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Frangas non Flectes
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Right on. Yeah, I guess Alex just moved to Florida. Some time back, STP had posted a request for a songwriter, and I'm not sure if that panned out, but it's really all they're missing. They're technically proficient, but the music is kinda dry. I don't know if he moved on, but Mick Gordon replied to that video and a ton of people replied to him and all buy demanded a collaboration.

If you didn't encounter this guy on your trip down the rabbit hole, you may enjoy his channel. He also does vocal analysis and coaching, but coming from the angle of being a metal vocalist, he's got different and more pertinent info than the lady from The Charismatic Voice. Because of him, I've discovered some bands I like that I otherwise wouldn't have noticed.



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Dave Hunt of Anaal Nathrakh and Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation are two other unique and talented metal vocalists that folks may appreciate. Matthew "Chalky" Chalk, on the Psycroptic album Scepter of the Ancients, that I already mentioned, also has a varied vocal style that includes squeals and gargles.

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Frangas non Flectes
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Oh, that last video reminds me of another recent discovery. These guys are a bit different from my usual fare. This album in particular seems to be a bit of a departure from their other stuff I checked out after. I like this track, I had it stuck in my head for weeks. This one takes a little bit to warm up, but it gets grooving pretty hard before it's over.

Obviously, and I would hope by now everyone would assume, everything posted in this thread is NWS. I forgot to put it in the title and it won't let me now, but if you listen to heavy music or have ever seen a music video, you know this. Some nudity in this one, sexual content, etc. Not like that's any worse than some of what I've posted already, but whatever.



Also not my usual, this one caught my off guard pretty quickly, and I fell in love with Amy Lee's singing (Evanescence) on this track. It gives it a beauty I didn't expect to hear at the end of this album, which was also pretty good, by the way.



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Frangas non Flectes
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Chelsea Grin just released a track as a tribute to Trevor Strnad, vocalist of Black Dahlia Murder who took his life earlier this year. He's the vocalist closing out the track. I don't know, but I suspect this release coincides with Lorna Shore's Pain Remains release, which also deals with the topic of suicide as a way to speak up about this topic as community.



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Frangas non Flectes
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A Wake In Providence only popped up on my radar a few months ago, but they have some really solid material. If you like Lorna Shore, these guys are worth checking out. If you're one of the cool kids who hates trends and you're stick of hearing about Lorna Shore, these guys are worth checking out. They advertise as "symphonic blackened deathcore," so to Rogue's comments the other day, this appears to be a subgenre with a bit of a different feel to it. This album just dropped, and I'm only on the first track and really digging it. The mix is much denser and... more expansive than their prior albums if that makes sense. I think they definitely took a page from Lorna Shore's production. Here's the new album, followed by their previous.






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Had to drive up the highway to pick my mother up from the airport a couple days ago. It's almost become a tradition that I listen to Fear Inoculum on that drive. Holy shit; what an album. It gets me every time. I have made mention in a different thread that I shorten it; I only listen to the first four songs (on the CD version).
Those four songs are amazing:
Fear Inoculum
Pneuma
Invincible
Descending
There has not been an album I've heard, since Fear Inoculum was released, that makes me hit the steering wheel, bang my head, air drum, punch the air, and kick-drum the pedals like it does. These songs have energy before they get "hard". If you like TOOL, and it's been a while since you listened: play those four tracks. If you're not sure about TOOL: do the same. I know it's not a hallmark of a great album that I omit almost half of it, but those four songs shit on most other albums that are wholly solid.
 
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Frangas non Flectes
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Frangas non Flectes
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Branching out some lately. 2022 was the year of Lorna Shore, and while they put out some ridiculously good material this year, I feel like we've hit peak heavy for a little bit. I've checked out some other albums recommended, but none of them really grabbed me. Last night and this morning, I decided to go back to the beginning, and listen to some bands that really blew my mind back around 2001 and I found newer material. So, back to the early hardcore punk roots vibe with the guitar>cord>amp feel.

I got to see Converge in 2015, and it was a pinnacle experience for me, working in my little corner of the music industry because I happened to know that their guitarist, Kurt Ballou, had two guitars loaded with pickups from my company. I got to listen to them play a lot of tunes from their recent albums, but near the end, Kurt broke out a white guitar, which had the pickups I had wound. They played this, the tracks that really blew my mind when I first heard them back as a college freshman in 2001. Getting to finally see and hear them play it live, with pickups I wound was just on a whole new level. It was a surreal experience I'll never forget.


At that same show, they played this song. Quite an evolution in the ensuing fifteen years.


A few years before then, a band emerged called Code Orange Kids. They had grown up on early 90's and early 2000's Converge, and decided there wasn't enough of that in the world. They kick ass.



A few years later, they dropped the "Kid" from their name, feeling it made people discount them. Here they are, all grown up.




Back to 2001 again, another east coast hardcore band in the same vein as Converge hit the scene. Heavy and frenetic, this album got a lot of playtime at my band's house a few years later.


This morning, driving back from taking my son to school, I was on this same kick, letting the app choose what got played next and this pleasant surprise grabbed me by the face. I got to the end, still had enough drive time, so I hit repeat. Loving this track. These guys grew up a lot also. I think I'll give their recent albums a spin. If you didn't vibe with anything in this post, at least give this one a chance. It's like a less poppy, more evolved take on stuff like At The Drive In and Cage The Elephant. I'll be honest: At first, the official video was a bit offputting. It felt like a political statement, but after making it to the end and reading some of the comments, I think it's just a unflinching look at life in a South Buffalo suburb. That whole area has been run down for decades and this is an unvarnished view. It is very NWS.



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I appreciated Jane Doe, but didn't care for their next one. Converge is one of those bands that has a cult status, with it's associated hype. Ideally, one would approach all new music with no pre-conceived ideas, but the internet makes that nearly impossible. I do my damnedest to ignore hype. Between the labels themselves, and everyone on the internet being an amateur music critic, it can be damned difficult. This wasn't meant to be a jab at Converge; they merely inspired the thought. Beware the hype! Beware the cult!
 
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Frangas non Flectes
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quote:
Originally posted by KSGM:
I appreciated Jane Doe, but didn't care for their next one.


You Fail Me? Yeah, I couldn't really get into that one. Honestly, Jane Doe is about where I stopped listening. All You Love You Leave Behind is pretty good, and it has grown on me after repeat listenings, but it's not what I think of when I want to hear their stuff.

quote:
Originally posted by KSGM:
Converge is one of those bands that has a cult status, with it's associated hype.


You know their website has always been www.convergecult.com, right? Big Grin

YouTube keeps giving me these albums in my queue. I like them enough to post them here.





This is a Russian band called... I don't know how to even read their name, and the album name... I also am not sure how to pronounce, but they're pretty good and one of their vocalists does this ridiculous high pitched thing. I also don't know how to describe it, but you'll know it when you hear it.



They got me going down the rabbit hole of other Russian deathcore/melodic death metal bands and I found these guys. I like this EP.







And some other assorted newer releases.







These guys kinda cop the 2022 Lorna Shore vibe a bit. Good rhythm, some good breakdowns. Wall of sound kind of mix.



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Frangas non Flectes
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Some fast, technical and melodic stuff here. This album just came out and these guys are pretty good.



Another new discovery, this album is almost ten years old. Also fast and technical, but definitely heavily influenced by the Djent era. I was already liking the first track on the intro, but my jaw dropped at :54 and I had to give it several listens through. More of the old school death metal growl vocals, but wow the whole rest of the band is so tight, and the guitar tone is super crisp for being tuned down to drop Q.



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I need to correct myself. I should have said "the next Converge album I owned and listened to more than a few times in it's entirety". That album was The Dusk in Us, and, as I said, I didn't care for it as much as Jane Doe. Either way, my stance on resisting the hype is the same, regarding any band.

Your taste is quite different than mine, Smudge, but it's all "heavy", as your thread title dictates, and I am thankful for your persisting embeds. I hope you post more frequently, and, though it may be counter to your original intent, I hope more conversation develops.

Of your recent recommendations, I enjoyed As God is My Witness the most, and it reminded me of a favorite of mine, that very likely represents a perhaps rare position in the center of our musical venn diagram: Nuklearth by Cytotoxin. Let me know what you think.

I have been sifting through a list of year-end recommendations from my favorite review blog, Angrymetalguy, over the past few weeks. If I identify any real stand-outs, I'll likely recommend them here.
 
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As a continuation of the Converge theme, I'll add that, coincidentally, if I see Kurt Ballou's name associated with production of something, there's a very good chance it's not gonna be my jam. There was a recent exception, in a year's-end article on AMG: Heavy Pendulum by Cave In. Produced by Ballou and fronted by a former member of Converge, I liked it pretty good.
 
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Frangas non Flectes
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Oh man, I haven't heard of or thought about Cave In in many, many years. They used to get mentioned in the same breath as Converge in a lot of conversations back around the turn of the millennium. I need to revisit their material. It wasn't a long conversation, but meeting Kurt the one time, I got the impression he was a really nice guy. He didn't have to take a minute to talk to me since it was after an energetic set and he was tired and needed to tear down his gear, but he did. Our head sales guy at my old place spent a lot of time interacting with Kurt and had nothing but good things to say about him. As I think of it, he had a similar opinion of Wes Borland. Limp Bizkit gets a lot of hate, but while those guys were touring, the rest of the band would go drink, drug, and chase pussy and Wes would go to museums, libraries and historically significant places. I remember reading an interview with him back then and he said something to the effect of "I'm a little older than some of the other guys, and I have a wife and kids - the party scene isn't for me. I'm getting paid good money to go travel the world, so why not use it see all the things I've always wanted to see and get some culture?" Probably time to see what he's been up to as well.

Yeah, this thread is meant to be a big umbrella for all the heavier stuff. We're not all going to like all the same things, that's for sure. I just figured we might have one place here where the music that never gets represented on SF can get talked about, but if it ends up mostly being a musical journal for me, that's fine, too. I'll keep posting stuff that interests me as I figure I go through so much material in a short amount of time that 1) if I don't keep track of it, I find myself going "oh crap, what was that band called?" and 2) a few people have responded that I turned them onto a band they loved, so if it's mostly 1 and a little bit of 2, it's worth the effort. I'm all for the conversation, and enjoy it. I had no intention of it being like the meme threads or something like that.

I'll give that album a fair listen, queuing it up now. A fair listen for me is at least a solid three playthroughs. I'm on the third track and liking it so far!


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Frangas non Flectes
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Pretty decent album. Solid, tight, but not quite in the vein I'd spend much time listening to lately. Anymore, I think I'm into more vocal-centric stuff, and if not that, then it has to have something I haven't heard before in terms rhythm or tone. If I had to distill most of my contributions to this thread so far, I think that's the essence of it.

Here's my counter-offer to that album. Meet Black Tongue.


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I have managed one playthrough of Black Tongue so far. My available time for critical or semi-critical music consumption is limited. I don't have a regular drive of more than ten minutes, and my wife and/or daughter is almost always in the car with me, so vehicle opportunities aren't really a thing for me. Anyway, I just wanted you to know I haven't left you hanging. My listening of Nadir ended up split across three mornings; I seemed to enjoy it most on the second day. I had come across the album once before, in passing, but I can't say where, as it doesn't seem like it was ever reviewed or otherwise mentioned on AMG. I used to frequent the nocleansinging blog, and this album's release lines up with that, timewise, so I may have seen it there. I obviously glossed over it then, and I am glad you brought my attention back to it. I wouldn't say, on first listen, that it is something I'd pursue a physical copy of, but I did enjoy it. I found the lyrics a little bit cheesy at times, and had the thought that, if he was a little more difficult to understand, it wouldn't have struck me that way. Funny how that works: we admire vocalists for things like lyrical clarity while employing harsh techniques, but, in this case, I still found something to bitch about. A lot of metal vocals are cheesy, but we often can't understand what they're saying, so it doesn't bother us. The music was unique and enjoyable. Your mention of chasing something you "haven't heard before in terms of rhythm or tone" represents something I have been both conflicted and wary of. It seems to me, especially in the wake of end-of-year roundups by music reviewers, that the metal community can sometimes become obsessed with the things we "haven't heard before". As a genre, metal has always been about pushing the envelope, but in my opinion, to my ears, a lot of the edgy stuff isn't super enjoyable. Oftentimes, the proven formulas of sub-genres, when performed with skill and gusto, are the most enjoyable. Your recommendation of Nadir represents a nice in-between; it seems they draw from proven sub-genre tactics, while being just different enough to boost the intrigue, without becoming pretentious or too distracting. I'll fit in another listen over the next couple weeks, and I'll try to come up with another solid recommendation for you, and anyone else sneaking around in this thread.
 
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Stangosaurus Rex
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What, no Amon Amarth?








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Frangas non Flectes
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quote:
Originally posted by Tommydogg:
What, no Amon Amarth?


We were just waiting on you to post 'em! Wink

I'll admit it: I gave these guys a miss for a long time purely because the name made me think it was Swedish black metal, and of all things, that's not my scene. I watched a teaser trailer for a game called Valheim, and the music to it was so good I had to look it up. Surprise, surprise. Amon Amarth is badass, it's almost hard to pick a favorite album, they're all so solid. Berserker and Jomsviking are probably my top two. It's been a little bit since I gave them a spin, and I see they came out with a new album called The Great Heathen Army. I'll have to give that one a go later today!


quote:
Originally posted by KSGM:
Anyway, I just wanted you to know I haven't left you hanging.


No worries, no pressure. I toss stuff out there knowing people are busy. Thankfully, I have lots of opportunity to check stuff out. I have a decent Alpine surround system in my truck and it's 20-40 minutes to everything around here.


quote:
Originally posted by KSGM:
I found the lyrics a little bit cheesy at times, and had the thought that, if he was a little more difficult to understand, it wouldn't have struck me that way. Funny how that works: we admire vocalists for things like lyrical clarity while employing harsh techniques, but, in this case, I still found something to bitch about. A lot of metal vocals are cheesy, but we often can't understand what they're saying, so it doesn't bother us.


Oh, the lyrics super suck. I was actually cringing getting the embed code for that album because it's a lyric video and the lyrics were scrolling. All I could think was "Jesus, if I wrote that, I wouldn't provide the lyrics." What you say about vocal clarity is something Will Ramos addressed in an interview I watched some time in the last year. He was saying that as a vocalist, one of the traps it's easy to fall into is over-enunciating and that with some techniques in some cases, it's actually more of a strain on the voice. In addition, some things actually sound heavier and more, I guess, menacing when not enunciated. He said once he decided to let go of the perfectionism in trying to make the lyrics intelligible that his technique and sound improved a lot. I can see it. I did a few years as a vocalist in a screamo/post-hardcore band and my goal wasn't to write amazing lyrics or enunciate them clearly, but to use my voice as another instrument in the mix, to add some ebb to the flow. It surely wasn't to be understood, and it worked pretty well.

quote:
Originally posted by KSGM:
Your mention of chasing something you "haven't heard before in terms of rhythm or tone" represents something I have been both conflicted and wary of. It seems to me, especially in the wake of end-of-year roundups by music reviewers, that the metal community can sometimes become obsessed with the things we "haven't heard before". As a genre, metal has always been about pushing the envelope, but in my opinion, to my ears, a lot of the edgy stuff isn't super enjoyable. Oftentimes, the proven formulas of sub-genres, when performed with skill and gusto, are the most enjoyable.


I was thinking about your commentary on this during the drive to school and back this morning. I totally get it. There are bands who struck on a winning recipe right off, stuck with it, and have a loyal following who've loved what they've done for decades. The low-hanging-fruit examples would be bands like Iron Maiden, Slayer, and Megadeth. Nobody goes to see any of those guys live to hear something new and edgy. I think while the heavy music community is definitely one where people want to hear new things and see the envelope get pushed, we also tend to be somewhat resistant to bands and groups doing this organically. Metallica has had all manner of pushback to them doing anything that wasn't thrash. Load, Re-Load, and even to a lesser extent, the Black Album, all got major pushback from their fans. Hell, I had just gotten into their stuff and was all about Justice For All when Load dropped and listening to it the first time was such a hard left turn, I didn't know what to make of it. Heck, Converge has been discussed in this thread on and off (because I keep bringing them up), but they're another band who I've had mixed reactions to their growth and change. I can't be the only one, because just two days ago, they released a live version Jane Doe (embedding Concubine below because I can't not). So while I do love hearing new things and seeing the envelope get pushed, I also tend to view my favorites with disdain when they want to change, and yet, I wouldn't have so many bands that I enjoy if they all did the same thing.



quote:
Originally posted by KSGM:
Your recommendation of Nadir represents a nice in-between; it seems they draw from proven sub-genre tactics, while being just different enough to boost the intrigue, without becoming pretentious or too distracting. I'll fit in another listen over the next couple weeks, and I'll try to come up with another solid recommendation for you, and anyone else sneaking around in this thread.


That's kind of what I was hoping for. They are definitely their own thing, but that thing is a nice blend of solid pedigree.


So, in my ongoing search, I encountered "post deathcore." Labels and categories and all that, but I can kinda see why people are saying that about this album. It feels more "metalcore" (I know, labels), but there's definitely some deathcore elements to it. It's well done, and worth a listen. I'm embedding their most recent first. There's an interlude about halfway in where it gets bogged down in the weeds a bit, but otherwise, this is a solid work. Lots of groove, lots of melody, and some badass breakdowns. This band is tight. They're definitely in the pocket, but they wear tempo like a loose garment, and together, they seem to move and sway around in the beat. It's hard to explain, but this album is an organic experience. I'm probably a half dozen playthroughs deep on it now.



I'm glad I decided to dig a little further back into their catalog because as much as I like that album, I may like this one better. It's obviously an older work of theirs, and you can hear how they got to "Wound" from here, but in this evolution, I could trace it back all the way to 2002, with Hopesfall's "The Satellite Years." There's a few riffs sprinkled here and there that are basically straight out of Hopesfall's playbook. "Post-hardcore" evolved into "post-deathcore." Amusing. Here's the opener for that album, and there's a playlist for all tracks if you follow the embed to YouTube. Heavy, fast, tight, good melody, and interesting chord progressions and modulations. I really like this album.



This is their intro album, which I just started, and they've got me hooked by 1:30. Yeah, I'm going to dive into their material.


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What, no Amon Amarth?

I'll look into them more too. I know they have a history of relative importance in the genre. I have historically passed them by because I typically don't care for "Viking metal". Seems as though their more recent works fared poorly, critically, compared to their early and mid-career stuff. This seems to be a somewhat common phenomenon in music in general.
quote:
lyric video...voice as another instrument

I also hate lyric videos. I'll just open a different tab, as they play in the background. The concept of the vocals as another instrument is something I generally agree with, and something I try to impress upon those folks who "like metal" but "just can't get past the vocals".
quote:
view my favorites with disdain when they want to change

It bugs me too, but I am pretty quick to come to terms with the fact that I like their catalogue from "here" to "here", and I'll typically completely ignore future releases, as I discover new music, and revisit the span of the discography that I love. Green Day is a good example, for me; they are one of the five bands I grew up on, musically. I don't really care for the bulk of their output, but Dookie to Nimrod represents, for me, and unfuckable-with streak of awesome music.
quote:
"metalcore"

I haven't listened to much of your Despite Exile contributions, but I don't hear any metalcore. That likely stems from the fact that my definition of metalcore comes from bands like As I Lay Dying and Bullet for my Valentine. Despite Exile certainly sounds more death-influenced, to me, and is of the more "avant-garde" persuasion. But that's just friggen stupid genre/sub-genre semantics. I guess it's just fun to consider different classifications.
quote:
Lots of groove

When it comes to mentions of groove, in regards to metal, my mind goes to bands like Lamb of God and Devildriver, which seems to conflict with how you consider "groove". Since I mentioned Devildriver, I'll plug one of their albums, that I consider very good: Pray for Villains. Songs like Sober and Pure Sincerity are super awesome, and that whole album has found a place in my all-time favorites.

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