No. 30

January 01, 2016

Kublai Khan - New Strength (Artery) ....

Kublai Khan are a Texas metalcore band who have recently released their second musical effort titled New Strength. The band consists of members Nolan Ashley - Guitar/Vocals; Matt Honeycutt - Vocals; Eric English - Bass; and Isaac Lamb - Drums. Kublai Khan's sound is definitively high energy with a distinct down tuned low-end combining traditional metalcore with raw hardcore. The band has been touring all over the United States and now has taken their live show overseas, gaining fans and popularity everywhere they go. With their new album New Strength the band attempts to capture that live performance energy and bring it to the studio. They do an admirable job with songs such as "Smoke and Mirrors", "Guilty Dog","Ghost Pains (Pt. 3)", "Eyes Up", "Life For A Life", and "Balancing Survival With Happiness". The bands sound reminds me of a more metalcore version of old school band Biohazard. Certainly worth giving their new release a listen.

Listen to Kublai Khan

Hands of Despair - Bereft (Deathbound) ....

Hands of Despair will be releasing their second album Bereft in February 2016, mixing the brutality of death metal, complex structures of progressive metal, darkness of black metal, and despair of doom metal. The line-up features members from Quebec’s metal scene, including Maxime Côté - Lead Guitar; Jeff Mott - Vocals; Étienne Gallo - Drums; François-Xavier Jodoin - Bass; and Alexandre Primeau - Guitar. The first track "Reborn" sets the tone for the album playing out at over 10 minutes long, a theme among the seven songs on this album which total over an hour of music. The songs weave a sound of progressive pianos, clean guitars, and melodic singng with the heaviness and fortitude of the bands metal riffs and beats. Among the notable songs on this album were "Reborn", "Sleeper", "Veil", and "Etoc". Hands of Despair stay true to their black metal motif, delivering an album that doesn't stray far from their last. I found it to be no more and no less that of 2015's album Hereafter.

Listen to Hands of Despair

Chasmbound - Sourpop (Deathbound) ....

Chasmbound came to be in late 2014 with music inspired mainly by black metal and post-hardcore. They are set to release their debut album titled Sourpop in January 2016, an album produced and engineered by Jaime Marcelo and mastered by Garry Brents. The album was written during the winter of 2014-2015 in a cold dreary New York apartment with lyrics that take heavy influence from the city, each track intended to be a scene set in a metropolis. The album's title Sourpop was meant to characterize the sound of the record, but I actually found it devoiud of any elements that would suggest a theme that was sour or one of pop. The music is interesting and artistic, containing riffs that seem more geared towards rock than black metal. This is prevalent on the songs "Plummet" and "Monochromatic". I liked the short instrumental songs that played out like intros on the tracks "Float, Fade, Forever", "It Roars", "Bergen St", and I found the arrangement of the song "Speakeasy" an interesting mesh of progressive sounding instrumental parts. Those into black metal music will find this album a bit different and refreshing.

Listen to Chasmbound

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