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Lineup

Slipknot

Slipknot

Slipknot

There was never a band like SLIPKNOT, and there will never be another. Like a spore out of the Midwest, they’ve quietly bloomed into the most uncompromising, undeniable, and unique presence on the planet whose influence transcends genres and generations. Since sowing the seeds for revolution in Iowa during 1999, these musical outliers have captured a GRAMMY Award alongside 10 nominations, scored 12 Platinum / 41 Gold album certifications around the world, and logged over 8.5 billion global streams and 3.5 billion video views to date - unprecedented for a rock act in this generation or any other. Rolling Stone cited the seminal platinum-selling 2001 album Iowa among ''The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time,'' while The Ringer attested, ''They’re the most important heavy band of their era.'' In addition to marking the group’s third consecutive #1 debut on the Billboard Top 200, their sixth full-length album, WE ARE NOT YOUR KIND, bowed at #1 in twelve countries worldwide in 2019. Selling out shows on multiple continents, they deliver an irreplicable multi-sensory experience on tour and through their own festival KNOTFEST. With their seventh album THE END, SO FAR, SLIPKNOT are back, and nothing will be the same again.

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The Original Misfits

The Original Misfits

The Original Misfits

The Original Misfits, one of the most influential, genre-defining bands to emerge from North America, have announced a limited run of shows for 2023 kicking off on June 24th in Tampa at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre with Megadeth, hitting the band's home turf of NJ at the Prudential Center in Newark on July 8th with fellow New Jersey natives The Gaslight Anthem, followed by a performance at Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre on July 15th in Phoenix with AFI. All three dates will also have support from FEAR.

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Disturbed

Disturbed

Disturbed

Emerging out of Chicago at the turn of the century with an insidious, infectious, and inimitable vision without comparison, Disturbed have quietly dominated hard rock on their own terms. They make the kind of music that pushes you to hold on tighter, fight harder, and persevere forever. It’s why they’ve quietly claimed a place at the forefront of 21st century rock with record-breaking success, sales of over 17 million-plus units, nearly 8 billion streams, and sold out shows around the globe. The two-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated quartet have notched five consecutive #1 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, occupying rarified air alongside Metallica—the only other hard rock group to accomplish this feat. Since their influential 5x-platinum debut The Sickness in 2000, they have built a bulletproof catalog highlighted by a procession of smashes, including the platinum ''Stupify,'' ''Inside The Fire,'' and ''Land of Confusion,'' 2x-platinum ''Stricken,'' 6x-platinum ''Down With The Sickness,'' and 7x-platinum ''The Sound of Silence,'' to name a few. The latter notably received a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of ''Best Rock Performance'' as the band earned ''Best Rock Artist'' at the 2017 iHeartRadioMusic Awards. Still, Disturbed never stop, igniting their next chapter with their 2022 album Divisive featuring their 15th #1 at Rock Radio ''Hey You,'' ''Unstoppable,'' and more.

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Pantera

Pantera

Pantera

Pantera is regarded as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. The uncompromising quartet of singer Philip Anselmo, guitarist Dimebag Darrell, his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex Brown quickly rose to massive global success in the 1990s with multiple gold and platinum albums, sold out tours, ferocious live performances, and four Grammy® nominations. To this day, their metal masterpieces are cornerstones of heavy music, including Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display Of Power, and the Billboard#1 album Far Beyond Driven. The Texas foursome continues to inspire multitudes of fellow musicians while garnering millions of insanely devoted fans worldwide. Although the band would disband in the early 2000s, Pantera’s unparalleled legacy endures as landmark tracks like ''Walk'' and ''I’m Broken'' continue to be embraced by new generations every year.

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Evanescence

Evanescence

Evanescence

Evanescence is the multi-platinum, two-time GRAMMY-winning rock band comprised of lead singer-songwriter and pianist Amy Lee, bassist Tim McCord, drummer Will Hunt, lead guitarist Troy McLawhorn, and guitarist and backing vocalist Jen Majura. The group's 2003 landmark debut album Fallen laid the foundation, spending 43 weeks on the Billboard Top 10 and selling more than 17 million copies worldwide. Several sold-out world tours and chart-topping albums later, this year Evanescence released their newest studio album and first of all original music in a decade, 'The Bitter Truth.' About the power of pushing through tragedy and finding the light after the darkness, 'The Bitter Truth' opened at #1 on the Current Rock chart and on the overall iTunes charts in 22 countries. Selected songs include ''Wasted On You'' & ''Use My Voice,'' both of which were nominated for MTV Video Awards, ''Use My Voice,'' HeadCount's 2020 voter-registration theme song, and ''Better Without You,'' a Top-10 charting song at US Rock Radio.

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Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit

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Judas Priest

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

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Staind

Staind

Staind

STAIND is comprised of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Aaron Lewis, lead guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist and backing vocalist Johnny April, and drummer Sal Giancarelli. The band was formed in 1995 in their hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts. Over the course of their career, the band has released seven studio albums and eight Top 10 singles, selling over 15 million albums worldwide.  Break The Cycle, released in 2001 and RIAA certified 5x platinum, featured the smash single, ''It’s Been Awhile,'' one of the most played songs in modern rock radio history, spending 20 weeks at Number 1. In 2019 after a five - year hiatus, STAIND reunited for some unforgettable festival performances, and a hometown reunion show that was recorded for the live album, Live: It’s Been Awhile. In September 2023, STAIND released their eighth studio album and first in twelve years, Confessions of The Fallen. The debut single from the album, ''Lowest In Me'' reached #1 on the Active Rock Chart.

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Breaking Benjamin

Breaking Benjamin

Breaking Benjamin

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A Day To Remember

A Day To Remember

A Day To Remember

Ambition extinguishes limits. With forward motion as the only constant, A Day To Remember creatively bypass any and all boundaries, leaping over the lines between rock, alternative, punk, hardcore, metal, and pop with uncompromising outlier spirit. As such, they unassumingly maintain their reputation as the biggest underground band in the world, boasting four gold singles, a pair of gold albums, a platinum single, nearly 1 billion streams, half-a-billion YouTube views, and cumulative sales of three million-plus units. Leaving sold-out arenas in their wake, the group logged a #2 debut on the Billboard Top 200 with 2016’s Bad Vibrations while more recently they ignited a high-profile collaboration with electronic hit-maker Marshmello. However, they vault ahead once again on their 2021 Fueled by Ramen debut, You’re Welcome. Now, the quintet—Jeremy McKinnon [vocals], Alex Shelnutt [drums], Kevin Skaff [guitar, vocals], Neil Westfall [guitar, vocals], and Joshua Woodard [bass]—realize their full potential as rock’s most disruptively dynamic force.

“To me, it’s important to make every single song matter,” exclaims Jeremy. “Each track should be un-skippable, which is exactly how we treat every record. I don’t want us to be a song on your playlist; I want us to be your playlist. We’ve always mixed everything. You’re Welcome does even more of that. On the record, we represent who we’ve been, what people recognize us as, and we push the envelope of what you can expect from A Day To Remember moving forward. We’re not held back by any limitations.”

The guys really swung for the fences too. This time around, the band wrote a staggering 40 songs—the most they’ve ever written for a project. As another first, they welcomed Colin “DOC” Brittain [5 Seconds of Summer, All Time Low] as co-producer alongside Jeremy for the bulk of the record. After collating ideas throughout 2018, the musicians tracked in Florida and Los Angeles during 2019 as well as on the road in the middle of the sold-out Degenerates Tour. Additionally, they recruited mixers as diverse as Neal Avron [Weezer, Sara Bareilles, Linkin Park] and Will Putney [Knocked Loose, Vein] to nail the sonic extremes.

As the world shut down due to the Global Pandemic, the band tinkered every detail to perfection from the mixes to the artwork, preparing for the right moment to properly release it.

“Since A Day To Remember is so many things at once, we divided out the songs to mixers who specialized in various genres,” Jeremy goes on. “In and of itself, that was a big undertaking. When COVID-19 happened, we couldn’t just get on a plane and finish it up, so it took an extreme amount of time to get it right. We took what we envision modern pop music to be and did a hybrid of it. It covers a lot of bases.”

“It was a constant work in progress,” Neil observes. “It was such a grand idea overall. It took forever, but it was worth it. This is the first time we were able to explore different genres with people who specialize in those genres. We pushed ourselves in the writing, the production, and everything.”

As the album took shape, the group teased out this chapter with “Degenerates,” “Resentment,” and “Mindreader,” accumulating 100 million-plus streams on the new music in the process. A Day To Remember set the stage for You’re Welcome with the single and opener “Brick Wall.” Clean vocals crash into distortion as the intensity subsides on a soaring refrain. Meanwhile, the final crescendo distorts through a rather surprising vessel…

“We ran the mix through an actual pickle,” laughs Neil. “It distorts to a point where it sounds blown-out and just insane. We engineered some cables to work with this vegetable, because there’s no pickle plug-in you can use! So, you get this natural electrical current happening with the juice.”

“Lyrically, it’s a tongue-in-cheek take on someone who’s very pessimistic and looking for the negative in any situation,” adds Jeremy. “It’s a lighthearted observation on how extreme pessimism affects your everyday life.”

A hummable gang vocal give way to finger-snaps and creaky acoustic guitar on “Bloodsucker.” Jeremy sinks his teeth into a ravenous refrain.

“It’s about people who drain you of the precious energy you need to stay positive,” the frontman goes on. “It has some of my favorite lyrics, because we’re using all sorts of supernatural imagery with vampires.”

“F.Y.M.” culminates on a sunny chorus punctuated by a cash register sample as he warns, “Wait till I get some fuck you money.” Meanwhile, Jeremy co-wrote the thoughtful closer “Everything We Need” with none other than multiplatinum superstar Jon Bellion. It leaves off on a high note as he details the moment “you realize you have everything you want or need in your life and are just vibing on the road.” Then, there’s “Viva La Mexico.” Over a palm-muted guitar, he recalls multiple memories from Neil’s bachelor party in Mexico capped off by one of the band’s biggest and boldest hooks—strong enough to shake a stadium.

“It’s a real vacation we had,” grins Neil. “We were in Cabo for my bachelor party and had this wild adventure. Everything in the song happened. As soon as Jeremy showed it to us, we were like, ‘What the fuck?!’”

“I just took all of our collective stories from the trip and told them from the perspective of one person,” Jeremy elaborates. “It was the craziest experience and one of the most fun songs to write.”

Serendipitously, another experience in Mexico actually inspired the title. Before hitting the stage at a festival, Jeremy picked up a white hoodie with “You’re Welcome” emblazoned in bright red on the pocket. After posting a photo from the gig on Instagram, a fan comment predicted the phrase would serve as the title.

“That was not the plan,” Jeremy smiles. “After reading the comment, I got to experience hearing our album title for the first time without coming up with it myself. The whole thought made me chuckle. We were trying to put together a record touching all forms of rock music, and the name was hilarious. I sent it to all of the guys individually, and everybody agreed on it.”

In the end, You’re Welcome serves as an acknowledgement of the past and statement of purpose for the future.

“When you hear this, I hope it inspires you to think outside of the boundaries outlined in front of you,” Neil leaves off. “Push ideas that don’t exist, forget fear, and try new things. We wanted to make something we weren’t hearing out there.”

“I hope it becomes quintessential A Day To Remember,” Jeremy concludes. “With each release, this thing has grown ever so slightly. For the five of us to be here in a position where the sky’s still the only limit is indescribable. From sleeping in fucking Walmart parking lots together and bathing in sinks to playing in front of thousands of people, we’ve been through so much together. We just feel fortunate to drop another body of work.”

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Falling In Reverse

Falling In Reverse

Falling In Reverse

The fine line between genius and insanity, self-seriousness and self-deprecation, implosion and explosion: that is the phantom zone where FALLING IN REVERSE thrives.

Falling In Reverse founder, frontman, and Machiavellian heroic supervillan / villainous superhero Ronnie Radke is the walking, talking, breathing, spitting, screaming, singing, fighting, loving, hyper-confident, sensitive, and vulnerable embodiment of a generation’s id. He’s the ego and super-ego in the classic Freudian sense, “slipping” all over the place with vicious bite and playful innuendo. With his music, art, and life, he is the living embodiment of broken homes, the frustrated contradiction of self-destruction, and everyday single-minded defiance against a world gone mad.

COMING HOME is his latest reinvention, coming full-circle back to the start, reinvigorated as mad scientist conductor of soaring, transcendent, engaging alternative pop-rock with massive radio hooks and a still-beating heavy metal hardcore heart. “Broken,” “Loser,” “Hanging On,” “I Don’t Mind,” and “Coming Home” are shocking in their epic scope, vibrant authenticity, and unrelenting dedication to personal truth.

He shoved the world of Warped Tour kicking and screaming into the vintage decadence of the hard rock scene with the band he formed with his childhood best friend in Las Vegas. Then, even as countless bands followed in his wake, he was on the stylistic move, dominating the social media conversation and crowd sing-alongs with Falling In Reverse’s debut album, The Drug in Me is You, now based in Southern California.

As Revolver, Kerrang!, Alternative Press, and the rest of the rock and metal press anointed him the scene’s new king on the strength of playful self-examinations-turnedanthems like “Raised by Wolves,” “Tragic Magic,” and “I’m Not a Vampire,” Radke and his crew shook up conventions once again, dropping the ironically titled Fashionably Late years before the audience at large had any suspicions about what would hit ‘em.

What began as the “worst music video of all time” (according to media tastemaker VICE) turned into another 20 million YouTube views (for a band closing in on roughly 100 million views total) in “Alone.” Like many parts of the eclectic album, it’s a rap-metal hybrid with a forward thinking step into modern electro beats. Like the best of Radke’s work, the song serves as both hyper masculine anthem and anxiety confessional. The press and fans followed the band’s every move, documenting each twist and turn.

Just Like You mined similar territory with even more precision, from the title track to undeniable metalcore bangers like “Chemical Prisoner” and “Guillotine IV (The Final Chapter),” to the poppy crowd-mover “Sexy Drug,” and heartbreaking ballad, “Brother.”

Coming Home is the most focused Falling In Reverse album, thematically and artistically. Crafted once again with Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Alter Bridge, Slash, Trivium), who has worked on every one of Radke’s records going back to the now-classic debut album from Escape The Fate, the record sees the group at their most atmospheric. It’s the latest bold step for a frontman who has defined himself by a mixture of courage and vulnerability, of bravado and introspection. He’s tightened his personal inner circle and withdrawn from the antics of the past as he’s poured even more of himself into his art.

Coming Home is the album Radke dreamed about making as a kid, teaching himself to play guitar with Blink-182 and Green Day songs, rapping along to Dr. Dre and Eminem, skipping school, going to shows, and doing whatever it took to redefine his life beyond the hardscrabble circumstances of his upbringing, even when the obstacles were of his own design. Now it’s time to get Coming Home to as many people as possible.

FALLING IN REVERSE continues to champion the outsider, the cast aside, the underestimated, making music to empower and inspire life’s underdogs.

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Sleep Token

Sleep Token

Sleep Token

Beneath the Sleep Token banner, lies the unique, broad-based vision of one individual – anonymous, silent, masked, armed with a staggering vocal range, a deft touch on the keyboards, plus a live approach that is never less than fully engaged. 

The UK underground entity only known as Sleep Token, fronted by Vessel, started the ‘Sundowning’ ritual on June 20th 2019 with ‘The Night Does Not Belong To God’. Sleep Token began to unveil their ‘offerings’ bi-weekly, released Thursday’s at sundown BST with accompanying visualizers. Each offering had its own emblem, establishing the Sleep Token universe on debut album, ‘Sundowning’.

Then, on June 18th, 2021, the cycle commenced again, but born afresh…

The second album, 'This Place Will Become Your Tomb', pushes the boundaries of Sleep Token's sound into new avenues, blurring genres whilst still retaining the signature approach. Videos for ‘Alkaline’, ‘The Love You Want’ and ‘Fall For Me’ reveal different aspects of the Vessel persona.

The power of Sleep Token grows, and the rituals have attracted followers in greater numbers than ever before. The United Kingdom alone has witnessed sold out headline tours, show-stealing performances at major festivals including Download and a stage-headlining turn at Bloodstock Open Air, an arena run as special guests to Architects, and the intimate ‘Room Below’ performances to the most devoted of followers.

The word has also begun to spread Worldwide, with Australia recently joining in worship at the behest of headliners ‘Northlane’ before a comprehensive expedition across North America with ‘In This Moment’.

2023 brings with it the promise of new rituals and offerings, beginning with the largest assembly yet across the United Kingdom this January.

This is the start of something…

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At a time when myopic tribalism is infecting every facet of life, and when the unknown has to be embraced with alarming regularity, there's a reason to continue on: what we do share with one another. On Nowhere Generation's "Talking To Ourselves," the band grappled with how feelings of going unheard — and messages not reaching those who need to hear it — impairs collective progress, and the dangerous sense of complacency that can result. "Last Man Standing," the first single from II, picks up that baton with a full-throated reminder of what could happen if those in power continue to ignore the voice of the people. It's a triumphantly rousing track that sees McIlrath deliver each line with impassioned fury, but a slight twinge of worry hides in every profound declaration. It's an arena-sized rock anthem that reads like an addendum to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, all carried on the back of big riffs, thunderous drums, and hook-laden guitar leads from lead guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Joe Principe, and drummer Brandon Barnes.

"I think of Rise Against as dystopian art," says McIlrath. "Like any good dystopian art endeavor, you're singing about the world and what it might be like if we keep going down the road we're going down. It's the inevitable conclusion of what would happen if we keep making the same decisions. That's what dystopian art is designed to do, to make you realize that and inspire you to make some changes. 'Last Man Standing' is looking down that road and trying to paint a picture of what it looks like."

The picture Rise Against paints is one of a generation younger than them struggling to find a path forward in an increasingly inhospitable world. The impulse to dig into these issues was spawned by McIlrath meeting fans all across the globe — from the United States to Australia to Japan to Germany — and each of them were articulating similar apprehensions. "They were communicating the same anxieties and fears about their lives and what tomorrow is going to look like. Those fears and anxieties were all connected no matter what language they were speaking. I just couldn't ignore it after a while," he says.

In contrast to the hard-earned triumph found in "Last Man Standing," a song like "Pain Mgmt" is a dark rumination on the struggle of trying to help those closest to you but not knowing what a positive impact even looks like. "The inspiration for that song came from being at a point in my life, and having a lot of people I know and love go through hard times. Some of them you try to help and there are good outcomes, and some of them you try to help and nothing you do is good enough, and you're sort of at a loss and feel helpless. It's not that you detach and stop caring, it's just that this person is so deep down in this hole, that the best you can do is signal to this person that you are there for them, and you have the will to help them, but you don't know what's the best action to take," says McIlrath.

II closes with "Holding Patterns," a song where the fire in Rise Against's belly comes roaring even further out. Parts of the track recall the breakneck, hardcore-inspired moments that typified the band's early years, but now feature the powerful maturity of a band still firing on all cylinders. The result is both an impactful tune and a prescient reminder when, at the top of each chorus, McIlrath sings, "When we are barely holding on, we hold each other." The refrain encapsulates the journey Rise Against has been on for their entire career, but it also serves as a succinct reminder of what II is grappling with in each and every song, and provides a bit of light in the all-consuming darkness." data-website="https://riseagainst.com" data-facebook="" data-instagram="http://instagram.com/riseagainst" data-twitter="http://twitter.com/riseagainst" data-tiktok="" data-spotify="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiJ78rx1e6CAxV5kyYFHbTtAzYQgD16BAgaEAY&url=https%3A%2F%2Fopen.spotify.com%2Fartist%2F6Wr3hh341P84m3EI8qdn9O%3Fautoplay%3Dtrue&usg=AOvVaw2JBksGg9oLSJUSmlExi1hC&opi=89978449" >
Rise Against

Rise Against

Rise Against

A year out from the release of Rise Against's chart-topping, critically acclaimed ninth album Nowhere Generation, the Chicago band returns with Nowhere Generation II: a propulsive, five-song follow-up that serves to continue a critical dialogue between themselves, their fans, and the world at large. The new EP, written and recorded alongside the material for Nowhere Generation, looks beyond its full-length counterpart's scrutiny of the chronic social, economic, and political instability and inequality that pervades the modern age. II is as biting as it is hopeful, and is a further testament to the resonance of a band that continues to defy the status quo of modern rock.

"We'd written 16 songs for this album and then we decided to break them apart," explains vocalist and guitarist Tim McIlrath. "Not only could the music get lost, but the message could get lost in asking people to listen to this all at once. I think this is, hopefully, a more effective way to give these issues the platform and the spotlight that they rightly deserve. We wanted to hold onto these and give them to our fans when we feel like they've had time to properly digest this first batch, so these songs were the aces up our sleeves."

At a time when myopic tribalism is infecting every facet of life, and when the unknown has to be embraced with alarming regularity, there's a reason to continue on: what we do share with one another. On Nowhere Generation's "Talking To Ourselves," the band grappled with how feelings of going unheard — and messages not reaching those who need to hear it — impairs collective progress, and the dangerous sense of complacency that can result. "Last Man Standing," the first single from II, picks up that baton with a full-throated reminder of what could happen if those in power continue to ignore the voice of the people. It's a triumphantly rousing track that sees McIlrath deliver each line with impassioned fury, but a slight twinge of worry hides in every profound declaration. It's an arena-sized rock anthem that reads like an addendum to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, all carried on the back of big riffs, thunderous drums, and hook-laden guitar leads from lead guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Joe Principe, and drummer Brandon Barnes.

"I think of Rise Against as dystopian art," says McIlrath. "Like any good dystopian art endeavor, you're singing about the world and what it might be like if we keep going down the road we're going down. It's the inevitable conclusion of what would happen if we keep making the same decisions. That's what dystopian art is designed to do, to make you realize that and inspire you to make some changes. 'Last Man Standing' is looking down that road and trying to paint a picture of what it looks like."

The picture Rise Against paints is one of a generation younger than them struggling to find a path forward in an increasingly inhospitable world. The impulse to dig into these issues was spawned by McIlrath meeting fans all across the globe — from the United States to Australia to Japan to Germany — and each of them were articulating similar apprehensions. "They were communicating the same anxieties and fears about their lives and what tomorrow is going to look like. Those fears and anxieties were all connected no matter what language they were speaking. I just couldn't ignore it after a while," he says.

In contrast to the hard-earned triumph found in "Last Man Standing," a song like "Pain Mgmt" is a dark rumination on the struggle of trying to help those closest to you but not knowing what a positive impact even looks like. "The inspiration for that song came from being at a point in my life, and having a lot of people I know and love go through hard times. Some of them you try to help and there are good outcomes, and some of them you try to help and nothing you do is good enough, and you're sort of at a loss and feel helpless. It's not that you detach and stop caring, it's just that this person is so deep down in this hole, that the best you can do is signal to this person that you are there for them, and you have the will to help them, but you don't know what's the best action to take," says McIlrath.

II closes with "Holding Patterns," a song where the fire in Rise Against's belly comes roaring even further out. Parts of the track recall the breakneck, hardcore-inspired moments that typified the band's early years, but now feature the powerful maturity of a band still firing on all cylinders. The result is both an impactful tune and a prescient reminder when, at the top of each chorus, McIlrath sings, "When we are barely holding on, we hold each other." The refrain encapsulates the journey Rise Against has been on for their entire career, but it also serves as a succinct reminder of what II is grappling with in each and every song, and provides a bit of light in the all-consuming darkness.

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311

311

311

311 was formed in 1990 in Omaha, Nebraska, featuring Nick Hexum (vocals/guitar), Chad Sexton (drums), Tim Mahoney (guitar), SA Martinez (vocals/dj), and P-Nut (bass).

311 mixes rock, rap, reggae & funk into their own unique, hybrid sound – and 32 years later, the band is still regarded as one of the most entertaining & dynamic live bands in the U.S.

As veterans of over 2,000 shows across 27 countries, 311 is one of the longest running original lineups in rock, alongside iconic acts like U2 and Radiohead.

311’s celebrated live shows and touring schedule have earned them a vast and dedicated following nationwide. Their annual, headlining, amphitheater show is a staple of the U.S. Summer touring season. Past support acts include: The Offspring, Snoop Dogg, Sublime with Rome, Cypress Hill, Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, The Roots, Matisyahu, and Ziggy Marley.

311 have released thirteen studio albums, two greatest hits albums, two live albums, three DVD's and a boxed-set, and have sold over 9 million records in the U.S.

Ten albums have reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 Sales Chart - and nine of their singles have reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Alternative Radio Chart - including three #1 singles: Down, Love Song & Don't Tread On Me - along with Amber, All Mixed Up, Come Original, Creatures For Awhile, Hey You and Sunset in July.

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Seether

Seether

Seether

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In This Moment

In This Moment

In This Moment

With a Grammy nomination (“The In-Between,” 2021), platinum and gold record sales, multiple Top 25 entries on the Billboard Top 200 (“Black Widow” and “Ritual”), hits including “Whore,” “Blood,” and ”Adrenalize” and career streams of more than 1.3 billion, you’d think In This Moment might rest on their laurels. Instead, they’ve created GODMODE, 10 dynamic songs that mark a new high for the quintet, further cementing their legacy in the heavy music world. Proof positive is in GODMODE’s first single, the industrial-heavy yet ultra-melodic “THE PURGE,” and its darkly cinematic video directed by Jensen Noen (Bring Me The Horizon, Demi Lovato). From the portentous start of the ‘90s-tinged “GODMODE” with Maria Brink’s powerful primal scream to the pitch-perfect cover of Bjork’s 1995 “Army of Me” to the impassioned pain to partnership in “EVERYTHING STARTS AND ENDS WITH YOU,” GODMODE is a cut above.

The L.A.-based band’s eighth album finds vocalist Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth writing the most powerful songs of their career. “We’re always striving for reinvention and growth. It’s been 10 years since our Blood album, and there's been a lot of transitions happening, this year particularly, but it all felt so meant to be,” explains Brink.

Top talent aided and abetted In this Moment; Spencer Charnas from Ice Nine Kills guests on the pointed and pained “DAMAGED,” and several songs were co-written with Tyler Bates, the award-winning producer and composer of numerous film, television, and video game scores. In fact, the initial collaboration with Bates, the moody, haunting mid-tempo winner “I WOULD DIE FOR YOU” ended up both on the John Wick: Chapter 4 soundtrack and as the last cut on GODMODE.

In This Moment, a touring juggernaut who’ve slayed stages worldwide at Ozzfest, Warped Tour, Download, Knotfest and Rocklahoma, put out Mother in 2020, during the pandemic, giving fans something to hold on in during that bleak time, and earning “The In-Between” the band’s first Grammy nod. It was 2021 when Howorth and Brink first wrote with Bates on “I WOULD DIE FOR YOU.” Following that collaboration, the duo were writing organically, for pleasure, not focused on the next album. As the pandemic waxed and waned, Howorth learned programming, and created music around synthwave sounds, which Brink leaned into. Her lyrical ideas arose both from soul-searching and “humanity and so much crisis and so many heart-wrenching things in the world. That negativity and darkness is how songs like ‘THE PURGE’’ came about,” Brink explains.

The end result is that when In This Moment went into the studio in January 2023, the easy flow had allowed them to compile the most songs they’d ever written at one time, songs the entire band loved. Longtime producer Kevin Churko helped shape ITM’s sound starting in 2008, but for GODMODE, his son, Kane Churko, was at the helm. “Kane’s got all the strengths that his father taught him--everything, all the bells and whistles, but he's got some new tricks because he's a younger generation, he’s hungry,” says Brink.

Kane was the perfect match for In This Moment’s inspired songs “During the pandemic, just writing versus writing with a pressure that music has to be for an album, allowed us the freedom to make the record we made,” says Howorth.

GODMODE’s songs gained even more strength in the studio, with Kane shaking up the band’s usual m.o. even further. “Having some songs by Tyler influenced us as well,” Brink explains. “It was scary for the band, but it ended up flowing just so beautifully. We felt very experimental.”

That flow gave the album its name and theme. GODMODE isn’t religious, rather it’s an expression for a triumphant flow state where all comes together seamlessly, coalescing into an ultimate form. As Brink sings in “GODMODE,” “You got me feeling so high / You lift me off of my feet yeah / You got me feeling like, feeling like / I’m in Godmode.” In video games – Howorth plays the game “Destiny” – “God mode” also refers to a code that makes a player invincible.

“There’s a spontaneity in this album that you can hear. It's a little more visceral. And that we're not with Kevin, who has done all our albums except for our very first, fans will hear those differences too, which is really cool and exciting for us,” Howorth says.

“We had all this built-up energy from the last three years, we felt angst, we felt we had a lot to release,” furthers Brink. “And we were letting it loose organically, while also playing with different time signatures and interesting things like that.”

“We use an 8-string on the album, which we haven't done before,” Howorth says. “We did some different tunings, and it can definitely be freeing from guitar standpoint, the way we did things this time. Working with Kane was different and more off the cuff, being in the studio, getting creative and just trying a bunch of different stuff on every song. It was a really good experience.”

As fans of Brink’s lyrics know, life in and around In This Moment hasn’t always been easy. As Brink recalls, “When I met Chris, I was just a starry-eyed girl with huge dreams. And he was in a Pantera-like metal band!” She told Howorth she wanted a heavy lineup that could sell platinum and win Grammys. The band had an early manager who told them it would never happen. But his dismissiveness only fueled In This Moment’s fire, energy and fight. “We’re just relentless,” says Brink. “Anything's possible if you really put your mind and energy into it.”

For GODMODE, that energy also went into the “THE PURGE” video, where director Noen brought his artistry and next-level talent to Brink’s storyboard ideas. The larger-than-life video themes and sets have been translated into In This Moment’s live stage show, literally. And summer 2023 saw the band on its first arena co-headlining tour with full pyrotechnics. “Our whole lives we’ve talked about being in an arena and having fire and a full show,” Brink says.

“And now we're doing it and it's just so beautiful.”

In this Moment certainly have nothing to prove, the lineup’s authority assured live on record and onscreen. Yet, GODMODE’s energy and scope is visceral. “With our new ideas and excitement and Kane’s energy of wanting to prove himself to everybody, we were able to show that we're heavy and just as impactful as every other new band coming out right now,” says Howorth. “We can punch you right in the face, that energy is in there big, time. I think our fans are really gonna like this album, because it’s taken us back a little bit where it began, but it’s also more instinctive, and heavier than anything we've done a long time,” concludes Howorth.

Brink, a private person, nonetheless gives and takes much strength from ITM’s millions of fans. The healing is on both sides. “It’s amazing if my songs help people feel empowered. When humans share painful things that we went through and how we heal from it, we can help each other and pass that energy on,” she says. “Honestly, the most beautiful thing about being in a band is being able to have that connection with strangers who become kindred spirits. Sure, I have urges to wear ‘masks’ and hide from everything and wear makeup, but I like to share and be honest and vulnerable. The sky's the limit,” Brink concludes. “You just have to keep dreaming, keep expanding, keep pushing yourself to that next level. I feel like something is shifting right now in the band; this is such a special moment for us with GODMODE.”

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Mudvayne

Mudvayne

Mudvayne

Heavy metal quartet Mudvayne formed in Peoria, IL, in 1996, its members adopting the unusual pseudonyms sPaG (M. McDonough) (drums), Gurrg (G. Tribbett) (guitar), and Kud (Chad Gray) (vocals). The group's original bassist was replaced after two years by Ryknow (Ryan Martinie). During their development, the bandmembers began the practice of applying bizarre makeup. After self-releasing their first album, Kill, I Oughta, they were signed by Epic Records and recorded their major-label debut, L.D. 50, which was released in August 2000 shortly after the end of their first national tour opening for Slipknot. The album later went gold and earned Mudvayne the first-ever MTV2 Video Award at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. Mudvayne continued touring and reissued their self-released debut EP, Kill, I Oughta, in November 2001 as The Beginning of All Things to End. A year later the band returned with its official follow-up, The End of All Things to Come, which was recorded at Minneapolis' Pachyderm Studios with Tool producer David Bottrill. With a new album came new personas, this time as space aliens. The bandmembers changed their names accordingly, taking the new monikers of Chüd (Kud), Güüg (Gurrg), R-üD (Ryknow), and Spüg (sPaG). They embarked on a European tour, arriving back stateside in July to join the Summer Sanitarium shed tour, featuring such heavyweights as Metallica and Linkin Park. In 2005, the band released Lost and Found, their third album for Epic. In September 2007, Mudvayne announced they would allow fans to vote on the band's website to determine the track selection for the compilation By the People, for the People, released the following month. The all new full-length New Game arrived in November 2008, followed six months later by an eponymous 2009 effort. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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Cypress Hill

Cypress Hill

Cypress Hill

Three decades ago, B-Real, Sen Dog, and DJ Muggs sparked a trip that left popular culture stoned, stunned, and staggering in anticipation for more. Naming themselves after a local street in Los Angeles, Cypress Hill burst on the scene in 1991 with the release of their self-titled debut album.

The singles “How I Could Just Kill a Man” and “The Phuncky Feel One” became underground hits, and the group’s public pro-marijuana stance earned them many fans among the alternative rock community. Cypress Hill followed their debut with Black Sunday in the summer of 1993, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200, garnered three GRAMMY® Award nominations, and went triple platinum in the U.S. As a result, Cypress Hill became the first rap group to have two albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 charts at the same time and are the first Latino-American hip-hop group to achieve platinum and multi-platinum success.

Since the release of Black Sunday, Cypress Hill have put out seven more albums including 2018’s critically acclaimed, Elephants on Acid. Cypress Hill made history once again in 2019 when the group was honored with their very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2021, Cypress Hill released “Champion Sound.” Produced by Black Milk, the single appears on the soundtrack of R.B.I Baseball 21 and is also the featured song for the band’s partnership with Montejo Cerveza. 2021 also saw Cypress Hill celebrate the 30th anniversary of their self-titled debut this year with a SONY reissue on vinyl, 7-inch box set, a reissue across all DSP’s that includes eight unreleased tracks, as well as a graphic novel and their very own STANCE sock.

Cypress Hill continue to be busier than ever. The band will release a new album this spring and have already dropped three singles, “Champion Sound,” “Open Ya Mind,” and “Bye Bye.” Their “Hits From The Bong” documentary, which is part of Mass Appeal’s “Hip Hop 50” franchise in partnership with Showtime, was released in 2022.

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Sum 41

Sum 41

Sum 41

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Kerry King

Kerry King

Kerry King

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Mr. Bungle

Mr. Bungle

Mr. Bungle

Not unlike most ‘80s thrash metal bands, Mr. Bungle was formed in an impoverished lumber & fishing town by a trio of curious, volatile teenagers. Trey Spruance, Mike Patton & Trevor Dunn beget the amorphous “band” in 1985 up in Humboldt County, CA, sifting through a variety of members until around 1989 when they settled on a lineup that managed to get signed to Warner Bros. Records. No one really knows how this happened and it remains a complete mystery that even the algorithms of the internet can’t decode. Up until 2000 they released three albums, toured a good portion of the Western hemisphere and avoided any sort of critical acclaim. Some argue that the band subsequently broke up but there is also no proof of this. What is true is that they took 20 years off from performing under said moniker while they pursued various other musics that, in contrast, paid the rent.

Though Bungle regularly amended and modified their orchestrations — incorporating such exotic instruments as the saxophone, synthesizer, or even timpani (!!!) — they maintained footing in the mosh pit of their youth and continued to reference metal in one way or another. Even in their last tours of the millennium they played songs from their very first demo, the self-produced, amateurish gem The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny (1986).

The pull of returning to full-on metal was too strong to avoid and the idea arose to re-record that primal demo giving the music the much needed presentation and precision it deserved. Spruance, Patton & Dunn decided to go to the source, The Big Four of course, and hand-pick the two guys who could help them realize this body of work with the utmost brutality. Without hesitation, Scott Ian and Dave Lombardo (you may know their names from Anthrax & Slayer, respectively) were invited to get of off their poolside recliners and start speed-picking and double-bassing with these small town fan boys. They accepted and dove full force into the music like a skate punk dives into a wall of slam dancers. In 2020 the recording of The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo was completed in about 10 days following a series of pre-Covid, sold out shows.

Because this was a musical homecoming of 35 years, the relearning and re-recording felt brand new and was able to be enjoyed objectively, not to mention reinvigorated by the likes of the masters Ian and Lombardo. Mr. Bungle maintained the rawness and severity of the original demo without too much embellishment preferring to let the music speak for itself in all of its teenage-angst glory. In addition to what was on the original cassette-only release, three original songs from the same era were realized for the first time. With this new album, the first for the band in 20 years, Mr. Bungle has self-appointed themselves as the final puzzle piece in the pentagonal Big Five.

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Theory of a Deadman

Theory of a Deadman

Theory of a Deadman

With sky-high hooks, riffs as thick as a 2x4, rumbling grooves, and a razor-sharp sense of humor, Theory Of A Deadman) have quietly persisted as an unapologetic, unbreakable, and undeniable hard rock force with major multiplatinum hits and countless sold out shows in each of the past two decades. Jamming together in basements throughout high school, the band burst out of their small hometown of North Delta, British Columbia with the self-titled, Theory of a Deadman, during 2002. In addition to the double-platinum breakthrough album Scars & Souvenirs [2008] and gold-certified The Truth Is… [2011], they have notched a procession of hits, including the gold-certified “All Or Nothing,” “Bitch Came Back,” and “Lowlife,” platinum-certified “Angel,” “Hate My Life,” and “Not Meant To Be,” double-platinum “Bad Girlfriend,” and triple-platinum “RX (Medicate).” As the biggest smash of their career this far, the latter marked their third #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart and garnered a nomination for “Rock Song of the Year” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. They have logged two Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200. In 2020, Say Nothing landed at #2 on the Billboard Alternative Albums Chart and #3 on the Rock Albums Chart. Plus, it earned praise from American Songwriter, Billboard, and Classic Rock Magazine who awarded it “4-out-of-5 stars.” Now, the award-winning quartet—Tyler Connolly [lead vocals, guitar], Dave Brenner [guitar, backing vocals], Dean Back [bass], and Joey Dandeneau [drums, backing vocals]—once again deliver a barrage of anthems, beginning with the single “Dinosaur” and more to come.

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Anthrax

Anthrax

Anthrax

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Polyphia

Polyphia

Polyphia

Since their formation in Plano, Texas in 2010, Polyphia have made a name for themselves by blending intricate guitar riffs with hip-hop rhythms, bass-heavy trap music, and progressive metal & rock influences. To date, the group have released four studio albums - Muse (2014), Renaissance (2016), New Levels New Devils (2018) and their latest album Remember That You Will Die (2022). Comprised of guitarists Tim Henson & Scott LePage, bassist Clay Gober, and drummer Clay Aeschliman, Polyphia has evolved into an international force with sold out shows across the globe, hundreds of millions of streams and video views, and a die-hard fan base.

Remember That You Will Die, the fourth studio album from the genre-bending instrumental group, is out now via Rise Records. The album features collaborations with $not, Chino Moreno (Deftones), Brasstracks, Steve Vai, + more. Produced by guitarists Tim Henson & Scott LePage, the album also features production credits from Rodney Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Lady Gaga), JUDGE (Migos & Marshmello, blackbear, Young Thug), the band’s longtime collaborator Y2K (Doja Cat, Remi Wolf, Tove Lo), Johan Lenox (Kanye, FINNEAS), and more on select tracks.

A decade and four full-length albums in, Polyphia are taking over and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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Architects

Architects

Architects

Many bands might not be so keen to rip it up and start again, especially when they’re on to a good thing. Finding yourself with a Number One album and selling out arenas is enough for some to repeat a winning formula. Architects however, are that shark that dies if it stops swimming. “It was definitely validating and felt really cool for like a day,” recalls drummer, producer and songwriter Dan Searle of hitting the top spot with ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’. “For a lot of the bucket list things you reach in any career, there’s a momentary gratification then you’re like, ‘What next?’ You just move on. By the time the album came out, my head was already in the mindset of ‘Broken Spirit’. That was where I was at.”
 
Searle notes how it was their albums ‘Lost Forever/Lost Together’, ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’, and ‘Holy Hell’ that really “cemented what the band was about” and “took them to a new level” as a rock powerhouse and leaders of the UK’s metalcore scene – making it all the more “daunting” to reinvent themselves on the records that would follow. “Especially after we re-recorded ‘Wish To Exist’  at Abbey Road with an orchestra, I felt that we had to shelve the strings and all that stuff,” he says. “I wanted to make this album with a different aesthetic. We were enjoying working with the synths and doing stuff that we hadn't done before.”  
 
As a band who never stop writing, the kernels of the songs that make up ‘The Classic Symptoms Of A Broken Spirit’ were already in progress before the ink had time to dry on the artwork of their last record. Architects were on a creative roll, and the record was born of that creative freedom. Produced by Dan Searle and Josh Middleton, with additional production from Sam Carter at Decon’s Middle Farm Studios and their own Brighton Electric Studios before being mixed by Zakk Cervini, the band were buoyed by finally being back in a room together after their last album was made mostly remotely due to COVID restrictions. The result was something altogether more “free, playful and spontaneous,” Searle explains. 
 
  “This one was made a little bit more tongue-in-cheek,” he says. “There are definitely parts that we did as a joke! There was more writing on the spot, being a bit giddy and not second-guessing it. That’s not to say that there aren’t songs on this album that weren’t overly slaved over, but this one has the most songs that were written in the moment. This album takes itself a little bit less seriously than our others, despite the name!”
 
Carter agrees: “This one feels more live, more exciting and more fun – it has that energy. We wanted it to be a lot more industrial and electronic. That was the main mission. They can sit side-by-side: Mr Electronic and Mr Organic.” 
 
You can really hear that sense of abandon on the devious earworm of ‘Spit The Bone’, sing-along pit instigator ‘When We Were Young’ and the unpredictable, unhinged heavy beast ‘Be Very Afraid’. Lyrically, the album also sees Searle turn darker subjects on their head. “I joke about the end of the world and stuff,” he laughs. “I really battle with the idea of going on too much about negative things. For me, it’s really hard to vere away from those topics. I have a wife and two kids that I love and a job that I love. On a personal, superficial level, I’m in a super privileged position – but that’s not to say that I haven’t escaped my childhood with no scars or neurotic behaviours. I still have a mind that has a dark side to it. I still worry about the future. Our albums are an opportunity for me to deal with that. It’s my way of therapising myself through the negative things in my life.” 
 
Darting between “what’s happening to the planet” and Searle’s own “self destructive ways, inability to understand myself, the trauma that I make and live through” – often in the same song – the album is an often absurd questioning of “how much our collective trauma from hundreds of thousands of years of death, loss and destruction impacts our behaviour, our selfishness and our inability to look two feet beyond our own nose”. 
 
That sideways glance at the end of days shines best on ‘Spit The Bone’ (“Everyone knows one halo beneath the payload, we had it all but now we’re all cannibals”), ‘Living Is Killing Us’ (“We fell in love with the death machine, too much will never be enough”), ‘Doomscrolling’ (“No betting on tomorrow, but we all love a tragedy, come drown in our sorrows and see the world as it ought to be – delete another day”), and ‘Be Very Afraid’ (“They all say revelation’s on its way”). “It’s about living in that constant state of fear and anxiety, and how paralysing that can be for all of us,” says Searle. 
 
For Carter however, the most revealing track is the album’s simmering centre-piece ‘Burn Down My House’. Taking in the band’s post-rock influences, it builds a cinematic moodscape as the frontman warns: “I swear I’m OK, just hear the words I don’t say”. 
 
“A lot of us have struggled with mental health,” he says. “I had been on antidepressants for a long time. The year we started making the record, I had just come off them. I know that Dan and I are both still in counselling and therapy. That song is so important because it epitomises how you can feel when you’re just completely shot and fed up. There are a lot of times where I didn’t know that I was in that spiral or struggling. It’s a song that asks, ‘Do you have that friend that you’re concerned about’?” 
 
He goes on: “You need to have those discussions and make people understand. The hardest thing I ever did when looking after my mental health was that first conversation.  Male suicide is the biggest killer of men, and it’s fucking insane. If we get through to one person in a crowd and they make a phone call, then it’s worth it.”
 
It’s a discussion that Carter has made the effort to have on stage, especially through his own darkness following the passilouiseng of guitarist and principal songwriter Tom Searle – a founding member and Dan’s brother – who died of cancer in 2016. Since then, the loss of their close friend has coloured much of their work. Now, they can exorcise their demons and reach out to their fans  in a different light on ‘The Classic Symptoms Of A Broken Spirit’. “This one is more of a party,” concludes Carter. “We’ve got a good atmosphere and we’re celebrating Tom rather than being too downbeat. He’ll always be there as part of the band, but this one is more exciting. One of my friends recently told me after a show, ’You weren’t quite there yet, but now you’re having fun and in the moment’. You never forget what happened, but you learn from it.” 
 
As Architects march on with a dance in their step, they’re already giving some serious thought to their 11th album. Searle won’t give too much away – apart from his excitement. “I’m astonished that we’ve done album 10, the band is bigger than ever and there’s no fatigue or jadedness about us,” he said. “I feel more inspired than ever to write and I habitually want to move forward. I’m too cynical to make big, grand statements at this stage of my life about this album changing the world or us being the best band in the world. That might stand against us, but I don’t think it’s as damaging as my refusal to download TikTok. Maybe that will be our downfall. I just want to keep creating.”
 
Carter also recognises the band’s impact on the scene, but again is in no mood for standing still. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice bands trying to pinch the odd riff here and there and trying to get away with it,” he laughs. “You have to take that as a compliment. We’ve always tried to be one record ahead of the rest. It keeps you on your toes to at least try and be the innovators. If you think you’re the best, then you’re not striving to be it.”
 
Comparing the band to a Premiere League footballer who needs to go back into training after each season’s victory, Carter is confident that their Cantona years of looking back on their glory days are a long way off for now, as they’re still living through them – but now with a mind to let the good times roll. Nothing can go wrong if you’re doing what feels right. As Carter growls on the industrial stomp of the arena-ready album gem ‘Tear Gas: “Anything is possible – wake up the unstoppable”. 

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Royal Blood

Royal Blood

Royal Blood

From the very beginning, Royal Blood’s story has been one of two life-long friends, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher, whose shared passion for rousing, full-throttle hard rock has led them on an extraordinary adventure together – a story of such success that has yet to be repeated, leading to a succession of achievements that are as rare as they are remarkable. One day they were plotting how to recoup the meagre £300 they had spent on their first recording, but within a year they were at the top of UK album charts, storming Glastonbury and winning the BRIT Award for Best British Group.

The duo’s initial outlook reflected the authenticity of the bands they had grown-up admiring. “The aim was simply to make music for ourselves and each other, and we trusted that as the only reliable way to measure the quality of the music we made,” says Mike. “It’s never been about creating music based upon the expectations of the outside world.”

That’s an attitude which still defines everything that they do. Once an album is released, he adds, any opinions that anyone offers are completely out of his control. When all that external noise is stripped away, the only thing that matters is that they’re both proud of the music that they’ve made. It’s a matter of trust, of independence, and of sticking to everything that you believe in.

It’s unusual that such an uncompromising approach results in what appeared to be a classic overnight success story. But, as Mike explains, the reality was somewhat different. “No-one sees the years of playing in loads of bands, that all gets swept under the carpet because the other story is magical and much more wondrous.” Prior to their sudden breakthrough, Mike and Ben had been playing in bands together for years, often under inglorious circumstances such as being stopped after two songs while playing in a pub because the volume was putting customers off their dinners.

Ben compares their slow ascent to that of IDLES or Architects: they’ve been together a similar amount of time, but Royal Blood’s early grind was entirely away from the public eye. As Ben remembers, “We were playing together ten years before Royal Blood blew up, so when it did we were so prepared musically.”

Fast-forward to 2022. ‘Typhoons’ had proven to be a third successful chapter in the Royal Blood tale as it completed a hat-trick of chart-topping albums (the other being 2017’s ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’), underlined by a huge UK arena tour and an array of international festival dates. Their creative juices were flowing, as evidenced by the standalone single ‘Honeybrains’, but there wasn’t a structured plan as to what would come next.

Which, it turns out, was exactly what they needed. Instead, they focused on instinct over analysis, feeling over thinking and let the songs come naturally - a process boosted by having the freedom to stroll down to their studio space near their homes in Brighton whenever a moment of inspiration struck. While everything had changed for Royal Blood over the course of the previous decade, the reason for forming the band was completely unchanged: the simple joy of Mike plugging in, Ben picking up his sticks, and the pair making a racket for the sheer fun of it.

“There’s definitely some of that shoot-from-the-hip mentality when no-one’s looking, and that’s all over our first album,” affirms Mike. “I think it’s probably taken us to get to this point to go full circle.”

Just as importantly, they cast aside any preconceptions of what Royal Blood should be. Buoyed by the reaction greeted to the piano-based live favourite ‘All We Have Is Now’, they allowed themselves the freedom to embrace other ideas: at times being guided by melodies rather than riffs and rhythms, and at others deploying whatever instrumentation they felt best complemented the songs. If in doubt, they returned to a core belief: that the sound of Royal Blood isn’t defined by genre or the instruments that they play, but by the unique chemistry forged by the two friends.

While the recent single ‘Mountains At Midnight’ offered a supercharged take on the old school Royal Blood prototype, the resulting album, ‘Back To The Water Below’, offers plenty of surprises without ever compromising the essence of their identity. ‘Shiner In The Dark’ sets a rock ‘n’ roll swagger to the tight, danceable rhythms that pulsated throughout the ‘Typhoons’ album. Devoid of distortion, ‘The Firing Line’ represents a bigger departure, its ‘90s alt-rock tone and an underbelly of psychedelia later elevated by a chiming piano melody. ‘Pull Me Through’ goes further still, uniting the plaintive piano with a full-blooded denouement. They’re songs which will not only provide a broader spectrum of moods, but that will provide the contrasts to amplify the power of their most fiery moments.

As Ben credits, “Watching Mike, the progression in his songwriting, and going to different chords, which is where a lot of the piano stuff comes in, feels really interesting and unique. I think that’s a major part of this record.”

Key to achieving their creative liberation was the decision to produce the record entirely independently for the first time. “I think sometimes having someone make you try things you wouldn’t normally do can be helpful, but it can make you do something out of character and, therefore, something that isn’t natural” says Mike.

Ben nods in agreement. “It’s normally the first thing that you do that's the most natural. Then we go and explore other ideas and other ways of doing things and it takes you on a journey. It helps you realise that what you had in the first place was the right thing.”

Those two statements hint at the almost intuitive connection that the pair share. Mike appears to carefully consider every statement he makes but is also open to sharing his thoughts on any question posed. Meanwhile, Ben lets his bandmate do most of the heavy lifting but regularly jumps in with a succinct observation to emphasis Mike’s point or cracks a joke to shift the tone.

They’re most animated when sharing some of their memories together, whether it’s remembering how Ben continued to drum in a weekend cover band even after Royal Blood had signed their first publishing deal (Mike: “Ben just loves playing music, so the more drums he played he better”) or Ben’s awe at the huge crowd that greeted them when they made their Glastonbury debut (“We walked on stage and there were more people waiting outside the tent than could fit inside”).

So much of the madness that followed felt alien to them, but their friendship and their music provided an anchor. Their own heroes were renowned for the music rather than any celebrity status, and that’s precisely what Royal Blood have replicated. It’s a brotherhood, a bromance, an us-versus-the-world-mentality. Or in the surprisingly tender words of Ben: “I think the love for each other is there and we always have each other’s back. There’s a lot of love and care.”

And between the upcoming release of ‘Back To The Water Below’ and a landmark homecoming show on Brighton Beach, those modest yet powerful principles continue to inform Royal Blood’s future. “I think about the innocence of where this all began, and I’m just proud,” beams Mike. “Despite where we’ve ended up, the ethos of the band has remained the same and the intentions of what we do haven’t been shaken.”

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Bad Religion

Bad Religion

Bad Religion

Aside from essentially defining the California half-pipe punk blueprint, Bad Religion has defied the usual trend-shifts or values-ditched ubiquities of the usual punk band storyline and morphed along with challenging album after challenging album amid astoundingly consistent touring, retaining their core audience while roping in subsequent generations of anxiously energetic kids.

The band has long settled into the current lineup who have arguably enacted the most muscular Bad Religion ever to grace a stage: Greg Graffin (vocals) and Jay Bentley (bass) join Brian Baker (guitarist since ’94), guitarist Mike Dimkich, and drummer Jamie Miller.

Bad Religion is in an almost singular position in the history of punk. Having formed right on the heels of the original explosion, they led the west coast arm of hardcore’s birth, adding their melodic riffs, zooming harmonies, and viciously verbose lyrical punch to the basic bash of hardcore. Then the band continued to expand their template through the ‘80s and into the indebted “neo-punk” sound of the early ‘90s, and weathered the questionable dichotomies of the “alternative rock” era by doing what they’ve always done – releasing explosive album after album to consistent acclaim from fans and critics.

And if you’re positive there is no way they could keep doing the same thing all these years, you’d be right. They haven’t. They’ve continued to throw songwriting and production wrenches into the works so as not to bore themselves or their never-diminishing following. They have released 17 studio albums to their ever-widening audience.

The band’s rep as socially aware thought-provokers can obscure the fact they’ve remained one of the most viscerally powerful live bands on the planet, remembering it’s the beats and riffs that get your ass off the couch in the first place.

Of course, being stuck to the couch was sometimes inescapable during our last terrible years of COVID fear. So once again leaning into their smarts, Bad Religion concocted an online run of eight chronologically curated, streaming live show docuseries, recorded at the Roxy in Hollywood as COVID reared its fangs. Two seasons of career-highlighting, fan-thanking ballyhoo featuring jaw-dropping reminders of the band’s development in the face of often simplistic skate punk pigeonholing.

When he’s not stomping on some festival stage in front of thousands somewhere, singer Greg Graffin is a professor and author who has released numerous books on history and personal survival. He even garnered the prestigious Rushdie Award for Cultural Humanism from the Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy in 2008. In 2022 Greg released his memoir of growing up in the Punk scene, Punk Paradox.

And in 2021, Bad Religion released its own long-awaited autobiography, Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion, credited to, of course, the whole band. While propped up on the band’s egalitarian legend, its focus is the long and moshing road of a band who probably would’ve laughed if you’d told their 20-something selves they’d be celebrating their 43rd anniversary. Laughed, then strapped on their guitars and jumped out on stage again.

Being Bad Religion is what they do best; they see no reason to take their foot off the pedal any time soon.

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Clutch

Clutch

Clutch

CLUTCH shares more in common with The Grateful Dead, Rush, and the Allman Brothers than their heavy riffs and heady twists-of-phrase might suggest. Because like those bands, the supporters who adore CLUTCH are there for the experience, community, and authentic connection.

To love CLUTCH is to feel a sense of ownership, membership, and belonging.

Seneca Valley High School classmates Neil Fallon (vocals), Tim Sult (guitar), Dan Maines (bass), and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums) share an unshakeable musical and personal bond now three decades strong. Shaped by the same region which birthed Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and Rites Of Spring, CLUTCH crafts hyper-literate and libertine jams informed by hardcore fury and fuzzy, athletic, stoner rock.

A worldwide cabal of fans and critics cherish the band’s dense and diverse catalog of underground classics, released through major labels, indies, and since 2009, Clutch’s own Weathermaker imprint. Sunrise On Slaughter Beach, the band’s thirteenth studio album, is a slamming summary of everything that makes the band great and another giant leap forward into career longevity.

“There’s no question that Clutch etched themselves a name in the pantheon of great rock bands,” Lambgoat wrote in 2004. Classic Rock Magazine counted 2013’s Earth Rocker and 2015’s Psychic Warfare among the 50 Best Rock Albums of the 2010s. Rolling Stone described 2018’s Book of Bad Decisions as “bathed in the grit and liberal fuzz tone that have made their live shows legendary.”

Those live shows over the years include tours with Slayer, System Of A Down, and Marilyn Manson, and more recent co-headlining treks with Dropkick Murphys, Killswitch Engage, and Mastodon. Like Slayer or Iron Maiden, CLUTCH outlasted rock bands anchored to “hit songs” and the pressure of replicating them. The foursome from Germantown, Maryland, isn’t bound by trends. Across 13 studio albums and assorted releases since 1991, they’ve earned a reputation as one of the best around.

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Starset

Starset

Starset

Visionary media collective STARSET have carved out a unique path as part cinematic rock band, part conceptual storytellers, weaving an intricate narrative through multimedia and redefining the concept of a truly immersive entertainment experience. Led by enigmatic frontman and PhD candidate Dustin Bates, the band have made a mission to take fans on a journey through music, video, AR-integrated performances, a Marvel graphic novel and online experiences, blurring the lines of science fact and science fiction.

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Black Veil Brides

Black Veil Brides

Black Veil Brides

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Wage War

Wage War

Wage War

We define ourselves between extremes. Life’s lowest lows and highest highs ultimately show us how much we can take. Wage War have forged an ironclad hybrid of battering ram grooves, gnashing guitars, and melodic hooks in the heat of those extremes. Following the most trying year in recent memory, the Florida quintet—Briton Bond [lead vocals], Cody Quistad [rhythm guitar, clean vocals], Seth Blake [lead guitar], Chris Gaylord [bass], and Stephen Kluesener [drums]—only strengthened their creative bond on their fourth full-length offering, Manic [Fearless Records]. Musically, the band struck a seamless balance between bludgeoning grooves, soaring melodies, electronic fits, and battering ram riffs, straining their past, present, and future into one cohesive statement. Thematically, they confronted everything from personal struggles to trolls and two-faced friends.

After amassing nearly 300 million streams and receiving widespread acclaim from Billboard, Loudwire, Alternative Press, and more, the group delivered eleven anthems meant to connect through turbulence.

“Manic encompasses everything we’ve gone through as musicians in the last year-and-a-half,” exclaims Stephen. “The whole industry halted, and we technically lost our jobs. Our scene was among the first to leave and the last to come back. The album captures the whole period. That’s how I’d describe Manic.”

“It’s the feeling of being apart,” agrees Chris. “You’re in your own head, forced to be home, and unable to talk to others face-to-face. It puts you in a different headspace.”

“Mania is a wild emotion,” observes Cody. “The last year was all severe highs and lows. We had some victories, but we’ve also had so many low points. We’ve built this thing for the last ten years and put all of our chips into it. We’ve missed birthdays and funerals, but we’ve done some extraordinary things. Last year, we found ourselves wondering if it would ever come back. That’s really what the album is about.”

Manic represents the apex of an intense creative journey. They built a diehard audience with Blueprints [2015] and Deadweight [2017] and through incessant touring. 2019’s Pressure exploded right out of the gate. “Low” piled on 24.9 million Spotify streams with “Who I Am” at 10.7 million Spotify streams and “Me Against Myself” at 8.4 million Spotify streams. Beyond bringing their total stream tally past a-quarter-of-a-billion, it landed on Loudwire’s “50 Best Metal Albums of 2019,” while New Noise Magazine graded it “4-out-of-5 stars” and Alternative Press raved, “Wage War are unapologetically changing the game on all fronts on ‘Pressure’.”

As the Global Pandemic raged, the guys hid out in a cabin in the Northern Georgia woods to write.

“Pressure was great for us,” Cody goes on. “We took a lot of risks, which is important. So, we came into Manic, knowing what it takes to make a record that will please older fans, yet continue the journey and growth for us. We definitely pushed some limits. We’d never done this before, but we brought all our equipment to a cabin and wrote songs together. It was a special thing, because we hadn’t seen one another in so long. It was really inspiring, helpful, and fruitful to be in a room together.”

Following those sessions, they recorded with longtime collaborators Drew Fulk [Lil Peep, Motionless In White] and Andrew Wade [A Day To Remember]. Igniting this chapter, Wage War introduced Manic with the first single “High Horse.” A pummeling rhythm charges forward as guitars crunch and crack beneath relentless verses before an uncompromising chorus, “You want to see a war? I’m here to settle scores.” It’s an open invitation to the pit.

“When people online take a five-second window to degrade a song and call it trash, that’s really toxic,” observes Cody. “We’re living in a world where everyone wants to have a hot take. The song is a realization it doesn’t matter what anybody else says. We make the music we do, because we love it. We’re eternally grateful for anyone who hops on the train. We’re putting our foot down and saying we’re going to do our thing whether you like it or not. The lyrics are different for us.”

On the other end of the spectrum, “Circle The Drain” snakes around a sweeping and soaring refrain, “Will we find closure or circle the drain?” The chorus offsets the intensity of the hard-hitting drums.

“We saw a lot of issues come up last year socially with cancel culture and the Pandemic,” he goes on. “The song urges everybody to just stop, take a look around, and realize the pain that happens. We have to learn and grow with each other. It’s a humanistic approach to a rock song.”

On “Teeth,” glitchy production swells give way to incisive riffing punctuated by violent whispering, eerie harmonics, and another irresistible hook about “a friend who leeches from you, leaves, and never comes back.” The title track “Manic” borders on trap production with hollow percussive hits and schizophrenic delivery before a seesawing scream. It nods to the culture of rap beat-craft with its icy electronic darkness.

“We tried to integrate a dark hip-hop vibe,” Cody goes on. “It’s my favorite Wage War song ever. It really pushes boundaries for us. Sonically and lyrically, it lends itself to a manic headspace, summing up the album.” A sinewy riff wraps around a robotic sample as “Godspeed” rushes towards one of the biggest hooks on the record as it waves goodbye to social deadweight, “And now you’re dead to me.” Once again, they push the envelope creatively. “It’s a banger,” grins Stephen. “It’s classic Wage War with the breakdown and the melody. It spoke to the whirlwind we’ve gone through recently.”

In the end, Wage War emerged from everything stronger than ever.

“Whether you’ve been listening to us since the beginning or you just discovered us, I hope you’re satisfied by this,” Chris leaves off. “It’s easy to feel alone. We want to bring you on the journey with us, and we hope you stay on the ride.” “I think this is our best record, and I hope people are able to see, hear, and feel how much we put into it,” concludes Cody. “This record sounds exactly like we’ve always wanted the band to sound like. It’s a defining moment for us.”

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Tech N9ne

Tech N9ne

Tech N9ne

It never happens like this.

Out of the Midwest, Tech N9ne broke all of the rules, subverted expectations, dumbfounded the system, and set a precedent for hip-hop and independent music often imitated (but never duplicated) by generations to follow. At the helm of his own Strange Music proudly based in Kansas City, MO, he has notched four platinum singles, eleven gold singles, and two gold albums. After three decades in the game, he landed “the biggest hit of his career” with 2021’s “Face Off” featuring Joey Cool, King Iso, and none other than megastar Dwayne Johnson. What other 50-year-old rapper has sent TikTok into a tizzy, generated a quarter-of-a-billion stream, and incited a frenzy from Variety, People, TMZ, NY Post, Today, and Entertainment Weekly with just one track?

It’s unheard of in typical hip-hop, but Tech and Strange Music are anything but typical…

Representing the underground, he’s practically “a regular” on the Forbes “Cash Kings” list. Beyond gracing the cover of XXL and the stage of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he wound up on the playlist of none other than Sir Elton John and performing to 1 million-plus at the parade for the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory. He’s the only artist (on this planet) who has collaborated with Eminem, Tupac, Lil Wayne, and Kendrick Lamar as well as The Doors, Slipknot, System of a Down, Deftones, Jelly Roll, and MGK. He holds down the record for “most Top 10 albums on the Billboard Rap Chart” and staked a spot in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200 four times. On top of a thriving self-sufficient merchandising empire, he notably joined forces with Kansas City’s own Boulevard Brewery for his craft beer Bou Lou. Moreover, his output is nothing short of staggering.

However, he never rests on his laurels. Instead, Tech reaches higher than ever on his 24th full-length offering, BLISS [Strange Music].

“It’s a new me,” he exclaims. “I’m evolved with a new brain, a new soul, and a new heart. I want to start conversations, so we can find a middle ground even if we are different. We can agree to disagree. I want conversation, and these are my observations. I’m opening up and talking about things I’ve obsessed over. To me, this album is a mirror of society.”

Following the “ignorance” of ASIN9NE, Tech found himself on another level.

“BLISS comes from ignorance,” he goes on. “I’m BLISSful, so I can say whatever the hell I want. The reason I took this direction was maturity and evolution. As an O.G., I’m going to speak on what I’m seeing.”

A standout collaboration from the album is “Fatha Fig Ya (Food For Thought)” featuring RMR. Complemented by an anxious keyboard loop, Tech kicks knowledge with the cadence of a quietly confident dynamo and the care of a committed dad (both of which he is). In between, RMR’s hook practically levitates over the percussion.

“I wanted to give my perspective to the youngsters,” he notes. “As I sit right now, I’m a father literally offering you a fig of life to eat in the song; it’s food for thought. RMR’s voice is so distinct that it made the song beautiful.”

“Knock” unites four of the game’s tightest lyricists from across the country with Conway the Machine repping Buffalo, X-Raided of Sacramento, Joyner Lucas hailing from Boston, and Tech out of KC. Minor keys cut through a head-nodding beat as a lyrical masterclass ensues as each MC passes a scorching hot mic back-and-forth.

“You’ve got a quartet of MCs from different regions just crushing it,” smiles Tech. “My East Coast fans are always like, ‘We want to hear you on some boom bap!’ So, we got this incredible beat from Dame The Producer. ‘Knock’ is amazing for 50 years of hip-hip.”

On the other end of the spectrum, glitchy electronics give way to jarring distortion on “W H A T (We’re Hungry And Thirsty)” [feat. HU$H & Kim Dracula]. The refrain’s scream practically pierces the sky.

“I’m talking some shit I’ve never talked before,” admits Tech. “These songs mean a lot to me. I’m not trying to do what’s hot now; I want forever music. This one could be controversial, because I’m talking about people who wrote the Bible and how we’re waking up and being controlled. Kim Dracula was a perfect specimen for this because they are fucking lyrically crazy. HU$H killed it.”

In another departure, he joined forces with none other than Durand Bernarr and Qveen Herby on “Red Aura.” Durand’s soulful crooning floats atop the skittering beat only for Qveen Herby to stomp over the bass line with bold bars of her own.

“It’s another lane,” Tech continues. “I was so moved by Durand’s Tiny Desk. I reached out. He said, ‘Thanks, I was your Uber driver in Salt Lake City. I sang over ‘Redbone’ for you’. I couldn’t believe it. I’m glad I was nice to him on the ride,” he laughs. “We decided to cook up. I found Qveen Herby, and I needed to call her. The ‘Red Aura’ is the welcoming energy I give off.”

Guitar accents the dreamy production on “2 Happy.” Together, NNUTTHOWZE’s Zkeircrow and Phlague The Grimstress join Tech in the madness as the chorus assures, “I’m happy happy to be mentally fucked up.” Then, there’s the closer “Got What I Wanted” [feat. Navé Monjo]. Tech adopts a flow as if he’s six-feet-under, paints a provocative portrait from inside of his final resting place.

“People wait until a lot of legends die to give them their flowers and the respect they deserve,” he notes. “So, I decided to position this like I’m already dead. I’m talking about all of these things that haven’t happened yet in my career. It was the best way to end the record.”

For as unconventional as Tech’s story may be, he actually embodies what hip-hop was meant to be all along.

“I love words, because they can heal,” he leaves off. “When you say certain things, the crowd gets louder. That’s a Master of Ceremonies. Our words move people and save them. So, I’m going to keep rapping for a while longer.”

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Electric Callboy

Electric Callboy

Electric Callboy

Electric Callboy write their very own story like no other band around. With their modern sound between 90s pop synths, driving alternative rock and explosive metalcore, the band succeeds in every musical trick they play. Experiments like mixing German Schlager music with deathcore (''Hurricane''), hardstyle influenced industrial metalcore (''Parasite'') to their post-hardcore reinterpretation of Cascada's hit single ''Everytime We Touch'' convince that Electric Callboy master the strongest musical parameters of the respective genres. Over 2 million monthly Spotify listeners, more than 700,000 followers on YouTube and a total of 1 million more followers on Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok underline that Electric Callboy is advancing to become the biggest phenomenon in German metal history.

Founded in 2010 in Castrop-Rauxel, it didn't take long for the band to gain attention in Germany with their modern trancecore sound. But who would have thought that this sound could lay the foundation for a world career? The release of their debut album ''Bury Me In Vegas'' made them succeed in charting for the first time ever in 2012 (#65). 2 years later, ''We Are The Mess'' already charted as a top ten album at #8, followed by ''Crystals'' in 2015 and ''The Scene'' in 2017 (both #6), and the album ''Rehab'' released in 2019 (#16).

In June 2020, the release of now gold-certified ''Hypa Hypa'' marked the beginning of a new era of Electric Callboy – an era that will be marked by even greater success than ever before. Their dedicated and ever-growing fanbase - collecting over 100,000 signatures to convince NDR that Electric Callboy are ''radio-ready'' enough for Eurovision 2022 – keeps their way to success throughout undeterred.

Even without partaking in the Eurovision Songcontest, 2022 will be the band's most successful year to date: Their Hypa Hypa European tour was completely sold out, and with their sixth album “TEKKNO”, Electric Callboy reached No. 1 in the German album charts. In addition, the premiere of their own festival - the Escalation Fest, held at the Rudolf Weber Arena Oberhausen - was rewarded with over 10,000 sold tickets.

In 2023, the band was able to sell out almost their entire world tour in addition to Escalation Fest 2023, which was now established as an independent 1-day festival. Thus, their booking agency Contra Promotion reported the sale of a staggering 200,000 tickets, once again proving why Electric Callboy are the band of the moment.

The sheer fact that their music is timeless, and far more than a spontaneous trend is proven time and again. In June, Electric Callboy released their current single ''Everytime We Touch,'' a cover of the band Cascada, that already gained over 13 million Spotify streams and nearly 7 million YouTube views in just 4 months. In October, ''We Got The Moves'' went viral with 250.000 streams per day, advancing to become the band's most successful song alongside ''Hypa Hypa'' (which counts more than 63 million streams in total).

In 2024, Electric Callboy will keep on growing with their fans in continuing their TEKKNO world tour. Sold out halls and arenas will once again prove how successful the band's career continues to write itself in recent years. A remarkable phenomenon that makes you marvel.

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Slaughter To Prevail

Slaughter To Prevail

Slaughter To Prevail

Russian Deathcore demolishers, Slaughter To Prevail, have dropped brand new track ''1984'' today, their first new music since their critically acclaimed 2021 release, 'Kostolom'.

Speaking on the the band's latest release, front man Aleksandr ''Alex Terrible'' Shikolai shares:

“This song I wrote when war got started. I can’t stay silent about all this situation. we made a simple video clip just to say what we think about the war and wanted to post it as soon as possible… War is always a huge tragedy for everyone, please stop the violence and this war… This is our message. I am from Russia. I love my country; I love our fans from there and I can’t believe it goes so far from 2014. God save us all. Stay human.”

Slaughter To Prevail released their debut EP, 'Chapters Of Misery' in 2016 and followed with their debut full-length album, 'Misery Sermon' in 2017. They released stand alone singles ''Agony'' and ''Demolisher'' in 2019 and 2020 respectively, followed by their second full-length, ''Kostolom'' released last year to huge critical acclaim with Revolver describing the album as ''one bloody deathcore barrage after another'' when including it on their 25 Best Albums Of 2021 list and Metal Injection stating that ''Kostolom proves that Slaughter to Prevail can get hooky without getting wimpy''. Kostolom spawned massive hit singles ''Baba Yaga'' and ''Zavali Ebalo''.

The band are one of the most popular and heavily featured bands within the YouTube 'reacts' community, on account of vocalist Alex Terrible's insane vocal abilities and his own YouTube channel which has over 982k subscribers. To date, the band have clocked up an impressive 100 million YouTube views and 500 million cross-platform streams.

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In Flames

In Flames

In Flames

In Flames represent the best of metal’s past, present, and future. In Flames are as vital and even more energized today than when they unleashed classics like Come Clarity and Clayman in decades past.

The band built a stunning reputation with devastating, crowd-moving, inspired performances around the world at every major rock and metal festival imaginable, headlining multiple treks, and touring with the likes of Slipknot, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Killswitch Engage, Within Temptation, and Lamb Of God. They regularly headline some of the biggest stages and festivals in the world.

Foregone, the furious fourteenth studio album, combines the greatest aggressive, metallic, and melodic strengths of their landmark records with the seasoned songwriting of their postmodern era.

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Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

The heavy metal-n’-roll dark madcap visionaries collectively known as AVATAR didn’t pick their moniker by accident. An “avatar” is defined as either a manifestation of a deity in bodily form or an icon representing a separate being in another realm. Both meanings perfectly describe the Swedish rock sensations, as they’ve built something larger than life.

Ambitious sorcerers of the highest order, AVATAR smash the boundaries between band, theater troupe, and cinematic masterminds, with a series of celebrated albums and videos, and the immersive world of Avatar Country, a fantastical land where metal rules supreme.

The AVATAR cultural infiltration encompasses both commercial rock radio and streaming services, where songs like “The Eagle Has Landed,” “Hail the Apocalypse,” and “Let it Burn” have amassed more than 100 million streams, as new “citizens” enter into their “kingdom.”

Avatar Country (2018), released via Entertainment One, was the second-largest independent album in North America upon its debut. Already a Breakthrough Band ( Metal Hammer ) award winner and Top 40 act overseas, the band’s seventh record debuted at No. 4 (Hard Music Albums), No. 8 (Rock Albums), and No. 25 (Billboard 200 Current Albums). One major rock outlet even declared Avatar Country a heavy metal Sgt. Pepper’s.

AVATAR returns in 2020 with a bold manifesto called Hunter Gatherer . The band’s eighth album is an unflinchingly ruthless study of a clueless humankind’s ever-increasing velocity into an uncertain future, furthering the reach of the band’s always expanding dark roots. Songs like “A Secret Door,” “Colossus,” and “Age of Apes” are ready-made anthems for the modern age, each struggling for a collective meaning amidst the savagery of technology.

Casting themselves as “gods in disguise,” guitarist Jonas Jarlsby and drummer John Alfredsson combined forces as teenagers, determined to manifest their creative strength into the world. Soon, they recruited vocalist Johannes Eckerström, bassist Henrik Sandelin, and guitarist Simon Andersson, recognizing them as fellow visionaries and troublemakers.

Before any of them had turned 20, they financed a blistering debut album, Thoughts of No Tomorrow (2006), by themselves. Riding on a wave of youthful intensity, AVATAR unleashed a sophomore set, Schlacht (2007), cracking the Top 30 on the Swedish album charts. Avatar, the self-titled third album, followed in 2009, as the band’s unrelenting touring schedule saw them on the road with acts like In Flames, Helloween, and Obituary.

Guitarist Tim Öhrström replaced Andersson in time for the release of Black Waltz (2012), cementing Avatar as an unstoppable five-headed hydra poised to spread fire like a burning plague across the world. During this period, the band began to come into their own in the visual medium as well, with a sinister dark precision and a sense for the spectacular. AVATAR showcased their expansive visual flair on tour with Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch, followed by their first American tour, with Lacuna Coil and Sevendust.

Hail The Apocalypse (2014) smashed into The Top 10 US Top Hard Rock Albums. Loudwire declared the engaging and inventive clip for “Vultures Fly” the Best Rock Video of 2015. Produced by Sylvia Massy (TOOL, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Feathers & Flesh (2016) was an astonishing concept album, spinning a fantastical tale of owl vs. eagle, and producing several songs that continue to resonate as signature Avatar compositions.

Following the release of Avatar Country (2018), the group broadened its horizon into a feature film. AVATAR blew past a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign goal in less than 90 minutes, eventually collecting close to $200,000 to finance Legend of Avatar Country.

It was demonstrative of the feverish dedication of the band’s audience; the same fans who propelled them into the Rock Radio and Billboard Album charts since the band formed as teens in Gothenburg. Legend of Avatar Country serves as both companion piece and natural expansion of the Avatar Country album’s rich story blueprint. As Kerrang! rightly observed, “The insanely rabid fan response to the [movie] announcement is a testament not only to the band’s connection with its fans but to the strength of the concept itself.”

Hunter Gatherer (2020) shares the determined focus of the conceptually driven Feathers & Flesh and Avatar Country while decisively emphasizing the individual songs above any overarching story. At the same time, there are thematic threads throughout the album, reflecting the members’ shared state of mind. Hunter Gatherer is the darkest, most sinister version of Avatar, with deep studies of cruelty, technology, disdain, and deprivation.

In 2019, Avatar reunited with producer Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Slipknot, Anthrax) at Sphere Studios in Los Angeles, California, where the foundation for each song on Hunter Gatherer was laid with the band performing altogether, as they'd done only once before, on Hail the Apocalypse. The old-school method of playing as one in the studio, more akin to how they are on stage, captured the essence of Avatar. Recorded entirely to two-inch tape, something you don't hear about much in 2020, Hunter Gatherer exhibits everything that makes AVATAR standouts in the vast, rich landscape of heavy metal's past and present.

Not since the initial cultural disruption of MTV has the combination of ambitious compositions and visual storytelling merged with such vibrance. Like Rob Zombie, Rammstein, and KISS, AVATAR seamlessly blur the line between sights and sounds. AVATAR songs are new anthems for the ages, precision heat-seeking missiles targeting a cultural landscape ready for fresh songs to champion from a band with a giant persona to rally behind. The AVATAR experience is challenging, daring, and altogether captivating. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the band was forced off the road for the longest time since the release of its debut. However, Avatar were determined to keep creating and reaching out to their fans. This ultimately led to one of the true milestones in the realm of streamed shows, as Avatar took possession of the whole month of January 2021 for their ''Avatar Ages'' concert series. Over the course of four weekends, they performed material from their entire catalogue, as voted on by their fans. The shows were a worldwide success and among the throwbacks and rediscoveries, they give hints of a future just around the corner.

In 2021, Avatar return to the airwaves with ''Going Hunting''/''Barren Cloth Mother, a two-punch knockout kicking off a return to form as the wheels of the great metal machine starts to turn faster again. As the more than 200,000 subscribers to the band’s YouTube channel will attest, AVATAR conjures the flair for the dramatic of old school Hollywood, the macabre moodiness of modern adventure films, and the adrenaline-fueled thrills of Halloween horror attractions.

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Atreyu

Atreyu

Atreyu

ATREYU are a band in the truest sense of the word: five friends who come together to create music for themselves, for each other, and for the thriving community that has forged around it.

They are bonds born of time; of joy and sadness; of success and hardship. But most importantly, they are born of an openness that allows five unique creative personalities to unite in something far stronger and far bigger than the sum of its talented parts. It’s what makes ATREYU – frontman Brandon Saller, guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel, bassist/vocalist Porter McKnight and drummer Kyle Rosa – one of the most respected names and potent forces in heavy music, and their live show one of the most heralded on the touring circuit.

“We draw strength from each other and give each other the space and support to be the best, most creative person we can be,” Dan Jacobs explains. “And together, right now, that makes us the best band we’ve ever been.”

He’s not wrong. With a 20-year career and eight acclaimed albums in the rear-view mirror, ATREYU in 2023 are focused only on the present and the future, and a mission to continue shaping and defining the rock and metal scene, just as they have always done since their emergence from Huntington Beach in Southern California.

It’s a journey that has seen them hit stages in the furthest corners of the globe on tour, collect multiple Gold records, amass over one billion streams and unite millions of fans through their social channels. And they’re only just getting started.

Arriving at this point hasn’t been without growing pains expected of any decades’ long relationship. But ask the band and they will tell you that through adversity comes strength, and that the journey has seen them arrive at a destination with sunnier climes than they could ever have imagined.

“It has allowed us to reach a point where we finally feel like we found ourselves,” is Jacobs’ summation. “Everything that we have put out to this point has built to this moment. Something special is happening with ATREYU right now. We can feel the creativity and collaboration when the five of us get in the studio. We can feel the confidence we all give each other when we stand onstage together. And we can see it in the audience when they’re losing their minds. They’re having as good a time as we are ourselves.”

Where once the band were heralded as the early innovators of the nascent metalcore scene, their place in heavy music’s diverse and boundary-breaking scene has never felt more relevant, with inspirations of pop-punk, hardcore, thrash, ‘80s rock and more melding into a unique and varied sound that has never felt more relevant than in today’s increasingly genreless world.

“It feels like the world has been catching up with the diversity of influences and sounds that we’ve been putting into ATREYU for some time now,” Saller says. “There are no limitations, no barriers.”

To that end, new EP ‘The Hope Of A Spark’ embodies everything that ATREYU have come to be, to mean, to represent. The first new music from the band in 2023, it marks the beginning of the next chapter in the band’s story, and the tantalisingly promise of what the future holds. Each of its four tracks are assorted pieces of an expansive puzzle still taking shape, form and focus.

“These songs are the culmination of our entire artistic endeavours,” McKnight attests. “It’s everything we’ve learned as humans, everything we’ve ingested as musicians, and everything we’ve experienced in this lifetime. It is ATREYU unleashed.”

Produced by long-time collaborator John Feldmann, the new release finds ATREYU reflecting and ruminating on the pressures, pleasures and pains of modern life, each track a snapshot of deeply personal lived and shared experiences with which listeners the world over will identify. Individually profound, yet speaking to a wider meaning as a collected body of work, these are universal truths which presented in song provide catharsis and comfort to its creators.

“The overarching concept is essentially about the seasons of life,” Brandon Saller explains. “Everyone goes through the same things, the ups and downs of life. The emphasis really is the importance of at least respecting those, and finding the positives and the lessons from even your lowest moments.”

In that regard, opening track “Drowning” could not be more apt. Capturing the feeling of being, in Saller’s words, “buried by life”, the track was written as a collective effort into which all of the band pored their own experiences – be it familial health problems that Jacobs’ was shouldering, Saller’s first encounters with feelings of anxiety, or McKnight’s long-running fight with depression. Stark lyrics including “The clouds in my head always block out the sun,” conjure intimate and varying feelings from each, and create a track that could not be more timely in its relevance and importance, standing as emblematic of the environment fostered both inside and around ATREYU.

“As a writer, it's therapeutic to get our feelings out; music is the best way for us to express ourselves,” Jacobs nods. “And I think that's why it connects with people, because they hear it and it's therapeutic to them, too.”

ATREYU fans old and new are sure to find such catharsis throughout ‘The Hope Of A Spark’. “God/Devil” laments a loss of identity, self and faith – a desperate cry for help from a higher power, when our greatest power is one we need to find within. “Capital F” was inspired by Saller’s observations of the human plight he saw in his local community; an imploration, as McKnight suggests, that “we've all forgotten the point of this existence, which is us ourselves and our loved ones”. “Watch Me Burn”, meanwhile, is the phoenix rising from life’s trial-by-fire – a call to arms to let renewed hope emerge from smouldering embers and ash.

“To me it’s a song about being cleansed by fire,” explains McKnight. “Whatever it is that’s bringing you down and holding you back, burn it down. Use it, learn from it, move on and grow. That thing does not deserve you and you don’t deserve it.”

“It’s very relatable to all of us individually,” adds Saller, who leads the track’s anthemic, hooky chorus with a defiant cry of ‘Even when flames grow higher / I’ll be fighting till I’m dead.’ “But it’s also incredibly pertinent to the journey of this band.”

Where that journey leads ATREYU next is thrillingly limitless. ‘The Hope Of A Spark’, though, is the open invitation for fans new and old to join them on the ride. And after all, doesn’t knowing the final destination spoil the surprise?

“ATREYU is a place for everyone, us included, to be open and to be themselves,” Porter McKnight concludes. “When you are with us, you are free. Have fun. Make friends. Create memories.”

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Flyleaf with Lacey Sturm

Flyleaf with Lacey Sturm

Flyleaf with Lacey Sturm

Flyleaf is an American rock band formed in Belton, Texas, in 2002. The band has charted on mainstream rock, Christian pop, and Christian metal genres. They performed around the United States in 2003 before releasing their eponymous debut album, Flyleaf, in 2005. The album went platinum after selling more than one million copies. Flyleaf released their second album, Memento Mori, on November 10, 2009; it debuted and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard charts. Flyleaf's third album, New Horizons, was released on October 30, 2012.

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L7

L7

L7

L7’s signature sound of a heavy, catchy, mixture of punk, metal, noise and pop helped usher in the era of Grunge. Since their recording career began in 1987, the band has released six studio albums, three live albums, one covers LP, and one greatest hits to date on labels including Epitaph, Sup Pop, Slash, and Warner Brothers. Founded in Los Angeles in 1985 by Donita Sparks-guitar and vocals, and Suzi Gardner- guitar and vocals, the band features Dee Plakas on drums and Jennifer Finch - bass and vocals.

While particularly known for their unforgettably raucous live performances, the band also spawned underground and mainstream hits including Shove, Pretend We’re Dead, Shitlist, Andres, Fuel My Fire and more. Their music can be heard in television (ER), video games (Grand Theft Auto, Rock Band 2) and popular films including The Perks Of Being a Wallflower, Natural Born Killers and John Water’s classic Serial Mom, in which they also star as fictitious band Camel Lips.

In 1991, the band founded Rock for Choice, a pro-choice organization with the Feminist Majority Foundation producing nationwide benefit concerts featuring the biggest musical acts of the day from Joan Jett to Nirvana.

In 2001 the band went on an “indefinite hiatus”. After 15 years and at the urging of their fans via social media platforms, L7 reunited in 2015 and performed sold out shows around the globe to rave reviews and accolades from a new generation of music fans.

Their triumphant return continues with two new singles Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago and I Came Back to Bitch, released on Don Giovani Records. The latter, released in February of 2018 kicks off a US Tour in April in addition to tours of South America, Mexico, and Europe this summer.

A documentary on the band L7: Pretend We’re Dead was released in 2017 to critical acclaim and demonstrates L7’s contribution and legacy in the pantheon of rock.

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The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction

Since emerging in 2008 on the debut Severed Ties, The Amity Affliction have served up three ARIA gold certified albums, Youngbloods [2010], Chasing Ghosts [2012] and This Could Be Heartbreak [2016]. They also achieved platinum certification for the seminal Let The Ocean Take Me [2014].

The band achieved four consecutive #1 debuts on the ARIA chart with Chasing Ghosts, This Could be Heartbreak, Let The Ocean Take Me and Misery[2018]. Most recently Everyone Loves You...Once You Leave Them [2020] continued their RIAA chart streak, debuting at #2 and showed the band returning to their heavier side with a global stream tally surpass 460 million and counting. The Amity Affliction have also been a dominating live act, headlining arena tours and festival bills alike worldwide throughout their career.

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August Burns Red

August Burns Red

August Burns Red

Music extends a helping hand even under the most extreme circumstances. It offers reprieve and relief from any trials and tribulations. Upholding artistic pillars of tightly wound technical proficiency, airtight grooves, and pensive lyricism, August Burns Red fortify a sense of sanctuary on their eighth full-length album, Guardians [Fearless Records]. The two-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated Pennsylvania quintet—JB Brubaker [lead guitar], Brent Rambler [rhythm guitar], Matt Greiner [drums], Jake Luhrs [lead vocals], and Dustin Davidson [bass]—rally around this thematic refuge on eleven tracks.

“There’s a loose theme of being there for another person who’s reaching out for help,” explains Rambler. “This individual who saves the day acts like a guardian. The idea recurred as we put everything together. It was a great summation of what we were talking about.”

Guardians once again fulfills a quiet, yet staunch 17-year commitment to a diehard audience worldwide. August Burns Red preserved this level of integrity since first emerging in 2003. Following the seminal Messengers [2007] and Constellations [2009], the band infiltrated the mainstream via 2015’s Found In Far Away Places. Not only did the latter stand out as their second straight #9 bow on the Billboard Top 200, but it also garnered the group’s first GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Metal Performance” for “Identity.” The momentum increased with the arrival of Phantom Anthem in 2017. Marking the group’s fourth Top 20 debut on the Billboard Top 200, it paved the way for their second “Best Metal Performance” GRAMMY® nod for “Invisible Enemy.” The record ushered their career streams past the 100 million-mark as it earned four-out-of-five stars from the likes of Alternative Press and Kerrang! Between sold-out shows worldwide, they continued a 15-year tradition of holiday shows by launching the Christmas Burns Red Festival.

Throughout 2019, the musicians wrote what would become Guardians. Rather than tracking in one chunk, August Burns Red spent more time on the music than any other album. They recorded in two separate sessions at Think Loud Studios in York, PA alongside longtime producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland. This extra time allowed for unparalleled creative latitude.

“After the first session, we had months to think about what we might want to change,” recalls Brubaker. “We never had this much time and liberty for production. It enabled everyone to be more critical and think about putting an individual stamp on the songs. Think Loud was also the nicest facility we’ve ever tracked in. We had tons of room to work and be creative. We’re super proud of the final product. Dustin and I collaborated more than we have in the past as well. Typically, one person will write a whole song and send it to the band. We all got to contribute here.”

August Burns Red introduce Guardians with “Defender.” Airy feedback gives way to frenetic drumming and a chugging guitar groove. Dipping between moments of stark intimacy and rhythmic pummeling, this sonic barrage collides with an assurance on the chorus, “I would do anything to make it through, but it takes two. One is me, the other’s you.”

“That was the first song I wrote for the record,” recalls Brubaker. “I set out to write something more structured than what we typically write. It turned out to be one of the heaviest songs we’ve ever written.”

“Lyrically, I wanted to write about being able to reach out to someone,” says Greiner. “We all need a person who can take the punches for us when we need them to. We need a defender who bends, so we don’t break. The music matched perfectly.”

The single “Bones” gallops forward on thrashing riffs before culminating on the caustic chant, “We made a deal with the devil, disguised as help. We made a deal with the devil, should’ve trusted ourselves.”

“As people, we will think our way of life is better or worth more than another culture’s way of life,” continues Rambler. “Sometimes, we insert ourselves way too much into another’s customs or traditions, which can be harmful. We’ll come in and think we can do everything better, but we ruin things. It was interesting for us to think about.”

Elsewhere, clean guitar curls towards a wall of distortion on the melodic mayhem of “Lighthouse,” which discusses, “being a good Samaritan and helping others.” Meanwhile, opener “The Narrative” sets the tone with a focused fire. Guardians concludes on “Three Fountains.” Ethereal tones wrap around a sludgy drone, building a climactic atmosphere for the final vocal release.

“As a whole, Guardians is such a heavy and bruising album,” says Brubaker. “‘Three Fountains’ relies on different textures and layers, giving the record a juxtaposition at the end.”

“You’re taking a step back and evaluating your life from a distance versus being in the moment,” states Rambler. “It’s a big ending. It moves cyclically, repeating over and over again.”

In the end, August Burns Red step up on Guardians and strengthen their connection to listeners everywhere.

“Aside from my family, this band has been the biggest part of my life,” Brubaker leaves off. “My world has been August Burns Red since we started; it’s only become more important as things have grown. It’s our creative outlet. It’s what sustains us and our families. It gives us the ability to experience the world and how others live and think. Those experiences exerted some of the greatest influence on my life without question. We get to share that feeling with the crowd.”

“We just want the fans who have been supporting us year in and year out to feel like we put out the best possible record we could make,” concludes Rambler. “I hope they sit down and smile when they listen to it—and want to see it live.”

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Living Colour

Living Colour

Living Colour

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Machine Head

Machine Head

Machine Head

Undisputed masters of murderous riffs, pugnacious grooves and ferocious hooks since 1991, Machine Head are long established as one of the most influential and incendiary bands in the metal world. Exploding into the world’s consciousness with 1994’s seminal Burn My Eyes album, the now legendary Oakland crew brutishly redefined what it meant to be heavy, incorporating a wild array of influences into some of the sharpest and most brutal metal anthems ever written.

Nearly three decades later, the band founded and led by vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn on Oct 12, 1991 at a Metallica concert, (at the end of a 7 year, 3 1/2 album stint as lead guitarist in thrash metal pioneers Forbidden and Vio-Lence) has amassed an extraordinary catalogue of classic albums – including the all-conquering might of 2007’s The Blackening, which saw the band traverse the globe several times as headliners and as main support to both Metallica and Slipknot - while routinely enhancing an already formidable reputation as one of heavy music’s most powerful and relentless live bands.

In 2022, Machine Head are back with their most crushing and complete album yet. Of Kingdom And Crown is an hour-long conceptual monolith, rich in colour and dynamics but hell-bent on destruction. Set in a futuristic wasteland where the sky is always crimson red, Of Kingdom And Crown tells the tale of two characters, both faced with incalculable trauma, whose stories become bloodily entwined as this deep, dark record progresses. Character #1 loses the love of his life and goes on a murderous rampage against the perpetrators who murdered her. Character #2 loses his mother to a drug overdose and becomes radicalized in the aftermath, embarking on his own killing spree.

“The album and concept was loosely inspired by the Japanese anime series Attack On Titan,” says Robb, “in the sense that in that series, there is no “good” or “bad” guy… There are no cowboys (good), no Indians (bad). Both sides believe they’re doing the right thing, but both are committing atrocities and evil.”

Produced by Robb Flynn and long-time collaborator Zack Ohren, Of Kingdom And Crown is a self-evident upgrade for Machine Head and their ageless, epoch-shattering sound. The album begins with Slaughter The Martyr – a ten-minute epic, mercilessly heavy and brimming with wild melodic ideas, and featuring a career best vocal performance from Flynn himself, it sets the scene with Character #1’s origin story. Equally stunning are Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate – simply the most brutal and intense song Machine Head have ever recorded – and Unhallowed: a dark, brooding and subtly progressive hymn for the disdained and discarded, with powerhouse harmony vocals from Flynn and bassist Jared McEachern. The album ends with arguably the finest song Machine Head have ever written: Arrows In Words From The Sky, the grandiose but emotionally visceral climax to the finest and most ferocious album of the band’s 30 year career.

A perennially vital force in heavy music, Machine Head have continued their exhilarating evolution, while never losing the furious spirit of their old school, underground roots. Impervious to trends and proud to stand alone: Machine Head is still the bulldozer that crushes all!

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P.O.D.

P.O.D.

P.O.D.

Since 1992, P.O.D. have globally rallied audiences around a hypnotic hybrid of hard rock, hip-hop, reggae, and alternative punctuated by a message of unification and a powerful pledge to persevere. The San Diego quartet—Sonny Sandoval [vocals], Marcos Curiel [guitar], Traa Daniels [bass], and Wuv Bernardo [drums]—rose up from a tough neighborhood just four exists north of the Mexican border into a three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated multiplatinum mainstay. Moving 10 million-plus records, selling out gigs on multiple continents, logging four Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, and collaborating with everyone from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame® inductee Carlos Santana to Katy Perry, the group continue to bring people together everywhere.

After years of grinding in sweaty basement shows and van tours coast-to-coast, they landed a deal with Atlantic Records, and the grind continued on 1999’s platinum major label debut, The Fundamental Elements of Southtown. Plus, it set the stage for Satellite in 2001. Not only did it bow at #6 on the Billboard Top 200 and go triple-platinum, but it also yielded four signature singles “Alive,” “Youth of the Nation,” “Boom,” and “Satellite.” In its wake, the band garnered GRAMMY® nominations in the categories of “Best Hard Rock Performance” for “Alive” in 2002, “Best Metal Performance” for “Portrait” in 2003, and “Best Hard Rock Performance” for “Youth of the Nation” also in 2003. Three top 10 albums followed with 2003’s gold-certified Payable on Death, 2006’s Testify, and 2008’s When Angels & Serpents Dance. The latter boasted “dream collaborations” such as “Kaliforn-Eye-A” [feat. Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies], “I’ll Be Ready” [feat. Cedella & Shannon Marley], and “God Forbid” [feat. Page Hamilton of Helmet]. Logging a Top 20 debut, 2012’s Murdered Love included fan favorites “Eyez” [feat. Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed] and “West Coast Rock Steady” [feat. Sen Dog of Cypress Hill]. After 2015’s conceptual The Awakening, Circles earmarked the start of a whole new chapter in 2018. Signing to Mascot Label Group, the boys extensively collaborated with production duo The Heavy and popped off with a dynamic distillation of their trademark style. Billboard claimed, “P.O.D. takes a leap forward with ‘Circles’,” as “Listening For The Silence” [4 million Spotify streams] and “Always Southern California” [3.2 million Spotify streams] lit up DSPs.

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Movements

Movements

Movements

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Code Orange

Code Orange

Code Orange

After spending years festering in the dark, Code Orange are embracing the light.

The Pittsburgh metal band comprised of vocalist Jami Morgan, lead guitarist and singer Reba Meyers, guitarist Dominic Landolina, programmer/guitarist Eric “Shade” Balderose, bassist Joe Goldman and drummer Max Portnoy have taken their hardcore roots to infect rock music’s DNA with futurist instrumentation, bloody live shows and a desire to bring a new era of heavy music to the masses. Since forming in 2008 while members were still in high school, the group helped open the door for aggressive hardcore to succeed on a larger level. Their drive and determination have earned them two Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance in 2017 and 2020, acclaim from publications including The New York Times, NPR, Revolver Magazine, The Guardian, The Independent, and appearances at music festivals like Coachella.

The COVID pandemic upended Code Orange’s coronation as metal’s new titans, as the world went into lockdown the week they unleashed their album Underneath. Not ones to sit and wait, the band immediately went to work on developing and executing live broadcasts that set the tone for what bands should do during the pandemic. After their final livestream Back Inside the Glass, Code Orange began writing what would become their new album The Above. Morgan conceptualized the record in a multitude of stages, filling stacks of composition notebooks with ideas on where to take the band next. It’s a process closer to worldbuilding in film than simply demoing an album, as he constructed physical mood boards and collages to visually define the record’s creative direction.

“It started at this point of thinking about what world this album would inhabit,” Morgan says on envisioning the album’s concept. “That kind of opened my mind to the different ways we could go musically. We took things in a brighter direction at times, and thematically it led to something way more personal.”

If the band’s previous Forever targeted upending hardcore and Underneath took aim at modern metal, The Above germinates rock music into a new organism. Produced by Morgan and Balderose and tracked by punk icon Steve Albini at the legendary Electrical Audio, The Above is a sonic odyssey that takes listeners on a ride out of machine hell and into a vibrant utopia. Code Orange find joy in crafting ultra-catchy hooks while never sacrificing their attention to detail in textural heaviness. Lead single “Take Shape” shows the group transform industrial machinations into soaring choruses, punctuated by a guest vocal appearance by Smashing Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan.

“Billy saw something in us, which we really appreciated,” Morgan says. “It was a very inspirational experience for us because he's such a legend and definitely a big influence on us. I don't feel like anyone's really utilized him in a cool feature like this in a long time. We were able to build something around him that portrays him for what he is which is a big-time legend and star. I wanted to make sure the song sounded like it was shining down upon him, and everything goes dark after. ”

All of these new ideas coalesce on “Circle Through,” which stands as a platonic ideal of what a great, catchy hard rock song should sound like. Morgan and Myers find their greatest harmony as vocalists, as both trade off vocals on its explosive chorus. “Mirror” is a showcase for Myers’ enormous range as a singer, as the song flirts with 808s and moments of trip-hop for an arresting experience. The track’s shimmering, naturalistic melodies come back to attack the listener, recontextualized as a truly vicious riff in the following song “A Drone Opting Out of the Hive.”

Those moments of earthy beauty often mask a horror lurking beneath. Morgan alludes to the lifecycle of parasites as inspiration for much of the record. “I was thinking a lot about light as a concept,” Morgan says. “I was reading a book about parasites and how they attach themselves to hosts and force them up from underground into the light, where they can be consumed by other creatures, and the lifecycle goes on.” It’s a metaphor that plays out through much of the album, the moments of serenity and lightness on “Theatre of Cruelty” are genuinely beautiful after the discordant opening of “Never Far Apart.” But it’s a beauty camouflaging a savage underbelly of darkness, as the band cuts through those moments with terror and heaviness.

The Above is a do-or-die record for the band, as a group they take their biggest swing yet, pushing their talents to their creative brink. The album morphs between genres and ideas with ease, the song “Snapshot” starts with dancey 80s synthpop production before sending listeners on an acid trip of a chorus. Elsewhere, “But a Dream…” is pure hardcore power-balladry, Reba Myers desperately singing the words “Free will is nothing but a dream” before the band slams into a metallic breakdown. “It's just what we feel needs to exist out there,” Morgan says. “We’re not hiding on this album. It really is just who we are and what we wanted to make. I don't think there's an album that this record sounds like, which was the goal.”

Code Orange is far past the point of caring about what scenes will accept them or what genre boxes they tick. The Above is a sonic testament to the force of nature they’ve become, expanding their web of sound further than anything they’ve done previously. Destruction isn’t the endpoint, but rather a necessary razing of preconceived notions in order to plant new ideas. For those that decide to come along for the ride, The Above is a 14-track portal into the exuberant thrills rock music still summons. The herd has been thinned, and now it’s time to start life anew.

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The Chats

The Chats

The Chats

Formed in their mate’s bong shed in Coolum, Queensland 2016 at age seventeen, The Chats represent everything that’s good about Australia and nothing that’s bad: a rebel spirit, gallows humour and the endless hedonistic pursuit of A Bloody Good Time. Cold stubbies within close reach, 24-7.

Starting in their music class while at St Theresa’s Catholic College in Noosaville, a suburb of Noosa, Queensland, two hours north of Brisbane, they began practicing in the shed in nearby Verrierdale (pop: 775) during their final year of education (the school’s website notes “Whilst their music may not be everyone's cup of tea, they have certainly made an impact, and they continue to Dare the Dream.”). Their name meanwhile comes from the nearby suburb of Chatswood.

Drawing influence from the same fertile Australian pub rock scene that spawned everyone from AC/DC and The Saints to Cosmic Psychos and The Hard Ons, and sharing a similar singular self-contained approach to their art as such latter-day Aussie rock heroes as King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, The Chats describe themselves as “dropkick drongos from the Sunshine Coast of Australia”. It’d be difficult to argue otherwise.

Their dress-down image of mullets, shorts, sports tops, thongs or a sandals-and-socks combo, and cheap sunnies celebrates this fact. But don’t by mislead: The Chats are sharper than you think, and they write killer songs that hold their own in any era. Their self-titled debut EP was recorded in their school’s studio in 2016 and featured seven joyous sky-punching tracks that combined 60s garage punk and 70s new wave punk (highlights included ‘Mum Stole My Darts’ and the 53 seconds bratty thrash of ‘Yeah Nah’). It was followed in 2017 by Get This In Ya, another thrilling seven song slice of economic, stripped-down, early Buzzcocks-styles punk tension, whose lyrics read like a litany of things to hate for youthful malcontents the world over (overdue social security payments, lack of bus fare, Nazis).

But where their forefathers cut their teeth on the spit-and-sawdust circuit of beer halls Down Under, The Chats bypassed years driving down dusty Outback roads when the lead single ‘Smoko’ became a 24-carat bona fide viral hit on Youtube. The Chats found themselves propelled from their Queensland shed to almost overnight renown in all the right circles.

Celebrating the great Aussie tradition of the cigarette break, an allotted smoking time protected by union law, and accompanied by a lo-fi video shot for no budget on a building site, ‘Smoko’ was a perfectly put together punk song protesting the drudgery of dole queue angst, minimum wage life and work-place hierarchies. Were they serious? wondered listeners / viewers. And, more importantly, who even cares? It didn’t matter: with its pared-down pop hooks, singer Eamon’s adolescent snarl and an unforgettable chorus, ‘Smoko’ was an instant classic of a youth anthem on a par with ‘You Really Got Me’, ‘My Generation’ or ‘Teenage Kicks’.

At the last count ‘Smoko’ has had more than 12 million views. Dave Grohl loved it so much he sent it to Josh Homme, who immediately booked the band to support Queens Of The Stone Age in Australia. Iggy Pop did the same when he played Melbourne, and keenly quizzed the band on their lyrical content. Idles were heard covering on the song on their recent Australian tour. At the time, singer Eamon was working at supermarket chain Coles. Adhering to the mantra ‘Business at the front, party at the back’ he currently maintains his mullet by trimming the front himself every couple of weeks, while his mum handles the rest of the tricky business. Drummer Matt, who was expelled from school for joyriding a golf buggy, is a professional skater.

In October 2018, The Chats brought their pub-punk (they prefer ‘shed rock’) to the UK, where all their shows sold out within a day and were immediately upgraded, including a memorable show at the Electric Ballroom, London, where they were joined onstage by Charlie Steen from Shame. Not bad considering the teenagers had never left Australia before. With two hundred gigs under their belts, The Chats began 2019 by signing a publishing deal with Universal Records and started their own label records, Bargain Bin Records

More music followed: single ‘Do What I Want’ (“about doing whatever the fuck you want”) and the glorious follow-up ‘Pub Feed’ (a paean to “above average” pub food, including “chicken schnitty”, “parmigiana” and “rump steak – well done”) in 2019, a song that seems destined to take up residence in punk jukeboxes the world over. The Chats document the simple things in life, with songs that transcends language to tap straight into the youthful energy source. It’s a tricky artform that many attempt but at which few succeed. Still in their teens, The Chats have mastered it.

Mozart began composing at the age of four, but these boys were born singing anthems, and their debut album seems destined to be the greatest collection of music ever made, not only in Coolum, Queensland, but the entire universe. Every other musician should probably give up today.

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The Ghost Inside

The Ghost Inside

The Ghost Inside

The Ghost Inside make music for the outcasts. They’ve inspired audiences around the world to overcome obstacles, persevere, and find the strength to keep going when it feels like all is lost. Songs like “Out of Control”, “White Light” and “Mercy” are modern hardcore anthems. Passionate crowds have joined them in singalongs at major rock festivals, in theaters and clubs, brought together by the conviction of lyrics like, “Life’s swinging hard but, I’m swinging harder.”

On an early morning in November 2015, The Ghost Inside’s tour bus collided with a tractor trailer, killing the drivers of both vehicles on impact, and severely injuring the band and their crew. When The Ghost Inside returned to the stage for the first time, nearly four years later, Kerrang! called it “Rock’s Most Miraculous Comeback” in a detailed cover story about triumph over tragedy.

While the show in the group’s spiritual hometown of Los Angeles, California was something magical to behold (the historic Shrine Auditorium sold out so quickly, the gig had to be moved to the parking lot), it isn’t the accident, the recovery, nor the onstage return that will define them.

The ultimate victory for The Ghost Inside is their triumphant new self-titled album.

Created with producer Will Putney (Every Time I Die, The Amity Affliction, Knocked Loose) and longtime friend/collaborator Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, The Ghost Inside is 11 songs of determination, deep resolve, reflection, and newfound hope. The album cover is a montage of The Ghost Inside lyrics, logos, and imagery, tattooed on fans around the world.

Singer Jonathan Vigil suffered a broken back and two broken ankles, among other injuries. Guitarist Zach Johnson would need more than a dozen surgeries. Drummer Andrew Tkaczyk ultimately lost a leg. All three of them and two crew members were in the ICU in critical condition. Bassist Jim Riley, guitarist Chris Davis, and the rest of the crew were injured, though stable.

“I had hit my head and was unconscious for a long time,” Vigil recalls. “When I awoke, I was very sedated. Once the severity of everything had set in, I told myself and I told my mom, who was in the hospital with me, that I didn’t want to do the band anymore. I wanted to be done.”

The future of the band was very much up in the air throughout 2016, as everyone struggled to recover. “I didn’t think we’d make a new record. I didn’t think we’d play shows,” Riley admits. “We wanted our legacy to be something other than the accident, to overcome it in some way. But for a long time, I didn’t think that would mean playing shows or writing new music.”

Vigil says that as his situation improved, his attitude began to change. “I spent so much time laying there wondering, ‘What’s next?’ Playing music, touring, meeting people – it’s been my life since I got out of high school. It’s the only thing I ever wanted to do. The thought of missing out on something like that was not something I wanted. My options were to stop and move on with my life or come back and prove all of the lyrics we’ve ever sang, everything I’ve ever said, right.”

The band had worked on material for their fifth album prior to the accident. Each person took their own time to come around to the idea of revisiting the demos and finishing the material. By all accounts, it was Tkaczyk who maintained the most positive outlook and determination to persevere, re-learning how to play drums with a prosthetic limb. “I was probably the last one to come around, to be honest,” Vigil says. “You would think it would be Andrew, who lost a leg. I thought, ‘If he wants to keep going, I don’t have any excuse not to. I can get up and scream.’”

The band collectively came to see the ordeal as a moment to put their inspirational lyrics to the test. Songs that were once more philosophical in origin had become autobiographical. “Our songs had done so much for so many people for so many years,” Vigil says, with humility. “The lyrics were written from a sincere place, but I had never really had to put my money where my mouth was, you know? I had to back up everything we’d said. I had to prove it right, or I’m a fraud. We set out to do at least one more show and one more record as the ultimate [defeat] of adversity.”

One look at song titles like “Still Alive”, “Make or Break”, “Phoenix Rise”, “Begin Again”, and “Aftermath” would lend the impression that all of the lyrics were written after the accident. But in truth, some of the songs already had lyrics in place that proved strangely prescient. “Some of Andrew’s working titles for the demos were like premonitions of what happened,” says Vigil. “I’d written about finding the love for something again and about the ‘aftermath’ of a major event.”

“It’s really eerie that he was writing those lyrics five years prior to the accident,” says Riley. “It became clear pretty quickly that a theme of the record would be, ‘What do we stand for?’ We said, ‘Life’s swinging hard, but I’m swinging harder.’ Well, now we have to put that to the test. The idea of living up to our own legacy, to our own standards, was a big part of this album.”

“Still Alive” is a particularly cathartic moment. The chorus features the voices of all five members of the band, as well as all five of the other survivors from the crash. It was actually the last song we wrote for the for the record and the newest music we’d written,” Vigil explains. “We didn't want to make an entire record about the accident. A lot of the stuff ties into, but ‘Still Alive’ is pretty much the song about the accident and how it didn’t defeat us. Our merch guy, sound guy, guitar tech, drum tech, and another friend, all ten of us who survived, are all on that song.”

“Pressure Point” is about the types of exploitative acquaintances who are quick to make someone else’s tragedy about themselves. “The Outcast” is a statement of courage meant for anyone blazing their own trail in life, following their dreams even when it defies what’s expected of them. The slower and more droning “Unseen” is about the hidden handicaps beneath the surface. “Aftermath” is about the wake of any traumatic experience and finding the strength to carry on.

The Ghost Inside was formed in El Segundo, California, comprised of Vigil and a group of friends who found inspiration in the long tradition of Southern California punk and hardcore subculture. An early lineup created their debut, Fury and the Fallen Ones (2008). Johnson joined a short while later, with Riley also onboard by the time they released Returners (2010). Tkaczyk became the band’s fulltime drummer before they signed with Epitaph Records to issue their breakthrough album, Get What You Give (2012). They were touring behind Dear Youth (2014) with Davis, but the incredibly collaborative The Ghost Inside (2020) marks his first official recorded appearance.

“I wouldn’t describe the band as having had a revolving door of members, but there has been a change of at least one person between albums,” notes Riley. “After everything we’ve been through, these five guys are the band. The five of us will be remembered as the band. This isn’t to say that other people haven’t contributed, but going forward, this is who we are. We decided to make the album self-titled for that reason. Also, we aren’t trying to ‘find’ our sound. It’s our fifth album and we know exactly who we are and what we sound like. So, trying to put any other title on this album felt like a stretch. There is no phrase that could better encapsulate all of this.”

The accident will always be a defining moment for The Ghost Inside, but never what defines them. The album taps into the raw emotional things they’ve been through, but the songs are not about reliving the worst day of their lives. “This isn’t about what happened to us,” Riley insists.

“We won’t get lost in that one day. This is about our journey, our growth, and who we are.”

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Baroness

Baroness

Baroness

Grammy-award nominated heavy rock outfit Baroness mark their much-anticipated return with new album, STONE. Their sixth record overall and third released via Abraxan Hymns, STONE finds the Philadelphia-based quartet of John Baizley (guitars/vocals/illustration), Gina Gleason (guitars), Nick Jost (bass), and Sebastian Thomson (drums) streamlining the momentous multi-genre vocabulary of its critically-acclaimed predecessor Gold & Grey (2019). This is still very much Baroness—just refocused for efficiency and rethought as a consequence of stability. STONE’s most prominent tracks, “Last Word,” “Beneath the Rose,” “Shine,” and “Anodyne,” reflect thoughtfully, groove deeply, and refract tumult effortlessly. They, of course, rock.

“An important through line in Baroness is we don’t like to repeat ourselves,” says founding member John Baizley. “It’s all about the willingness to take risks. When I was younger, the whole point of music was to be different, to find fresh risks and exciting ideas to explore, and to follow your own impulses rather than play by the rules. That’s kind of goofy, but in practice, it works. It’s really sort of terrifying to be at the sixth record in your career and think that you’ll have to keep up with your history rather than continually invent. So, we doubled down on continuously inventing to see where it takes us. I think this record is a good reflection of that. STONE is a lot more alive, more direct.”

Baizley founded Baroness in Savannah, Georgia, in 2003. Local/regional punk-hardcore scenes harbored the group as they went from strength to strength. They signed to indie Relapse Records (Mastodon, Cave In) in early 2007, where they released three decorated records—Red Album (2007), Blue Record (2009), and Yellow & Green (2012)—before forming their own label Abraxan Hymns. On STONE, Baroness untangle from self-imposed complication. It’s back to basics but constructed with a lifetime of perspective and experience. To wit, acoustic opener “Embers” features Baizley and Gleason harmonizing to the lyric “Build me a home of ember and chain / Leave me a simple life.” This mantra carries through to the arcadian vibes of closer “Bloom.” If home is where the heart is, then Baroness is home.

“When I joined in 2017, I was just trying to find my place,” Gleason says. “This time, I felt like I could express a little more. I had a history with everybody in the band, so I was less scared of imposing. I incorporated more of my guitar playing, which, in a way, was like coming full circle to what I’ve done in the past. I think we were able to strip everything away on this record. We were unified in that, I think. So, we just jumped in and did our best. That felt really good. It was a really cool, empowering, creative experience.”

The origins of STONE go back to 2020. It is not a pandemic record, but the core of it was written during its darkest days. Anxiety, relief, and resolve are stitched deeply throughout. When the foursome was isolated in Pennsylvania and New York, turning stems of music into full-fledged songs felt insurmountable. Baroness toiled as the world roiled. Creativity fully flourished only when they escaped to an Airbnb in Barryville, a quaint hamlet on the New York/Pennsylvania border. The undulating “Beneath the Rose,” the energetic drive of “Anodyne,” the trad-metal burl of “Last Word,” and the dynamic introspection of “Shine” rushed out, as did the motorik of “Choir” and the emotional heft of “Magnolia.” STONE was a sort of catharsis, a turning of the page, a middle finger to the suffocating insincerity of expectation.

“Playing one idea for 13 hours a day, you lose yourself inside of the music,” Jost shares. “You have to follow where that headspace takes you and trust your mates. Extreme isolation enhances this state of mind and allows you to explore things unhindered. That process of exploration is a big part of this album.”

One of the main aspirations behind STONE was to take Baroness back to a DIY approach. Over the years, Baizley had become accustomed to, and talented at, engineering, recording, and mixing. Instead of taking the band to an actual studio, they transformed the Airbnb in Barryville into an impromptu recording space with its big, vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, and brick/glass walls. While Baroness wrote STONE, Baizley recorded and pre-mixed it. In a way, each song on STONE has its own sonic treatment. After the group finished tracking drums, guitars, and bass, they took everything back to Baizley’s unfinished basement – where parts of Gold & Grey were also recorded—in Pennsylvania to put down the vocals and add other bells and whistles. STONE was then handed off to Grammy-nominated mix master Joe Barresi (Kyuss, Alice In Chains) for final mixing and polishing and Grammy-winning mastering guru Bob Ludwig (Led Zeppelin, Nirvana) at Gateway Mastering Studios.

“The recording process was completely self-contained,” Thomson explains. “Having just the four of us in a rented house in the mountains for a month resulted in not only a cohesive and authentic sound, but also an intense collective mentality.”

Conceptually, STONE eschews the color-based themes of its predecessors, but it’s just as personally weighty. Baizley’s initial ideas were negative and rayless. The right feel wasn’t right. To get out of his funk he took Baroness on the road again, playing in smaller, intimate venues on the ‘Your Baroness’ tour, which featured no opening acts and fan-curated setlists that reached nearly three hours in length and offered an extensive look at the band’s back-catalogue. He built the lyrical foundation for STONE on that tour. Indeed, freedom gave way to ideas of permanence, both literal and figurative. Sure, Baizley came face-to-face with death—and a distant relative, in fact—while strolling through a local cemetery, but he also realized that STONE means so much more, from struggle and support to perseverance and comfort.

“This record started off the loosest conceptually,” says Baizley. “It ended up feeling like it was different chapters in a short story. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that each album is always about the time between. That’s pretty broad, but it’s true. I tend to focus on the things that are confusing to me—and I’m confused by the things I find difficult. So, this album is sort of a reflection of my life. I’ve had some tough years, and I think I’ve found some semblance of calm now. I think I found that walking through Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. Sure, there’s death, but there’s memory, too. I found that almost peaceful. There’s a song on Pink Floyd’s Animals where they use stone as a metaphor for a grave, but it’s presented in this almost polite, poetic way. That was definitely going through my mind.”

As Baroness edge into their 20th year, they’re finding new ways to engage internally. They’re more secure now than ever before, largely due to the lineup of Baizley, Gleason, Jost, and Thomson remaining intact through thick and thin. In that certainty, Baroness have found the will to innovate or iterate for their artistic pleasure. STONE is a monument. That it kicks ass helps, too.

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Of Mice & Men

Of Mice & Men

Of Mice & Men

Few hard rock albums are as intimate as the modern output from OF MICE & MEN. While their songs pack the kind of rhythmic punch and anthemic bombast that thrills festival crowds, the confessional lyrics, and haunting melodies are the heart of what they do. Taking all creative matters into their own hands, the Southern California quartet self-produced and engineered all of the songs on Tether, their astonishing eighth album. Frontman Aaron Pauley mixed and mastered the album while Drummer Valentino Arteaga designed and painted the album's artwork. As a legion of devoted listeners worldwide has come to expect, guitarists Phil Manansala and Alan Ashby, Aaron, and Tino poured their hearts and souls into every note, creating another sonic document of their lives.

“With this one, we weren’t really focused on how it sounded as much as we focused on how it felt,” Pauley explains. “And that’s a weird thing to do when all you’re working with is sound. But that was really the goal. And we walked away from making it, feeling like we’ve accomplished that.”

OM&M take sobering looks at depression, anxiety, loneliness, and existential dread, powering through the darkness, and emphasizing the importance of creativity as a balm for mental health.

A commanding tempest of sounds coalesces within Of Mice & Men, blending the uplifting eloquence of modern active rock with the atmospheric dissonance of experimental post-rock. The band first emerged as part of a vanguard of future aggressive rock hitmakers. Over the years, they’ve distinguished themselves with musicality, creative ambition, and resilient determination.

Songs like the GOLD-certified “SECOND & SEBRING,” “Would You Still Be There,” and “Obsolete,” from 2021’s Echo, cemented OM&M at the forefront of hard rock and post-hardcore music. (WWE superstar Rhea Ripley counts “SECOND & SEBRING” among the ten songs that changed her life, alongside classics from Queen, Taylor Swift, Falling In Reverse, and Motionless In White.)

The rumble of their 2010 self-titled debut; the following year’s follow-up, The Flood; and 2014’s No. 1 Billboard Independent album, Restoring Force, catapulted them onto a massive tour with Linkin Park. Cold World (2016) saw them on the road with Slipknot and Five Finger Death Punch.

The California band took home the Best International Newcomer prize at the 2013 Kerrang! Awards and were twice nominated as Artist Of The Year at the APMAs, where Manansala took home Best Guitarist.

2018’s Defy put longtime bassist Aaron’s voice front and center. “Of Mice & Men don’t miss a beat with Pauley as the frontman,” wrote Loudwire. “Defy delivers the sound fans have come to expect (big hooks, monster grooves, and singalong melodies) while still breaking some new ground.” The band supported Defy on the road, including tours with Bullet For My Valentine and Nothing More.

Kerrang! heralded the incredibly heavy Earthandsky (2019) as “confident, cohesive,” and “angry.” Australia’s Wall Of Sound called it “the perfect balance in melodic metalcore” and “a great addition to their legendary catalog and contribution they’ve brought during their entire career as a band.”

Earthandsky cleared a path for the diverse trio of EPs that followed, collected as Echo in 2021. As OM&M wrote in a shared statement, Echo “covers life and impermanence, love and the infinite - how the most wonderful and most tragic parts of the human experience deeply intertwine.”

Album eight is no less ambitious. Tether is anchored by a reflective meditation on what it means to draw together as friends, family men, artists, and bandmates. What does it mean to be there for the people who depend on us, knowing we can’t fully protect them from the hardships of life?

“We’ve worked with so many talented producers and artists throughout our career, and we’ve been able to learn something from each of them,” Pauley explains. “We really left ourselves open as we wrote. Anytime a spark of imagination made anybody’s ears perk up, we pursued it.”

Tether is the next step in OM&M’s evolution, combining their core sound with experimental and ethereal sound designs. The creative process focused on the excitement of discovery rather than preconceived “goals.” Pursuing the moments when the elusive “x factor” reveals itself in the songs. Those moments are palpable in songs like “Integration,” “Warpaint,” “Enraptured,” and “Indigo.”

“Emotions and feelings are fleeting and change. Things that excite you one day don’t always excite you the next,” Pauley says. “For us, it was so much about continuously and endlessly chasing a feeling. Not only do we feel like it produces an album we can be proud of that will resonate with our fans, but there’s something deeply human about chasing the excitement in the process. As they say, ‘The man who loves walking will go further than the man who loves the destination.’”

The Of Mice & Men core since 2016 – Aaron, Alan, Tino, and Phil – maintain a powerful bond with their audience and each other, no matter the obstacles. Whether a powerful anthem or atmospheric confession, their songs translate in intimate clubs and massive festivals. “It’s about creating moments for people,” Pauley says. “Music is the soundtrack to people's lives.”

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Kittie

Kittie

Kittie

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Destroy Boys

Destroy Boys

Destroy Boys

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Drain

Drain

Drain

“Straight up, no one is having more fun than me when we’re up there!” beams DRAIN frontman Sammy Ciaramitaro, whose face is perpetually glued in a grin. For anyone that’s seen the Santa Cruz hardcore firebrands live, there’s no mistaking that fact. Drain isn’t just a good time as Sammy presides over the chaos of stagediving bodies and mic- grabbing frontline; it’s a party—and everyone is invited. (Dolphin shorts and boogie boards are optional but encouraged.) “The vibe of it is, enthusiastic, hectic,” says the vocalist. “Five people deep singing and stagediving, then kids going berserk behind that. It’s a great vibe and I think people pick up on that.”

That, in a nutshell is DRAIN. The quartet inject a serious dose of relatability—not to mention catchiness—into hardcore’s penchant for toughness and brutality on their Epitaph debut Living Proof. Ciaramitaro’s desperate, snotty howl rides roughshod over thrash-leaning riffage as rhythms bounce in a big way. If you’re picturing the Pacific Ocean waves that rise and fall along the coastal town, occasionally violently so, you’re not far off.

Produced by longtime friend and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Young (God’s Hate, Suicide Silence), then mixed by John Markson (Drug Church, Koyo), this is hardcore for everybody. “As the band gets bigger, I try and keep that feeling alive,” says the smiling singer. “Every night I set up the merch and run it until it’s time to play. I want to be the guy that everyone says hello to. I want to thank every single kid that comes out for being there.”

From opener “Run Your Luck” to the closing title track, between surefire pit-pleaser “Imposter” to solo-charged anthem “Weight of the World,” Living Proof is a surefire spark-to-flame for a band that can’t help but be anything but themselves. “It’s very authentic, which is why kids can relate,” says Ciaramitaro. “I’m not a super deep, poetic lyricist. I want to feel like I’m having a conversation, very down to earth. I’m not going to front, I grew up middle-class; I grew up in a house, a suburban home. I’m not from the streets and I’m not going to front like I am. Lyrically, the things I write about are things I can personally attest to.”

DRAIN came together in the sleepy, oceanside NorCal climes of Santa Cruz in 2014 when Ciaramitaro met up with guitarist Cody Chavez and drummer Tim Flegal while attending college. “We had no idea or gameplan of what we were trying to do,” says Sammy. “It was more like, ‘Hey, you have a metal band T-shirt, and I got a Downpresser shirt on, and someone likes Municipal Waste. We should all play together.’” While nearby scenes like San Jose and Oakland (known for the legendary Gilman Street venue) had local heat, Drain had to pull up their bootstraps to ignite their own. “We made our own scene in Santa Cruz,” reveals the DIY vocalist proudly; he began booking shows at Café Pergolesi, a local coffee shop that became the town’s hardcore hub.

“When people come to Santa Cruz, they’re like, ‘Oh, I get it, DRAIN looks like what this town looks like. We also sound like what you expect Santa Cruz to sound like,” says the frontman, touching on their home’s penchant for surfing and skating. The quartet all grew up in California and proudly embrace its hardcore history. Ciaramitaro hails from the South Bay’s San Pedro, which birthed Black Flag and The Minutemen, a far cry from DRAIN’s sound but with an intensity and honesty they undeniably channel.

It’s the same kind of spirit that allowed them to build a Santa Cruz homebase and the same kind of spirit that would allow them to wave its flag across the nation on the back of two EPs: Over Thinking (2016) and Time Enough at Last (2017). It earned them pockets of fans across the United States, but it was with 2018’s promo single that DRAIN’s California cool started boiling over. The two songs (“Army of One” and “California Cursed”) were, simply put, AWESOME and these Beach Sharks shredded a blistering set at 2019’s Los Angeles’ Sound and Fury fest and rode the wave straight to a deal with Revelation Records.

Their debut for the label took its name, California Cursed, a little too literally when it launched at the dawn of Covid-19 and the resultant worldwide lockdown. Well, sort of— the smiley singer even found a blessing in that curse.

“Kids fell in love with music but didn’t have the chance for two years to see it live,” states Sammy. “Now that it’s come back, the feeling is, ‘I want to see it live. I want to go to every show. I want to experience it.” DRAIN didn’t merely jump back onto stages across North American, they exploded onto them. The brunt of that force was felt at San Jose’s REAL BAY SHIT! show, a guerilla-styled seven-band assault at an industrial park on the outskirts of the town that had rapidly risen to become the epicenter of hardcore. DRAIN played direct support to Gulch, the metallic group in which Ciaramitaro also played drums before their refreshingly planned demise. Other sets came courtesy of Sunami, Xibalba, Scowl and more, resulting in the June 19, 2021 date going down in history for the over 2,000 show-starved attendees—nay, hardcore at large.

Despite its large turnout, the landmark show’s origins were much more modest. “It doesn’t get more DIY than that, just a handful of us,” beams Sammy, who was one of the day’s organizers. “We built the stage ourselves. No promoters or big business. Just us on our social media sharing a flyer – it was a turning point for us.”

Around the corner was a litany of good things for DRAIN, including the announcement of their signing with Epitaph Records. The process had begun much earlier, however, with the SoCal label getting in touch with the NorCal band a mere five days after California Cursed dropped. They inked a deal with the understanding that the signees would tour their recent release before even thinking about a follow-up album. And tour they would, hopping on the road for headline and one supporting Terror, as fans of the surging hardcore scene clamored for the Santa Cruz quartet’s brand of good, friendly violent fun.

After hitting the studio to record Living Proof and then, making their live European debut, DRAIN headlined the first night of 2022’s landmark Sound and Fury festival playing to 6,000 kids keyed up to welcome the next generation of hardcore royalty.

“We didn’t know we were headlining,” laughs Ciaramitaro, who also played the second night for Gulch’s fiery final show. “It was wild, totally surreal. It felt not real. We’ve kind of been the underdogs from day one: overlooked, too goofy, whatever. Flash forward six years, hey we’re headlining Sound and Fury. We really did this our own way which is crazy.”

Living Proof is just that. It’s a testament to the hard work and heartfelt ethos that’s at the center of DRAIN’s good-time psyche. There are a couple surprises on the album. Rapper Shakewell appears on the track, “Intermission”. “He’s a hardcore dude. He used to play in that band Betrayal,” reveals Ciaramitaro. There’s also a cover of “Good, Good Things,” a nearly four-decade old melodic punk carol by the Descendents: slam-pit forebearers to DRAIN if there ever were any. “It’s crazy because the song’s been out like forty years, but lyrically it’s a DRAIN song!” exclaims Sam. “It just hits on everything that I love, that I’m about.”

What Sammy’s about is plenty wholesome. “I hope with this record that when someone hears it it gives them hope,” Ciaramitaro beams. “If we were able to get through the tough times, anyone can. I can’t wait to play these songs and h ar a room full of people singing back to us. We’re what the title says, the Living Proof.”

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Enter Shikari

Enter Shikari

Enter Shikari

Since forming in 2003 at school in their hometown of St Albans, U.K, Enter Shikari has, thus far, released seven full-length studio albums; TAKE TO THE SKIES (2007), COMMON DREADS (2009), A FLASH FLOOD OF COLOUR (2012), THE MINDSWEEP (2015), THE SPARK (2017). NOTHING IS TRUE & EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE (2020), and the latest, A KISS FOR THE WHOLE WORLD which was released Friday 21st April 2023.

All seven albums debuted in the UK Album Chart top 5 “midweeks”, with 2023’s 'A Kiss For The Whole World' finally scoring the band their first ever UK Album Chart #1 record. Enter Shikari have been recipients of multiple awards and topped many a magazine reader’s poll, picking up 'Best Live Band’ gongs like there’s no tomorrow, as well as a plethora of ‘Best UK Artist’ and ‘Best Album’ statuettes, from the likes of Kerrang!, Rock Sound, the Heavy Music Awards and NME.

Summer 2020 saw the band announce a partnership / shirt sponsorship with local football team St Albans City FC. Frontman / songwriter / producer Rou Reynolds has published four books with Faber Music, the most recent (and most ambitious) being a ‘A Treatise On Possibility’ in the summer of 2021. As well as Rou Reynolds authored publications, in October 2022 Faber Music also published ‘Standing Like Statues - The Enter Shikari Biography’ written by Kerrang! Magazine editor Luke Morton.

Enter Shikari have played somewhere in the region of 3000 live shows around the globe, including three headline arena-sized tours in the UK, substantial UK / Europe arena supports in their early career with The Prodigy, Linkin Park and 30 Seconds To Mars, and more big and small festivals worldwide than it would be possible to list. The band’s last full U.K tour (December 2021) sold out across the board, including the band’s fourth headline show at London’s 10,000 capacity Alexandra Palace.

2023 kicked straight off with Enter Shikari releasing the single ‘(pls) set me on fire’ in January, accompanying an announcement of their new album, and what became known as the Residency Tour, which took in five British cities over the course of one week, repeating for three months. In May 2023, Enter Shikari announced UK arena tour dates for 2024, including the band’s first ever Wembley Arena show. In recognition of the grassroots touring scene which birthed the band, the band has pledged £1 from every ticket sale for the tour to be donated to the Music Venue Trust to support grassroots music venues in the UK. The band also announced a short European run, including the largest German and Netherlands shows Enter Shikari has played thus far. The band kicked off festival season for summer 2023 by headlining the UK’s Slam Dunk Festival in Hertfordshire and Leeds.

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All That Remains

All That Remains

All That Remains

Since their formation in Massachusetts during 1998, All That Remains have built an undeniable legacy upheld by airtight songcraft, knifepoint precise metallic instrumentation, and stadium-size hard rock hooks. As a result, they’ve outlasted trials, tribulations, and trends to stand tall as one of this century’s most consistent purveyors of heavy music with a bulletproof canon of arena-worthy anthems. All That Remains’ discography is highlighted by success at Active Rock including radio hits in the top 10 such as “Two Weeks,” “What If I Was Nothing,” and their first number one “Stand Up,”. Averaging 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify (an unprecedented feat for a metal band in any era), while cumulative sales eclipse 1 million albums worldwide.

Not to mention, they’ve earned five consecutive Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart and four in the Top 5. Most recently, 2017’s Madness spawned the smash cover of Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls,” which trended on VEVO and gener- ated 21 million plus total views and 8 million Spotify streams in under a year’s time. In addition to packing houses as a headliner, they’ve practically burned down festival stages everywhere from Rock on the Range to Welcome to Rockville.

In 2018, the quintet—Philip Labonte [lead vocals], Oli Herbert [lead guitar], Mike Martin [rhythm guitar], Jason Costa [drums], and Aaron Patrick [bass, backing vocals]— perfect their patented pummeling by wasting no time or energy at all on their ninth full-length album, Victim of the New Disease [Fearless Records].

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Kid Kapichi

Kid Kapichi

Kid Kapichi

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Reignwolf

Reignwolf

Reignwolf

Reignwolf has toured with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Black Sabbath and The Who, plus influential alternative rockers Pixies.

He has performed across the globe including appearances at renowned festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Glastonbury and more.

His debut album Hear Me Out was released to critical acclaim in 2019 and a world tour ensued. He’s currently writing and demoing songs for the follow-up release which is expected to hit streets in 2023.

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Dirty Honey

Dirty Honey

Dirty Honey

Some musicians take a while to build an audience and connect with fans. For the Los Angeles-based quartet Dirty Honey, success came right out of the gate... In October 2019, Dirty Honey made history as the only unsigned artist in Billboard’s near four-decades to hit #1 on the magazine’s Mainstream and Hard Rock Charts with its debut single, “When I’m Gone.” Since that weighty debut, Dirty Honey has opened for The Who, Guns NʼRoses, Slash with Alter Bridge, and The Black Crowes, where the band received glowing press reviews and a standing ovation at the majority of the tour’s concerts—unprecedented for a support act. Dirty Honey’s self-titled album debuted at #2 on the Current Hard Rock Chart, Rolling Stone featured them as “An Artist You Need To Know,” they were tagged as the “do-not-miss-band” at more than a dozen major North American summer festivals, and played sold-out shows on their first two North American tours. In May, 2022 the band released its international EP/LP debut, and headed to the UK and Europe for their first tour there, playing headline shows, festival slots and support dates with Guns NʼRoses, KISS and Rival Sons. The band (Marc LaBelle/vocals, John Notto/guitar, Justin Smolian/bass, and Jaydon Beam/drums), will head to Australia in April 2023 to record their sophomore album, set for a fall release, with a World Tour kicking off in September. Dirty Honey continues to take the world by storm.

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Polaris

Polaris

Polaris

Fear: humanity’s great divider, but also its most potent unifier.

It’s this very notion that lies at the beating core of Polaris’s third album Fatalism; a record shaped by the sense of despair and dystopia that engulfed the world over the past few years, and the overwhelming accompanying sensation that we were powerless to change course.

Equally steeped in angst and catharsis, an expanded thematic gaze and heavier sonic terrain, Fatalism organically builds on the bleak imagery and hard-hitting soundscapes permeating Polaris’s ARIA Award-nominated 2020 release The Death of Me, galvanizing the Sydney five-piece’s trademark blend of melodic metalcore, lush post rock, electronic flourishes and beyond.

Across 11 tracks, Fatalism wields emphatic relatability and explosive arrangements, from its atmospheric, doom-laden opener Harbinger to the foreboding anthem Nightmare and the pummeling delights of The Crossfire, both dealing in elasticated riffs and the coruscating vocals of Jamie Hails. As a whole, Fatalism casts its gaze more outwardly than its 2020 predecessor The Death Of Me, by contrast a largely introspective record. And while strictly not a pandemic album, it was impossible not to be impacted and influenced by the events surrounding its making. The result is an album that combines Polaris’s trademark melange of ferocity and melody with new sonic twists and a lyrical focus that, while far from easy listening, is as cathartic for the listener as it is the group.

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While She Sleeps

While She Sleeps

While She Sleeps

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Saint Asonia

Saint Asonia

Saint Asonia

By turning inward, Saint Asonia amplify every element of their signature sound. Skyscraping hooks soar higher, while arena-ready rhythms rattle harder. The guitars cut deeper, and the lyrics resound louder than ever. The quartet—Adam Gontier [vocals, guitar], Mike Mushok [lead guitar], Cale Gontier [bass], and Cody Watkins [drums]—find power and strength on their aptly titled 2022 EP, Introvert [Spinefarm Records].

Saint Asonia initially united two hard rock luminaries under a new banner. Respectively, Adam and Mike had each reached stratospheric heights in Three Days Grace and Staind, toppling charts, packing venues, and selling millions of records. As such, their union captivated audiences worldwide. In the wake of their 2015 self-titled debut Saint Asonia, Loudwire christened the band its “Best New Artist” at the Loudwire Music Awards. The 2019 follow-up, Flawed Design, yielded the blockbuster single “The Hunted” [feat. Sully Erna of Godsmack], generating over 15 million Spotify streams. In a “4.5-out-of-5-star” review, New Noise Magazine declared, “Any fan of hard rock (whether they’ve listened in recently or not) should give Saint Asonia a spin.” Plus, Loudwire applauded it as one of the “The 50 Best Rock Albums of the Year.” Not to mention, they toured with everyone from Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, and Seether to Alter Bridge and Mötley Crüe.

Unfortunately, Flawed Design never received a proper tour due to the Global Pandemic. However, the musicians buckled down and wrote what would become Introvert during the downtime.

“The title was fitting with the way the songs were written,” observes Adam. “We wrote and recorded individually. It’s a weird situation to make a record and not be in the same room as your band. I felt like an Introvert when I was working on these songs.”

This time around, they recorded with producer Anton Delost [Cleopatrick, Seaway, Hollow Coves] outside of Toronto. The producer injected a fresh perspective into the project as did recently welcomed drummer Cody (who played in Art of Dying with Cale). Meanwhile, Mike recorded remotely from his home studio in Connecticut.

“We had a blast with Anton,” Adam goes on. “He played a big part in the sonic changes. It’s a little different for us, but it’s still pretty heavy. He understood what we were hoping to accomplish. It’s Saint Asonia.”

The guys initially teased out this phase with a heavy and haunting take on The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” tallying millions of streams. However, they properly introduce Introvert with the single “Above It All.” Airy electronics brush up against clean guitar as Adam declares, “It’s time to take a stand and save our lives.” A chugging verse gives way to an irresistible hook punctuated by a hummable guitar lead.

“It’s the first one I actually wrote,” he recalls. “I wrote it about standing up and paying attention to what you’re told to do as a society and then making your own decisions. You’re not necessarily acting or reacting as people want you to. We’re all told so many things about what’s right or wrong. There was a lot of misinformation. ‘Above It All’ is about making the right decision for yourself.”

Then, there’s “Chew Me Up” [feat. Johnny Stevens of Highly Suspect]. Johnny’s bluesy timbre serves as the perfect counterpoint to Adam as the slow burning track builds towards a catharsis with teeth.

“We’re big fans of Highly Suspect, so we were really excited to have Johnny on the song,” he goes on. “Our styles are a little bit different, but he did his thing. It turned out amazing. Lyrically, it’s about cancel culture. People are influenced by things online and try to be who they’re not on social media platforms. There’s a lot of pressure. The song is a realization it doesn’t matter. The internet and social media can chew you up pretty quickly and spit you back out before you even know it.”

Elsewhere, “Left Behind” culminates on a scorching guitar solo, while “Bite The Bullet” hinges on a thick bass line and candid lyricism.

“My dad passed away about a year ago, and ‘Bite The Bullet’ hits home,” he admits. “He always used to use the phrase ‘Bite The Bullet’ when I was growing up. The song remembers him and how he told me you can’t change things that are out of your control. It’s a good reminder of my dad.”

In the end, Saint Asonia connect closer than ever on Introvert.

“This band means a lot to me,” Adam leaves off. “It’s been an incredible outlet, and it’s become a family. I love the guys and the freedom we have to create. I couldn’t ask for a better situation. I hope people dig it and love the music. If you relate to it and drive down the road blasting it, that’s the most I could ask for.”

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Saliva

Saliva

Saliva

Saliva is Brad Stewart (bass), Wayne Swinny (guitar), Sammi Jo Bishop (drums) and Bobby Amaru (vocals).

After acquiring front man Bobby Amaru in 2011, Saliva became infused with new blood, energy, and spirit. The same energy launched Saliva’s career in 2001 with the release, ''Every Six Seconds'' – a certified Double Platinum-selling album, containing the hits, “Click Click Boom” and 2002 Grammy nominated, “Your Disease.” Saliva’s in-your-face, anthemic writing style continued with a certified Gold-selling album *Back in to Your System_ with hits: “Always,” “Raise Up,” and the Nikki Sixx co-written, “Rest In Pieces.”

Saliva will continue to release tracks and ultimately a full album in Spring of 2023. The new music has a contemporary feel but sticks to the blue collar roots that their fans love.

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Helmet

Helmet

Helmet

Helmet is an American alternative rock band from New York City formed in 1989 by vocalist and lead guitarist Page Hamilton. Since 2010, the band has consisted of Hamilton, drummer Kyle Stevenson, guitarist Dan Beeman and bassist Dave Case.

Helmet has released eight studio albums and two compilation albums. After releasing their debut album, Strap It On (1990), on Amphetamine Reptile, Helmet signed to Interscope Records and released three albums for the label, including the highly successful Meantime (1992), Betty (1994) and Aftertaste (1997). Helmet broke up in 1998, but reformed in 2004, and has since released four more albums ― Size Matters (2004), Monochrome (2006), Seeing Eye Dog (2010) and Dead to the World (2016).

In June 2021 the band released via their website only a limited edition box set entitled “Move On” featuring 4 x 7” singles including the following covers and live tracks:


Move on (David Bowie) w/ More Bad News live
Mercy (Wire) w/ Rollo live
ETI (Blue Oyster Cult) w/ Blacktop live
I’m Only Sleeping (The Beatles) w/ Crisis King live

2023 sees the band return to the studio for it’s ninth album Left to be released by earMusic in November 2023.

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Magnolia Park

Magnolia Park

Magnolia Park

Made up of lead vocalist Joshua Roberts, guitarists Tristan Torres and Freddie Criales, bassist Jared Kay, drummer Joe Horsham, and keyboardist Vincent Ernst, Magnolia Park have recorded almost all their output to date with Audio Compound producers Andrew Wade and Andy Karpovck. The first iteration of the band formed in 2019, with a mission of inventively fusing genres while increasing inclusivity in the punk world. “There’s not a lot of people of color in our scene, so we want to show everyone that it’s okay to look like us and play this kind of music,'' says Torres. Roberts adds: “We have an amazing opportunity to connect with a lot of people through our music, and we definitely want to use that to make a positive impact.''

The follow-up to their early-2021 EP Dream Eater, Halloween Mixtape features such standout tracks as “Kids Like Us,'' an anthem for all those who’ve struggled with being marginalized. “That song came from me and Josh and Freddie talking about certain experiences we’ve all had over the course of our lives,'' says Torres. “It speaks about growing up as a person of color, dealing with police brutality and fighting against racism. To this day we still get hate from people telling us that we can’t play the music we’re playing because of the color of our skin, so we want to let all the kids know that they can do whatever they want to do, and that nobody’s hatred should get in the way of that.''

Named for a park in their hometown, Magnolia Park first discovered their singular sound with a track called “Outside,'' released in early 2020. “From the beginning we knew we wanted to create something new that mixed hip-hop and pop-punk and emo and electronic music, and that song took it to a whole new level,'' says Torres. After the premiere of “Outside,'' Magnolia Park continued putting out singles and building up their following, then headed out on tour with Lil Lotus in summer 2021. Following a show at The Echo in Los Angeles, the band’s deal with Epitaph was quickly set in motion. “Epitaph felt like the perfect fit for us, and we’re really excited for the band to be moving forward with them,'' says Kay.

With the arrival of their Epitaph debut, Magnolia Park look forward to raising even further awareness of the issues they find essential, including mental health. “Some of the band members struggle with mental health problems, and a big part of our music is shining a light on that,'' says Torres. “It’s such a crazy world to begin with, and then when you add all the stress of the pandemic and the hatred that so many people are dealing with, it’s really easy to feel lost.''

Along with providing comfort and connection through their music, Magnolia Park hope to bring a deep sense joy to their audience. “We’re all just very down-to-earth people who love making music together,'' says Kay. “We want our songs to leave people in a better place than they were before, and hopefully make a lasting impression on this generation and those to come.''

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Saints and sinners, victims and victors. In sound and vision, New Years Day walk the line between darkness and light. The band’s duality comes to fruition on Half Black Heart, an unrepentant and unashamed album championing discovery, from the darkest secrets to one’s inner strength.

Unrestrained fury collides with arena-ready glamor, confrontational DIY passion, and melodic hooks. “Hurts Like Hell,” “Vampyre,” “Bulletproof,” “Fearless,” the title track, and the rest of Half Black Heart join an already impressive catalog of songs, like “Come for Me,” “Skeletons,” “Kill or Be Killed,” and “Shut Up.” Fans have streamed “Angel Eyes” more than 14 million times on Spotify alone.

Victim to Villain (2013), Malevolence (2015), and Unbreakable (2019) deeply resonate with listeners who cherish them as timeless keepsakes, marking different times in their own personal evolution. It’s because Costello, who skillfully conjures horror and comic book aesthetics as allegory, is one of them.

In cinematic music videos, transcendent live performances, and daily interaction (virtual or in-person) with like-minded misfits, this band makes pleasure from pain. Even when it hurts like hell." data-website="https://nydrock.com/" data-facebook="https://www.facebook.com/nydrock/" data-instagram="http://instagram.com/nydrock" data-twitter="https://twitter.com/NYDrock" data-tiktok="" data-spotify="https://open.spotify.com/artist/7IEyUxk8jyEVz9Zm9H8bfg?autoplay=true" >
New Years Day

New Years Day

New Years Day

Kerrang! Magazine counts New Years Day among an elite handful of bands inspiring the next generation. Led by “the vibrant force of nature that is frontwoman Ash Costello,” New Years Day unleash anthems of discontent and empowerment, delivered with gothic flair and theatrical bombast.

It’s a sound that crashed into the Mainstream Rock Top 40 for the first time in 2019 with a top 15 rock radio charting single "Shut Up" followed up by the cathartic “Hurts Like Hell,” which finished 2022 as one of SiriusXM Octane’s Top 25 songs of the year. Each successive victory is a celebration of hard-fought creative freedom,unstoppable determination, and dedicated fans. Throngs of diehards and newcomers alike sing and sweat along with New Years Day, at festivals, in clubs, or on tours with Halestorm, Falling In Reverse, Motionless In White, Ice Nine Kills and In This Moment.

Saints and sinners, victims and victors. In sound and vision, New Years Day walk the line between darkness and light. The band’s duality comes to fruition on Half Black Heart, an unrepentant and unashamed album championing discovery, from the darkest secrets to one’s inner strength.

Unrestrained fury collides with arena-ready glamor, confrontational DIY passion, and melodic hooks. “Hurts Like Hell,” “Vampyre,” “Bulletproof,” “Fearless,” the title track, and the rest of Half Black Heart join an already impressive catalog of songs, like “Come for Me,” “Skeletons,” “Kill or Be Killed,” and “Shut Up.” Fans have streamed “Angel Eyes” more than 14 million times on Spotify alone.

Victim to Villain (2013), Malevolence (2015), and Unbreakable (2019) deeply resonate with listeners who cherish them as timeless keepsakes, marking different times in their own personal evolution. It’s because Costello, who skillfully conjures horror and comic book aesthetics as allegory, is one of them.

In cinematic music videos, transcendent live performances, and daily interaction (virtual or in-person) with like-minded misfits, this band makes pleasure from pain. Even when it hurts like hell.

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Kim Dracula

Kim Dracula

Kim Dracula

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Kublai Khan TX

Kublai Khan TX

Kublai Khan TX

Struggle spurs strength. Trials and tribulations mold and fortify character. Embodying these truths, Kublai Khan turn hardships into hypnotic and heavy metalcore upheld by nimble metallic fury and pit- splitting spirit on their fourth full-length offering, Absolute [Rise Records].

“A lot of the record is about our struggle with what we do and the fact we’ve been doing this for over a decade, hit a lot of roadblocks, ate a lot of shit, and still kept going,” exclaims frontman Matt Honeycutt. “We’ve done far more than we ever expected, so it’s always about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and letting nothing get you down. You have the opportunity to take responsibility for what you do wrong and right. We’re spinning the negative into a positive.”

The Sherman, TX quartet—Matt [vocals], Nolan Ashley [guitar, vocals], Eric English [bass], and Isaac Lamb [drums]—quietly emerged as a fiery force since their 2008 formation straight out of high school. They built a devout following through airtight consistency on Balancing Survival and Happiness [2014], New Strength [2015], and Nomad [2017]. The latter impressively tallied over 6 million cumulative streams with “The Hammer” surpassing 2.6 million on Spotify and “Antpile” exceeding 1.1 million.

Meanwhile, acclaim came from Metal Hammer, Alternative Press, New Noise, and more as the boys toured relentlessly.

In early 2019, they retreated to New Jersey and hit the studio with longtime collaborator, engineer, and producer Randy LaBoeuf to record what would become Absolute. Taking advantage of a full month to create, they changed up the process, recording the drums last for the first time. Additionally, Randy provided space for Matt to hone his voice.

These techniques enriched the sonic punch.

“Everything could be folded around the drums, and it made for a better vision, to be honest,” continues Matt. “That’s how Randy records bands now. It allowed us to have more space to think. We were able to shape everything into exactly what we wanted. It was a game changer. The best thing about this record was the learning curve we experienced.”

The first single “Self-Destruct” showcases their evolution. Underpinned by airtight riffing, the track steamrolls through eerie samples and guttural growls before subsiding on a bashing reprieve of lone bass and drums.

“The polarization between everyday citizens in our country is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” he sighs. “In person, we can have discussions and logical conversations as friends. On social media, it’s incredibly toxic. They’re going for each other’s necks 24/7. If we keep going, we’re going to self-destruct. Everyone is a ticking time bomb. You can’t do or say anything without somebody taking offense. We need to calm down, back off, listen to each other, come together, and understand it’s okay for us to be different. That makes our country beautiful. Canceling conversation is dangerous.”

Elsewhere, “Boomslang” tosses and turns between a distorted chug, searing scream, and pensive lyrics about “touring in general, how difficult it can be on your nerves, and the internal warfare of what we do.” Then, there’s “The Truest Love.” It urges for preservation of the family unit as Matt barks, “You call yourself a man, but you just leave…just protect your young!”

“It concerns my qualms with the current state of male responsibility,” he states. “You see so many guys run out on their kids. They don’t stop to realize they helped create another life. You can’t say you’re a man and just abandon your family. It’s my irritation with how normal it’s becoming for the breakdown of the family unit to occur. Everything comes down to responsibility, self-love, and love of your family.”

In the end, Kublai Khan’s music siphons power from pain on Absolute.

“We put a lot into the record,” Matt leaves off. “There are so many different tones and lyrical aspects. It really shows how far we’ve come. I hope people connect and get something good from it. We’ll keep going no matter what.”

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Bob Vylan

Bob Vylan

Bob Vylan

London two-piece BOB VYLAN are unique. One vocalist (Bobby) and one drummer (Bobbie). One being a vital and focal mouthpiece, the other a rhythm maker and keeper, one audience ringleader, one master of the calm. They are a band that embraces both chaos and peace, a band that thrives on independence and creating their own path, a band known for mosh pits and pit hugs. They have a unique and ever evolving sound, one that crosses styles and genres, doing away with the traditional and embracing new and more unique sonic dimensions. They incorporate these styles within their music in an attempt to bridge and blend genres and subcultures together. It is this very unique style and sound that has found them embraced by rock, rap, punk, dance and alternative crowds alike.

Their independent nature has seen them start their own record label (Ghost Theatre), something created that allows them to release their music completely free from the restraints of the major label system. This route saw the band reach number 18 on the UK album charts, 4 in the physical charts and number 3 on the independent charts, with their 2022 album ‘Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life’. The first time in history that an album entirely self produced, recorded and mixed by the band and released on the band’s own label has reached the top 20. The album also went on to win the Kerrang! ‘Best Album’ award for 2022, and helped the band win their first MOBO award in the new ‘Alternative’ category. They have also picked up fans with the likes of Iggy Pop and Craig Charles on their 6music shows, performed live on the BBC at Glastonbury, been featured on magazine covers such as Kerrang!, Hardbeat and Gigwise and written about by everyone from The Guardian to Rolling Stone Magazine. Their most recent single ‘The Delicate Nature’ featuring Laurie Vincent from Soft Play, was released in late 2022 and went on to get over 50 plays across Radio 1, 6music, Radio X, Kerrang Radio and more.

Speaking on their latest album, vocalist Bobby explains a bit more about the album, its themes and ideas for this next phase for BOB VYLAN, ''This project has allowed us the space to showcase different sides of our personalities. We don’t want to give the same thing over and over again, so we’re tackling topics in a different way this time. It’s serious and funny, it’s communal and obnoxious, it’s many things at any given time, and it’s a concept project. It explores the idea of paying your way through life and the expense of living in a society that places money above all else. It explores the places we’ve come from and the extremes we’ve seen people go to in order to survive. It also looks at the nuances around money in our society, the less obvious connections, like the world of advertising and art having to align with advertisers' values in order to be given a platform, as well as the price of healthy eating, the cost of technology not necessarily on our pockets but on our lives.'' This band is all about community, and for them, their live show is a place where they can truly express that. With each show starting with mediation, and ending with a group hug. But what’s between the meditative start and embracing end is a message delivered in a way that both Bobby and Bobbie feel has been missing.

They set off on their first ever headline tour in 2021, and since then, in the last year alone, they have toured across the UK on sell out tours (including a very sold out Electric Ballroom in London, Dec 2022), countless festivals including Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, Pukkelpop (Belgium) and Riot Fest (US), and toured with the likes of Amyl & The Sniffers (in the UK and the USA) and Biffy Clyro. With more live dates announced for 2023 including an EU support tour with grandson, a US headline tour being readied for 2024, festivals throughout summer including Download, Boardmasters, 2000trees, Green Man and Lattitude, there will be no stopping BOB VYLAN.

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Red Fang

Red Fang

Red Fang

“I like the idea of the record starting in a way that doesn’t make any sense at all for a Red Fang record.”

That’s vocalist/bassist Aaron Beam talking about “Take It Back,” the opening track—or “sintro,” part song, part intro—of Red Fang’s fifth album, Arrows.

“It reminds me of a time before people listened to music digitally—and they listened to full albums,” drummer John Sherman adds. “There were often cool, spooky intros—like fuckin’ Dio albums and shit. There are some weird sounds at the beginning to get you in the mood before it blasts off.”

And blast off it does. After the woozy opening salvo of “Take It Back,” Arrows launches into a super-rock trifecta of what Red Fang does best—from Melvins-esque power dirge “Unreal Estate” into the anthemic title track into up-tempo banger “My Disaster.”

Yeah, it’s been nearly five years since 2016’s Only Ghosts, but your favorite beer-crushing, zombie-killing, air-guitar-contest-judging metal heroes are back in action, doing what they do best—AND MORE. “This record feels more like Murder The Mountains to me than any record we’ve done before or since,” Beam ventures. “It doesn’t sound like that record, but Murder The Mountains was us doing whatever the fuck we wanted, and that’s what this is, too.”

“We’re definitely exploring new territory,” says guitarist/vocalist Bryan Giles. “And I’m very happy about that. I wouldn’t wanna be in this band if we kept doing the same thing over and over again.”

Arrows was recorded at Halfling Studios in the band’s hometown of Portland, OR, with longtime collaborator Chris Funk, who produced Murder The Mountains and 2013’s Whales and Leeches. “Chris is a major influencer as far as the weird ambient stuff in between the songs and the creepy incidental noises within the songs,” Giles points out. “I think he definitely creates an added layer of atmosphere that we wouldn’t have otherwise.”

In an effort to compound said atmosphere, Sherman recorded some of his drum parts at the bottom of a pool. Luckily, it was empty. “It’s actually a kick-ass skate pool,” the drummer explains. “It was designed by Lance Mountain, if I’ve got my facts straight. As soon as we decided to record there, I knew I would end up in the pool at some point.”

“The pool was a big part of the record,” Giles confirms. “The drums sound so huge—it’s crazy. But I was terrified of the pool because there was no railing. Every time I walked by, I was afraid of falling into it. So it was a love/hate relationship with the pool for me.”

The title Arrows was chosen through Red Fang’s patented and labor-intensive selection process. “Of all the titles that got thrown around, that was the one everyone hated the least,” Sherman explains. “Which is the case with every record, pretty much.”

“It’s actually the same way we decided on the band name,” Beam chimes in. “It was the only one where someone wasn’t like, ‘NO!’”

Arrows has the added bonus of a proper title track, which is new territory for the dudes. “This is the first time we’ve named an album after a song that’s actually on the album,” Beam explains. “We have other albums that are named after songs of ours that are not on those albums. So this time we’re really fucking with you because we didn’t fuck with you.”

It just so happens that the title track is also the lead single for the album—the general public’s first taste of fresh Fang. “There’s some songs that are pretty clearly Red Fang on this album, and others that maybe go a little further outside of what we’ve normally done,” Beam explains. “‘Prehistoric Dog’ was clearly the song to pick for the first single from the first record. ‘Wires’ was clearly the song to pick from the second record. I’m not sure there was a clear frontrunner on this album, which could be taken to mean that either all of the songs are kind of mediocre at best or there are quite a few that could qualify as the lead single. So it came down to the ones that the dudes who are making the videos liked best.”

Which brings us to director Rob McConnaughy, who created the pants-pissing clips for “Prehistoric Dog,” “Wires” and many other Red Fang hits. “His way of presenting us really works,” guitarist David Sullivan says. “That first video he did for us for ‘Prehistoric Dog’ gave us a big jumpstart as far as the band getting popular. And we love working with him.”

Over the years, McConnaughy has helped showcase an aspect of Red Fang that most metal and hard rock bands shy away from: Humor. “It suits our personalities,” Giles points out. “I mean, I don’t wanna fight people, you know? If I look like I’m flexing, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, I can take him.’ But if we’re making a joke, maybe someone will wanna tell me a joke—or buy me a beer.”

“If you were to have dinner with the band, it would be closer to one of our videos than, like, us walking in slow-mo through the fog with a goat’s head,” he adds. “I mean, no one’s gonna believe that shit.”

Similarly, fans might not believe what the song “Arrows” is partially about. “If you’re confused by some of the lyrics to that song, that makes sense,” Beam explains. “But it makes reference to meditation. I started meditating six years ago, but I can only do it when I’m not feeling too anxious. So, when I don’t need it, that’s when I can do it.”

Elsewhere, “Fonzi Scheme” was named after legendary Happy Days cool guy Arthur Fonzarelli—if only because it’s in the key of his famous catchphrase, “Aaay.” Producer Chris Funk came up with the idea of bringing in string players from the Portland Cello Project to class up the track. “I would say laziness drove that decision,” Beam deadpans. “We didn’t want to come up with any guitar melodies, so we hired someone else to do it for us.”

Meanwhile, the opening riff of closer “Funeral Coach” was written 12 years ago. But it took until recently for the song to blossom into its full double-entendre glory. “I was driving around and I saw a hearse that said ‘funeral coach services’ on the back,” Beam explains. “So the first thing that popped into my head was a dude with a headset and a clipboard going, ‘Alright, dudes—more tears! Five minutes in is when the tears are critical, or no one’s gonna believe that anyone cares that this person died.’”

In a nod to tradition, Arrows will be available in formats that include all the drums, bass, guitars and vocals. But it could’ve gone another way. “Our original idea was to release the album with no vocals or guitar solos,” Beam explains. “If you want the guitar solos, it’s an extra five bucks. If you want the vocals, it’s an extra ten bucks. So basically people should feel lucky that we didn’t do that. You get to buy the whole thing all together.”

Red Fang think of it as a generous display of gratitude toward their fans. “Yeah,” says Sherman, “Thank you for buying our album, you lucky bastards.”

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Currents

Currents

Currents

No stranger to turning a critical eye toward both the external commotion and internal battles that rage deep within the confines of one’s own mind, Connecticut post-metalcore innovators Currents don’t pretend that life is a bed of well-manicured roses. Rather, it has been by way of exploring the forbidden realms of a tortured psyche and ferociously searching for meaning amidst uncertain chaos that the band has won the hearts of metal fans across the globe; a feat evidenced by 80+ million catalog streams and packed tours supporting the likes of Ice Nine Kills, Thy Art is Murder, August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, We Came As Romans, Fit For A King, and more.

Keen on backing up impactful themes such as heartache, abandonment, climate change, and animal abuse, with technical riffage and emotive atmospherics, Currents’ second full-length album The Way It Ends (2020) saw the group connect with their largest audience to date, selling over 6,000 vinyl despite the global touring shutdown, rocketing to No. 2 on the Top New Artist and Current Hard Rock Billboard Charts, and earning glowing praise from prominent outlets such as Kerrang! who described the band’s work as, “A narcotic blend of melodrama and madness.”

Now, back with their first new material since their popular sophomore record, vocalist Brian Wille, bassist Chris Pulgarin, drummer Matt Young, and guitarists Chris Wiseman and Ryan Castaldi’s latest single ‘The Death We Seek’ not only taps back into this familiar darkness, but continues to push the story forward.

Recorded in December 2021 at guitarist Chris Wiseman’s studio in Beacon, New York, Currents once again called upon The Way it Ends / I Let the Devil In producer Ryan Leitru (In Search Of Solace, Like Moths To Flames, WCAR), and seasoned mix/ mastering engineer Jeff Dunne (Wage War, Silent Planet, Make Them Suffer) to help guide the sonic direction of the new track.

Together, the team churned out a seething blend of progressive metalcore-laced elements and moody post-hardcore to fuel the fire of Currents’ narrative message.

“The single follows the loose concept of two individuals attempting to stop a looming apocalypse, only to be sabotaged by forces beyond their control or understanding,” frontman Brian Wille explains. “The song itself is about the weight of our choices and our responsibility for their outcomes. We’re also attempting to paint a picture of the world surrounding the overarching story we hope to create.”

“This song serves as a continuation to ‘The Way it Ends’ while also calling back to our first record ‘The Place I Feel Safest.’” the singer continues. “It was written around the time TWIE was released, so it carries a similar feel. We thought it was a good way to build on the story behind the music and reintroduce ourselves to the world after a period of relative silence.”

Biding their time for the right moment to strike, Currents – much like the apocalyptic collapse foretold in their latest single – plow ahead like an unstoppable force, expressing their vision through anguished eyes, pounding riffs, and the powerful desire to lay the groundwork for the plotlines of a larger story still to come.

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Soulfly

Soulfly

Soulfly

Max Cavalera is the walking embodiment of creative energy, of all of the diverse layers of urgency that are possible from that select few whose artistic output defines genres. Mystic shaman, protest singer, revolutionary hero, everyday metalhead, furious consumer of heavy music of all shades, husband, father, leader, songwriter… Cavalera reigns as the adoptive tribal chief of a generation of fans, stretching from the roughest slums of South America to the coldest confines of Russia. Anywhere that people are disenfranchised, the songs of Soulfly serve as their anthems.

Armed with Cavalera’s four-­‐stringed guitars, unmistakable growl and instantly recognizable riffage, the muddy tones and constant rhythmic bounce of Soulfly has retained its gritty edge while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in metal. Savages represents a career-­‐defining moment, solidifying the lineup with longtime lead guitarist Marc Rizzo (who has been in Soulfly almost as long as Max was in Sepultura), bassist Tony Campos (Static X, Ministry, Prong) and Max’s 20 year-­‐old son Zyon, who splits his time between drumming in Lody Kong and now, Soulfly.

“All of the things that make Soulfly killer are combined in Savages,” Max declares.

Savages melds the most brutal, the most heavy and overall the most vibrant components that made up each record in Soulfly’s diverse catalog. By Max’s own account, Savages is possessed of the tribal groove of the first two Soulfly albums, particularly in songs like “Bloodshed,” “Ayatollah Rock and Rolla” and “Master of Savagery.” But there’s also the thrash metal that was found on Dark Ages and Omen; whereas the Cavalera Conspiracy records contain short, punky bursts, the new Soulfly record gets into the epic length territory of early Metallica. The death metal vibe of Soulfly’s Enslaved emerges in songs like “Fallen” and “Cannibal Holocaust.”

“I really like the name Savages. I like single words that sound powerful, like Primitive, Roots, Arise,” Max explains. “It’s about the human condition right now. We have the Internet and we’re working on missions to Mars, but we are still decapitating each other and blowing up marathons. We’re still savages. Even with technology and how far we’ve come in the world, our spirit is still that of a savage.”

A trailblazing pioneer and musician with millions of albums sold who nevertheless retains boundless street cred due to his grimy, raw and undeniable authenticity, Max Cavalera is one of the most prolific artists the realm of heavy music has ever known. There’s Cavalera Conspiracy, which reunited Max with his brother and former bandmate, Iggor Cavalera. There was the brutal attack of Nailbomb, Max’s collaboration with Alex Newport from Fudge Tunnel, which included members of Dead Kennedys, Front Line Assembly, Biohazard and Neurosis on-­‐stage. There’s his forthcoming band with members of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon and The Mars Volta. Of course, there’s Max’s unassailable work as Sepultura’s founder, leading the Brazilian band from their badass lo-­‐fi beginnings, through their era of sophisticated thrash classics, up through the cultural landmark that is Roots.

Soulfly began almost instantaneously after Max’s departure from the band he founded. The eponymously titled Soulfly debut sold over 500,000 copies in the United States alone, further expanding upon the tribal foundation of Roots with percussive instrumentation, forays into esoteric sounds and multiple guests. Across the seven albums and never-­‐ending tours that followed, Max worked with a who’s-­‐ who of the heavy music scene as band mates, guest musicians and touring members, including guys from Slipknot, Slayer, Megadeth, Deftones, Radiohead, Stone Sour, Cypress Hill, Machine Head, DevilDriver, Fear Factory, Morbid Angel, Throwdown, S.O.D., Skindred, Borknagar, Will Haven and Cattle Decapitation, among others.

In addition to Max’s own self-­‐production, a number of important producers have lent their skills to Soulfly including Toby Wright (Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Korn), Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Killswitch Engage, Living Sacrifice), ex-­‐Souflly guitarist Logan Mader (Five Finger Death Punch, Gojira, Fear Factory) Zeuss (Suicide Silence, All That Remains, Hatebreed) and Terry Date (Pantera, Deftones, Dream Theater).

Cavalera asked Date, who had mixed for Soulfly in the past, to produce the new album. Once studio time with the legendary producer was on the calendar, Max kicked into high gear with the material. Max and Zyon worked on the songs that would comprise Savages at home. “Zyon came up to me and said, ‘Give me a shot. I’ll play on the record for you. I won’t let you down,’” explains the elder Cavalera. “I went into a room with him to jam and it felt great. So I said, ‘Fuck yeah, let’s do it!’”

Generally on a Soufly album, the drummers would learn the songs in the studio, based on demo recordings from Max. This time, Max had the luxury of working out the songs at home with Zyon. “We jammed every single day for a month. He knew 90% of the material already when we got into the studio. It reminded me of recording the old Sepultura stuff, like Arise and Chaos A.D., Igor knew exactly what he was going to do before we went into the studio. This was very similar.”

Cavalera says he must’ve written at least 1,000 riffs specifically for Savages. “The killer riff is what hooks the whole song together,” he says. “For me the writing process is about finding the most killer riffs possible. It's a battle; sometimes I struggle with the guitar for hours. You have to throw it down on the floor and take a break. Come back a few hours later. ‘Let’s try this again, motherfucker!’ Grab it again and go to battle, go to war with the guitar until you get the right riffs.”

Max points to Black Sabbath’s “Symptom of the Universe” as one of the penultimate riffs of all time, citing Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Metallica frontman James Hetfield as among the riff-­‐masters he most admires. “I think of riff making as an art-­‐form. I take it really seriously. I think it deserves more attention. It has such value.”

Speaking of riffs, Rizzo came into the band a decade ago and his love of thrash metal, death metal and collaborative spirit has energized Max ever since. “When Marc entered Soulfly, it was a drastic change. He's the guitar player I've been looking for my whole life. Andreas [Kisser] and I really clicked when we worked together. I never had that again after that. We had other guys that were cool, but it was never 100% there. When Marc came in, I found it! We’ve developed a great bond since.” Rizzo particularly shines on the opening track on Savages, “Bloodshed.” “There’s stuff all over the song – clean guitars, feedback – he just makes the song better.”

Campos has a lengthy resume in the world of metal and Max says they bonded over their shared Latino heritage, among other things. “I had this idea about this guy Vargas, a Venezuelan cannibal, they call him ‘El Comegente.’ He’s the Hannibal Lecter of the Andes. We both read about it. Tony sings some of it in Spanish and I sing in Portuguese. He’s a great bass player too, fucking amazing. Killer bass tones, distortion, all balls out metal. He keeps this shit real heavy, great tone. It’s great recording with guys who know what they’re doing. I don’t have to ask if they know.”

Max acknowledges the inherent risk in putting a 20 year-­‐old behind the kit for such an important record, but it was a risk he absolutely wanted to take. “To have my son drumming on the album, that's killer. I like risks. I like to start shit up and see what happens. Even if I fail, at least I knew I tried. Rather than knowing I didn't try at all. To me, that's the bigger failure. It took a little bit of courage to put my son on it. I came to the studio and told Terry there was a young drummer who doesn’t play to a click. Terry knew what to do and Zyon did great. The drums sound amazing.”

Like all things Max Cavalera does, Soulfy’s Savages is a family affair. Not only does it mark Zyon’s recorded debut with the band, but one of Max’s other kids throws down some vocals in the opening track, “Bloodshed.” “My son Igor has a killer punk rock voice that reminds me of the old Corrosion of Conformity days,” Max says. “The chorus has this old punk style riff, almost like a Misfits type riff. His voice is killer.”

Like every Soulfly album, Savages contains an impressive guest list comprised of veterans and up-­‐and-­‐comers. Clutch’s Neil Fallon turns up on “Ayatollah Rock and Rolla,” the title of which was inspired by Mel Gibson’s classic “Mad Max” movies. Jamie Hanks from I Declare War brought his high and low deathcore vocals to “Fallen,” a death metal oriented song Max says is in the vein of Cannibal Corpse.

Mitch Harris from Napalm Death contributed vocals to “K.C.S.” Harris has been around the Cavaleras long enough that there are videos of him changing Zyon’s diapers when Soulfly’s new drummer was just one month old. “Mitch came to the studio just to hang out during a day off from tour,” Max explains. “I'm like, ‘You ready to sing some shit on this record?’ I put him on the spot. He's like, ‘Right now?’ I said, ‘Fuck yeah, let's do it!’ There was one point where we were recording together where he did a scream and I saw his eyeball popping out of his face like a cartoon. I was like, ‘Dude that was the most metal thing I’ve seen in a long time.’”

Even as Max continues to consume new music from band like Nails, Man Must Die, Trigger The Bloodshed and I Declare War, even as he revisits seminal material from Metallica, Slayer, C.O.C. and the like, and indulges his penchant for world music, and gets his hands in his other projects and collaborations, it all adds up to a singular, distinct, straightforward and riff-­‐heavy machine known as worldwide as Soulfly.

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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

For a band who burned as bright as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes did when they exploded onto the UK punk scene in 2015, nobody could’ve imagined the band they’d become. Since the release of their firecracker first EP Rotten, it’s been a bewildering eight years for the Frank Carter and Dean Richardson. They’ve put out four killer albums, toured with Foo Fighters, headlined festivals, bagged three UK Top 10 singles, and featured Tom Morello, Bobby Gillespie and Cassyette to guest on their tunes. Now on the cusp of releasing their fifth LP, Honey, the two old friends are taking stock. “Normally we don’t look backwards when making a record, but this has been looking to reach us for a long time,” Richardson explains. Some songs are old ideas reworked, fresh eyes on something that didn’t quite fit on their other records. Richardson remembers, “Some of these songs were lost along the way because basically we didn't really give them the space.”

In contrast to their previous records - which were snapshots of the time and mindset in which they were made - Honey was born from self-reflection, memory and gratitude. “I'm just witnessing the world change so quickly around me and I’m still trying to come to terms with who I am and what the authentic version of me is,” Carter says. “By giving people what I thought they wanted I think I got further and further away from who I actually am, you know? So now, first and foremost, I’m prioritising what I need. The southern gothic balladry and crooning alt rock that they’ve experimented with on their previous releases is boldly up front on this record. There are a select few mosh pit ragers on there too, for good measure. It’s not so much a new direction, but Carter and Richardson centering who they really are, mining their souls and unearthing the music that lives within them. “From the start, the ballads always came easy to us,” Richardson remembers. “But at no point did we question whether we should make more of them. Now we are.”

Carter explains that this is the most authentic album he’s ever made, and that came from them doing the work, and really getting to know themselves and each other. “We've lived a lot of life together,” Carter says. “A lot has rested on our shoulders. In a creative sense that’s a beautiful thing.”

That life they’ve lived together includes selling out a headline show at London’s Alexander Palace back in February 2020. Seeing 10,000 Rattlesnakes disciples singing back every word is a moment the band cherish and speak of with heart. No mean feat for a couple of hardcore kids from Hertfordshire. Four weeks after that gig, though, the pandemic came and fucked everything up. The band’s momentum was marred. Their focus and drive became confusion and sorrow. Eventually, as the world slowly began to rebuild itself, so did Carter and Richardson. They released Sticky in 2021 - a punk rock onslaught made to drag you out of your slump quicker than you can say “dodgy PPE contracts”. Carter said at the time that it’s “not a lockdown record, but a freedom record.” It was crystal clear. This was a statement of intent. The lads planned to charge on as they’d began; writing anthems for the ages and playing gigs that change people’s lives.

Since then, to their amazement, they’ve found homes in the hearts of rockers outside of the UK too. “It's growing everywhere, especially in Europe,” Carter notes. “There have been moments of actual surprise when walking on stage, you know? Seeing that many people for headline shows or late night festival slots in France. Portugal was fucking mad too! It was amazing. And The Netherlands specifically have been really, really good to us. He’s referring to their back-to-back sold out gigs at ____ in _____. “The crowd has changed, like with each record really. I feel good about that as it's just more diverse now,” Richardson says.

As a band known for their electric live shows, a growing and more diverse audience brings with it a need for mosh pit mindfulness, Carter explains. “The audience is a cross-section, and while that's great, there's a level of maintenance that comes with that where you have to give power to every section of it to make sure that everyone's policing themselves in the correct way. Sometimes you’ll see some dude who is six foot and four hundred pounds trying to crowd surf and he’s not quite aware of who’s at the front of that crowd.”

Richardson adds, “I’m six foot two and I have to be more aware. I used to climb on the crowd but now I check who is actually in that crowd. Sometimes there’s no route in because the crowd are much younger or just smaller than me. But I think having a more diverse crowd is really exciting for me.”

When talking about their success, however, the band hone in what that word means to them over anything else. “I feel liberated from most of the chains of success that I had before,” Carter explains. “I had a nice car, I had a decent amount of money, you know, but now I couldn’t give two fucks about all that.” He goes onto to say what he’s most grateful for now is “the hours I get with my family, and for nature.”

When asked if their accolades have inspired their musical direction at all, Carter’s responds, “Successes never influence us because if you allow success to influence you, then you're going to lose what you’re all about.”

This idea makes up the lyrics of their first single off Honey, the fist-clenching power rock belter Man of the Hour. A perfect example of their knack for making tunes that are at home on BBC Radio 1 as they are on Download festival mainstage or in your local DIY punk venue. A confident dance between indie, punk and hard rock, welcoming all and isolating no one.

The lyrics, Carter explains, question the idea of rock stardom, and where it fits in 2023. “We talk about how rock and roll will never dies, but we never really talk about how maybe the idea of the rock star should die. The whole concept and what it means has always been this glamorised moment, but ultimately when I put that suit on, it didn’t go very well for me.”

The ‘Man of the Hour’ in the song, they tell me, is gender, age and race nonspecific, but a character that we all could, to our own detriment, be or aspire to. Carter is cautious to expand further and assign specific and personal backstories behind his lyrics, so to not take away the power of interpretation for the listener. “That's a gift of being a songwriter. You get to hear how it's interpreted along the way and the power of that meaning to someone else. What an amazing thing to be part of, to help people along their path while you’re help yourself along your own, you know? I would never want to take away from anyone that opportunity to grow and to learn to find something out about themselves.” Much like the songwriting, the recording process was different this time round. Richardson produced the last two albums himself but this time round they recorded across different studios and with a variety of talented eyes and ears helping to shape it. They’d record some bass and drums at Livingston studios in North London, have a break, reflect, then head to their own studio space and get guitars and keys down. The vocals were recorded with Carter’s vocal coach Lorna Blackwood in her conservatory. These gaps between sessions, they say, also helped the record manifest. “I felt it was a much longer, more detailed and considered process this time round.” Richardson remembers. That considered approach has brought violins and synths into the mix. Moments of sparseness and delicate harmony complementing the denser, heavier instrumentation elsewhere on the album. Carter adds, “The softness and introspection came by us just giving space to everything when recording.”

The two return to the word “space” often as they discuss Honey. They’re referring to not just the space that’s sonically present in the music, but to the space they’ve given to each other and to themselves. The space to breathe, to wonder, to be. “Some of these lyrics are from many years ago,” Carter remembers. “The first lyric I wrote for the album I actually wrote before COVID. All of those introspective moments in the past were screaming to be let out and to be an anchor, you know, and to be owned by us.” Honey is a bold exploration of who Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes were, who they are and who they can someday be. There’s an undeniable strength in self-acceptance and in the search for your authentic spirit. That strength emanates from them as they talk and it can be heard in droves on their new album. As they gear up for their first ever acoustic mini-tour next month, full-band UK and Euro tours in early 2024 and the release of Honey in January, Carter and Richardson have never been more ready.

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The pandemic shutdown allowed him the opportunity to assemble the right musicians and carefully craft their debut album. FLAT BLACK are armed with an arsenal of riffs that'll rattle your teeth loose from your gums, stadium-sized hooks, arena-ready anthems, and choruses that are guaranteed to touch a nerve. All of those factors combined make FLAT BLACK poised for success.

The origin stories of the rest of the players are indicative of a lifelong love of music and plenty of road-worn experience. The desire to play courses through their veins and propels them forward, which is why they all meshed so well with Hook.

Singer Wes Horton was introduced to music at age 13, thanks to his sister and Guitar Hero. He honed his vocal chops by playing in local bands and making online videos. Various music industry friends and acquaintances would become the connective tissue between himself and Hook. Horton knew he wanted to be a frontman, and FLAT BLACK afforded him that opportunity. Wes loves the fact that his bandmates prioritize songcraft — and that allows him to be the singer he has always wanted to be.

Bassist Nick Diltz, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, is the son of a legendary rock music photographer who brought him to concerts during his formative years. He recalls being inspired by watching a VHS video of U2 performing at legendary venue Red Rocks. Seeing fans clamoring for a piece of Bono in the footage is a vision that never left his head. This first exposure to the power of a true rock icon solidified Nick’s destiny as a live performer.

Drummer Rob Pierce hails from Nashville, aka Music City. His dad was a race car driver and his grandfather was a pastor. He grew up racing go karts and at first, wanted to follow in his dad's footsteps until he joined the fourth grade band and was bitten by the music bug. He chose the snare drum over the saxophone and from that moment on, music was the only thing that mattered. Rob got his first drum kit at age 11, which he set up in his dad's car shop. He learned to play his instrument next to 1,000 horsepower engines, which influences his highly energetic style to this day.

The chemistry between the players in FLAT BLACK is palpable. And while FLAT BLACK’s songs are built to take up real estate in the brains of fans for weeks at a time, the true nature of the band’s material is meant to be experienced live. FLAT BLACK are now ready to hit the road and bring these brutal bangers to the masses live and in the flesh.

"IT’S YOUR LACK OF RESPECT" is one of the first songs that Hook penned and it has a raging, gnarly fire in its belly. With its percussive thrust and shreddy guitars, the song will ignite mosh pits from the first note. Hook states, "The track is blatantly defiant, and includes a live ending, that was recorded live off the floor’ in the studio. As a lead off track, it makes a statement. The song is defiant, which is what rock 'n' roll is supposed to be.” Hook adds,”it's a 'fuck you' track with a big chorus."

The track "JUSTICE" is another metallic anthem, with fast and furious riffs. "The lyric is directed toward anyone that has screwed you over. It’s a ripper that will be a blast to play live," Hook enthuses.

Elsewhere, "A BIT OF LIGHTNING" was penned right after he parted ways with his previous band. The state of the world at the time, combined with making a major professional shift, took its toll. But it also birthed what could be one of the band's signature songs. Hook admits, "I was feeling pretty low, and the pandemic wasn’t helping. The lyric is basically me asking for something to turn around sooner than later."

And with that, FLAT BLACK have arrived and are ready to turn heads." data-website="https://flatblackmusic.com/" data-facebook="https://found.ee/flatblackTW" data-instagram="https://found.ee/FlatBlackIG" data-twitter="https://found.ee/flatblackTW" data-tiktok="https://found.ee/flatblackTW" data-spotify="https://open.spotify.com/artist/7dZynKGWc8X8jsdH0WLuzo?autoplay=true" >
Flat Black

Flat Black

Flat Black

Guitarist Jason Hook is storming out of the gates with his new band FLAT BLACK .

The former Five Finger Death Punch guitarist has recruited a trio of young and talented turks and the band has signed with Fearless Records for its debut album, the details of which are TBA. The album, produced by Hook, was recorded at the Hideout Studios as well as his home studio, both in Las Vegas.

Despite having reached a commercial summit with his prior band, thanks to multiple platinum certifications, sold-out arena shows, and a string of No. 1 singles, Hook remains as hungry for musical blood and thunder as the day he first picked up a guitar at the age of 6. He is eager to not only replicate but to surpass his past successes with his new band.

Having left his prior band in February 2020, which was right before COVID-19 put the entire world on pause, Hook wanted to assume creative control and let his musical free spirit soar in a project that was truly his. He opted to gamble on himself. With great risk comes great reward and the decision to form FLAT BLACK clearly worked out in his favor.

"As a musician, I crave freedom and I wasn’t ready to stop creating," Hook shares. "Life is short”, he continues, “we all want to feel satisfied and happy with what we are trying to accomplish in life."

The pandemic shutdown allowed him the opportunity to assemble the right musicians and carefully craft their debut album. FLAT BLACK are armed with an arsenal of riffs that'll rattle your teeth loose from your gums, stadium-sized hooks, arena-ready anthems, and choruses that are guaranteed to touch a nerve. All of those factors combined make FLAT BLACK poised for success.

The origin stories of the rest of the players are indicative of a lifelong love of music and plenty of road-worn experience. The desire to play courses through their veins and propels them forward, which is why they all meshed so well with Hook.

Singer Wes Horton was introduced to music at age 13, thanks to his sister and Guitar Hero. He honed his vocal chops by playing in local bands and making online videos. Various music industry friends and acquaintances would become the connective tissue between himself and Hook. Horton knew he wanted to be a frontman, and FLAT BLACK afforded him that opportunity. Wes loves the fact that his bandmates prioritize songcraft — and that allows him to be the singer he has always wanted to be.

Bassist Nick Diltz, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, is the son of a legendary rock music photographer who brought him to concerts during his formative years. He recalls being inspired by watching a VHS video of U2 performing at legendary venue Red Rocks. Seeing fans clamoring for a piece of Bono in the footage is a vision that never left his head. This first exposure to the power of a true rock icon solidified Nick’s destiny as a live performer.

Drummer Rob Pierce hails from Nashville, aka Music City. His dad was a race car driver and his grandfather was a pastor. He grew up racing go karts and at first, wanted to follow in his dad's footsteps until he joined the fourth grade band and was bitten by the music bug. He chose the snare drum over the saxophone and from that moment on, music was the only thing that mattered. Rob got his first drum kit at age 11, which he set up in his dad's car shop. He learned to play his instrument next to 1,000 horsepower engines, which influences his highly energetic style to this day.

The chemistry between the players in FLAT BLACK is palpable. And while FLAT BLACK’s songs are built to take up real estate in the brains of fans for weeks at a time, the true nature of the band’s material is meant to be experienced live. FLAT BLACK are now ready to hit the road and bring these brutal bangers to the masses live and in the flesh.

"IT’S YOUR LACK OF RESPECT" is one of the first songs that Hook penned and it has a raging, gnarly fire in its belly. With its percussive thrust and shreddy guitars, the song will ignite mosh pits from the first note. Hook states, "The track is blatantly defiant, and includes a live ending, that was recorded live off the floor’ in the studio. As a lead off track, it makes a statement. The song is defiant, which is what rock 'n' roll is supposed to be.” Hook adds,”it's a 'fuck you' track with a big chorus."

The track "JUSTICE" is another metallic anthem, with fast and furious riffs. "The lyric is directed toward anyone that has screwed you over. It’s a ripper that will be a blast to play live," Hook enthuses.

Elsewhere, "A BIT OF LIGHTNING" was penned right after he parted ways with his previous band. The state of the world at the time, combined with making a major professional shift, took its toll. But it also birthed what could be one of the band's signature songs. Hook admits, "I was feeling pretty low, and the pandemic wasn’t helping. The lyric is basically me asking for something to turn around sooner than later."

And with that, FLAT BLACK have arrived and are ready to turn heads.

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Nova Twins

Nova Twins

Nova Twins

Asked about what it takes to make it into a Nova Twins song, the heavy alt. rock renegades have a few words that spring to mind. “Power and fight” replies singer & guitarist Amy Love. “Imagination” adds bassist Georgia South. “We imagined this band because we didn’t have any one like us to look up to. That was the fun bit. There were no rules to who we can be.” 


Nova Twins are the zeitgeist-capturing polymath pioneers that our times have been waiting for. Their debut album ‘Who Are The Girls?’ planted their flag as outliers on a mission. The same fighting spirit is ingrained in their new, Mercury Shortlisted album ‘Supernova’, a piece of work that’s fearlessly itself – once again playing with genre and rich in different moods, textures, and layers, all the while retaining that purity & simplicity of the essential elements: South, Love, bass, guitars, drums, and a whole lot of energy. 


A clash of ideas from the worlds of punk, rap, pop, rock & beyond, their sound is one that smashes genres and showcases the many facets of the duo, resulting in one of the scene's fiercest live acts with 2x BRIT nominations (“Best Group” & “Best Rock/Alt”) to their name. Nova Twins reach a very broad church, without diluting what they’re all about. 


If more artists blazed a trail like this, we’d be celebrating a lot more difference, rather than craving what’s safe and similar. From being “shunned” when they arrived on the scene, now Nova Twins are leading a game all their own. Now, there are no rules.

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Miss May I

Miss May I

Miss May I

The sound and fury of miss may I is deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of a legion of fans. These are people from different backgrounds, of different ages, with diverse life experience, who all come together and connect with miss may I’s combination of brutal proficiency and impassioned delivery. The five-piece powerhouse, from the fertile metalcore grounds of america’s heartland, have become an integral part of the worldwide heavy music community, transcending boundaries and limitations, galvanizing crowds, and energizing each person they encounter.

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Drowning Pool

Drowning Pool

Drowning Pool

Drowning Pool, a name etched in the annals of modern rock history, roars back into the spotlight with thunderous energy and uncompromising power. The band’s unmistakable sound, synonymous with raw energy and unapologetic attitude, returns to captivate audiences once again.

Known for their iconic anthem “Bodies,” Drowning Pool needs no introduction. This breakout single propelled them to international recognition, leaving an indelible mark on the nu metal landscape. The song’s relentless energy and defiant spirit resonated with a generation, becoming an anthem for moshers, metalheads, and fans of electrifying live performances.

Ryan McCombs played a pivotal role in the band’s evolution, joining their ranks in the aftermath of the tragic loss of beloved frontman Dave Williams. His powerful vocals and charismatic stage presence breathed new life into Drowning Pool, solidifying their status as metal titans. Songs like “37 Stitches,” “Feel Like I Do,” and “Turn So Cold” catapulted them to new heights, earning them a place among the genre’s heavyweights.

Yet, Drowning Pool’s story is not just about music; it’s a testament to enduring friendships and a shared passion for their craft. Ryan’s return to the band in 2023 marks a reunion of kindred spirits, a return to the roots of their musical journey. As he succinctly puts it, “Just being back in the same room together after so many years… was a quick reminder as to why I considered them to be my best friends in the business back in the day.”

Their path has not been without its challenges. “Bodies” faced misinterpretations and controversy, with its lyrics taken out of context. Nevertheless, their music has persisted, embraced by the very culture that birthed it. “Bodies” remains an enduring anthem, not just for Drowning Pool but for metal culture as a whole. Its legacy lives on, inspiring new generations of fans. Guitarist C.J. Pierce captures the essence of their dedication: “I’d play ‘Bodies’ five times a night if people really wanted it that bad!” The song’s timeless appeal transcends generations, resonating with both the seasoned and the fresh-faced.

Drowning Pool’s return is a testament to the enduring power of their music, a reminder that their unapologetic spirit continues to strike chords with audiences worldwide. The stage is set for a triumphant resurgence, and Drowning Pool is poised to reignite the fires of their unmistakable sound.

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Taproot

Taproot

Taproot

Taproot formed in 1997 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and went on to sign to Atlantic Records, releasing their Ulrich Wild (Static-X, Pantera, Mindless Self Indulgence) produced debut album GIFT in 2000, followed by extensive touring including appearances on Ozzfest 2000 and 2001, and tours with Deftones, Incubus, Papa Roach, Slipknot, Mudvayne, Disturbed, and Linkin Park.

The bands sophomore release Welcome, their first with legendary producer Toby Wright (Alice in Chains, Metallica, Korn, Primus) which Rolling Stone called, “a self-preserving transition from new metal to art metal”, went on to sell over 500,000 copies and spawn the hit Rock singles “Poem”, which peaked at #5 on the Mainstream Rock charts, and “Mine”, helping propel Welcome to over 50 million digital streams. The band would continue heavy touring with Alien Ant Farm, Chevelle, joining Disturbed on the Music As A Weapon Tour, and Linkin Park. Vocalist Stephen Richards would also appear on the track “P5hng Me A*wy” on Linkin Park’s 2002 remix album REANIMATION.

2005 saw the release of Blue-Sky Research, also helmed by Wright, the band’s final release for Atlantic, which spawned the hit radio single “Calling”, co-written with FAR vocalist Jonah Matranga, and saw the band collaborate with Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Nick Hexum (311), and Stephen Carpenter (Deftones), with heavy touring again, with the likes of Chevelle, Staind, P.O.D., and Flyleaf.

Taproot released several more full-length studio albums, including 2008’s Our Long Road Home (Velvet Hammer), 2010’s Plead The Fifth (Victory),with the single “Fractured (Everything I Said was True” reaching the top 20 on the Active Rock Chart, and 2012’s The Episodes, while continuing to tour consistently through 2013, when the band went on an indefinite hiatus, returning only to play a sporadic handful of local Michigan shows.

In early 2023, the band reformed and announced the September release of their 7th studio album SC\SSRS, the first album fully written and recorded by Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Stephen Richards, recorded at The Loft studios in Saline, MI. With songs originally written as the follow up to The Episodes, Richards spent the better part of a decade writing and refining the tracks that would become SC\SSRS, fighting his way through personal and health issues, including the loss of his mother, all of which are chronicled on SC\SSRS.

Shortly thereafter, the band announced their live return, with a trio of sold-out shows at the legendary Machine Shop in Flint, MI, followed by an “album release tour” with dates across the Midwest and East Coast, and festivals including Blue Ridge Rock Fest, and WJJO’s Taste of Madison.

SC\SSRS was released on September 29th on THC: MUSIC, along with the single “Favourite Song” featuring Elias Soriano of Nonpoint, which received rave reviews and airplay across the country, including adds on monster stations like WJJO, and featured appearances on syndicated shows including Loudwire Nights, Full Metal Jackie, and Hard Drive with Lou Brutus.

The band will continue playing shows into 2024 with festival appearances and more regional dates in the West Coast and the South.

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Taipei Houston

Taipei Houston

Taipei Houston

Taipei Houston are a Bay Area duo created by brothers Myles (drums, guitar) and Layne Ulrich (lead vocals, bass) after reuniting during the pandemic. They then moved to Los Angeles, and once able to perform live again, started playing shows throughout Southern California.

On their debut project, Once Bit Never Bored, Taipei Houston viscerally tapped into all of the best parts of the last 30 years of rock ‘n’ roll, layering garage rock’s frenetic sparsity with grunge’s fuzzy overdrive, and psych rock’s effortless instrumental sprawl. The band’s megawatt, slinky songs instantly conjure other iconic duos, such as The Kills, Death From Above 1979, and, of course, The White Stripes.

In 2022 and 2023, the band hit the road across North America and Europe – supporting acts like Foo Fighters, Muse, Melvins and White Reaper, and playing festivals like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Reading & Leeds. The band are currently in the studio working on new music, and look forward to sharing it in 2024.

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Terror

Terror

Terror

LA based powerhouse Terror have always been a name synonymous with hardcore. From their inception in 2002, the band have displayed a level of steadfast dedication unlike any other in the scene. Now with six studio albums, a series of live albums, splits, compilations and EP’s under their belts, the scene veterans are gearing up to release their latest full length ‘Total Retaliation’. The new album which is penned for a September 28th release date features Fit For An Autopsy’s Will Putney (Thy Art Is Murder, Body Count, Knocked Loose) in the producers chair and is the band’s first new material since last years ‘The Walls Will Fall’ EP. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, ‘Total Retaliation’ is a succinct yet intense message of resistance within a world that can inspire little else. It’s a helping hand for the disillusioned and a firm middle finger to the authorities that are tearing apart society as we know it. As the band’s seventh full length studio album it serves as yet another example of why Terror have not only endured but remained at the top of their game for over 15 years.

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Gel

Gel

Gel

Gel is hardcore for the freaks. Their latest album, Only Constant, is out now and has been credited by NME as ''shaping the sound of hardcore in 2023.''

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Fleshwater

Fleshwater

Fleshwater

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Scowl

Scowl

Scowl

Scowl has quickly made a name for themselves as one of the most vivid and hard-working acts in the rock world. The band - Kat Moss (vocals), Malachi Greene (guitar), Bailey Lupo (bass), Cole Gilbert (drums), and Mikey Bifolco (guitar) - broke out in 2021 with their debut album How Flowers Grow, and it has been a non-stop trajectory ever since. With the release of 2023’s Psychic Dance Routine, Scowl pushed the boundaries of what “punk” is, combining aggressive hardcore with lush alternative melodies. The band was creating music they wanted to listen to, and the world latched on.

Since forming in 2019, Scowl has consistently eschewed being pigeon-holed, moving far beyond the confines of what a typical “hardcore” band is considered. Floral motifs lace their artwork and merchandise, they’ve notably toured with diverse acts like Limp Bizkit, Destroy Boys, and Show Me The Body. Produced by Grammy-nominated Will Yip at Studio 4, Psychic Dance Routine has exemplified Scowl’s ethos of being true to themselves through creating innovative song structures and personable lyrics. This originality earned the band praise from Rolling Stone, NME, SPIN, Revolver, Kerrang, Alternative Press, and Guitar World to name a few, and spots performing alongside the top artists of today at festivals like Coachella, Reading and Leeds, and Sick New World. The band’s frenzied and captivating live show also caught the attention of fast food staple Taco Bell, featuring their track “Opening Night” in a commercial and recording a live performance for their Feed The Beat initiative.

To say 2023 has been a whirlwind for the members of Scowl would be an understatement, but they already have their eyes set on next year. More touring, recording new music, and exuding their up for anything attitude - it’s all just part of the plan for the ever-evolving band that is Scowl.

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Militarie Gun

Militarie Gun

Militarie Gun

Militarie Gun are a truly uncategorizable band. Led by vocalist Ian Shelton, the band’s debut full-length, Life Under The Gun, is almost impossible to describe without bouncing between contradictions. Is it abnormally aggressive pop music or is it unusually catchy hardcore? Is it deeply intellectual or is it satisfyingly primal? Is it a vulnerable attempt to unpack lifelong cycles of hurt, or is it a collection of world-beating, absurdist punk anthems? In the end, the answer is obvious: it’s all of it. It’s Militarie Gun.

Since forming in 2020, the group have been releasing music and touring at a startling rate, and while Life Under The Gun feels like a culmination of this recent hard-earned momentum, the record is inextricably linked to Shelton’s past. “I grew up in a household with family members struggling with addiction,” he explains. “It was an oppressive force. We were always wondering, ‘Is it going to be a good day or a bad day? Are the cops going to come today? What am I going to come home to after school?’ You could only escape it for so many hours at a time.” The challenges of his homelife were only exacerbated by living in Enumclaw, WA, a sparsely populated rural suburb where Shelton spent his formative years longing for a way out. In this difficult and stifling environment, the roots of Life Under The Gun began to grow. As he began to pick up instruments, play in bands, and write his own songs, music quickly became a vital outlet for self-expression, but Shelton couldn’t shake the idea that it was also a literal escape route.

And he was right. After high school, Shelton bounced around the Pacific Northwest before eventually landing in Seattle, where he founded the pummeling hardcore outfit, Regional Justice Center. The band released two critically acclaimed full-lengths, toured around the world, and began allowing Shelton to live some of the things he’d set his sights on as a child. Parallel to these musical successes, he was also pursuing his other love: film. While in Seattle, Shelton began directing music videos for his bands and soon had credits under his belt for other artists like Angel Du$t, Drug Church, Supercrush, and more. The directing was going so well that he moved to Los Angeles with plans to put music on the backburner to pursue filmmaking full-time. “Then in 2020 everything got derailed,” he says. “I felt like I was heading into the final year of RJC and then I was going to move on from music, but when everything shut down that just left me with my most immediate interest, which was songwriting.”

What followed was a flurry of activity that still hasn’t let up. Shelton’s restless creative drive took over and he spontaneously wrote the first songs that became Militarie Gun, which were followed by more songs…and then more and more. The sound was decidedly new for him: still firmly rooted in punk and hardcore but more hook-driven, pulling from influences like Guided By Voices, Fugazi, or The Jesus Lizard. Shelton quickly recorded Militarie Gun’s 2020 debut EP, My Life Is Over, by himself, then rounded out the lineup with guitarists Nick Cogan and William Acuña, and drummer Vince Nguyen (Max Epstein played bass on Life Under The Gun). 2021 saw the release of the dual All Roads Lead To The Gun EPs and the start of a seemingly endless run of tour dates. Then in 2022, Militarie Gun teamed with Dazy for the wildly received collaborative single “Pressure Cooker,” which was soon followed by the band signing to Loma Vista Recordings and releasing a deluxe edition of the All Roads Lead To The Gun EPs that included even more new material. All of this along with Shelton’s production work and guest appearances with groups like MSPAINT, Public Opinion, and Cold Mega.

Militarie Gun soon had the makings of Life Under The Gun: the kind of debut album that feels like a true arrival, one forged by a lifetime of experience and effort that’s now allowed an artist to fully come into their own. Engineered by Taylor Young at The Pit Recording Studio, the album’s 12 tracks take all of the best parts of Militarie Gun’s earlier work and amps them up to the highest possible degree. It sounds massive without sacrificing the punk spark–full of driving drums, distorted bass lines, and of course Shelton’s instantly recognizable roar–only this time everything is bigger and even catchier. “This is what I thought we sounded like all along,” Shelton laughs. “It’s always felt like a melody-forward band to me, but I think now we’re finally achieving what I was always setting out to do.”

The clarity of his singular vision is palpable in each song’s deft blend of aggression and accessibility, but Shelton also cites collaboration as essential to his process–whether with his band members or outside sources like Young and James Goodson of Dazy, who sings harmonies on much of the album. In the end, it’s no surprise that his lifelong desire to find connection through art has manifested in the direction of his own music. “A huge part of it is just about sharing your energy with other people,” Shelton says. “Sometimes with punk that’s coming from anger, but it’s exciting to do that with the melodic side as well, to take something that’s stuck in your head and try to make it stuck in someone else’s, too.”

Life Under The Gun opens with the razor sharp guitars and tremendous chorus of the ADHD anthem “Do It Faster,” making it clear that Militarie Gun haven’t just embraced melody, they excel at it. The song’s impatient lyrics capture Shelton’s hyperactive creativity and echo all the way back to his youth spent imagining the life he now leads. “Very High” follows and somehow offers an even bigger chorus, while continuing to draw his past and present together in a way that feels both critical and empathetic. “It’s just about addiction,” Shelton says. “It’s about feeling bad and reaching for something to change that. I started exploring drugs as an adult and it made me look back on my childhood in a different way.” On tracks like “Will Logic,” “Return Policy,” and “Think Less,” he interrogates interpersonal relationships through this distinctly blunt and self-aware lens, dipping into spite or anger only to turn the blame back on himself again.

On “Never Fucked Up Once,” Shelton demonstrates this willingness to approach the third rail, juxtaposing some of the album’s most darkly comedic lyrics with its most overt pop-rock sensibilities. Much of Life Under The Gun feels informed by this need for human connection, but also the messiness that often comes with it. “Sway Too” and “See You Around” showcase Militarie Gun pushing themselves to be as tuneful as possible, especially on the latter’s mellotron-led balladry, but they also pose some of the album’s most difficult questions about what happens when we hurt one another. “It would be easy to avoid talking about how I’ve been hurt or how I’ve hurt other people,” Shelton explains, “but I think it’s important to make something that’s true and has teeth. Sometimes when you feel so aggressively against something, you need to stop and wonder if it might apply to you.”

Life Under The Gun closes with its title track, two minutes and 46 seconds of widescreen punk that pivots from pounding aggression to a triumphant climax of windmill-able guitars and layered harmonies. Shelton sings the final refrain “a life of pursuit ends up pursuing you” like an urgent reminder to himself: move forward or get swallowed up–your past might shape you, but it doesn’t have to define you. “I think the best case scenario is you learn from the things you’ve been through instead of continuing that cycle,” he says. The song’s final lone chord rings out like a question, asking if the listener is ready for the changes ahead. It’s a fittingly hopeful-yet-ambiguous ending for the debut album from a band that’s already come so far and evolved so much–but whose story has only just begun.

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Nita Strauss

Nita Strauss

Nita Strauss

Los Angeles born guitarist Nita Strauss has become a force to be reckoned with in the music world, dazzling audiences across the US, UK, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa. Fans may recognize Nita as Demi Lovato’s new axewoman, Alice Cooper’s touring guitarist of the past 8 years, the official guitarist of the Los Angeles Rams NFL team, and her successful career as a solo artist.

Nita’s skill, exuberant stage presence and love for all things about her instrument have earned her a stellar reputation in the music industry and endorsements including Ibanez Guitars, Marshall Amplification, DiMarzio pickups, Monster Energy and more. Her consistent schedule has shown her to play in front of over a million audience members per year consistently for the past several touring years.

Nita has been featured on the covers of worldwide print magazines including Guitar World and Guitar Player, and on dozens of albums, trailers, and soundtracks, including Heroes Of The Storm (Blizzard) and Grammy-nominated Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami/ Platinum Games). She was also previously the author of the monthly Guitar World column “Like A Hurricane”. She also is one of the most sought after clinicians in the rock world and has done extensive clinic tours and speaking engagements in 17 countries across multiple continents.

She was the first female to have a signature guitar through Ibanez guitars, the Ibanez JIVA, which has now grown to three signature models available worldwide and become one of the highest selling signature guitars in the industry, along with her signature pickups, the DiMarzio Pandemoniums.

A life long Los Angeles sports fan, Nita first performed at a Los Angeles Rams games in 2018 when the team moved back to LA. In 2020, she became the official in-house guitarist for the team when they moved to SoFi stadium, and played at all the home games for the 2020 and Super Bowl winning 2021 season, and received a Super Bowl ring along with the members of the team and staff. She was in the same role with the LA KISS, the arena football team owned by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS.

Nita has performed at multiple events with WWE, including Wrestlemania, NXT Takeover and WWE Evolution, the first all female Pay Per View in the company’s history. She also played the National Anthem to kick off the NASCAR WISE Power 400 in February of 2022.

Nita’s debut instrumental record Controlled Chaos made a huge impact on the Billboard charts at #1 Top New Artist, #3 Label Independent, #4 Top Hard Music, #8 Top Rock, #8 Top Internet, #20 Top albums, and #7 on the iTunes Rock chart. Her Spotify streams total over 11 million, and YouTube views over 4 million.

Her 2021 single, “Dead Inside” featuring David Draiman of Disturbed, became the first song by a female solo artist to go to #1 at rock radio, and held that top spot for three weeks in a row. The upcoming album’s third single release, “The Wolf You Feed”, featured Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. The music video gained over 2 million views in less than two weeks and continues to climb.

Outside of music, Nita is also extremely passionate about health and fitness. She uses her wide social media reach to inspire and educate people about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while traveling on tour. She has been featured by publications like Muscle and Fitness and Bodybuilding.com, and is a sponsored athlete with major companies like 1st Phorm, Trifecta Nutrition, and RP Strength. In 2019, she launched a fitness challenge entitled Nita Strauss: Body Shred, with a companion e-book via her website. The challenge is aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle in both body and mind.

In 2020, Nita launched an online guitar lesson course titled Rock Guitar Fundamentals: From Ground Zero to Guitar Hero. The course is available at www.iwanttoplayguitar.com. She is also very active with her fan community on Patreon at www.patreon.com/hurricanenita.

Nita’s highly anticipated second solo album is due in early 2023.

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Dead Poet Society

Dead Poet Society

Dead Poet Society

A perfect symbol for Dead Poet Society is the ''shitty old seven-string'' that guitarist Jack Collins bought at a mall back in high school.

''Our former bass player actually took a soldering iron and soldered the frets off,'' he recalls. ''You couldn't play it normally at all. I thought it was going to be a great idea. Years later it was sitting in my closet, and I decided to pick it up again because I got really bored. It became the new way for us to write music — it opened up a door into this whole new world we discovered.''

''It was like, 'This is the guitar,' he adds. ''It's like taking something broken and creating art out of it.''

With its wonky intonation, the instrument can't produce traditional chords or scales — an unlikely choice for a rock band with such strong commercial potential. Collins and frontman Jack Underkofler are a factory of hooky riffs, even at their most detuned and menacing; and the latter barks and coos with a crystalline purity that recalls Jeff Buckley and Muse's Matt Bellamy.

That contrast is crucial to the band's debut LP, -!- out February 12, 2021 via Spinefarm Records. Take the bruising belter ''Been Here Before,'' which pairs a stadium-sized chorus with angular guitars and Dylan Brenner’s blown-out fuzz bass; ''I Never Loved Myself Like I Loved You'' opens with the fidelity of an iPhone demo before blooming into a cinematic dream-pop singalong anchored by Will Goodroad's rim- click drum groove. Brenner is a new addition to the lineup, but his experience as the band’s touring stand- in for the duration of their career has made him a natural fit.

It's no surprise that Dead Poet Society like screwing with rock conventions — that's been their aim since forming in 2013 as students at Boston's Berklee College of Music. Hilariously, at least in retrospect, it did take them a bit to find common ground.

''My best friend drummed for them, and I convinced him to leave the band,'' Underkofler says with a laugh. ''Six months later, Jack asked me to sing on a couple songs they'd written. My apprehension came from the fact that they were kind of a meme for being one of the worst bands at school. I kind of tried to push away — our old bassist just kept asking me, 'Do you want to write with us?' One day he showed up on my door step and I was like, 'Fuck.' After I wrote my first song with them [''145''], I was like, 'I think there's something here.'''

The newly solidified quartet quickly developed a chemistry: Underkofler and Collins had a mutual love of Coldplay, but their tastes sprawled over time along with drummer Will Goodroad: heavy acts like Royal Blood and Led Zeppelin, modern art-pop artists like St. Vincent, even hip-hop experimentalists like Tyler, the Creator. Not all of those influences are detectable on the largely self-produced -!-, which features a handful of tracks co-helmed by studio veteran Alex Newport. But that eclecticism makes sense, given their distaste for most modern rock.

''It's just lame,'' Collins says. ''It has been for like 10 years. I think that's because people are paying too much umbrage to classic rock — there's this 'passing of the torch' thing that I think is just bullshit. Heavy music is the way we communicate — it happens to be rock music, but the expression itself and what we're trying to say and how we want to make people feel is unique. That's what bands used to do, and I think that's what a lot of hip-hop artists do nowadays.''

''Our goal,'' he emphasizes, ''is to make someone feel something they haven't felt before.''

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Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil

It was October of 2002, and the turn of the millennium saw the world of heavy music in flux. If you were paying attention to the press then you’d have probably been reading about the chart-smashing successes of bands like Korn and Queens of the Stone Age, and while Nu Metal was undeniably king, the angst-ridden musical fragmentation of the 90s had produced a panoply of genre-bending up-and-comers who refused to sit comfortably in any pre-ordained category or play by the creative rules laid out for them. It would swiftly transform the musical landscape in ways nobody could have predicted, and riding the crest of that wave was a humble Italian outfit who dared to dream big.

Lacuna Coil had already been around for eight years, and their two previous releases – 1999’s debut In A Reverie and 2001’s Unleashed Memories via longtime label Century Media had roundly established them as a formidable studio and live act spearheaded by Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia’s pitch-forked vocal delivery, but the gulf between Milan’s most promising exports and wider recognition was down to more than geography alone. While the genetic material for 2002’s Comalies was already in place in the form of bassist and songwriter-in-chief Marco ‘Maki’ Coti-Zelati, Lacuna Coil’s third release was the pivotal moment that would usher in a globe and decade-spanning career. All that said, while the landmark release would undeniably change their destiny forever, what is now undeniably an anthem laden millennial classic was anything but an overnight success. If anything, it established Lacuna Coil as a band with the stamina to go the distance and much of the climbing still lay ahead.

Now, 20 years later, Lacuna Coil decided to revisit the songs, but not to just re-record the songs as they were, but deconstruct and transport them into 2022. “This is not a reboot or a spin-off or anything like that,” says vocalist Cristina Scabbia.”We just wanted to give these songs a 2022 dress and see how this guy or girl who was born 20 years ago would still look fucking slick in 2022.

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Plush

Plush

Plush

Plush is a rock band with a mission to bring rock back to the forefront of the music industry. The band is composed of talented young women, ranging from 18-22, whose accomplishments and talent eclipse their age.

Plush is fronted by singer, songwriter and guitarist Moriah Formica, lead guitarist Bella Perron, bassist Ashley Suppa and drummer Faith Powell.

Plush's music features the Billboard Top 40 charting singles ''Hate'', ''Better Off Alone.'' and “Left Behind.” Plush has been electrifying audiences during recent live performances across the United States supporting Kiss, Alice In Chains, Evanescence, Daughtry, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, among others, as well as the big festival stages of Welcome to Rockville, Louder Than Life, Rocklahoma, and more.

The band releases their new EP on January 19, 2024, entitled ‘Find the Beautiful’. The EP was produced by Johnny K in Nashville, TN. Plush will also be supporting Disturbed and Falling in Reverse on tour January – March 2024.

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SiM

SiM

SiM

SiM are back in the USA for the first time in 7 years!

SIN (シン, Ba) / GODRi (ゴリ, Dr) / MAH (マー, Vo) / SHOW-HATE (ショウヘイト, Gt) will be performing a full headline set including the first ever live performance outside of Japan of the ATTACK ON TITAN Season 4 theme song, ''THE RUMBLING''!

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Nonpoint

Nonpoint

Nonpoint

What is Nonpoint? Is it the legendary live show? The stories of the oceans of crowds they command? Is it record after record of endless anthems, infectious riffs and chest pounding rhythms? Is it the words that helped to save, transform and sometimes define the lives of some? Or is it the 5 men that meet their audience face to face, night after night, show after show, just so they can say thank you to the people that came to see them play?

Masters of, and pioneers in the nu-metal/rap-rock world, Nonpoint has quietly been the biggest and best kept secret of the rock/metal genre. Their songs and renowned performances have had music legends, from all corners of the genre and music industry, standing side stage to revel in the mayhem, to witness magic unfolding and audiences ignited. Hearing the chorus of the crowd as they recite the iconic melodies and lyrics of vocalist and frontman phenom, Elias Soriano. Watching him tentacle his iconic dreadlocks feet from the spinning and flying bodies in front of him and surrounding him onstage. Then with just a look, or wave of his hand, he makes a sea of people transform. Behind Elias, there’s rhythmic thunder created by co-founder and showman Robb Rivera as he flies through the air just before crashing down with unmatched force into their music. Rhythm guitarist, vocalist and visual performance master Rasheed Thomas alongside the high-flying powerhouse on bass Adam Woloszyn, both bring a force with medusa hair whips and flying guitars; they’ve re-defined the newest incarnation of Nonpoint. Now with the addition of Jason Zeilstra on lead guitar, whose chemistry with the rest of its members has begun to create a concoction that is poised to intoxicate audiences both old and new.

Now with the success of their new independent label, 361 Degrees Records, Nonpoint has transcended the underground and taken their rightful place in metal history. They continue to change the rules with their newest song 'Back In The Game', which keeps the Nonpoint tradition of inviting you in close, kicking you in the chest, then imprisoning an infectious lyric like, “Cause you’re looking at a one man death squad!” into your mind knowing it will never escape. This song and their Ruthless EP went live on December 27th, 2021. This follows their independent label plan of delivering music to their fans through more frequent releases and videos from the band.

In 2021, their song 'Ruthless' reached #16 on Billboard’s Rock Chart, and were featured on the New Metal Tracks and Kickass Metal Playlist on Spotify with over 1.6 million combined subscribers, SiriusXM Octane’s Big Uns Countdown, LA Lloyd top 30, Loudwire Nights and 'Ruthless' was the featured track for AEW’s nationally televised event BLOOD AND GUTS on TNT in May. 'Ruthless' has reached over 3.5 million streams. Now their fan-voted cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry”, at over 1 million streams, has quickly become a fan favorite, from the crowd applause at shows to their support and momentum online.

Today, Nonpoint continues to ignite streaming platforms, news feeds, social media platforms, and festival stages, and 2022 is shaping up to take them from rocks best kept secret to household name.

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Tim Montana

Tim Montana

Tim Montana

or as much as Tim Montana may be known as a wild man (and he certainly is), he really asserts himself as a tried-and-true storyteller.

His story has twisted and turned with the unforgiving unpredictability of a Montana winter. He went from a rough youth spent off-the-grid in a trailer powered by a faulty generator to captivating a devout global fanbase, dropping successful independent albums, selling out shows, and earning the endorsement of childhood heroes such as Dave Grohl. After a string of wins and acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone, he's formally introducing himself on a series of 2023 singles and his next full-length album for BBR Music Group/BMG. Now, he infuses Space Needle-shaking grunge grit with a different kind of frontier poetry, bringing together vivid lyricism, vulnerable melodies, and vicious distortion. Moreover, he formally introduces himself through this scorching signature hard rock sound.

Guitar in hand, amps cranked to eleven, and nothing but truth to share, meet Montana now. “I am who I am,” he affirms. “For better or worse, I don’t do versions of myself. I don’t hold anything back. At the end of the day, I tell stories. I’m a family man. I’m a wild man. I’m real.”

Tim primarily grew up in the woods outside of Kila, Montana. At six-years-old, mom took home a little nylon string guitar from the family’s pawnshop, and Tim recognized his destiny. Among five older siblings, Tim’s closest brother was legally blind and his mother was an interpreter for the deaf, so he developed extreme empathy early on. “I’ve got a special place in my heart for deaf, blind, and special needs kids,” he adds. As the generator regularly broke down, Tim spent countless hours playing guitar by candlelight under the watch of his Nirvana posters. Beyond uncovering a tape of Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses, his mother often brought CDs home from the pawnshop, leading to his discovery of Tool’s Undertow and various other classics. Following a few stints in Los Angeles and one back in Montana, blind guitarist Johnny Hiland urged him to move to Nashville. At 21-years-old, Tim settled in Music City. He busted his ass and found a way to be heard. He caught the attention of David Letterman who personally booked Montana on The Late Show with David Letterman. Unlocking a creative chemistry with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, their collaborations included “This Beard Came Here to Party,” which served as the anthem for the 2013 World Series champion Boston Red Sox and the Nashville Predators during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He co-wrote radio hits for Kid Rock such as “Tennessee Mountain Top” and “Greatest Show On Earth” for 2017’s Sweet Southern Sugar—which bowed in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. In 2020, his solo album, American Thread, boasted the fan favorite “Mostly Stoned.” Charlie Sheen espoused his admiration for Tim on social media and wound up directing the music video for the latter.

“I was watching Navy Seals on VHS hoping the generator wouldn’t fail, and years later, Charlie heard my music and directed the video that ultimately got me a record deal,” he smiles.

Following 2021’s Long Shots, Tim continued to write and record at a prolific pace. He naturally leaned into formative influences, drawing on Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Foo Fighters. In the studio, he let his grunge flag fly, while still telling the kind of stories fans fell in love with in the first place. The heavier sound offered a fresh canvas for his vision.

“I’m so influenced by Seattle that I can’t shake it,” he notes. “This is definitely more rocking, but it’s really just Montana.”

The first single “Devil You Know” places his story front-and-center. Acoustic guitar underlines vulnerable verses only to turn on a dime into a haunting distortion-boosted hook, “I’m going out of my head, living my life on edge. I’m out here playing with fire. Who’s gonna save me tonight?” A wailing lead evokes the pain at the heart of the lyrics.

“I always had a dream my biological father would come down the driveaway, kick my stepdad’s ass, and save me,” he sighs. “When I was 15-years-old, my mom walked in and said, ‘Your dad is dead’. It was probably the lowest moment of my life. He went to prison when I was five. He had abducted me. They arrested him, and I thought I’d see him later, but I never did. ‘Devil You Know’ is finding out my biological father was maybe as bad as the guy I had. Now, I have a really great wife and four kids. I get to be the dad I never had to them.”

It's this kind of honesty that continues to endear Tim to audiences and partners. He maintains longstanding collaborative partnerships with everyone from Snap-On Tools and Polaris to Black Rifle Coffee Company and Traeger Grills (he forged a friendship with fellow grill aficionado Grohl via the latter). As a staunch advocate for American veterans affected by PTSD, he has also given back at every turn. He teamed up with Gibson Guitars for the creation of an exclusive guitar in honor of American Sniper Chris Kyle emblazoned with the hero’s logo. It sold at auction to the tune of $117,500 with all proceeds benefiting the Guardians of Heroes Foundation. Not to mention, he appeared alongside Academy® Award winner Richard Dreyfuss, Gabriel Byrne, and Thomas Jane in the film Murder at Yellowstone City and in The Last Son with Sam Worthington and Heather Graham.

Once you get to know Montana, you’ll never forget him.

“No matter what I’m doing, I hope to inspire,” he says. “I know what it’s like to go to the bathroom in a hole, live without power, have your car repossessed, and be poor. If I can take my story and inspire people, it makes some of my pain go away. Even if life slaps you in the face, it can’t hold you down forever.”

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Point North

Point North

Point North

Los Angeles based rock band Point North just dropped their sophomore record 'Prepare For Despair' to great acclaim. After releasing their debut LP mid-COVID in Aug 2020, the band have only headlined once to date on a sold North American tour in April 2022. With support tours with ADTR, Sleeping With Sirens/Don Broco, Atreyu and most recently Escape The Fate - the band will head out on their headlining tour for the new album in spring of 2024. With collabs to date with Fever 333/Garzi, Kayzo/BTSM, Two Friends, Jeris Johnson and The Ghost Inside, the band took their first single to Active Rock radio in spring of 2023, peaking at #20 on Mediabase/Billboard and hitting #1 on the secondary market chart.The band's second radio single 'Below The Belt ft Set It Off' impacted rock radio on October 17th 2023 and was most added in the country.

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Fire From The Gods

Fire From The Gods

Fire From The Gods

FIRE FROM THE GODS is powerful enough to move the crowd and raise the spirit at the same time.

Armed with a sound drawing from Active Rock, brutal metalcore, stage-diving punk, and socially conscious hip-hop, FIRE FROM THE GODS quickly earned the attention of an ever-growing legion of underground supporters and multiplatinum musicians alike, including Korn frontman Jonathan Davis (who produced a couple of their songs) and Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory.

The theme driving Narrative (2016) was Unite Or Die. American Sun (2019) centered on the idea of In Us We Trust. Soul Revolution (2022) charges forward with All Power To The People as its slogan.

Born in the Bronx and raised by a single parent. Channer spent a considerable amount of time in London and Ghana West Africa. The frontman AJ Channer pours his life experience into songs like “Thousand Lifetimes” (an ode to strong mothers like his own), rap-and-reggae-infused rocker “SOS” and the unstoppable force-of-nature that is “I And I.” Each of the tracks on Soul Revolution sound like natural evolutionary steps from certified classics like “Right Now” (30 million streams on Spotify alone) and “Excuse Me,” while taking inspired leaps forward.

The band’s outlook and attitude within their music electrify the air around them. There’s an instant connection forged at every live show, from headlining gigs to international festivals (like Hellfest, Graspop, Aftershock), Warped Tour, and extensive treks supporting top-tier bands, including Five Finger Death Punch, Korn, Megadeth, Staind, P.O.D., Hollywood Undead, In Flames, and Sevendust.

Fire From The Gods is an American success story, and equal part revolutionaries in the same spirit as the iconic artists, teachers, and activists who put unity above tribal divisions or party lines. “True American values aren’t red or blue; they’re not defined at the ballot box,” says Channer. “They are defined by the hardworking people who bust their asses every day to feed their families. Instead of having a political, let alone violent revolution, it’s time that we have a Soul Revolution.”

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Eva Under Fire

Eva Under Fire

Eva Under Fire

“We’re a blue-collar garage band from down river Michigan,” says Eva Marie, lead vocalist and namesake for Eva Under Fire, the five-piece southeast Detroit rock ‘n’ roll group that burst onto the scene with their debut Better Noise Records album, Love, Drugs & Misery. Their Top 10 Active Rock airplay smash, “Blow” featuring Ice Kills Nine’s Spencer Charnas, was on the original soundtrack to the cult horror smash, The Retaliators, whose opening scene featured Eva herself in serious peril.

“It’s interesting the song got picked for a horror movie because the lyrics are just kind of feisty and fun,” she said. “But once we got the treatment, it began to make more sense.”

Things have been picking up since. Pandora Radio recently named the band an “Artist to Watch” in 2023, as they look to live up to a pedigree stretches back to such Motor City metal madmen as Iggy and the Stooges, MC5, Alice Cooper’s Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, Grand Funk Railroad, Kid Rock, The White Stripes and even Ted Nugent.

Like recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (who get a lyrical nod in “Blow” as Eva wails, “Hit me with your best shot”), Eva Marie and lead guitarist Rob Lyberg are married co-founders of the group, all of whom have known each other from high school, playing together in numerous bar bands along the way. They get the name – and most of its lyrical content – from Eva’s turbulent childhood which she recalls powerfully in “Heroin(e)” on the new album: “I can’t save you (no)/I can’t change you now/Save your own skin/I’m not your heroine.”

That song was also featured on the soundtrack to Sno Babies, the Better Noise film about addiction that included contributions from labelmate Nikki Sixx, who very publicly conquered his own drug demons in the music and book of Heroin Diaries.

That backdrop forms an ironic counterpoint to Eva’s “day job” as a clinical psychotheraphist who earned a Masters degree at Michigan School of Professional Psychology just about the same time her band was scoring a recording contract from Better Noise. While helping others overcome their mental health issues, Eva works out her own cathartic therapy in songs like the percussive AC/DC blast of “Unstoppable,” the throbbingly heavy guitarwork of the break-up song, “Misery,” or the scorching power ballads, “The Strong” and “Give Me a Reason.”

“We love to play live,” says Eva. “That’s where the songs connect with the audience. People are openly crying in front of us, screaming the words back to us. It really connects, and that’s important to us.” Combining the two sides of her persona, Eva has penned blogs about mental health and drug addiction for Loudwire.com during last year’s Mental Health Awareness Month and is active offering therapeutic services to the music community through the Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund. Musically, Love, Drugs & Misery reflects the band’s diverse influences. Lead guitar Rob Lyberg’s early guitar influences Journey’s Neal Schon (check the band’s cover of “Separate Ways [Worlds Apart]” on last year’s Blow EP).

“The band’s ability to write solos with melodies is what interested me,” says Rob. “It’s not just about playing super-fast... it has to contribute to the song.”

Indeed, Eva Under Fire is just as comfortable using modern digital recording techniques (the electronic sheen on “Heroin(e)”) alongside classic-rock staples as the Talk Box (on their Motley Crue homage, “Another Shot Through the Heart”). They can be as heavy as the hardest metal one moment yet create indelible pop hooks and melodies the next.

Eva’s vocals are at once gruff and effortlessly wide-ranging, channeling such classic female rockers as Grace Slick, Pat Benatar and Ann Wilson, while evoking her own ‘90s influences, including Evanescence’s Amy Lee, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera, and even Breaking Benjamin’s Benjamin Burnley. Showing off their range, EUF are just as likely to tackle U2’s “With or Without You” as they are the ominous rap-rock interlude in “Coming for Blood” (featuring From Ashes to New’s Matt Brandyberry) or placing vocals on the yuletide classic, “O Holy Night,” included on the score to The Retaliators arranged by Emmy-winning composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, creators of the iconic Stranger Things theme.

After handing in Love, Drugs & Misery and being forced to wait out Covid, Eva Under Fire hit the road in spring of 2021, performing with Buckcherry, Skillet and Theory of a Deadman, among others, before heading out for their debut European tour in April which will see them hitting the U.K., Germany (where “Blow” was Top Three in radio airplay), Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Italy, France and Netherlands before they return to the U.S. for summer festival dates. Look for more covers and remixes on streaming services through the end of the year.

“We’ve always been a band that wasn’t afraid to admit we wanted commercial success,” says Eva. “Our songs are written about what we experience and feel, so we’re organic in that way, but we’re definitely not afraid of those big pop melodies and hooks.”

Eva Under Fire are about to explode.

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Blind Channel

Blind Channel

Blind Channel

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The Chisel

The Chisel

The Chisel

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Spite

Spite

Spite

A decibel and soul-crushing deathcore unit based out of Southern California, Spite employs a lethal blend of death metal, metalcore, and neo-nu-metal. Their original lineup issued the debut album Stay Sick in 2017. They followed with Root of all Evil in 2019. After signing with Rise Records and several personnel changes, they re-emerged with Dedication to Flesh in 2022.

Formed in the Bay Area and featuring the talents of vocalist Darius Tehrani, bassist Stephen Mallory, guitarist Alex Tehrani, and drummer Cody Fuentes, the band issued an independent EP, Misery, followed by an eponymous full-length before inking a deal with Attila frontman Chris Fronzak's Stay Sick Recordings. The band's first LP for the label, Nothing Is Beautiful, was released in July 2017 and drew comparisons to contemporaries like Thy Art Is Murder, Acacia Strain, and Suicide Silence. Spite continued to push against the boundaries of heavy music with the punishing Root of All Evil, which appeared in 2019.

Following a tour of summer and fall festivals, the band underwent some personnel changes, adding guitarist Lucas Garrigues and replacing Mallory with Ben Bamford and Fuentes with ex-Emmure kitman Josh 'Baby J' Miller (half of Darko with Tom Barber). In November, they issued the video single for 'Made to Please,' followed in January 2022 with 'Caved In.' In June, they delivered the single 'Hangman.' Co-produced by Alex Tehrani and Matt Guglielmo, their third album, the 12-song Dedication to Flesh, arrived in August along with the single and video for the set's title track. The album reached number 14 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.

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Harms Way

Harms Way

Harms Way

Since 2006, Harms Way has evolved from whispered underground favorites to favorite sons with an arsenal of songs that helped shape heavy music’s trajectory, creating a roadmap for legions of copycats interested in “reinventing” themselves. But there is only one Harms Way, one that has never stayed complacent and constantly morphed shape– absorbing and reapplying influences in new and creative ways to create some of the most well-executed songs in heavy music. And yet considering the changeling that they and their previous efforts are, Common Suffering is easily the most musically diverse undertaking in their catalog, and their most impressive. To be clear– Common Suffering shifts the paradigm for heavy music and is a modern classic in wait.

While Posthuman mined the unflinching d-beat brutality of Deathreat, blistering thrash, groove and the icy nihilism of industrial bands like Godflesh and Demanufacture-era Fear Factory, the new LP integrates in elements of paranoia-driven ambient ala Lustmord, glacially-paced doom (early Melvins, Khanate) and even Meshuggah-like polyrhythms in it’s fully-automatic onslaught. The amalgam of all of these sounds in less capable hands could easily result in a chaotic or disjointed effort, but Harms Way pull it off with style and fury. Common Suffering is nothing less than a fully-armored and mechanized instrument of war ready to detonate listeners with their incredibly memorable riffs, breakdowns, and impeccable songwriting with subtle melody and point/counter-point.

Despite Harms Way’s reputation for unrelenting, chest-beating brutality, Common Suffering surprises at several turns with quieter moments of well thought out songwriting that emphasize light and shade. It’s their understanding of how to effectively orchestrate these dynamics that makes an already ironclad record feel infinitely more merciless. This is Harms Way at peak maturity– the ambitious sound of a band traversing new ideas and succeeding with their best and most fully-realized effort to date. “We really tried not to settle on parts,” recalls guitarist Nick Gauthier. “Sometimes a direction that we could have taken in a song felt too obvious… We would just troubleshoot that until we felt creatively satisfied with the direction we were taking.”

The key to the success may be a shift to recording at Studio 4 in Pennsylvania with producer Will Yip (Turnstile, Code Orange). Going into the recording, the goal was to improve some of the bands processes, examine vocal cadences and experiment during proproduction to gain the best idea from each track. The first change dealt with refocusing members on their specific wheelhouses. While vocalist James Pligge had previously assisted with riffs, on this effort his main objective was to ensure the best vocal attack, leaning into Will Yip for advice and letting the remainder of the band take the wheel with their respective parts. The result is each individual pushing to the far reaches and creating material that has previously never been colonized by any band, or hardcore writ large, before. “Prior to this record, I helped write every single riff that we ever wrote, basically,” details Pligge on their previous process “But since this new record, Nick and Casey wrote a lot of the riffs and brought them to Chris. After some back and forth, I wrote lyrics to the finished tracks.”

The title Common Suffering is a clear nod to the collective experiences of the past three years of chaos, misanthropy, paranoia, disorder, confusion and anxiety, with the band exploring themes ranging from personal struggles with mental health, relationships, political upheaval, corruption, and political power. Pligge, who Decibel called “maybe the best vocalist in hardcore right now,” digs deep into these subjects such as the track “Cyanide” which examines the expansion of media outlets, the correlative rise of disinformation, and the pervasive impact it has on people’s lives and systems of power. Additional tracks include “Devour” which examines the impact of toxic people in one’s life, the highly personal “Hollow Cry,” where Pligge explores his own humanity and relationships, and the somewhat improbable “Undertow,” which features the haunting vocals or Kristina Esfandiari--AKA King Woman--who adds a whole new dimension to the record and helps exhibit the band’s willingness to push into uncharted territory.

As masterful and impressive as the LP is, the precision-guided cluster bombs that make up Common Suffering are just ten more reasons for Harms Way fans to queue up to see one of the best and most vicious live shows on the planet. There, amongst the wide smiles, flailing arms, creepy-crawlies, and bodies pinballing off of the edges of the pit, is where the world will see just how singular and uncommon the new effort is.

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Bodysnatcher

Bodysnatcher

Bodysnatcher

An epically unashamed demonstration of aggression, Bodysnatcher’s music is dark, furious, and threatening. It’s a sound born from the burden of struggle and an unwavering commit- ment to continued survival against all obstacles. Bodysnatcher put the “core” back in Death- core.

Bleed-Abide, the Melbourne, Florida quartet’s third album, crackles with rage and power. As seen on tour with Chelsea Grin, Lorna Shore, and Slaughter To Prevail, and in a series of increasingly packed, sweaty, and electrifying club shows, Bodysnatcher music, lyrics, and imagery already inspired several tattoos and proven transformative to deeply connected listeners.

The alligator-filled swamps and burned-out tourist beaches of Florida were fertile ground for death metal when the late/great Chuck Schuldiner took his love of heavy thrash and crushed it into a new subgenre. The Sunshine State gave gruesome birth to genre pioneers like Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary, and Deicide. Morrisound Recording became the site where legendary bands summoned essential albums. Florida claims almost as many crucial hardcore, punk, and power-violence bands, including Poison The Well, Shai Hulud, Brethren, Assück, and Strongarm.

Kyle Medina (vocals), Kyle Carter (guitar), Kyle Shope (bass), and Chris Whited (drums) embody the hardcore spirit and cut their teeth in the tight-knit community. They are monikered after the nickname of one of history’s most notorious serial killers, Ed Gein, and represented by a triangular symbol steeped in alchemy and the occult. But Bodysnatcher lyrics owe more to the horrors of domestic strife than the gore of their Florida-based forebearers in Cannibal Corpse.

The inception point came with the purest of intentions. “I was around 17,” Medina explains. “We were just going to be a band that was basically a ‘breakdown band’ for my friends to mosh to.”

Eventually stabilizing with a lineup that overlapped at various points with beloved groups like King Conquer and Dealey Plaza, Bodysnatcher released a quick succession of albums and EPs, most notably Abandonment (2015), Death of Me (2017), and the utterly crushing This Heavy Void (2020). Combined with a blistering live show, this led to a deal with the MNRK Heavy label.

Bleed-Abide is the darkest offering yet from Bodysnatcher, burning with an intensity derived from a further focus on sonic pummeling and truth-telling narratives. “Even as a pissed-off teenager, the first songs I wrote were about personal experiences and people who did me wrong,” Medina says. “The musicianship is more mature; there are still a lot of breakdowns but done in a much smarter way. It’s definitely still Bodysnatcher. It’s like Bodysnatcher on steroids.”

All of the guys contribute to the lyrics, resulting in multiple points of view and diverse insights anchored by common themes of catharsis and resistance. “Absolved of the Strings and Stone” is a battle cry against the gaslighting and emotional abuse of toxic people. “Hol- low Shell” delves into strained familial dynamics, where some family members live as virtual prisoners to others.

“Wired for Destruction” confronts death anxiety. “It’s about the fear of the unknown, how all of us will move on,” says Medina. “Are we just going to return to dust? Are we just forgotten?” Even amidst the uncertainty and darkness, there’s an underlying positivity to be mined within. “Value Through Suffering” takes a proactive stance on hardship, a way to rebuild from the wreckage.

Too many bands resist genre classification in an aloof effort to distinguish themselves from every other band, inadvertently consigning themselves to talking points that sound like everyone else. Bodysnatcher is, without apology, a deathcore band. There is no compromise in the cards.

“Deathcore kicks ass. A lot of bands shy away from labels they don’t deem ‘cool’ enough. But we don’t give a fuck,” Medina says proudly. “We like what we like, and we play what we play. We all love hardcore and metal, so we’re going to play hardcore, play metal, and play breakdowns.”

“And that’s how the band is going to be, forever.”

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I See Stars

I See Stars

I See Stars

I See Stars perfect a push-and-pull between sweeping hard rock, metallic energy, and electronic dance music on their fifth full-length album, Treehouse [Sumerian Records]. In order to achieve that often illusory balance, the Warren, MI quartet—Devin Oliver [clean & unclean vocals], Brent Allen [lead, rhythm guitar], Jeff Valentine [bass], and Andrew Oliver [vocals, keys, synths, programming, drums]—rebuilt their very foundation, creatively and personally.

“This is the most time we’ve had to create an album since 3D,” Devin admits. “We actually had time to reflect on our past, but most importantly what we want to become. Beyond the music, it felt like an evolution for us emotionally. We finally feel like the band we were meant to be. If you strip it down, it’s not just drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and minor production. The electronic aspects could be their own songs, and we aim to blend everything as seamlessly as possible.”

This methodical and meticulous approach has defined the band since day one. Their musical hybrid started to turn heads on the one-two punch of 3-D [2009] and The End of the World Party [2011]. Digital Renegade [2012] would vault them to national prominence, going Top 10 on Billboard’s Alternative Albums Chart and Top 20 on the Rock Albums Chart. In addition to boasting features from platinum-certified The Voice winner Cassadee Pope and Danny Worsnop (ex-Asking Alexandria, We Are Harlot), it cemented I See Stars as a fan favorite on tour, sharing bills with everyone from Of Mice & Men and Attila to Breathe Carolina and Black Veil Brides as well as hitting The Vans Warped Tour. Along the way, they’d grace the stage at Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! and earn acclaim from Alternative Press, Revolver, Ultimate Guitar and more. New Demons [2013] solidified their status as headliners, while the music continued to naturally evolve.

2015 saw a change occur within the group; the band parted ways with members Jimmy Gregerson [guitar] and Zach Johnson [unclean vocals, keys] amicably. Confronted with sole vocal responsibilities for the first time, Devin rose to the occasion.

“We went into making this record mindfully,” he admits. “It’s important to deliver the live performance as close to the album as possible. I wanted to step up. I had no idea what a challenge it would be; it was like learning a different language.”

Releasing the acoustic album Phases and its subsequent tour would offer new perspective for the boys. Devin started dissecting ideas for what would become Treehouse, while diligently pushing to expand his range on the road. The group’s diehard audience would immediately prove receptive to his new role handling both styles. “We’ve had so many changes, and it’s an important time,” he goes on. “When we got back on stage, I had no idea what to expect, but our fans came out and showed love when we needed it the most. We wanted to give them what they deserve, which is the best record possible.”

In order to achieve that vision, the musicians took a different route. To record Treehouse, they enlisted a cadre of producers including Erik Ron [Panic! at the Disco, Saosin], Nick Scott [Asking Alexandria, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!], and Taylor Larson [Periphery, Veil of Maya] as well a mixing by David Bendeth [Paramore, Breaking Benjamin]. They would also track the bulk of material in Los Angeles—another first—and the rest in Detroit.

I See Stars introduced the album with the skittering stomp and smash of “Mobbin’ Out.” Tempering an edgy groove with an undeniable hook, it’s an irresistible and insurgent anthem.

“The song was about some of the recent struggles in the past few years,” he says.

The shimmering “Calm Snow” begins the record with an entrancing cinematic crescendo juxtaposing keys and striking vocals. Elsewhere, “Everyone’s Safe in the Treehouse,” mixed by Bendeth, showcases the marked progression as each element shines and culminates on an arena-size chant.

“Lyrically, this one discusses family issues,” continues Devin. “The past year has been really hard. I realized I’m on my own, and it’s do or die with this band. It’s my life.”

It’s that honesty which will continue to resonate the loudest among listeners and why I See Stars shine.

“This is the most honest we could be,” Devin leaves off. “That’s what I want people to see.”

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Rain City Drive

Rain City Drive

Rain City Drive

RAIN CITY DRIVE makes vibrant and dynamic alternative rock n’ roll, with strong roots in the post-hardcore subculture and unapologetically ambitious swings into contemporary pop. Described by Distorted Sound Magazine as “a melody machine” and in Metal Hammer as “a band you need to hear,” Rain City Drive builds a musical bridge between heavy riffs and soaring, intimate, earnest pop. Armed with arena-ready anthems ready-made for long drives, workouts, intimate clubs, and massive festivals alike, the Florida-based group built a reputation as an engaging live act. Nearly 700,000 fans around the world listen to the band on Spotify each month. The songs “Talk to a Friend” and “Heavier,” from their 2020 album To Better Days, account for 40 million streams between them alone. “Cutting it Close” from their 2022 self-titled follow-up (released in a deluxe edition with bonus cuts in 2023) quickly cracked the Top 5 on SiriusXM radio’s Octane upon release. Rain City Drive warps the boundaries between post-hardcore and aggressive melody. On the adventurous Rain City Drive and beyond, the group’s spirit of resilience connects with fans old and new, resonating deeply with all who struggle and find the will to push forward.

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Crobot

Crobot

Crobot

Guitars plugged in, smokes lit, beers poured, and amps cranked without apology, Crobot conjure up the kind of rock ‘n’ roll you sing along to—loud. For as much as it may seem like a lost art, the Pennsylvania- bred band still dole out head-nodding riffs, bold grooves, and hooks high enough to shake the heavens. After piling on tens of millions of streams, logging countless shows, and earning acclaim from the likes of Classic Rock Magazine, Loudwire, Guitar World, and more, the group—Brandon Yeagley [vocals], Chris Bishop [guitar], Tim Peugh [bass], and Dan Ryan [drums]—realize their vision like never before on their fifth full-length offering, Feel This [Mascot Records].

“This is the record we’ve been wanting to do ever since we started the band,” exclaims Brandon. “It’s the vibe of everyone in a room creating together. It felt like we were working on a real album. Records like that are hard to come by nowadays, but we made one.”

“There are a lot of classic flavors,” notes Chris. “It’s cohesive though. We were able to use all of these ingredients and still make it sound like Crobot.”

They’ve grinded tirelessly to reach this point. The boys made waves with Legend of the Spaceborne Killer [2012], Something Supernatural [2014], and Welcome To Fat City [2016].

However, Motherbrain [2019] represented a high watermark. “Low Life” racked up 12.7 million Spotify streams, while Classic Rock rated the album “4-out-of-5 stars” and proclaimed, “Motherbrain is Crobot coming of age.” They crisscrossed the country with everyone from Anthrax and Black Label Society to Chevelle, Clutch, and The Sword. Not to mention, they lit up the bills of festivals and the annual Shiprocked! cruise. As the Global Pandemic descended upon the world, Chris and Dan hunkered down in Austin to jam and cut demos, sending ideas to Brandon back in Pennsylvania.

2021 saw the boys enter Orb Studios in Austin with producer Jay Ruston [Stone Sour, Anthrax, Steel Panther]. Rather than track all of the instruments separately, they completed one song at a time.

“Usually, you record all of the drums, then all of the bass, all of the vocals, and so on and so forth,” says Dan. “We didn’t do it that way this time. We focused on one song, brought it to life, and moved on. It’s just us in a room. We took what we do on stage and captured it as best as we could in the studio. It’s a true rock record.” Songs like “Holy Ghost” embody this spirit. As a warbling harmony wraps around the wah-drenched guitar straight out of Seattle, Brandon’s grunge-y wail rings out on the hook, “I am not the holy ghost. I won’t ever save your soul.”

“It came together pretty quickly,” recalls Bishop. “We inserted those big Crobot riffs with lots of energy, and we couldn’t be happier.”

Elsewhere, “Golden” hinges on a thunderous beat as it slips into a soaring homage to a god-gone-too-soon.

“When it came to the lyrics, we collectively wanted it to be a tribute to Chris Cornell,” says Brandon. “We’re so influenced by everything he and Soundgarden have done. We ran with the song in honor of his legacy.”

Evocative piano sets the tone for the epic “Set You Free,” which spirals towards a seismic crescendo and emotionally charged guitar lead from Bishop. Then, there’s “Dance With The Dead.” Over a head-nodding groove, the song struts towards a handclap-laden bridge, high-register harmonies, and a cheeky and chantable hook, “Let’s go dance with the dead. They know how to kill it!”

“From there, it snowballed into being about something worth fighting for or dying for,” Brandon elaborates. “No matter what’s going on, we might as well have a good time and dance the night away.”

“Into The Fire” trudges through the flames and right into an incendiary and infectious chorus, while “Electrified” kickstarts the album as a rip-roaring and raucous livewire anthem with reverence for “rock ‘n’ roll bull shit like electricity,” laughs Bishop.

“I’m not super into motorcycles, or else it would’ve been about a motorcycle,” grins Brandon.

In the end, you’ll feel rock ‘n’ roll come to life in Crobot’s hands.

“We never want to make the same album twice,” Brandon leaves off. “There is something for every Crobot fan out there as well as newcomers. At the same time, we’re having fun. We took the history book of rock and injected it into the process with the energy and lyrical content. We want to be taken seriously, but not too seriously—because this is monkey hour after all. Like we said, it’s rock ‘n’ roll bullshit.”

“That’s the fucking line right there,” agrees Bishop. “We want you to walk away smiling. If I can make you smile, I’ve done my job.”

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Sleep Theory

Sleep Theory

Sleep Theory

When your first single hits 500k views on TikTok within 36 hours of its release, the accusations start to fly. So when the Memphis-based Sleep Theory’s “Another Way” did just that back in January, vocalist Cullen Moore heard all about how his band was an “industry plant” or “designed for the algorithm.” But in actuality, what seemed like an overnight success was years in the making.

Since retiring from the US Army several years ago, Moore’s dedicated his entire life to carving his own path in the music industry. Officially starting Sleep Theory in 2019, the current incarnation of his musical journey began as a solo studio project to fuse his love of hard rock, funk and R&B.

Then came a chance meeting with bassist Paolo Vergara, who had just moved from the Philippines and was looking to buy a microphone on Facebook Marketplace. The two immediately hit it off, and Sleep Theory became a duo. Fast-forward to 2023, when they expanded to a full band with the familial rhythm section of drummer Ben and guitarist Daniel Pruitt.

In recent months, Sleep Theory released a second track (and second #1 hit on SiriusXM’s Octane) in “Numb,” started playing their first handful of shows to massive crowds (including their hometown Beale Street Music Festival), and signed to Epitaph Records for the release of their debut EP, a six-track blast that shows the range of Sleep Theory — from metalcore-like breakdowns to bluesy grooves, all brought together by a pop sensibility that’s pushed them into sudden stardom.

But whereas many artists work their entire careers for the success that Sleep Theory is already seeing, this is only the beginning for the hard-rocking quartet. While part of Moore’s determination may stem from his military background, Vergara has his own reasons for needing the band to succeed.

“I moved to America in 2016, and my goal my whole life has been to be a musician or a filmmaker,” Vergara says. “When I joined the band, I never thought we’d be in this position right now. I had a band back in the Philippines, but we never had the chance to achieve our dreams or put out our own songs. My bandmates there told me that if I ever come to the US and have a chance to achieve our dream as a band, I had to go for it and make them proud. That dream still sticks with me all of the time.”

Despite Sleep Theory’s big dreams and goals for the future, they’re still very much focused on the present. The band’s found success by taking things one moment at a time and enjoying every step of the process. Their sudden popularity hasn’t changed how anyone operates, and their early hits haven’t changed how they’re going about their first EP.

“I feel like a lot of people would feel pressure to create something that's on par with what we’ve already put out, but I’m just going into it stress-free and having a good time,” Moore says. “We aren’t worried about other people’s expectations, we're worried about our own expectations. We have one song that we recorded when we were not having a good time, and that's one of the few songs that I never want released. We all have a really good relationship with each other and our producer, so the main thing in the forefront of my mind while working on this album is just having a good time and putting out what I know that people would enjoy.”

And with their first EP in the bag, Sleep Theory is finally able to go after the sponsor they’ve been coveting ever since the band got together.

“There’s a very important part of our songwriting and producing routine,” Moore smiles. “If we get stuck, we go to Waffle House.”

“We need that Waffle House sponsorship,” Ben Pruitt adds, showing off his Waffle House-branded sneakers. “I want to walk in and not pay for anything.”

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Imminence

Imminence

Imminence

Swedish alternative metalcore outfit, Imminence, has during the latest years established their own highly unique brand and pushed the genre beyond extents of anyone’s expectations. With the distinct use of classical string arrangements blended with the influence of ferocious Scandinavian metal, the sound and visual universe of the quintet stands out as one of the most innovative and exciting acts on the market today.

Fronted by vocalist and violinist Eddie Berg, guitarists Harald Barrett & Alex Arnoldsson, drummer Peter Hanström and bass player Christian Höijer; Imminence recently opened a new release cycle with the success from latest singles Come Hell or High Water, Desolation and Heaven Shall Burn quickly achieving millions of streams and a rapid growth in social media following. Shortly after, Imminence announced their very first tour in North America. As always, the group never ceases to do the unexpected, and decided to embark on the tour as a headliner. Within 48 hours, the entire tour was sold out & upgraded, recognizing Imminence as one of the most strongly demanded act on the international market today.

After closing the cycle of previous album Heaven In Hiding with an exclusive Deluxe Edition release, including the single track’Jaded’ (2023), Imminence continued to gain viral attention on all social media platforms, partially due to the remarkable ”Live In Studio”-recordings, and experienced an impressive growth of +100 000 followers and millions of streams over the course of just a few months this year.

With four full length studio albums, +220.000.000 streams, +570.000 combined online followers and closing in on 800.000 monthly Spotify listeners, Imminence monumental touring history now continues to other continents. After selling out headline shows all over the continent and supporting metal legends In Flames in late 2022, the band has recently performed at some of Europe’s most significant anchor festivals such as Wacken, Summerbreeze, Reload, Tuska Open Air, along with supporting genre pioneers Architects this July.

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Return To Dust

Return To Dust

Return To Dust

Los Angeles based alternative/grunge rock trio Return to Dust (Matty Joseph, Graham Stanush, Sebastian Gonzalez) has already scripted a karmic saga that traverses decades, pays homage to the past, and plants its roots firmly in the future. Listening within their sonic universe is like time traveling to the halcyon days of the ‘90s grunge era. Their sound, influenced by heavyweights of the time, reverberates with the echoes of Soundgarden, Deftones, Alice In Chains, and the soul of Nirvana, while also blending in elements of bands like Royal Blood, Turnstile, and Cage The Elephant. Yet, it’s not merely a mimicry of the past; instead it’s a fusion of the old and the new — an alchemy that conjures a sound distinctly their own.

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Bad Nerves

Bad Nerves

Bad Nerves

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Empire State Bastard

Empire State Bastard

Empire State Bastard

What’s in a name? If you choose to call your band Empire State Bastard, you’re making a statement-of-intent. Namely: riff after riff after motherfucking riff, battering ram rhythms, and feral vocals which splurge from death metal growls to anguished, black-hearted howls.

The band’s debut album, ‘Rivers of Heresy’, adventurously probes almost every dark crevice imaginable from the myriad sounds of metal and genre-adjacent extremity. Their terrifying tourist trail visits slamming hardcore in the vein of Siege; frenetic, visceral thrash in Slayer’s ballpark; the claustrophobic sludge of Melvins; the freeform vocal dexterity of Mike Patton; and the gargantuan stoner riffs of Sleep. Rooted in metal’s forefathers, but informed by more recent waves of leftfield aggression, Empire State Bastard are a band that can prosper at landmark metal festivals such as Download and Hellfest as well as more niche events including Roadburn and Arctangent.

The story dates back to Manchester’s Night and Day Cafe in February, 2002. Empire State Bastard guitarist Mike Vennart’s band Oceansize were sharing a bill with a then unknown Biffy Clyro. From the name, Mike expected to be greeted by a “psychedelic Welsh folk band like Gorky's Zygotic Mynci” but was instead blown away by “three guys screaming their heads off with a big Marshall stack.” Instantly the two bands shared a friendship and a mutual admiration. And when Biffy went stratospheric following the success of their ‘Only Revolutions’ album, Mike joined the band as their touring guitarist and has stayed with them ever since.

Mike and Biffy frontman Simon Neil would spend downtime on tour sitting at the back of the bus sharing the heaviest, most avant-garde or the most sickeningly confrontational music they could find. When thoughts turned to making their own sonic wasteland, Simon already had the band name in mind (“I always knew that if I made a really heavy record, it was gonna be called Empire State Bastard”), leaving Mike with a particularly grotesque challenge: what music could he write that would live up to the name?

It took around a decade to find both the time and ferocity to make it happen. Inflamed by caustic right-wing politics and bored by generic arena metal, Mike’s rush of inspiration resulted in a tonne of song ideas. At times the concept was more defined: the full-throttle ten songs-in-ten-minutes chaos of grindcore, or the calculated mathy chaos of Converge or Dillinger Escape Plan. Instead, it reflected a shared love of what Mike calls “a spectrum of wide-ranging versions of pure sonic annihilation. I’d written songs which didn’t directly relate to each other, but I like to think they all make friends with each other.”

In contrast to his work with Biffy, Simon’s contribution to the record would be almost exclusively vocals. Within the album’s first two songs, ‘Harvest’ and ‘Blusher’, his voice is more varied than ever with reference points including the shrieks and gasps you might hear on a Fantomas album to guttural death growls that echo Morbid Angel or Mayhem. “I thought of my voice as a selection of instruments that I could utilise at different points in the songs,” he explains. “I had an instinct that I needed to make everything as three-dimensional as possible. So the anger in my screaming needed to be juxtaposed with the more flippant and throwaway falsettos that you shouldn’t normally get in heavy heavy music.”

Lyrically, he smiles, “it’s as misanthropic and nihilistic as I’ve ever written” united by looking at situations “where you’re not seeing eye-to-eye with the person you need to see eye-to-eye with.” The spark was the frustration of post-lockdown society. While he expected a new unity, a fresh collective spirit, the reality was very much the opposite. “It feels like the person that shouts the loudest gets listened to the most, and that’s a real sad state of affairs. If you feel bulletproof and you don’t feel shame, you plough through and take as many people out of the game and as much collateral damage as possible. That’s something I struggle with. I think most level-headed people do, but most level-headed people don’t put their head above the parapet because it’s not worth it.”

While those themes dominate the record - targeting pig-headed ignorance in ‘Moi’, the erosion of shame in ‘Blusher’ or imagining a society beyond salvation in ‘Dusty’, there are also moments with the jet black humour of Takashi Miike. ‘Palm of Hands’, for example, provides a vignette of “going to a sex party and it going horrifically wrong.”

Underpinning the duo’s visceral attack is an equally frenetic drum performance. Akin to a runaway train just about staying on the tracks, the propulsive rush of manic fills and fleet-footed double-kicks pulverises and grooves in equal measure. Mike had programmed the initial drums, but the pair were stuck on a dilemma - who did they know who could play like Slayer legend Dave Lombardo? Simon’s solution? “Let’s just ask Dave fucking Lombardo!”

In a culmination of the pair’s teenage metal fantasies, he quickly accepted, and submitted his parts after a fortnight of sessions. “It felt like we were sitting in the room listening to Dave play for us,” says Simon, a wide-eyed sense of wonder still gleaming in his eyes. “To have the guy that basically invented modern metal drumming playing on our record made it a success in that moment.”

His contributions are especially fascinating on ‘Tired, Aye’, which saw Simon cut out the guitars and bass to create a vocal / drum assault in the realm of John Zorn’s Naked City. “There’s something so primal about that song,” laughs Simon at its sheer audacity. “It’s basically a duet. We’re like Kiki Dee and Elton John, except it’s Simon Neil and Dave Lombardo. It’s our version of ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’.”

The excitement they share for having Dave Lombardo involved is symptomatic of their pure intentions behind Empire State Bastard. Metal is what inspired them to first play music - Maiden, Metallica, Sabbath, Pantera - and while they’re at a time in their lives when rock bands are more likely to want to discover their inner Neil Young, instead they’ve made a record that purges every type of heaviness imaginable. Throughout this conversation, they reference all manner of essential aggressive artists, also taking in The Locust, Oranssi Pazuzu, Daughters, Godflesh, Max Cavalera, High On Fire, Will Haven, The Armed, Brutus and Deafheaven. In short, they’re fans. Just like you or I.

As Simon affirms, “Walking downtown as a teenager wearing a Sepultura ‘Chaos AD’ t-shirt, combat trousers and Doc Martens, people would stop and stare. That’s what makes us feel part of something and why I’ve always cared so much about rock and heavy music. We got into this music to be 1 person in a 100, rather than be part of the 99. It’s great to channel that fucking rage, that no-one else gets this but we do.”

That ethos stretches to Empire State Bastard. It’s not a time-killer between Biffy records. It’s the product of a compulsion to create a sound that’s been a vital inspiration for both men for 30+ years. They’re taking it seriously. Dave Lombardo is committed to playing as many shows as his schedule allows (the live band being completed by former Bitch Falcon bassist Naomi Macleod) and a second record is already in the works.

So what’s in a name? Simon coined it, but Mike really defined it: “I set about making the most fucking poisonous vile music I possibly could, just unabridged hatred in musical form.” That’s Empire State Bastard.

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Gideon

Gideon

Gideon

From a very early age, most of us are molded by the traditions of our upbringing. While there are undeniable benefits to tradition, often the fear of bucking against the expectations they create prevent us from pursuing our personal truth. Growing up in the deep south, the members of Gideon spent years letting these mental fences dictate their creative direction. On their aptly titled fifth full-length album, Out of Control, the band is no longer allowing themselves to be put in a box, sonically or topically, to fit what is expected of them.

The members of Gideon – Daniel McWhorter (Vocals), Tyler Riley (Guitar), Jake Smelley (Drums) and Caleb DeRusha (Bass) – have encountered a myriad of cultures while touring the world in support of their music. This opportunity to expand their worldview led to the realization that open-mindedness and acceptance are important aspects of developing your own perspective. As a result, they’ve grown away from their roots as a “Christian Metalcore” band. If you look at the band’s last three records, this transition becomes apparent. On 2014’s Calloused, the band offered glimpses into their internal struggle with being a “Christian” band. By the release of Cold in 2017, they emerged more bitter and aggressive; defiant in the face of expectations. Finally, Out of Control finds the band breaking free of all previous restraints as they craft a diverse record unlike anything they’ve ever released.

Out of Control is enhanced by its eclectic array of musical influences. Most notably, there is a heavy dose of 90’s and 2000’s nu metal, but there are also clear inflections of outlaw country and hip hop incorporated throughout the record. The album, which found the band reuniting with producer Randy Leboeuf, further benefited from the inclusion of bassist Caleb DeRusha. A long time friend of the band, DeRusha’s familiarity with Gideon’s music and fresh perspective were integral to redefining their sound. Lyrically, Smelley tapped into the same sources of pain that fueled a good portion of the timeless songs included in the Great American Songbook. In the process, they embraced their southern pride while redefining what that term actually means. On “Take Me”, the band speaks to the emotional rollercoaster of being a musician – from the lows of losing ones they love while on tour half a world away and not being able to come home during trying times to only feeling alive while pursuing their dream. “Sleep” is a defiant anthem addressed to those that have tried to invoke a form of control over the band or its members – particularly fans that have turned their backs on the band as they’ve moved away from their previous style. “Outlaw” is about finding the supreme confidence in being yourself that is necessary to truly reach your potential and, for the first time, the band speaks for the south on songs like “Southwind” and “Out of Control”.

Gideon was particularly inspired by Andre3000’s bold statement that “The South’s got something to say” at the Source Awards in 1995 while writing this record. At the time, mainstream hip hop revolved around “East Coast vs. West Coast”, and Andre3000’s claim energized a generation of southern artists to demand they be taken seriously. When Out of Control is released on Equal Vision Records October 11th, it will undoubtedly prove that, once again, the south has something to say.

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Catch Your Breath

Catch Your Breath

Catch Your Breath

Catch Your Breath is a fresh, burgeoning Hard Rock band based out of Austin, Texas. Comprised of vocalist Josh, guitarist Teddy, bassist Cianan, and drummer Onell, Catch Your Breath injects a unique mix of synth soundscaping elements, imaginative production, and refined songwriting for an intense amount of emotion. The secret ingredient of their music is their relatable core. Says Teddy of the sound, 'We want to mix it up with a new gen of rock... there's almost never just our instruments playing by themselves'. With their hit single “Dial Tone” debuting on Sirius XM Octane radio, hitting #3 on Spotify Metal’s worldwide chart, and #7 on Billboard’s Hot Hard Rock Songs, this track gave the band the surge they’ve deserved from the start. Whether it’s a design at Hot Topic, coverage on Knotfest.com, or on tour with Falling in Reverse, fans can instantly connect with Catch Your Breath more than ever before.

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Calva Louise

Calva Louise

Calva Louise

Hailing from three different continents and aiming at London's underground live scene, Venezuelan guitarist/vocalist Jess and French bassist Alizon had an explosive musical encounter with British/New Zealander drummer Ben Parker. A mix of cultures driven by the creative vision of Jess gave its identity to Calva Louise since their beginning in 2016.

With two albums, several EPs, and a handful of collaborations to their name, Calva Louise has gathered support from BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, Radio X, Clash, The Line Of Best Fit, and DIY Mag. To date, they've toured with the likes of Cassyette, Slothrust, Highly Suspect, Death Valley Girls, and Albert Hammond Jr., and taken the stage at leading festivals like Reading & Leeds, Rock For People, 2000 Trees, and SXSW.

The band is propelling forward in 2023 with their newest release, Oportunista, the third track off of the band's forthcoming album 'Over The Threshold' due later this year. In the coming months, the band will be back on the road on a headline UK tour along with festival appearances this summer.

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Vukovi

Vukovi

Vukovi

Two years on from their critically lauded second album, Fall Better – and a whole load of global weirdness in-between – Vukovi return with a record that is the best distillation of their unique musical vision yet.

“NULA is a concept record,” says singer Janine

Now a two piece, Janine and guitarist Hamish Reilly have spent these strange two years gone plotting in their Glasgow base as to how best to achieve this. Like any artist who’s toiled over their work, Janine is keen for the record to tell its own story. And yet excitingly, they are planning a novella book supplement to the record down the line.

“I’ve always been into sci-fi,” Janine says. “Growing up I loved Star Wars, The Fifth Element, Alien and sci-fi was an escape from the pain. I could sit in my bedroom and look out the window and know that there was something so much bigger going on. That’s what I want this album to be for people. An escape.”

“We were probably always going to end up doing something like this,” laughs Hamish. “I grew up obsessed with bands like Rush and Dream Theatre, so music that tells a story has always been something I’ve been into. I think there’s always been a sci-fi element to Vukovi too, or at least a cinematic one.”

Janine worked on the framework for NULA with the Scottish based scientist and young adult fiction writer Lisa Gourley. “It was important to me that the science made sense,” says Janine, “and that I worked with a woman, and that she was someone I could get pissed with.”

The record starts with an announcement of interplanetary travel. Nula is a captured extraterrestrial that’s now the property of a nefarious capitalist. NULA picks up 25 years after her capture. And in-between there’s all sorts of comment on themes of trauma, violence, lust, and revenge.

“I’m working things out via her, I think,” says Janine, whose visual look varies from video shoot to video shoot. “I’m trying to get more comfortable in my own skin. I love dressing up.”

NULA is stuffed with the sort of big punchy extreme pop that has made Vukovi a band to be reckoned with. There’s a stab of nu metal here. A veneer of shoegaze there. Lots of electronics. More samples than ever. “I’ve had so much fun making this record,” says Hamish. “I sometimes think I can overcomplicate my playing, just because I need to keep myself interested.

But I’ve gone all out on NULA, and everything that is there is something that needed to be there.”

Which means the anthemic synthetic pop of the excellent ‘SLO’, which – as is the case of many of Vukovi’s best songs – deals with Janine’s diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. “It’s almost like a love letter to something I hate, something that’s caused me so much suffering. But it’s also me wondering if I would cease to exist if it was removed from me.”

Or the heavy rush of ‘I Exist’, which sees Janine push through the pain of mental illness and realise that she is worthy of life and deserving of joy. “I’m really interested in exploring the idea of joy,” says the singer. “I’ve had enough misery in my life. There’s a song I really like early on in the record called ‘Quench’, which is about sexual liberation from a woman’s perspective, which I don’t think we hear about enough.”

And yet, fittingly for a record as bold in its ambition as NULA is, it’s not a record that only looks inward – there are big themes being explored on the album. It’s 2022. The world is ablaze, how could there not be? “I think about what’s happening in the world too much,” says Janine. “The way the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The greed. The cruelty. There’s a lot of that on the record, and in Nula’s story.”

Like on the agitated ‘Shadow’, which takes the metaphor Janine has long used to describe her OCD, but stands up, stands tall and fights back against it and the misery of the world. “I want that song to inspire people,” she says. “I want it to light a fire under people to fight for whatever is bringing them down.” That rage passes on to the records subsequent song, ‘Hades’. “I wrote that song when I was in the worst place,” she says. “It’s really about me fighting to get my soul back.”

The record closes with more rage – with Janine speaking her list of demands atop the remarkable ‘XX’. “What does the future hold for the female of the species,” she states, like Renton from Trainspotting with different chromosomes. Whether she’s talking about herself or Nula, is never quite made clear. And yet its unquestionable that NULA is not of this world.

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Moon Fever

Moon Fever

Moon Fever

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Dying Wish

Dying Wish

Dying Wish

DYING WISH is the unrelenting and unforgiving sound of struggle, an extreme metallic hardcore band infused with a punk spirit. Invisible Oranges described their demo as “joyous, unflinching violence.” The heavy music media declared them a “Band To Watch” (Dead Press) and “Your New Metalcore Obsession” (New Fury). With little more than a demo and a split 7” to their name, the Portland, Oregon outfit earned a Best International Band nomination at the UK’s Heavy Music Awards. Fragments of a Bitter Memory, their full-length debut on SharpTone, lives up to the hype.

The blistering hardcore band’s passionate music fuses the New Wave of American Heavy Metal with chaotic punk dissonance. The diverse group forged a musical and activist identity in the DIY scene. Even as they’ve graduated to bigger tours with more prominent metalcore bands, they continue to uphold those ethics, espousing the values of equality, justice, and self-determination.

No Echo saluted the group’s “feral,” “nasty,” “malice,” filled blasts of panicked, snarled venom. Fast-paced, sadistic symphonies of thrash dip into moments of Nordic-friendly death metal. The musical weapon brandished by guitarists Pedro Carrillo and Sam Reynolds, bassist Andrew Le, and powerhouse drummer Jeff Yambra laid beneath Emma Boster’s distinctive and diverse scream.

On the strength of that furious demo’s maelstrom of Hatebreed, Bleeding Through, and early Converge-inspired riffage, coupled with a split EP with Canada’s Serration, DYING WISH secured a coveted spot in Brooklyn Vegan’s Metal Albums We’re Anticipating. And now, that album delivers.

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Randy LeBoeuf (The Acacia Strain, Kublai Khan, Sentinels), Fragments of a Bitter Memory is 11 songs of savage, pummeling assault against personal trauma and society at large. The album is focused, explosive, and powerful. DYING WISH is part of a resurgence in postmodern noisecore, mentioned in the same breath as groups like Code Orange and Knocked Loose, whose frontman, Bryan Garris, appears on the revenge tale “Enemies in Red.”

DYING WISH aligns with the continuing battle for liberation, encompassing the issues affecting BIPOC, the environment, and more intersectional causes while dealing in personal struggle and trauma in equal measure. They make music aimed at unity but without compromise.

Revolution and liberation, in spirit and song, is the heart of DYING WISH.

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Thrown

Thrown

Thrown

Presenting lyrics filled with anger and self-hatred, thrown effectively blends intense and crushing guitars with catchy, yet aggressive vocal rhythms. Without warning, the four-piece aims to become prominent with their modern take on heavy music. With 'grayout' being their first step on making a new impression on the scene, including the works of producer and drummer, Buster Odeholm, and music video director Lucas Englund (Parkway Drive, Architects), thrown brings their A to the game from day one and we're all here for it.

Vocalist Marcus Lundqvist is joined by Johan Liljeblad and Andreas Malm on guitars, and drummer Buster Odeholm (Vildhjarta/Humanity's Last Breath) as thrown aim to spread their message of self-loathing through their mix of gut-punching Metalcore and anger-inciting Hardcore.With ambition already pushing the band to seek out touring opportunities throughout 2022, it'll be no time before thrown have you singing along and bringing all your energy in the pit at a live show.

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HotBox

HotBox

HotBox

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TX2

TX2

TX2

Rising out of the shadows of a small town known for music, Fort Collins; TX2 brings an unmatchable intensity in his music through the form of powerful raw lyrics and explosive performances. After struggling for so many years as an artist, TX2 used his pain as fuel and finally found his sound. As a result, his music went viral on Tik Tok and he now has 800K+ followers on the platform. TX2 has since begun a movement known among his fans known as the 'X Movement', which is all about bringing awareness to mental health and creating a safe space for those in need to talk. The rules are simple, any member can vent and share how they are feeling- while other members are encouraged to push other members' self-esteem up. The movement is currently growing every day, providing a platform to speak about mental health, vent, and support one another. TX2 wants everyone to know they are not alone in their struggles.

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Lø Spirit

Lø Spirit

Lø Spirit

Lø Spirit - started as a therapy project for songwriter/producer Josh Landry. However, after releasing his first singles of 2023, “Anymore,” “Mama,” “What If..” & 'Good Enough,' it became evident that Lø Spirit's message is one that resonates and is needed to be told. Since releasing both tracks, Lø's following across platforms has exponentially increased, most notably surpassing over a Million Monthly listeners on Spotify. It’s clear that his fans are truly connecting with his project and what he has to say. He has landed editorial love from all over with placements on playlists such as: New Music Friday, Rocktronic, HYPE, New in Rock, and Fresh Blood, and received his first airplay in the UK and RIAA certified record this year! His audience surpasses the US with international listeners from all over the world, including territories such as Canada, Germany, the UK, and Australia. 2023 has proven to be a big year for Lø Spirit, and it'll continue to be.

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Fuming Mouth

Fuming Mouth

Fuming Mouth

Fuming Mouth is an American death metal band formed in 2013 by singer/guitarist Mark Whelan. Over the past decade the band has released several demos, splits, and singles along with an EP 'Beyond the Tomb' and their full-length album 'The Grand Descent'.

Nuclear Blast Records signed the band in 2020 and prepared for their second full length album when Mark Whelan was suddenly diagnosed with cancer. After a life threatening battle with Leukemia, Mark was able to beat it and return to the band.

With the band back and stronger than ever, they're now prepared to release their 2nd full length album, 'Last Day of Sun', coming out on Nuclear Blast Records this fall.

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Mike's Dead

Mike's Dead

Mike's Dead

Combining elements of legendary industrial/ hard rock groups such as Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, & Limp Bizkit with modern trap/ electronic elements, American rapper & producer, Mike's Dead, has paved his own lane as a multifaceted artist. Launching his brand in June of 2018, he quickly amassed hundreds of thousands of followers across social platforms leading him to now over 1.5 million followers across platforms and 25 million independent streams. With successful headlining tours under his belt, a degree in audio engineering/ production, and a 'cult-like' fanbase at his side, we see an exciting 2023 for Mike as he rolls out his new sound & inevitably his first album.

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Slipknot

The Original Misfits

Disturbed

Pantera

Evanescence

Limp Bizkit

Judas Priest

Staind

Breaking Benjamin

A Day To Remember

Falling In Reverse

Sleep Token

Rise Against

311

Seether

In This Moment

Mudvayne

Cypress Hill

Sum 41

Kerry King

Mr. Bungle

Theory of a Deadman

Anthrax

Polyphia

Architects

Royal Blood

Bad Religion

Clutch

Starset

Black Veil Brides

Wage War

Tech N9ne

Electric Callboy

Slaughter To Prevail

In Flames

Avatar

Atreyu

Flyleaf with Lacey Sturm

L7

The Amity Affliction

August Burns Red

Living Colour

Machine Head

P.O.D.

Movements

Code Orange

The Chats

The Ghost Inside

Baroness

Of Mice & Men

Kittie

Destroy Boys

Drain

Enter Shikari

All That Remains

Kid Kapichi

Reignwolf

Dirty Honey

Polaris

While She Sleeps

Saint Asonia

Saliva

Helmet

Magnolia Park

New Years Day

Kim Dracula

Kublai Khan TX

Bob Vylan

Red Fang

Currents

Soulfly

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Flat Black

Nova Twins

Miss May I

Drowning Pool

Taproot

Taipei Houston

Terror

Gel

Fleshwater

Scowl

Militarie Gun

Nita Strauss

Dead Poet Society

Lacuna Coil

Plush

SiM

Nonpoint

Tim Montana

Point North

Fire From The Gods

Eva Under Fire

Blind Channel

The Chisel

Spite

Harms Way

Bodysnatcher

I See Stars

Rain City Drive

Crobot

Sleep Theory

Imminence

Return To Dust

Bad Nerves

Empire State Bastard

Gideon

Catch Your Breath

Calva Louise

Vukovi

Moon Fever

Dying Wish

Thrown

HotBox

TX2

Lø Spirit

Fuming Mouth

Mike's Dead