Miss May I â€“ Hey Mister
The drumming on this is particularly sick. Itâ€™s an unremitting sledgehammer beatdown. Absolutely storming â€“ sadly let down by the lacklustre guitars, the tune is almost non-existent, barely a hook to keep you wanting to continue listening. Yes, itâ€™s heavy, thereâ€™s no denying that, but where there are riffs, youâ€™d expect something to make you want to power-stance and break out the old air-six string, not wonder why this blokeâ€™s shouting so much over some rather stale-sounding metalcore.
Architects â€“ These Colours Donâ€™t Run
Best bitÂ on this isÂ the dirty bass guitar,Â which is aÂ guttural, hollow-sounding rasp that I wish would dominate this a lot more. The guitars are that high-end, fret-thrashing intensity, but I canâ€™t help but feel this would suit having the bass a lot higher in the mix. Vocals are spat with vitriol and disgust that youâ€™d expect, so kudos to Architects for that.
Stick To Your Guns â€“ Against Them All
Tedious â€œwoaaahhhooohhâ€ vocals on the chorus. It should appeal, but itâ€™s not ticking any boxes here. Like the â€œGO!â€ *mosh break* bit. Feels like Stick To Your Guns have spread their sound a bit thin. I mean, it goes for the Hatebreed style fist-pump, gruffness. Definitely picks up near the end, where it gets more snarling and vicious.
Make Do And Mend â€“ Lucky
Make Do And Mend are totally on fire here. Upbeat, but not in the sunshine unicorn rainbow way; instead this is passionate and hopeful, without being a full sugar-overload. The slightly throaty vocals, discordant post-hardcore meets Epitaph punk rock sound is wonderful, giving a heavy nod to Hot Water Music and fist-clenching, anthemic rock music delivered with real heart.
The People The Poet â€“ Divided Kingdom
My twee-o-meter has exploded. This is just too much. Thankfully there was no glockenspiels. So sweet as well, so, so sweet. Thereâ€™s no denying that The People The Poet are heartfelt and this is something that will either move you to joy or tears, depending on your mood.
Broken Lungs â€“ We Stand Tall
Destined for great things, Broken Lungs have obviously studied that pop-punk template and decided to pour everything they can into the melody and hook section â€“ so basically, what makes pop-punk so damn infectious. This is insanely catchy, warm and rich, packed with feeling, definitely Slam Dunk material for next year and if they keep writing tunes as soaring and appealing as this, well who knows?
Upon A Burning Body â€“ Once Upon A Time In Mexico
Tech-as-hell. Also; completely piss-poor-as-hell. Vocals are laughably bad, as is everything about this abomination of deathcore balls.
The Story So Far â€“ High Regard
Hot damn, if you thought Broken Lungs had the passion, The Story So Far, wring every drop out of that. This is sweaty, hi-fives, raucous pop-punk, in the similar vein to The Wonder Years, but heavy in the sense of massive bear-hugging riffs and a light summery bounce of optimism and enjoying life.
Pariso â€“ Lonely Battle
I remember seeing Pariso about 3 years ago, they were absolutely brutal. It seems they havenâ€™t changed, although the songs are now longer but no less intense. This is crusty, spiteful noise spat from a ruined throat as guitars contort and chew everything to pieces â€“ harrowing, but excellent.
Yearbook â€“ Visionary
This is see-sawing onto the side of Coheed and Cambria vocals all the time, but keeps saving itself. It dips from this weird high-pitched shriek, to a stuttering, rough splutter, before returning to this fragile rasp. The gang vocals are a nice touch and give this real body. The guitar is low sounding, fairly scrappy and dishevelled in execution.
7 Horns 7 Eyes â€“ A Finite Grasp of Infinite Disillusion
Crank up the doom-o-meter guys. Hilariously po-faced song title aside, this is crusty, bludgeoning metal onslaught. Very Cult of Luna in execution, with the sweeping passages of dense, technical power, harrowing vocal roars and crushing terror.
Officers â€“ Co-Education
One of the most interesting songs Iâ€™ve heard on one of these compilations. Officers sound like â€˜With Teethâ€™-era Nine Inch Nails, but more emphasis on huge pummelling synthesisers and haunting, distorted vocals. Itâ€™s comes as no surprise theyâ€™re on tour with Gary Numan, who is such a strong influence, itâ€™s hard not to find this suitably fucking fantastic.
Skyharbor â€“ Maeva
Thereâ€™s something exceptionally intense about Skyharbor. Their massive, sweeping soundscape of moody and driven heavy rock splices dark-sounding metal riffs and contorting basslines, whilst the vocals are a clear, soaring call to arms that dip from a whispered, but no-less impassioned harmony. Just past the 5 minute mark, it gets suitably prog-worthy and more exhilarating, breathless and raucous. Wow.
The Dead Wretched â€“ Anchors
Melodic, passionate metal that strives to bridge gaps between tech and hardcore, with a good mix of harsh and clean vocals. Unfortunately, it doesnâ€™t feel at all original and is let down by a plodding mid-section. When the riffs coil and bend The Dead Wretched are at their very best, but in places the laboured ponderous attack is just tiresome.
Collisions â€“ Believe In This
This is absolutely superb. Taking all the best bits from 2001/2 back when nu-metal was so awesome, Collisions have spliced together a winning formula. Overload of frantic percussion and beats that actually fits together, alongside wailing Prodigy-style noises and fractured howls. Add in some crunching riffs that are straight from the One Minute Silence rulebook of nu-metal, whilst the quick-fire rap-rock and frat-boy party atmosphere means youâ€™re on to a winner.