1. Nedrugh - Depersonalize (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Genre: Black Metal
2. Sáasil - Ephemeral (Mexico)
Genre: Black Metal / Blackgaze
Post Black Metal Ethereal and Melancholy.
3. Kota the Friend - Lyrics to GO, Vol. 4 (Brooklyn, New York)
Brooklyn rapper Kota the Friend bucked trends, favoring musically rich instrumentals and vivid, sometimes surreal wordplay over the interchangeable trap styles of many of his peers. His personal, often introspective lyrics and jazz-inflected beats met with well-groomed production on his 2020 album Everything. In 2021, he teamed up with producer Statik Selektah for the project To Kill a Sunrise. The third volume of his Lyrics to Go series appeared in 2022, as well as the album MEMO. Kota the Friend was born in Brooklyn in 1992. He started exploring music by playing trumpet at age eight, growing more and more interested in music production in his high school years. He performed in various bands and worked as a cinematographer for independent musicians' video projects before establishing himself as a solo artist with a trio of singles in 2017. Kota's style blended jazzy undercurrents with R&B touches over beats that took cues from multiple phases of hip-hop's evolution. His full-length debut album, Anything, was released in 2018 and included cameo appearances from Hello Oshay, Childish Major and Angel Haze. Positive reviews and press buzz came quickly, but Kota decided early on to stay independent. He would turn down offers from major labels multiple times over the next few years, opting for a D.I.Y. approach that offered him more creative control. In 2019, he released the FOTO mixtape, and the next year he followed it with the brief project Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1. His second studio album, Everything, was released in May 2020. Its summery production and unique arrangement choices gelled into one of Kota the Friend's most successful projects yet, in terms of both critical reception and the charts. A second volume of Lyrics to Go, which included the single "Pomegranate," followed in 2021, as did To Kill a Sunrise, his collaboration with producer and DJ Statik Selektah Lyrics to Go, Vol. 3, a 22-minute release that was still longer than either of the first two parts in the series, was released in 2022, followed by the full-length MEMO and single "Red Lights." Now we introduce Lyrics to GO, Vol. 4 ~ Fred Thomas
4. For I Am King - Crown (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Genre: Melodic Death Metal / Power Metal
Dutch metal band FOR I AM KING are gearing up for the release of their brand new full-length studio album CROWN - the band's first release since the 2018 sophomore album ‘I’. The quintet offers modern, complex and furious but always catchy metal with hypnotic melodies, driven by the unique vocals of front-woman and eyecatcher Alma Alizadeh. The coming album is set to be released on the 19th of January 2023 serving as the proverbial crown to the quintets ten-year career. Since being formed in 2013, FOR I AM KING has released two albums ('Daemons' in 2016 and 'I' in 2018), which were internationally acclaimed by fans and critics alike. Furthermore the quintet has performed numerous shows worldwide, such as Japan, China and Europe (a.o. Jera On Air, Wacken Open Air, Metal Days, FortaRock, Full Force).
5. New Found Glory - Make the Most of It (Coral Springs, Florida)
As New Found Glory can attest, life moves quickly. Just three years after forming in Coral Springs, Florida, in 1997, the group were fast-tracked from local upstarts to mainstream stars on the back of ebullient pop melodies and hardcore-tinged breakdowns, setting off a blast of pop-punk dynamite that still lights the torch for modern acts more than two decades later. They became the voice of an underground movement, spurring iconic gold and platinum records (2000’s New Found Glory, 2002’s Sticks & Stones, and 2004’s Catalyst), countless MTV appearances, an entire subgenre (easycore) and sold-out tours the world over. But, as the band have also learned, everything can get upended in the blink of an eye. In December 2021, fresh off the celebratory Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead Tour in support of their 10th album, Forever + Ever x Infinity, guitarist Chad Gilbert was found unresponsive in bed at home, rushed to a local hospital, and diagnosed with an 8-inch cancerous tumor, a rare pheochromocytoma. Hospital stays, surgery, and a long road to recovery followed – but, in typical New Found Glory fashion, so did the songs. The band’s new acoustic album, Make The Most Of It (Revelation Records), tackles the last year head-on with their most emotional and cathartic collection of songs to date. The album is a rumination on what it means to grieve, to live, to approach every day with appreciation and a sense of fulfillment.
6. Scalp - Black Tar (California)
Genre: Death Metal / Grindcore / Violence
SCALP carved their way into the underground consciousness with Domestic Extremity (Creator Destructor) during 2020. CVLT NATION christened it “one of the most exciting and explosive heavy albums of the year,” while NO ECHO raved, “The Southern California outfit absolutely slays, spewing forth elements of power violence, death metal, hardcore, and sludge in a truly terrifying way.” During 2022, they hit the studio with producer Taylor Young [Deadbody, Twitching Tongues] of The Pit Recording Studio to cut Black Tar. The musicians only pushed harder than ever to match the intensity of the subject matter.
“Black Tar is a very negative outlook on my past life experiences: trauma, addiction, psychosis, losing family members to overdose, personal opinions with religion, and blasphemy,” notes guitarist Devan Fuentes. “I saw a side of humanity that was pretty disturbing to accept. It’s seeing people’s houses, seeing how they let themselves rot away, and seeing individuals who shouldn’t be alive kept alive just to live in suffering rather than die. The story isn’t about redemption or recovery. It’s very unfiltered judgement, and I wanted to replicate those experiences in the most disturbing way.”
7. SKÁLD - Huldufólk (France)
Genre: Nordic Folk
In the last few years, SKÁLD has taken an unexpected path through the international musical landscape by breathing new life into the Viking spirit. The group was founded in 2018 when producer-composer Christophe Voisin-Boisvinet brought together some first-rate talents to form an immersive musical project; SKÁLD embraces the ancestral spirit of the ancient skalds who chanted of the legends surrounding the peoples of the North and their gods.
8. GLOM - Pebble (Brooklyn, New York)
Genre: Lo-fi / Indie Rock
indie lofi slowcore shoegaze rock boyz GLOM’s forthcoming EP, "Pebble" manages the trick of making self-examination and dystopian thoughts feel and sound good. “A lot of the songs are derivative of how hellish our current world is,” explains Dunnevant. “But from a musical standpoint, a lot of this record is happy and upbeat. They’re heavy songs, but you don’t have to feel bad about it.
9. Turbid North - The Decline (Fort Worth, Texas)
Genre: Death Metal / Doom Metal
Turbid North is a three piece heavy doom band originating from Alaska and currently located in Fort Worth, Texas. After a hiatus, 2022 saw the band regroup to release their 3rd full length album "The Decline". Written during some of the bleaker periods in the band's lifespan, the album sees a darker and more aggressive sound added to the formula. Featuring themes of depression and mental illness, all set in the landscape of sci-fi lore that permeated their last album. "The Decline" is a collection of songs that delves into the downfall and self-destruction of a person.
10. Tactosa - Exit Wounds (Tampa, Florida)
Central Florida based Tactosa takes the raw, crushing sound of early Deathcore into the modern day. Piercing high vocals, brutally heavy riffs, combined with modern hardcore and death metal influences, makes Tactosa feel like a fresh return to form for the genre.
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