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 doom, groove-metal, post-hardcore 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.
Robb Flynn has been describing the upcoming Machine Head record, ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN, as a return to their brutally heavy form after a mid-2010s detour through melodic thoroughfares. Our ears were piqued after last year's devastatingly heavy Arrows in Words From the Sky EP, but now we're really paying attention after hearing the LP's lead single "CHØKE ØN THE ASHES ØF YØUR HATE." It summons the spit-fire rage of the Burn My Eyes era and marries it with the more nuanced songwriting techniques Flynn has picked up since then. In other words, right where Machine Head should be in 2022.
Primitive Man's music would play while some cursed soul is being tortured to death with 20 different flesh hooks, each tugging their skin a mere half-inch per minute so that their body uncoils at an agonizingly slow pace. The person suffering such a fate would take their last breaths while the Denver band's plodding thumps and stake-driving grunts bashed away at their sanity like a dungeon rat gnawing on week-old bones, but we get to enjoy all 10 minutes of "Cage Intimacy" from the comfort of, well, anywhere other than the aforementioned setting is pretty damn comfy.
From the acoustic opening strums of "Fight Fire With Fire," Kirk Hammett has imbued his 'Tallica guitar playing with the ornate compositional drama of classical music, and after 40 years of bringing that style into metal, he's finally waded into the form himself. "High Plains Drifter" spends its first two minutes wandering in the lush prairies of the placid west, a graceful sonic scene that gets interrupted by black-bandana'd bandits who gallop in with their guns blazing, the mood suddenly darkened by palm-muted chugs and thunderous drumming. Hammett fires back with a whip-cracking guitar solo — and he prevails. Yee haw.
Randy Blythe hasn't forgotten where he came from. The Lamb of God frontman was a hardcore kid before he took the mic in the meanest, heaviest groove-metal machine of the 21st century, and he still exudes that raw power on "Spirit Liberation," a track by fellow Richmond group Mutually Assured Destruction who pull from Pepper Keenan-era Corrosion of Conformity as much as they do Cold World.
There's something about Britain's take on metalcore that just hits in a way bands from other regions don't. Maybe it's the abject grayness of the climate or the omnipresent sullenness of the culture, but tracks like While She Sleep's "Eye to Eye" — while stacked with wavy riffs à la 2000s-era Parkway Drive — are imbued with a certain drab pathos that reeks of authenticity. The gang vocals sound like they left the musicians with no air in their lungs and it's catchy without sacrificing any of its jagged mojo. This is metalcore.
London's High Vis are making a type of melodic post-hardcore that doesn't sound anything like their contemporaries. There's not a trace of pop-punk or late-Nineties emo in their DNA, so listening to a song like "Talk for Hours" sounds like dusting off a long-lost gem from 1992. It's got the earnest yelps of Revolution Summer emo-core and the groove of Fugazi, but its slinky bassline and shiny reverb that coats the guitars like rain on a windshield has a distinct trip-hop feel to it, almost like the Stone Roses or Primal Scream — but again, the whole sonic packaging is minimalist punk, not club-gazing Britpop. Just give it a go.