Hey there, Lovelies!
I recently resubscribed to Sirius XM radio. I missed Liquid Metal and Jose Mangin something fierce. As soon the the radio kicked back on Monday morning after I picked up a gas station coffee before work, my heart lifted. Listening to the latest Devil’s Dozen gave me a new blog post idea: My latest Metal Digs. I’ll tell you what’s on *my* personal radar.
The not-so-Metalheads don’t really *get* the nuances of subgenres or reasoning behind categorizing a bunch of growling noise, but of course the Metalheads, whether or not you care for them, do understand the meanings behind subgenres. My personal favs include industrial, groove, prog, and nu…you know, if you’re gonna put a label on a band’s sound. I like categorizing to an extent. It helps quickly identify a band’s roots, influences, and style. It might even give you a telltale on whether you’d enjoy the band’s sound before you’ve heard any of their songs.
Anywho, here’s what’s trending on Breezer’s ticker.
Oh, and they’re not necessarily rated.
1) Judas Priest ~ “Lightning Strike”
*Hops on the Metal Soapbox* First of all, if you call yourself a Metalhead and don’t know who the fuck Judas Priest is, get the fuck out. My cats listen to Priest regularly.
Furthermore, Rob Halford can still scream higher than your Mama on her best night!
*gets down off the box* In case you haven’t noticed, I’m passionate about Judas Priest. I use the band’s name in vain regularly because A) Jesus could use a break and B) people quickly get a feel of who you are as a person if you exclaim the name of a reknowned Metal Band…or Judas Iscariot’s followers. Either way, no one mistakes you for not being a badass.
2) Between the Buried and Me ~ “Condemned to the Gallows”
This song…is so goddamn beautiful, I want to cry.
My first college boyfriend introduced me to BTBAM way back in Undergrad. At the time, I had not ventured into the world of growling vocals despite growing up listening to the veterans. I loved Rush and discovered Dream Theater in high school. Prog rock and metal easily found its way into my heart. As did Alaska and Colors.
The diversity in musical style, both abrasive and tender, arise in this beautiful piece of artwork. The song evokes powerful, dark imagery of bleak beauty in futility, such as that found in many pursuits of love. This track comes off Between the Buried And Me’s upcoming double album Automata I set to release in March 2018 and Automata II this Summer.
3) Trivium ~ “The Wretchedness Inside”
I gotta admit, I am not the biggest Trivium fan. I like them, but some of their stuff is a bit too core for me. However, this song has a groove that just won’t quit, just makes me wanna jump in the pit! MMM! YES!
It makes you wanna jump back into a toxic situation you know eats away from your soul. Okay, the song didn’t grab me that forcefully, but it certainly captures the sentiment through the lyrics. Too bad for the band who passed up this ghost-written track. I turned my head to give Trivium a second listen.
4) Jinjer – “Bad Water (reissue)”
Every word Tatiana, the Ukranian Metal Goddess, sings makes my mouth fill with bad water. I discovered this group of talent last year thanks to Liquid Metal when I heard “Pisces.” Go listen to “Pisces” right now. The juxtaposition of melodic singing to disorienting growls via a seamless transition induces jaw-dropping awe.
“Bad Water” has been around for a few years, but as the band gains more traction, thanks to platforms like Sirius XM Radio Liquid Metal, They’re reissuing their album Cloud Factory with Napalm Records. I adore this band, and I impatiently await my first time seeing them live.
5) Ministry ~ “Antifa”
Say what you will about the actual movement, this song is unapologetic industrial Ministry through and through. It’s so fucking metal, there are more down votes for the official music video on YouTube than upvotes, and I am willing to bet Al Jourgensen does not give one flying fuck.
This song is set to debut on their album AmeriKKKant due out in March 2018. It is entirely possible Rodney and I caught Ministry performing Antifa live at Chicago Open Air 2017 this past Summer. Maybe if the group returns, I’ll get to catch this hard-hitting tune.
6) Machine Head ~ “Beyond The Pale”
Machine Head is another band I have not thoroughly explored, but this swong piqued my interest. It’s catchy as Hell. Structurally, it’s fairly simple. The band said, “It was just a simple four-minute song that we were, like, ‘Fuck, cool!’ It came together really fast.” Despite pumping out music, Robb Flynn rewote the lyrics seven different times before cultivating the finished product.
Despite the band’s wanting to bring their metal sound to a more mainstream audience, which is not particularly conducive towards snagging a fan such as myself, I’ll probably give this album a close listen seeing as Ted Jensen (who has worked with Alice In Chains and Deftones, oh, and the Eagles) mastered the finished product.
7) Arch Enemy ~ The Eagle Flies Alone
I don’t quite remember when I discovered Arch Enemy, but it was sometime during my Undergrad years…oh, about ten years ago. I grew accustomed to the Metal growling, and Angela Gossow blew me away. Doomsday Machine sent chills of Metallic rage up my spine.
Such sounds out of a woman. Such brutal musicality from the band. They shored up my love affair with Swedish Death Metal. Funny enough, when I brought up my revelations to Nate, he quipped, “Oh, yeah, I have that album right here. *holds up*” I guess I was behind the curve.
“The Eagle Flies Alone” is about standing true even if no one else flies by your side. Maybe this new song sounds too similar to the rest of their tunes to the “Metalitist,” but Alissa White-Gluz is filling Angela’s boots pretty damn well.
8) Code Orange ~ “Only One Way”
Here we have a single so fresh, the band doesn’t even have so much as a lyric video posted on their YouTube channel yet. It’s released via Adult Swim. I gushed about Code Orange last year in my Countdown to Chicago Open Air 2017. Rodney and I did not make it out early enough for their set, but fate will ensure I see this killer group of core kids.
The heavy grunge influences permeate this track. Abrupt stops. Drudging
“We wanted to write a song that felt like something structurally sound and melodic, being chewed up and spit out by a machine; our machine.”
But there’s Only One Way for you to find out: Listen.
9) A Sound of Thunder ~ “Kill That Bitch”
Why THE FUCK. Would you throw away Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, or Dio?!?!
Holy shit! This band wails! A Sound of Thunder hail from D.C. These hidden gems sold me on Tarantino references, adoration of Alice Cooper, and Nina Osegueda’s curves. Sorry to objectify, Nina, but many Metal frontwomen are slender goddesses, and you, like myself, are a badass bitch with an ass. It’s beautiful to see a variety of bodies and acceptance of the gorgeous self.
Even more importantly is the versatility of sound in their thunder. ASOT shows off their heaviness in other songs, but this one portrays their dark playfulness…so much like Alice Cooper.
10) Of Mice and Men ~ “Warzone”
Another band which plays a bit too core for my taste, but OM&M hit this one out of the park. Warzone brings the brutal edge, emulating the daily struggle of working through this life. Frontman Aaron Pauley opened up, stating Chester Bennington’s death and a subsequent panic attack spurred the lyric writing.
Boy, if that’s not something I can relate to, I don’t know what is. But I keep fighting back.
**Missing you up in the Heavens, Baby Brother. Stay Metal**