Category Archives: Exploring New Things

Every now and then we come across something that is just a bit different.

Johnny Wore Black – A Cut Above (Single)


artworks-000085118344-9q8op4-t200x200On the 28th of March, Johnny Wore Black released their much anticipated debut album, “Walking Underwater Part 1.” It was full of atmospheric elements combined with dark and melancholic vocals soothing to the psyche.  Click here for the review of that album.  Just five months later…that’s now in case you are counting; a new single, ‘A Cut Above’ is upon us in preparation for, as you might have guessed…”Walking Underwater Part 2.”

While continuing with an atmospheric and emotive style, ‘A Cut Above’ is more upbeat lending itself to more of a hard rock vibe.  If you thought the sophomore album would be a continuation of this year’s earlier release, ‘A Cut Above’ certainly does not intend to let us think that.  The song will also be accompanied by a “new and intriguing video.”  No doubt, it will be interesting to see what is in store for “Walking Underwater Part 2.”  For now, their is no set date for the second installment except that we can expect “later this year” (most likely October) for the new music.  Click here to follow Johnny Wore Black and check out their progress and videos they have already released.  Head over to iTunes to pre-order today!

 

Your weekend growling lesson with Angela Gossow


Angela-GossowEnough relaxation! It’s time for your extramural studies. Get this right and you could become rich and famous.

There are zillions of videos on YouTube about how to do a metal growl. I can’t say I’ve found the definitive one — if you should find it, please let me know. What I am offering is part of a vocal workshop with my Queen, my Goddess, of growling. Angela Gossow, recently retired from Arch Enemy, is more like a teacher or a librarian when she isn’t doing dark vocals in front of 50,000 fans.

I’ve sort of taught myself to growl in different styles. I’ll never be any good at it, for two reasons. First, I’m old, and so are my vocal chords. Second, and more importantly, I’m a lousy singer in any style. It may seem self-evident, but it’s not always immediately obvious — to be a good growler you need a good voice to begin with. But don’t let that stop you trying.

 

 

 

Jazzed-up Tuesday: Symetry – Roots Project


Do you know how well metal and jazz go together? If not, let Symetry’s music do the talking. They’re a French jazz metal band and they’ve released one album. This is the title song.

Just by the way, if you’re into djent, you’re halfway into modern jazz already.

 

New music for Monday: Set Before Us – Wildfire


Set Before Us, a new Swedish metalcore band, have just come to our attention. They’ve released their first single and it impressed me. If this is the shape of things to come, I’d like to hear their first album too.

 

Stream of the Week – Gunpowder Gray


What happens when you take a couple of guys from an Atlanta-based death metal band called Disfigurement and let them form another band?  You get Gunpowder Gray and it sounds nothing like death metal. First of all, I commend them for coming up with something completely different from the brutality of their day jobs.  Gunpowder Gray is bluesy, riff driven music in the vein of Black Sabbath and Pentagram which I am sure will interest many of us old guys.  It’s an old-school vibe that’s fun and has great rhythm.  Their self-titled album is just purely cool classic hard rock.  Gunpowder Gray was recently released on 19 April 2014 via Boris Records.  It’s a short seven tracks, but very enjoyable.  Not everything glorious has to be long right?

Stream of the Week – Whose Hearts Were His


This week’s Stream of the Week hails from Kansas City, Missouri.  Gabe Fry is the brain behind Whose Hearts Were His – his new solo project.  He was formerly part of Solace and Stable, a band we featured here on A Metal State of Mind a couple of years ago.  If you would like to check that project out as well, you can click here.  The new self-titled album is set for release in the near future – not date indicated just yet, but if I am supplied one I will let you know.  For now you can check out this track, Tongues Like Knives, to water your mouths for more of what’s to come.

For fans of:  Gojira, Between The Buried and Me, The Red Chord

Members:  Gabe Fry

Stream of the Week: Ringworm – Hammer of the Witch


How it that a band like Ringworm passes me by unnoticed?  Just when I feel I am broadening my horizons in metal to the nth degree, awesome bands just appear out of nowhere.  Except, they aren’t from nowhere.  They are from Cleveland.  That’s somewhere.  I know it is because I have driven through there like four times – never stopped.  Perhaps it’s all about marketing because I just checked, I am not living under a rock.  Anyway, if their Relapse Records debut album, Hammer of the Witch, doesn’t inspire chair throwing before 1:18 into Dawn of Decay, then I don’t know what to say about you except that you probably like Nickelback.

Their release date, 18 March 2014, kind of came and went like any other day.  Then I started seeing all these posts about the band as it soon appeared in our own inbox.  I figure it’s worth checking out.  To make a long pointless story short, it’s a killer mix of everything great about groove, hardcore, thrash, and death metal.  The vocals are intense, yet mostly coherent which is not always important, but nice when you can make out more than a few words.  Seriously, if I needed to hire someone to yell at my kids to get them to go to bed on time, I would hire this guy.  Listen and you will see why.

Overall, the album is pretty f’n solid; fifteen tracks of break neck, throw something across the room viciousness.  Enjoy!

Sockweb – Father-daughter grindcore duo


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Joanie, 7, and her father Adam from Indiana have been working hard on Sockweb‘s debut album ever since they showed off their absolutely adorable grindcore song “I Want Pancakes” last year. Joanie writes all the lyrics and is also the lead singer. Her career in metal is starting off early and it sounds damn good already!

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Stream of the Week: Acts of Tragedy – Cursed Words


Acts of tragedy hails from the Mediterranean Island of Sardinia.  Before I get into a little more detail about our Stream of the Week let me try to paint a picture for you.  The band’s listed influences are Pantera The Dillinger Escape Plan, Nevermore, Lamb of god, Periphery, Parkway Drive, Metallica, and Alter Bridge to name a few.  Does that excite our progressive, thrash, and deathcore lovers?  Not sure how Alter Bridge fits into the mix, but Acts of Tragedy certainly embodies a style in line with their influences.

Their six-track EP, Cursed Words, was released 1 July 2013.  The second track, What Remains, features Kevin Talley on drums.  You might know him as one of those drummers that has played roles in “almost” as many bands as Gene Hoglan.  In other words, he gets around and is a cool addition to the track list.  Overall, there is no shortage of aggression, but also includes a more melodic side with the song The Descending DownCursed Words is a helluva start.  I look forward to seeing what Acts of Tragedy brings us in the future.  Check them out for yourself.

Stream of the Week: The Kennedy Veil – Trinity of Falsehood


The Kennedy veil is the focus of this week’s Stream of the Week.  They are a Sacramento, California-based band that embody technical death metal. In other words, it’s speedy, brutal, and boasts a higher level of technicality that keeps things interesting despite the sheer constant speed of the songs.  Trinity of Falsehood should be available now via Earsplit Records.  The full-length work is short, just over 32 minutes, but packs a brutal cadence of glorious death metal.  Think Deicide, Suffocation, Decapitated, and Morbid Angel; The Kennedy veil would fit right in on a tour with any of those bands.  Enjoy!