Posts tagged ‘Metal’

March 16, 2022

The Midweekly – Rolo Tomassi

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

There are two souls in one body here in the band Rolo Tomassi. Sometimes in harmony with each other, and sometimes in conflict. The metal group from Sheffield, England know how to use both dynamics to their advantage on their recent release, Where Myth Becomes Memory. The first soul comes in the form of a dream pop ballad, with a beautiful, angelic voice from singer, and founding member, Eva Korman. Right alongside those vocals are the keys, both piano and synth, from other founding member, backing vox, and brother, James Spence. The keys are at the forefront during these parts, and together Korman and Spence create some lovely melodies. Now for the other side of things. That voice has now become a blood curdling scream, and with it comes a barrage of heavy guitar riffs and drums, both produced and stylized with mechanical precision. Dizzying time signatures give way to epic half time breakdowns, and vice versa. Lyrics about existential dread, and the search for enlightenment. It’s a fine slice of emo metal that RoTo has been perfecting for a decade and a half with their own DIY approach, and this new record presents great results. Maybe these two musical souls inside this band are really just one, but sometimes on this album it sounds like a legion. 

February 16, 2022

The Midweekly – Zeal & Ardor

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Take an old sound from a young country, and a new sound from an old country. Build a bridge between them inspired by an ancestry from both. That’s what avant-garde metal heads Zeal & Ardor are all about, and what they continue to do on their latest self-titled release. That ancestry lives inside the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Manuel Gagneux. The child of African-American and Swiss parents, both musicians themselves, Gagneux embraces the differing cultures, and transforms them into something new. Metal being the genre he grew up loving the most, it takes the front seat in Z&A, but almost every track has elements of blues, and old spirituals. A stomping, rhythmic beat, accompanied by hand claps and a woeful chant, reminding you of the American south, easily segues into lightning double kick drums, shredding guitar riffs, and monstrous shrieking out of the Nordic hinterlands. To give it all an extra touch of atmosphere, synths, piano, and even distorted horns play a key part in the production. The album’s lyrics for the most part are what you might expect from the genre. Reflections on the worst parts of humanity, controversial and otherwise. There are a few takes that get into the question of faith, or American hegemony, as well. All delivered through the dueling vocal ranges of either a soul singer, a grindcore screamer, or an amalgamation of both. Even bridging the languages of English and German. At the risk of becoming outliers, dismissed by the black metal scene, or scoffed at by blues aficionados, Zeal & Ardor forge ahead, taking their style of metal to new, and surprising places.

January 21, 2022

Friday 5×5

Friday 5×5 is our segment where we give you five new tracks to check out and give ourselves the challenge of describing said tracks in only five words.

Today we keep it brief and the let the music do the talking with new songs from TUYS, Jeremy Roscoe, Preamp Disaster, The Zealot Journal, and Gaijin Smash. See our sparseness and hear their greatness after the jump.

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January 19, 2022

The Midweekly – Arctic Char

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

There’s something churning in this flavorful stew of hard rock. Flashes of silver, like the steel of guitar strings, pulled out of the icy depths. Thrown onto a crackling fire, hot as the electricity in those amps. And sitting around it, cooking up what they’ve caught and created, a group of good-timers enjoying it all. That group is Arctic Char, and the stew is their self-titled debut. It’s an album that hauls out many sizes of rock and roll, from classic sounds to modern, and there’s no mistaking that midwestern heart from these Indiana boys. Groovers reminiscent of the 60s and 70s pioneers. Screechers cut from the hair of 80s and 90s metal. Even a blues number, or indie rock ballad here and there. You can hear the patience in the production process. Tight and polished. The instrumentation mostly speaks for itself, but also with help from some studio seasoning, to keep it spicy. Things get pretty wild in the lyrics. Adventurers, giants, and even cannibals pop up in these stories. But there are regular people, too, with regular people problems. The ingredients of great rock tunes. When the songs are biting, the stew is plentiful, and it’s ready for your consumption. 

June 23, 2021

The Midweekly – Mrs. Piss

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

The nails are sharp and painted black, and there’s a whole lot of dirt under them. Just like the debut record, Self-Surgery, from rock duo Mrs. Piss. Its doom metal maiden Chelsea Wolfe, and bandmate Jess Gowrie, both based out of Sacramento. Gowrie took over on drums for Wolfe’s full band back in 2017, but their friendship and songwriting collaboration goes back even farther with an earlier band. This project though is just for the two of them. Those familiar with Wolfe’s style will expect the dark and heavy here, and they’d be right. But there’s a quicker energy to some of these tracks as well. The riffs, provided by both members, are dragged through sludge, then whipped into a frenzy, splattering everything in its path. Menacing electro rhythms also make a few appearances, showing the experimental approach Piss took to the production. Lyrically, the songs emit a feminine power that encapsulates strength, and pride, but self-deprecates in cathartic ways, too. The filthy claws on this banger will leave you muddy, bloody, and ripped wide open. 

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June 17, 2021

The B-Side: Unfound Reliance

No one should be surprised when an absolute banger of a metal song is released from Sweden, it’s basically their number one export, but a lack of surprise does not make for a lack of “oh hell yeah!” “Legacy” by Unfound Reliance rips from start to finish. Brutal and melodic it’s everything we love about metal in one tight package. Turn it up and then turn it up some more.

May 14, 2021

Friday 5×5

Friday 5×5 is our segment where we give you five new tracks to check out and give ourselves the challenge of describing said tracks in only five words.

Today we have new music and just a pinch of words about it from Channel 3, Teren, Shylde, Chief Ghoul and OWTLASS.

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May 9, 2021

Play Listy For Me – Metal & Hard Rock Vol. 4

Play Listy For Me is our column where we share with you all the music we recently talked about in a genre blocked playlist, plus extra bonus songs.

Happy Mother’s Day! We got all the metal mammas out there the gift of all these rippers in one place.

May 5, 2021

The Midweekly – Genghis Tron

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Back in the mid 2000s the band Genghis Tron materialized onto the scene with a tastefully inventive style that combined hardcore metal with electronica, and one of the most clever names in heavy music. After only a few releases they unfortunately called it quits. Over a decade later the New York based group is back with Dream Weapon, their third LP. Though a lot of the record maintains GT’s harder edge, it also displays an evolution into more subtle riffs and tones. It’s difficult to classify this album as metal to be honest. For instance, their original vocalist, who decided not to rejoin the band, brought the screams. But the new singer has a cleaner approach. Another change up is the frenzied blast beating, or lack thereof. In the past GT relied on drum programming, but with the addition of a real drummer the music has taken on a more organic and driving rhythm. Most of the songs stretch long, and the lyrics are as abstract as the shapes and textures these tracks conjure. The digital conqueror rides once again with Dream Weapon in hand, across the territories of rock. 

May 3, 2021

We Never Asked For This

We Never Asked For This is our short reviews of the best releases that showed up in our inbox unsolicited this week.

Today we have new music from Simone Istwa, Vypera, Disturbios, Karaboudjan, Ari B. Ingber, ameliarose, NATL PARK SRVC, Plaster of Paris, the HVNZ and seasonal.

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