Ice Nine Kills, “IT Is The End”
After watching the video for “IT Is The End,” the final in a five-part series from their 2018 album The Silver Scream (which they reissued with bonus tracks this year), I became obsessed with Ice Nine Kills and their horror movie/book-inspired music. I’m not even a horror fan, but the creativity and ability to interpret the story’s plot so fully within a five-minute song is amazing. Both the song and the video kept me engaged until the very end.
The Darkness, “Rock And Roll Deserves to Die”
The opening track to The Darkness’ recently released concept album Easter Is Cancelled, “Rock And Roll Deserves to Die” is an attention-grabbing song that beautifully lays out both sides to the album’s question, “Is rock necessary?” It’s a song of two minds; the slow, dirge-like verses being solemn, like a tribunal judging rock and what it stands for, and the energized, over the top choruses being rock music pleading its case with powerful guitars and high-flying vocals.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, “Planet B”
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released two completely different albums this year, the eclectic Fishing for Fishies and the metal-inspired Infest The Rat’s Nest. Now, while I highly recommend listening to the former’s title track if you’re into happy-go-lucky tunes, it’s the latter’s lead single “Planet B” that’s getting a place on this list. The song is very Metallica-like filled with sludgy, heavy guitars, plenty of noodling and growly vocals. It’s sheer power and intensity of the instrumental give it’s environmentally conscious lyrics even more weight and immediacy.
New Years Day, “Shut Up”
New Years Day’s “Shut Up” from their new album, Unbreakable, is an anthem for every woman who knows what they want and won’t take no for an answer. The song’s sludgy guitars and pounding bassline give the song a powerful, heavy feel while Ashley Costello’s direct vocals and biting lyrics exude confidence. And with its catchy melody and easily understood phrasing, you won’t soon forget it.
The HU feat. Jacoby Shaddix, “Wolf Totem”
Perhaps it’s because this version of the song came out so recently and it’s still fresh in my mind, but the way The HU mix metal and traditional Mongolian throat singing is really interesting and pleasing to listen to. With “Wolf Totem,” you have the vocals of Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix providing a more standard, western version of hard rock paired with the deep, haunting growl of Galbadrakh Tsendbaatar’s throat singing situating it in the eastern sound, the song is balanced and somewhat hypnotic.
Bring Me The Horizon, “Mother Tongue”: (video)
Off With Their Heads, “Disappear”: (video)
Coheed and Cambria, “The Pavilion (A Long Way Back)”: (video)
The World/Inferno Friendship Society, “Freedom is a Wilderness Made for You and Me”: (video)
Queensryche, “Blood Of The Levant” (video)
Asking Alexandria, “The Violence”: (video)