There’s plenty of music released every single month, and with each Monthly Music Roundup article, we share some quick reviews of several releases from throughout the month that we personally enjoyed and want to cover.
Nightmares “After Death”
Nightmares released their debut LP on New Year’s Day, titled “After Death.” The title track “After Death” really sets the scene for the album, with the heavier instrumentals coming in about halfway through and the orchestrals and synths adding more drama and emphasis to the track and really bringing it to life. A couple others on this album stand out as much as this track does - “Anxiety,” one that really shows a lot of emotion in the vocals and lyrics, and “End,” one that includes some cleaner vocals that deliver some very catchy melodies, and incorporates a lot of different styles of heavier music found within the band’s sound. A majority of this album contains this same blend of influences, from the riff-driven “I Am” to the melodic hardcore tinged “Scars,” the very energetic and catchy “The Weight” and “Drowning,” and “No Hope,” one that leans more towards melodic metalcore and mixes the melodic hardcore and metalcore influences in particular very well. The two remaining tracks lean a lot more on the heavier side, really embracing the hardcore influences in the band’s music. “Burden” brings so much emotion in the heavier vocals and intriguing instrumentation, and “Ghost” brings so much energy and is one of the most enjoyable tracks on this album. Nightmares have started their career off with a strong debut record that stands out a bit in the metalcore genre.
Novelists FR “C’est La Vie”
Closer to the end of the month, Novelists FR relaxed their latest album, “C’est La Vie.” A majority of the tracks on this album really show the mix of influences in heavier music that the band incorporates into their sound, primarily hardcore and metalcore. “Somebody Else” shows this combination perfectly, and is also a perfect example of how much emotion a lot of these heavier vocal performances have. “Rain” shows off those emotional vocals a lot as well, and I love the contrast between the softer and heavier sections. “Modern Slave” brings a lot of energy, and leans a bit more towards the more aggressive side, “Deep Blue” leans more towards the melodic side and brings a huge chorus, and the chorus on the fantastic closing track “Human Condition” is very memorable. The remaining songs really stand out and sound a little bit different from the rest of the tracks. “Lilly” incorporates some rap into the mix of melodic hardcore and metalcore music found on most of this album, and the title track “C’est La Vie” really embraces the melodic and softer elements found on this record, but the harder hitting sections balance those sections out and really emphasize the emotion on the song before it concludes. “Kings Of Ignorance” is one of the most aggressive tracks on here, but the chorus brings some interesting melodies, and “Head Rush” leans a bit more towards the post-hardcore side rather than metalcore or melodic hardcore. Novelists FR’s latest album is something a little bit different, but the experimentation and emotion makes it a really good release from them.
With Abandon “Keepsakes”
With Abandon started off the new year by releasing their debut album, “Keepsakes,” on New Year’s Day. Pop punk is one of the main influences found on this album, shown in tracks like “On The Shoulders Of Giants” and “Leave A Light On,” which sound a bit similar to earlier music in the genre and bring some raw vocals in the verses and especially the memorable choruses, “Memphis,” a very energetic and fun song to listen to, and “Snip Snip,” another one where the vocals put on a very raw and emotional performance. Another main genre on this album is alternative rock, incorporated on tracks like the very upbeat and catchy “Douglas Fir” and very energetic and vocally impressive “Misery’s Company.” There are a couple of ballads on this album as well - the more melodic and very memorable “Between The Devil And The Deep,” which has one of the best choruses on the record, and “My Way Out,” which combines elements of pop punk, alternative rock, and emo very well, being slightly reminiscent of earlier music in those genres, and has a huge chorus that brings lots of emotion and shows the darker vibe of the song. “Best-Laid Plans” brings harder hitting instrumentals and louder vocals instantly, there’s so much passion found in those performances, and the song gets softer for a bit and slowly, but surely builds up to becoming a bigger track again, leading up to a huge and memorable chorus where the louder vocals and harder hitting instrumentals from the intro return. “Willing To Lose” is a bit more energetic and shows off the vocals and instrumentals very well in the powerful chorus. With “Keepsakes,” With Abandon have created a great debut full of passionate and memorable performances.
Last Minute Hero “Peace Of Mind”
Last Minute Hero also released their latest EP at the beginning of this year, titled “Peace Of Mind.” The powerful “A Problem Left Unsolved” opens up this EP very well, providing plenty of energy, captivating vocals and impressive instrumentals, and the vocal and instrumental performances compliment each other very well. “Destructive Things” is a little bit darker and brings some more aggressive vocals and instrumentation for the more intense verses, but both the aggressive and more melodic vocals really grabbed my attention and impressed me. “Peace Of Mind” is a bit slower in comparison, and also begins softer instrumentally, which shows off the unique vocal style. The song has a really good build to it, and as the vocals get louder and more instrumentals kick in, the catchy riffs and melodies and captivating vocals shine even more. “And History Repeats” is one of the strongest songs on the EP, bringing catchy drumbeats and guitar and bass riffs, one of the catchiest choruses on the release, and vocals that really grab your attention, especially as they get louder and more aggressive. “Golden Rules” closes out the EP, bringing some pretty impressive instrumentation, a bit of a breakdown, and a bridge that builds up so well to the huge ending that concludes the EP. “Peace Of Mind” brings some pretty impressive and interesting performances, and makes a really good EP from Last Minute Hero.
Radiate have released their debut EP, titled “Human.” The title track starts the release off strong with impressive vocals, a memorable chorus where they really show off, and captivating performances all around. “Life Cycles” is a really fun track to listen to, bringing some more catchy melodies and instrumentals, and adding in some screaming to show the heavier tendencies in their sound. “I Promise This” shows the more progressive elements of their sound with unique melodies, darker composition, and impressive instrumentation (especially in the really catchy bridge), and is a huge standout. “Replaceable” begins with a mix of melodic and aggressive vocals, and also shows some of the progressive aspects as it leads up to its huge and memorable chorus with some strong instrumental performances. One of the most memorable choruses on here, however, is on the closing track “Home,” which is a lot slower in comparison to the previous few tracks, bringing a balance of softer and harder hitting instrumentation, as well as some impressive vocals, before that incredible chorus kicks in. “Human” combines a large variety of influences and impressive performances to create an incredible debut EP.
Wring Out “These Walls I Built”
Wring Out have also released their debut EP, titled “These Walls I Built.” The EP begins with “Danger Prone,” a memorable and impressive opener that shows the band’s easycore and pop punk influences right away with energetic instrumentals in the beginning, a very catchy chorus, and strong vocal performances. “Gamer Girl” brings a ton of energy too, which really shows from the drums and guitars in the verses, and some of the other sections throughout the song let the vocals and catchy melodies show off, and despite the energy it contains, the tempo does slow down a bit towards the end. “Bitter But Better” shows a different side to their sound with the aggressive intro, darker composition and emotional vocals, and “I’m A Mess” combines those darker aspects with the pop punk influences in the band’s sound. “Unsettled” leans a lot more towards that pop punk side, brings an instantly catchy hook in the intro, and really shows off the vocals, especially through the emotional performances in the choruses, and the closing track “Smoke And Mirrors” combines influences of punk, emo and post hardcore with raw vocals and energetic instrumentals, and makes a huge standout on this release. "These Walls I Built" showcases a wide variety of influences in the rock genre, and makes a really interesting debut.