This marks the first installment of a new column entitled Violently Independent that we will be featuring on a monthly basis, and yes, it is about those bands independently releasing their music.
Megan is at the helm, and each month she will be bringing you the best independent releases in capsule reviews. Light on fluff, heavy on noise, this promises to be an exciting opportunity for greater coverage of the hundreds of albums that cross our editorial desks each month. Excited? We are. Read, watch, and make sure to click on the URLs for each band and buy. You won’t be sorry.
Jamie Lee, Managing Editor
Horseneck: Heavy Trip
Imagine a sludgier version of Every Time I Die, mixed with the sassy hardcore vibes of Cancer Bats seasoned with hints of obscure psychedelic rock and you have California’s Horseneck.
Featuring current and past members of (my beloved) Will Haven and Chelsea Wolfe, the band have self-released their latest offering Heavy Trip back in February, and it is ready for ingestion. Check out the video for “Michael Caine” below. Buy it here.
Sunless – Urraca
Raw, gritty and unrestrained as hell, Minneapolis death metallers Sunless sure know how to pack a punch. Formed in 2015, the three-piece have spent their first couple of years as a band playing shows across midwestern United States whilst writing for their debut release, Urraca.
Released February 24, this blistering first offering has serious balls. From the black metal vibes of opening track to the groove-laden closer, “Disintegration Of Man,” there is little to no rest with these guys, and I friggin’ love it. Buy it here.
Our Hollow, Our Home: Hartsick
Metalcore is a genre, like so many others, that has been over-saturated over the years with bands left, right and center attempting to step up to the plate and be the next Parkway Drive. It has to be said there are only a handful of memorable acts under the umbrella that have made their mark and gained a following, and that’s because those bands have done something different with it as opposed to the generic heavy-chorus boring-melodic-chorus-beatdown-#getyourwindbreakersout. Of course, I’m referring to the likes of Silent Planet and Fit for a King.
While Our Hollow, Our Home don’t stray too far from the generic metalcore path in this release, they pack it with enough interest and heft to make it a memorable listen. Admittedly, the heavier tracks such as “Pride: Of Might And Mane” and single “Worms Wood” are where the band truly shine, even if the melodic choruses are all a little too predictable. Buy it here.
Bear Mace: Butchering the Colossus
Straight up, old school death metal at its finest. If that sounds like your bag, then you’ll probably dig the debut album from Chicago’s Bear Mace. Heavily inspired by the likes of Bolt Thrower and Death, Butchering the Colossus makes for a pretty damn enjoyable listen.
For the most part, the album is pretty much all about the thrash, just take a listen to the title track and “Wheel Of Despair,” and you’ll get what I mean. If it’s breakneck speed riffs and circle headbangs that you’re after, then you should find what you’re looking for in “Leave Nothing Here Alive” and “Lord Devourer Of The Dead”. You might think it old-fashioned, but this is true death metal. Buy it here.