We’ve mostly been out and about at shows in Birmingham this week but there’s been plenty of time to check out the crucial new releases as well. This week’s Picks show off the richness of hardcore’s influence on metal and elsewhere.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
International Death Cult
This is a very different beast from 2015 debut Blossom. While that album’s dominant traits are aggression and fiery punk fury that punches you in the face like an actual juggernaut, Modern Ruin is quite the opposite. Everything is more refined, more polished and more sophisticated, from Frank’s delivery and the bluesy guitar tone to the shinier production. What it lacks in immediacy it makes up for in classiness. The more you scratch the surface, the more you realise the white hot fury of old is still present, just presented differently. Invest some time in this absorbing album and you will be rewarded.
We Are Islands, After All
Metalcore’s scream/clean dynamic is tired. But the genre’s basic principles remain valid and when it’s being done to this standard, and with this much character, not twenty minutes from your front door, it’s still worth shouting about. There’s more to the world of wars than the pitfalls of a busted genre. A single pass without knowing this band might leave listeners with assumptions about where they fit, but there’s enough ‘wars’ here to justify being excited about where their gloomy aesthetic will take them next time around. If album number two takes just a step past the familiar and into the darkness, well, you’ve been served notice with this debut.
Sometimes you need the gnarled introspection of wars. Sometimes only Frank Carter’s post-everything rockstar vibe will do. But sometimes all you want is grit. Riffs. Crunch. That’s the stock-in-trade of Ohio’s Rituals, a metallic hardcore outfit whose new EP Ghost Choir is a rolling rumble of headbanging riff after headbanging riff. These seven tracks are a hardcore-flecked tour of metal’s outposts, always filtered through a stomping core sound reminiscent of some of the foremost metallic hardcore albums of last year. Give it a go and you might find that Ghost Choir is a lot of fun.
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