Browsing Tag

Alt Metal

Post-Hardcore goes Pop (Punk) in Secular Era & Drexl Bowie’s single, Master Morality

Two juggnautical entities in their own sonic right, Secular Era and Drexl Bowie, converged to show mere mortals what ‘Master Morality’ sounds like with their latest release. With guitars augmented in the same vein as the hooks in MCR’s I’m Not Okay fused with Slipknot-esque nu-metal percussive proclivities and synthy melodies to keep the down and gutturally dirty track upbeat, Master Morality is an adrenalizing slice of ingenuity that will swallow you whole and spit you out drenched in rancorous euphoria.

While many heavier outfits turn their nose up at the tones of pop-punk, Secular Era & Drexl Bowie saw the potential within it. By using the stickiest and sweetest elements and infusing them into a tumultuously electrifying sequence, they made it impossible to find a track that hits harder while simultaneously keeping their finger on the guilty pleasure pulse. Putting Master Morality into words is no easy feat, but if you can imagine Nena’s 99 Red Balloons fused with Sugar We’re Goin Down and tasked Static X to pay ode to the cross-genre synthesis, you’d get an idea of the engrossing, ingenious, uninhibited insanity delivered via Master Morality.

Master Morality was officially released on December 1st; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shrapnel unleashed the meta(l)morphosis of the year with their latest single, In Gravity ft Scott Kennedy

In collaboration with Scott Kennedy (Bleed from Within), the eclectically inspired metal monoliths Shrapnel unleashed the meta(l)morphosis of the year with their latest single, In Gravity.

All the precision, power and prowess that catapulted Shrapnel to acclaim is ensnaringly evident in the fervently cathartic juggernaut, which sonically and thematically moved with the times to acknowledge the pain, tragedy, and isolation collectively endured in recent years and to place the powerhouse at the pinnacle of modern metal.

After breaking through the chains of expectation and obligation to confine themselves to assimilating thrash antiquities, In Gravity is an adrenalized statement of intent. There’s no understating the riled euphoric energy which insurgently courses through the veins of the anthem for optimism where demons are exercised, and the past is forsaken for the present.

Between the exhilarating earworm propensities in the melodically cataclysmic choruses, the brutality of the breakdowns, the relentless dynamism of the guitars, and the flawless production by Jens Bogren (Sepultura, Kreator, Devin Townsend), the new maturity of Shrapnel is priming them to become the orchestrators of the album of the year in 2024.

In Gravity was released on December 7. Add it to your metal playlists on Spotify or stream the official music video on YouTube.

Follow Shrapnel on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Immerse yourself in the artfully metamorphic instrumentals in Blinded By Hope’s seminal prog-rock release, All We Know

Blinded by Hope

Emotion charters the path through the artfully metamorphic instrumental arrangement in one of the standout singles from Blinded by Hope’s debut LP, The Darkness That Surrounds Us.

The Australian innovators found their signature sound between the landscapes of prog-rock, melodic rock, and art rock to allow the seminal single, All We Know, which unravels as an emotionally resonant and sonically complex piece which takes you through the dark depths of human emotion via a backdrop of artfully progressive instrumentation.

From the opening notes, All We Know draws the listener into its profoundly reflective aura which swells around the alt-metal roots in the complexity of musical structures. But don’t let the gravitas in the release fool you, the track is as accessible as it is resonant as it vies for your attention through technical prowess and the emotional odyssey it represents.

The vocals echo the tender yet powerful style of Incubus, adding a soulful depth to the track. This vocal gravity anchors the song’s tumultuous ebb and flow, creating a captivating tension that is both stirring and poignant. The band’s focus on crafting a meaningful song, rather than just showcasing technical skill, shines through every note and lyric, making All We Know a superlatively compelling listen.

Stream Blinded by Hope’s music on Spotify, and keep up to date with news of the release via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Play That Funk Metal Music and Hit Play on Master Splinter’s Latest Installation of Clamorous Rancour, Wednesday Night

For their latest release, Wednesday Night, the trailblazing outfit, Master Splinter, which is hell-bent on being the breakthrough outfit out of the year funked up a sludgy and clamorous alt-rock aesthetic reminiscent of Mudhoney, Melvins and Soundgarden while proving once again that Mike Patton isn’t the only one capable of delivering the Mr Bungle effect.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like if a 70s funk rock ensemble had a violent acid trip with instruments in hand while being caught in the throes of lust, indulge in the Portland, Oregon-hailing troubadours of rhythmically tight, face-melting aggression’s latest offering, which punches through hip-hop-inspired drums and uses the devil may ensnare vocal lines to rile up the energy from the searing hot guitars and prowling basslines.

The 2023 Remaster of Wednesday Night hit the airwaves on October 26; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

heaven // alone seared their striking alt-metal aesthetic into the airwaves with their sophomore release, cognitive decline

With melodic grooves as rhythmically seductive as the White Pony LP fused with an early 00s metal aesthetic in the same vein as Mudvayne, complete with white-hot searing riffs and cataclysmically all-consuming breakdowns, heaven // alone asserted themselves as one to watch via the unveiling of their sophomore single, cognitive decline.

The vocals effortlessly keep pace with the seamless sonic transgressions as they veer from atmospheric harmonies that draw you into the ennui to guttural cries that will throw you right back to when Mushroomhead held dominion over the alternative scene.

The Perth-hailing five-piece may be fresh from their debut, but through their stylistic authenticity, alchemic song crafting and polished production, you can consider them a triple threat as you lose yourself in their evocatively compelling ingenuity.

cognitive decline was officially released on November 3rd; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Eville unleashed a champion heavyweight earworm with their ragefully incandescent brat metal hit, Leech

Eville

After driving drum n bass breakbeats through the prelude, the Brighton trio Eville underpinned their vengeantly furore-fuelled pop-hooked single, Leech, with industrial nu-metal volition to deliver one of the most vindicating hits of 2023.

So much more than your average brat metal Barbie, the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist Eva Sheldrake became a fierce icon of the alt-metal scene with Leech. Hell hath no fury like a woman free from toxicity and vehemently determined to raise others to her own level of empowerment. With the instrumentals mainlining adrenaline into your rhythmic pulses, the track monolithically unravelled as the ultimate protest to subjugation via manipulation.

Fans of Slipknot, Powerman 5000, and In This Moment won’t fail to accommodate the infectious and ragefully incandescent single on their playlists. It almost seems a paradox to describe such an instrumentally heavy single as radio-ready, but there’s no disputing the mainstream appeal or quality of the production, which was ensured by Jamie Sellers at Run Wild Music, who has worked with everyone from Ed Sheeran to Elton John to Little Simz.

Eva Sheldrake of Eville Said: 

“Leech is very special to me; it’s an emotionally raw track through determination to make the lyrics real, no matter how uncomfortable that reality may be. 

I hope listeners take as much from it as I did by relating through experience with inner conflict and toxic situations that are hard to escape. As always, our producer, Jamie Sellers, brought our vision to life more viscerally than we could have imagined.”

Leech will officially release on October 20; pre-save the single on all major platforms via this link.

Keep up to date with the latest releases from Eville via Instagram and Facebook or join their legion of followers on TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ramener took over the NY metal scene with their explosively experimental single, In Her Hand

The melodic metal monoliths, Ramener, started to take the NY Metal scene by the force of their heavy riffs and thrashing solos with the release of their debut single Dogs, in 2022. In 2023, they’re reigning rancorously supreme, especially after the release of their seminal single, In Her Hand.

With the melodic lines which bear reminiscences to Brian Molko’s twisting into classic metal volition on a whim and the instrumentals which veer from melodic hooks to thunderous power metal breakdowns sharing the same explosive propensities, In Her Hand is a lesson in high-octane authentic experimentalism.

Any fans of the 00s metal sound will want to kneel at the altar of this adrenalized masterpiece, which encompasses the visceral agony of empathy when it comes to the inner turmoil of the person whose soul most feels at home, regardless of how their afflictions afflict us.

In Her Hand was officially released on September 8th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shadowburn let the film roll in their cinematic alt-metalcore single, Naked with You  

Maryland’s most experimental outfit, Shadowburn let the film roll in their cinematic alt-metalcore single, Naked with You. As the clothes hit the floor, the atmospheric magnetism of the fiercely liberating release draws you deeper into the alchemic combination of funked-up bass grooves, melodic rock licks and the vocal pop hooks that make way for the guttural outcry the track closes one.

Just when you think you’ve got Shadowburn pegged, which may or may not be an inapt turn of phrase given the track title, they hit you with a cataclysmic curveball of a metalcore breakdown. With each member bringing their own influences and styles to the outfit, arresting distinction was always going to come to fruition. Yet, how good it feels to immerse yourself in it was far from a given.

After opening for everyone from Lacuna Coil to Butcher Babies to Powerman 5000 and taking over the Tri-State area, Shadowburn, who throw their heart and soul into their amalgamated ingenuity, are clearly on the rise; get them on your radar and watch their ascent.

Stream Naked with You on all major platforms, including Spotify, Bandcamp and Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Falling Below tore through the façade of fallacy-weavers in their alt-metal debut, Liar

Falling Below

The Nottingham alt-metal emissaries in the freshly constructed powerhouse Falling Below are set to storm the local scene and beyond with their ground-breaking debut single, Liar.

Following a dissonant prelude, the tight and technical instrumentals start to breed an electrifying disquiet atmosphere for the evocative alt-metal vocal lines to charge into. Building on the iconic 00s metal sound, the amalgam of melodicism and furore that lies within Liar will leave you eating out of the palm of the five-piece’s hand.

There hasn’t been this much contempt thrown at living and breathing fallacies since Godsmack tore them to shreds with their single, I Fucking Hate You. With the guitars sharing as much vitriol as the lyrics and the sweet release of catharsis in the anthemic chorus, Liar is one of the strongest (in every conceivable way) debuts we’ve heard this year.

We can’t wait for the forthcoming eponymous debut EP, which promises to indomitably find the perfect balance between despair and hope to provide a soundtrack of resilience.

The debut single will be available to stream everywhere from August 18th; check out Falling Below on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

New Zealand powerhouse Thess have made a monolithic hard-rock return with ‘Kombakke’

If Coal Chamber, Deftones, Alice in Chains, Mushroomhead and Pantera were placed in a smouldering sonic pot, the simmering amalgam would groove in the same hard-rock vein as the latest single from the Nelson, New Zealand-hailing fourpiece, Thess.

After a recording hiatus, the monolithically hard-hitting powerhouse released their brand-new single, Kombakke; and there’s the promise that there is plenty more in the pipeline from the criminally underrated act, which more than has what it takes to send ripples through the industry that are powerful enough to move tectonic plates.

The extended single melodically pulls you through a myriad of progressive stylistic exhibitions of the band’s dynamism – never allowing you to get complacent with the ever-transitory rough rancour that efficaciously delivers catharsis to anyone on the same pissed-off page.

Kombakke was released on February 14th. Hear it for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast