Metalcore

Phenomena

Artist: 
Within the Ruins
Label: 
E1 Music

Ordinarily I enjoy listening to technical/djent metal bands, one of them being Within the Ruins. Although recently they have been diving into a more Metalcore scene. Their last two albums compared to the album Invade, which was released in 2010 by Victory Records, were disappointing. The production style of this album was decent but not nearly as good as previous records. The guitar work is extremely repetitive with way too breakdowns. Though I do have to say the lyrics have gotten tremendously better.

Sounds Like: 
As I Lay Dying
Sounds Like: 
The Acacia Strain
Sounds Like: 
Periphery
Name: 
Morgan Hegeman
Date Reviewed: 
10/08/2014

Patterns In Static

Artist: 
Reach
Label: 
Self Release

Reach, a post-rock/prog/alt/nu-metal band from New Jersey, come off on their debut EP as a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Patterns In Static is one giant hot mess of vastly different genres, which has only been done successfully in the past when bands draw from a maximum of two genres.

Sounds Like: 
TesseracT
Sounds Like: 
Memphis May Fire (Sometimes)
Sounds Like: 
Creed
Name: 
Felipe Moreno
Date Reviewed: 
11/20/2013

Volition

Artist: 
Protest the Hero
Label: 
Razor & Tie

This album is a solid mix of Protest's first three albums. It contains the dynamics and fun riffs of Kezia with the "heaviness" of Fortress and the quirkiness of Scurillous. For those unfamiliar with Protest the Hero, think very technical instrumentals with very unique vocals (They range from normal singing to falsetto to death grunts to screaming, etc). The focus is split between the singer and the two guitarists.  Overall, this album is definitely an improvement over Scurillous. However, it’s not as good as Kezia or Fortress.

Sounds Like: 
The Human Abstract
Sounds Like: 
Periphery
Sounds Like: 
The Dillinger Escape Plan
Name: 
Alex Block
Date Reviewed: 
11/12/2013

Disarm The Descent

Artist: 
Killswitch Engage
Label: 
Roadrunner Records

This is Killswitch Engage's first album with original vocalist Jesse Leach since 2002's 'Alive or Just Breathing.' There are times in the first song where he (awkwardly) tries to emulate former vocalist Howard Jones, but Leach quickly comes back into his own to much avail. Some people might prefer Jones's voice and lyrics, but Killswitch maintains their composure, and this is some of their heaviest and most enjoyable material in years.

Sounds Like: 
All That Remains
Sounds Like: 
As I Lay Dying
Sounds Like: 
Soilwork
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
03/27/2013

Veto

Artist: 
Heaven Shall Burn
Label: 
Century Media Records

These guys are apparently one of the few metalcore bands that fickle metalheads liked back when the genre had its heyday in the mid-2000's, and I can see why. Their latest effort has smart songwriting, elements of both Swedish melodic death and American metalcore, and a little bit of groove for good measure. The vocalist is also remarkably coherent and reminds me of Dez Fafara of Devildriver.

Sounds Like: 
Devildriver
Sounds Like: 
As I Lay Dying
Sounds Like: 
Arch Enemy
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
03/26/2013

Reach Beyond The Sun - Single

Artist: 
Shai Hulud
Label: 
Metal Blade

These guys' new single is a great example of really good hardcore. The lyrics are inspiring, the guitar work is impressive, and the rhythm and breakdown sections manage to switch tempo and get out of 4/4 time at various points throughout the song. I wish I had payed attention to these guys earlier. They're absolutely fantastic.

Sounds Like: 
Misery Signals
Sounds Like: 
Bane
Sounds Like: 
Ruiner
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
01/17/2013

The Worst Time of Year - Single

Artist: 
Bow In Astoria
Label: 
Brutal Tooth Records

Tucson locals Bow in Astoria are an up-and-coming hardcore band recently signed to Texas-based Brutal Tooth Records. This song is chock-full of breakdowns and constantly changes tempos. BIA never let up the brutality and prove they have what it takes to make it. This is a good choice for a promo single and I think these guys have a bright future ahead of them.

Sounds Like: 
I, The Breather
Sounds Like: 
For Today
Sounds Like: 
In The Midst of Lions
Name: 
Alex Lopez
Date Reviewed: 
01/09/2013

Awakend

Artist: 
As I Lay Dying
Label: 
MetalBlade

As I Lay Dying has been around for a while. They've outlasted similar bands such as Haste The Day and are here with their first full length album since The Powerless Rise in the end of 2009 (no Decas does not count). However, staying a little bit truer to their actual songs on Decas, the band has less screaming style lyrics and more that is cleanly sung. The songs all feel like As I Lay Dying, with the driving pace and strong lyrics, but the band is going in a bit of a different direction.

Sounds Like: 
Haste the Day
Sounds Like: 
Austrian Death Machine
Name: 
Scott Angus
Date Reviewed: 
09/19/2012

Last Man Standing

Artist: 
Legacy Of Disorder
Label: 
Black Orchard Music

While "Last Man Standing" starts out strong, as most metal albums do, it unfortunately does not keep the listener as attentive throughout the whole album. Some of the positives include strong guitar work, but does not have the strength to carry a mediocre vocalist. Legacy of Disorder plays on the staples of metal (rage, hate, "bodies lay in piles") to the letter, and does not offer much versatility. After a while, the songs become redundant, but are consistent, and do not offer the sometimes too-typical ballad/slow song that many other records have.

Sounds Like: 
Machine Head
Sounds Like: 
Hatebreed
Sounds Like: 
Five Finger Death Punch
Name: 
Dave Hentz
Date Reviewed: 
09/05/2012

Burn In Beatiful Fire

Artist: 
Insense
Label: 
Indie

Boring. Thudding metal core riffs to angsty growling. All songs follow about the same formula. They break it up with singing, but its really bad. Some songs start out pretty rad but just end up disappointing.

Sounds Like: 
In Flames
Name: