Long time readers of this site will know that I’m massively into my rock and metal music, amongst other things. Metal is often maligned, but it’s one of the most prominent genres out there, with loads of fantastic underground bands and artists underpinning the scene. I started a review series based around songs with elements of metal a couple of years ago, and it’s now time for its third iteration! As always, a full playlist can also be found at the bottom.
Review by Jane Howkins
Photo by BigBaldBen
bigbaldben – Disjointed
First up is bigbaldben with amazing new tune, Disjointed. Whilst the track has some metal elements, it also breaches a few other genres, including hard rock, psychedelic rock and desert rock, making for one awesome package. It’s pretty catchy too – the way the vocal harmonies are used is very unique, making for one song that you won’t forget in a hurry! The guitars have a cool rhythmic quality here, fitting the drums and bassline well. The vocals are the real stand out point though, sounding absolutely gorgeous throughout.
Ginger May – Mockster
It’s not very often we get to share new music from Japan, so band Ginger May are very welcome here! Mockster mixes elements of hard rock and classic metal together, creating something incredibly anthemic in the process. The chorus has a singalong quality, seeing an immense array of synths weave in and out of the riffs. It’s a little different to some of the other metal songs on this list, but it’s great to hear something more unique in this genre! Mockster melds heaviness and melody together in an awesome way, so why not give it a go?
Shaven Primates – Silicon Implants
Shaven Primates is an awesome Oxford band that really know how to mix genres together, as Silicon Implants shows. It starts out with a frenetic drum beat and some banging riffs, before descending into a punky beat, complete with an eccentric piano melody. The vocals are pretty distinctive, but they really work wonders with this track, suiting the music well. The bridge mixes things up a bit, introducing a discordant guitar solo into the mix, before another verse kicks in again. Silicon Implants simply exudes energy and talent, making Shaven Primates ones to watch!
Love Ghost – Payback
We’ve featured Love Ghost before, so it’s great to be able to share their new track, Payback. The song also features SKOLD, combining the talents of both artists together. Payback starts out pretty slowly, with a mellow guitar melody and some eerie backing effects underpinning the vocals. The song then builds up to the frenetic chorus, simply bursting with energy. The riffs are pretty killer here, creating something you’ll want to bang your head along to instantly. The changing dynamics between verse and chorus are what really make this cool track stand out.
Moat Cobra – DEVOUR (Live)
DEVOUR (Live) is a track from Moat Cobra’s new album release, DCxPC Live & Dead Vol. 1 Presents Moat Cobra. It’s a wonderful album for extreme metal fans, sounding extremely brutal throughout. Despite being live, the production quality on this track sounds immense, and I can only imagine how fantastic these guys are live! The energy never lets up, featuring huge drum beats and buzzsaw riffs that will absolutely rock your socks off. The screamed vocals are really intense, soaring with passion over the heavy music. These guys are certainly ones to watch!
Drastic//Automatic – Drastic//Automatic
Drastic//Automatic is the title track from Drastic//Automatic’s self-titled EP, opening the record nicely. Whilst the band’s music largely belongs within the hardcore punk genre, I also felt there were moments of metal in there – particularly with the intensity of the music and the buzzsaw riffs contained within the track. A throbbing bassline pulsates through the track, as discordant guitar lines tail off, leading to a cool guitar solo towards the end. the vocals are quite raw sounding, but they suit the style of music well, creating an intensely extreme sound that truly works wonders. I predict big things for Drastic//Automatic!
The Deadwood Pioneer – We Make The Rules
Australian band The Deadwood Pioneer is quite a unique proposition – whilst they’re certainly a metal/hard rock band, they also include moments of country and folk within their music, making for a very divergent sound! A banjo can be heard faintly in the background at the start of We Make The Rules, playing nicely underneath the hard riffs and immense rhythm section. The guitar sound like something out of a classic rock tune, chugging away in a cool fashion. The vocals are also very strong, adding a lot of soul and passion to this groovy number.
Jay Luke – Me And My Demons
Jay Luke is a rock and roll artist who has performed with some big hitters in the rock/metal world, showing he really has the chops to succeed! Me And My Dreams sounds epic from the very start, opening with some huge drums and banging riffs. The tempo is pretty fast, seeing some cool guitar licks run through the track alongside the bass and drums. Jay’s vocals also have a raw edge to them, simply oozing attitude here. The guitars are one of the most impressive things here – the twin guitar lines are particularly astounding to behold
Cassetta – Swallow The Sun
Swallow The Sun is one for those into their more extreme forms of metal. Cassetta create brutal death metal, full of intense screaming and extremely heavy guitar riffs. The tempo is pretty fast at times, slowing down at other occasions to create more of a Djent vibe. This means there’s a lot of variety in Swallow The Sun, appealing across the entirety of the extreme metal spectrum. It’s apparent just how talented these musicians are at their instruments – even if you’re not into screaming vocals, the instrumentation should still captivate you.
Sylvatic Black – Deadly Kiss
Deadly Kiss is an anthemic track with a classic rock/metal sound, created by Swedish band Sylvatic Black. The vocal harmonies that open the song up sound absolutely amazing, setting the tone for the rest of the music. It’s a bit cheesy at times, but this quality actually suits the style of music well, harking back to the classic days of rock and roll. It’s very catchy, especially on the chorus, adding an anthemic singalong vibe to the track. There’s also a pretty cool guitar solo towards the end, leading Deadly Kiss nicely into its final chorus.
Lazywall – Dem 3la Dem
Dem 3la Dem is a track created by Lazywall, one of the most unique acts on this list. They blend Eastern music elements into a rock/metal mould, creating something very special. The track seems more like a world music song at first listen, but the riffs kick in after a while. The blend of different styles and sounds is incredible, adding more variety into a genre that came sometimes become stale. And the vocals are also extremely strong – they’ve got a typical Eastern sound, but they’re belted out with great strength here. This is a must listen, even if it’s not typically your sort of thing.
Strange Rainn – Detained Bliss
Detained Bliss is another song that’s a little different to the norm – whilst it certainly has a dark atmosphere and some cool guitar lines, it also contains elements of dream-pop, rock, indie and post-punk. The vocals drift along in the background, with a multitude of cool effects added to them to boost the character of the tune. The synths ebb and flow through the music, changing slightly as it progresses. Strange Rainn’s addition is quite an experimental track, but those who like their music a little different from the norm should get a kick out of this.
Call To The Void – Uncontrollable
British band Call To The Void is another band with a slightly different sound than expected, combining garage rock with an 80s metal twist. Uncontrollable is well worth your listening time though, featuring some fuzzy guitar licks on occasion, as well as some lovely clean arpeggios. It’s a little mellower than you might expect, turning from what sounds like an indie rock tune on the verses to more of a classic metal sound on the choruses. The vocals are very passionate here, having a distinctive twang that you’ll remember for days to come.
Chloe Mogg – Heaven Sent You
Heaven Sent You is one of my favourite songs on this entire list, created by British singer-songwriter and musician Chloe Mogg. It sounds a little poppy at first, and whilst it certainly is catchy, there’s also a heavy attitude displayed here at times. Chloe’s voice is amazing, simply belting the lyrics out here, showing how vast her vocal range is. The chorus raises the energy up a little, making for something that you’ll be singing along to in no time. Heaven Sent You may not suit those into their extreme metal, but if you like your rock on the lighter side of things, it’s perfect.