Category Archives: Hardcore

Hundredth

ResistXResist by Hundredth (Mediaskare Records)

Resist is the second chapter within a two-disc combination that commenced with last year’s mighty assault to the senses known as Revolt. And while Resist may be a bit more on the melodic side of the spectrum, the intensity is in full force, with spiraling melodies and impassioned vocals sending the entire project into the stratosphere. Resist presents Hundredth at their very height of their creative energies, and the result are nothing short of profound.

After a calm yet ominous introduction entitled Wake, the disc launches into the ferocious strains of Shelter. “Separation from everything” the opening lyrics scream with a mesmerizing degree of conviction. The darkness and desolation found within Shelter is sure to intrigue the listener to follow the path for the sonic confrontations ahead. The title cut Resist then follows, relentlessly tearing through the heart of the matter with its intoxicating reveries.

hundredth1No one can save me from my demons!” vocalist Chadwick Johnson screams like a man possessed on the startling Demons. Manifest then arrives, unfolding further stark introspection unto the world at large. The disc then closes with euphoric Wage, a spoken word reprieve about the human condition ending the album on a cautiously optimistic note.

Resist is a short yet thoroughly satisfying release with a ton of heart, unleashing an ultimate sense of hope and healing that is wondrous to behold. The resourceful Hundredth lineup includes the participation of Chadwick Johnson on vocals, Blake Hardman on guitar, Andrew Minervini on guitar, JP Gressman on bass, and Matt Koontz on drums. Recorded with noted producers Bill Stevenson (Rise Against, Black Flag) and Jason Livermore (Stick To Your Guns) at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado, Resist exhibits a thrilling 18-minute journey through the perilous consciousness and ultimate triumphs of the human spirit that is not to be missed.

(Review by Ken Morton)

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Words Once Spoken

envyep1Envy EP by Words Once Spoken (Self-released)

Hailing from various parts of Southern California, Words Once Spoken is an ambitious post hardcore collective more than ready to make a name for themselves on the national music scene. With influences such as Memphis May Fire and Crown The Empire, Words Once Spoken is still sharp enough to bring their own sense of vision and originality to the table. Envy EP is their first effort, a grand DIY undertaking possessing a great deal of promise.  This impressive collection of songs will surely garner Words Once Spoken a good amount of admiration from fans looking for passion infused with a massive jolt of sonic intensity. Keep this up, and Words Once Spoken may find themselves signing to a label in no time at all.

The EP kicks off with the powerhouse refrains of The Hopeless, where thrashing guitars merge into a gigantic chorus that is instantly memorable. This first song alone is enough to hook the listener in for the adventures ahead, and it clearly shows the band has a lot of convey with its wildly infectious lyrics and resourceful musicianship.

Alex Mendizabal of Words Once Spoken - Photo Credit: TeeJay Zeigler

Alex Mendizabal of Words Once Spoken – Photo Credit: TeeJay Zeigler

Our Calling then assaults the senses with empowering lyrics such as “Pick yourself up, you know this isn’t the end,” driving home the message with a massive amount of sincerity and conviction. Rise (A New Beginning is an ominous instrumental reprieve before the band launches into the reflective yet pummeling So They Say It Ends This Way. “You look so beautiful when you hate the fucking world,” the lyrics scream out at the song’s devastating finale – a catch phrase which could be associated with this band for the many months ahead.

Since the recording of the Envy EP, there have been a few membership changes within the ranks. One powerful aspect which remains are the expressive clean vocals of their charismatic front man Alex Mendizabal. Already on the verge of recording new material with a revamped lineup, Words Once Spoken has left an indelible impression with the Envy EP. It will be exciting to see what this band achieves in future days.

The current Words Once Spoken lineup is Alex Mendizabal on vocals, Alex Beaubien on drums, Rolando Munoz on guitar, and Johnny Igartua on guitar.

(Review by Ken Morton)

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Burdened Hearts

lostinmyself1Lost In Myself by Burdened Hearts (Self-released EP)

Burdened Hearts unleashes a breathtaking brand of spirit-filled metalcore that fans of acts such as Fit For A King and Mouth of the South will surely enjoy. Their debut EP is entitled Lost In Myself, an ambitious collection of heavier-than-hell hymns that should ignite hearts and minds, as well as mosh pits all across the country.

A record label such as Solid State or Facedown could surely take notice of these talented Baltimore-based musicians, judging by the testament of faith heard on this five song EP.  Your time to discover this vibrant up-and-coming entity however, is now!

The EP launches into the stratosphere with the spiraling sounds of Make Your Mark, instantly leaving an indelible impression on the listener with its stark sense of urgency. Make Your Mark is destined to be a massive crowd favorite when performed live.

Release is thrilling and cathartic – a relentless cut that is sure to cast out even the most ferocious of demons. One By One then assaults the senses with its super-intensive breakdowns, magnetic guitars, and aggressive vocal performances.

burdenedhearts1Temptation shows Burdened Hearts at their most determined and imaginative, filling your speakers with a pulsating wall of sound. And then at the conclusion of Lost In Myself, one encounters the pummeling strains of Who We Are, the type of memorable anthem that really garners a band a good deal of admiration.

The musicianship is tremendously tight and intensive, featuring the participation of Nicholas Reardon on vocals, Caleb Rodriguez on guitar and clean vocals, Tyler Mazza on guitar, Mickey Basil on bass and backing vocals, and Casey King on drums. When spirituality and sonic devastation collide, Burdened Hearts will be there guiding the way with their wondrously exhilarating tunes! Be sure to check out Lost In Myself and prepare to be thoroughly enraptured by what this promising new collective has to offer.

(Review by Ken Morton – Photo by Travis Marshall)

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Issues

issuescover1Issues by Issues (Velocity / Rise Records)

For the short time Issues has been an official entity, they have done more than many bands do in their entire careers. Former Woe Is Me vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn come together to form a band that is on the path to the top. With the help of Ty and Skyler Acord on turntables and bass, AJ Rebollo on guitar and Josh Manuel on drums, this group of guys has come together to create a strong debut album that is going to put them on the map for a long time.

With the release of Black Diamonds, their debut EP in 2012, they went in very strong touring with bands such as Attila and Sleeping With Sirens and also did a brief stint on Warped Tour. Now the Metalcore/R&B band has their debut full-length album with a total of 13 songs. This mixture of metalcore along with some R&B and a little Rap brings out a new sound that is unique to anything heard before. With faster up beat songs such as Life of the Nine and then getting into some true metalcore with Stingray Affliction, the entire album is a whole new monster.

With the ferocious screams of Michael and the smooth cleans of Tyler, the fusion between these two has never been better. Coming from the hardcore scene with Woe, Is Me, Issues already knows what they’re doing and are basically doing it correctly. With the instant success of the debut album these guys are going nowhere but up. If you like a mix of Metal and R&B this is the perfect record for you.

(Review by Edward Brandon)

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Color To Canvas

ColorToCanvasEP2Color To Canvas EP by Color To Canvas (Self-released)

Color To Canvas is the solo project of Ray Prichard, best known for his work in the mighty metalcore entity known as Seladora.  At this time, Seladora is on hiatus, after a revolving door of members and some truly stunning musical output. Prichard remains quite a creative force however, now releasing the debut Color To Canvas EP, an exhilarating self-titled effort showing an impassioned artist ready to launch into the big leagues. With decidedly spiritual-based lyrics and a musical soundtrack which soars into the stratosphere, it’s impossible not to be moved by the wondrous compositions contained within.

After a brief Introduction where an ominous narrator warns of false prophets, Color To Canvas explodes with the staggering refrains of WeThePeople. One notices right away the post hardcore inflections and the thoroughly heartfelt lyrics permeating throughout, enrapturing the listener with its powerful sense of conviction. “We knew that we would pay for this, the world is held responsible,” the vocals reflect with a commanding sense of urgency.

Ray Prichard of Color To Canvas

Ray Prichard of Color To Canvas

Statements Under The Poison Tree continues the path to sonic deliverance, with thought provoking entreaties weaving a kaleidoscopic wall of sound. A brief reprieve is found with the atmospheric Intervals, soothing the soul like a prayer issued deep in the night. Be then surrounds the senses with its reflective missives and triumphant melodies.

Closing out the EP way too soon is the spiraling A New Age of Conformity, where Prichard is joined by David Borges of Convalesce. Together, they unleash the most persuasive track on the EP, leaving the listener rapturous and ready to face to trials and tribulations of everyday life.

Based out of Augusta, GA, Ray Prichard has grown tremendously as a musician on a mission. On Color To Canvas, Prichard places it all out on the line, and the results are sure to stimulate all who demand to be lifted up by the bands they seek to support. It will be exciting to hear the future tapestries Color To Canvas has to convey. In the meantime, check out the breathtaking Self-Titled EP by Color To Canvas and prepare to be thoroughly captivated by this compelling testament of faith.

(Review by Ken Morton)

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Bruised But Not Broken

Fragmentrev1Fragment by Bruised But Not Broken (Standby Records)

Their debut EP for Standby Records, Just(Defied), oozed with passion and promise, leaving the listener wanting to hear a whole lot more.   And now with their full length effort Fragment, Bruised But Not Broken explodes into the stratosphere with a shattering collection of songs that will surely captivate the senses. Complete with heartfelt lyrics displaying an intriguing sense of urgency, Fragment is a sonic puzzle of post hardcore intricacies well worth piecing together. The discoveries found within this emotional roller coaster ride of an album are vastly rewarding.

This is a voiced generation, our stance you will not break,” the lyrics announce on the triumphant Enter(Fear), a pulsating cut that will make the listener want to take on the world. Bruised But Not Broken has surely written an anthem for a generation with this topnotch composition. Color Theory then arrives, further enrapturing the listener with its thoughtful lyrics and mesmerizing musical interludes.

bruisedbutnot2014Euthogy haunts your psyche with its piercing refrains followed by the fiery strains of Devil’s List fanning the flames of deep contemplation rendered through a mighty collage of soundtrack.  The Prodigal Brother exhibits rebelliousness and individuality with highly emotional vocals sending this one through the roof. One them swims through the murky waters of Dead Current Sea, with its hard hitting “If only I could hate my pride, half as much as I used to hate myself” sentiments reverberating throughout.

Mourning Glory is dazzling in its sheer technical brutality, grabbing one by the throat and tossing them into the nearest mosh pit of destruction. The Third Heaven then supplies a cathartic reprieve before exploding into its own impassioned beast when the rousing lyrics kick in halfway through.

If ignorance is bliss, then bring me a crown, and I’ll burn this kingdom down” is the thrilling call to arms on Days Of The Weak, once again showing Bruised But Not Broken’s penchant for fearlessly laying it all on the line. Babel Orchestra then ferociously closes out Fragment, leaving a decidedly indelible impression with its expansive presentation swirling throughout your senses.

Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, it won’t be long until Bruised But Not Broken make a name for themselves all across the country – especially if the powerful Fragment is indicative of greater glories ahead. With intelligent, thought provoking lyrics and a thrilling tapestry of sound, the band has clearly positioned themselves to make a connecting with fans looking for depth within their music collections.

The resourceful Bruised But Not Broken membership consists of Hudson Hower on vocals, Josh Rhodes on guitar, Trevor Floyd on guitar, Zac Johnson on bass, and Matt Bentley on drums. Fragment was solidly produced by Drew Fulk, bringing out the very best in what this band has to offer. With Fragment, Bruised But Not Broken has staked their claim in an otherwise overcrowded genre, and has unleashed an inspiring collection of songs that will absolutely take your breath away.

(Review by Ken Morton)

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Begin The Rapture

Empire_EP_1Empire EP by Begin The Rapture (Self-released)

Begin The Rapture is a up-and-coming collective from Glasgow, whose ambitious post-hardcore reveries will surely acquire the band a good deal of worldwide attention. Empire is their debut self-released EP, an exhilarating commencement that will assault the senses and leave you wanting a whole lot more. It is obviously that each of the band members possess a wide variety of musical influences, and it all meshes together with a vengeance on the Empire EP. Shades of deathcore, hardcore, progressive, even black metal and punk rock make their way into the recording, and the results are thoroughly impressive.

Empire kicks off with the ferocious refrains of Organization XIII, at once demonstrating begintherapture2014Begin The Rapture’s knack for unleashing a truly creative manifesto of pummeling sound. Imaging European death metal meanderings mixed with a punk rock aesthetic and you are just beginning to envision the sonic destruction at hand.

The sheer intensity continues with the mesmerizing strains of Forever, where the band launches an intensive clean vocal into the mix.  Dead Inside is sure to ignite some lively slam pit action when performed live, and this recorded version makes you want to rip everything to shreds.

Take A Bow (For The Final Curtain) is a victorious hardcore anthem that will rock your world with its triumphant “all I know is haters make me famous” chorus. Monuments is a soaring composition showing Begin The Rapture at the height of their resourcefulness, complete with a spiraling chorus that will leave the listener feeling wondrously euphoric. And then as a stunning grand finale, the title cut Empire grabs the listener by the throat with its punishing beats, vibrant musicianship and brutal vocal inflections rendering this one a glorious standout.

The imaginative musicianship found within Begin The Rapture includes the participation of Conor Haining on lead vocal, Conor McCune on lead guitar, Ciaran Devine on rhythm guitar, Connor McFallon bass and clean / backing vocals, and Ewan McLeod on drums. Judging from what’s heard on the mighty Empire EP, we’ll be witnessing a lot more massive devastation from Begin The Rapture in the many months ahead.  Spin this fiery magnum opus, jump headfirst into the nearest pit, and bring on the end of time!

(Review by Ken Morton)

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Us, Ghosts

sleepersusghostsSleepers by Us, Ghosts (Self-released EP)

Us, Ghosts is an up-and-coming post hardcore entity from Sarasota, Florida ready to haunt your senses with their vibrant sonic artistry. Their self-titled debut arrived in 2012, gaining the band a good deal of attention above and beyond the Sunshine State. Sleepers serves as a remarkable follow-up, an impressive 7-song EP that should gain Us, Ghosts an even greater fan base as well as prick up the ears of a record label or two. Fans of acts such as We Came As Romans and Of Mice & Men will surely want to check into the impassioned reveries Us, Ghosts has to offer to the world at large.

Sleepers slams into sonic overdrive with the mesmerizing strains of Walls, presenting a band at the very height of their creative prowess. “?” the vocals muse with a sweltering infectious sense of urgency. Cloak & Dagger then ups the creative momentum, with ferocious unclean screams and an interesting trip-hoppy clean vocal, rendering this one an absolute standout.

usghosts2013Underlings weaves through your speakers with an enigmatic sense of intrigue that keeps the listener involved throughout. Diamond Doll is a gem that sparkles with its vibrant intensity, followed by a triumphant journey upon The High Road that is well worth venturing upon. Rat King is a definitive kaleidoscope of explosive emotions. And then closing out the recording is the dynamic title track Sleepers, leaving an wildly indelible impression.

Listeners are sure to connect with the absorbing material found within Sleepers, and will want to revisit the EP time and again. The heartfelt clean vocals are presented with a spiraling sense of conviction by Brandon Howard.  Gene Kaiser unleashes the fiery unclean manifestations, reeling the listener in with a striking intensity. The two front men are quite an effective team, sending the lyrical content into the deep recesses of your mind.  Guitarists Matt Holbein and Will Park unleash an atmosphere wall of sound that is highly imaginative while Chris Lee brings it all home with a vengeance on drums.

Sleepers was skillfully produced by Drew Fulk (Motionless In White, Sirens & Sailors, Upon This Dawning) at Think Sound Studios, who clearly brings out the very best in Us, Ghosts. Judging by the inspiration placed within each and every song, there is no doubt that Us, Ghosts will be frequenting the hearts and minds of many a music aficionado for the many years ahead.

(Review by Ken Morton)

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Abandon All Ships

Malocchio1Malocchio by Abandon All Ships (Velocity / Rise Records)

Canadian band Abandon All Ships are back with their third studio album and will make their permanent mark on the metalcore / electronic scene upon its release. Over the years Abandon All Ships has been through a bunch of different line membership changes and couldn’t seem to find a permanent line up. Now with their third record Malocchio, it seems they have found their groove and are here to dominate. Mixing a variety of metalcore and electronic music to fuse together to make the perfect mix, Malocchio shows that this band has done nothing but mature and grow with their sound.

abandon2014To begin the album, guitarist Kyler Browne, bassist Martin Broda, and drummer Melvin Murray start with a fast paced beat and riff that starts the album with a bang. Still in just the first song Reefer Madness, comes vocalist Angelo Aita with some fast paced screams and an electronic dance beat by keyboardist Sebastian Cassisi-Nunez. The album continues to explode into bigger and better lyrics from both vocalists (clean / unclean) and we must not forgot the heavy aspect of each song.

With heavier songs such as Centipede and Trapped, the hardcore kids will most definitely get their fix, as well as the more dance based fans with songs such as Paradise and High Roller. This mix between dance and dubstep with metal is perfect. With fast paced beats to get everyone pumped up and then driving into a heavy breakdown, every fan base is going to be pleased. All in all, Abandon All Ships is here to dominate the scene with a mixture of metal and dance with the album Malocchio. Be on the look out for these guys to grow into bigger and better things as the time goes on.

(Review by Edward Brandon)

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Caliban

ghostempire_1Ghost Empire by Caliban (Century Media Records)

Ghost Empire may be the ninth full length album for Caliban, and yet the German metalcore group still delivers with a striking passion and conviction that is absolutely wondrous to behold. From their humble roots in 1997 and beyond, the music and lyrical content has always been gripping – and Ghost Empire further cements their reputation as one of the most compelling modern metal bands in the world. A thought provoking collection of songs destined to intrigue longtime fans as well as gain quite a few new converts, Ghost Empire is a ferocious reckoning well worth checking into.

The disc commences with the darkly triumphant reveries of King, grabbing the listener by the throat with its sheer intensity and wildly infectious chorus. Chaos – Creation explodes into your senses leaving utter devastation in its wake. Then it’s an encounter with Wolves and Rats, penetrating the mind with its sonic venom.

Nebel is unleashed in German, adding to the already ferocious extremities of the song. “Father – forgive me – for I have sinned,” begins I Am Ghost, a haunting track about loss of faith. Devil’s Night then packs a wallop with its deeply emotional lyrics and combustible delivery.

caliban2014_1We are the apocalypse!” is the celebratory refrain on the staggering Your Song – a track that should inspire quite a bit of mosh pit action when performed live. Cries And Whispers is a standout with its haunting country-tinged guitar reprieves combined with metallic soundscapes and towering choruses.  Good Man is grand example of Caliban’s musical prowess, starting off as a lingering ballad before shattering into a deeply heart wrenching composition.

I Am Rebellion is the power ballad as unleashed by the mighty Caliban, a song sure to inspired rabid sing-alongs all across the world. Who We Are then relentlessly blasts out the speakers, followed by mesmerizing My Vertigo, where Caliban once again scales new heights with this breathtaking cut. And those who have the Special Edition of Ghost Empire will be treated to the spiraling sounds of Falling Downwards, featuring a dynamic guest appearance by none other than Matt Heafy of Trivium.

The musicianship found within Caliban is supremely rock solid, featuring the participation of Andreas Dörner on vocals, Marc Görtz on guitar, Denis Schmidt on guitar, Marco Schaller on bass, and Patrick Grün on drums. Exploring the sonic wonderland of Ghost Empire is a vastly rewarding experience, with Caliban exhibiting a staying power that should fascinate all types of music aficionados. An exhilarating, impassioned effort that is not to be missed!

(Review by Ken Morton)

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