Not that OurStage metal acts are dormant during any particular time of year, but summer seems to be especially lively for new releases. Metalcore seems to be the hot style of metal midway through 2012 with new music from OurStage veterans Danforth, A Wanted Awakening, and Hearts Alive. I’ve heard all three of these albums, each of them are a different style of metalcore.
Hearts Alive’s latest full length album, He Who Has the Gold Makes All the Rules came out at the end of April and, unfortunately, I’m just now getting around to hearing it (sorry, everyone). The good news is that this album is both rad and a solid effort. Mixing the heard-hitting onslaught of Disfear with the triumphant guitar work of At The Gates, fellow Swedes Hearts Alive create one fantastically aggressive metalcore album with a slight lean toward the more hardcore side of things. Fun fact: Disfear and At The Gates have the same vocalist, Tomas Lindberg, who is also featured on He Who Has the Gold Makes All the Rules. From front to back, He Who Has the Gold Makes All the Rules is a great listen, one that will surely get your limbs moving in the pit. You can buy it here, or just check it out on Spotify if you like.
Next up are Parisian moshers Danforth with their first full length album, Crime In Hell. Decidedly more hardcore-based than the Hearts Alive album, Crime In Hell brings fiery vocals and thick, slamming riffs in unrelenting fashion on just about every song. The mood for the entire album can be mostly summed up by the first single, “Face a Face,” as it opens with a roar, goes straight into a thrashing verse, and about halfway through delivers a gargantuan beatdown section. This may not sound particularly interesting, but when the songs are as punishing as “Face a Face” I’m certainly not complaining. Rinse, repeat, mosh. Every song is awesome, every song is punishing. Check out the video for “Face a Face” below and pick up the entire album on iTunes.
Lastly is the hot-off-the-presses album from A Wanted Awakening, Catharsis. Spawned more from the melodic death metal side of things than the Danforth and Hearts Alive records, Catharsis harkens back to the things the metal scene loved about the Killswitch Engage-like metalcore from the turn of the millennium: slick guitar riffs and licks, powerful clean and screaming vocals, harmonized dual guitar solos, and raw honesty. Avoiding the hyper-polished sound of many metalcore bands over the last few years, A Wanted Awakening utilize a well-mixed but gruff sound that brings a lot of depth and added dimensions to the table. You can grab Catharsis from Bandcamp or a physical copy (and other merch) from the band’s Storenvy page.
Make sure you check out all these albums, they’re worth a listen.