Welcome to another new installment of Heavy Side Up! The month of April is closing out with a considerably eclectic week for the heavy music scene, so hopefully there should be a little something for everyone here!
Royal Coda – Royal Coda
Royal Coda is a new band fronted by Kurt Travis, former vocalist for Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds (among other projects). Like with the aforementioned bands, these guys are all about putting new spins on the post-hardcore genre. There’s a psychedelic presence here that really sets this album apart from almost anything else in the scene, and combined with the impressive musicianship and irresistible vocal hooks on display, adds up to a remarkably strong debut album.
The Armed – Only Love
Since their inception, Detroit band The Armed have slowly been carving a name for themselves in the hardcore scene, putting out music as consistently solid as it is completely unpredictable. Their new album is no exception, with the band taking the aggressive mathcore stylings in which they’re well-versed, and throwing a slew of strange synth elements into the mix before dousing it all in some intriguingly sludgey production.
Sectioned – Annihilated
Having put out some solid EPs over the past few years, Scotland’s Sectioned have finally released their full-length debut, and it’s absolutely savage. The band’s take on mathcore is pure vitriol incarnate, adopting elements from powerviolence and grindcore to create a truly caustic and punishing sound. If you’re after an uncompromising album that’s gonna pummel you straight into the ground several times over, look no further.
LLNN – Deads
Hailing from Denmark, LLNN play a striking blend of hardcore, sludge metal and post-metal that could best be described as “apocalyptic.” Mercilessly abrasive and oppressive (in the best possible way, of course), peppered with synth elements that give the whole album a dystopian science fiction vibe, the band’s sophomore release sees them refining the unique sound they’ve established for themselves, to stunning effect.
The impressive debut album from Tampa Bay’s LIMBS showcases a band with a unique, concise vision who are here to make a statement. Frontman Chris Costanza describes the band’s sound as “Norma Jean meets Radiohead,” and it’s quite an apt summary – their music can be as coarse and hard-hitting as the former while other times being as hauntingly melancholy and atmospheric as the latter.
Spanish instrumental band Toundra may not be as well-known as some of their contemporaries, but they’ve had a rock solid career over the past decade, and their fifth album Vortex is no exception. Playing a style of music somewhere between post-rock and post-metal, the band crafts lush pieces of music that are nothing short of captivating.
Artists who released new albums this week:
Spanish hard rock band ’77, Italian gothic metal band Alight, Croatian hard rock band Animal Drive, Slovakian symphonic metal band April Weeps, Bulgarian progressive metal band Artikon, Norwegian black/thrash metal band Aura Noir, Canadian black metal band Begotten, English heavy metal band Blitzkrieg, Norwegian thrash metal band Blood Tsunami, Finnish melodic death metal band Bloody Falls, British sludge metal band Boss Keloid, metalcore band Burdened Hearts, Swedish hard rock band Captain Black Beard, German power metal band Circle of Silence, Australian hard/glam rock band Crosson, Irish folk metal band Cruachan, Canadian melodic death metal band Cruentis, Swiss power metal band Crystal Ball, German thrash metal band Daemonheim, Swedish industrial metal band Dead Domain, British alternative post-hardcore band Dearist, Brazillian death metal band Deathmaker, hard rock band Decadence, Venezuelan thrash metal band Diatriba, Italian groove metal band Dogmathica, Finnish black metal band Emanating Void, Mexican thrash metal band F.B.O.T., Australian hard rock band Fifth Dawn, doom/sludge metal band Fister, Swiss progressive metal band Forty Shades, Brazillian hard rock band The Gard, Canadian heavy metal band Gatekeeper, alternative metal band Godsmack, Swedish black metal band Grá, German black metal band Graves in Autumn, German hard rock band Grey Attack, German heavy metal band Greydon Fields, hardcore band Homewrecker, British post-metal band Hundred Year Old Man, Swedish black metal artist Illvilja, British psychedelic doom metal band Indica Blues, British death metal/deathcore band Ingested, Canadian death/doom metal band Ischemic, Spanish heavy metal band Knights of Blood, Canadian heavy metal band Kobra and the Lotus, Brazillian heavy/power metal band Krull, Ukranian black metal band KZOHH, Canadian hard rock/glam metal band Löve Razër, Canadian melodic black metal band Magister Dixit, Argentinian symphonic black metal band Mortuorial Eclipse, Norwegian hard rock band Mother Trudy, South African death metal band Nerve Zero, pagan black metal band Northern, Dutch melodic death metal band Nox Aeterna, Russian heavy/progressive metal band Overwind, Spanish melodic death metal band Perpetual Night, death metal band Petrification, Swedish hard rock band Piss River, one-man British black metal act Plagis, German thrash/speed metal band Pripjat, Greek melodic death metal band Psyanide, French gothic metal band Radium Valley, Greek hard rock band Rain or Shine, German post-metal band Red Apollo, hard rock band Relentless Flood, heavy/power metal band Riot V, Brazillian heavy metal band Rygel, German black metal band Schrat, French alternative metal band Seven Eyed Crow, post-hardcore band Sink the Ship, Welsh alternative metal band Skindred, melodic death metal band Society’s Plague, German heavy metal band Spitefuel, British heavy metal band Stormzone, Swedish heavy metal band StoneLake, punk band Swiss Army, heavy/power metal band Thrust, Canadian hard rock band Thunderbird, German progressive metal band Tomorrow’s Eve, Finnish black metal band Totalselfhatred, German thrash metal band Traitor, Spanish post/black metal band Trees, Clouds & Silence, hard rock band Triple Goddess, Italian industrial metal band Tunz Tunz, Australian black/death metal band Vahrzaw, British progressive black metal band Voices, Italian post-hardcore band When Venus Weeps, Greek black metal band Varathron, hardcore/thrash metal band Violation Wound, French thrash metal band Voight Kampff, Argentinian pagan metal band Vorgrum, Finnish stoner/doom metal band Vulturehead, Spanish post-hardcore band Wastelands, Dutch black metal band Wesenwille, blackened hardcore band Wolf King, Swedish melodic black metal band Wormlight, Finnish death metal band Wrathrone.
Artists who released new EPs this week:
Post-hardcore band The Bunny the Bear, Italian power metal band Drakkar, Russian deathcore band Hatami, Russian thrash metal band Madnes, British black metal band Praecantator, black metal band Shroud of Despondency, Icelandic melodic black metal band Úlfúð, Indonesian post-hardcore band Understatement, Australian death metal band Vasculitis, Canadian technical death metal band Widow’s Peak, blackened death metal band Witch Casket.
Here are a couple more notable releases from the past month which didn’t land on my radar until after the fact:
The debut release by this up-and-coming progressive metal band from Wisconsin, The World is Quiet Here kicks off what I can only presume is a series of concept albums. The band is less about innovation than they are refinement, but their music is still astoundingly dense, and to their credit, they’ve put together a solid album full of musical twists and turns. I look forward to seeing where they go from here!
A one-man act from Massachusetts, Isa takes technical death metal and turns it into something more atmospheric without losing any of the genre’s severity. His debut album, Chimera, is constantly surprising and engaging from start to finish, complimented by a mix that allows you to really hear everything.
Following on from the first featured album above, I figured I’d highlight my favourite band of all the Dance Gavin Dance off-shoots:
Strawberry Girls – French Ghetto
A mostly instrumental act (albeit one who regularly feature guest vocalists, including the aforementioned Kurt Travis), Strawberry Girls play an intense and energetic brand of modern prog rock, comparable to Deloused in the Comatorium-era The Mars Volta. Released in 2013, their debut full-length album, French Ghetto, is an addictive, infectious collection of songs from a group of highly talented musicians at the top of their game.
There are many musicians/vocalists who’ve been involved with multiple different music projects in their career. Who are some whose work you pretty much always enjoy? (This can include more prolific artists, like Mike Patton and Devin Townsend, to much less well-known examples)