Hard Rock and Metal New Releases — May 11
As I Lay Dying, 'The Powerless Rise' (Metal Blade): 'The Powerless Rise' is another solid outing for Christian soul rescuers As I Lay Dying. It's teeth-bared metalcore with shreddy riffing and more breakdowns than the shoulder of a major interstate and a smattering of clean vocals. But the San Diego band hasn't turned the corner or experimented with 'The Powerless Rise.' They don't stray from their formula on 'Anodyne Sea' or 'Without Conclusion' (probably my fave track), but the semi-commercial 'Parallels,' with its singy chorus, is the most Warped Tour friendly AILD have ever sounded. 'The Powerless Rise' will sit well with fans of Killswitch Engage and Iron Maiden.
Attila, 'Rage' (Razor & Tie): While 'Rage' is something you think frat boys do on Friday nights with keg stands, Atlanta's Attila, who are self-proclaimed 'party metal' -- but in a totally fun, 'make you wanna mosh' way -- rage in the way that makes blood vessels burst, puppies hide and negative energy drain from your body. 'Lights Out' is smoshy -- smash plus mosh -- but it's not all meat-headed fury. There is a current of 'we don't take ourselves too seriously' running through 'Rage.' The title track, with its eponymous chant, will put a s--- eating grin on that mug of yours.
Brain Drill, 'Quantum Catastrophe' (Metal Blade): While a 'brain drill' is something you don't want to find yourself on the business end of, this Brain Drill achieves the same zombified result with a relentless death metal assault; squealing licks, the kind of vocals that will cause Steve Rathjen to speak with a rasp for the rest of his life. The album has less groove, more speed and plenty of guitar show-offery. 'Beyond Bludgeoned' is your bestest bet.
Howl, 'Full of Hell' (Relapse): Howl are quite the Relapse band. That is, they fit the label brand of uncompromising underground metal that is as trend-free as it is monstrously good. 'Full of Hell' is a guitar-centric release, with 'Heavenless' and 'Asherah/Jezebel' lulling you into another state of mind with their rattling riffs. Take a '70s stone rock vibe, crank the amps to 110 (instead of 10) and voilá, you've got yourself a Howl.
I Am Abomination, 'To Our Forefathers' (Good Fight): Noisecreep premiered I Am Abomination's new song 'Rock 'N' Roll No Soul,' and they like to play with prog conventions: noodly guitars, keys, sing/scream vocals. Between the Buried and Me fans will certainly latch onto IAA, since they both like to stretch form and function to their limits.
We Are the Fallen, 'Tear the World Down' (Universal): Take one former 'American Idol' contestant and pair her with ex-members of million-sellers Evanescence, and you've got a nearly fool-proof recipe for success. Carly Smithson has pipes that can carry these songs.