Another Sunday, another fresh set of new jams to listen to. Nurse your hangover, get comfy, relax and jam the fuck out with these ten bands.
10. Granite Mouth- A long Road Home
Let’s face it, metal core is not what it used to be. It has become one of the most easily accessible genres in the metal and hardcore scene. Auto tuned clean singing, cookie cutter riffs and unoriginal breakdowns are almost the status quo anymore. It is a safe genre were bands lacking in originality can shine, albeit briefly. Granite Mouth is basically a trip in a time machine to the early 2000’s era of metalcore. The riffs are fast and catchy. The structure of the songs is even reminiscent of the time, with two steps featuring metallic riffs carrying the listener to the next breakdown, or heavy riff, or slowed part. They manage to maintain this old school style of metalcore without risking sounding like they are either unoriginal or biting off of the bands that came before them. There are djent sounding riffs in this band, and you should be fucking happy about that.
Top Track: Kingdom of Sand
9. Revenge Season- Eternal Despair
Revenge Season is a ferocious hardcore band out of Atlanta, Georgia. It is only Monday, and I think I may have found one of my favorite bands from this week. These guys are really fucking heavy. They play a mix of beatdown and hardcore that results in some punishing music. The catchy and angry riffing is broken apart by crushing breakdowns and unrelenting drumming. The vocalist’s open, aggressive lows add even more to the pissed-off sound the band portrays. This music is made to hate mosh to. Try not to break shit in your room while listening to this.
Top Track: Malfeasance
8. Portrayal of Guilt- S/T
Portrayal of Guilt is a very interesting band. A four piece hardcore band out of Texas, Portrayal of Guilt is far greater than just a hardcore band. The first thing that sticks out to me is the vocalist. He has an incredibly high-pitched, black metal inspired scream that sounds like his throat is ripping at the seams. You don’t really here this vocal style too much within this genre. The music accompanying the shrieking vocals is frantic and chaotic, often times sounding like a wall of noise before everything comes together to drive a blistering riff into your skull. This three song EP is fast and violent and will make you want to listen through it again for a second, third, and even fourth time in one sitting before you move on to the next band.
Top Track: The One
7. Conjurer- Mire
Has it been a long time since you sat through a whole album and just got lost in the experience? The ambiance of a band’s music, if done correctly can sweep you up and take you into a world of the bands own making. Releases like this always feel one of two ways by the time they are over: satisfying as hell, or a few tracks too short (mostly because of how involved you feel into the music). Mire by Conjurer, a hardcore band with influences in black metal, doom, and sludge out of Rugby, UK does exactly that. Mire is a sonic experience meant to be listened to all the way through. The elements of black metal are executed perfectly. Ambient riffs and ominous chord progression, paired with tremello picking styles are paired with a more traditionally hardcore vocalist is an interesting and pleasing pairing. The breakdowns and more hardcore styled riffs that punch through the more melodic black metal styling punch hard in comparison to the rest of the music, which will often slow down to mellow, melodic picking right before the intensity gets turned back up. The song writing in this band is stellar. You would be missing out on a gem if you skipped past Conjurer.
Top Track: Thankless
6. Roseblood- dclxvi
Roseblood, a metallic hardcore band out of Montclair, NJ, is further proving the point that New Jersey is home to some of the best, heaviest hardcore you can find. Every song on this EP is a dangerous, seething banger. Not once in this fairly short, four song EP does Roseblood give you even a moment to catch your breath. Every song is filled with fight riffs, two steps and some of the most intentionally ignorant breakdowns I have heard in a long time. Jersey is, and always will be, on top.
Top Track: Dead Shadows
5. The Hell You Say- A Dream and the Monsters at the End of It
Bands like The Hell You Say always seem to grab my attention almost instantly. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, The Hell You Say is a very fast paced, southern influenced hardcore band that fans of bands like Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, and Converge will fall in love with. Upbeat, chaotic and fast as all hell, the guitar work from this band has that southern swing feel and furious pace that always tends to grab my attention. The vocalist switches from fierce screaming to almost soulful cleans seamlessly. This band has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to hear more.
Top Track: Mirkwood
4. With Wounds- Dead Horse
With Wounds is a brand new metalcore/hardcore band out of Atlanta, Georgia. When I say brand new, I mean JUST released their first recorded song brand new, and holy hell they couldn’t have had a stronger debut track if they tried. Dead Horse starts off with some menacing open chords and screaming vocals, with spoken vocals layered underneath. What follows this brief, 30 second introduction is all out energy and ridiculously heavy music. The vocals are piercing, angry and filled with emotion. There isn’t a calm part in this song. You are given a barrage of crushing breakdowns and really catchy riffs that will keep your head banging throughout the whole track. The chorus is almost reminiscent of The Acacia Strain, and that last breakdown comes in with no warning and hits hard as all hell. This band has a LOT of potential. I am positive this will not be the last time I write about With Wounds.
On their BandCamp page, Downhearted calls themselves “unorthodox hardcore” and I think that is an impressively accurate statement. Out of Omaha, Nebraska, Downhearted definitely stand out from the pack in the hardcore scene. Vocally, the band has more traditional sounding vocals for the hardcore genre; blistering, brooding high yells accented by raw low backup vocals peppered throughout each song. Musically, the band is downtuned and you can clearly hear the bass tone in each song (which always sounds great). A good amount of their music reminds me off the type of riffs and style that Lionheart put out, at other times you can almost hear nu metal influence. It is impressive how smoothly they transition between the more traditional hardcore songs like “Lowlife” and the more, as they say, unorthodox hardcore songs like “Die This Way” that have a more bouncy choppy, almost nu metal vibe to it. I find Downhearted to be a very refreshing sound in a genre where a lot of bands seem to just be copying off one another constantly.
Top Track: Lowlife
2. Kharma- Moment of Violence
Ever since Kharma put out Survival back in June of 2016, I have been following them pretty close. I love the contrast of sounds between the slammy, heavy music and the incredibly abrasive, high pitched, traditional hardcore vocals. It takes a moment to get into it, but the two sounds really mix amazingly. Kharma, from Illinois, have always had a strong “fuck you” attitude behind their music, taking stands on cultural issues and police brutality. The content that is covered by this band justifies WHY the band sounds as pissed off as they do. One thing that they do that I have always loved is that they seem to embrace hip hop culture. It was evident in Survival and is as well in Moment of Violence. This EP, to me is a huge step in the right direction for this band. They have strengthened their sound to become a true force to be reckoned with among hardcore bands. One of my only complaints I had from this band was that they needed some more variety in the vocals, and Moment of Violence does just that. While the main vocals are still those instantly recognizable highs, they are complimented by growling, full throated low screams that just add to the heaviness of their slammy breakdowns.
Top Track: Through my eyes
1. Outcast- Dissolution
Outcast is a perfect example of the type of hardcore I can really sink my teeth into. I love two steps, and Outcast delivers a shitload of really catchy two steps throughout all of Dissolution. The vocals remind me of a more New York style hardcore sound and the music pushing the vocals along are up-tempo and punchy as hell. The breakdowns and fight riffs laid down hit especially hard and create some seriously heavy moments. Breakdowns always hit harder when they are played by a band that doesn’t constantly chug in all their songs. Also, I can’t fucking get enough of when drums use the bell of their ride cymbal for a riff, it makes the riff so much fucking heavier. The lyrical content of Outcast is personal and different from the typical tough guy diatribe a lot of bands that play this genre tend to write and are delivered expertly. While the band doesn’t necessarily present anything new when it comes to trends in hardcore, they have perfected their sound within the genre and have created music that seriously fucking rips. The result is super fun music made to tear the pit up to.
Top Track: Chains