A star-studded line-up this week, for what’s shaping up to be the penultimate entry in the TMO Singles Roundup series, featuring new music from Opeth, In Flames, Sonic Syndicate, Mastodon and ’68.
Mastodon – “Chimes At Midnight”
To this day I seem to find myself the only person with a real distaste for, Mastodon’s last record, The Hunter (2011). It wasn’t the sudden shift to a full-on, classic prog rock sound – far from it. My beef with Mastodon’s last record lay with the fact that – the irresistible “Curl Of The Burl” and Remission-throwback “Spectrelight” aside – any presence of songwriting on the record was next to non-existent, giving way to bloated prog jams, neutered of the usual Mastodon crunch.
Mastodon seem to be killing it in the lead-up to The Hunter’s follow-up though. The first track we heard from Once More ‘round The Sun, “The High Road,” kept the overall tone of The Hunter, especially on the vocal front, but it also happened to be centered around one of the crunchiest, sludgiest riffs of their career.
On a slightly sour note, this “visualizer” thing looks pox as.
“Chimes At Midnight,” while not nearly as infectious as “High Road,” continues the quality trend, sounding much the meeting point of Mastodon’s more robust prog opuses, Crake The Skye (2009) and Blood Mountain (2006), ensuring that anticipation is at an all-time high for One More ‘round The Sun, which is due to be released on June 24th (less than a momth now you guys!!!) via Relapse Records.
’68 – “Track One”
Back in 2012, around about the time I was singing the praises of their then-current record One Wing, original Norma Jean vocalist, Josh name put an end to The Chariot – an event which saw the band exit on a deservedly high note but (as these sorts of events will do) begged the question: what could have been?
Well, it’s almost two years later and name is back with his new project 68 and their suitably-titled musical debut, “Track One.” Which sounds pretty much exactly like The Chariot, if slightly less hectic and schizophrenic, which I’m totally cool with.
’68’s debut album In Humour And Sadness will be out July 1st on eOne Records and Good Fight Music.
In Flames – “Rusty Nail”
“Rusty Nail” is the first single to be released from In Flames’ upcoming, twelth (!) album, Siren Charms. While the overall tone of the track moves somewhat away from the woeful Sounds Of A Playground Fading (2011) – an album of which I barley think I’ve made it through one entire song let along the record itself – toward the more palatable sound of 2008’s A Sense Of Purpose – an album I am rather fond of and will vehemently defend against its many detractors.
I never bought into the idea of ‘Flames as a Korn clone back in the Reroute To Remain/Soundtrack To Your Escape days (their influence was there, sure, but “clone” was a bit much) but I’m getting a serious Jonathan Davis vibe from “Rusted Nail’s” verse, let alone the over-anxious, cringe-inducing, faux-melancholic lyrics of the chorus. …That and the main riff is boring as shit. And who writes a song about a rusty nail anyway?
The newly-suited-up In Flames, that’s who.
Epic will be putting out Siren Charms on September 5th, and I can hardly say I’m holding my breath.
Sonic Syndicate – “Before You Finally Break”
Sonic Syndicate has been through some dire times. Not only was the band on hiatus for some time (the upcoming self-titled will be their big comeback), but their quality of output was getting trendier and trendier by the minute. This upcoming single from said self-titled record does feature the king of modern metal vocals in Speed Strid (Soilwork) and it’s a beast of a track. This is some of the heaviest material in memory to come from the synth powered modern metal act and it certainly perks my ears to what Sonic Syndicate have to offer from this upcoming redemption record. Not for everyone, but it has my attention.
I (hi, Josh again) am digging the track too, as I did the first single, “Black Hole Halo.” ’tis an interesting/concerning state of affairs when Sonic Syndicate are outclassing In Flames in absolutely every way. Sonic Syndicate will be coming at you July 4th courtesy of Nuclear Blast.
Opeth – “Cusp Of Eternity”
And now, a comprehensive assessment of the new Opeth song by the TMO crew, of which Matt has the final word…
(Update) And here’s a more considered review from TMO’s second sexiest reviewer, Shawn Miller:
Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt and crew recently posted a video for their new track, “Cusp of Eternity’, which will be featured on the band’s upcoming eleventh album Pale Communion, which is due out on August 26, 2014 through Roadrunner Records.
The band’s last album, 2011’s Heritage, seemed to split the band’s fan base in two, with its progressive rock structuring and general lack of metal. It should really be no surprise, then, that “Cusp of Eternity” shows Opeth continuing with their “no death metal vocals” pledge, but it seems that the band felt the need to incorporate some slightly heavier, meaty riffs again. Let’s hope this is an omen for the rest of the album because, let’s face it, Opeth is much better as a metal band than as a progressive rock band. Here’s to looking forward to some even heavier riffs… (and hoping I don’t get disappointed, again).