A while back I wrote about the band Holy Wars. From the moment I heard the music, I knew it was 100% authentic. Now here we are in 2021, and Holy Wars is on the verge of releasing their first full length LP. For the past few years, singer Kat Leon and guitarist Nick Perez have been diligently working to craft new material that not only feels like a wild ride but, also is chock full of bombastic beats, hard charging riffs and vocals that are uncompromising. The first two singles off the upcoming album, “Little Godz” and “TV Dinner” have been taking the music world by storm. “TV Dinner” is quite an interesting track. Speaking about the song, Kat Leon said “TV Dinner’ is a fun, energetic punch to the face making you thrash around your bedroom while at the same time, spotlighting a societal meaning to the lyrics.” I’d say that is pretty spot on. And the accompanying video is quite a statement as well. If this is the direction Holy Wars is headed, there is no stopping the ferociousness. The fusion of dark pop, indie rock, punk, hard rock and even bits of hip hop make for one hell of an intriguing mix. Do yourself a favor and check out Holy Wars!!!
For well over 20 plus years now, I’ve been a fan of Tim Williams from Vision Of Disorder and Bloodsimple. I will never forget hearing VOD for the first time and being absolutely taken aback by the vocals I had just heard. It sounded like Jim Morrison was fronting a hardcore band and I loved it! So, naturally as I have done for many many years, I found myself at the record store buying up all the VOD albums that were out at the time. Then when VOD took a break, Bloodsimple was formed and that was awesome as well. And then after that VOD came back and it’s been a more than welcome comeback. Now though, Tim has branched out on his own and unleashed a side of himself that is a bit stripped down while still keeping the brutal honesty that fans of Tim have come to love over the years. Which now brings me to introducing you to Rollin’ Coffin and the first song released from this new project “Runaway.” Speaking on what the song means Tim said “‘Runaway‘ is all about breaking away from what you have known, good and bad. “To seek freedom without a sense of doubt or consequence. It’s about not being afraid to shed your skin and start again.” That sounds pretty damn good to me. The track was produced by Jon Markson who has worked with Drug Church. There is so much more to come from the project that Tim describes as “These songs are a stripped down version of myself, creatively, coming from an honest place. Sonically, I wanted to achieve a unique sound. A loose, almost dangerous, approach to a different chapter in my musical journey.” I personally can’t wait for more! 2021 is shaping up to be one hell of a good year for new music!
When I first started doing this topic, one of the first bands I wrote about was the very excellent, And We Are Them. Sadly, they disbanded but, thankfully the core members would go on to start a new project. Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to, Arc Angles. Taking inspiration from bands like Cave In, Metz, Failure, Quicksand and more, Arc Angles have made a bombastic sound that any fan of the post-hardcore genre will enjoy. Their debut album, Apocalisp, is a ferocious assault of spacy/mathy riffs and rhythms, melodic sensibilities and urgent vocals. Arc Angles pack one hell of a punch as a three piece. There is a feverish passion that is emitted in each of these songs. The production by producer/engineer Christopher Dwyer is crisp, punchy and articulate. The end result is a record that is needed right now. Arc Angles is a band that should be on your radar. I can imagine too that when live shows happen again, this band is going to be quite a force to be reckoned with on any bill they play.
When it comes to heavy music these days, bands have to bring something more to the table than just the “heavy.” Thankfully, a lot of bands have started to incorporate other elements to make them stand out. One such band that has been doing that is The Arson Choir. These guys have taken the metallic hardcore vibe and added some interesting time signatures, and the right amount of “noise” to make something a bit different than the rest of the pack. To perfectly describe them it’s as though The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die and Botch all morphed into one. Their most recent EP, Invisible Monsters (out now via War Against Records) is a righteous slab of in your face riffs, rhythms and vocals. The Arson Choir is definitely on the right track with what they are doing. By incorporating different elements and stepping outside their comfort zone a bit, they will for sure be a band to be reckoned with. I can’t wait till shows are allowed again so I can go see these guys live. I have a feeling these songs will be huge live and the energy will be off the charts.
I love it when a band can be inspired and influenced by a certain period of time and it doesn’t sound forced or like it’s a complete derivative of that era. Enter Minnesota’s, Comatose. This four piece delivers a sound that is heavy and fuzz driven with the right amounts of melody, atmosphere and aggressiveness that packs a walloping punch. Their new album, A Way Back is eight songs of pure rock that is sure to peak anyone’s interest that needs some good rock music in their day. There’s a complexity to this record as well that, the more you listen, you get a different perspective. The riffs compliment the punchy and tight rhythms and the vocals add the right amount texture. Comatose is the type of band that is needed in today’s musical climate. A band that lets their music do the talking and showing a lot of others how to do 90’s style rock the right way.
True artistry is not easy to find these days. So many supposed artists lack the depth, honesty, and creativity to make something truly compelling. A while back I found an artist that captures all those things and then some. Enter Lady Lazarus aka Melissa Ann Sweat. Since her debut album Mantic in 2011, Melissa has been honing her craft and delving deeper and deeper with each album. When you listen to her music there is a real sense of courage, urgency and truth pouring out of her. There’s also a journey taking place as you venture into the albums. There’s a darkness within the songs but, a feeling of hope and light at the end. The words conveyed are poetic and somber while the voice channels different energies and feelings to really encapsulate the mood. Musically, the minimalistic approach makes everything stand out and the chills that it gives is worth it. If you are looking for something that’s inspiring and hopeful, than Lady Lazarus is just what you need.
One of the most intriguing things about heavy music and its many sub-genres is the ability to take from all of them and make something fun and interesting. Recently I came across a band that has taken bits of metalcore and added some really cool prog elements as well as a tinge of ambience to find a balance that hits you like a ton of bricks when it all kicks in. That band is Invent Animate. Since their inception, they have played and toured with bands like Silent Planet, Northlane, Erra, Currents, After The Burial and many others. Their new album, Greyview (out now via Tragic Hero Records), is a summation of the description above but offers more than what you’d expect. The arrangements and space on these new songs showcase a band that is truly dedicated to writing deep and lasting songs. Invent Animate is a band that is on the verge of truly finding their sound and separating themselves from their peers.
Heavy music is a huge favorite of mine, in case you didn’t notice. The sheer energy and magnitude from that genre really hits home. One sub-genre that I’ve always been fond of is the Thrash Metal. There’s something about the speed, intensity and prowess that pulls it all together. Recently, I was introduced to a band hailing from Virginia that has nailed the Thrash style. Enforced is a band that has all the right stuff down to the blazing riffs, pummeling breakdowns, and hard pounding rhythms. They remind me a little of the band Power Trip (R.I.P. Riley Gale) as well as early Slayer and Kill Em All era Metallica. Enforced will be releasing their new album, Kill Grid on March 12 (via Century Media). These guys are primed to become one hell of a band to see live, once shows are allowed again. In the mean time check out the these two songs from their upcoming album.
One thing I’ve always found interesting is hearing bands from different places. Sometimes, the band from the oddest place, really finds a way to carve their own niche. Which brings me to Mississippi’s own Silent Trust. Hailing from the Gulf side of the state, these guys have taken their love of epic 80’s anthems, 90’s grunge, bits of metal and the modern contemporaries of today to bring a heaviness and an edge to what they do. The music is ripe with melody and riffs to go along with a thunderous almost hurricane like storm of emotions. The band’s debut album was produced by Jim Wirt (Incubus, Hoobastank, and many more) and it captures the sound these guys have been dreaming of. The first single, “My Enemy” is a great encapsulation of what this band is all about. The realness in the lyrics and delivery not just vocally, makes this stand out amongst their peers and especially in their home state. Silent Trust is just beginning to scratch the surface of what they can do and this is the right step forward.
I love a good side project. More often than not, the side project allows the artist to explore a different side and see where that experiment goes. It’s quite interesting to hear this other side and experience something you aren’t used to hearing from that person. Which leads me to the band of the week, Blunt Razors. I’ve long been a fan of the band Planes Mistaken For Stars and when I heard that Gared O’Donnell and Neil Keener were working on new music that wasn’t going to be Planes material, I became very intrigued. While quarantined together throughout 2020 in Peoria, IL, they wrote and recorded a plethora of incredible songs. Sonically, some were enough of a departure from Planes Mistaken For Stars, that the pair felt it deserved a different name. And with that, Blunt Razors was conceived. Their debut release, Early Aught, is comprised of five gut-wrenching originals that have the grit and charm that Gared and Neil are known for. The two songs released so far, “Speeding” and “Amber Waves” show that there is a whole other level of creativity to these two talented writers. Their debut is out on November 20 (via Deathwish Inc).