1. Lost Trees - Luminescent (EP) (Orlando, Florida)
Genre: Post-hardcore / metalcore
FFO: Dance Gavin Dance, We Came as Romans
2. Vampire Squid - Plasmic (Corona, California)
Genre: Progressive Death Metal/Mathcore
Vampire Squid is a Southern California-based Death Metal/Mathcore outfit started by members Andrew Virrueta and Jake Sprinkle. The idea stemmed from creating a nautical-themed joke band when the two were in high school. As the creation of the first record progressed at that time, they realized that they wanted to make more serious music while maintaining the light-hearted and ironic edge that they had created. The lyrical and musical content of the first record proceeds its concepts throughout the following three records in the form of motif. At ages 18 and 19, they created and released their 2nd record, "Sea's Control" six months after their debut record. This album was much closer to the vision that was attempting to be achieved from their self-titled debut. Still in an explorative phase, the two continued to the drawing board. In 2014, Vampire Squid released their 3rd record, which they feel is their best, most fluent record thus far. Its use of lyrical callbacks as well as many musical callbacks fully tie the entire trilogy of records together. "Nautilus World" is the record that put the band more on the radar within the Death Metal community and helped get the band much more known. Now in 2023, their new EP Plasmic is here to cause quite a stir.
3. Dadcap - tvanas (Vilnius, Lithuania)
Genre: Emo / Alternative indie
dadcap is a female fronted alternative rock band based in Vilnius, Lithuania. By using introspective lyrics and heavy rhythms that often delve into themes of self-discovery, growth, love, and heartbreak dadcap's aim is to capture the emotions of the coming-of-age crisis in their songs.
“We provide a general amount of positive emotion
4. Woe Bather - Oh Achlys Please Love Me Once More (Houston, Texas)
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
One person black metal please love me once more..
5. Theophonos - Nightmare Visions (Detroit, Michigan)
Genre: Black Metal / Hardcore
6. Girl Scout - Real Life Human Garbage (Stockholm, Sweden)
Genre: Indie Rock
It's a tale as old as time: four young people meet while studying. In this tale our protagonists are Swedish and became acquainted at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm not too long ago. They studied Jazz, they played together. First two of our friends "formed a duo in an attempt to earn money, playing mostly evergreens and covering anything from the Beatles to Burt Bacharach at cocktail events and openings", but soon enough, after they started performing original songs, their enthusiasm got contagious and they became a four piece. The grapevine is buzzing already, Girl Scout have been making a name of themselves in the last months playing live shows around the UK and Scandinavia, supporting Holly Humberstone and securing first festival spots. "Where can I find your music!?!?" is the most asked question underneath their social posts, alas they didn't have any songs out – until now. The wait is finally over. Emma Jansson (guitar, vocals), Evelina Arvidsson Eklind (bass, vocals), Per Lindberg (drums) and Viktor Spasov (guitar) are ready to release their Debut album "Real Life Human Garbage"
7. Aglo - Into The Maze (Melbourne, Australia)
Genre: Doom Metal / Sludge Metal
Aaron Osborne - Total Assimilation
8. Child - Meditations In Filth (Gothenburg/Stockholm, Sweden)
Genre: Deathgrind Punk
Back in 2015, Alex (Grand Cadaver) and Albin had an idea to play some sonic, extreme music and the foundations to CHILD was set. In 2018 they recruited Jocke (ex. Mr. Death) on vocals and performed their first show. Spontaneous rehearsals and writing sessions followed. And in 2021 they completed the line-up with Per (Division of Laura Lee) on guitar and Staffan (Let Them Hang) on bass. Later that winter they entered Welfare Sounds and recorded their debut album which will be released February 16 2023 via EAT Heavy Records.
9. New Pagans - Making Circles Of Our Own (Belfast, Ireland)
Genre: Indie Rock / Alternative
New Pagans are a rock band based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They have released their critically acclaimed debut album The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All, via Big Scary Monsters. Throughout their debut album, New Pagans use their creative influence to challenge past and present issues surrounding relationships, equality, history, and gender, all wrapped up in their alternative, post-punk, indie rock style. Now they arrive with their latest Album "Making Circles Of Our Own".
10. Ulthar - Anthronomicon & Helionomicon (Oakland, California)
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Over the course of their first two albums, ‘Cosmovore’ and ‘Providence’, Ulthar carved out a unique niche on the spectrum of underground metal, forging a grotesquely elegant hybrid of Technical Death Metal alchemy and Black Metal’s stinging blizzard winds, all with the acerbic color of the absurdist’s brush. Nearly 3 years on from ‘Providence’, a burst of deadly creativity has resulted in TWO new albums, to be released simultaneously.' Anthronomicon’ embodies the continued progression of Ulthar’s mastery over its art - always evolving, refining and pushing forward. From the opening blasts and twisting mania of ‘Cephalopohre’ Ulthar baffle with angular warped riffage, dipping in and out of various dimensional spheres. Off-kilter multi-directional turns veer swiftly and violently as though about to come apart at the seams only to reshape again and again into ever more monumental forms. Each of Anthronomicon’s 8 tracks represent a fractious piece of a larger puzzle, each a maze unto itself that when taken together allow one to traverse this inverted surrealist conundrum. Having reached albums three and four concurrently, and having many other bands and albums under their collective belts, the three seasoned players that comprise Ulthar have not been content to play things straightforward, to be just another Death Metal band among thousands. Rather the band continuously seeks and executes with more compulsive complexity, more nuance and in pursuit of a persistent ascension to a transcendent and incongruous world beyond the mundane; a place of euphoric exultation and bewildering awe.
11. Hellripper - Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags (Scotland, United Kingdom)
Genre: Black Metal / Speed Metal
Hellripper is a Scottish one-man black/speed metal band influenced by the likes of Venom, Sodom, Darkthrone, Metallica etc. With the release of the debut EP 'The Manifestation of Evil' at the start of 2015, the band have made their statement clear... Total mayhem! 2015 and 2016 saw the release of an EP and couple of splits to positive reviews in the underground as well as the assembly of a live line-up. The band's debut album 'Coagulating Darkness' was released in April 2017 to acclaim in the underground as well as positive reviews from the likes of Metal Hammer and Noisey with the former claiming Hellripper to be “Scotland's King of the arcane mosh”. 2018 saw the the band sign to US-based record label 'Reaper Metal Productions' - a division of 'Hells Headbangers Records' and, the release of a 4-track EP in April 2019 through the label followed along with their first European tour in support of the release. At the end of 2019, the band signed a deal with Peaceville Records and released their second album 'The Affair of the Poisons' in October 2020 to critical acclaim and led to the band's first appearance on the US Billboard Chart. 2023 will mark the release of Hellripper's 3rd full-length album, 'Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags' - a record inspired by the darker side of Scottish history and folklore, with the title itself is taken from a line in the Robert Burns poem, ‘Address to the Deil’.
12. See You Next Tuesday - Distractions (Michigan)
Genre: Grind / Chaotic Hardcore
Formed in 2004, See You Next Tuesday made their mark in the world of extreme metal with the release of their albums Parasite and Intervals, both on Ferret Music. Pushing forth on controlled chaos, the band has been able to evolve since their initial output and Distractions finds them delving into a modern grindcore sound. The 13 songs on the record are full of fast and heavy guitars and an invigorating vocal performance from Fox. The true standout is in the drum work, provided by Slavik, displaying a maniacally bold use of blast beats that perfectly intertwine with his home-made samples. Distractions was recorded at Slavik’s home studio where he also handled production and mixing, and was mastered by Josh Schroeder. Much of the material on Distractions focuses on struggles with mental health, while a few songs explore more sensual themes. Leaning into the euphemism of the band name, the opening track “How Sensitive” reclaims what some might deem as offensive and makes it just a word. Lead single “Hey Look, No Crying” fixates on the feeling of slowly moving towards your death, encompassing the sonic energy of descending into the afterlife. Songs like “Glad To Be Unhappy” and “Call Me Irresponsible” use synthesizers for more frantic moments, while “Day In The Life Of A Fool” feeds into that more structured mayhem. Following suit of closing with a slower song on the band’s previous releases, the record ends with “Strange Music”, a nearly eight-minute long track fueled by doom.
13. Graphic Nature - A Mind Waiting to Die (London, United Kingdom)
14. Enisum - Forgotten Mountains (Italy)
Genre: Black Metal / Ambient
Almost four years after Moth's Illusion, Arpitanian black metal veterans Enisum, from northern Italy, are back with a brand new studio album, the fifth in their career.
Forgotten Mountains is a journey through mountains and life, a path that leads Man to the highest peak, to face his own existence and its meaning. Enisum’s new album consists of eight atmospheric gems for fans of Wolves In The Throne Room, Earth And Pillars and the most intimate and naturalistic side of black metal.
15. Winds Of Tragedy - Hating Life (Santiago, Chile)
Genre: Black Metal / Doom Metal
Black / Doom Metal from the bottom of the world.
16. Half Me - Soma (Hamburg, Germany)
A depraved mind; seeking forgiveness; shifting from delusion to purpose; finding solace in acceptance. Hailing from Hamburg, Germany, Half Me are one of the newest additions to the Arising Empire roster. The band alternates from gut wrenching breakdowns to brutal riffs and merciless, yet elegant vocals all while blending in 90's nu-metal highlights and audio samples. Half Me has their sights set on releasing the highly anticipated debut album 'Soma' and are sure to make it worth the wait. With their dedication to crafting a fresh sound and their determined work ethic, they are a band to keep an eye out for.
17. Oceans End (Holiday, Florida)
With a sound that reminisces from Tooth & Nail favorites to modern heavyweights The Ghost Inside, Florida’s Oceans End spent 2022 demonstrating a relentless work ethic for playing shows and launching debut single "Try Not To Die" Between crushing breakdowns and uptempo, pop punk style hooks, Oceans End brings a refreshing blend of “core” that spends less time genre defining and more time delivering undeniably catchy singalong style hooks. With a passion-driven message behind each lyric and bouncy rhythms, the band harkens to modern classics like Senses Fail and Stick To Your Guns while leaving listeners invigorated by the genre bending originality not often found within the scene. Steamrolling into 2023 with extensive touring as well as February’s forthcoming release of debut EP “So Tell Me About Yourself”, Oceans End shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Runs of shows down both East and West Coasts, a music video for the EP’s single Diverge Collide, and festival slots within coming months solidify the year as a monumental one for the Tampa natives, promising even more in the works.
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