2021

Album Review: Next Door To Heaven – “Inside” 6.5/10 (Progressive Metalcore)

You’ve got to admire the ambition of Next Door To Heaven. The St. Petersburg-based four-piece describes the sound of their new EP, entitled Inside, as “a mixture of metalcore, prog metal, alternative metal, melodic metal and rapcore.” All that seems fair, although the very latter may be a bit of a stretch. Realistically, it’s probably best described as progressive metalcore, kind of in the vein of a band like Spiritbox, albeit with the notable absence of harsh vocals. […]

2021

Album Review: The Hyena Kill – “A Disconnect” 8.5/10 (Alt Rock)

It’s hard to know where to start with A Disconnect by The Hyena Kill. Probably one of the best words to sum it up is ‘cathartic’, but that doesn’t really shed much light on what it actually sounds like. The Manchester-based four-piece’s second full-length is difficult to pigeonhole for sure, but chances are if you enjoyed relatively recent offerings from the UK underground like Phoxjaw’s Royal Swan or Black Peaks’ All That Divides, you should get on pretty well with this. It’s also difficult not to hear a heavy dose of the alternative metal of the likes of Tool and Deftones (neither a huge surprise given the band was drawn together by a shared love of both those artists, among others). […]

2021

Album Review: Dreamwell – “Modern Grotesque” 8.5/10 (Post Hardcore)

It seems that screamo, or ‘skramz’, has been in a really good place over the past few years. The list of bands who’ve put out great records that broadly sit within that world is pretty endless at this point, with recent standouts including Frail Body, For Your Health and Frail Hands, to name a few. Seeking to add their name to this list with their second full-length, entitled Modern Grotesque, are the Providence-based ‘emo post skramz’ five-piece, Dreamwell. Off the strength of this record, it feels like they belong there. Modern Grotesque is an album that’s thick with a heartfelt emotion and passion. Often, this manifests as something quite visceral and abrasive, but it can also be extremely melodic and even moving at points. […]

2021

Album Review: Crawl Below – “9 Mile Square” 8/10 (Doomgaze)

It definitely takes a special skill to make music which manages to feel beautiful while maintaining a strong sense of melancholy. Perhaps one of the most obvious examples is The Cure, whose dark and mournful brand of post-punk is often deeply moving at the same time. In the 90s, Type O Negative took that doom and gloom to even further extremes, whilst still allowing soaring and ethereal melodies to poke through. To give a more a recent example, even Pallbearer’s stellar Forgotten Days LP from last year had some genuinely uplifting moments amid the band’s weighty doom and their lyrical meditations on grief. If you like any of those bands, then chances are you’ll enjoy Crawl Below’s 9 Mile Square. […]

2021

Album Review: For Your Health – “In Spite Of” 9/10 (Post Hardcore)

There’s been a fair bit of buzz around For Your Health since their inception in 2018. A large part of this is no doubt down to their impressive work ethic. In 2019, they played some 100 shows, releasing an impressive split with Shin Guard and an EP in the same year. Last year they had even more shows planned (apparently at least 160) but these were sadly cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, hard work is all well and good, but will only get a band so far if the music isn’t there to back it up. Fortunately, the quartet’s debut full-length In Spite Of, like their shorter records before it, definitely delivers on that front. […]