Sheesh, has it been 5 of these already? Hope you’re ready for more. How about that new Norma Jean album? They’ve still got it. And now we’ve got a new Every Time I Die record just on the horizon. With all the excitement you look like you could use some new music in the meantime. Time to get lean, mean, and not-quite-so-extreme.
CHARIOTS OF THE GODS
Ottawa’s Chariots of the Gods are back with new album, ‘Ages Unsung’ thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. You want more classic-sounding metalcore? Coming right up. Chariots of the Gods nail that early All That Remains style. You know, before everything went to sh*t after ‘The Fall Of Ideals’. The guitars have the same focus on thrilling, harmonized hooks and the vocals a similar flair for dramatic cleans and fierce screams. Exhibit A would definitely be the chorus on War of the Gods. Throw in a little Killswitch Engage and a dash of As I Lay Dying and you’ve pretty much got the idea. It’s not flawless, but even with all of the metalcore groups coming out of the woodwork through bandcamp and small labels there are precious few that manage to pull of this exact feel. I grew into my own listening to albums like ‘This Darkened Heart’ and ‘Alive or Just Breathing’, so I am always excited to come across any spiritual successors. Looking forward to seeing these guys hone their craft.
Shokran was founded by primary songwriter Dmitry Demyanenko in Yeysk during the summer of 2013. Initially a one-man-band, it grew into a full line-up after the release of the debut ‘Sixth Sense’ EP. Their sound falls more in line with the new-school of metalcore: plenty of Djent in the guitars and poppy sentiment to the clean vocals. Very little hardcore influence here. This could have been a turnoff, but the level of skill in some of these noodly riffs and odd time signatures also conjures thoughts of Textures, Born of Osiris, and Within The Ruins. In terms of heaviness, they are probably the closest to the former’s leanings towards prog metal; but when the deep growls and mathy breakdowns kick in on tracks like Living Arrows and Revival Of Darkness you’ll be banging your head for sure. And Praise The Stench is just a straight “sumeriancore” banger. Also, in case the album art, title, and track names didn’t tip you off this is a conceptual album about the plagues of Egypt.
ZOMBIES ATE MY GIRLFRIEND
Check out Cape Town, South Africa’s Zombies Ate My Girlfriend. Though it’s been a year since their last album, they recently won the Wacken Metal Battle in Germany and are working on a follow-up. I hesitated at adding them to this list, as their sound is heavy enough to start leaking into other genres (think The Black Dahliaa Murder, Lamb of God); but between their moniker, riffs, and the fact they have toured with the likes of August Burns Red, I think they can fit in just fine. Crushing guitar hooks and vile screams on the cusp of death metal are the name of the game. Appropriate Hate Crimes, The Spear, and Hail the Disaster are among my favorites. And that album cover…that is either the most offensive or most progressive photography I have seen in some time. Listen to 2015’s ‘Retrocide’ below.