This week’s single slam features Second Cities, Shade Empire, Immerse, Outloved, Nita Strauss, The Hirsch Effekt, Seeing Things, Calligram, Monasteries, Antisaint, and Thirty Second to Mars. You can read our thoughts about the latest singles from these bands below.
Second Cities – MSRY
When emo meets metal, you find the most cathartic experience for anger and sadness, but also a sense of empathy. Second Cities are precisely that blend of sadness and anger colliding to find the melody buried in aggression. A band for the abandoned, music for the outcasts.
Their new single ‘MSRY’ is out now and the band had this to say about it:
MSRY is a song dedicated to fans memories of their loved and lost. A song that delicately approaches grief from the viewpoint of a son losing their dad a mid-teen. We hope the song helps anyone who listens celebrate the memory of someone they lost.
Continuing their impressive rise, Second Cities new song is one for reflection but, and this is really important, it’s also extremely anthemic. The combination of emo-tastic melodies and lyrical content, blended with more robust and heavier energy, really hits. In particular, the chorus, the vocals delivered with such passion that it gets a bit rawer. Impressively heartfelt music with punch, it’s Second Cities and they are great.
Shade Empire – Sunholy
Finnish symphonic extreme metallers Shade Empire have released a new single/video for the title track of their sixth studio album, Sunholy. The track represents a heavier and more symphonic moment on the album.
A massive sounding track, thanks in part, to the lavish use of symphonic elements. However, there’s no denying this music sits exclusively in the metal camp. Mixing extreme heaviness with melodic metal moments, progressive touches, and crunching blacker hits. It’s impressively well put together. Check it out here.
Immerse – Everything
Fresh from shows with Dragged Under, Our Hollow Our Home, Chuggaboom and following on from their huge singles ‘It’s All Good’ and ’S.H.T’, UK’s Immerse have released their new single ‘Everything’ on new label Adventure Cat Records.
It’s another enjoyably energetic and fiery track from Immerse, one that starts hot and stays that way right to the very end. The fast pace, groovy hard rock vibes, and catchy chorus help make this one to remember. A track to get you up and moving. Check it out here.
Outloved – Tourniquet (Feat. Ocean Sleeper)
Alternative rock outfit, Outloved, team up with metalcore favourites, Ocean Sleeper on new single Tourniquet. The new single is Outloved’s second release of the year and tackle’s themes of loneliness, moving on from the past and feeling trapped in love.
A team-up you never knew you needed but will want more of once you’ve heard this new track. An infectious blend of alternative rock, pop, electronica, and, of course, metalcore heaviness. The two bands work seamlessly together, their sounds close enough to make them seem like the best of friends.
Nita Strauss – Victorious (Feat. Dorothy)
Los Angeles-born guitar hero and musical force of nature Nita Strauss recently announced her brand new album The Call of The Void, out July 7 via Sumerian Records. Now she has shared the video for the latest single “Victorious,” featuring vocalist Dorothy.
‘Victorious’ is the anthem I always wanted, a song about inspiring change, marching forward relentlessly, being willing to save yourself instead of waiting for someone to do it for you, and never backing down from a fight,” Strauss shares. “Dorothy was the perfect powerhouse voice and personality to stand and deliver, and knock this one out of the park.
Dorothy shares Strauss’ enthusiasm for the track, stating:
I’m honoured to be a part of ‘Victorious’ with my friend Nita Strauss. She is the embodiment of a bold, beautiful, strong woman. The song and video scream #GIRLPOWER and we know you’ll love it!
The goal here seems to have been to make an anthem. An anthem that showcases the immense talents of both Nita Strauss and Dorothy. Unsurprisingly, it is a goal easily reached and the chorus alone will have many people singing along. That being said, it’s not exactly the most interesting of tracks. Perfect for the radio, but that’s about it. Even if the talent involved are so impressive, you kind of want to love it.
The Hirsch Effekt – Urian
German prog metal trio The Hirsch Effekt share their new single ‘Urian’ via Long Branch Records, a gloomy portrayal of present-day humans’ togetherness and opposition. The first track released following their Gregaer EP (2021) and Solitaer EP (2022).
Oof, this is a heavy track from The Hirsch Effekt. The group leaning into darker and meaner territories to deliver something that has elevating chuggy death heaviness and progressive harmonics. As the track goes on, the more experimental side of the band comes into play. It’s not an egregious example of progressive metal, but it sure does get strange. Check it out here.
Seeing Things – Switchblade
Capturing fear, anxiety, terror and despair, Seeing Things reflect on current social issues of apathy and injustice. They invite you on a journey of self-discovery and social awareness. The band have now released their new single ‘Switchblade.’
A metal track that could be played at a rave. Switchblade is part industrial, part techno, part metal, and all energy. If the thought of this combination makes you sick to your stomach, then you best stay away. However, be under no false illusions, this track goes hard, the breakdown at the end will snap some necks.
Calligram – Ostranenie
London, UK black metal act Calligram have shared a new single, ‘Ostranenie’, from their upcoming album, Position | Momentum. ‘Ostranenie’ is the third track to be taken their sophomore full-length, which is due out via Prosthetic Records on July 14th.
Speaking on Ostranenie, Calligram comments:
‘Ostranenie’ is a word that Russian formalists used for Defamiliarization. This is what life is all about: fighting habits, seeking desire undiluted by habits. Habits ruin everything, they make everything flat and plain. Defamiliarization is the impossible aim to experience everything like it was the first time and it’s the central concepts of art, poetry and of course music.
The purpose of art and music is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar’, to make forms difficult. The function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. Position | Momentum and its celebration of chaos shakes up the “familiar scene” giving a new meaning to it.
This band. They continue to defy any and all expectations. You really never know quite what you’re going to get with them, aside from the knowledge that it’s going to be harsh. Guess what? It’s harsh. It’s extremely harsh, but it’s so different to the black metal norm. While also being immediately recognisable and comforting in a strange way. Ostranenie is a little over 7 minutes long, and for 7 minutes Calligram punish the mind. Even their melodic lulls are so worrisome, you can’t relax. You’ll love it. Check it out here.
Monasteries – Alone & Against
UK tech-deathcore quintet Monasteries have unveiled new single/video ‘Alone & Against’, out now via Seek and Strike.
As the kids say – this f**king slaps. An abrasive combination of fist-flailing, two-stepping deathcore with blistering technical twists and flair. It’s fast, heavy, and extremely appealing. The hardest sounding track of the week. Check it out here.
Antisaint – Paradise
Hard rock band, Antisaint are back with their brand new single ‘Paradise’. This new single is the band’s first release since their debut full length, 2021’s Vaticinate.
Going a bit harder here, Antisaint return to the fray with a bullish and aggressive hard rock number. Albeit, one that features plenty of alternative tones to give it a wider appeal. The chorus in particular is very anthemic, and their use of effects will turn a few heads.
Thirty Seconds to Mars – Life is Beautiful
Thirty Seconds to Mars, which consists of brothers Jared and Shannon Leto, have released their newest song ‘Life Is Beautiful’ via Concord Records. It is the second song from the band’s forthcoming and highly anticipated new album ‘It’s The End of The World but It’s A Beautiful Day’.
As an artist, I hope to create music that connects deeply with people and our upcoming album, It’s The End of The World but It’s A Beautiful Day, is a testament to that pursuit. Life is Beautiful is a song that examines the beauty and fragility of life, reminding us to embrace its fleeting moments and find solace in its unpredictable journey. I hope this song ignites some kind of a spark in the listener, reminding them that amidst the chaos and challenges of the world, there is always a glimmer of hope and beauty to be found.
Forced melodrama, boring melody, horrid effects, and yawn-some lyrical content. Thirty Seconds to Mars are stupidly popular, but one listen of this track, and it’s baffling as to why. The lack of authenticity is one thing, but the overall blandness is genuinely a surprise. The band has released plenty of anthems but this is just embarrassing.
Second Cities, Shade Empire, Immerse, Outloved, Nita Strauss, The Hirsch Effekt, Seeing Things, Calligram, Monasteries, Antisaint, and Thirty Second to Mars!
Second Cities – MSRY - 9/10
Shade Empire – Sunholy - 8/10
Immerse – Everything - 8.5/10
Outloved – Tourniquet (Feat. Ocean Sleeper) - 8/10
Nita Strauss – Victorious (Feat. Dorothy) - 7/10
The Hirsch Effekt – Urian - 7.5/10
Seeing Things – Switchblade - 7/10
Calligram – Ostranenie - 9/10
Monasteries – Alone & Against - 8/10
Antisaint – Paradise - 7/10
Thirty Seconds to Mars – Life is Beautiful - 2/10