1. Hejira (Baltimore, MD)
Hailing from Baltimore, Hajira is an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with in the Maryland metal scene. Founded in 2013, Hajira has been working hard to make a name for themselves, and it’s starting to really pay off. Combining sounds from bands like Miss May I and August Burns Red, they hit all the sweet spots that we like to hear in metalcore. With soaring choruses, fast riffs, and satisfyingly heavy breakdowns, their most recent album release “Hejira” is no letdown. The album is well written, well produced, and very impressive for a band's first release.
Hajira is currently working on album number two, so keep an eye out!
2. Steaksauce Mustache (Grants Pass, OR)
Residing in Grants Pass, Steaksauce Mustache brings chaotic rock n’ roll to southwestern Oregon. The band has released two records thus far and their latest release “Eat What We Kill For You” is a chaotic-hardcore lovers dream. With inspiration taken from the chaotic mathcore heros like Norma Jean and The Chariot, Steaksauce Mustache a beautiful display of dissonance sure to keep you satisfied. And, of course, as is standard for the genre, their live performance is beyond energetic. Maybe even verging on insanity. But that’s just the way we like it.
3. Silverbow Society (Billings, MT)
This pop-punk inspired project brings a unique blend of sounds that keeps the music interesting, while still maintaining a solid core that gives a sense of unity. Never underestimating the power of a good melody, the band provides plenty of singable material, with well-placed harmonies added in to give it that extra punch. Their lively and talented demeanor is certainly inviting in the live videos that have shared. Definitely a group to keep your eye on.
4. Meadows (Birmingham, AL)
Blending atmospheric instrumentation with raw intensity, Meadows is a wonderful example of the power of music for the purpose of expressing the intangible and emotional elements the human experience. With a perfect combination of passion and unsurity, mixed with angst and confidence, this band creates a phonic expression that is both paradoxical and unique. For anyone looking to open their heart and pour out their insecurities, Meadows will give you the perfect avenue for such a glorious, self-reflective transmission.
5. Awnthay (Boston, MA)
Judging by their demos, this band has a plethora of talent. Ranging from jazz to prog inspired riffs, this band offers a wide range of musical stylings. Listening to their music is like driving through a garden of wonders. Without giving away what’s coming next, the band somehow seamlessly transitions from movement to movement giving listeners something new with every turn. Given the amount of musicianship and creative that this band puts into every bit of their music, Awnthay is definitely worth a listen.
6. Sickness in the System (Chattanooga, TN)
Dirgy and laidback, Sickness in the System is certainly a one of a kind listening experience. A blend of metal and symphonic inspiration, this band offers something unique to the music scene. If you’re in need of a mellow, yet emotional, musical excursion, Sickness in the System is your go-to band.
7. Valleys (Clayton, NC)
The diversity currently found in the world of metal is astounding. From classic metal to tech-death-prog-djent-beatdown metal, the genre is an ever-evolving experiment in creativity. Valleys from Clayton, NC is no exception to the rule. However, what is so unique and inspiring about this band is their ability to intricately weave what many would consider to be incompatible variants of metal. In this one of a kind project, prog influenced riffs, djenty breakdowns, and belted vocals come together to form a cohesive sound that is as beautiful as it is ambitious.
8. Atlas Uncharted (Cleveland, OH)
If you are into vocally-driven choruses, melodic samples, and bouncy breakdowns, Atlas Uncharted is your next fix. Describing themselves as “R&B Metal,” they certainly fit the bill. With skillfully performed melodies and heavy screams, this six piece band is an excellent example of how to blend beauty and brutality. When you’re in the mood for something tasteful, yet intense, look no further than this up-and-coming powerhouse, Atlas Uncharted.
9. Invoking the Abstract (Columbia, SC)
Invoking the Abstract is a progressive, “technical shred” outfit from Columbia, South Carolina. They are currently working on their album titled “Aural Kaleidoscopes,” which is set to release at the end of summer via Unique Leader Records. Judging by the teaser, this mixtape is going to be fire. From the sounds of it, it should be for fans of Animals as Leaders, The Contortionist, and After the Burial. Make sure you stop by their facebook page and follow them for all the updates!
10. Dim the Lights (Dedham, MA)
Music has always been the quintessential medium for expressing complex emotional experiences. Dim the Lights has certainly taken advantage of that reality. With vocal stylings harkening back to the golden age of emo, indie rock acts like Brand New, and a blend contemporary melodic hardcore vibes, Dim the Lights’ creates a profoundly emotional tapestry of sound. The band’s latest release “Ranger” invokes a variety of feelings that range from anger to intense disappointment. If you are in need of a new go-to for your emotive moods, make sure to have this album on your playlist.
If you know of any bands that we should feature, or if you are in a band and would like us to feature you in our next list, please hit us up at: ThomSchultzDCN@gmail.com