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.


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!