Weekly Roundup #2

Some bands to warm your cockles in this autumnal week…

Band to watch: BRUTAI. Last week this promising metal band from London announced they had signed to Transcend records which was the cherry on top of a successful Summer. Over the past few months they have shared stages with the likes of TEXTURES and SOILWORK and played a storming set at Bloodstock Festival much to rave reviews. Their debut album Born will be released (or should that be ‘will be born’?) on 25th November 2016 through their new label and if it’s anything like their last single Deep then we are all in for a treat! Mixing melodic melodies and screams with metallic riffs and a touch of keyboard sprinkled over the top, results in a solid sound from the young band feeling more confident with their sound. There is certainly a British feel with elements of SIKTH and even INME seeping through into the song writing but BRUTAI manage to use their influences to their advantage to create music which will appeal to fans across both the rock and metal spectrum alike. This is surely the beginning of great things and with a tour due in January supporting metal greats DEVIL YOU KNOW and WESTFIELD MASSACRE, we can expect to see more of these London lads!


Video to watch: GHOST. You either love them or hate them, but you cannot escape this ghoulish rock band’s catchiness. The video to their new single Square Hammer from their EP Popestar is a fiendish delight. Their cinematic influences are on full display here as aesthetically, the video looks like it could have stepped straight out of the 1920’s era horror cinema. Fans will appreciate nods to cult classics Metropolis and Nosferatu in the video and GHOST along with director Zev Deans recreate this style to make their own grainy, spooky visual treat. The unnatural colours and fuzzy outlines add to the vintage style which compliments the song perfectly as Square Hammer is retro in feel and tone. If you adore them or despise them, there’s no doubt they are here to stay.


Most anticipated release: TRAP THEM. This Friday TRAP THEM will be releasing their fifth album Crown Feral through Prosthetic Records and it’s bound to be a raw, dark beast. This underground band from Boston and Seattle is hard to pigeonhole, and that’s a good thing! Taking hardcore, metal, punk, black metal, and even sludge, TRAP THEM mixes them up and fires out pure rage and aggression to create their own bleak, sonic soundscape. This band hint this album will include riffs inspired from their love of horror soundtracks, so expect a new type of unsettling darkness from this truly underrated band.

Still in the Stereo: LACUNA COIL. When eighth album Delirium dropped back in May, fans were greeted with a darker and heavier LACUNA COIL. Based around an abandoned asylum near to where the band live in Italy, the album is full of tales of illness, betrayal, death and the darker side of the human mind. 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. But Christina Scabbia’s faultless voice provides a beacon of hope for all the darkness and woe. Video for single Delirium was released earlier this month and it reminded fans just what good form the band are in. The solid and polished production are what keeps pulling us back to the album and Scabbia’s soaring vocals still stun. Catch the band on tour in the UK this November.


Band to rediscover: OPEN HAND. It was announced last month that new material will be released soon, so this would be a good opportunity to remind the world just how good this band is. OPEN HAND are ridiculously talented songwriters and musicians with their crowning glory being the album You and Me released in 2005 on Trustkill Records. How this album wasn’t huge, I do not know. Its complex instrumental layers topped with gloriously slick and sweet melodies and catchy vocals is a bliss rock treat for any music lover. A couple of songs were graced with delicious male/female vocals which shaped such an irresistible boy vs girl sound (refer to songs Tough Girl and Tough Guy) that personally, no other male/female vocal has topped since. Go on, treat yourself and indulge in a bit of OPEN HAND.


Band yet to listen to: KROH. This doom band from Birmingham have been slowly working their way into the underground community’s conscience and have recently been added to the Damnation festival bill. Expect to hear more about these guys and gal soon.


Listened to anything good lately? Comment or email Metalmance!

Weekly Roundup #1

Proggy, black metal and pop rock madness

Welcome to the first Metalmance Weekly Roundup! What else is there to do on a Tuesday evening? Back in the day I used to live for Tuesday nights as that was when Mike Davies on Radio 1 used to do his Lock Up punk rock show, remember that?

So this is where I’ll be summing up what bands I’ve been listening to this week and what new bands I think you should check out. So, without further ado…

Band to watch: VOLA. These lovely Danes mash up all sorts of genres to create music which sounds as refreshing as it is unique. Elements of djent and prog all settle nicely under soaring keyboard hooks and catchy lyrics. Look out for a review later in the week of the reissue of their album In Mazes which will be released this Friday. You can catch VOLA supporting KATATONIA in the UK next month! The band also released their new music video this week for song Stray the Skies it is made up of more than two thousand hand drawn frames which makes a truly amazing visual experience for such a brilliant song. Trust me, once you’ve listened to it you’ll have the song in your head for days. You can see the video and read more about the band via the link below.


Video to watch: CARACH ANGREN. These Dutch horror metal masters dropped their new video yesterday for their track When Crows Tick on Windows and you really shouldn’t watch it alone at night. Visually it looks like the film Sinister, only with a better soundtrack. The attention to detail here and quality of the visual production stops CARACH ANGREN feeling like a second rate GHOST.  If you’re feeling brave you can watch the video via the link below.

Most anticipated release: TESSERACT. This Friday TESSERACT will reissue their third album Polaris as a new entity titled Errai. With Polaris, the band really stepped up the game and removed themselves even further from their former djent label into a more progressive style. It will be interesting to see what new treats Errai will offer fans. They will support DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT in the UK next March.

Still in the stereo: BILLY TALENT. Billy Talent’s fifth album, Afraid of Heights was released last month and it just gets better and better with each listen. The hooks and catchy lyrics hark back to their early days but there also is a new confidence to their sound. The title track proves to be a moving track and reminds you that you almost forgot just how poetic and honest their material is. You can see them on tour in the UK in October.


Band to rediscover: HIMSA. It’s been eight years since this Seattle metalcore crew disbanded yet their material hasn’t aged at all. Managing to avoid all the whiny vocals the genre was associated with, HIMSA proved to be a brutal beast, capturing the energy and aggression  of hardcore and metal and combining it to create their own metal sound. Their music videos were a treat too, with the tennis parody of Unleash Carnage to the puppet production of Big Timber. This was a band which could have fun and poke fun at themselves which is what the ‘scene’ really needs these days. If you listen to one album by them, then let that be Summon In Thunder (2007). Produced by the master himself, Devin Townsend, this album which proved to be their last was also their most brutal and varied.

Band yet to listen to: INQUISITION. I’ve heard a lot about this riffy black metal band, but yet to fully indulge myself in their stuff. New album dropped last month.

Any good bands to check out? Get in touch!