HELLO, HEAVY METAL MANIACS!!
1) Vein ~ “Virus://Vibrance”
So…what we have here is another new hardcore band with a penchant for chaos in the same vein (HAHA…that was lame pun!) as Code Orange. In fact, Vein plans to hit the road with the thunderous group. So…we at least know one more thing about Vein. Their presence and style remain esoteric yet blatantly deranged as we can see from the music video.
We are given another clue. Vein comments on “Virus://Vibrance,”
“‘virus://vibrance’ and its visual component are a glimpse into the universe we’ve been creating for several years. It’s been a long time coming, and now it’s finally time to show people what Vein is.”
So…there ya go. A badass band from Massachusetts.
2) Judas Priest ~ “Firepower”
This is Priest’s second single I’m featuring this year of the freshly released album of the same title. This album excited me so much to the point I surprised my Ma with it for no other reason than parents deserve to be treated by their kids with a new Judas Priest album. If it weren’t the folks, I wouldn’t embody the badassery that has become my MetalBabe self.
In classic Judas Priest form, this power-shredding tune paints the image of an entity or self so powerful, no obstacle stands in the way. Both terrifying and inspiring. Recall The Sentinel…a classic opening riff Dad Andrew often practices. So be like Priest’s friend from the Metal future and kick life’s ass!
3) In This Moment ~ “Black Wedding”
I’m a sucker for Maria Brink. Nate absolutely adored her. She’s truly evolved into the Lady Gaga of Metal. She can metal growl with Jose Mangin to Pantera, and she can sing sultry notes of the poppy rock sort. Her theatrics mezmorize, her dancers entice, and the guys kick major heavy ass.
And now Father Halford stands in as an actual Priest.
No, this isn’t the classic metalcore sound of their early 2010 days. It’s still dark, brooding, and catchy. It riffs off of the Billy Idol favorite “White Wedding”…which is also extremely dark, brooding, and catchy. I won’t lie–if the right perfectly punk-coiffed Metalhead came along, we’d need a ceremony like these.
4) Islander ~ “I Want Sushi”
Rock n Roll don’t pay like it used to…so check out some Rap Metal.
When I heard this one a few weeks ago, I chuckled at the surface silliness of the lyrics, but as a working woman, I understand the pains of these working musicians who “drive a van all night.” You work your ass off and make just enough to sustain yourself. You wonder how much longer you’ll need to work through the stress and obstacles until it pays off. Even if the pay off is just some damn sushi.
5) Ministry ~ “Wargasm”
Another single from Uncle Al and the gang. Another critique of the military industrial complex, etc.
While not nearly as fan divisive as “AntiFa,” there seems to be low enthusiasm about this track. Mitchel Winney at MetalSucks comments, “…it’s completely unremarkable, lazy, simple, and passionless: just how I imagine sex with any of the band members would be.” A redeeming quality is Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell appearing in the lyric video in bastardized Joker clown facepaint. I guess it’s edgy? The song isn’t awful…but it’s Metal elevator muzak.
6) Dead Cross ~ “Church of the Motherfuckers”
Dead Cross is a relatively new hardcore Supergroup featuring the legendary Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Mike Patton (Faith No More), Michael Crain and Justin Pearson, the two latter both of Retox.
Opening with a Nietzsche quote about blind men fueling power, the music video (as if you couldn’t tell by the name of the song) takes harsh aim at organized religion. There are literally two priests beating the shit out of each other a la Fight Club. Oh, shit…I wasn’t supposed to talk about it…
Anywho, the visuals and discord throughout the song jar the mind. If you want to explore some new mindfuckery, check out this tune.
7) Dimmu Borgir ~ “Council of Wolves and Snakes”
*phew* I’ve never dove into Black Metal, but Dimmu Borgir have won my heart with this album. The melodic accompaniment warms my heart, sparking reminiscence of my band geek days during my youth. The Metal blogs comment on its experimental sound, integrating macabre soundscapes, ethereal choral vocals, and tribal chanting.
The lyrics tell the story of how men become gods. Gods live through the spirit and memories of those passing on their stories after death. Men become legends larger than themselves.
“The arrival is in the departure. We are sculpted into life By the hands of death.”
8) Avatar ~ “King’s Harvest”
I’ve been a fan of Avatar for awhile (follow ze link). They performed a great set at Chicago Open Air last year, both theatrically entertaining and heavy as fuck. The group release a new album in January jam packed full of delightful musical stylistic range.
While I have yet to listen to the full album Avatar Country, this is my favorite track musically of those I have heard. Driving tempos always catch me. The cleaner vocals melodic. And plenty of growling. Lyrically, the song paints a metaphor of becoming one’s self…becoming the King’s Harvest.
9) DevilDriver ~ “Country Heroes”
I can’t fucking stand country “music” (hardcore judging), but this Hank Williams III cover featuring Hank III is sludgy stoner as fuck, and I love it. Mad props where they are due.
So what the fuck is outlaw country? I mean…it sounds badass. Dex Farfara speaks of digging into his parent’s music collection as a kid (my whole childhood). The Doors, Kenny Rogers, and Johnny Cash all introduced him to the varieties of musical talent. Outlaw country isn’t that bullshit Taylor Swift bubblegum fabricated drivel we hear too much about. Think Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and Hank III’s grandfather.
Set your differences aside, Metalheads. There’s room for everybody and their whiskey in the pit.
10) One-Eyed Doll ~ “Committed”
I threw on a fun one as I’ve been re-listening to their discography. Nate and I first discovered Kimberly Freeman and “Junior” Jason Sewell in 2011 when they opened for Otep. Kimberly opened the show with her teeny Texas voice “This song..is…Committed…like Junior’s mother.” She then proceeded to do high kicks, hair whips in my face, and dive into the crowd with her downtuned guitar. A few years ago, I met them at a St. Louis show and told her about the experience. She signed my poster “To Brie…STAY CHEESY!”