I’m back with another instalment of Repeat Offenders. You know the drill by now. One of us chooses five songs they’ve been digging at the moment to share with our readers.
This quintet is particularly heavy and brilliant (in my eyes, anyway). Any of these been on your playlists lately?
At the Gates – Spectre of Extinction
At the Gates’ new album is a BANGER, and this is a hell of a way to open it up. We hear a brooding classical guitar intro before they turn up the guitars to make that melody sing even brighter and then it drops into death metal fury that they’re so well-loved for. Tomas’ voice is still in fine form, three decades after the band formed.
It’s not Slaughter of the Soul. This is At the Gates at their most cinematic, stretching their progressive wings and creating a different kind of masterpiece. It would be far too easy to recreate the past. Many bands after them have tried.
Don’t be surprised if this album’s on a lot of end-of-year ‘best of’ lists.
Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon
Meat Heafy (as the BBC now know him as) and co. have probably released one of their best songs to date, over twenty years into a full-time career. What makes it so good, then? It’s fiercely aggressive and as heavy as anything they’ve ever done. You’ve got a Shogun/Ascendancy style of guitar riffing over the recent aesthetic that they’ve had since Alex Bent joined the fold in 2017. There’s screams galore, but some of the most memorable moments of the song are the use of clean singing over a furious blastbeat. Oh, and the lead guitar work is nothing short of mindblowing. Clearly, while we’ve all completed Netflix over lockdown, the Trivium instrumentalists have been working hard on their crafts.
Hopefully this is the teaser for a new album. How do they keep getting better?
Hatebreed – Tear It Down
I’ve really got into Hatebreed over the last few months. They’ve got that hardcore energy, but with a bit of death and thrash metal in the mix to keep it interesting and heavy. I’ve seen them live once or twice, and had my friends recommend them to me for a long time, but I’d never really given them the time. What was I thinking?
I keep coming back to ‘Tear It Down’; that opening riff is filthy and groovy. More importantly, they know how to keep it ‘to the point’. ‘Tear It Down’ is done and dusted in just over 100 seconds, but they make each one count.
Boss Keloid – Hats the Mandrill
I’m a stoner/doom/sludge guy at heart. Boss Keloid have been one of my favourites for a few years now. Melted On The Inch was a huge album to follow, but they hit the nail square on the head – and then some – the other month with Family the Smiling Thrush.
‘Hats the Mandrill’ is brilliant, with mesmerising groove and intelligent, powerful chord changes. They know how quiet and loud can affect a listening experience, and they do this masterfully on ‘Hats the Mandrill’ with a section that only repeats twice, but at polar opposite points of the dynamic spectrum.
The lyrics are great, too. It’s refreshing for a band to have positive, uplifting words to sing along to in this kind of music, let alone metal as a whole. Hats off to them.
Slipknot – Surfacing
Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said, but rest in peace Joey Jordison. Thanks for inspiring a generation.
I saw one of Slipknot’s last shows with Joey at Download 2013. This closer was just magical.