Starting heavy, we have Bloodshot Dawn. Playing quality melodic death metal, this Portsmouth four-piece funded their own eponymous debut album and released it in late January. Terrorizer described the band as a 'Polished exercise in technical fury & unremitting brutality, slick and streamlined without losing sight of the main goal: to smash your teeth in.” That's pretty much spot on; the riffs are heavy and come at you with machine-gun velocity, but there's always some blistering solos just around the corner to break things up. The cookie monster vocals might put a few off, but fans of old-skool Trivium will be right at home.
Not strictly a new band, Haji's Kitchen [named after some a local Indian takeaway] have recently become active again after a decade-long hiatus. In the nineties these Texans played Nu-Metal with some Alice in Chains undertones, but new album Twenty Twelve has more of a Tool-vibe. Much of this is down to new singer Dan Tompkins, who they asked to join them after seeing his work on Youtube with UK Djent band TesseracT. The new album is out this week and the tracks of offer span Nu-Metal and Rock, with plenty of groove.
Again not strictly a new band, but one I only discovered since the new year. Ancient VVisdom [Pronounced 'Wisdom'] have been causing waves on the underground since early last year, and recorded a split vinyl with Charles Manson before releasing their debut, A Godlike Inferno. With essentially every song referencing the Devil himself, this is pure Occult Rock; the whole album is either acoustic or semi acoustic, and the smooth vocals almost make you forget the chants of 'I am the Anti-Christ' or variations on the theme. If the Scouts had a Satan-worshiping badge, they'd be playing this music around their camp-fires while they were trying to earn it. A great relaxing album, perfect for having a rest post-sacrifice.
Atlanta-based Royal Thunder are a classy four-piece who recently released their debut album CVI through Relapse Records. Steeped in retro-rock, they are a perfect blend of psychedelica and Led Zeppelin ("Led Zeppelin astride a psychedelic unicorn" according to NPR.org). Vocalist Mlny Parsonz has a mean bark and the band aren't afraid of showing their progressive side and jamming a track out for a while. The nine-minute Blue is a mini trip in itself, and generally the longer tracks are where they really shine. Definitely a band to get your flared jeans, denim jacket and sideburns out for.
The Tin Can .44s
Moving away from rawk'n'roll for the final band, we have the Tin Can 44s. Calling themselves a Blues-rock group from the 'low side of the road with one foot in the gutter' [Read: Central London] these guys are a nifty little group who've been around for a few years and recently released their new EP, Moloch & Co. Mixing blues with folky storying telling with a bitter twist; fans of Tom Waits, Nick Cave's cheerier and less sexually violent/incestual moments and harmonicas in general will get a lot of enjoyment out of this lot. Regular gigs around London, worth going down if you fancy some olde-style dancing and drinking music.
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