She Must Burn started gaining international attention after their self-titled EP was released in 2015. Since then they’ve gotten to do things that even long established bands would kill to do. They’ve shared the stage with the legendary bands Cradle of Filth, Carnifex, Fallujah and more. The UK band very recently released their debut full-length, Grimoire, and by the sound of the record and what bassist Frank Korsair has to say, it’s clear they are ready to dominate.
UK metal band While She Sleeps broke out big time when they released their 2015 full-length, Brainwashed. By the sound of their recently released music videos for new album You Are We – due out April 27th via Sharptone Records – WSS are about to get even bigger. The band’s newest single, “Silence Speaks,” carries the band’s heartfelt yet extremely aggressive style to new peaks. It also features Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon, which is arguably the best thing Sykes has done for metal since Sempiternal. Check out the new music video for this roaring single and don’t forget to check out some of the band’s other videos from their upcoming album, You Are We.
There’s no doubt that pop punk has been on the rise the last couple of years and is enjoying (if pop punk knows how to enjoy) its current renaissance. Just look at music festival lineups for proof. The resurgence is a global phenomenon. Trash Boat is a band from St. Albans, UK bringing the catchy sadness with their record, Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through.
UK band Landscapes pull off one of the most diverse sounding melodic hardcore records with Modern Earth. The gruff, desperate, and poignant vocals mixed with the brooding instrumentals give the album a sense of texture that is hard to match. From slow crooning songs “Remorser” and “Escapist” to sing-a-longs like “Neighbourhood,” it’s hard to pick a favorite. The clean vocals transition to uncleans so easily and the changing rhythms flow so naturally that listening to Modern Earth from beginning to end is like listening to a dark, sad and soothing lullaby. And as if the album didn’t have enough depth to offer, “Aurora” introduces an almost Shakespearean sense of drama and poetry with spoken rhymes about the cruelty of the world. The words themselves are so musical that you almost don’t realize there is no music to speak of on this track. To sum it up, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a record like this one anywhere else.
Sometimes bands come along that take you by surprise for resurfacing a sound that really hasn’t been relevant since Morrissey’s face could be purchased un-ironically on a T-shirt. Creeper, the latest band from the UK that you probably don’t know about but 100% should, creates that old school sound in a brand new light. With a real gritty, grungy rock ‘n’ roll vibe reminiscent of bands like Green Day, The Smiths, and My Chemical Romance among many others, comes this little known six-piece to break the waves.
Bullet For My Valentine have released a music video for their new track “You Want A Battle? (Here’s A War)”, and as the name suggests, it’s a doozy.
BFMV aren’t the first to make a music video about social issues like abuse. Escape The Fate stood against bullying in their music video for “Ungrateful”; Beartooth did the same for domestic violence with “Beaten In Lips.” However, in terms of explicit content, “You Want A Battle? (Here’s A War)” shows us another type of despicable family dynamic. The video, directed by Stuart Birchall, follows a troubled teen and her mother through a cycle of vicious abuse at the hands of the father/husband. The two women decide to take fate into their own hands, illustrating how violence and abuse can lead to all kinds of terrible outcomes.
If anything, this music video and others like it show us two things. First, that human beings commit terrible acts against one another and unfortunately it’s all too common. But second, and most importantly, that metal (and hardcore, and punk, etc.) are genres that understand that and seek to confront these issues head on. Bands like BFMV speak up when other artists just won’t go there, and the hope is that it will help do some good. And for what it’s worth, the song is pretty badass, too.
Bullet For My Valentine’s new album, Venom, will be out August 14.
If you or anyone you know are in need of help please use the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
When was the last time you thought for yourself? Are you sure? Listen to Brainwashed, the new While She Sleeps record, and you may call your answer into question–and that’s the point. “We have all grown [up] being told exactly what to do in pretty much every single aspect of being alive,” says Sean Long, guitarist for the UK metal band, “leaving little room for pure creativity and fun, even though we are led to believe that we have freedom. We are trying to make people aware and to just take a step back and be conscious of the fact that not everything you hear or are told is what’s right or what you should do.”
The band’s against the grain ideas seem to be working in their favor, as Brainwashed has already met with some rave reviews across the board. The new record earned a 5K rating from Kerrang, 8/10 from Metal Hammer and Rocksound, and not to mention HXC Magazine‘s own 4.5/5 rating. The band challenge the listener with poetics as well as sheer heaviness, penning lyrics like “If you want words to live your life by/ Walk the graves, walk the graves / It’s written on the headstones/ Time waits for no one” (“Our Legacy”). While She Sleeps mean to throw you outside your comfort zone if only to urge you toward something better–“We are not lost/ There’s method in this madness” (“Method In Madness”)–and now’s the time to listen.
The devastating energy and merciless attitude of the songs are also part of what make it a stand up metal album, an aspect of the music that Long sites as coming out of some serious trials. “I think [it’s] because we have had such a wild year of struggle and confusion,” he says. “It most definitely shines through our music and also as friends. We are in this together and we like to think that people who like our music, too, are also in it with us.”
One such struggle was a 2014 surgery on vocalist Lawrence “Loz” Taylor’s vocal chords, which could have been enough to send any band spiraling. Whatever the troubles, though, While She Sleeps have clearly pulled through, and have even surpassed expectations, both physically and musically. The song “Four Walls” relies heavily on gospel style group chanting, while the entire fifteen track record is bracketed by strange chatter and noise in “The Divide” and “The Woods.” “‘The Divide’ is a presentation of chaos into order,” explains Long. “It’s making a stand on what we could do if we worked together. All the voices of ‘The Divide’ are the same voices to the next track in which they all sync up. It’s showing the two poles of what we can do together or against each other.” Citing his personal favorite tune as “Life In Tension” he insists, “For us it’s a triumphant album.”
Brainwashed is not only the result of the five members of While She Sleeps, but also the result of the impressive audio professionals who helped work on the album. Recording engineer Carl Bown (Trivium) and mixer Colin Richardson (Bullet For My Valentine, As I Lay Dying) provide influence that is immediately recognizable upon listening to the full album.
“Carl Bown is our boy,” Long takes care to emphasize. “[He is] one of the best guys we know. All of this talent under his belt and [he] is just a great guy. No ego blowing up everywhere which I hear all too much these days about people with talent. It really pisses me off that people do well then somehow lose themselves and think they are owed something or they are better than most. Carl knew from the start just how to keep our punk edge yet give it the real production it needed without losing any raw vibes.” The combined effort from all involved make Brainwashed what it is, an album designed to interrogate as much as to console.
Go and get your copy of the new record and catch While She Sleeps on the Vans Warped Tour this summer for a performance Long declares will be “fucking mental.” Until then, question everything and take his most pressing message to heart: “Simply be your own god.”
When an album’s opening lines are “We are the underground,” impeccable song structure, high instrumental sophistication, and even a chanting choral ode reminiscent of Viking culture are probably the last things you’d expect. However, the UK-based While She Sleeps was able to deliver the impressively unexpected masterpiece that makes up their sophomore release Brainwashed with all of the above.
About three years from the release of their debut record This Is The Six, While She Sleeps has proven the wait was worth it. While Brainwashed is first and foremost a metalcore album, the stereotypes associated with that genre are as far from this record as possible. Brainwashed is a pleasant mix of tones and layers reminiscent of both The Poison-era Bullet For My Valentine and Sempiternal-era Bring Me The Horizon. Gone are metalcore’s djenty breakdowns and cliché uses of clean and unclean vocal song structures. In place are thrashy, fast paced hard hitters (“Method In Madness”), rolling guitar melodies with heavy cymbal emphasis (“Torment”), and riffs and solos that round out fuller hooks (“Brainwashed”).
From groove metal back beats (“New World Torture”) to the communal vocals echoed by the entire band (“Your Evolution”) each track off of Brainwashed is more like an extended chapter to a novel than a stand alone song. Hell, they even include a piano instrumental interlude (“Kangaezu Ni”) to broaden the record’s sound spectrum.
While She Sleeps not only creates a sonically beautiful work, but also transcends the choral and communal nature of their album into their lyrics. “Our unity is divided” vocalist Lawrence “Loz” Taylor shouts on “New World Torture,” a sentiment followed by lines like “If you want words to live your life by/walk with me/walk with me” (“Our Legacy”) and “You’ll get out what you give in” (“Life In Tension”) .
This is easily the best material put forth by While She Sleeps and shows tremendous promise for any upcoming live shows as well as future recordings.
Go download: “Method In Madness”
The video for Marmozets‘ “Why Do You Hate Me?” throws it back to late ’60s/early ’70s era punk with mod fashion and avant-garde, Warholesque photography. Frame splicing, time dilations, and grainy black & whites mix with neon-saturated takes for an art piece rather than just a run of the mill music vid. Taken from the band’s impressive debut record, The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets, “Why Do You Hate Me” flaunts the UK act’s particular brand of hard alternative punk. The stellar songwriting combined with Becca MacIntyre’s dynamic vocals that shift effortlessly between smooth cleans and gritty screams are both vintage and modern, mimicked by the music video in its visual style. Marmozets have their hands in several genres at once and it’s clear anything and everything is up for grabs.
While modern metalcore seems to be gravitating more to the -core side of the spectrum, budding Birmingham ensemble Opheon deliver a refreshing and much-needed take on metalcore proper, where intricate guitar work and heavy symbol usage reign bloody and supreme. Though the vocals sometimes dip into melodic hardcore textures and they even work in their own take on breakdowns in “The Distance” and “A Portrait Of Self Hate,” it is the versatility and prominence of the guitars, the intensely varied and seamless syncopations, and the sheer speed of the work that put the ‘metal’ in ‘metalcore’ on this EP.
With the exception of the one slow song on the record (“The Answer”), As I Walk With Fire is the very definition of brutal. The EP hearkens back to the glory days of acts like Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine and Lamb Of God, reaching insane heights with the last song, “Lost In Undertow.” This song is the crowning achievement of the EP in terms of showcasing the virtuosity of nearly every instrumentalist. Between the catchy yet searing chorus, the almost inhuman double bass, and the masterful oscillation between devastating squealing and shredding and the slower, chugging grooves, there is so much dimension in this one five minute track it is practically impossible to believe most of the members are only around 19 years old.
Though the bass guitar tends to get lost and the vocals need to be tightened before slow songs become their strong suit, As I Walk With Fire demonstrates incredible talent and crushing tenacity. As yet unsigned, Opheon surely won’t remain so for long.