Band to watch: AERIAL. Norway is normally known for its black metal and general extremeness, but metalcore? Nah, right? Wrong. AERIAL are sure to set their homeland on the metalcore map if their debut EP Foresight is anything to go by. This week the band released a video for new single Foreign Coast and it is a perfect example of the band’s gloriously heavy yet melodic approach to progressive metalcore, in a similar vein to NORTHLANE. The standout vocals of Markus Johnsen with his incredible highs to his guttural lows raises the band to another level. Formed in 2015, the band relocated to the UK to record Foresight which was self-released in June 2016. Now back in Norway, AERIAL have set their sights on getting their music out there for the rest of the world to hear. With a strong post-hardcore stance on their sound too, there are lots of things to keep the heavy music fan interested; instrumental track Inspire/Interlude provides a progressive break between the crushing Everlasting and the deceivingly catchy Foreign Coast. Five songs just doesn’t seem enough for the EP, it will be interesting to see how they progress on their journey to album number one. But for now, they more than deserve your attention.
Video to watch: HOUR OF PENANCE. Last month saw the release of HOUR OF PENANCE’s seventh album Cast the First Stone on Prosthetic Records, and once again it has proven what a pummelling force these Italian death metallers are. Two weeks ago the band released a video for the title track and it can only be described as a visual feast of crusade imagery, flames and blood, lots of blood. Giving the song more of an epic feel, the simple video reflects the brutality of the music. Imagery of impaled babies and battle violence seemingly suit the brutal death metal HOUR OF PENANCE have become so well known for. Influenced by CANNIBAL CORPSE, the Italians somehow sound darker than their American counterparts drawing from more black metal elements to achieve a blistering violent assault on the senses.
In the stereo: CODE ORANGE. You might remember back in the eighth weekly roundup, CODE ORANGE were Metalmance’s band to watch. Well since the band’s third album Forever has hit the shelves, the band are moving from strength to strength, they’ve even bagged themselves a tasty support slot on GOJIRA’s UK tour in March along with CAR BOMB. The actual album though is sure to go down as a modern classic. Primarily hardcore, Forever has a bit of everything thrown in, making it one hell of a ride. Gritty, raw and ferocious, the album also harnesses a couple of surprises in the form of tracks such as the catchy Bleeding in the Blur and the MARILYN MANSON-esque Hurt Goes On. An intense record, the energy never lets up for a second, ensuring once the album finishes you’ll have it on repeat and repeat and repeat.
Band to rediscover: EMANUEL. With all the emo, screamo and post-hardcore reunions happening as of late, there’s one band who is still sorely missed and that is EMANUEL. The five piece from Kentucky gained praise and popularity with their 2005 album Soundtrack to a Headrush. The album title was truly fitting as EMANUEL was an energetic ball of punk rock; catchy enough to be on tours with bands such as THE AUDITION, and heavy enough to be on a more metalcore line up along with FROM AUTUMN TO ASHES or THE BLED. They were destined for big things by critics but by the time second album Black Tiger rolled round in 2007, the fire had died down and their musical direction had taken more of a spacey turn. Losing the screams, vocalist Matt Breen sounded more like Chino Moreno from DEFTONES and their edge just wasn’t there. The band soon fizzled out, becoming one of the decade’s most underrated and underappreciated groups. Soundtrack to a Headrush remains to this day, a modern punk masterpiece.