Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to come up with a list of songs around a theme. They definitely rose to the challenge. You can see all the lists by browsing our music section.
With the end of the year rolling around and the holiday season quickly approaching, you’d be forgiven for letting a few new songs slip through the cracks. Have no fear, I’m here to let you know about recent singles from the punk, indie and metal genres that you need to check out.
The nearly three-year wait for new material from deathcore titans, Whitechapel, has ended with the release of their new face melting single “Brimstone.” High energy, hard hitting and imposing, the tune is everything the band’s fan base could ask for from the genre defining quintet.
What the track lacks in traditional song structure it makes up for with blasting beats, heavy riffs, and vocalist Phil Bozeman proving that he’s still the genre’s best. The track comes along with the announcement of the the seventh studio album from Whitechapel, titled The Valley. With the new album set to drop on March 29th, we can blast this single in anticipation of the monster 2019 the band has set itself up for.
Fever 333 “Burn It”
Fronted by ex-Letlive vocalist Jason Butler, and accompanied by guitarist Steve Harrison — formerly of The Chariot — and Night Verses drummer Aric Improta, super-group Fever 333 is quickly becoming one of the hottest acts in punk. High energy and highly political, the trio from Inglewood CA announced their presence with a 7-song EP in March and recently announced their debut full length with “Burn It.”
The song was also accompanied by a music video depicting the highly controversial issue of police brutality in America. Butler told Kerrang, “this song is about that bigger picture and a belief that sometimes you must completely eradicate tired, racist, sexist and systemically ignorant traditions in the name of progress. Sometimes you have to burn it down to build it up again.”
The single serves as a great teaser for upcoming album Strength in Numb333rs which is set to be released in January.
Panic at the Disco “The Greatest Show”
“Ladies and Gents this is the moment you’ve waited for.”
And we didn’t have to wait long. Just over four months after dropping their sixth studio album Pray for the Wicked Panic has released “The Greatest Show.” Much like Brendon Urie — the band’s frontman and sole remaining founder — this tune is highly theatrical and is on par with most of the songs released on Panic’s last album.
True to form, the tune combines energetic verses which crescendo into catchy choruses. The single was also accompanied by a music video which features Urie acting as the ring leader of a circus performance. On the subject of performances, it takes only one listen to realize this is one of those songs which exists in order to be played in front of thousands of screaming fans. It promises to be a staple of the band’s setlist as they embark on their Pray for the Wicked tour later this month.
August Burns Red “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year”
As I said, the holidays are upon us, and metalcore veterans August Burns Red are clearly gearing up for the season with their cover of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Without Jake Luhrs earthshaking vocals, the rest of band really showed off with this instrumental take on the Christmas classic. The Christian metal band are no strangers to spreading a bit of holiday spirit. In 2012 they released a 13-track album titled Sleddin Hill which consisted entirely of holiday covers.
This track is fast, festive, and heavy and guaranteed to have even the most cynical of metal-heads nodding along.
Citizen “Open Your Heart”
This song is everything you’ve come to expect from a Citizen tune, since they’ve moved from the slow emo of their debut record Youth into to the slightly heavier and more grungy kick of their last release, As You Please.
In fact, the reason that this track sounds so similar to last years 12-song offering is because “Open Your Heart” actually missed the cut to make an appearance album and was left on the cutting room floor until last week.
Keeping with their recent theme, this is a very melodic song overlapped with grimy bass lines and grungy riffs. “You are dead in your dreams like you wanna be/ I exist when you’re weak/you burn but you’re cold,” they sing. The Ohio based five-piece has never been known for having particularly cheerful lyrics, and definitely didn’t buck that trend here.
It’s always nice to see a band evolve, but Citizen currently at the height of their popularity, this song does exactly what it needed to do. It’s sure to be well received as they head out on a nationwide tour with The Story So Far.
King Nine “Gift of Life”
In 2013, the New York hardcore band released Scared to Death, their 10-song debut. Since then, it’s been five years of radio silence from the Long Island group. That changed on October 17th as the hardcore outfit announced that they would be releasing their second studio album, Death Rattle.
Accompanying this announcement was the release of the song “Paradise,” which they’ve now followed up by dropping “Gift of Life.” Fast, bleak and of course heavy, this song checks all the boxes necessary to pop up on the radars of hardcore fans.
Slipknot “All Out of Life”
“This is going to be our heaviest record yet.”
It’s the quintessential rallying call of every aging metal band. Slipknot is backing up this claim with their new single entitled “All out Life.” Released a few months before next year’s new album, which vocalist Corey Taylor has described as being Iowa — Slipknot’s 2001 statement record — level heavy.
“Old does not mean dead/ new does not mean best/No hard feelings/ I’m tired of being right about everything I said, he sings. The chorus of this song perfectly embodies the nu-metal pioneer’s outright defiance and refusal to be swept under the rug to make room the next generation.
The genre defining nine piece band proved with this release that they’re still on top and won’t be going anywhere soon.
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