Metalcore is not dead, the good stuff just went underground. Forget about all that Hot Topic crap. It’s time to dig into the good stuff, and I’ve already got 3 more to share with you. These are the talented musicians who prove that this is still a genre worthy of attention and not just some passing fad.
Hollow Bones is a New York metalcore and post-hardcore band. They are named to reflect the beauty, function, and delicate nature of a bird’s skeleton. Having shared the stage with bands such as Periphery, Whitechapel, Born of Osiris, and After the Burial to name just a few, these up and comers have a lot of potential. It is clear from this self-release, ‘Lionheart,’ that this is a band with passion and commitment, with plenty of talent to carry a very personal message. The guitars and drums are an excellent mix of heavy technical arrangments, soaring post-rock, and a little punk for good measure. But the real pleasure here is the interplay of vocalists Patrick and Sharon. Patrick screams his heart out on personal issues like the death of his brother, while Sharon engages in gorgeous, catchy melodies reminiscent of A Day to Remember or perhaps Paramour with a lot more substance behind it. Drytooth is an excellent starting point, but I also highly recommend Altruistic Lung or I Watched the Snow Fall and Bury Your Bones.
Pelgrim is a metalcore/mathcore/djent and progressive metal band from Tilburg. I hear shades of Sikth, Periphery, and Torrential Downpour up and down the foundation of this album. Guitars favor those low-end grooves, but break them up with some killer leads and solos to remind us that these are capable musicians and not just a bunch of dudes who know how to tune down and use thicker strings. In addition to just being very talented and catchy, the band can also incorporate jazz, sax, and even marimba into their tunes like you wouldn’t believe. Keep your finger on the pulse for these guys. I see them going places.
We tend to think of places like Oslo, Norway as the stomping grounds for black metal, but there has been a growing scene of hardcore and metalcore musicians coming out of the area. Halcyon Days is the latest of these groups to pass through my inbox. Reportedly influenced by Architects and Counterparts, these guys throw a pretty heavy dose of post-hardcore into their sound. It’s to the point that they would be right at home sharing the stage with a group like The Story So Far just as much as a some of the heavier acts. Their latest EP is catchy, thoughtful, and feels like a precursor to something truly great. I hope to hear from them again soon.