Now Hear This: Serena Cherry on the best new power metal, post-rock and metalcore
I get sent a lot of new music from labels. Being a writer and having written for different metal magazines, I get sent new records over email whenever something’s out. Usually I open the ones that have the most interesting names and give them a listen. I’m a big advocate for word-of-mouth as well – if people who have similar tastes to me message me and say, ‘You’ve got to check out this new band,’ then I’ll give them a listen. Another big one for me in the pre-COVID times was checking out support bands, or going to any show where the bands had a spiky logo. I discover a lot of bands just through stumbling across them live, which is something I really miss at the moment.
Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been checking out recently…
Fellowship are a power metal band from the UK. A lot of people have described them as the rising stars of power metal, and they basically sound like the UK’s answer to Twilight Force. It’s very epic and triumphant, and really catchy. Every time I listen to the EP they put out last year, it just fills me with joy. They dress as hobbits as well – they have homemade cloaks! That’s definitely something I like. I might bring some of that in for when Noctule play live – cloaks are very metal.
They’re a Scottish duo. I actually stumbled across them at the last ArcTanGent; I just wandered into the tent and was captivated because the singer, Elizabeth Heaton. She has the most haunting voice. It’s absolutely beautiful. They’re kind of post-rock with aspects of electronica thrown in as well. They’re one of those bands where each song is evocative and takes you on a bit of a journey, and you listen to them and just feel so full of longing and emotion. I’ve got really, really into them lately. They’re great.
Dehumanaut are a Bristol band led by Katy Montgomerie; she’s like the main brain behind them. I describe them as aggressive thrash metal, but they’re a bit more progressive in sections as well. The riffs and solos are absolutely killer – Katy is a really, really talented guitar player. They just released their first album last year called Dust In The Giant’s Hand, and it’s just super-heavy, super-aggressive thrash with really memorable melodies. I’m surprised they’re not doing Bloodstock – they’d be perfect for it.
My next pick is another Bristol band called Bearpit. I stumbled across these guys because I met their guitarist Rob at a Periphery show. They’re a metalcore band, but they have really crushing riffs. They’re basically Bristol’s Parkway Drive – super-energetic, super-innovative, and really heavy. They just released a new single called From The Ashes, which is packed full of great ideas, and it’s got a killer melodic chorus. I’m really excited to see what they’re going to do next. I don’t think they’ve ever toured. I think they’ve only really done gigs around Bristol, but they seem to be making a bit of a name for themselves at the moment.
My last band you need to check out are Pupil Slicer. I really like the way that they seamlessly blend so many genres, like grindcore, mathcore, death metal. It’s just such a crazy concoction, and it’s super off-kilter, but it really works. I think ‘aggro’ is a good word for their vibe. Whenever I listen to their album that just came out, Mirrors, I just want to scream along at the top of my lungs because it’s such a cathartic listening experience.
Svalbard’s album When I Die Will I Get Better? is out now via Church Road. The band play Bloodstock Festival in August.
Noctule’s album Wretched Abyss is out now via Church Road.
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