Hard Rock and Metal New Releases — April 27
At the Soundawn, 'Shifting' (Lifeforce): This Italian troupe plays with textures and alterna-core on 'Shifting,' making them as ripe for the Warped Tour as they would be for Ozzfest, to place them in an American context.
Bullet for My Valentine, 'Fever' (Jive): The Welsh blokes have skyrocketed in recent years, thanks to adept riff displays that fall somewhere along the spectrum between Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium. BFMV and 'Fever' are all about the shred. The choppy first single 'Your Betrayal' rages with the heat of a thousand suns and the album boasts a crisp, clean production where every note is experienced. 'The Last Fight' and the title track marry melody with metallic bluster in a way that never waters down either element.
Daniel Lioneye, 'Volume II' (The End): Members of goth metal shoegazers H.I.M. moonlight in Daniel Lioneye, a much more metal project than their main gig. 'Euroshaman' has some electro pop moments, but it's also ultra-fast and has a blackened tint. It's a refreshing and unexpected step away from what they are known for. It's decidedly Scandinavian metal and we like it. 'I Never Wanted to Be Number One' is another crunchy number.
Mantric, 'The Descent' (Prosthetic): Mantric are quite the anomaly. The band sometimes sounds like Mastodon in the riff sense, and at other times, they rock out like [insert Warped Tour band here]. It's a deceptively appealing mix. There's prog passages dispersed among some skin-breaking and scarring metallic bite. 'Tower of Silence' and 'Symptoms' house vocals that have an almost Bloodlet-style grit, too. Anyone get that early-'90s Victory reference? Some vocal parts even sound recorded underwater. This is definitely not easily digestible and is an acquired taste.
1349, 'Demonoir' (Prosthetic): Oh, blackened day. 1349's 'Demonoir' looms like a cloud of metallic drama and bombast over your day. The album is sprinkled with interludes in between songs so you get five minutes of war metal, punctuated by noisy, vocal-less instrumentals, which offer yet a terrifying minute-long 'break' from the brain-battering ram songs. 'When I Was Flesh' and 'Psalm 7:77,' the latter of which plays out like a soundtrack to the gallows, could rip the hair out from the root. There's no nicey-nice, and if you're going to slather on the corpse paint, then that's the way it should be!
Warbeast, 'Krush the Enemy' (Housecore): There is no better endorsement than one from Pantera's Philip Anselmo and Texas-based Warbeast have exactly that, since Anselmo is releasing their music via his rebooted Housecore imprint. The band pisses in your garden with crusty, nasty, dirt-caked punk-paced necro metal. The thunder of the gods is on full display here.