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Trash Monday CXXXII

I never knew the video of this song was this trashy…enjoy!

Emarosa – Versus

Emarosa. The name of a brilliant post-hardcore band that will make almost everyone think of Jonny Craig immediately. One simply can’t ignore the first two records when mentioning amazing genre releases of the past ten years, and rightly so. However, the band parted ways with their previous singer and, after more than a four year recording hiatus, are now back with a new album, called Versus, and a new frontman. But more about that a bit further down.

The sextet, at least that was the case during the recording, from Kentucky still has its distinctive style that fans have grown to love on the past two endeavors, but it has also expanded its sonic repertoire. With the song I’ll Just Wait they venture into the general territory of a ballad, and in another instance, Gold Dust, they almost play pop…but both songs are incredibly exciting to listen to, trust me.

Instrumentally-speaking, unless I’m completely mistaken, the band has changed their guitar tuning to standard, to accommodate the new vocalist’s range, but therefor the bass guitar is in the foreground on the majority of the songs. The resulting sound is so gratifyingly rich that I wish more records sounded like this. The drums interlock perfectly with the string instruments and create an immersive listening experience from the first second of these forty minutes to the last.

Now onto the biggest addition: the new singer, who goes by the name Bradley Walden, was previously in Squid The Whale and, while he does have a similar singing style in some instances, is nothing like Jonny. Which is a blessing and a curse at the same time…but let me explain: his timbre is different, his vocal technique is much more diverse and his lyrics are also in a slightly different tone. All those elements bring a fresh new breeze into Emarosa. But sadly, I fear that quite a few people will simply dismiss the band because “it’s no longer Emarosa”…which I think is just fucking stupid, pardon my French, since the eleven songs are top notch.

In closing, I’ll say that Versus is yet another strong post-hardcore release this year and, if you are open-minded enough to give “the new guy” a chance, you will not be disappointed…I promise. For more information you can visit the band’s Facebook page and listen to the song below to get an idea what awaits you! Enjoy!

Crown The Empire – The Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways

Today’s band put out one of my biggest surprise albums of 2012 and on July 22nd of this year they released the follow-up to it. In case you haven’t deduced it by the artwork above, I’m talking about Crown The Empire‘s The Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways. Over the course of the past two years the sextet from Dallas, Texas, has managed to establish itself as one of the biggest names in the metalcore scene, at least in the US, and with this new release they have managed to prove that they do deserve it.

The reason why CTE stands out from the vast majority of the band’s in the genre, is the fact that they have a very theatrical approach to their songwriting, akin to a soundtrack of a movie, and so far every album has been an entire story in itself; with the new one continuing the events of the predecessor. They also have a very distinct sound, which is purposely over-produced and very electronic-sounding. It definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it fits their music perfectly, in my opinion.

The thirteen songs are divided into three acts, which are always started by an atmospheric interlude, and cover many different directions, from ballads to your typical metalcore sound, to industrial-sounding songs. There is a lot of chugging, but also equally many melodic parts, thus creating an enjoyable symbiosis of both worlds. Generally-speaking, the material has a greater variety and has a more mature feel to it than previously.

Vocally, it’s still the same deal as usual: dual vocals, with one singer covering the clean and one the unclean parts. Both are noticeably auto-tuned to a certain extent, but go well with the plastic-y sound of the instruments. As mentioned earlier, the lyrics tell an interesting story set in a post-apocalyptic world.

To sum things up, I’d say that The Resistance is definitely worth checking out and all in all delivers on many levels, but it’s also not for everyone, since this is taking the modern sound to the extreme. I, for one, do enjoy it a lot but this band is one of the few where I ignore my personal preference in terms of how a record should sound, simply because the result is truly satisfying as a whole. Listen to the song below to make up your own mind and head over to the band’s Facebook page for more information! And last but not least: in case you want to experience what they sound live, move your ass to den Atelier on Monday, the 20th of October, where they will be opening for Asking Alexandria, alongside Secrets and The Ghost Inside!

Trash Monday CXXXI

If this counts as metal…then I might consider switching to pop permanently. Special thanks to Luc Francois for this one!

Solbrud – Jærtegn

I’ve recently had another one of those instances where I got an album of a band that comes from a country that I do not associate with the direction they play at all…and yet they’ve managed to convince me that genres are not necessarily tied to a certain place. The Danish black metal band Solbrud plays their music exactly how I like it, but more about that a bit later, and their second full-lenght Jærtegn is a really solid piece of art.

Funny thing is that I received the album in late July, when it was above thirty degrees Celsius, and I had a hard time getting into it because my mood influences the things I listen to a lot. “Luckily” however, the weather decided to be bad for about two weeks straight and the foundation for an ideal black metal listening session was laid. But enough weather forecast and rambling, let’s dive in!

When I mentioned earlier that the quartet plays a style of black metal that I love, I meant that the music is very monotonous, in a good way, and manages to build such a tight atmosphere that it’s so easy to get lost in the music. Each of the four songs is above ten minutes long, or just under, and the different riffs often repeat themselves for about a quarter of the song, with tiny variations, but somehow it never gets boring at all.

The majority of the forty-seven minutes is a non-stop assault of blast beats, double bass fire and fast-paced riffs, but every now and then the band switches to mid-tempo and that’s where shit gets real…goosebumps-inducing moments guaranteed. The best display of that is definitely the longest song, Klippemennesket, which builds up tension with a very simple progression of clean guitar notes before exploding into full pure goodness…only to return to the intro mid-song and then switch into the next power-laden part. Hands down my favorite on the album.

The vocals really remind me of Immortal‘s Abbath, but then again I must admit that I don’t know all that many BM bands…either way, the performance blends in perfectly with the instrumental background and completes the atmospheric ensemble in every desirable way. Lyrically, I have no precise idea what it’s about, because sadly my Danish is limited, but what I gathered from reading through the lyrics real quick is that it’s nature-based and about darkness…but please do take that with a big grain of salt.

All in all, Solbrud have recorded an album that has pushed just the right buttons for me and, for me personally, this is probably the black metal release of the year. While there might be connoisseurs screaming up right now mentioning dozens of other records, let me just say: listen to Jærtegn on September 15th when it’s released, it’s well worth your while. For more information, head over to the band’s Facebook page and be sure to listen to the live performance of the opening track of the record!

Betraying The Martyrs – Phantom

When I first heard the name Betraying The Martyrs back in late 2012, I didn’t really pay much attention to the band. In early 2013 I saw them live for the first time and their energetic live show convinced me to give their debut album Breathe In Life a chance. I haven’t regretted it to this day. I saw them again a bit later that same year and if anything, their stage presence had improved further. Naturally I was very excited when the guys announced that they were working on a new album, and when Phantom was finally released on July 15th, I was blown away by the result.

The sextet from France, which features a singer from the UK and a drummer from Russia, has a very distinct style that is easiest described by a made-up term: epic metalcore. Let me elaborate: the technical level of the musicians is very high and the arrangements of every song just have a purely symphonic feel to them, while still being relentlessly heavy.

The heaviness is assured by the very low, B tuning I think, guitar sound and crushing riffs, coupled with the almost robot-like precision of the drumming. To be honest, I could write a paragraph each about the skill displayed on every single instrument. But I’ll condense it a bit: the drummer is, in my opinion, one of the best in the genre despite his rather basic drum setup. The groove that this guy unleashes is just pure insanity, coupled with the above-mentioned tightness, speed and a mind-blowing amount of fills, it’s just a pure joy to listen to the forty-four minutes of madness.

The guitarists are in a similarly awesome sphere of grandeur, since their feel for melodies coupled with neck-breaking parts is eargasmic, yeah I just made that word up. Another very atmospheric layer is added by the keyboards, which are featured prominently but not to the point where it sounds like one of those electro-core bands. To top it all off, the production is exactly what I think a modern metal record should sound like: a clean but ear-drumming sound, which does in some places border on the over-produced but manages to walk the fine line between a genuine and a tweaked sound.

If BTM were an instrumental band, the thirteen songs would already be close to perfection at this point but they feature dual, triple during some choruses, vocals…so the epicness continues. The cleans have two major things going for them: their very skillful handling of melodic singing and something I just love, on a personal level: the very distinct Frenglish accent. The unclean parts cover pretty much every aspect of the spectrum, ranging from growls, to deeper growls, to even deeper growls, as well as screams and a few screeches for good measure. The small cherry on the pie are guest vocals by Gus Faris of Volumes on the track Phantom (Fly Away).

If by now I haven’t managed to convince you to give Phantom a shot, let me just finish off by saying that they covered a song from the Disney movie Frozen, which you can listen to below. While it sounds a bit ridiculous on paper, it sounds incredible when played and shows off the band’s sound perfectly while still maintaining the feel of the original song. This second record should be in every metalcore fan’s collection, since it will keep you entertained for hours on end, trust me. You can find more info about the band and their busy touring schedule on their Facebook page. Enjoy!

Trash Monday CXXX

Drugs. That’s all I have to say about that.

Basement – Further Sky

Sometimes, even when you’re sad when a band you like disbands, it’s worth keeping an eye on them. While it’s not always the case, some of them decide to reunite and release new music. Such was the case with the hardcore/grunge band Basement a few weeks ago since, after two years of being gone, they unleashed Further Sky.

The five guys originally from the UK have recorded two new songs, Summer’s Colour and Jet, as well as a cover of the Suede song Animal Nitrate. All three songs sound exactly like what you’d expect from the band and still make me want more, even after having listened to them at least thirty times.

The dreaminess that defines the band’s sound is ever-so-present, while still keeping it straight-forward and engaging. Especially the main riff of Jet just showcases why I fell in love with the previous record, Colourmeinkindness, back when it was released.

While this isn’t really a typical review of the eleven minute-long EP, I just felt like I had to mention that BASEMENT ARE BACK! I know that I’m not alone when I say that after this sweet little cock-tease, I’m willing to throw my money at the guys if they decide to make another full-length. Be sure to click play below and visit the band’s Facebook page!

The Kut – Make Up

I wanted to start this review with stating something, but then I read the band’s bio and thought to myself: let’s not. So let me skip that sentence and move on straight to the introduction: The Kut from lovely London are a three piece band that plays, as they like to call it, basement rock but to the uninitiated I’ll just refer to it as grunge for now. Their new EP Make Up was released in mid-August, however due to our break here at El Gore, I’ll just give you my impressions now.

The first interesting point that struck me about the trio is that, partly due to their low number of musicians, the bass is nice and strong in the mix, providing a groovy line throughout the five songs. As a matter of fact, the guitar is for the most part underlining the bass guitar, which is something I have rarely heard, but I absolutely dig it! The drums didn’t strike me as anything particularly special, but they do provide a fitting backdrop to the stringed instruments during the five songs, so nothing to argue there.

The vocalist has a nice rough and powerful voice, as is fitting for the genre, and has no issues whatsoever with busting out sweet melodies throughout the almost twenty minutes with her vocal chords. My favorite one being on the track Mario, which reminds me of something but I can’t, for the life of me, put my finger on it.

This about does it for Make Up, since it’s pretty straight-forward music but still well worth your while, so give it a listen below and in case you are truly curious what my opening statement could have been, head on over the band’s Facebook page!

Trash Monday CXXIX

Not technically a music video, but still the most hilarious artistic display I’ve encountered in a long, long time. 3:26 and 5:04 is when shit gets real.