If you are like me and aren't ashamed to mix a little metalcore with your more extreme genres, you have come to the right place. There were some fairly notable heavy-hitters in the genre with solid new albums last year (August Burns Red, iwrestledabearonce, etc.), but my guess is that many people haven't even heard of the groups you are about to see below. However, make no mistake, the issue here is 100% lack of promotion. All 8 of these groups are extremely talented and should not be left out of the fray. For the full write-ups on each of these you can click the album and follow that to a link of the review.
Silent Homes is metalcore from a place I don't think I have heard the genre before: Budapest. I never would have guessed listening to Soul Harbour, as it bares all of the marks we find from it here in the states: solid production, killer melodies, and of course the English language. Which leads me to further reinforce the mission statement that we should leave no stone unturned when it comes to music. While perhaps being at a bit of a geographical disadvantage when it comes to touring, support, and (perhaps) demand for this genre; Silent Homes lack none of that talent.
All in all, this is an interesting debut and a particular fusion of folk and metalcore I don't think I have heard before. I'd even venture to call it folkcore (cue groans). Whatever you choose to call it, M.H.X's Chronicles have a lot of unique strengths to build off of, and I look forward to hearing how they grow and tighten up over future releases.
The first two tracks alone sold me. It's like Mors Principium Est and As I Lay Dying had an angry little baby; treading the line nicely between the worlds of Gothenburg and metalcore. There's even some silighly proggier moments on the closing title track and "Unveiled." Things will occasionally slow to a crawl, but just long enough to set a up a thrilling conclusion ("Water Draws the Root"). Expect nods stylistically to everything from Unearth and All That Remains to Lamb of God and Arch Enemy. And that other key element for a great album, consistency, is a big part of what keeps me coming back to Deluding Paradigm.
False Flags are a band out of Leeds, UK that play a mixture of what could be equally labelled hardcore, mathcore, and/or metalcore. Their EP, Hexmachince, is 6 focused blasts of what made all of those genres fun to begin with. Add these chaps to your follow list, cuz we will be seeing them again in the future. Plenty here for fans of Norma Jean and Botch.
These Canadians are insatiable riff monsters. After the lovely intro, "Feral Inversion" opens with an epic blast of core-infused melodeath that gets me thinking back to Serenity in Murder. Terraform is a good example of implementing clean singing while keeping the overall sound and harsh vocals just on the cusp of death metal. Melodies are strong and the placement is additive to the overall composition. Check out "Return to Form" or "Failure II" to see what I mean.
Welcome Orient Fall from Budapest, Hungary. They play more of that djenty, progressive metalcore the kids love these days. And in this case, I love it too. From the very first few notes of Fractals, I was checking off all of the necessary boxes: Technical musicianship? Check, Solid production? Check. Djent foundation is backed by more than just binary bullshit? Check. Soaring melodies...you get the idea. For fans of Born of Osiris and Within the Ruins.
I think what impresses me more than the idea behind Iron Sun is the clear passion behind it. The impressive level of work on the music from such a young band is nothing short of admirable. The production is as lush and full as most major-label releases, and without feeling compressed or overdone. Guitar lines are insanely catchy, heavy, and fun from the dark, foreboding "New Voice," to the somewhat bouncy, increasingly melodic tapping and solos of "Concept Citizen." I'm not sure of the band's actual influences, but I can certainly hear groups like Periphery, As I Lay Dying, and August Burns Red.
It's that rare frat party one gets dragged to and finds that these blokes are actually quite alright. "The Fever" might be a good summation of The Hell's sound: corny cinematic intro, 80's hair metal radio-ready vocal hook, insane megadeath boogy bass, and some f@#king thrashy riffs. Self-aware avantgarde pop metal? Is it serious or sarcastic? I have no idea, but f@#k it I'm grabbing a solo cup and funnel. Tongue-in-cheek spoken word and commentary, English accents, weird dancable hip-hop tropes, and a dose of Every Time I Die and Stray from the Path. This is something I never knew I needed, but absolutely do. For fans of We Butter The Bread With Butter.