Forever Came Calling – What Matters Most

Pop punk four-piece band Forever Came Calling is back with their brand new album “What Matters Most”. “August Is Home” opens the album, and what a track to feature at the beginning. The track explodes in your ears whilst the guitars and complimenting drums are going wild to the beat.  The lyrics are intense and meaningful.

Every pop punk album has to have a slow song: “Endangered Innocence” is that song you have to play over and over again. It is beyond catchy and will stay in your head all day long. Joe Candelaria’s voice is rough throughout, giving the song its full effect.

The album is full of energy, and you’ll want to listen to it over and over again. Forever Came Calling isn’t your average pop punk band and this album proves it.

– Holly Reijs

Death Penalty – Death Penalty

Criminally under-rated guitarist of doom pioneer’s Cathedral, Gaz Jennings has finally released his first album since Cathedral called it a day in 2013. This project, the aptly named Death Penalty is completed by Michelle Nocon and Fredrik "Cozy" Cosemans, members of Belgian doom warriors Serpent Cult and bassist Raf Meukens. This formidable line-up plays extremely well together on a record that harks back to a time when the occult and heavy metal went hand in hand and sounds like it could easily have been recorded circa 1970. Channelling the powers of early Sabbath and Witchfinder General, Death Penalty is a doomy, occult rock tour de force. Nocon’s vocal performance is fantastic throughout and really complements the stellar guitar work of Jennings, particularly on tracks “Children of the Night” and “She is a Witch”.

Whilst Death Penalty will undoubtedly draw comparisons to the guitarists ‘other’ work the album is much more than Cathedral part two and I can’t wait to hear what Death Penalty has to offer. 

– David Gilmore

Attila – Guilty Pleasure

Attila has been on stage for almost ten years now. Originally from Atlanta, GA, they have already toured the whole world with bands like Crown The Empire and I See Stars and played during the Vans Warped Tour multiple times. Attila is most known for their song “Rage” and frontman Chris “Fronz” Fronzak. Fronz is one of those singers that everyone knows and has their opinion about and Attila is one of those bands you love or hate. One positive fact about them is that they sound pretty amazing live. They announced their new album “Guilty Pleasure” as ‘the best album of 2014’. It already shows one important fact about Attila: you shouldn’t take them too seriously. Their lyrics are filled with sex, boobs and beer. It’s rarely ever that you can listen a full metalcore album with a smile on your face, but “Guilty Pleasure” made it happen. The first track “Pizza, Sex and Trolls” actually describes the whole record. The sound isn’t that new. It’s a bit heavier in comparison to the previous records, but in general it’s more of the same sound that we know from Attila. The rap influence is something you like or not, but if you do, “Guilty Pleasure” will be a great new record to listen!

– Nicky Boes

The Wrong Kid Died – Away With Traitors

Every once in a while we stumble upon a young band that definitely has potential. The Wrong Kid Died started their journey in 2012 and is now releasing their first full-length album “Away With Traitors” under Clenched Fist Records.

They are opening their album “Skrillex-wise” with a dubstep intro, not too renewing in deathcore, but definitely a party starter. If you don’t like these futuristic noises, don’t be afraid, they are not using it in an excessive amount. In fact, it is a nice build up to a very hard-ass opener: “Faceless”. Starting from this song it becomes clear that these guys know what they are doing with their transitions. Their fast riffs are seamed together by strong build-ups, nice fill-ins and are tapped off with the occasional breakdown. Their strongest song is the title track on this album and it’s the perfect example of what these guys can do.

The negative part, which is also utterly normal, is that you can hear it is their first album, which makes it sound a little colourless. It misses that vibe in which a lot of DIY albums are left wanting. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t any beauty in their debut album, it is a diamond in the rough. We are sure we’ll be hearing much more of them in the future.

Jesse Mouart

Raised Fist – From The North

Sweden has roots in big music genres and one of the first bands setting foot on hardcore grounds is Raised Fist. In 1993 Luleå witnessed the birth of Raised Fist through the song “Know Your Enemy” from Rage Against The Machine. “From The North” is their sixth album which will be released six years after the previous one “Veil Of Ignorance”. They said “We’re from the North, and we do shit differently. We do it hard, whether it’s on stage or in the studio.” The sound proves what they’re saying. “From The North” is hard and heavy combined with the husky voice of singer Alle Hagman. The sound’s original if you compare it with other hardcore bands, and that’s why you have to listen to it. If you liked their previous albums, you will like “From The North” as well. They keep true to their style, but it became heavier.

– Nicky Boes

When Cities Sleep – What Lies Lay Between Us

When Cities Sleep is a rather new band from Waldorf, Maryland, but they are becoming more and more popular quickly. They name I See Stars as a big influence and that statement is crystal clear: they are trying to combine the whole electro sound with the metal sound and screams. The voice of singer Mike Garrow can go really deep, as well as really well-balanced with the clean vocals. “What Lies Lay Between Us” is their new record and it seems like a nice entry. The harder parts are balanced with the easy-going vocals. Mix those two together with electro sound and some nice breakdowns and you get “What Lies Lay Between Us”. The lyrics overall are seemingly dark, filled with talk about betrayal and such. When Cities Sleep seem to want to bring a message to their listeners. Maybe that’s also why they’ll ask with every live show: “Will you, fight for your dreams?”.

– Nicky Boes

NOFX – Backstage Passport Soundtrack

NOFX have got a new record! Or haven’t they? Well, not really: “Backstage Passport Soundtrack” is actually a compilation album featuring some B-songs, live skits and theme songs to their “Backstage Passport DVD” featuring their shenanigans during their tour through the exotic world of sketchy promoters and uncharted territory for punk rock. Many NOFX aficionados have heard most of these tracks before or even own them on some obscure bootleg or exclusive boxset. So it is without say that this was in need of some spicing up. So they threw in some new tracks that will appear in the second release of the “Backstage Passport” documentary. Yep, it's happening, “Backstage Passport II”! Long-discussed on various fora of the World Wide Web, yet another NOFX side project that got completed in the end! So this is NOFX’ “Backstage Passport” but honestly this appears a bit redundant to me since I would prefer hearing those tracks while watching the documentary. 

– David Marote

Glamour Of The Kill – After Hours

Glamour Of The Kill is born in York, UK. The metal band is already in the scene for about seven years now. They started more as a metalcore band with heavy and fast tracks. Starting from their last album “Savages”, they grew to a more clean metal genre. The growls and screams were set aside for clean vocals, with a sharp raw edge. With only five songs this EP is rather short but the sound is very different and it’s something more easy-going than for example their record “The Summoning”. Especially “Blood Drunk”, the last track can remind you of their older songs. Glamour Of The Kill has lots of friends in bands from touring throughout the years and that result is seen on “After Hours”. There are guest vocals from Craig Mabbitt from Escape The Fate and also Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach. Those voices fit well into the tracks of this ‘easy to listen’ EP.

– Nicky Boes

People On Vacation – The Chronicles Of Tim Powers

People On Vacation is a band founded in Dallas, Texas. They are born from the hand of Jared Riddick from Bowling For Soup and Ryan Hamilton from Smile Smile’s. The sound of People On Vacation is really unique. They sound fresh, young and uplifting. They use the label ‘indie/pop rock’, but there is a lot more to People On Vacation. There is some pop punk and maybe even some country. That’s what you get if you’re from Texas maybe?  Their newest album is called “The Chronicles Of Tim Powers” and some songs really show that country feeling. “You may not believe in God” is a fresh song that shows the roots of the band from Texas. The album sounds really uplifting and with a positive vibe, but the lyrics aren’t always that happy. Sometimes it’s filled with melancholy and the feeling of losing something. “The Chronicles Of Tim Power” is simply a surprising and easy-going album.

– Nicky Boes

Hybrid Sheep – Free From The Clutches Of The Gods

France has a lot of great bands, Gojira for example, or Betraying The Martyrs. Since 2008 there is also Hybrid Sheep. Originating from Haute Savoie in France, they produce raw and brutal, yet melodic deathcore. Since 2008 they released an EP, but no full-length album, it took them until 2014 to produce their first full-length album. With “Free From The Clutches Of Gods” they want to launch themselves into popularity. If you like The Black Dahlia Murder, you can enjoy Hybrid Sheep as well. The sound is rather melodic, but it’s very diverse within the whole album. Every song has its unique sound but it still feels like one whole, complete album. All in all, there isn’t anything that stands out for Hybrid Sheep, but it’s a firm and solid album and it will be able to attract new fans.

– Nicky Boes