From Inside – The New Era

Release date: 13th January 2017. Self-release.

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Barely a year old, Liverpool’s alternative metal outfit FROM INSIDE are set to unleash this beast of a debut EP, The New Era. Aiming to offer fans something which will help through dark times, what else would be better than catchy, emotionally driven metal to guide us into 2017? Drawing from bands in the same vein as BRING ME THE HORIZON, you might be wondering what FROM INSIDE could possibly bring to the table we haven’t already heard a million times before. Well by incorporating electronic, orchestral and atmospheric elements to their material, their sound already sounds richer than many established bands, hopefully meaning this young group aspire to stand out from the crowd and become game-changers down the line.

Launching into the opening track Still Breathing with samples and electronics, the song soon clears into a parade of raw and clean vocals aplenty with the subtle electronic hook driving the song to its crushing breakdown. The production is slick with the help of Drew Lawson of Steel City Studios (BRING ME THE HORIZON and WHILE SHE SLEEPS) but still keeps the tone heavy.

Second track Be Yourself continues to demonstrates the band’s ability to pen an irresistible tune and deliver the soaring vocals. But in the background there is plenty to keep the ears entertained, with plenty of atmospheric flourishes to notice after a few listens. The same can be said for first single Find My Way, which seems to pull from a range of influences from post-hardcore to heavier bands such as MOTIONLESS IN WHITE.

Two Sides of Me fully displays the emotional tone of the band, both through their honest lyrics and their heartfelt music. It starts off like a laidback PIERCE THE VEIL but soon storms in with raw vocals accompanied by the shimmer of piano notes. The switch between raw and melodic is something FROM INSIDE have already fine tuned and is definitely one of their strengths.

Last track There Was A Time moves into DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL territory with absolutely gut-wrenching vocals propelling the band to a climatic finale. The electronic elements steal the show at the end though, bringing the EP to a chilling and spine-tingling close. A promising start from new hopes of the British scene. Get set for the new era of alternative metal!

Metalmance Top 20 Albums of 2016

A great year for metal! Who took the top spot?

Welcome to the first Metalmance Top 20 Albums! 2016 has been a hell of a year for metal this year, with lots of reunions and surprise releases. Not all entries will have a blog link due to Metalmance only being a third of a year old. So let’s get straight to it…

 

sleeping  No. 20  CANDIRIA – While They Were Sleeping                     

It’s good to have CANDIRIA back isn’t it? While They Were Sleeping is the band’s eighth album and their first on Metal Blade and it’s a reminder of the band’s refreshing metal mix of hardcore, prog, hip hop and jazz. If you’re new to CANDIRIA, then this album is a good start. Check out the link below to see what Metalmance said about the band’s video for the title track.

Weekly Roundup #4

 

a3458996965_10  No. 19  INCITE – Oppression

You can always rely on INCITE to provide some straight-up, relentless metal, and with their fourth album Oppression, the band continue to carve their own niche in the scene. This isn’t easy when you’re the stepson of metal god Max Cavelera, like frontman Richie Cavalera is, but INCITE are more than capable of thriving on their own. With an intense live show to match, INCITE should be one of your bands to watch.

 

kvelertaknattesferd  No. 18  KVELERTAK – Nattesferd

Every KVELERTAK release is an exciting bag of rock n roll, black metal and punk. This, being the Norwegian’s third album is no different but includes a glorious classic rock tinge to proceedings without losing any the original ferociousness the band are known for. Still raw, fast and exciting, KVELERTAK are still on the rise.

 

mortiis_cover  No. 17  MORTIIS – The Great Deceiver

Another welcome return in 2016 was MORTIIS with their new album The Great Deceiver. After a hiatus of almost five years, the new material was like reuniting with an old, industrial friend. The album has the timbre of Downward Spiral era NIN, but with a contemporary twist, all resulting in a pretty impressive album for the revival of industrial metal.

 

14040057_10154510824634759_8534743349618738043_n  No. 16  NOCETM – Haeresis

Stumbling upon Spanish extreme metallers NOCTEM was an excellent discovery this year. Their album Haersis is still bludgeoning the ears of Metalmance. Read a snippet of the review below and follow the link to the full review.

“Introducing NOCTEM, a black metal band that have more tricks up their sleeve than you might first perceive. They sound like all of your favourite extreme bands rolled into one delicious, morbid package, each track offering a new twist to proceedings.”

NOCTEM – Haeresis Review

 

nails_-_you_will_never_be_one_of_us  No. 15  NAILS – You Will Never Be One of Us

Probably the most unforgivingly brutal release of the year, NAILS winded metal fans around the world with the absolutely punishing You Will Never Be One of Us. Twenty minutes of sheer face-ripping, ear-pummelling metal, it never gives up for a second. This is how metallic hardcore punk should be done.

 

annisokay  No. 14  ANNISOKAY – Devil May Cry

One of Germany’s most promising metal exports, ANNISOKAY makes metalcore exciting again with their pure passion for their craft. Not afraid to include massive choruses, this young band can only get bigger with their irresistible melodies and crushing riffs.

“With the aggression of newer PARKWAY DRIVE and the melodic sensibilities of bands like SAOSIN and SILVERSTEIN, ANNISOKAY will appeal to fans across the melodic metal spectrum.”

ANNISOKAY – Devil May Care Review

 

lacunacoildeliriumcd  No. 13  LACUNA COIL – Delirium

Italy’s finest never disappoint. Still churning out masterpiece after masterpiece, LACUNA COIL have set their own bar high in the form of Delirium, their eighth album and heaviest to date. Based on narratives surrounding the abandoned asylum near to where the band live, the album is full of intensity and emotion. It still packs a punch over half a year later.

“The subject matter helps to shape the band’s most intense album to date with opener House of Shame bursting in kicking and screaming with the heaviest riff and vocals we’ve heard from LACUNA COIL in a long, long time.”

Weekly Roundup #2

 

textures-phenotype-artwork  No. 12  TEXTURES – Phenotype

Four long years since their last release, TEXTURES finally dropped fifth album Phenotype back in February and it’s still a rewarding progressive metal album. Vocalist Daniël de Jongh is proving his worth with the absolute belters of New Horizons and opener Oceans Collide. Recorded simultaneously with the album Genotype which will be released next year, don’t be surprised if TEXTURES also feature on the list next year.

 

wallsofjerichonoonecd  No. 11  WALLS OF JERICHO – No One Can Save You From Yourself

Yet another band returning from a hiatus, Detroit’s WALLS OF JERICHO released No One Can Save You From Yourself and it is a perfect return to form. The hardcore greats are as ferocious and as angry as ever and could easily show younger bands how it’s done. Welcome back.

“Candice Kucsulain, along with the rest of the band WALLS OF HERICHO, delivers such straight up, no nonsense hardcore punk, it’s mind boggling this hardcore troupe from Detroit do not receive more credit and recognition.”

Weekly Roundup #3

 

brutai  No. 10  BRUTAI – Born

2016 finally saw the release of the debut album by London’s BRUTAI. It was well worth the wait, with its refreshing approach to the melodic metal genre making the band one to watch. With big riffs, big ideas and big choruses, BRUTAI pulls it all off with aplomb and passion. One of the UK’s brightest metal hopes.

“The future of British metal has indeed been born.”

BRUTAI – Born Review

 

a0651344947_10  No. 9  ANAAL NATHRAKH – The Whole of the Law

A band who never disappoint, ANAAL NATHRAKH returned this year with ninth album The Whole of the Law, which is quite possibly the band’s most punishing album to date (if that’s even possible). The brutality ramps up with each song, making The Whole of the Law an intense listen which rewards you with mutilated ears.

“A new ANAAL NATHRAKH album is always a joyous occasion – if joyous means the same as the sensation of having your face battered off by a shovel.”

ANAAL NATHRAKH – The Whole of the Law Review

 

dreamshade  No. 8  DREAMSHADE – Vibrant

A late treat in the year, DREAMSHADE’s third album Vibrant is a gloriously melodic affair with a whole lot of heart. Their passion for their music overspills in each song, ensuring you get wrapped up in their infectious metal and melodies. A great discovery for Metalmance this year.

“An album which shimmers with melodic metal perfection, this third offering from Swiss band DREAMSHADE is indeed a vibrant effort.”

DREAMSHADE – Vibrant Review

 

evergreythestormwithincd  No. 7  EVERGREY – The Storm Within

EVERGREY…dark, emotional, intelligent, melodic, heavy, progressive…and catchy too. Is this an album with everything?? Guest appearances from Floor Jansen? Check. Songs with a big heart? Check. Dark and moody atmosphere? Check. Intense and beautiful video accompaniments? Check!

“If you want some progressive metal which you can belt out around the house, then look no further than EVERGREY.”

Weekly Roundup #9

 

vola-inmazes-album-art  No. 6  VOLA – Inmazes

Technically a reissue through Mascot Label Group, it’s such a treat of an album it would have been rude not to have featured it in this year’s list. VOLA’s Inmazes features most of the year’s catchiest melodies and big choruses, with Stray The Skies still owning the most memorable keyboard hook in recent memory. A young band full of promise and potential, VOLA are ones to watch for sure.

“The young band from Copenhagen have already fine tuned their sound which incorporates chugging guitars giving way to soaring vocals and catchy keyboard hooks.”

VOLA – Inmazes Review

 

animalsasleadersmadnesscd  No. 5  ANIMALS AS LEADERS – The Madness of Many

Modern metal legends ANIMALS AS LEADERS dropped The Madness of Many a month ago and it is captivating and mesmerising audiences worldwide. Just listening to a few seconds of opener Arithmophobia will make you understand why. An album bursting with a stupid amount of musical talent, ANIMALS AS LEADERS have outdone themselves again. How will they ever be able to top this?

“The diversity of sounds on this album demonstrates how far the band push the boundaries of progressive music and composition itself, as far as utterly breaking free of limitations and creating the most mesmerising music which doesn’t seem possible by man.”

Weekly Roundup #11

 

0045778746064_png_1200x1200_q90_crop  No. 4  SAOSIN – Along The Shadow

Another band who ended their hiatus and released an album this year. With Along The Shadow, SAOSIN have created a modern, post-hardcore classic. There was always a risk of sounding run-of-the-mill or sounding too similar to CIRCA SURVIVE, but the band thankfully pulled out all the stops and released one of the year’s most surprising highlights. Heart wrenching songs, big riffs and even bigger choruses, they’re the kings of the new post-hardcore generation.

“The album is one hot nostalgic trip to the glory days of post-hardcore, but somehow they sound timeless.”

Weekly Roundup #13

 

ihsahn-arktis-e1450461123634  No. 3  IHSAHN – Arktis

Ihsahn needs no introduction. This year he almost reached perfection with Arktis, an album so full of twists and turns in extreme styles it is spectacular from start to finish. There are plenty of unexpected elements which feature in the album, including SHINING’s Jørgen Munkeby providing a cheeky bit of saxophone on Crooked Red Line and LEPROUS’ Einar Solberg providing the stunning vocals on closer, Celestial Violence. A modern classic, Arktis will astound listeners for many years to come.

 

635902518368165120  No. 2  PORT NOIR – Any Way The Wind Carries

Possibly the most exciting discovery for Metalmance this year, PORT NOIR is a band which is almost impossible to pigeonhole. With songs bordering on pop, then others edging towards CULT OF LUNA-esque riffs (see Black From the Ink) each song is a different melodic beast. Elements of funk, jazz and metal complete with the distinct vocals of frontman Love Andersson, make Any Way The Wind Carries a rewarding listen each time. For a trio, PORT NOIR have such a rich and deep sound you wonder at how they haven’t already cracked the mainstream. An album so diverse and well executed, Any Way The Wind Carries deserves its high ranking in this list.

“The level of melodic goodness doesn’t detract from the heaviness on the album, instead you feel like you’re listening to all of your favourite genres as they are all sprinkled into one tasty package.”

Weekly Roundup #5

 

blackcrowninitiateselves

No. 1  BLACK CROWN INITIATE – Selves We Cannot Forgive 

And here we have it! Metalmance’s album of the year! BLACK CROWN INITIATE’s Selves We Cannot Forgive has been on frequent rotation since its release. A truly spellbinding example of progressive death metal and its very best. An absolute beast of an album, it pummels you with its devastating riffs and ferocious drumming, then revives you through the utterly compelling clean vocals. The band mix slow and brooding, with fast and aggressive with such zeal the album is a seamless triumph of modern metal. Standout track Belie the Machine pulls you in with its entrancing introduction, you think you’re safe for a few minutes, then the band absolutely crush you with a catastrophic riff GOJIRA would be proud of. The title track shows the more melodic side of BLACK CROWN INITIATE, with its soaring vocals and piano accompaniment. A diverse and ambitious album, it deservedly owns its place at the top spot.

“This, being the band’s second album released through eOne Music, is such a varied beast with  each track harnessing its own surprising little nugget.”

Weekly Roundup #4

Weekly Roundup #13

Unlucky for some, but lucky for you metal lovers.

Band to watch: SET ON END. Think New Zealand is all about The Lord of the Rings, Flight of the Conchords and sheep? Guess again. Prog metallers SET ON END are well on their way to stamping their homeland on the progressive metal map. Their debut album The Dark Beyond was realised in July through Artery Recordings but new video for single Claw At The Throne dropped this week, reminding everyone why they deservedly demand your attention. On the TEXTURES end of progressive metal, previous singles Dissent and Dark Beyond also demonstrate the band’s knack of mixing groove into proceedings. With energetic aggression in the form of captivating frontman Jesse Cleaver and the riff genius of guitarists Matt Borsos and Gerry Dunn, SET ON END also somehow incorporate hardcore-punk worthy breakdowns to give their music an added punch. Brutal, groovy and progressive, what are you waiting for? Delve in!

 

Video to watch: DREAMSHADE. Today, Metalmance favourites DREAMSHADE dropped video for new single Where My Heart Belongs to accompany the release of their new album Vibrant. The content of the video matches perfectly the love and feedback the band have received from their fans already today. With footage of the band touring the world and playing many shows and festivals, it’s obvious the DREAMSHADE community are a passionate lot; with their fans showing the band some love but also the band clearly appreciating them and giving the love back through their energetic performances and attention they give on social media. The song title has connotations of returning to a loved one after months of touring, but maybe, just maybe it stands for the band returning to where they belong – on the road and amongst their fans. With tunes as strong as their fan base, DREAMSHADE are only set to get stronger.

 

In the stereo: SAOSIN. When Anthony Green reunited with SAOSIN at the tail end of 2014 I think everyone rejoiced with the news. As good as the other vocalist Cove Reber was (the debut self-titled album is still an emo classic) SAOSIN with Anthony Green is post-hardcore heaven. In May this year the band released their first full length album with Green (he had only appeared on their debut EP before) in the form of the stunning Along the Shadow. The album kicks in with the incredible The Silver String, raw emotion clearing the way to soothing melodies. The album is one hot nostalgic trip to the glory days of post-hardcore, but somehow they sound timeless. Ideology is Theft has probably the most climatic post-hardcore middle eight seen this side of 2010. An album full of beautiful moments and heart wrenching melodies it’s no surprise Along the Shadow still gets frequent spins in the stereo.

 

Band to rediscover: DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from these metalcore greats from London, but today they released their new track The Reckoning on Bandcamp for a good cause. In August, fellow metal musician and friend of the band, Tom Searle from ARCHITECTS sadly passed away. All proceeds from The Reckoning will be donated by DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL to The Martlets Hospice as a tribute to Tom Searle’s legacy and to help others with a terminal illness and their families. A good cause by a great band, The Reckoning is also an exciting slab of atmospheric metal which is hopefully a good indicator of the crushing material we could expect from the band next year. Follow the links below to hear the single and buy off Bandcamp or to donate directly to the JustGiving page.

http://music.basickrecords.com/album/the-reckoning-single

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Basick-Records

 

Karmanjakah – EP

Self-released. Release date: 3rd Dec 2016.

KARMANJAKAH seemed to have crashed onto the prog scene out of nowhere and have been teasing curious fans with a taster of what’s to come with their spectacular track Color (read more about it in Weekly Roundup #11). Now the EP has finally dropped and – my goodness – Color really was just a tip of the iceberg of the unexpected mini masterpiece which is this debut EP. These progressive Swedes draw from a lot of influences, including obvious nods to djent legends PERIPHERY and TESSERACT (the latter’s own Acle Kahney actually mastered this EP), but there are also some post-hardcore vibes happening here once you dig past the dominant progressive layer.

Kicking off proceedings is Growth, which is one of the heaviest tracks on the EP. A strong introduction to the band it features all the KARMANJAKAH components which appear throughout the record; heavy riffs, soaring clean vocals with the occasional screams and just pure, blissful melodies. It is hard to put into words what mesmerising journey this EP takes you on, but the lyrics encourage you to join the band on their progressive adventure “Here I go, watch me as I lift-off”. And bloody hell do the band lift off!

Second track Proposal is another heavy affair, this time being graced with the brutal vocals of ENTHEOS’ Chaney Crabb which give the song an absolutely punishing dynamic. One of the punchiest tracks on the EP, Proposal also demonstrates how KARMANJAKAH comfortably sway between heavy genres, a debut EP is the perfect opportunity to dabble with ideas but the band seem to be able to pull off anything they try. The same goes with Color, a song which potentially could have seen critics moan about KARMANJAKAH being ‘another copycat djent band’, but the band accomplished writing such a beautifully melodic and powerful song, they should be able to stand their ground and silence the naysayers.

Fourth track The Mill is quite possibly the highlight of the album. Beginning with a chugging guitar hook, the song frequently spaces out into a spellbinding melodic haven, with a gorgeous piano accompaniment and the incredible vocals of frontman Jonas Lundquist. However, it is towards the end of this track the EP hits its peak with all these elements combining to reach what only can be described as progressive metal enlightenment. Strong words I know, but you won’t forget the first time you hear this song.

The EP finale Roselund is a storming closer. Once again bringing in the djent influences but having a killer chorus to match, you’ll be left wishing this was a full length album by the time the song starts fading out. If KARMANJAKAH can appear out of nowhere and independently release a stunning debut release such as this, then imagine what they can achieve when the KARMANJAKAH ball starts rolling.

Weekly Roundup #12

Your weekly dose of rock, metal and prog, all in one blog.

Metalmance is 3 months old! Let’s celebrate by listening to some kick ass metal…

Band to watch: SHE MUST BURN. Hailing from London, SHE MUST BURN will be unleashing hell when they support DEVILMENT on their UK tour which starts in Colchester next week. A blackened mix of late BLEEDING THROUGH, early ABIGAIL WILLIAMS and MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, make this promising band an exciting concoction of blastbeats, screams, strings and all things in between. The sheer brutality delivered by frontman Joseph Sinclair along with the ferocious riffs and drumming, are stunningly contrasted by beautiful vocals of keyboardist Aimy Miller. It may not be the most original idea, but this dynamic is superbly executed and really propels the band to another level. Garnering interest with their absolutely crushing self-titled EP released in 2015 and touring with CRADLE OF FILTH, SHE MUST BURN signed with Artery Recordings this year and should hopefully be set for a brilliant 2017. Not just your average ‘core’ band, SHE MUST BURN have the ability to pummel the breath out of you yet revive you with soaring melodies. An incredibly exciting and promising band, you’d be silly not to give them a listen.

 

Video to watch: WESTFIELD MASSACRE released a video for Respect Resistance and launched their Kickstarter campaign this week to help complete their second album, the follow up to this year’s self-titled debut. You should already be familiar with the warblings of frontman Tommy Vext from his time in bands DIVINE HERESY and SNOT, but now he’s once again showing everyone how it’s done with his flawless vocals in the LA-based WESTFIELD MASSACRE. The band ace the whole brutally groovy, melodic metal shebang, akin to bands such as KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, but Respect Resistance also has irresistible LAMB OF GOD and STILL REMIANS vibes. The video features live footage of the band at various shows and meeting fans, but also cheeky cameos of other metal musicians with the likes of SEVENDUST’s Lajon Witherspoon and BUTCHER BABIES. This video displays the band’s passion for music and love of playing on the live circuit which is the focus here as the Kickstarter is also so the band can fund a tour in support of their forthcoming album. If you want to donate then follow the Kickstarter video below!

 

In the stereo: HAKEN. These progressive metal masters recently announced plans for a European tour next Spring to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Not only that, but they’re re-releasing albums Aquarius and Visions to boot! So to celebrate this week, HAKEN’s latest album Affinity has been spinning in the stereo. An irresistible slab of progressive metal, there’s plenty happening here to keep all metal fans excited and interested. 1985 is a gloriously nostalgic trip of catchy metal with delicious keyboard hooks. Then The Endless Knot has become infamous for THAT cheek lil bit of dubstep! Each song has something completely new to offer and each listen is rewarding with a new discovery. Affinity is a perfect example of an album by a progressive metal band who have been in the game a long time but still deliver and keep it fresh. With all these new, young prog pups emerging onto the scene, HAKEN can show them a thing or two!

 

Band to rediscover: CIRCA SURVIVE. It’s been 10 years since CIRCA SURVIVE’s masterpiece On Letting Go was released (what is it with 10th anniversaries in this weekly roundup?) and in January the band are planning a tour in America to celebrate. Now would be an opportune time to revisit this classic album. Anthony Green always stuns with his distinct vocals (how great was this year’s SAOSIN album Along the Shadow?) so any material sung by Green is an absolute treat. The band always had a mature sound and a poetic and intelligent stance on the lyrics and song writing, so no wonder the band were held in such high-esteem in the rock community. Often falling into the ’emo’ category, the band were always much more than that. Songs with technical depth yet featuring sweet melodies with feeling, CIRCA SURVIVE’s material have survived the test of time and still sound fresh and relevant to this day. Fingers crossed the tour means new material too.