Trivium

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.

Black Swamp Water – Awakening Review

Black Swamp Water – Awakening Review

“I grabbed this promo from the rattlesnake and scorpion-infested bin at AMG‘s Southwest office because I thought it was thrash. See, I’ve been on a thrash kick lately and I had no qualms grabbing another thrash release to review. The band name didn’t exactly strike me as a band that played thrash. But, who am I to judge? Maybe they’re swampy thrashers from the South, like Pantera and Exhorder. But, this is no thrash band. Everything I know about life is a lie.” Swamp romps.

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.

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Heathen. I’ve got three shirts that say it and nine people that call me that. I liken it to a word like ‘dickhead.’ It’s got great pop and works in all situations. Though it’s maybe more fun to call my mom a ‘dickhead’ rather than a ‘heathen.’ But, I suppose it depends on the day. Speaking of fun, let’s talk about that other Heathen. The one that released Empire of the Blind, and we never got it.” Blind fury.

5Rand – Dark Mother Review

5Rand – Dark Mother Review

“Regardless what the band name means, I bet those who dabble in guessing a band’s genre by their name can guess this one. With simple melodeath riffs set atop typical metalcore ones, 5Rand‘s unique trait is the alternating rasps, growls, cleans by vocalist Julia Elenior. Toss in headbanging licks of Shogun-era Trivium and some rather impressive drum work, and you’ve got the band’s second full-length release, Dark Mother.” Mother knows beast.

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.

Lucis Absentia – Gehenna Gate [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Lucis Absentia – Gehenna Gate [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“I remember when I was first introduced to Cincinnati’s Lucis Absentia back in 2015. Only that wasn’t the name they went by. When Justin of War Curse first told me about them, they had a single EP under the moniker of Gomorrah. With the name change in 2016, the rumors of a full-length release began to whirl around the dark alleys of the underground. And, now, after three long years, Lucis Absentia‘s debut record is here. And you, I, we are going in on Gehenna Gate at ground zero.” Gate creepers.

Manam – Rebirth of Consciousness Review

Manam – Rebirth of Consciousness Review

“Metalcore is an important genre. Now that all the metal elitists are lighting torches and gathering pitchforks, let me explain. Most kids these days (sadly) aren’t listening to Master of Puppets, and the gateway bands of the 80’s simply are not converting new people. I would never have discovered this site and thereby many of my now favorite bands like Wilderun, Barren Earth, Æther Realm without first stumbling onto Killswitch Engage. So, my interest was piqued when Lord Druhm visited the n00b dungeon to deliver the promo for Italian band Manam’s debut, Rebirth of Consciousness, promising a blend of melodeath and metalcore.” Gateway thugs.

An Interview with Unleash the Archers

An Interview with Unleash the Archers

“This autumn saw Unleash the Archers undertake their North American tour in support of 2017’s excellent album, Apex. October saw the tour roll through Calgary, with supporting act Striker and a couple of local bands. Huck N Roll somehow shoehorned his way into the club and managed to find some time to sit down with vocalist Brittney Slayes (before he was discovered and rudely extracted from the premises), to talk about the tour, the next album, and King Diamond.” Apex interviewer.