We’ve been digging around the endless corners of the internet (instead of doing anything useful) and discovered some great new music from new bands (and some great new music from old bands too!) to share them with you in this first Fresh Meat feature! So take a look below and get in on some of these tracks now so you can brag to people on Reddit about how you liked them before they were cool.
Hailing from Newcastle, UK, Groundculture has all the makings of your favourite new modern metalcore band. Combining some of the best elements of today’s scene, Groundculture brings huge bouncing riffs and ear-worm vocal hooks alongside a chaotic hardcore swagger that benefits massively from thick guitar tones and modern-style production. With a debut EP due June 1st and support slots for bands like Every Time I Die and 30 Seconds to Mars, right now is an exciting time for the band. Make sure you get in on the ground floor with these guys, they should have a bright future ahead of them!
FFO: While She Sleeps, Beartooth, Stray From the Path, Architects
Hatchets for Hands
Ignoring the silly “mid-2000s MySpace deathcore band” name for a second, Hatchets for Hands, and their latest EP, Convulsions of a Dying Empire which was released this May, are worth your attention, especially for fans of Amon Amarth style melodic death metal. With the melodic aplomb that is to be expected from the genre, Hatchets for Hands revel in some excellent (but admittedly slightly cheesy at times) lead parts along with solid songwriting – the highlight being the incredibly catchy opener “Warpath.”
Moving away from trappings of the genre, however, are some of the topics discussed over the course of this release. The band, hailing from San Francisco, use lyrical themes that are closer to reality than you may expect from the bombast of melodic death metal – with tracks dealing with the American opioid crisis and other social issues. If you’re looking for some well crafted melodic death metal with a touch of reality, you could do far worse than Hatchets for Hands.
FFO: Amon Amarth, Kalmah, Dark Tranquillity
There have been rumblings of the nu-metal revival for years; ever since we realised that lots of djent influenced metal bands were really just playing KoRn and Wes Borland riffs. Now Vein, a five-piece from Boston are cutting the crap and just embracing the “nu” while mixing it in with their Converge-like chaotic metallic hardcore sonic assault. Their latest single “Virus://Vibrance”, from upcoming Will Putney produced album errorzone, is a fantastic example of how a genre as derided as nu-metal can appeal to an audience beyond just those who are sad about the failed JNCO revival.
Is Vein just following the trend started by Code Orange of mixing elements of 90’s alternative music into hardcore? When it’s this crushing, who cares!
FFO: Spineshank, Code Orange, Converge, Slipknot
Orbit Culture don’t do anything particularly new or complicated on their 2018 EP, Red Fog – but what they do do, with their brand of spacey melodic groove metal, is provide a compelling and highly enjoyable listening experience. Chunky rhythm focused riffs channel equal parts Pantera and Strapping Young Lad while high-speed riffs and a healthy portion of guttural vocals make sure you don’t forget the band’s roots as an out-and-out melodic death metal band.
On the other side of the coin, big rock choruses add an almost Metallica-esque sense of melody to proceedings. These disparate elements, the melodic and the extreme, come together with a modern production style to create a sound that is surprisingly unique despite the individual components. A must listen for those who just want to have a good time with some good heavy music.
FFO: Strapping Young Lad, Starkill, Feared, Gojira
Modern progressive metal tends to come in a few limited flavours these days. The focus on being undeniably extra – whether it’s huge modern djent production, complete with synths and pop-choruses, or surrealist death metal band with heaps of strange atmosphere and cryptic riffs – is nearly impossible to escape. That’s what makes Fiends, a four-piece progressive metal outfit from Florida, so refreshing. There’s very little pretence here, nor much in the way of tropes that scream “we are a prog band!”.
Instead, what Fiends offer is riff-heavy metal that uses odd time signatures and syncopation to create something that is both immediate and accessible while still being technically interesting. You’ll still find the odd staccato djent riff and clean singing section on the two currently released singles, so while we can’t say it’s completely without the trappings of the chosen genre, there’s certainly no reliance on them. Instead, the reliance is on razor-sharp riffing and enjoyable technical songwriting; which, as far as we’re concerned, is a winning combination. Look out for a more substantial release from Fiends later on in 2018!
FFO: (old) Between the Buried and Me, Lamb of God, Unearth, All Shall Perish
Fresh Meat is a semi-regular feature that highlights the best in new, up-and-coming, unknown and generally underappreciated bands, albums and tracks in rock and metal.