Hard Rock and Metal New Releases — March 16
Armored Saint, 'La Raza' (Metal Blade): 'La Raza' is Armored Saint's first album since 2000. It's been a decade, but Anthrax vocalist John Bush's 'other band' has its own merits. It's not as fast as previous Armored Saint efforts, and bassist Joey Vera acknowledged that fact that he is older, wiser and in a different head space. But Armored Saint are still riffy and they still rock, carving out pockets of groove on 'Head On.' Also, 'Loose Cannon' and 'Left Hook From Right Field' nabbed our undivided attention.
Bury Tomorrow, 'Portraits' (Artery Foundation): Those Brits in Bury Me Tomorrow have brushed up on their studies and completed their metalcore homework on 'Portraits,' which features all the elements of emtalcore: screamy vocals, sweeping and clean melodic singing, some solos dispersed here and there and more breakdowns than the shoulder of a major Interstate, so call AAA and get your mosh on with 'You and I' and 'Evolution of Self.'
Landmine Marathon, 'Sovereign Descent': Slay, lady, slay. That's what Landmine Marathon's frontrager Grace Perry does on the whole of 'Sovereign Descent.' But it's not just the Grace Perry show. She holds her own against bludgeoning riffs and technically proficient metal that's played with speed and precise potency. Sounds like the Arizona heat is driving Landmine Marathon to make crazy heavy metal.
The SmashUp, 'The Sea and the Serpents Beneath' (Eulogy): Even though Brooklyn is a haven for hipsters, the SmashUp aren't all trendy on 'The Sea and the Serpents Beneath,' which meshes Every Time I Die-style metalcore riffery with Incubus-influenced clean vocals, with a little bit of At the Drive-in's unorthodoxy. Dynamics, baby! Dynamics dominate 'Weight the Anchored Cross.'