Tag Archives: metalcore

Abhiruk Patowary

Album Review: GAIA – Aerial

Everyone can agree that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find new talent in today’s modern metal scene. In recent years, there has been a huge rise in the number of so called ‘metalcore’ bands (half the time I think that people are misinformed as to what metalcore actually), with bands left, right and center ripping one another off, bringing nothing new or exciting to the table.

However, India based metalcore project GAIA are far removed from the trends that plague the current metal scene. The band, founded by multi-instrumentalist Abhiruk Patowary, is about to self-release debut album “Aerial” on September 20th. The best way to describe their sound would be something that fits in between the style popularized by bands such as Periphery and TesseracT with a mix of melodic passages. The fusion of hardcore and metal is quite astounding; the amount of talent these guys possess is utterly ludicrous at points, leaving listeners wondering what the hell just happened (and possibly whether the band can pull it off live; in answer to that, yes – they bloody well can).

Each of the ten tracks present on this disc showcase the immense talent and songwriting skills Patowary and the company. The guitars especially are very interesting; album opener “Aerial” is a rollercoaster of technical riffage and crazy time signatures. The drumming at first seems to follow no logical pattern but after one has become accustomed to this style of technical metal, the effects are astounding. The bass is also heard quite well – the lines do stick to the guitars quite a bit but at this pace and level of technicality, it is still downright impressive.

GAIA - Aerial

There is a strong metalcore influence throughout the album but don’t let it deter you. Breakdowns are present but most definitely are not in abundance.

Overall, the band’s debut album is nothing short of phenomenal. Every one of the ten tracks is excellent. The metalcore scene may be plagued by some ridiculously poor acts, but acts such as GAIA demonstrate that the scene is far from bad. A definite recommendation to any fan of technical metal, hardcore or metalcore.

Stay in touch with GAIA via Facebook.

Abhiruk Patowary

Interview: GAIA

Abhiruk Patowary is a young multi-instrumentalist from India, who is about to launch a debut album with his project GAIA. In an interview for our website Abhiruk lets us know about his musical beginnings, the album, his future plans…

Let’s start from your early music beginnings. How did your musical career begin? When did you start playing? Which groups have been your favorites? Please tell us something more about your early life.

I started playing piano around 9 years ago. I was playing Western classical music until a fine day I heard some kids in my school play metal and I became obsessed. Ever since it was my dream to form a metal band and write an album. After which I started to play drums which was one of my first steps of playing metal, then I learned bass and then finally guitar.

Opeth and Pantera were my gateway drug to metal and have been my influences. Apart from these two, for this particular bands modern metal bands like Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, August Burns Red, Periphery, TesseracT, Skyharbor, were some of my influences.

As for my early life, I don’t think I can answer that since I’m too young to have an early life.

Abhiruk Patowary (GAIA)

How did you go about forming Gaia? Who was the most influential when the band started its musical journey?

I wanted to write groovy metal core stuff, but couldn’t find people to join me so I wrote the entire album on my own. Then I got Nathan from Intervals to play drums on five of the tracks. One particular thing that has been really influential is going to gigs and seeing bands both underground and international.

In the beginning, did you have some “fixed” tempo in composing songs or everything was a product of jamming, improvising?

All the basic structures were basically me noodling around the guitar for hours and recording it on my laptop.

How would you describe Gaia’s music on your own?

Gaia’s music is simple, groovy modern metal music. I think that’s the best how I can describe it.

GAIA - Aerial

Tell me about the writing and recording phases of your debut album Aerial.

After I get the basic structure done, I start to layer with other guitar sections and synth parts, then I track bass and finally the drums. Before tracking drums I roughly program it just to have an idea.

How do you see the metal scene in India? Can you recommend us some bands to check out?

Metal scene in India is growing rapidly and there are many potential bands which maybe be big names in the future. Some bands you can check out are Goddess Gaggged, Scribe, Acid Pit, Dymbur and Warwan.

Abhiruk Patowary

Do you consider yourselves a part of any specific cultural movement, however peripheral?

No I don’t really think so.

Are you also involved in any other projects or bands beside Gaia?

Yes. I also play bass for Acid Pit and drums for Paroxysm.

So, what comes next for Gaia?

Next step for Gaia is to go live, find musicians to join the band, which has been started and also start to write Gaia 2.

Follow GAIA on Facebook and Instagram.

Anthems

In Focus: Anthems – Consciousness

Czech melodic hardcore ensemble Anthems set out to pack lots of energy in their 2017’s album, “Consciousness”. The record blurs the lines between the old school and the new, with some truly cinematic melodies and some deep, explosive guitar walls. After the short instrumental intro, the introductory guitar riff “Empty Thoughts” is clean and drenched in reverb, reminding me of post-rock. The contrast between the vocals and the music reminds me of bands such as The Chariot or Underoath, while, the song later explodes with dense, heavy and powerful grooves.

One of the most striking aspects of this record is definitely the complex arrangement and the way it merges with some emotionally introspective lyrics, blurring the lines between genres as diverse as melodic hardcore, post-rock and metalcore. I am really impressed with the overall production quality and by the earnest performance of these talented lads.

Stream the album below, download it from Bandcamp and follow Anthems on Facebook.

Anthems - Conscousness

Meliorist

Review: Meliorist – ii.

On “ii.” Brisbane’s Meliorist unleashes a flurry of genre-blending forms and influences to craft an enjoyable, entertaining listen. I found “ii.” much more accessible than its self-titled predecessor, even as it retains the progressive and experimental nature.

Reviewing an EP can be a little tough, what with fewer songs to talk about. In this case however, I don’t really think of this release as a series of five songs. It’s much more like five tracks that encompass several moods and styles. You could say that each track has multiple songs, but to me they sound as if the band said: “Ok, let’s lay down five tracks. We’ll throw a lot of different elements in, and just play however we feel“. For a lot of bands, this free-form approach can become a complete disaster. Luckily enough, it turned out pretty good for Meliorist.

Meliorist - ii

The EP begins with “New Chapter,” a wacky sequence before it cuts into a very aggressive section, and fluctuates between this and moments of soaring vocal melodies. Heavy riffs, crazy drum arrangements, and guttural vocals are elements that make up Meliorist’s sound. ii. is best taken in as a whole, so choosing a favorite track or moment is kind of difficult. However, if pressed I would have to say “My Reflection” is my favorite track. Beginning with a plethora of brilliant guitar work, the song catapults into a furious volcano of palm-muted crunch and relentless drumming. Awesome.

Meliorist is not for everyone. If you are not willing to take the time to sort it all out, it can be disorienting, and you will completely miss the point. For the rest of us who are wiling to take that time, this new band solidifies the fact that we are experiencing one of the most talented metal bands of our generation unfold before our eyes. This is metal at its finest, completely unapologetic, and all the while blazing a path into uncharted territory.

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

YouTube

The Image You Claim

Interview with THE IMAGE YOU CLAIM

The Image You Claim is a newcoming progressive metalcore six-piece from California, and “Painted Visions” is their debut album released back in October last year.

Singer Justin Olsen looks back at the songwriting process of the album, touring, inspiration. Read the interview after the break.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life has been pretty alright, we have just been taking a well deserved hiatus for the holidays after our first batch of shows. We are back to the grindstone now, planning some new content as well as writing some new tracks.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Painted Visions”?

Painted Visions is a really unique and emotional record. I feel like it really encapsulates our style but also gives us room for evolution.

What was it like working on the album?

It was quite an experience. It was my first time in the studio recording. It improved my vocals and warm up routines as well as giving me important insight on the whole process. Chris handled a lot of the mixing and mastering, but Julian and I played a part in revision and nitpicked the hell out of it until it was ready to ship. It was really fun writing, composing and recording and i look forward to doing it again soon.

The Image You Claim - Painted Visions

Are there any touring plans in support to “Painted Visions”?

You know, the band has been throwing around the idea of like, a west coast tour since the album released, but we have had a tough time finding prog bands in our area to tour with. Not only that, we have just been dialing in tone, getting things right, and making sure things are reliable as possible equipment wise. We have had some adventures with FOH sound, and we want to make sure everything is as straightforward and professional as possible, but if there are any progressive metal or djent bands in the SoCal area, hit us up!

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

It would be awesome to tour the US, the UK, and Australia in the future. The metal scene is growing day by day and i would love to have the opportunity to travel around and broaden our fanbase.

Who and what inspires you the most?

My biggest inspiration personally is Donovan Melero of Hail the Sun, and Sianvar. both he and Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute inform a lot of my writing. It helps me think of alternate ways to structure, metaphorize, and use a unique syntax to write songs, It really helps in progressive metal with all the crazy riffs and time signature changes. Donovan’s performance really made me reevaluate how i was using my voice, so tonally it could be  cleaner and less forced without losing that sort of emotion. I’m still working on all that though, and i have a lot of room for improvement haha.

Chris, our guitarist and writer of the instrumentals for Painted Visions, is inspired by bands like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, and suchlike, but i feel like he has a “voice” of his own. His style is super distinct.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I listen to almost anything and everything (with the exception of country). I have to say it really does. Chris and I are studio-centric (I guess that’s what you would call it) and it helps inform sound design, technique and composition. You can hear in my writing that I listen to a lot of post-hardcore stuff, as well as math rock. I also listen to a lot of Jazz, Rap, Indie, Electronic, ect. All of our horizons are broad, and our minds open, so that helps immensely, both in terms of sound and knowledge.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

I would like to say that we really appreciate every single person that supports us. Listen and enjoy but also don’t be afraid to talk to us. Hit us up on social media, give us some input on our videos on how we could improve, or even just to tell us you enjoyed it. Thank you guys for giving us this opportunity.

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

As A Conceit

Review: As A Conceit – Frown Upon Us

There are many ways of creating music. Following the rules, being bound of genre limitations, or letting your wheels go off road to wherever you want your sound to reach out. This change in the direction only brings rich melodies, “new” tunes, tasty sound.

As a Conceit, a hardcore band from Italy, is one of those off-roadsters. They don’t follow the rules but create their own way. Their album “Frown Upon Us” is a great example which walks around melodic death metal, with additions of nice progressive clean vocals. There is a mystic side of the album in the way of narrative and female vocals.

frown-upon-us

“Frown Upon Us” may remind you of some In Flames works, some Korn, Slipknot and most prominently Architects. From the first moment until the last, the record is full of tasty, energetic melodies. “Frown Upon Us” stays true to hardcore with great passages through melodic death metal.

“Frown Upon Us” is one of those great records from 2016 that might be overlooked. With its rich sound it will make your ears satisfied no matter what kind of genre takes your attention.

Follow As A Conceit on Facebook.

to-die-elsewhere

Interview with TO DIE ELSEWHERE

Progressive metalcore trio from Salem, Oregon, To Die Elsewhere, in 2016 launched their debut full length album titled Whispers, which is a collection of 13 well executed and well played tracks. The band is already working on a new EP which will be released early next year, and about this all they told us in an interview below.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Splendid! We are spending time with our families and getting ready for Christmas!

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Whispers”?

It’s our take on the progression of metalcore to a new, more technical style of metal.

What was it like working on the album?

It was a lot of work! We did the whole album ourselves, which was great because it allowed us to make it exactly how we wanted it. But that also presented a challenge as we had to work on it around our day-to-day lives. Tracking before work, tracking after work, listening to test mixes in our cars on our lunch breaks. There were a lot of late nights, but it was all worth it!

to-die-elsewhere-whispers

Are there any touring plans in support to “Whispers”?

We are currently setting up a regional tour with some of our good friends in early 2017! We are so excited to play songs off of this album that we haven’t played in a live environment yet!

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

All of Europe! Specifically, The United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Italy. Also, Australia!

Who and what inspires you the most?

Rick is inspired by classic literature. Some of his favorite authors are Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde, and Bram Stoker.

Spencer is inspired by things that push the boundaries of music. Whether it’s new gear, or musicians such as Tosin Abasi, Charlie Christian, and James Hetfield.

Jamison is inspired by Neil Peart, Michael Jordan, and competition.

To Die Elsehwere

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

As a group we like a lot of sub genres of jazz, funk, hip-hop, and classic punk. What impacts our playing the most, however, is the unpredictable structuring of jazz, and the musical complexity of progressive rock. As we grow as musicians, we are constantly striving to apply new stylistic flares into our playing.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?
We are writing a new EP that we plan to release in early 2017. Make sure to keep up with us on Facebook as we get closer to releasing that.
unprocessed

Review: Unprocessed – Perception

It’s not every day that one hears a modern day metal band produce an album that truly challenges the stereotypical sound that may be expected from contemporary metal acts. Enter Unprocessed — Wiesbaden, Germany based metal heads releasing a new EP just last month. I’ve spent the last four days immersed in the experience that is Perception and I can’t seem to stop listening to this incredibly versatile and talented group of musicians and this gem they’ve produced.

No more than three years on the metal scene, Unprocessed’s sound is a uniquely balanced mixture of Progressive Metal, Ambient, Metalcore, Djent, yet the seamless integration with which the band has brought these together is a testament to their musicianship and skill.

So let’s get down to brass tax – this album is not for the faint hearted. Tracks like Praludium and Ocean of Silence, kick off with no bullshit thrash, blisteringly hard hitting drumming coupled with flawlessly executed guitar riffs and bass lines to match not to mention the quintessential growl that has mosh pits swirling in unison. It’s what comes next that makes Unprocessed’s sound theirs and theirs alone.

unprocessed-perception

The album holds additional treasures such as Desert by the Sea and Perspective, both of which have a relatively greater degree of Progressive Metal evident in their composition.

Possibly the most complete embodiment of Unprocessed’s sound in 2016 are two centrepieces: Life. A Prologue of Death and Death. An Epilogue of Life. Catchy guitar riffs to kick off verses full of growls and choruses full of harmonies lull the listener into the comfort of a hard hitting songs. The ease with which the vocals jump into the growl speaks volumes of the adaptability of the vocals on the album. Truly an all-encompassing experience of the sound that Unprocessed have developed.

I can go on for hours about this release but the bottom line is that Unprocessed have absolutely nailed on Perception with their song writing, virtuosity and execution. Do yourself a favour and get the EP.

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

SoundCloud

ReverbNation

Make Way For Man

Interview with MAKE WAY FOR MAN

Looking at the name of the Perth progressive metalcore six-piece, Make Way For Man, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when their debut EP “Evolve & Repair” was sent to me through the PR wire. But two listens later, these guys made way for themselves and I’ve been listening to the EP a lot recently.

Singer John Kelly answered my questions about the EP, and then some more.

Hey folks. How are you doing?

Good thanks!

You released “Evolve & Repair” recently. How do you feel about the release?

We are really excited with the reception so far, the feedback has been amazing. This band was just a concept for so long that it’s been so good to get out and play shows and have the crowd sing the words back at us! It’s really been a great ride that we hope we can keep pushing for a long time to come.

How much of a challenge was to work on the EP?

10/10 Bullsh*t hard haha! Considering we are 6 guys with full time jobs, not to mention a few of us have other musical endeavors that take our time up, it was definitely a struggle to even get the 6 of us in the same room some times! But nothing worth doing is ever easy is it? So I think that makes it so much more rewarding.

Make Way For Man - Evolve & Repair

What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Perth are you friends with?

Our friends in Iconoclast, At Depths, Shangrila and Havoc are doing some really great things for the Perth scene and people should definitely check them all out.

What is your opinion about the current progressive metal(core) scene?

The scene is great and only getting better! I know that personally growing up that the choice for progressive heavy music was a lot more sparce than it is today. We only really had the virtuoso musicians that were really doing complex timings and outside the box genre blends so it’s really good to see how much new prog can be found nowadays. Not to mention non prog bands incorporating prog elements. It’s a brave and exciting new world folks haha! This isn’t your dad’s scene!

Can you tell me something about your influences?

What makes us unique as a collection of musicians is that we are really diverse in our influences whilst still having an overlap of the same sort of stuff. For example we all love bands like Meshuggah, Periphery and Sikth but then I personally am influenced greatly by artists like Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and bands such as Issues, Beartooth, Incubus and Pierce the Veil!

john-kelly

What are you listening to these days?

My current playlist includes Periphery III – Select Difficulty, Beartooth – Aggressive, Issues – Headspace and BMTH – That’s The Spirit.

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?
Wow okay that is really tough and I’m sure mine would differ greatly from the rest of the band but here goes nothing and in no particular order;

ISSUES – Issues
MICHAEL JACKSON – Dangerous
INCUBUS – S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
PERIPHERY – II (This Time It’s Personal)
PIERCE THE VEIL – Collide The Sky
(I feel like I left way too many out but that will have to do!)

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “Evolve & Repair”?

Sure! Jordan our drummer uses Mapex drums, Soultone cymbals and Evans drumheads and he tracked the drums at one of Perths premiere studios, Crank. All of the guitars were tracked in Drews home studio using Pro Tools and Axe FX. Drew used a Schecter 8 string and Josh used his custom Equilibrium giutar. Adam used his Dingwall 6 string to track bass and all of mine and Sean’s vocals were tracked at Sumo Sound Studios in Perth. The mix was then sent to Nashville to be mixed and mastered by audio guru Brian Hood.

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

We would love to tour Europe and the U.S.A. as soon as we can and get our music to as many people as possible! We love playing shows and being able to travel the world with some of our best friends whilst playing to and meeting amazing people sounds like some of the best plans you could get.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Welcome and thank you! You are the reason we do this and we hope that you can find something you can relate to in our music and our words.

FFO Periphery, Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, Sikth.

Get a copy of “Evolve & Repair” on Bandcamp.

Tribal

Review: Tribal – Tribal EP

Tribal is a new band on the international metal scene which combines modern metal sound with traditional Brazilian music. Massive riffs accompanied with djent and influences of metalcore add to the variety.

Their debut self-titled EP was released this past February. It includes six songs and it is a little longer than 30 minutes. The EP starts with “The Age of Frustration.” The song has an epic intro, which directly parts the album from a “classic” djent work. Well thought piece that gives variety. What ultimately grabs listener’s attentions in all songs are guitar solos which often change direction towards more traditional heavy metal sound.

Tribal EP

The thirrd song “Unconditional” also has a different atmosphere that makes the band’s sound separated from the other acts. Additionally there are clean vocals in this one; we could describe this piece as ‘slow’ and maybe we could keep with the word epic a little bit more. This song changes your mind completely about where Tribal are headed to. In the end, everybody loves new, different and well made things.

Tribal is a metal release that didn’t forget its heavy metal roots and with tons of different influences it makes for sure that this band has a lot of potential for something greater.