Bring Me the Horizon release new song & video, “Throne”

I used to think Bring Me the Horizon were a pretty shitty band. I did dig the song “Pray for Plagues”, but I thought the rest of the album it hailed from was repetitive, breakdown-filled deathcore. I had some more contact with their later releases after that, but for me they slowly got lumped into that “scene bands teenage girls” like category, and I just couldn’t take them seriously.

Then, last year, I heard they were working with Terry Date (Deftones, Soundgarden, Incubus, The Fall of Troy), one of my favorite producers, and I just couldn’t help but give them one more shot. What I found was Sempiternal, an album which found the band miles away from their deathcore roots, instead writing lush, textured, melodic songs with genuinely emotional vocals. And now they’re gearing up to release the follow-up to that album, That’s The Spirit, due out on September 11th. Part of that process is this new song and video, “Throne”.

Like the album’s first single, “Happy Song”, “Throne” finds the band picking up where Sempiternal left off. They’ve retained the dense, layered keyboard and guitar sound they had on that album, and “Throne” in particular shows off the band’s new found penchant for electronics. It’s a surging, bubbling, and exciting track, even if it does breathe a tad too much of the same air Linkin Park has in recent years. But the biggest change on this song is Oli Syke’s vocals. On Sempiternal he was still trying to find his clean voice, often times still sticking in the middle ground between screamed and sung registers. But “Throne” shows that Oli can now be considered a legitimate singer, as the first few seconds show a side of him fans have never heard before. And now he can go back and forth between raspy singing and shouting, whispered coos, and screams as the songs call for it, giving the band a whole new dimension.

Bring Me the Horizon have been catching tons of shit for this new sound of theirs, but I honestly can’t help but applaud them for it. They’ve gone from writing pretty run-of-the-mill deathcore to growing as songwriters, trying new sounds and textures and moods. Yeah, they sound pretty poppy at times, but at heart I’ve always been a sucker for a good song. And coming from such a heavy background, it’s poppy music that’s informed by heavy music, giving it a different feel entirely. I can’t help but compare the leap to In Flames’ album Reroute to Remain, where they famously shifted their sound from classic melodic death metal into something more modern and loose. This is how bands stay relevant and interesting – they take leaps, and sometimes the fans hate them, but it keeps the actual humans in the band that make the music stay happy and inspired. And happy and inspired musicians end up creating inspired music, so even if they’ve switched genres, the music they’re making is probably still damn good. You just gotta give it a chance.

Frank Turner releases new song, “The Next Storm”

Good ol’ Frank Turner. The ever-reliable singer songwriter is back with another dose of his signature brand of rock-infused folkiness, with a new song entitled “The Next Storm”. From his upcoming album Positive Songs for Negative People (due out August 7th), the song doesn’t stray from Frank’s style at all, featuring vaguely inspirational lyrics and an upbeat bass line, with sprinkles of piano spread about. In all honesty, I don’t think it’s a very exciting song, especially after Frank’s promises that this album was supposed to be going back to his punkier roots – instead this track sounds like it could fit on pretty much any album past his debut, and that’s a bit of a let down.

Beck releases new song, “Dreams”

Even though it’s only a little over a year since he released the Grammy winning Morning Phase, Beck has just released a new song. From the as of yet untitled record, “Dreams” features an upbeat, poppy sound he hasn’t explored much since 2005’s The Information. Flirting with touches of Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT and some garage-y guitars, the song is a welcome switch up from the claustrophobic feeling of Modern Guilt and the melancholy of Morning Phase. The song does go on about a minute longer than necessary, though, simply repeating it’s chorus after a late-stage breakdown of sorts. But that small complaint aside, this is the most exciting and excited Beck has sounded in quite a while, and it’s refreshing to have him back in the world of pop.

The Armed Post New Song + Video, “Polarizer”

The Armed are a force of destruction, taking their brand of hardcore to the absolute limits, stretching their sound until it threatens to fall apart under a wall of visceral drums and cacophonous feedback. Right down to their motto, “Destroy Everything”, this is a band with a clear intent, and no time for any bullshit. With their new single and video, “Polarizer”, nothing has really changed. The Detroit punks seethe with the same level of vitriol they’ve had since their self-released 2009 debut, These Are Lights, and with this song are finally gearing up for the release of full-length no. 2 (after a slew of short EPs in the intervening years). There are some wonderful hints of Nine Inch Nails in the song’s “breakdown”, and some vocals approaching singing scattered about, but they only add to the band’s power to make incredibly chaotic music blood-pumping and catchy at the same time. And as always, you can get all of their music for name your price purchase on their site. Get on board with The Armed and Destroy Everything when this album drops on June 23rd.

SikTh and Refused are back!

It’s been a good week for new music from old bands. Yesterday, hardcore punk legends Refused announced that they were not, in fact, fucking dead, and were actually releasing a new album titled Freedom, in June. They were also kind enough to drop the first track from it, titled “Elektra”, which was co-produced with famous Swedish producer Shellback (which to me is a little odd, considering the fact that the rest of his resume is studded with huge popstars…but the song is just fucking good), as well as a video for the track. Besides the new music, they will be touring with (coincidentally or not), another reformed heavy cult band, who you may know by the name of Faith No More, and those dates can be found here.

Refused weren’t the only big comeback this week, though. British math-metallers SikTh, hailed as one of the original forerunners of ‘djent’, way before that was even a thing, have announced that they will be recording a new EP (their first new material since 2006’s Death of a Dead Day), as well as running through a short five-date trek through the UK. On the down-side, there’s no convenient link to a new song from these guys like Refused, so I’ll have to deny you the instant gratification this time. But it will be here soon enough, and you can finally be assured that there will be new music from this classic heavy, schizophrenic metal band.

So, are you glad to have both of these bands back? Or should they have stayed dead and buried? What’s your take?

New Between the Buried and Me track, “Memory Palace”

Between_The_Buried_And_Me_-_Coma_Ecliptic

Between the Buried and Me have released the first track from their upcoming album, Coma Ecliptic. The album, which follows 2012’s The Parallax II, is once again a concept album, following a man as he journeys through his past lives. “Memory Palace” is an incredibly proggy sounding track, sounding inspired by some of the same music that has inspired fellow progressive metal act Opeth’s past two albums. It features heavy synthesizer and organ work, pushing the guitars further into the background than most of the band’s material. It is also heavily focused on clean vocals, and vocalist Tommy Rogers’ range is wider than it has been since 2007’s Colors. He yelps, croons, and growls in a moment’s notice, giving the track a desperately needed infusion of variety. And like Rogers’ vocals, the music of the song jumps around too, veering from Pink Floyd-esque lead guitar lines, classic heavy riffs and growls, and ’70s sounding synthesizer effortlessly.

The biggest problem with Between the Buried and Me’s recent material is their refusal to grow in any meaningful way, but “Memory Palace” shows the band finally pushing themselves into a new direction again. By putting the laser focus on the proggiest elements of their sound, and driving the track with mostly clean vocals, the result is a song that still sounds like Between the Buried and Me, but finally delivers a fresher take on their sound. And for once, their genre skipping sounds natural, blending in elements of their influences without sounding like they were forced into the song with a crowbar. If this is any indicator of what to expect from Coma Ecliptic, it might just be the band’s best album in nearly a decade.

Listen to the song here.

Death Grips – On GP

As the Jenny Death fiasco drags on longer and longer, Death Grips have released a second single from the elusive album. It’s the first taste of the album fans have had since Inanimate Sensation dropped in December, and it’s exciting for all the right reasons.

The track, titled “On GP’, is one of the most raw, emotional tracks in their entire catalog. Most of the band’s lyrics are mired in cryptic verse and ultraviolence, but this new song displays an entirely different side of vocalist Stefan Burnett. Instead of his usual obfuscation, On GP delivers some very straightforward, hard-hitting lyrics about being on the edge of committing suicide. It’s a striking view into the darkness that must exist inside Burnett, and the lines “Like a question no one mention/He turns around hands me his weapon/He slurs use at your discretion/It’s been a pleasure, Stefan” are downright bone-chilling.

However, the music of this track is a different story. It features elements both old and new, hearkening back to the guitar-driven style of Exmilitary, while complimenting it with intense live drums and a progressive song structure. The sound here is almost triumphant at times, and at others it dips into a lull, buoyed by an unsettling organ line, climaxing with tortured guitar bends and crashing cymbals. This sound was slightly hinted at on Fashion Week, but was nowhere near as developed – and it also begs the question, who’s playing the guitar here?

Based on the two songs released from Jenny Death so far, this album is going to be the most varied of their career. The contrast of the pounding, beat-oriented Inanimate Sensation to the guitar-driven, melodic On GP is huge, and one can only imagine what the other 8 songs will feature.