Now Hear This: Sophie K on the best new metalcore, grunge and nu-metal
Did you bag tickets to Download? If you see me there and I’m crying with my hands in the air, it’s just me getting emotional at the return of my favourite thing in the world. I imagine you may be the same, so let’s shed a tear while we do the Newport Helicopter.
And for new bands to check out, here’s five bangers for you…
Damn, this band are so good! When you get sent loads of music you do open emails with a cautious pessimism, because in all honesty, a lot of the stuff you get isn’t up to par. This is the reason I get so fucking excited when I hear a band like Black Coast. They just dropped a brand new single called Paradise and it slaps. At times it feels familiar, and it has proudly obvious references to Korn, Deftones, Alice In Chains and even a bit of classic Pantera. As a metalhead, its very comforting as it tells me this band are able to nod at the OGs, but the difference here is that the song itself feels fresh. When you’re old enough to remember the first wave of nu-metal, it can trigger a deep cynicism for any band that is referred to as such. However, when you hear a band who are taking inspiration and carving their own path it’s very exciting.
I feel like I don’t reference prog enough in this column. It’s probably because, as a fan of the genre, from Zappa to Opeth, it takes a lot to impress. Zetra caught my attention because of their range of influences. Genre (and hopefully genre snobbery) is dying, which makes way for bands to truly express themselves and experiment. They sound like the kind of band who might have indie synth, doom and shoegaze tracks all on the same playlist. Their new EP is dropping soon and it delivers an even darker facet of the band, it’s more akin to what I expected Ghost to sound like when I had only seen pictures. It was written pre-pandemic, but predicted our current global situation with such eerie accuracy that the release had to be delayed.
Sadness & Complete Disappointment
As thy cynical, depressive optimist that I class myself as, I was sold as soon as I read this band’s name. This trio from the Midlands are inspired by ’90s grunge, but blend in such darkness that it give me vibes of throwback bands like Rasputina or K’s Choice (anyone else remember them?). Their EP is aptly titled Fun, although – spoiler alert – it’s a no-ska zone. I am looking forward to seeing where this band goes, it’s early days for them and in many ways that’s what adds to the ’90s feel. Not the major label polished ’90s stuff, but the dark rebellious, emotionally raw storytelling bands.
Sometimes you hear a band and think, “How have we been sleeping on this?” Now is Samurai Shotgun’s time. They’re reminiscent of early Linkin Park meets Rage Against The Machine. One of the things I kept seeing time and time again as I was researching them is that this is a band you have to see live. I’m hoping that they’re able to show this on the production of their future tracks as I could hear hints coming through in the stuff that’s out there already.
Drown This City
Drown This City have been building an audience in their home country Australia for a while now, but a brand new deal with label UNFD could elevate them to the next level. I don’t know what Australia have in the water, but I feel like they do metalcore very well. The band have two vocalists, so you have a mix of intensity, and I bet it is brutal to see live. I can imagine they absolutely slay, so it will be interesting to see what the return of touring has in store for them…
Hear Sophie K present the Breakfast Show on Kerrang! Radio, weekdays from 7am.
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