7 Metalcore Revival Bands You Need To Know About

7 Metalcore Revival Bands You Need To Know About

Brutal. Raw. Chaotic. Vital.
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So you know metalcore yeah? That oft derided sub genre of metal and hardcore, probably your first step into the genre with the likes of Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Asking Alexandria etc etc?

Before it became the commercial behemoth and monster it did in the mid 00’s, it was one of the most interesting, intense offshoots of punk and metal, beginning in the early 90’s. It had something for everyone, the heartwrenching catharsis of Poison The Well, the delicate textures and tender bludgeoning of 7 Angels 7 Plagues, the doomy stomp of Disembodied, the hellraising, downright Satanic fury of Integrity, the mathematically precise attack of Botch. It would merge with the melodic death metal of Sweden to birth the likes of Killswitch Engage, taking heavy inspiration from the likes of emo, pop punk, death metal and even electronic music as it evolved and diverged into various forms, arousing both interest and disgust among heavy music fans. Yet some 20+ years after that sound emerged, it’s back again, played by a new crop of exciting bands.

What made this come about, especially considering how obscure many of those early bands were and how uncompromising their sound was? The over commercialised and sterile nature of contemporary metalcore would surely provoke a reaction from the underground, this interview with Rennounced's guitarist stating it was a long running feature of the UK scene. The current vogue of underground hardcore does largely tend to revolved around bands that bring older sounds into a new light, from Trash Talk hailing back to the chaos and nihilism of the early Southern California scene to bands like Backtrack and Expire bringing back streetwise New York hardcore. The prevailing trends in underground hardcore shortly beforehand tended towards the extremely fast and filthy grindcore/crust punk blasts of violence a band like Nails or Young And In The Way would deliver and the slow and sludgy battering of beatdown, with Desolated and Xibalba.

Additionally, when you look at the older bands who come to mind when discussing this new wave, it becomes pretty clear that they were well due their time in the sun. Anyone in the know about metalcore will be abundantly aware of how The Dillinger Escape Plan set the bar for technicality, how ripped off Botch were after they split, how Hatebreed laid out the blueprint for being a successful metallic hardcore band, how Converge became idolised by so many bands looking to do this style with an artsy twist. Here, the bands most likely to be namechecked may be revered by a select few, but the degree of their influence isn’t nearly as well documented.

It’s debatable as to whether it is even really a scene, while the term first wave metalcore revival has be gaining traction in various online communities, and we’ve seen Disembodied and Eighteen Visions (the band who followed the trajectory of every scene band before scene was a thing) reforming, it’s not a movement tied to any geographical location, or with a confirmed start or end date. Whether it is a proper scene or not though, it’s spawned some great bands and deserves your attention.

1) Code Orange

Though they are the biggest band from this scene of sorts. it would be fruitless to talk about whatever this thing is without mentioning Pittsburgh’s Code Orange. They signed to Converge frontman Jacob Bannon’s label Deathwish for two records, before delivering their finest work to date this year on Roadrunner with Forever. Their sound is an intriguing blend of very sludgy. very abrasive and occasionally metalcore indebted to the likes of Integrity, Converge, hometown heroes All Out War and Disembodied yet with a number of experimental turns woven throughout, owing to their love of indie music as well as skull crushing noise. Their real genius comes from how skillfully they can blend all the disparate parts of their sound into a finely tuned destruction machine, shifting seamlessly between violent bursts of fast paced riffing, pummelling breakdowns and eerie ambient textures, all while sounding raw, filthy, and not losing sight of the gut level punch that makes heavy music so compelling.

Key Tracks: My World, Bleeding In The Blur, Kill The Creator

2) Counterparts

Hamilton, Ontario’s Counterparts have been active for quite a while, the band celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, with five full length albums out already, most recently You’re Not You Anymore on Pure Noise. Though they’re more often lumped in with melodic hardcore bands like The Ghost Inside and Stick To Your Guns, they’ve a different set of influences and a somewhat more advanced sound. The rawness of Poison The Well and Misery Signal’s technical but absolutely emotionally devastating take on metalcore are influences they wear on their sleeve, tied together with the tortured poetry of Breandan Murphy’s lyrics. There’s beautiful melancholic leadwork, complex riffing, pummelling breakdowns that come out of nowhere, a very keen sense of tension and release. To this wee table they bring technicality, energy, a very keen sense of melody and the most heart out of any band here.

Key Tracks: Witness, Collapse, No Servant Of Mine

3) Knocked Loose

They’ve been the buzz band of the last couple of years, with a well received debut EP in 2014 and a modern classic with 2016’s Laugh Tracks under their belt. Their take on this sound is a lot more straightforward than many of the other bands on this list. However their knowledge of dynamics, how to switch from that punchy riff to that breakdown guaranteed to leave you worse for wear and the anguished screams of Bryan Garris help set them apart from the rest of the scene. They’ve only bigger and better things along the way so keep an eye on them.

Key Tracks: All My Friends, Deadringer, Billy No Mates // Counting Wormings

4) Jesus Piece

Now this is a band with all eyes on them. They’ve only two EPs and a split with Malice At The Palace under their belt but they’re releasing their 2018 debut album with acclaimed underground label Southern Lord, have gotten some pretty sweet touring slots and are widely regarded for their violent live shows and equally violent music. Their sound is the grinding metallic battery of that early wave, with flecks of sludge metal’s strung-out horribleness and the occasional freak-out that recalls the likes of Coalesce. If I had to peg any band as the next to break from this scene my money would be on them, hopefully that full length lives up to the promise of this early material

Key Tracks: Hive Mind, Conjure Life, Greed

5) Renounced

Renounced are quite an abnormality in this list. Though not sounding much like any of these bands, they sit perhaps at the midpoint between Jesus Piece and Counterparts, combining the raw destructive chaos of the former with the delicate nuance of the latter. They combine that very unpolished metalcore attack with bursts of melody, spoken word, piano and a very heart-on-sleeve approach that harks back to bands like Poison The Well, 7 Angels 7 Plagues and much of the bands like Killswitch but with a far more complex and uncompromising approach. Little known outside the UK, they are a truly rare gem.

Key Tracks: A Fire No Longer Burns, Love And Depression, Nothing

6) Employed To Serve

Though chaotic is an adjective used for many of these bands, few capture that idea more than the UK’s Employed To Serve, whose take on this sound is very much on the mathematical end of things. The frantic, technically complex and frankly terrifying racket owes a bit to bands like Botch, Coalesce and Deadguy, but with their latest album, one of this year’s best in The Warmth Of A Dying Sun, they veer into more atmospheric, sludgy territory, in the vein of Will Haven. They’re my personal favourites after Counterparts, a genuinely stunning addition to the genre of mathcore, which can all too often merely ape the past or end up too hung up on its own technical brilliance.

Key Tracks: I Spend My Days (Wishing Them Away), Greyer Than You Remember, Void Ambition

7) Blistered

Blistered really love the 90’s, carrying the influences of bands like Unbroken, Buried Alive and Integrity into the new generation, with all the breakdowns, thrashy riffs and throat shredding vocals that entails. Yet much like Knocked Loose, they take a straightforward template and add their own unique spin to it, in this case harmonious, melodic breaks that seem to be foreshadowing what metalcore would become in the 2000s after that had happened. Their debut album, The Poison Of Self Confinement is available on Bandcamp, and my god, it goes oh so very hard.

Key Tracks: Path Of The Coward, Soul Erosion, Lash.

Honorable Mentions (Bands I didn’t have enough on to fully incorporate into the list, but are still great):

A Needle Under The Nail: Released their demo this year (available on YouTube and Bandcamp), vicious, with a very dark, nightmarish quality that hasn’t really been exploited much. Hoping they give us more than just this demo for it is a tasty demo indeed.

Key Track: A Needle Under The Nail 2017 Demo

Kublai Khan: Around the block for quite a while, they’re pretty similar to Knocked Loose but more beefy, angry and less chaotic in terms of song structures, but still very much worth your time. Their third album, Nomad, came out recently on Rise Records, and is a force of nature.

Key Track: Belligerent

Varials: In a similar spot to Kublai Khan but with added slam riffs, it’s very apparent they came out of the beatdown scene but they’re a nice middle ground between the punky fury of Kublai Khan and the dark metallic nastiness of Knocked Loose. They’ve a debut album on Fearless.

Key Track: Savage

So there you have it, 7 bands of an exciting new movement in heavy music, presented here for your listening pleasure. Though it may not be a fully-fledged scene, and I feel most bands here would baulk at the idea of being a first wave revival band, there is enough common ground uniting these bands, and it’ll be exciting to see where it goes next.

Cover Image Credit: Angela Owens, Revolver Magazine, Back To School Jam 2017

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15 Texts We'd Get From Dogs If They Had Thumbs

"If you're reading this, send Milk Bones."
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Let's be real, anyone who has a dog knows that it if we could, we would text our dogs all day long. If they could text us, our thread would look something like...

1. "Are you coming home soon?! Let's go out!"

2. "So not to be weird... but you never ended up answering me last night... Am I the good boy? Idk I just want to be clear on our relationship I don't want to be lead on if I'm not."

3. "The cat is being such a bit** I literally can't stand her"

4. "Hey, just wondering, are you going to wear those black booties tonight? If you are, I'll chew the zipper out of the brown ones instead."

5. "Okay, so don't freak out, but something not so chill happened on the rug..."

6. "Are there any leftovers in the trash? I'm not gonna get into it, I was just curious. Love u."

7. "If you're reading this... bring Milk Bones."

8. "Hey, what's for dinner tonight?! Purina again?"

9. "Miss you!!"

10. "Are you gonna eat that food on the counter or is that for everyone? Asking for the cat."

11. "I LOVE YOU"

12. "OMG, I can't wait for you to come home on break! Can you sleep in the guest room tho? Mom said I could have your room when you moved out. Love u!"

13. "Ice cream date later?!"

14. "We should go for a walk I need to get my ass back in shape for summer. You should be my workout buddy!"

15. "Netflix and chill tonight?"

Cover Image Credit: Salon

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I Just Saw Arctic Monkeys, Here's My Dream Setlist

My dream setlist for the 2018 Arctic Monkeys tour.

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When a band reaches international success and has six albums under their belt, it is definitely hard to pick a setlist that pleases the audience. After seeing the Arctic Monkeys both nights in San Francisco, here is my dream yet realistic Arctic Monkeys setlist.

1. Brianstorm

Played

Although the band performed "Brianstorm" when I saw them, I would still put it on my dream setlist! I think it is a great opener and a classic from their sophomore album.

"Brianstorm" is not only a fan favorite, but it is one of the band's more energetic songs.

2. Mardy Bum

A fan favorite and arguably one of their most liked songs, "Mardy Bum" was not on the Arctic Monkey's setlist. The song is from their debut album, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not."

3. Four out of Five

Played

The band's newest hit, "Four out of Five" was played during their 2018 tour and has become a fan favorite. This was definitely one of the best songs of their new album and live!

4. Crying Lightning

Played

Arctic Monkeys added "Crying Lightning," a fan favorite from their third album, "Humbug," to their setlist. This song was played throughout their 2018 tour and continues to get their crowd up!

The song features one of the band's best guitar solos as well.

5. 505

Played

Although the band did play this song throughout their tour, it's hard to imagine a setlist without this song on it.

505 is an alternative rock classic and a fan favorite of the Arctic Monkeys fandom.

6. Do I Wanna Know?

Played

"Do I Wanna Know?" is the Arctic Monkeys most well-known song across music lovers of all genres. It is inevitable that they play this widely successful song from their fifth album, "AM."

7. Do Me a Favour

Played

"Do Me A Favour" has one of the band's best guitar solos and is great for a live show! It is no mystery why the band continues to perform the hit from their sophomore album.

8. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High??

Played

"Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" is one of the many highly rated and successful songs of the band's fifth album! It must be hard for the Arctic Monkeys to narrow down their picks from the "AM" album!

9. Star Treatment

Played

"Star Treatment" is one of the band's newest songs that they chose to perform throughout their 2018 tour. Even with mixed reviews on their sixth album, "Star Treatment" continues to be a fan favorite!

10. Fluorescent Adolescent

"Fluorescent Adolescent" is one of the band's top rated tracks, however, the Arctic Monkeys did not play it during their 2018 tour in the United States.

11. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

Played

Yet again, it is hard to imagine the band not performing their very first hit, "I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor." The band never fails to perform this song with their all and the crowd returns the energy right back!

12. Snap Out of It

Played

"Snap Out of It" is one of the many hits from Arctic Monkeys' fifth album "AM." I was able to see "Snap Out of It" once out of the two shows I saw.

13. The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

"The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala" is a well-known song from "Suck It and See," the band's fourth album. For some reason unknown to fans, the band does not like to play many songs from this record. This is a major disappointment because there are so many killer tracks on this record!

14. R U Mine?

Played

"R U Mine?" was usually the last song played on their 2018 tour. Another smash hit for the band off of their album, "AM." The guitar, vocals, drums, and energy from the crowd were remarkable during this song!

Definitely, one of the best songs the band performs live.

15. One For the Road

Although, Arctic Monkeys didn't perform this track at either of my shows, they did perform this iconic track throughout their 2018 tour! This song must be off the charts live with the amazing guitar solo towards the end.

16. That's Where You're Wrong

Another great song from the Arctic Monkeys' fourth album! I know the fandom would love to hear more songs from "Suck It and See" including this awesome track.

17. A Certain Romance

"A Certain Romance" is another one of the band's early hits! Long time fans would definitely appreciate more older tracks on the setlist.

18. Arabella

Played

I was fortunate enough to see "Arabella" live two nights in a row! It was definitely one of my favorite songs the band performed live and it had one of the best guitar solos.

19. Old Yellow Bricks

"Old Yellow Bricks" is another hit from the band's sophomore album, "Favourite Worst Nightmare."

Performing the band's earlier material brings a lot of diversity to their setlist as the older tracks are definitely a different style than the band has gone towards now!

20. When the Sun Goes Down

"When The Sun Goes Down" is one of the band's first hits of their debut album! The song is definitely a fan favorite, however, the band failed to play it at either San Francisco show.

21. Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair

Played

"Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair" is one of the only songs the band still performs from their fourth album, "Suck It and See." It's hard to imagine an Arctic Monkeys show without this song!

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