1. Prowl - The Forgotten Realms (Montreal, Québec, Canada)
Genre: Crossover Hardcore
2. Chat Pile - God's Country (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Genre: Death-grunge/sludge/industrial Metal
Throughout parts of the mid-western United States lie towering mounds of the waste residue from early 20th Century lead mining operations. Comprised of what is known as "chat," these hills of toxic, metallic dust dot the countryside as if they were headstones for communities destroyed by industrialization such as Picher, Oklahoma. These effigies would come to be the namesake for the Oklahoma based band, Chat Pile, whose grotesque and pummeling brand of noise rock has managed to terrorize listeners worldwide in only a matter of months.Intent on raising as much havoc as possible, Chat Pile was spawned from the bowels of the OKC underground music scene in February of 2019. Consisting of Raygun Busch (vocals), Luther Manhole (Guitars), Stin (Bass), and Captain Ron (Drums), the quartet brings with them a sludgy and starkly nihilistic take on noise rock. Channeling everything from the oppressive sludgy beat downs of Godflesh, the vulgar absurdity of The Jesus Lizard, and the rebellious, post-modern experimentation of Sonic Youth, the works of Chat Pile are bleak, brutal and genuinely terrifying. Few bands have a level of self-understanding as Chat Pile. Despite the infancy of the project, Chat Pile continues to be a standout among the sea of D.I.Y. music projects to come out in recent memory. Their brand of crass, crushing, and poignantly cynical noise rock fills an otherwise unaccounted for niche in today's underground music landscape.
- Evan Mester of Yer Scene
3. Dance Gavin Dance - Jackpot Juicer (Sacramento, California)
Genre: Progressive Rock
Dance Gavin Dance has gone through some of the worst nightmares a band could possibly endure in the last few years. Not only was the music industry shaken to its core during the pandemic, the group lost longtime bassist Tim Feerick in April. To make matters worse, vocalist Tilian Pearson had accusations of sexual misconduct levied against him during the album rollout. Add on the multiple delays and obstacles during the Afterburner tour in 2021, and it’s a wonder the band is still standing to this day. If any band could make it this far, though, it’s DGD – a rare band spawning a subgenre and amassing a steadfast, rabid cult following supporting them every step of the way. Now, the time has come for the outfit’s tenth full LP, Jackpot Juicer, nearing twenty years of Dance Gavin Dance and showing no signs of slowing down with a whopping eighteen songs. - Mike Reitemeier of The New Fury
4. Stick To Your Guns - Spectre (Orange County, California)
Since emerging in 2003, Southern California’s Stick To Your Guns—Jesse Barnett [vocals], Andrew Rose [bass], George Schmitz [drums], Chris Rawson [guitar], and Josh James [guitar]—have merged socially conscious and outspoken lyricism with hardcore energy and hammering metallic force.
5. Anberlin - Silverline (EP) (Winter Haven, Florida)
Genre: Alternative Rock
Since the beginning of 2007, the band consists of lead vocalist Stephen Christian, guitarists Joseph Milligan and Christian McAlhaney, bassist Deon Rexroat, and drummer Nathan Young.Anberlin signed with major label Universal Republic in 2007 and in 2008 released New Surrender, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, with the first single, "Feel Good Drag", claiming No. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart, after 29 weeks in the chart. Prior to the release of their fifth studio album, Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place, Anberlin had sold over 1,000,000 albums. On October 18, 2018, the band announced that they would reunite for one show on December 14 at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida, as part of Underoath's Erase Me Tour. However, in March 2019, it was announced that the band would perform a series of headlining shows across Australia in May 2019. This expanded to an announcement of a 22-stop U.S. tour the following month. Young stated the band had no plans for a full comeback after the reunion shows. However, Christian revealed in May 2020 that they had reversed course and were in the process of recording new music.
6. Bastions - Majestic Desolation (Wales, United Kingdom)
Seven years on from playing their final note onstage and unexpectedly ceasing all activity, seminal UK alternative hardcore band BASTIONS have announced their return. Eleven years on from the North Wales band’s revered debut album, Hospital Corners, BASTIONS will be releasing their second proper full-length , Majestic Desolation, via Church Road Records on July 29.
Majestic Desolation is proof that time dulls nothing. As visceral as they ever were, BASTIONS’ trademark darkened hardcore and unnerving melodicism still convulses and writhes with an air of disquietude. Lamentations of lost time, profound emptiness and grief permeate throughout the entirety of Majestic Desolation’s 25 minutes. No more earnestly is this showcased than the one-two punch of Slithering into Coalfields - with Burne’s howls of “All this loss, all these years” on the latter. Majestic Desolation is less a comeback record as much as it is a continuation of all that made BASTIONS a highly influential UK act in the first place, taking personal hells and finding the universality within them against the backdrop of a sonically ceaseless push and pull.
BASTIONS in 2022 remain as perceptive towards all that leaves us desolate and hurting, with Majestic Desolation knowing when to swing and when to swim in the malaise of it all. Seven years on from that final strangled note at iconic London venue The Black Heart, BASTIONS are back and that sinking feeling of desolation is here to stay.
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