dragon, why do you cry?

Manfrea – Noire Review

Manfrea – Noire Review

“Novel genre mixes are always fun. I thought I had one of those when I grabbed Noire, sophomore effort from Moscow musicians Manfrea, from the bin. Blackened metalcore, it said. Russia seems to have developed a penchant for experimental, envelope-pushing metal, so it’s only natural my thoughts went to bizarre concoctions of Trivium and Darkthrone and the question how two such disparate genres could possibly mix. My esteemed colleagues immediately shot down such ruminations when I pondered these questions aloud, by proposing the suspicious half of this amalgamation might be more along the original, non-melodic metalcore line, which would make the figurative distance between genres considerable shorter.” Near and Noire.

Billy Boy in Poison – Umbra Review

Billy Boy in Poison – Umbra Review

“Over the years, I find it difficult to look into the promo bin and not find myself becoming jaded with the biographical fluffery that accompanies each and every album that we review. For every one (and usually just one) album that nonchalantly flips the entire genre we all love on its head, there are literally thousands of bands that lay claim to boundaries being pushed, subgenres being blended, and new ideas being brought forth in a storm of creative energy when, in reality, it’s just the same damn thing we’ve been fed over and over again. So, when Danish quintet Billy Boy in Poison proclaims that they’ve created “a unique take on death metal with a modern, razor-sharp sound and even some metalcore vibes,” my eyebrows furrow.” Poison, hype, and delusion.

Never End – The Cold and the Craving Review

Never End – The Cold and the Craving Review

“I know promo sheets are all about hyping up the band. Hyperbole is basically in the job description, and I and my esteemed colleagues are largely immune to the declarations of paradigm shifts and best things since sliced bread. But every now and then, something so ridiculous comes along that I can’t keep it from you all. If I am to believe the sheet for Never End’s The Cold and the Craving, “…they’re brutal, melodic and technical all at once without ever being too much of one thing, which is impressive. The grind remains godhead, obviously, but the entwined emanations flowing from it –thrash, match [sic] rock, prog, hardcore, metal, grunge—never felt more potently distilled, dynamic or organic. [It] weakens the boundaries between Rock, Metal, Grunge, Hardcore, Metalcore, Doom, Stoner.”” All things for all people.

Nothing Noble – Modern Dismay Review

Nothing Noble – Modern Dismay Review

“I’m not sure how everyone got their start with metal, but there had to be a bit of a transition to the more extreme stuff, unless you eat nails for breakfast while listening to Cryptopsy’s None So Vile. Unlike you sausage or oatmeal or vegemite shippers who are descended from the yesteryears of heavy, thrash, or doom, I enjoy my eggs with my bacon: my origins of Christian metalcore a la Demon Hunter, Haste the Day, and Oh Sleeper stick with me. While metalcore has not been the kindest to me thus far in 2021, I’m always rooting for any that may wander across my lap like a feral kitten. Is Nothing Noble available for adoption?” Dismay Day.

Eastern High – Halo Review

Eastern High – Halo Review

“The year of shitty band names continues with Eastern High. If you think that moniker sounds like a high school, well, that’s because it is, located in Cardiff, Wales. In fact, the school is the top result when you search for Eastern High. But unlike its handle, the band (which is from Sweden, not Wales) apparently hides enough quality to make dear TheKenWord cuss me out for snatching it from the promo bin while he was looking the other way.” Moderate speed times at Eastern High.

Moon Reaper – Descent Review

Moon Reaper – Descent Review

“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a genre stickler at heart. I find a lot of comfort knowing where to fit every release that comes across my doorstep, so when acts swoop in to challenge that, I’m simultaneously uneasy and intrigued. There are plenty of folks that fall into this category but perhaps the most intriguing has been the UK act Conjurer. I’ve seen these lads described as everything from Swallow the Sun-esque death/doom, Cult of Luna-worshiping post-metal/sludge, to the blackened doom of Thou. 2018’s Mire is a landmark in its own right, and as we anxiously await its followup, we find newcomers Moon Reaper, definitely fans of Conjurer.” Genre reaping.

Stuck in the Filter – June’s Angry Misses

Stuck in the Filter – June’s Angry Misses

“So here’s a segment you all likely are too young to remember/never thought you’d see again. And it comes from the most unlikely source to boot—me! I discovered this feature through one of our monthly staff review calls/execution ceremonies, and I thought it was a shame we don’t use it more often. This comes on the back of a month where many of us were swamped with life events, massive overtime at work, and other such stressors. Naturally, we missed a bunch of releases, both ones we received promo for and ones we didn’t.” No filter!

Sunken State – Solace in Solitude Review

Sunken State – Solace in Solitude Review

“Though childhood friends and siblings surrounded me with the stuff, the only two metalcore releases that stuck were Trivium‘s Shogun and God Forbid‘s IV:  Constitution of Treason. And, depending on the mood, As I Lay Dying. The rest ain’t my bag. The reason I grabbed Sunken State‘s debut record was mainly for the vocal performances. It’s an interesting melding of barks, rasps, and shouts. Solace in Solitude also combines their metalcore sound with melodeath, Lamb of God groove, and subtle hints of death metal. It’s an interesting combination of elements—especially for a band from South Africa.” Core tour.