This week’s single slam features Those Damn Crows, Maer, Bonecarver, Pollyanna Blue, Circles, Aborted, THECITYISOURS, Skin Failure, Kath & the Kicks and Darkthrone. You can read our thoughts about the latest singles from these bands below.
Those Damn Crows – Man on Fire
Unstoppable rock juggernauts Those Damn Crows kick-off pre-sales for their newly announced UK headline tour by unveiling a brand new single and video for the scorching track, “Man On Fire”, taken from their upcoming album, ‘Inhale/Exhale’, set for release on February 17th, 2023 via Earache Records.
Frontman Shane Greenhall comments:
‘Man On Fire’ is about being in those situations where everyone overlooks what you’re capable of, underestimating you, while you sit back accessing what you need to do, smiling internally while your fearless self-belief takes over giving you the confidence, edge, and upper hand to take control over others in their moment of chaos.
And NO ONE sees you coming!
Unstoppable is the right word and Those Damn Crows’ march to the top continues with urgency on this energetic, groovy and catchy number. It’s got an innate ‘radio-friendliness’ to the rhythm but that’s not a bad thing, it just means more people will have the opportunity to experience Those Damn Crows. It’s an anthem that you can move to.
Maer – Sister
Dark folk / chamber prog duo Maer – featuring Marjana Semkina (Iamthemorning) and Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling, ex-Eluveitie) – have unveiled their debut single ‘Sister’ along with a stunning video.
A haunting track, the duo that is Maer create cold and emotional atmosphere. The melody might be light and airy, but the darkness that tinges this track is undeniably weighty. As the track develops, the sense of grandeur increases as the folk melodies grow in stature and more and more instruments are introduced. The layered vocals telling a story that makes you feel extremely uneasy, especially when you combine it with the video. Very impressive. Check it out here.
Bonecarver – Ancient Atrocity
Brutal death metallers Bonecarver have released their second single, ‘Ancient Atrocity’, ahead of their new album, Carnage Funeral, due 11th November via Unique Leader Records.
Bonecarver commented on the new single:
Alk Yabar is an ancient alchemist obsessed with an ancient prophecy. According to writings of the Demonomicon, the arrival of the herald of chaos is very close, but for completing the rite that initiates the balance of shadow and light in the world must find an ancient arcane item lost in the vastness of the desert of Yalbalah. Alk begins a journey through the ancient ruins and tunnels of the forbidden tombs of the kings of the last dynasty of Fenhkrir. This ancient and advanced civilisation disappeared overnight without leaving a trace of its glory and its mighty civilisation.
So far, so very bloody heavy. With this second single, Bonecarver make it clear that their new album is going to be a beast. Showcasing furious death metal savagery here, the track is complimented by grand sounding orchestration that gives it a ‘symphonic black metal’ feel. An unexpected layer but in no way affecting the brutality that Bonecarver have made their trademark.
Pollyanna Blue – Haunted
Bristol-based alt-rock two-piece Pollyanna Blue will release their new single ‘Haunted’ on October 24th. Taken from their upcoming EP due in 2023.
Speaking of the inspiration for the song, lyricist and vocalist Zoe Collins says:
In this song trauma is depicted as an unforgiving evil spirit that will come at you at night and relentlessly try to tear you down. The impactful delivery of the lyrics harnesses the real range of emotions of someone experiencing immense feelings of emptiness, sadness and anger. The lyric ‘like a headache’ depicts the side effects of dealing with large and repetitive amounts of trauma and stress to the brain, painting an unpleasant experience for the person being Haunted by their own predicament.
A glorious piece of moody alt-rock that has grungy vibes, Pollyanna Blue cut through the malaise of life with a one hell of a foot-tapper, The thump of the beat is so damn infectious and the power in the vocals is immense. When the chorus hits, it’s really hard to not sing-along. This is one hell of a memorable listen and suggests that, if the rest of EP is this strong, Pollyanna Blue are already making claims for one of 2023’s best releases. Upon release, check it out here.
Circles – Echo
Melbourne’s alt-metal outfit Circles’ storm continues with the release of ‘Echo’. The third single from their forthcoming EP The Stories We Are Afraid Of | Vol. 1, to be released 25th November via Wild Thing Records.
Of the new single, frontman Ben Rechter states:
‘Echo’ is Vol. 1’s lowest point, emotionally. It deals with being well and truly at the bottom, feeling as though you deserve the hopelessness that you feel. Even if that’s not a true reflection of the situation, sometimes those inner voices block out all others with a relentless drone.
A track that oozes emotion; the simple beat, ethereal effects and isolated vocals hammer that point away from the start. The track leaning way more towards a poppier sound until the guitars and drums arrive. The track getting more urgent and the rhythm getting rockier. Not to the extent that the emotion at the start is lost, rather it is enhanced, ready for an explosion of intensity around the halfway point. A fascinating track.
Aborted – Infinite Terror
Cinematic extreme metal masters Aborted have released ‘Infinite Terror’, their first single in partnership with Nuclear Blast Records.
Creating a cacophony of noise, Aborted mark their new chapter with a nasty slice of extreme metal. Blisteringly fast and heavy, but with those delectable touches that make Aborted a cut above the rest. Pure and unbridled heavy horror with a sickening catchiness to it, this is head-banging gold. Check it out here.
THECITYISOURS – Alive
THECITYISOURS have released their brand-new single / video ‘Alive’, directed by the band’s very own Oli Duncanson, out now worldwide via Arising Empire.
The band comment:
‘Alive’ is about acknowledging the demons we have experienced in our lives and actively changing our mindset to banish them to the past and move forward with a fresh outlook on life. As a band, we have experienced so much change in recent years that it has sometimes been difficult to remain focused on the path ahead.
‘Alive’ was an opportunity to throw the rule book out of the window and re-define what it was that we loved about making music and creative content as a band. We talked a lot about what made us fall in love with music in the first place and discussed records that made us feel something; anything from punishing metal records to 90’s pop classic and everything in between. We set ourselves the challenge of trying to combine elements from as many of these as possible into one track, to set ourselves free from the restrictions of our past and fully embrace the new era of THECITYISOURS. We fully believe that everyone should be able to express themselves in whichever way they wish, regardless of race, gender, creed, sexuality, or any other labels society may try to place on us as.
This song has enabled us to find our true selves. ‘Alive’ is an anthem of celebration, that you are perfect just as you are. ‘Alive’ is the re-birth of THECITYISOURS.
Stupidly catchy, this new track from THECITYISOURS has a party vibe and delivers one hell of an anthemic chorus. It’s slightly experimental, quite quirky and exciting. The energy and passion the band showcase keep things moving along nicely, and some later heavy fire really adds a lot to the experience. You can tell this one is going to go down well in the live environment.
Skin Failure – Sleeveless Jesus/The Void
New progressive thrash/hardcore group Skin Failure have revealed their new single, ‘Sleeveless Jesus/The Void’, the second glimpse of their out-of-this-world debut album Radillac, which will be released 11th November via Small Pond.
Two words come to mind when listening to this track. The first is noisy. Skin Failure are making one hell of a racket here. The second is furious. Skin Failure are combining the intensity of hardcore with thrash’s head-banging vibes. The combination is freaking wild and a little bit painful. Especially as this is a track with layers. The slow-down and doomy segment, worrisome, as you know what’s coming after and bloody hell, does it deliver. Check it out here.
Kath & The Kicks – Stay Away from Me
Kath & The Kicks, an alt-rock act that incorporates twisted gutter garage blues into their signature powerhouse sound, unleash their new single, Stay Away from Me, on the 22nd of October 2022.
The band says:
In ‘Stay Away from Me’ we are the voice that has been suppressed in your mind, giving power to your reality. As a singular, we can feel vulnerable to the force of group mentality. But by challenging, we are able to confront. By truly seeing, we do not have to remain silently passive. The song represents ownership over who you are and who you choose to have around you; an acknowledgement of the power of influence.
Finger snapping, foot-tapping and head-banging energy delivered with a robust passion; Kath & The Kicks deliver a memorable track here. One that has groove to the guitars but the vocals are where it’s at. The delivery of these impactful lyrics done perfectly. The cherry on top being an anthemic chorus. Upon release, check it out here.
Darkthrone – Caravan of Broken Ghosts
With the release of their highly anticipated new album Astral Fortress only a week away, Darkthrone have released the song ‘Caravan of Broken Ghosts’ accompanied by a lyric video filmed by Fenriz and created by Matthew Vickerstaff.
With the song, Fenriz says:
There is a revisit vibe of ‘Quintessence’ at first, which is a total coincidence as it is Ted’s song and I wrote ‘Q’. The song then explodes into fiercer metal, pounding and catching there as well, with clever riff shifts. And then the classic doom ending.
It’s an epic one and not just because it’s over 8 minutes long. No, this is Darkthrone delivering darkness that consumes. Darkness that creeps through the body slowly. Darkness that sneaks its way into the soul. That cold you’re feeling isn’t the weather, it’s the sound of Darkthrone. Those hairs standing up on the back of your neck? No, someone didn’t just walk over your grave, it’s the sound of Darkthrone. One of their most dynamic sounding tracks, the shifting speeds and tonal switches are delightful.
Those Damn Crows, Maer, Bonecarver, Pollyanna Blue, Circles, Aborted, THECITYISOURS, Skin Failure, Kath & the Kicks and Darkthrone!
Those Damn Crows – Man on Fire - 8.5/10
Maer – Sister - 8/10
Bonecarver – Ancient Atrocity - 7.5/10
Pollyanna Blue – Haunted - 8/10
Circles – Echo - 7/10
Aborted - Infinite Terror - 8.5/10
THECITYISOURS – Alive - 7.5/10
Skin Failure – Sleeveless Jesus/The Void - 8/10
Kath & The Kicks – Stay Away from Me - 9/10
Darkthrone – Caravan of Broken Ghosts - 9/10