Weekly Roundup #8

Rolling your eyes at the Download announcements tonight? Check out this week’s hot picks…

Band to watch: CODE ORANGE caused some major ripples in the hardcore scene with albums Love Is Love/Return to Dust (2012) and I Am King (2014) released through Deathwish. Now signed to Roadrunner Records, this Pennsylvanian troupe are set to completely blow all competition out of the water with their forthcoming LP Forever. Earlier this week the video dropped for the title track and the song is absolutely lethal. Gritty and aggressive, edging towards grind in places, Forever demonstrates the band’s ability to pen a down-right ferocious ear assault. The video is the visual equivalent of the music; violent and utterly spellbinding. If the band are able to maintain this rawness then the future of hardcore is bright, the future is CODE ORANGE.

 

Video to watch: THE INFERNAL SEA. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing THE INFERNAL SEA live (or joining in their ritual being the more appropriate phase) you’ll notice the video for Plague Herald has the same eerie aesthetic as their live performance. In the live footage, a swathe of green light shrouds frontman Dean Lettice and his plague mask-adorned bandmates as they lead us into the era of the Black Death. It is this hellish period of history which is the focus of the band’s current album The Great Mortality, and the video explores the darker side of the human nature when the plague was rife. A little interesting nugget of trivia for you though, the mace used in the video clip once belonged to Øystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth from MAYHEM, further hammering THE INFERNAL SEA’s stakes in the black metal world. We may no longer live in the days of the Black Death, but the time of THE INFERNAL SEA is imminent.

 

In the stereo: COUNTING DAYS. Everyone loves a good riff and COUNTING DAY’s blistering debut album Liberated Sounds is chock full of them. Released October 2015, the album still packs a punch a year on. The London band’s modern metal is kicked up a notch with hardcore elements and delicious groves. Screaming in loud and fast with opening track Burned By Faith, it sets the racing pace for the remainder of the record. It is hard to believe this is a debut album as the quality of material and strength in the band’s sound could fool anyone into thinking they’ve been in the game for decades. Beaten & Scarred is a furious hardcore stomper, but they can soon switch to bass-heavy groove such as the title track will have you lapping up all that COUNTING DAYS have to offer. The diversity of styles heard on Liberated Sounds (check out the interlude The Vines) make COUNTING DAYS a very exciting band to listen to as they soak up numerous influences and blast out their own unique brand of metal. You’ll soon find yourself counting the days until new material.

 

Band to rediscover: THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT sadly announced this summer that they were calling it a day. This month you’ll be able to get your hands on vinyl pressings of all of the Brisbane band’s releases and so now would be a good excuse to rediscover the group’s glorious 2008 album, Final Conversation of Kings. Simply put, this album is a stunning example of THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT’s distinct progressive rock. Upon first listen you may be fooled into thinking they were any old pop-rock band, but no, if you delve a little deeper you will be rewarded with beautifully crafted prog elements that sit so comfortably with frontman Clint Boge’s beautiful vocals. Stand out tracks Window and the Watcher and In These Hands boast catchy hooks and even catchier lyrics without dumbing down the quality of the songwriting. The whole album is a solid collection of material by a band in their prime, but alas it turned out to be their last. It is the final conversation of Kings indeed.

Arch Enemy, Soilwork, The Infernal Sea.

The Waterfront, Norwich. 21st August 2016.

THE INFERNAL SEA

This black metal troupe from Peterborough kicked off the night with their black death inspired noise. Clad in a uniform of hoodies emblazoned with their logo, plague masks and shrouded in green light, punters in Norwich hadn’t been greeted with this much intensity since OATHBREAKER shattered eardrums last year. Ferocious drumming, raw vocals and a taste of most recent album The Great Mortality, leave the crowd in awe of the ear battering they have just received. It is safe to say new fans joined their ritual tonight. British black metal is safe in The Infernal Sea’s hands.

 

SOILWORK

As soon as these Swedish melodic death metal Kings hit the stage with opener The Ride Majestic, The Waterfront turned into a hot, sweaty mess of flailing limbs and banging heads. Soilwork had released rarities album Death Resonance a few days previous, and tonight really felt like a celebration of their long career and back catalogue. Old favourites such as Nerve sat seamlessly alongside newer anthems like Death in General. The crowd were putty in Bjorn and co’s hands and when old fan favourite Bastard Chain erupted, it almost reduced The Waterfront to rubble. Charismatic tongue-wagging guitarist Sylvain brought the fun and smiling faces were seen all around after the victorious set. After almost two decades as a band, Soilwork have proved tonight they are still one of the pioneers of the melodic death metal genre. Let’s hope they don’t leave it another ten years until they return to Norwich.

 

ARCH ENEMY

Overhearing other members of the crowd it is clear what is on everyone’s mind; will Alissa live up to Angela’s legacy? The answer is an undoubtedly, resounding YES! From the start Alissa took command of the crowd and the room was filled with her distinct rumbling growl. Material from most recent album War Eternal went down a storm. The title track was screamed back at Alissa with such a passion from the fans that the band could not help but lap up the crowd’s enthusiasm and return such an energetic performance for the hour and a half they were on stage. Old gems such as Ravenous, My Apocalypse and Nemesis still sound just as devastating as when they were first released. Light hearted fun was brought by Alissa encouraging the crowd to ‘sing along to’ the solo in My Apocalypse, have you ever been encouraged to sing along to a solo? The thing which stood out tonight was Alissa’s professionalism and pure admiration for her band mates, always moving the focus from her to the rest of the band when it was their time to shine. By the end of the set there was no doubt Alissa had cemented herself as the frontwoman of Arch Enemy and one will garner respect from metal fans for many years to come.