Death Blooms- You Are Filth
If an insane amount of live energy and an un-relentingly aggressive vocal performance is what you are after, then look no further than Death Blooms. The entry of their new EP onto this list is a tad pre-emptive (it isn’t officially released until 26th April) but three quarters of it has been released as singles already, so it is just about eligible. They sound like the UKs answer to Of Mice & Men, with liberal doses of hardcore and nu-metal thrown in for good measure. It isn’t the kind of music to be enjoyed in your living room while you look for the subtle music nuances: this is meant to be live and in your face. The riffs are gut-punching and memorable, the choruses are full of hooks without ever softening the aggressive edge, and I sincerely hope that vocalist Paul Barrow doesn’t add himself to the list of metal singers requiring surgery for ruptured vocal chords. If you gargled gravel and scotch for a month you might get close to his ear-splitting roars, yet still fall short. You can feel the emotion and intensity on the recording, even more so when you crank the decibels in a live setting. And live is really where this band should be appreciated. They’ve been honing their performance with Korn’s Jonathan Davies, Skindred and King 810 (to name a few) and are finally playing their first headline shows in May 2019. Do I need to say anymore?
The Raven Age -Conspiracy
There is no shortage of bands embodying the spirit and sound of classic heavy metal, so much so that it takes something big to standout these days. The Raven Age did just that earlier this year with their sophomore album, Conspiracy. They’ve taken much loved fantastical and historical themes (think Joan of Arc, Helen of Troy, war in distant lands etc) and added a distinctly modern sound, combining elements of NWOBHM, power metal and the type of massive riff peddled by the likes of Mark Tremonti. The result is gripping display of melody and power that the late great Ronnie James Dio himself would be proud of. Rather than being a pale imitation of the 80s greats, this an updated continuation of the heavy metal legacy. The age of the raven is upon us.
Ithaca- The Language Of Injury
The UK hardcore scene- and rock scene in general- is currently in the best health it’s been in in years. Ithaca are the latest band to really come through and make waves; their debut full length shows exactly why. Its spiky, mathy hardcore builds a solid base for their songs and is executed at a high enough standard that it could carry an album on its own. Ithaca aren’t a band to be satisfied by just being good enough, however. Melodies and guitar layers are added to this already potent brew and really reward repeat listens. Spacey, Oathbreaker-esque passages appear at times and really add a new flavour to the album. Yes, Impulse Crush is an absolute rager but there’s so much more to The Language of Injury than full on aggression. Give it time, give it repeat listens and most of all give Ithaca your support in future.