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Michael Bird

ALBUM: Beartooth – ‘Aggressive’

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The great advantage that Caleb Shomo had when he first unleashed the primal fury of Beartooth on the world was the lack of expectations surrounding the project. His humble beginnings as the keyboardist, and eventual vocalist and mastermind, of crabcore punch line Attack Attack! were hardly an impressive résumé. Now that we know how good […]

EP: Vacive – ‘Personalities’

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Once upon a time, your favourite band was a local band. In some cases it’s hard to imagine; picturing an unsigned Slipknot ripping through “Wait and Bleed” and “Surfacing” in a dingy pub is a difficult image to conjure up. If anything, discovering a band in their nascent stages is the most exciting thing a […]

ALBUM: Architects – ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’

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This November, the UK’s finest modern metal band will headline London’s Brixton Academy. If they sell it out – which they more than deserve to – they’ll be playing to 5000 people. The last time Architects played the venue was in 2011, not long after the release of The Here and Now, which at the […]

ALBUM: Issues – ‘Headspace’

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One of the great paradoxes of rock culture today is that for for all the genre’s heritage of rebellion and rejecting the establishment, it breeds an awful lot of conservative thinking. If a band dares to push themselves musically or, shock horror, dabble in a genre beyond their norm, the instant reaction of a battalion […]

ALBUM: Fallujah – ‘Dreamless’

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Atmospheric death metal. On paper, it’s an incongruous mash-up of genres that should work about as well as crunkcore did; in practice, it’s an approach to extreme music that has made Fallujah one of the most exciting names in the scene. Their second LP, 2014’s The Flesh Prevails, was much lauded in the world of […]

ALBUM: Deftones – ‘Gore’

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Deftones are my favourite band. Over the course of their 20-plus year career they have built up a stunning catalogue of music that repeatedly demonstrates relentless creativity as well as exceptional individual and collective talent. The quintet has proven brilliant at everything they care to turn their hands to: helping to kick-start a genre in […]

ALBUM: Babymetal – ‘Metal Resistance’

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There’s no escaping it: Babymetal is ridiculous. A manufactured band built on the gimmick of three Japanese teenage girls singing pop hooks over bruising metal, their enormous success in the heavy music scene has been bewildering considering how many elements of the formula should be anathema to your common dyed-in-the-wool metalhead. Their success in the […]

SINGLE: Issues – “The Realest”

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Are Issues a metalcore band? On the evidence of 2012’s Black Diamonds EP, yes, albeit one that could mix and match elements of R&B, EDM, nu metal and hip-hop with a dexterity that belied their then infancy. When they had the opportunity to spread their wings on a self-titled full-length, they made the question even […]

ALBUM: Wildways – ‘Into the Wild’

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If it weren’t for the fact that they originate from Russia, a country not exactly well known for its contribution to the heavy music scene, Wildways might have the most clichéd story in modern metalcore. Starting out with an unnecessarily unwieldy moniker, Sarah Where Is My Tea, their primary accomplishments have been tours with the […]

ALBUM: Hacktivist – ‘Outside the Box’

Michael Bird 0
Four years is a long time in music. When Hacktivist burst onto the then vibrant djent scene in 2012 with their self-titled EP, the subgenre was in a boom period and their fusion of Meshuggah riffs and grime rap vocals was exciting enough to draw in listeners beyond your typical tech-heads and music theoreticians. Now […]