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 death metal, hardcore, heavy metal 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.
Bring Me the Horizon appear to be in a bit of a pop-punk phase. Last year's "DiE4u" was ebulliently catchy and featured chunky, palm-muted power chords during the verses, and now their follow-up, "sTraNgeRs," is even more like a My Chemical Romance or Fall Out Boy-style rock anthem. Of course, they make it entirely their own thing, drizzling it with ornate strings, chopped up keyboard melodies, a backing track of piercing screams and the type of sing-songy vocal cadences that only Oli Sykes can pull off in a quasi-metal setting. Yep, it's another winner.
Amon Amarth promised that their new record was a "darker, more death-metal sounding album," and so far the singles have matched that description. The title-track is the heaviest by far, though. The riff on this thing is the size of 10 Viking ships cruising off to battle side-by-side — gigantic chunky chords played in a deep down-tuning, joined every now and then by a flashy lead lick that strikes like lightning. Then there's Johan Hegg's monstrous vocals, which conjure the scope of the titular heathen army to great effect.
Baltimore hardcore has another rising star in its ranks. End It have been dribbling out superior New York-style bouncers for a few years now, and their new EP, Unpleasant Living, might be their best yet. Most of the songs come in at or under a minute, but closer "The Comeback" allows itself a little time to breathe as it stomps, thrashes and grooves to one of the most satisfying conclusions in recent hardcore memory.
Norma Jean announced their new album last month with a curveball. The Southern metalcore vets have never remained stagnant, but they have a sound, and "Call for the Blood" deviated from it in a way we certainly weren't expecting. "Spearmint Revolt," however, sounds like the devastatingly heavy Norma Jean we're used to. It starts out mad, but the final minute is just one relentless breakdown that gets heavier and more gnarled every few measures — until it sounds like frontman Cory Brandan is screaming through broken glass.
Phobophilic are currently one of the buzziest bands on the underground death metal circuit, earning major props from bands like Gatecreeper and Undeath as they prepare to release their full-length debut later this fall. "Nauseating Despair" is scorching-hot death metal that pulls back into these woozy little instrumental breaks with a guitar lick that crawls up the wall behind you, and jazz-inflected drumming that let's go of the groove and then snatches the handlebars right before it falls off-track. Heavy as fuck, but deviously clever when you least expect it.
Escuela Grind play grindcore with a little something extra thrown in there. The New England crew have always had a sense of humor in their photos and videos, but new single "Cliffhanger" is nothing short of righteous anger from beginning to end. "Don't push me, cause I'm close to the edge," vocalist Katerina Economou shrieks with vein-popping intensity over a nasty riff that comes back slower and harder. Just the way we like it.