Here at Revolver, we're always on the hunt for new songs to bang our heads to — indeed, it's a big part of our jobs. With that in mind, here are the tracks released this week in hardcore, deathcore, thrash and more that have been on heavy rotation at Revolver HQ. For your listening pleasure, we've also compiled the songs in an ever-evolving Spotify playlist.
August Burns Red are at a point in their career where they have nothing left to prove; all they need to do is maintain the consistency they've carried out for the last 20 years. "Backfire" excels in that regard, supplying ABR fans with everything they've come to love about the Pennsylvania metalcore vets. Savory riffs, gargantuan breakdowns, attention-gripping vocals, and lyrics that actually mean something; in this instance, warning cries about the dangers of brewing fascism ("Endless belief in a liar leads to a violent backfire").
Enforced have been poised to snatch the crossover thrash crown for a while now, and 2023 will hopefully be the year it happens. "Ultra-Violence," the first single from their upcoming War Remains LP, is all the evidence one needs to bestow them their royal scepter. It's a no-notes thrash ripper, stuffed with piranha-like shredding and guillotine-chopping grooves. Best of all, it gets in and out in just over two minutes, trimming all the bloat and leaving only the good stuff. Bang your fucking head.
We certainly didn't have Lzzy Hale doing unclean screams on our 2023 bingo cards, but here we are. On "Violence No Matter What," the Halestorm belter gets ripped out of her hard-rock element and tossed into Avatar's world of carnival-esque melodeath, where she unleashes a furious recitation of the titular phrase during the song's gut-punching chorus. Hale's got a great singing voice, that much has been proven. But man, if Halestorm ever decided to start writing songs with breakdowns, she could pull it off.
Slay Squad aren't your average deathcore band. In fact, they're really not a deathcore band at all, but they certainly muster that genre's torrential heaviness in their self-described "ghetto metal" compositions, which sometimes flip instantaneously into rattling trap songs or breakbeat-driven club bangers. "X" is all metallic savagery, though. There are two breakdowns in this thing that hit hard enough to level a mountain range, and the band's rap-inflected vocals give it an exciting, personable character that rarely makes its way into deathcore-style settings.
The style of metalcore that Unearth trailblazed at the turn of the 21st century is coming back in a big way, and the OGs are here to keep the bar raised high. "The Wretched; The Ruinous" sounds "straight out of 2004," as one YouTube commenter put it — and not in a bad way. It's got a kickass drum solo, a kickass guitar solo, kickass breakdowns and a kick-fucking-ass chanting part at the end that sounds like it's emanating from some kind of metalcore temple.
American Nightmare are living in a hardcore landscape of their own design. The whole look, feel and attitude of hardcore was flipped on its head when AN emerged in the early 2000s; the fact that the average hardcore band now has a dark, tortured image rather than a fresh-faced twinkle of youth crew exuberance can be traced back to AN's all-encompassing influence. So of course, these forever-renegades would want to push back against their own conventions. New single "Self Check-Out" kicks off with a drum machine, and while its sub-minute blast of rage is familiar, it's a helluva lot more rockin' and rollin' than it is scowly and sore-hearted. Still rips, though.