Hardcore Making For A Strange New World Of Music

If you have ear enough to distinguish between hardcore and, well, several other styles of heavy and not heavy music alike, then surely you’ve also noticed the sudden obsession with breakdowns rising and plateauing.  I believe it’s begun it’s downward spiral, because frankly, it’s getting repetitive.  Metal aside, the heavy and fast of hardcore has found a way to incorporate virtually any other style, and even weave its way into others.  This includes metal, obviously, but more interestingly pop, acoustic, hip-hop, and especially electronic, with the recent popularity boost of dubstep in America.  All this being said, the bands that have continued to make ‘hardcore’ (and with this, I include pop-punk, metalcore, deathcore, grindcore (obviously)) have either started to sound the same (and I mean really sound the same) or are beginning to move on to genres that haven’t had the life sucked out of them yet.  Think about the endless list of new additions to the hardcore (metalcore/deathcore/whatever) scene: We Came As Romans, Motionless In White, Abandon All Ships, A Day To Remember, Blind Witness, Her Demise My Rise, Chelsea Grin, and so on.  All are great (well, some) and have something fresh to display, but how long can this last?  And how much have these bands already digressed from hardcore?  A good example of the dubstep-influenced hardcore is the metal or death core, or whatever, band Asking Alexandria.  I’ve heard their new album Ruthless and Relentless, and it’s pretty much way better than their first one.  That being said, this is due to a slight variation in the genre, and at its core (ha), it’s still based around the exhausted concept of breakdowns throughout.  I’m not making any grand prediction, but to maintain the style, there have to be less diversions in the future.  If everyone is alright with leaving the genre to the fate of Hair Metal, then I suppose it’s not a big problem.  It’s arguably already influenced more music than Hair Metal ever did, but that’s not the point.  The scene is getting boring, no matter how persistent the artists are.  It’s not their fault, really.  If one thinks of the number of bands competing for fame in this age, compared to virtually any time in the past, most likely due to mass-media, it seems impossible for anyone to be truly labeled original, even if they are.

Just some thoughts.  That said, check out Reckless and Relentless by Asking Al, and perhaps some of the following:

Attack Attack!- Attack Attack!

Blind Witness- Nightmare On Providence Street

Chelsea Grin- Desolation Of Eden

We Came As Romans- To Plant A Seed

Abandon All Ships- Geeving

Her Demise My Rise- The Takeover

Motionless In White- Creatures

A Day To Remember- What Separates Me From You

Sleeping With Sirens- With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear

Miss May I- Monument

I See Stars- End Of The World Party

Full Blown Chaos- Full Blown Chaos

Emmure- Speaker Of The Dead

Dr. Acula- Slander

Salt The Wound- Kill The Crown

Each have a little something of their very own to offer the music world but branch from the same roots.  Some sound like different styles completely, until they start playing breakdowns.  Good or bad, it’s nice to see all the kids playing heavy music and all, but it’s just not what I was expecting.  Music is in a weird place.  It’ll be interesting to see how all this shakes out, what music will be like in ten years, and how they’ll view this stage in music history.

Probably my favorite of the LPs I mentioned

The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues + Tour for BTBAM

So as a follow-up to my previous article, I have now had the opportunity to hear the new Between The Buried And Me e.p. The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, and it’s worth writing another article.  First of all, it’s got to be one of the longest e.p.’s I’ve heard, composed of 3 songs and adding up to about thirty minutes altogether.  Second of all, it’s really good.  They obviously haven’t been sitting around since the last album, because their style is maintained as if they continue to write as soon as they finish something.  The three epic songs bring to your ears an even stranger variety of music, spread between death metal and metalcore, to jazz and folk, to ambient trans, tribal drums and symphony.  It’s interesting enough trying to keep up with their sporadic disregard for compliance with a unifying time signature, sometimes utilizing completely untraditional signatures altogether.  The result is a journey, to say the least.  Definitely check it out.  In support of the release, they’re going on tour with Job For A Cowboy and The Ocean, throughtout North America, during which they will be playing the entirety of the e.p.  Check the website for show dates.

http://www.myspace.com/betweentheburiedandme

April - May 2011

Sumerian Records Is Awesome

The young label Sumerian, started in 2006, has already gained my attention as if they were a seasoned signer.  With bands like Asking Alexandria, I See Stars, Born Of Osiris, The Faceless, Stick To Your Guns, and several other up-and-coming artists in the heavy metal and pop rock circles, they are growing quickly.  They have even signed 20+ year rapper Bizzy Bone, of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony fame.  All of this is interesting enough, but the whole Sumerian/Ancient Culture theme has more of my attention.  Themes from the ancient world are prevalent in several of the bands’ lyrics and art.  The new Bizzy Bone album Crossroads 2010 displays Egyptian pyramids and aliens on the cover, suggesting a connection to a recently heightened belief about the world, which is a completely different story.  But it all goes back to the first recorded civilization of the world, Sumer, after which the label is named.  I don’t know, maybe it’s just the three (Born Of Osiris, The Faceless, Bizzy Bone) that push my attention in this direction.  Maybe I’m just another conspiracy theorist waiting to happen. Either way, check them out, it’s a good label making good music.

featuring guest appearances from some surprisingly non-hip-hop artists

Scurrilous; The Discovery; Celestial Completion; Hypersleep Dialogues; Yes

Ok, I know it seems like all I’ve done so far is complaining about new music, I figured I would go over several recent releases altogether so perhaps I’ll have some good things to say as well.

First new release that I personally have been waiting for is the new album Scurrilous by the Canadian Progressive Metal Band Protest The Hero.  I love this band and couldn’t wait for this to come out, and then I think I didn’t really like it.  They have a signature style in their first two releases that are based around playing off-tempo, sometimes confusing musical pieces, but in Scurrilous, I found little of this.  It’s still a fantastic album, don’t get me wrong, but I think they should have kept that chaotic writing style, especially because that’s what their true fans like.  Other than that, it’s still a beautiful album and you should probably just listen for yourself.

The second album I was waiting for was The Discovery by Illinois’ Born of Osiris.  They, too, have a crazy style about them, and on this, its been taken to the next level.  Their mathcore deathcore blend thing they had been using in the past has been blended with more progressive elements to make a pretty awesome sound.  I recommend it if you like the heavier sort of progressive.  I should probably save my rant about their label Sumerian for a later post, because, seriously, wow.

The third, if you like the sort of thing, is the new release from Georgia-based ‘super-religious but still awesome’ metal band Becoming The Archetype.  The album Celestial Completion is the closest thing I could ever have imagined the perfect union of massive breathtaking Gospel Choir and bone-crushing Death Metal to be.  Also pretty progressive, it’s worth it straight listen-through, but that’s just me.

Hmm let’s see, Emmure released another album.  Yay.  Speaker of the Dead is just more of the same tough-guy nonsense that you can expect from these guys.  No, I haven’t listened to it all the way though, I’ve just had enough of this band, and they released an album just last year.  I don’t see how they, no offense, can have made an entire decent album in a year.  Take it or leave it.

In a feeble attempt to capitalize in some way from the loss of arguably their best band, super-amazing progressive metal outfit Between The Buried And Me, Victory Records has decided to release a ‘greatest-hits’ for the band, who has released maybe four or five albums.  They may be amazing, but the two disc plus DVD set almost includes all of their work.  These albums were meant to be heard in the order the artist put them, so why not just get the whole things in order to hear what was meant to be heard?  This ‘greatest-hits’ scam seems helpful, but if you like Between The Buried And Me, you’re probably have experience with the music world, like me, and you know better.  Get their albums (especially Colors) and have your mind blown up.  Also, under their new label Metal Blade, they release their new e.p. The Parallax:  Hypersleep Dialogues later in April. I know it’s an e.p. but it’s still new original music, so it’s probably good.

BTBAM EP

Releases April 12

Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman contracts rare and deadly disease

Jeff Hanneman

Hanneman, alongside bandmate Kerry King

The guitarist of the multi-gold (which is good for metal) Thrash Metal band Slayer is reported to have a flesh-eating disease, known as necrotizing fasciitis, threatening to eat his body.  Hanneman had surgery a while back to try to combat it before it got out of control.  He is expected to recover, and who knows, they can probably use ‘necrotizing fasciitis’ for a song title.   They’ll need some song ideas after their last album.  Which wasn’t good.  Their last album.  Wasn’t good.  You get it.  World Painted Blood is even a dumb album title.  I wanna see a comeback, and maybe near-death experience will be the key.  You never know.  Good luck, Jeff.