RSSAuthor Archive for David McKenna

Review: The Acacia Strain — Coma Witch

Review: The Acacia Strain — Coma Witch

On their seventh full-length album, Massachusetts deathcore pioneers The Acacia Strain continue their ultra-heavy style with aplomb. ‘Coma Witch’ packs extra-downtuned guitars, nihilistic lyrics, and gargantuan breakdowns that possess the slow sinking quality of quicksand. Amid the ten-ton hammering, tracks like “Cauterizer” and “Graveyard Shift” demonstrate that The Acacia Strain can craft clever, catchy riffs […]

Review: Black Crown Initiate — The Wreckage of Stars

Review: Black Crown Initiate — The Wreckage of Stars

On their full-length debut, Pennsylvania progressive death-metal quintet Black Crown Initiate craft an eclectic, if inconsistent, blend of pummeling grind and dark melody. BCI’s heaviest moments are filled with blast beats and chromatic riffs that are pretty unremarkable, and their lighter atmospheric parts seem forced. The band is at its best on standout tracks “Great […]

Review: Motionless in White — Reincarnate

Review: Motionless in White — Reincarnate

The Pennsylvanian gothcore quintet’s third LP finds the band exploring novel musical territory while staying true to its established sound. Chris Motionless and cohorts’ patented alchemy of eerie synths, soaring vocal melodies, and mosh breakdowns is infused with fresh elements like blast beats and ambient atmospherics. Old and new coalesce best on “Puppets 3 (The […]

Review: Capture the Crown — Reign of Terror

Review: Capture the Crown — Reign of Terror

Australia’s Capture the Crown bring a heavy dose of straightforward metalcore aggression on this, their second LP. The album contains far fewer electronic elements—and harmonic riffs—than their synth-laden 2012 release, ‘Til Death,’ underscoring the scene’s shift toward a more authentic hardcore sound. The result is an intense, if repetitive and less original, breakdown-infused sound, spruced […]

Review: Suicide Silence — You Can’t Stop Me

Review: Suicide Silence — You Can’t Stop Me

For their aptly named first album since the passing of vocalist Mitch Lucker, deathcore stalwarts Suicide Silence stomped into the future—but also kept an eye on the past. Nowhere did the quintet do so more than on the title track, which incorporates powerful lyrics penned by Lucker before his death. But life goes on in […]

Review: The HAARP Machine – Disclosure

Review: The HAARP Machine – Disclosure

Named after a secretive U.S. military research program, this Sumerian-signed band packs a political message into its Meshuggah-esque sound. But these themes are overshadowed by the music–complex riffs, odd meters, and even sitar interludes make for a lively 34 minutes on the UK progressive metal quartet’s debut album. The record’s best moments are usually its […]

Review: Chelsea Grin – Evolve EP

Review: Chelsea Grin – Evolve EP

Utah deathcore quintet Chelsea Grin blends technicality, melody, and a heaping scoop of breakdown-fueled brutality on their new EP, Evolve. With the addition of former Born of Osiris guitarist Jason Richardson, the band puts its technical chops on greater display, crafting sweeping riffs reminiscent of Richardson’s former group. There is also greater emphasis on melody […]

Review: Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion

Review: Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion

Storm Corrosion is the long-awaited collaborative project from Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson and Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt—but you might not guess it from listening to this debut album. Rather than playing the progressive metal associated with those bands, the duo crafts dark, cinematic orchestral music closer to the experimentation of Univers Zero or Scott Walker. Perhaps […]

Review: Bleeding Through – The Great Fire

Review: Bleeding Through – The Great Fire

The melodic black metalcore churned out by Orange County sextet Bleeding Through once sounded fresh and unique. Sadly, in a world of Winds of Plagues and Abigail Williams, that is no longer the case on album No. 7, The Great Fire. The record is filled with 14 short tracks that reconfirms the band’s occasionally powerful […]

Review: As I Lay Dying – Decas

Review: As I Lay Dying – Decas

Decas celebrates the 10-year anniversary of metalcore stalwarts As I Lay Dying. The EP contains three new songs, four covers, four remixes, and a re-recorded medley track. The new songs sound similar to those on the the band’s last full length release, The Powerless Rise: “Paralyzed” is filled with melodic guitar hooks, pummeling verses, and […]