1. Conjurer (Rugby, United Kingdom)
Genre: Post-doom Metal
The future of British Metal lies in safe hands with , who announce their long-awaited new album Páthos, to be released 1st July 2022 via Nuclear Blast. Páthos is not an album for the half-hearted or faint-hearted. Elements of sludge, death, doom, black metal and hardcore influences clash and collide throughout, all masterfully finished by Will Putney’s exquisite mix and master. The fifty-minute runtime of Páthos is not without its moments of the sublime. That a band can be at once so triumphantly beautiful and gut-punchingly heavy is testament to Conjurer’s quality, and a surefire sign of their future longevity at the top of Britain’s heavy music scene.
A triumphant return from Conjurer following their world-renowned 2018 debut , Páthos is a band flexing their creative muscles, deepening their approach and thought, and expanding their sound.
2. Massacre (Tampa, Florida)
Genre: Death Metal
Florida-based death metal legends Massacre are back! Featuring the very same creatures that appeared on the Chamber of Ages (1986) demo, as well as some of death metal’s most prolific and malignant songwriters, new album Resurgence is the perfect soundtrack to the gruesome plague era in which we all reside. That’s right, returning to the fold are vocalist Kam Lee (Mantas, Bone Gnawer) and original bassist Mike Borders. Joining them in their journey between space-time are: inhuman death metal machine Rogga Johansson (Megascavenger, Rib Spreader) on guitars, Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath) on guitars, Brynjar Helgetun (Crypticus) on drums, and solo fiend Scott Fairfax (Memoriam, As the World Dies) on guitars. Normally, we’d call this profane configuration a ‘supergroup,’ but the Great Old Ones have spoken, hailing the new Massacre lineup a ‘stellargroup.’ With cosmic horrors reanimating and Resurgence emanating pure, unadulterated death metal, the Massacre principals couldn’t be more pleased.
“I feel it’s the best it’s been in years,” says Kam Lee dangerously near the abyssal portal outside his Florida home. “Finally working with members and a team that are all on the same page, and no one with their own personal agendas.”
3. Haunted Shores (Washington, D.C.)
Genre: Instrumental black/death metal
Instrumental black/death combo Haunted Shores return after a seven-year gap with their phenomenal new album, Void (2022). A natural successor to the Viscera EP (2015), Void finds Grammy-nominated guitarists Mark Holcomb and Misha Mansoor (both Periphery) resurrecting the past as a portal into the future. Some of Haunted Shores’ earliest material—tracks like “Immaterial” and “When in Oslo”—has now been reimagined, using Holcomb and Mansoor’s exceptional skill and know-how of today. The pandemic-era tracks—“Hellfire,” “OnlyFangs,” and the introspective title track—represent a new form of ingenuity, free from classification, devoid of rules, where internal pressure is excised, and external forces muted. Haunted Shores’ Void was built in troubling times and wears said scars proudly, but its greater purpose is an egress from all.
4. Puppy (London, United Kingdom)
In a world of modern rock copycats, Puppy sound like nothing else. A fusion of earth-shattering riffs, earworm melodies and anything-goes experimentation, the London-based trio’s long-awaited debut album The Goat, set for release on Jan 25 2019, is testament to their go-it-alone attitude.
“We love heavier bands who seem to have something smarter going on,” explains frontman and guitarist Jock Norton, who leads the Puppy pack alongside drummer Billy Howard and bassist / backing vocalist Will Michael, “but then we also love bands who are pretty dumb!” he adds with a cackle.
The Goat has plenty to offer everyone, from bullet-belted metalheads to shoe-gazing fuzz lovers; a record that thrives off its kaleidoscopic approach to creativity along with the band’s mischievous mentality.
“We just wanted to push the boat out a bit,” says Jock, who acts as the band’s primary songwriter, and debut single ‘Forever’ quickly nailed these new colours to the mast. Taking the left-field melodic turns of Weezer, the hazy fuzz of Smashing Pumpkins, plus the straight-to-the bone sonics of the Big Four of Thrash Metal, the group’s idiosyncratic sound is as unique as their batshit, DIY-or-die approach to the visual side of things. When they’ve got nothing band-wise to create, they make viral memes; these, along with album art, merch designs and directing, shooting and editing the videos, are the responsibility of Will and Billy.
5. Sweet Pill (Philidelphia, Pennsylvania)
Philadelphia’s Sweet Pill writes eruptive emo songs that embrace the edges of pop and hardcore. The kind of band whose members are fully immersed in their local scene—through a handful of notable side projects and the show-promoting Philly staple Collective—the quintet’s sound takes wide-spectrum influence from its environment. The result is an amalgam of complex song structures and flourishes of technical acumen, wholly unconcerned with genre, yet evoking the specific styles of touchstones such as and . alright, sweet.
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